In a mildly incendiary feature titled “News From Nowhere“, The Australian Financial Review have offered an in-depth (if belated) critique on the proliferation of blogger types in Australia’s fashion media landscape. At its crux, the article attempts to reconcile print’s ever changing role with the questionable authority and perceived lack of critical analysis offered by fashion blogs (a contention which has been discussed ad nauseum) so make of that what you will. Still, it’s well worth a read (here via Sassybella) if only for the archaic views held by some of Australian fashion’s biggest names.
Says designer Alex Perry: “As a designer, I turn a blind eye to them, I prefer to deal with someone whose credentials I know – that they have been hired by Vogue or Marie Claire or Harper’s Bazaar and their position is clear. Blogs so often degenerate into hate and mud-slinging and it’s like, “Would you calm down! I’m designing clothes – I’m not killing anyone!”“
Says Australian Vogue Editor-in-Chief Kirstie Clements: “Sure, if Tavi puts a picture of her Miu Miu clogs on her blog, then yes, it probably has just as much impact as if we’d photographed and put them in Vogue. But bloggers haven’t quite broken into the serious business side of fashion yet…It’s easy to look at a dress on a catwalk and say “Oh how pretty”. That’s simply an opinion. It’s not real power.“
The article name checks Sydney fashion bloggers Helen Lee of Sassybella and Matt Jordan of Imelda but fails to mention Frockwriter’s Patty Huntington who, due in part to a long career in print, represents the in-depth, news breaking ability that is apparently bereft online. Across the Tasman there’s also Isaac Likes by Kiwi blogger Issac Hindin Miller whose prolific news-breaking ability (a recent story traveled as far as The Huffington Post) and more than competent critical analysis of international menswear collections is also well worth a mention .
So what do you think? Is print still the authoritative master of all fashion media in Australia? Or will it soon be usurped by those pesky, laptop wielding bloggers? (Note: I think this is probably a moot point internationally as the critical disparity between print and online is still pretty vast but in Australia at least, the gap is much smaller than you would initially think).