FASHION vs APPAREL

Feb 21, 2012


Anya Ziourova, a perfect example of the type of dressing I gravitate towards. Low-key comfortable casual pants and tops, but with killer outerwear and not too much other fluff. You can tell she's not obsessed with being pretty, but wears outstanding pieces and let's them be the focal point. Her jacket is the star, not her.

I had a lengthy discussion with some friends the other day about fashion, something I don't normally like to talk about in real life. There are a lot of interesting observations one can make from the blog world, particularly in fashion blogging.

There are different types of fashion blogs - aspirational, lifestyle, narrative - and tens of thousands of readers that they cater to, yet they all seem to get jumbled together. In the end it becomes one big muddled corner of the internet, funneled into a popularity contest of who is the prettiest or coolest. Everyone assumes that if you happen to blog about fashion, you're a "fashion blogger" and that you have the same common goals of success and notoriety. Not the case at all however. Who's to say that we all want to "make it big" or what that even means?

When I use the word fashion it means something very specific to me. Maybe it's my background in the industry or maybe just my own biased aesthetic, but it comes down to a level of respect for design and the actual art of creating beautiful clothes. The term fashion thrown around so loosely in the blogosphere nowadays, seems to have become what I actually consider just...apparel. For me the main distinction between the two is the focus being either on the design itself or the person wearing it. Or even further, the difference between art and shopping.

We now see the emergence of a defined blogger style that's become the front runner in aspirational dressing. Where readers used to look to magazines and celebrities for inspiration and new trends, they now look to the internet and fashion bloggers. There's no one right way of dressing, to each his own. But the observation I'm making here is that this blogger style seems less of an appreciation for the art of fashion, and more about piling on every trend all at once and looking as pretty as possible. Maximum buzz. That's what people want to see right?

And there the line is drawn.

For me there are two great divides - credible fashion people and, because of my failing descriptive skills, let's just call it the preoccupation with looking good - the most obvious difference in the two being the emphasis placed on beauty in oneself. To put it simply, fashion people don't care about how the shirt will make their boobs looks, or whether a skirt will be tight enough to accentuate their butt just so. They look at the merit of the individual item and appreciate it for what it is on its own. In the other, there's this concern with how pretty an outfit can make oneself appear with the right hair and makeup, the fashion element becoming secondary. Is the art being showcased or is the person being showcased? Take Anya for example, she doesn't seem preoccupied with looking like a super model or being the hottest thing to walk through the Tuileries. Does that mean she takes zero pride in beauty or looking good? Of course not, it's just probably not her first fashion concern. And the same could be said about people like Emmanuelle Alt or Julia Sarr-Jamois.

There's not one mode that's better than the other, it all comes down to personal preference. I'm not going to judge someone for wanting to look pretty. I mean, in some way don't we all? However, as someone who respects the craft of fashion, I think it's important to recognize that there is, in fact, a difference and to call it what it is.

There was a time when the It Girl was someone truly aspirational, when information moved slower, and people had time to discover themselves and develop tastes. While the internet is a miracle tool in uniting the world and getting news at lightning speeds, it also makes haste the development of who we are as people. Popular things, beautiful things, It things are fed to us as gospel and we eat it up and suddenly want to buy into it too. It's so much harder to be an individual in this day and age when everything's been done and redone and then redone better. But you know what's truly individual? Simply being you, even if what you are is the same as the person next to you. The courage to not try to be something you're not for fear of falling behind. Your It Girl - do you want to look like her or do you want to be her because she really is someone noteworthy?

Not only as a reader, but as a person, I think it's prudent to question everything. Questioning someone isn't insulting to the person (well, depending on your intentions), but rather a means by which you gain perspective on whether they're really worthy of your admiration. Questions lead to answers and answers lead to clearer pictures. Why wouldn't you question me, a stranger on the internet, and wonder why my life seems so great? (Does it?) Why I have an endless closet? (I don't.) Why would you accept that everything on your screen is the god's honest truth? The easiest way to know yourself is to be aware of what's around you and to pick up on the subtle distinctions between things that others may not see, to know how you are aligned with those things.

There is a lot of identity in fashion. Do you know who you are?

87 comments :

Leslie said...

While I do not wholeheartedly agree with you (I don't really think looking good/pretty and fashionable are mutually exclusive), I can see where you are coming from. Perhaps it's just an extension of the fashion vs. celebrity dichotomy in the internet sphere? Fantasy and reality? Life and death (jk)?

My sluggish brain is telling me that there is definitely some esoteric academic point I can make re: beauty and beauty in fashion but I haven't had my coffee yet.. Will let you know, if the thought ever manifests...

Lastly, but perhaps most importantly, I just wanted to tell you that I (mentally) read that last sentence in CoverGirl!voice.

I don't read that many blogs, but your's is definitely one that I return to. C:

Sarah said...

What a great post! For work I spend a lot of time looking in on fashion blogs, on magazine street style blogs, on 'what is hot, what is not' and I am struck by an increasing sense of.......seriously who is making the rules up here?

One magazine shows crosses and ticks to depict who looked good, while another completely contradicts those musings. Yet another shows a set of people wearing great clothes, balanced outfits and explains that this is fashion for normal people. And finally, yet another says that running around in 6" heels all day and looking as if you just stepped off the catwalk is 'something we all aspire to'

Really? How can anyone speak for everyone in terms of fashion? Surely it's about YOU not THEM?

Thanks for this!

Sarah

justyna said...

REALLY BEAUTIFULLY WRITTEN! I've stopped reading so many blogs, because they've become walking advertorials.... and its getting a wee bit old... the cool thing about style blogging was feeling like you're stepping into this person's world, not this person's world as the advertiser/beauty company/apparel co. would want you to see them... sigh.

STOP IT RIGHT NOW said...

@Leslie - Just to clear up, I'm not saying that pretty and fashionable are mutually exclusive. Indeed they can coexist and certainly a lot of times do. The point I'm trying to make is that in fashion bloggers, there's a common emphasis on one OVER the other. You can be pretty and fashionable, but you don't need to be pretty to be fashionable, which is what a lot of fashion bloggers don't seem to get. Or maybe they don't need to get it? Just pointing out that it is a phenomenon.

the marant philes said...

I agree with your point of view. Being new to the blogging world, I don't want to lose sight of why I started my blog in the first place, and I don't want to necessarily put so much weight on it either (because I think you do create this false sense of living a life grander than your viewer). I think when someone is getting freebies from labels and you see them wear it once on their blog and then never again, I just question if that is coming from a sense of fashion/style or just marketing.

I really like your blog because I feel like it's just real, and I think it's probably the only one that I increased my attention span enough to read this whole post.
- Aliya :-)

JASPER said...

so so so so true!

The Aquarians said...

Very well put. I much prefer bloggers who share what inspires them artistically and sartorially, or what they love, (or sometimes even just how cute their dog is, ahem) than showing me 14 images of one outfit from 7 perspectives, all including the prerequisite pouty lip and sexy slouch.

InnyVinny said...

I love you.

Really.

I wish I had a more eloquent comment, but I'll save that for a discussion...hopefully over portobello fries.

Rich Hippie said...

(stands up and applauds)
Thank god more people are noticing this, I've found it pretty obnoxious to even read blogs anymore because everything seems so staged.
ill leave it at this because if i go on ill be dropping the F bomb out of pure rage.
I used to think that fashion bloggers where the substitute to overpriced overphotoshoped gals in glossy magazines who portrayed unrealistic looks that i most defiantly couldn't afford...or even look like.
They where meant to be real girls, real bodies, real budgets, to put it simply
now i feel to poor to look as god as a fashion blogger

THE DIVINITUS said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Leslie said...

@Jayne -- That's true. I guess the point I wanted to make was that re: being fashionable is that it seems there is also a certain threshold of attractiveness (i.e. "look") that needs to be overcome in order for said blogger-fashion-girl to be perceived as 'fashionable' in the reader's eye. Thinness, hair style, skin clarity, eye size, the list can and does go on. It's true that garments can (and should) stand alone by virtue of their design, but that their aesthetic and utilitarian value is also inextricably tied to the social and cultural identity of the (idealized) person that wears it, and to the social and cultural identity of the hands that created it (e.g. Isabel Marant and Emmanuelle Alt; Theyskens' theory and Olivier Theyskens). All of these images and idealizations muck about in the watering hole we call 'taste' and then we all end up with Kiko Mizuhara bobs. Because we just want to be loved. Or something like that.

Reena said...

That's an interesting prespective. Some would say: "you should wear the clothes, the clothes should not wear you". And I guess you are disagreeing to that?

STOP IT RIGHT NOW said...

@Leslie - Totally true. Fashion is subjective, as is what is deemed fashionable. I'm not debating who or what is fashionable though. I'm talking about the appreciation of fashion as art and wearing it as such. Not just trying to be pretty and labeling it fashion.

Or we get Kiko Mizuhara bobs because we're sick of our hair getting caught in chairs and tangled in our arms ;)

STOP IT RIGHT NOW said...

@Reena - Nope, not disagreeing with anything. Just illustrating that there ARE other perspectives. Food for thought.

Leslie said...

@Jayne: Chairs are brutal. ):

Anonymous said...

J'aime Voice: Not to be a bitch but...

I can sum it up by comparing to style blogs, not to bash them, but there is QUITE the difference.

Fashiontoast VS Manrepeller.

Rumi imo was the first fashion blogger to receive loads of freebies, and she is pretty good at casually marketing for them. Where as manrepeller, imo, has a hardcore passion for fashion. - And the girl has it, and she wants you to, too. (Example: How to fashion posts...) Rumi travels the globe, takes a shit ton of instagram photos, and shows you her "makeup routine" with a expensive products that not most readers can purchase and even if they can, does this post denote FASHION? no, it exemplifies pretty; nothing more, nothing less. The difference is not everyone has it, so it can get old after awhile. Where as someone like Leandra changes and grows as fashion does, you can expect more regarding fashion in the true sense of the word from someone such as her. I do admire her more because it is appreciation, aesthetic, versus class/title or money.

Anonymous said...

bahaha, please excuse my grammar/spelling mistakes.

HESTAAHH said...

love this. such a good reminder. thank you

Marianna octavia said...

Yes! Was just thinking this morning as I sifted through a thousand blogs that seemed to be either (a) photos of girls in fast fashion trends or (b) were just collections of photos reblogged from somewhere else showing there is a serious lack of content in the blogosphere at the moment.

Thank you for putting this out there - so comforting to know there are others who, even in our frenetic and transitory world, value content that takes time, research and analysis.

Angela said...

Jayne such a great post. I really enjoy reading your views, and they remind me to take a little more time and care with my own. Thankyou.

Nia said...

I don't know if it's ever been about fashion, it's about trends. Anyone can have access to trends because they are everywhere and made affordable. Fashion is not. It's an amazing world of talented artists but the truth is real fashion not always a reflection of the real world. It's aspirational. And while "fashion people" spend a lot of time researching designers, shopping, and reading magazines (for work or pleasure, or both) I think the average person isn't as heavily invested in that world. It's more of a fantasy and to be a part of that fantasy by starting your own blog is a big part of having access to a world that can be restrictive in one way or another (financial, geographical, body-type, etc.). So it's no wonder that you've got the internet flooded with trendy girls with no real appreciation for the art. It a lot of ways, it was never about that for them to begin with. It's about wanting to belong.

Personally, I want to be the star in the amazing jacket that makes me look good. I think I can have it all.

M said...

I don't like to comment on such things, especially if I don't have anything interesting to add. But I love this post and the healthy argument/convo between you and @Leslie.

You don't need to approve this comment, btw.

Anonymous said...

I totally agree, and I have been noticing the divide as well. Thank you for your beautiful message. Individuality is the most beautiful thing in the world. Being true to yourself is the coolest thing in the world, no matter what others think of you.
Thank you.
Rachel S., NYC

Andrew said...

Bah, Jane. Such a good read.

Definitely agree with you on the "fashion blogger" thing. Exactly why I refer to myself (only when necessary) as a style blogger instead. I blog about my personal style. If you happen to like it, great. If you don't, you don't. I think ultimately that is what shines through and makes a blog successful. People being truthful and honest about their style and sharing that with their readers. I know the blogs I return to all share that.

Having said that, your last paragraph is an interesting one. There is so much about perceptions over the internet. A blog is only what you care to share with the world. Do I show people me in my sweat pants watching TV? No. I share the outfits and the things I'm post proud of. I don't think it's necessarily a perfect example of who I am, but does that mean it it's honest?

Lots of tasty food for thought. Maybe not exactly what you were getting at, but it's what I got out of it.

mc said...

This post is probably one of the main reasons that you're my favourite blogger.
That and your major sense of humour and photoshop skills.
I get so sick of going through my blogroll and having to scroll through 10-15 shots on a single blog of a mediocre outfit.
Some "fashion" blogs seem to be more like exercises of narcissistic tendencies than to be out there to inspire and showcase amazing fashion finds and designs.

katecrackpot said...

WOW I am so in love with your thoughts. I am thinking almost the same way and I have asked myself whether there is anybody in this blogosphere/society who is also pondering over this progress that is taking place, or lets say the grievances - from my point of view.

I really love how you are, lets say presenting your garments and doing this with such an ease and fun.

Elsie said...

Very eloquently written post. Loved it-it's refreshing to see a fashion blog with some writing. Anyway, I think you're on to something. It’s interesting to see that people agree, but even if they do I suppose the majority of people prefer looking at unrealistic photos of staged lives that honestly sometimes seem too good to be true. But perhaps this is what most people truly expect of people that are "into" fashion. For instance I love clothing. I gravitate towards color and texture and beautiful clothes feel the void (both designer and generic if well-made). I want to share that love with the world and that is honestly why I keep a "fashion" blog. In my daily life my focus is on the clothing and to tell you the truth I don’t pay attention to much else because fashion is what drives me. That being said, I cannot tell you all the times that people ask me about other aspects of myself at work; “Elsie-what's up with your hair? Elsie do something with your hair! Elsie-I love your outfit, but then you get to the hair and makeup and what's going on?” Quite honestly I'm a little sick of it- I appreciate the clothes, I want to share the clothes with the world-I don't care about hair and makeup when I go to work (at a boring grey office). Anyway, I guess my point is that people like seeing beautiful from head to toe as an opportunity to hide from the lack of beauty in their own world-which is why "those" blogs are popular. And since they’re such phenomenal marketing tools-I don’t see them going away. I just hope that people do see through them eventually and realize that it’s not all real and that more readers grow to appreciate the craft and not simply the presentation.

Also, that leather jacket just made me die a little…one day…one day….

Keep up the great work-you’ve found a new reader thanks to Twitter!

elsie

Ladivasosa said...

THIS is why I'm having a VERY HARD TIME keeping my patience for these damn fashion blogs and WHY I decided to step away from the mic from my own blog. Not because I don't know where I belong, but because I rather wield my opinions at the cutting table.

LOVE YOU. And save some Portabello fries for my ass when I roll over there in a couple of months (side eye to Inny Vinny).

? said...

I have a hard time believing you don't want to "make it big" when you post and wear extravagantly expensive brands, have the it haircut and ombre color, and constantly blog about it. If you didn't care, you wouldn't be doing it.

STOP IT RIGHT NOW said...

@Nia - Wanting to belong seems like a major element in fashion blogging these days and I actually don't think there's anything wrong with that. Everyone wants to feel like they're connected to something. But at the end of the day the message is to be clear about who you are and not try to claim something you're not. Why be one thing and call yourself another?

STOP IT RIGHT NOW said...

@Andrew - Everyone is free to take whatever they want from it :) It's just one person's opinion, not the law. I like hearing everyone else's thoughts. Healthy discourse is a good thing.

STOP IT RIGHT NOW said...

@Elsie - I don't think there's anything wrong with those blogs. There's room for everyone, I'm just trying to promote people seeing the differences between them. I like looking at beautiful things too.

Christina said...

Hey hey...I actually enjoyed reading this. A lot of bloggers I follow have been posting self-reflexive musings, but they really just come down to complaining because they're burnt out on blogging but don't want to disappoint their audience.

It can be hard to be true to your identity when blogging is all about creating a persona. I love dressing super feminine and over-the-top, but that doesn't mean I don't often wear jeans with chucks and everything in-between. Because I'm a real person, and I don't see the point in reducing my personal style to a single archetype.

STOP IT RIGHT NOW said...

@? - It's not up to me to make you believe. It's a fact. I could give two shits about making it big. I'm a 32 year old designer with a salary that can afford me fashion items I consider art. I'm already in fashion and have no interest in furthering my name through blogging. I'm also perfectly content with and constantly humbled by my small audience of blog readers who are smart enough not to fall for someone's internet hype. Not everyone wants to be famous.

Rich Hippie said...

OH MY GOD YOUR 32!!!!!
...just joking :)

Sarah Chow said...

Word.

Not a huge rift or anything but definitely between now and the early 2000s when it was all about forums and posting what you were wearing, its like someone's little sister on an internet rabies rampage. Foaming at the mouth for fashion with a capital F and emphasis on the end.

And the genesis of this gradual shift? The internet became more popular. Fashion became more popular. Tailoring your image is so easy on the internet. Now editing your photos for a blog post is like hitting a filter on instagram - just pruning your lifestyle to the choicest, most photogenic bits to resell for influence online. intentions shifted from sharing a niche interest towards this new process of cultivating your image and online presence. Suddenly blogs became glamorous and marketable because its human nature to want to be admired and thought well of, and now here we are with a new generation of people who aspire to "start" "blogs" and be known for it. To be admired and looked up to. Cue the mediocre viewpoints of so many legions of the insecure, striving for validation. This industry is full of them.

Which isnt to say that the shift didnt also attract some new bright young and talented people. There's room for all types and an audience for almost anything online.

STOP IT RIGHT NOW said...

@Sarah Chow - Well put. Everyone is guilty of editing themselves online, me included. But as you mentioned, I think it comes down to your intentions. What I keep saying to everyone is that there's no judgment in a blogger being either this way or that way. We're just stirring conversation here to point out that there IS in fact a difference in intentions and that not all fashion bloggers are one and the same.

Anonymous said...

tweeting about not wanting to be famous is sort of a hypocritical thing, dont ya think? actually this whole piece is, you post outfit photos wearing designer clothing and act like you are all indie and punk or whatever the fad is that youre going for.

Marella Ricketts said...

Amen.

V said...

Described exactly the way I’ve articulated the divide in style I see between me and my best friend many a time - usually when were arguing over something that’s hideous/genius. But also the general divide I see in a lot of female fashion, so I would agree.
I really appreciate all my friends’ different styles, and love looking at those who are really sexy, burlesque-y or overtly pretty and feminine – precisely because that’s who they are, it’s just not me. Would also add that although part of her goal is always to look sexy or pretty/feminine when she dresses, she doesn’t appreciate fashion or design as a whole less than me, she just appreciates a different kind of fashion/design in general. But then those who post pictures of themselves looking very pretty in THAT very expensive t shirt and THE skinny jeans repeatedly, to me, are a very different creature – they definitely bore the shit out of me. And, for me, it’s a fine line between respect and complete boredom.
Although I do think theirs is the dominant message in popular culture about what fashion is (but that’s just pop culture and ‘coolness’ in general right?) And I do get really frustrated having repeat conversations with people who think something is 'ugly' because it doesn't make their bum look sexier than it naturally is, or make them look ‘pretty’ in some way by just being very ‘feminine’. But that’s why I’m the girl who drools over menswear collections, gets super excited by unflattering clothes that vividly remind me of some random film or story aesthetic and my favourite purchase this season was the best gloves ever. Also why I love your blog; precisely because there are a lot less Jaynes out there in the blogosphere (stupid word).
Great post, thanks.

Isabelle said...

I am not a native english speaker so i have maybe read your article 4 times. And as a quiete young person i grew up with fashion blogs and been very fast impress! I can't thanks them enough for have open me to this world, but they also had a pervert effect. Some blogs reflect such a (fake) perfect life that mine was never good enough. And my way to dress never enough precise!
But well today it's the blogs that I get completely desinterested of and I have found blogs with a personal way to see fashion and that just pushed me to go in my own way. Like yours ;)
I find it very interesting that you wrote that, and also quiete important!

Hard Liquor, Soft Holes said...

i have plenty of judgment for one kind over the other, but that's mostly because i'm a dick.

STOP IT RIGHT NOW said...

@Anonymous - actually I don't see how tweeting about it makes it hypocritical. So tweeting means you're trying to be famous too? Do you know what hypocritical means? There's a difference between someone acting with the intention of gaining fame and someone who is themself and people happening to respond well. Shocking I know but it has been known to happen. Funny thing is the piece had nothing to do with trying to be famous. It was illustrating a distinction between appreciating fashion as art and this celebrated popular "blogger style" these days that I personally don't consider fashion.

nataliya said...

anonymous totally missed the point but anyway i totally agree with you and i love how you said the clothes are the focal point and the artists and designer who make them! great post!

nataliya
sewniice.blogspot.com

Anonymous said...

Great read. Nice to see every so often people actually articulate thoughts as opposed to just seeing. Visual stimulation is too overrated and a great read is like a breath of fresh air ; )

Michelle said...

I could not agree with you more! I am sick to the back teeth of seeing pouty 20-somethings, twirling their hair, decked in Alexander Marant Theyskins Whatever Is Acceptable To Like.
I'd be liar if I said I didn't use the best images of several taken of me on the blog, but I'm almost 40 so it's pretty natural to want to not look like an old hag. But the thing that, strangely, strikes me most, is the overwhelming lack of smiling! I love Cocorosa, for example, because she smiles. Not endless photos of her looking fucking miserable.
I am past caring about being pretty or sexy or young, and whilst I do remember what's it's like to be in your 20's and concerned about looking hot, it would be nice if all bloggers didn't get tarred with the same (makeup) brush.

lulu said...

Well I don't think the point is that there is anything wrong with wearing Isabel Marant and Theyskens' Theory and looking hot.

The point is, to stand for something alongside it. Being a biker isn't the same as wearing a biker jacket. These are all the reasons why people hate Hot Topic.

And if you're not going to stand for something. Know that there are people who do. The difference, the choice, in what we read, what we wear, how we present ourselves and our content, are not just a shared set of loose interests.

Anonymous said...

I agree with you on many points. I hate generic looks on women, especially when they believe they have to ascribe to a particular norm to look "pretty." But I disagree with the stigma that there is something wrong with wanting to look pretty or feminine. I think what you refer to as pretty is attributed to more feminine style of dressing. I think where you're wrong is the assumption that dressing femininely is more about pleasing other people than pleasing yourself.

STOP IT RIGHT NOW said...

@Anonymous - Actually I never said there was anything wrong with wanting to look pretty. In fact I said that we all do. I'm not even referring to a feminine style of dressing. There's plenty of feminine fashion. What I tried to illustrate was that fashion isn't necessarily about making oneself look pretty.

Also, there was never any commentary on who people dress for. That's each individual's choice. I'm all for doing whatever you want, even if that's looking generic.

Anonymous said...

Isn't fashion and "trend" the same thing? The parallel would be individual style. Don't we all take what we like from fashion/trends and include them into our own personal style. This post is hypocritical, would this be considered a fashion blog? Personal style doesn't have to be unique or raw to be considered fashion. If a blog is about apparel, than it is a fashion blog. I think it's just a matter of taste.

STOP IT RIGHT NOW said...

@Anonymous - Precisely why I start off with saying it means something specific to me. This is all my take on what "fashion" means to me. Trends are the trickled down effects of fashion in the real world that become an embraced and repeated look. Trends can come from fashion, but I don't necessarily think fashion is trend. I view fashion as the before and trend the after.

I don't see what I'm contradicting, to be considered hypocritical. I don't exclude myself from fashion blogs. All I did was point out that there are differences between them. And you're right, it is a matter of taste. And this is mine.

Anonymous said...

I'm Anon. from 11:38,
What is fashion, if not popular demand? This post is hypocritical because your style is the "pretty" you're condemning as unfashionable. It's just that you're more edgy about it than other blogs. Which is why I like this blog.

Everyone should respect individualism. If you like it, than wear it. Even a t-shirt and jeans is fashion. You don't need a biker jacket to represent fashion.

STOP IT RIGHT NOW said...

@Anon 11:38 - Fashion can surely be popular yes, but does it start off with the intention of trying to be popular? I hardly think high fashion designers brainstorm ideas for whatever people will like. That's the creativity of fashion, that you make things that people may or may not like.

Thank you for thinking my style is "pretty" but just to clarify again, there was never any condemning. I was pointing out the difference between what I personally consider fashion in the realm of blogging and the divide between that and just plain wanting to look pretty irregardless of the fashions themselves.

I like any one else in the world, would choose being pretty over being ugly. Fact. But my main concern in posting is not to choose an outfit to make me look as pretty as possible. Maybe it's my art/design background that makes me like photos that are visually appealing and so that's what I try to put out. You can post a visually unappealing picture of a pretty girl just like you can post a visually appealing picture of an ugly girl. It all comes down to the subject matter and what the intention of the photo is. Is it to show you that I love the design of this jacket that I'm wearing? Or is it to showcase how beautiful I look? In the end it's subjective and differs from viewer to viewer. But it'd be a lie to say there aren't painfully obvious ones.

In almost every interview I've given I say that I like/wear a t-shirt and jeans above all. You don't have to be Anna Dello Russo to credibly love fashion, just like you don't have to ball like Michael Jordan to be a credible basketball fan. Everyone is individual and everyone can be a fan of whatever they want. And we should also be able to point out differences without being hypocrites.

I'm glad you like the blog! I'm grateful to everyone for offering up their opinions. Talk is good.

suus said...

I always wonder if those bloggers actually wear those outfits in real life... Open shoes in the winter in Europe? Tiny heels in the streets of Amsterdam? Really cold and impossible if you ask me.

Like your take on individuality. That discussion is always so sensitive and people get really offensive.

@Michelle...Love to see that you appreciate the smile of cocorosa as well, really refreshing!

Danielle Keenan said...

I 100% agree with what you are saying...FASHION BLOGGERS all lOOK the same and personal style seems to be non existent. It actually makes me a little upset when I see the same look and bloggers on every fashion website I go to... its all geared to MARKETING.

I actually plan on writing a post soon about this very same issue. Our society is constantly pushing for everyone to look the same! Personal style has conformed to the masses.

There are very few blogs that I actually look at for inspiration.. your's being one and its a beautiful thing when their are people who refuse to look the same and push their boundaries... that says more about the individual than their style choice. Fashion (art) is a very powerful thing.. we need to start showing others how to be individuals!

ROCK ON YOU'RE AWESOME!

check out my blog.. I think you'd appreciate my view on this issue

Danielle
everybodydiesss.blogspot.com

Emma said...

It seems like most of what could be said has been said, but I'll insert my two cents anyway:

The fashion blogosphere has indeed become a pool of low-quality, greatest-common-denominator artlessness. I find myself wading through dozens of "famous" blogs to find a few gems. I can't even go to places like lookbook.nu or chictopia anymore, where the most hyped people are those with the best bodies, most professional photos, and as much lace, garterbelts, and knee-high socks as possible. There's no appeal in trends and immodesty for me.

Anonymous said...

i love you. confirmed.

Style Porn said...

I'm just going to go ahead and echo the sentiments of everyone else here (OF COURSE, there I go copying everyone again) and say, well said. Bravo. I agree. But just like I have a soft spot in my heart for Downton Abbey AND Jersey Shore, my philosophy on life in general, especially when it pertains to popular culture and the "zeitgeist" for lack of a better word, is "It takes all kinds." I think you captured that here--that we don't all need to be "serious" fashion types who wear fupa-enhancing pants and torturous, clod-hopper shoes to be fashionable any more than we need to wear tight miniskirts and get hair extensions. What I like about the world of blogging is that it allows me to see the different "types" of fashion people out there. I like to judge and compartmentalize everything, so this medium of blogging just allows me to take it all in and make an educated judgment about who these people are, who I want to be, and ultimately, if it means anything.

I'm glad there's so much diversity in the world. I enjoy Rumi's blog just as much as I enjoy Leandra's blog, for totally different reasons.

Anonymous said...

You inspire me Jayne, literally gone through your whole blog!
Love
A 19 year old reader from Nigeria <3

Anonymous said...

Uc:I've been an avid reader of your blog for a while and this is simply a brilliant post. This post stands out!!!

See the thing with fashion blogging is that at first we could relate to these people. They're just regular folks to us. Then came the popularity of it, the advertisement, the endorsements etc. While this is good for the blogger but it defeats the purpose.

These days extremely popular fashion bloggers are just hawking merchandise for fashion houses. That's how I see it.
Plus the uniformity of things. All of a sudden everyone is wearing the same ACNE shoes, Alexander Wang rocco bag is TOO popular and one would think it is cheap but it isn't.

Sure the variety is nice but a lot of bloggers have lost themselves along the way. It isn't unique anymore because quite frankly they all look the same to me. Plus we can't relate to them because I bet you tons of them don't even read their comments. It is sad. I'm always on the prowl to discover new unknown blogs. People who're like me.

Sorry for ranting a bit in your comment box. It is something I've noticed and was just happy to see your post touch on it.

Cheers!

CNV design said...

I love this post!
I've noticed that abundance of fashion bloggers the past few years and how they become insanely popular just because they are trendy or dress in a generically attractive way. I LOVE reading your blog bec I think you are one of the rare who LOVE fashion not just as a way of consuming but a way of expressing... I read something in garance Dore's blog recently that she had started to appreciate fashion in a way that she likes something she sees not because it is her style. And I think that's what those who have a real love affair w fashion has, it's not accumulation, being trendy, but as a way of expressing themselves-- it always comes across as authentic, original and you can clearly see how comfortable they are in their own skin.

kosmic kate said...

So true. In the chaotic, fast paced trend to be owning every single trend piece every possible blogger is blogging about, we somehow lose our identity and individual style.

jenny said...

A+

pelin said...

I could not agree more with the last two paragraphs. May I use your quote on my blog?

Cathy of Eye Puffiness said...

Very well said. I enjoy surfing your blog. Nice post!

Anonymous said...

Beautifully written!

Normally a post this long I will just skim over...but I thoroughly enjoyed reading this.

Great to see fashion related blogs with personality:)

Aimee said...

Shoot, you took the words right outta my mouth.

Lyrica Onyrica said...

if only I could express myself in fluent english...!! Feel (and fulfilled) glad to find this kind of blog and bloggers and speeches-selftoughtsinloudvoice-s. System, TV and telecommunications pull the strings of us, poor puppets... and then blogging arrived (for example). Then the chance of freedom of speech reveals. Then the "pinoccios" wooden brain and heart can sinapsis-ize and beat for an instant...

(I'd better "stop it right now" before I start using more disney characters as metaphors)

:)

Zoe said...

Wow this post is another reason why I love our blog Jayne!

I share exactly the same sentiments...I've had it up to here with fashion blogs that are just an excuse for someone to showcase themselves, their ability to buy loads of designer goods or have the perfect pose. BORING!!!

The blogs that I genuinely love, I love because of the person behind them. Not just because of the clothes they wear or the way they do their makeup or whatever - because they have a great personality and most importantly they dont take themselves too seriously. Now that's an interesting read :)

Cylia said...

I've been writing a post like this for some time now, and trying to find people who have the same opinon and view on it. So well written. We can't turn circles on the truth. There was a time and a place where the most popular blogs were interesting and fun. But commercial deals got in the way and identity got lost. Now there's just something fishy about some of these blogs.. it's icky, but no one really talks about it, no one wants to be the bad guy, and people get blinded by everything with a populair designer name. HMMM.

Mari said...

well said, well said.. This commentaire could go deeper and involve the terms 'consumerism', 'narcissism', and weak ability to distinguish oneself. it is saddening how many bloggers just want to own and wear ALL that's currently in fashion, but is this the point? ... have i thought to myself a million times. what has happened to being selective, dedicated, creative about our own identity?

i think the way fashion bloggers project themselves mirrors their characters and behaviours in every day life. Most of them lack the ability to define their personality. The rest are only mimicking. Totally devoid of any creativity, or knowledge about fashion. Their blogs might even become the tool of magnifying their narcissistic facade, or buying greed. What they fail to realise is that they have entrapped themselves in a unnecessary race. I personally do not care how many hermes or balenciaga bags one owns. Being able to afford has been falsely translated to being 'in style'.

I find that most of the blogs out there unknowingly (which makes me even sadder) project unhealthy consumeristic habits and provoke immitation habits that many blindfolded young people follow with no filter.

I am pleased that you have brought this subject up. In the end of the day what we project on the blogosphere is who we are. And it is sad to come across so many short visioned people in such a creative business.

Abbie said...

Jayne, love that you started this discussion! It's a tricky one.. I personally feel that many fashion blogs have turned more into shopping guides in what seems like a race to buy the latest "it" whatever from Isabel, Zara or H&M. No editing at all leaving a mess of forgettable content. It's a bit exhausting and no wonder readers start to feel that they can't keep up or that they don't even want to.

Your blog on the other hand.. I appreciate it because it's so fun and unique- your photo edits, celine skateboards and sick outfit posts scream of your individuality and authenticity. That's what we crave these days right? Authenticity! Well done!

Anonymous said...

I didn't read a single one of the 72 comments before me, but I simply wanted to say that it is so refreshing to see a style blogger raise questions and provoke thought instead of use their blog as a 'look at meeee I'm so cool' medium. Thanks for saying what others don't! You made a loyal fan out of me.

Cami said...

I am pretty late to the game on this one - but your writing resonated and I need a piece of this - and I apologise for a very personal rant to follow:

It is a scary, scary snap-snap world out there. When I first started blogging I was under the impression (especially after doing posts that dived in terms of comment numbers) that people (and when I say people, I mean commenter's over lurkers) really only enjoy this stereotypical blogger identity... personal posting about things that interested me, always got practically no hits. I struggled with the idea that there is an obvious formula and at the time, felt like there wasn't really any other options. Having to do make-up for blog posts (!!!! I truly value in-the-moment shots !!!), feeling unworthy because I never had long, glossy hair to swish around, not ever really getting the 'blogging look' - none of it ever felt comfortable. I stopped trying a while ago, but only recently realized (I'm soon to be 26, I have a successful label and I live on the internet) that who I am is ok... it took me a while. I feel like the internet really makes us work for our personal identity, as you outlined in the post. For so long I felt (and still do occasionally, but I'm working on it) that my personal style, my identity within the industry/out of the industry, wasn't clear, that I was too impressionable and I was comparing myself to others with depressing results.

I do love the fantasy element of fashion... but I can appreciate that in the Paris Couture Shows, or the Trannies I know who do it everyday, or on the occasions I feel like really dressing up, but when it comes down to blogging, the full photo diary look-at-my-fucking-great-life outfit posts with 111 comments about how fabulous you look, never really felt like... anything really. It's a validation I had been convinced I needed, but now am very aware of the fact I don't. The number of comments as validation for WHO YOU ARE is really revolting..! My BF and I talk about the fame-monster a lot (it is a fascinating thing), and the older I get the more I know it is NOT why I want to continue in the fashion field. Respect within your industry is one thing, but the IT Girl shit, it blows my mind. I actually enjoy work. I go crazy when I don't work. It Girls, surely, have no time to work. I value who I am under my aesthetic and clothing (finally).

This is probably going to seem hypocritical as my work blog probably comes across in a very fame hungry way (or at least used to), but truly/personally, it is not where my heart lies and is an issue I have been sifting through for quite some time now.
Thank you for voicing your opinion on a bold subject that was always going to have a varied reaction. Let's be honest, in most cases fashion blogging is ego validation (in the 'pretty'/'trendy' one's you were speaking of).

I sincerely appreciate your style and dedication to the art, Jayne. x

Anonymous said...

I don't know, one of the things I find most interesting about fashion blogs is that it's possible to learn to dress in ways that do accentuate your best features. I can understand that in the world of high fashion it is best to showcase the piece rather than the model, but I really think that in the regular world a girl wants people to look at her and think that she looks good, rather than that her jacket or pants look good. What you said about trends is true though, and I definitely get annoyed when bloggers talk more about their hair or makeup than their actual clothes, but I think that the point of clothes is to look good on people, not just on the hanger.

Linda said...

Recently I've learned how important it is to not just believe the "hype", to question everything you see in terms of government and the politics. So far that has been proving to be a success because it's made me feel great knowing that I don't have to rely on what the high-ranking people have to say about issues on certain topics because I have a valid opinion of my own. Thank you for this fresh perspective on fashion- I learned that it's important to bring the same type of mindset when looking at all the fashion trends floating around in the world wide web. This is great food for thought and something I will keep in mind!

The Style Moodboard

andrewhudson said...

Nice topic indeed. Fashion and apparel relation is compulsory as I think. learnt a lot by you.
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Christian Louboutin said...

Love the last style so much ,love your jacket !

Gloria Quiroga said...

I love you! That's all I can say right now :)

Tinsel Reed said...

Love this blog, you really did a fantastic job mate, fashion apparel are not expensive any more, infact some designers are working on this how to make these apparel cheap in prices and best in fabric quality

Rebecca said...

yes, i like this post very much

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Rajrang said...

Wow! I like your post, yes you are write "fashion apparel is not expensive any more",i really like this kind of statements.

Thanks for sharing!

Rajrang said...

Wow! I like your post, yes you are write "fashion apparel is not expensive any more",i really like this kind of statements.

Thanks for sharing!

Madeleine Macy said...

tweeting about not wanting to be famous is sort of a hypocritical thing, dont ya think? actually this whole piece is, you post outfit photos wearing designer clothing and act like you are all indie and punk or whatever the fad is that youre going for.
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