Sunday, May 6, 2012

B A C K L A S H.

So apologies to everyone that this is not in fact an outfit or MBFWA related post, but nevertheless I feel it has a purpose and a place here on this blog so I'm writing it anyway. If you're not particularly interested in reading about the finer politics of what I guess is the 'Business Side of Fashion' than feel free to skip this post and wait until later this evening when I'll post something a little more exciting.
Earlier this week this article (scroll down to the bottom and read on from 'Blogs Take Over') was bought to my attention and I was completely blown away by not only the scathing tone and generally dismissive view of bloggers as a whole, but the way Andrew has so neatly packed all of us bloggers into one little group despite the fact that our goals, blogging styles and general outlook on fashion blogging as a whole is entirely different. A direct quote from the article said 'Most of the fashion bloggers are either former models, stylists, frustrated designers or plain old wannabes.' Well I can tell you all of all the bloggers I know  none of them fit this criteria, and instead have chosen blogging as a simple and cost effective way (much cheaper than interning) to break into an industry that is otherwise notoriously difficult to climb the ladder of.
He then goes on to say 'They seem much more interested in interviewing and photographing each other than in what might be happening on the catwalk.' I know I personally never interviewed any of my fellow bloggers and the only photos I took of them were simply because they're my friends and I wanted to have some happy snaps to remember the week by, my week was mainly spent photographing the runway and backstage and interviewing designers. Now does this sound so, if at all, different from what paid, professional journalists are doing at fashion week?
This isn't the first time the whole 'bloggers VS journalist' argument has sprung up and lets face it with bloggers becoming more prominent within the industry everyday, it's not going away anytime soon. I personally know 3 women who are quite high up within the magazine industry who have never received any formal education for journalism. Does this make them any less credible than someone who has? I'm not trying to call myself a journalist, nor have I ever in the past claimed to be one, all I'm saying is having a formal degree may allow you to call yourself a 'journalist' but it doesn't make your opinion, or what you write anymore/less credible than something I will write that has been researched properly. I have the same google/email capabilities that you do. I can just as easily email a PR agency to check my facts for a story, having a degree does not make me anymore effective at this than it makes you. 
At both Melbourne Fashion Festival and MBFWA I spoke to two different journalists who had been sent by their publications to cover the event, both women told me (rather snidely might I add) that they 'Didn't normally do fashion.' So here we have a woman with a university degree in journalism covering an event that she knows nothing about, and a girl without formal education who is completely immersed in the industry and lives and breaths it. Who should we count as more credible?
All in all I think we can safely say that the article Andrew wrote was not in fact an article and should not be taken seriously at all. There were no concrete facts, nothing to back up his opinion and a whole lot of people who have stood up with credible evidence to say 'This is not right.' Bloggers are not going away, the introduction of the Australian network 'FELLT' is proof that we aren't We're here to stay, and if journalists continue to sling mud people will only tire of the politics and start reading blogs even more. There is plenty of moving room, there is a place in the world for both journalists and bloggers, those who choose not to think so need to pull their heads in.


  1. Well said lady!
    Hey Andrew: I'm a model, stylist, photographer, AND i'm a blogger. If that makes me a wannabe, then fuck it, i guess i am! and damn proud of it. I just enjoy writing about, reviewing, and generally working in the industry of fashion. If you have to write articles like that to validate yourself and your career, go for it. We'll keep doing what we're doing, and enjoy every second of it!

    chloe x

    1. I think that's what it comes down to, we're pretty lucky to be able to only write about what we like, and we completely control our own artistic/writing direction.

      Personall, I just think Andrew is bitter because he's a grown man writing about the Pussycat Dolls.

  2. Journalists (particularly those with a degree) are threatened by bloggers because the internet has given everyone a voice, meaning that people can choose who they listen to when it comes to fashion rather than being forced to source their news from people who have seemingly drawn the short straw when being sent by their respective publications to cover events like MBFWA. Blogs are run at significant sacrifice from the blogger and that weeds out 'wannabes' because people aren't generally willing to put that much effort into something that doesn't reward them overly well most of the time. Their passion shows in their work and makes it enjoyable to consume, so of course more people turn to their favourite blogs for info more than traditional media. In this way, what you said about people turning to blogs rather than media if 'the politics' continue has shown to be true already, trying to discredit bloggers is useless because when you compare their work - they win. The best thing a journalist could do is try to adopt some of the positivity and love for their work that bloggers do and stop being so goddam bitchy. Sorry this was so long hahaha.

  3. Great write-up Laura, you addressed a lot of points nicely. My favourite argument you made is the point about the 'educated journalist not wanting to be at a fashion event' and the 'blogger living and breathing fashion (but without the formal journalism education)'.

    Sadly, I think bloggers will always face criticism about credibility. For me, Susie Bubbles talk cleared up a lot of issues on this topic and she maintained that creativity and self-expression are the most important things to consider. As long as the blogger loves what they are doing, then there should be no issue with credibility - and in your case Laura, I know that you love what you do.

  4. I am torn on this one, because although I am trained as a Journalist, I am of course a fashion blogger. Whilst I believe there is absolutely room for both, it is important that people know there is a difference between fashion reporting and fashion blogging. Fashion reporting, magazine style, is often free of opinion and/or bias, and a lot of bloggers (including myself) find it hard (or don't want to!) to keep their blog objective, which is essential the core of good journalism.

    When it comes to this matter, I always think about to an article I read where the fashion editor was disgruntled because although she had gone through several years of university to get her journalism degree and was a fashion reporter/writer for a high end publication, she was put in the second row behind Tavi Gevinson, because she HERSELF was not 'high profile' enough. I know if I had worked very hard to have a degree, and to obtain a position of fashion editor, which would have taken probably ten years of hard work, I would be a little miffed if a young girl who had been blogging for a year was put in front of me. But that said, it is also equally hard work maintaining a blog, but it is often a hobby rather than a career choice for some people.

    I guess that is just my opinion. I believe bloggers hold an important value within the industry, as they provide constant updates on the fashion world, a world which is changing a lot more rapidly than a once a month magazine can report, but at the same time, they are very different from Journalists.

    Grace x
    secretly styled.

  5. I got disgusted at Andrew's tone in the last paragraph. (yep I skipped the article to where it says "bloggers") I believe us, bloggers, put in a LOT of effort to our sites frequently- and it's not just we get to "snaffle" freebies. we appreciate, campaign and promote certain brands and ranges for the pure enjoyment sake of it. It's all time tested. Bloggers who are really passionate will blog at their optimum even though we don't receive much credit. after all, for most,a hobby is a hobby right? it's not bad to flourish a hobby that we are ready to pour so much creative energy into.
    this blogger vs. journalist debacle is quite...rubbish I have to say. most bloggers just pop from the blue with no degree of "proper fashion journalim" whatsoever but its their blog content that makes it purely enjoying to read. some may be excellent writers at school, or they may like writing, thus writing longer posts than others. personally, I cut my blog posts to a few words or so unless I deem the need to rant.. (yeah..)
    some people are so clichéd these days. just because they do a proper degree in journalism, they see themselves having the right to backlash on fellow bloggers (I would be pretty offended because most of us are damn passionate about what we are talking and posting each day.)
    I remember reading an article on which discusses about the bloggers vs. journalists debate. I totally agree with what Jen's saying.

  6. this is a really great response. i know i personally started my blog as a place to document my own life and i'm sort of a strange duck in that i really do remember a day by what i was wearing then. i love all the bloggers i follow; they're all super unique! x

  7. Thank you for writing this Laura - we need someone like you to voice what we're really about. I read that article and walked away disgusted and offended because, as you have highlighted, I'm not a former model, stylist, frustrated designer and I have no idea what sort of 'wannabe' he's referring to but I don't want to be anything or anyone but simply do what I love and be who I am.

    I had no idea there was a great debate between bloggers and journalist until I got to fashion week where photographers were making snide remarks about us blogger - I couldn't hear the conversation clearly but what they had to say wasn't pleasant - pretty much along the lines of what was presented in Andrew's piece. I started my blog with absolutely no intention of writing about fashion or covering events, it started as a documentation of my boutique then blossomed into a broader coverage of fashion - I've just been very fortunate enough to receive the privilege to attend events and if I enjoyed them then I will write about it.

    It's sad because many articles that get published are biased and generally ill-informed - during my studies I have had this fact entrenched in me that certain sources [although this is mainly from a criminological point of view] take on one biased side of an argument and fail to shine light on any other argument or opinion other than their own. What's sad is these published pieces are considered acceptable and credible sources.

    I love when you note that we write about what we love and are passionate about, whilst many journalists covering these events have no prior knowledge or interest in what's going. Having said this I feel a shift in the industry and after having seen the highlighted importance of bloggers within their selected industries I believe that soon bloggers will replace journalists in coverage of these events.


  8. First off, I really enjoy your blog. I'm just about as far-removed from fashion as can be, I'm honestly a dental hygienist who wears scrubs everyday and it's frustrating not being able to express myself through fashion like I was able to while in school. I also live in the US (Pittsburgh, PA specicially) which is an incredibly casual and blue-collar town. Putting any thought whatsoever into your appearance is considered out of the ordinary.
    That being said, I follow you because I like your style, but ESPECIALLY because I appreciate your words. I was originally a journalism major when I first started college but the idea of having to write about topics I had no interest in completely turned me off from the field. I absolutely respect journalists who are able to do their job well, but knowing that we are all individuals with our own personal interests, a journalist's interests may not fall in the topic they have to cover.
    There is absolutely a place for bloggers in fashion. It's a time-consuming labor of love, and as a consumer, I appreciate the inspiration and personal opinions that I gather from the bloggers I follow. I sincerely hope that people like this Andrew fellow don't turn talented and influential people like yourself off from doing what they're adding to the fashion world.


I know everyone says this but I actually do read all of your comments, (and appreciate every single one) and if you ask any questions I'll try my very best to answer it. However I will not respond to any 'Follow Me' comments, and any comments that appear to be blatant spam will be deleted.

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