The fashion blogesphere and Twitterverse are all up in arms about a recent article penned a few days ago by Suzy Menkes for T Magazine (read “The Circus of Fashion” here). I generally respect the hell out of Ms. Menkes who has been the head fashion reporter/editor for the International Herald Tribune since 1988. I remember reading her for the first time on a trip to France with my family in the early 90’s when it was the only English paper you could get. I was hooked and have followed her ever since. Ms Menkes has a very good eye and balanced approach to covering fashion. She is generally fair. Something I try to emulate. She also has a very distinct bob with bangs that defy gravity. Something I do not try to emulate. Yet she has more than earned her stripes and the first time I saw her at New York Fashion Week some 7 years ago when I first started attending Fashion Week, it was more exciting to me than seeing Anna Wintour. OK, almost.
So fast forward to this article. Of course I had to read it once I heard “fashion bloggers” were responding. I was thinking, what the hell did she say that was so offensive? Well I have now read it twice and I have to say, I can’t find a thing. What is everyone getting so worked up about? Ms. Menkes speaks the truth. Fashion week has turned into a circus of poseurs. I totally concur. Popsugar asked some bloggers to respond, but they have this obnoxious video that keeps playing and I couldn’t turn it off, so I bounced. Man Repeller obviously responded, yadda, yadda, yadda. But still I agreed with pretty much everything Ms. Menkes had to say. I mean who are bloggers anyway? Did we pay our dues as editors for well-known magazines? Well, not most of us. Did we circumvent most of the fashion world bullshit? You betcha. But trust me, I did pay some dues. I remember when we first started some 8 years ago, I could not get invited to an envelope opening. Get a PR firm to respond to me? Forget about it. It took years for us to get some recognition and we didn’t go about it wearing Mickey Mouse ears or raw meat to fashion shows, looking utterly ridiculous just to get noticed. That’s what has made all of this a giant joke. People who are completely devoid of authenticity.
If you have a passion for fashion that is more than just buying, wearing and photographing yourself in clothes, you might garner some respect. Just maybe. Oh, and putting an actual sentence together properly and have something worthy to say that people want to hear and argue with….then you just might make it. I don’t think Ms. Menkes was disputing that. But the current blogger trend of preening for the the cameras and seeing how much free designer loot one can get is rather disgusting and sorry…completely biased. So can you blame her for being critical? I mean, I am not comfortable wearing “look at me!” fashion. It’s not me. I have friends who work in fashion and beauty PR and you would not believe some of the requests they get from entitled bloggers. It’s shocking.
Of course there are bloggers who are better than others and just as in the real world…those who work hard and stand out will succeed and the ones just pining and preening for free crap who can be bought by any product waived in front of them, well eventually they will fade away. I have been doing this for 8 years and I can’t tell you how many bloggers I met my first few years who are no longer around. Yet I can tell you that the word “blogger” is no longer a four letter, dirty word…and our seats are getting better. So there.
– Lauren Dimet Waters, EIC of Second City Style
Photos: T Magazine, Google