|via Vogue US|
On the weekend the documentary In Vogue: The Editor's Eye screened on Foxtel. It's a documentary filmed at US Vogue, featuring Anna Wintour and with interviews with her Fashion Editors explaining what exactly it is that they do (something they all found difficult to articulate, funnily enough), and produced as it was Vogue's 120th Birthday last year. Great viewing, and a definite one to catch when it's shown on repeat. It was quite fascinating in that it showed the evolution of how fashion is shown in magazines and media in general from the very beginning in the 1890's, and in showing how fashion spreads are put together today. I'm a long time Vogue reader - I have two sisters and we all loved magazines. Between the three of us, we would purchase all the major overseas titles, as well as our long standing subscriptions to Vogue Australia and Harpers Bazaar (and prior to that Mode, anyone remember that magazine?) from the time that I was about 13.
|Vogue Editors via. The one in the pink jeans/ trousers is 99 years old|
I'm not someone that has a lot to do with the fashion industry (obviously, other than as a consumer), but as I'm interested in all facets of design it's always of interest to me to see how creative people operate in different industries that all fall under a very broad "artistic" umbrella. Now, a lot of Vogue's fashion shoots feature completely unattainable clothing to us mere mortals, and use models that look nothing like the average woman, but the one thing they have in common is telling a story.
|Alice in Wonderland story in US Vogue, via|
There's a "feel" to the photo shoot, or a definite narrative. The clothes and accessories are placed in context. This creative process is orchestrated by the Fashion Editor - thinking of the story, choosing the clothes, casting the models, working with the photographer to achieve some of the truly memorable photographs in fashion.
Watching the documentary made me start to thing a little more about where fashion has headed since the advent of Style Blogs and Street Style blogs in particular... after all, they weren't around until fairly recently. The ones that I'm thinking of are the blogs of pretty young women who pose day after day in a street somewhere near their home, who have what must be a professional photographer that anonymously photographs them, who have the time to style and then pose for a reasonably time consuming photo shoot, and who never repeat an outfit (and have extremely large wardrobes to start with). Usually there is no text accompanying the images, just a list of what they're wearing/ where to buy it.
This is Blair, who has the very popular blog Atlantic Pacific and who appears to live in New York.
|off to work? or drinks? or unemployed?|
Who are these people and where are these outfits actually worn? Does this woman work in a cubicle? Or as a Gallery assistant? Or does she nip inside and change into a standard issue black suit for her real job as an accountant?
|A trip to San Francisco... a day of sightseeing perhaps?|
There's also an element of make believe in these photos. I've been checking the weather in New York, as Mr AV has gone off there this week again for work, and it's been quite cool, yet photos of bare legged and bare armed outfits are posted - I can almost see the goosebumps. Photos are almost always outside in the streets presumably near her apartment.... is the apartment she lives in awful? Is it empty but full of her fabulous fashion? Who knows. These photos leave a lot of open ended questions...what is lacking is context. Yes, the outfit looks great, and they're inspiring in their own way, but it's treading a strange line between the totally make believe of a magazine photo shoot, and the reality of real life. I want to know more about the person that wears the clothes, and that isn't provided in the background of the photos.
|a day when it was 15 degrees C for the maximum. Her bag must contain her coat.|
The street photo blogs, such as The Sartorialist, do give some context, or you can draw it yourself from the image. The people that have been photographed didn't dress for a photo shoot as they weren't expecting to be photographed that day - they wear weather and place appropriate clothing. You do get a sense of the life the person wearing the outfit is living, or you can make that narrative up for yourself.
|In Paris via|
What all this deep though about fashion has produced is a new found respect for what it is that magazines do. I have lamented the overuse of celebrities as models in magazines and in particular as cover girls... but overall the images are inspirational in telling the mood of fashion, of the motivation behind designers collections. They are art, and for that they are enriching.
Blogs that show outfits that others might covet and buy or copy the style of are a bit different. What's the motivation behind the blog for a start? To receive sponsorship, for personal validation, due to sheer boredom or otherwise lack of purpose in life, for narcissistic purposes?
I do personally find it very interesting to see what others are wearing/ have in their wardrobes, and why. I like reading unbiased and unvarnished reviews of clothing and brands that are without the sponsorship silence that comes with a magazine or a style blog that has no text. What we wear also says a lot about the life we lead and our aspirations. But that's a little different to a text less blog with the same person in different fantasy (?) outfits. For some they're inspiring, for me it's not enough.
So my conclusion is that I like my fashion to be cerebral... either something to think about with beautiful or challenging images, or if it's a blog that isn't street style, that there be written content that places the fashion in the context of the life the person lives. What's your view?
Apologies to Blair from Atlantic Pacific for using solely her as my example style blog
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