“Note to bloggers who change head-to-toe, paid-to-wear outfits every hour: Please stop. Find another business. You are heralding the death of style.” Yikes.
Fashion Week is in full swing, with Milan’s fashion week just ending and Paris in the midst of its own. So it is common to see a lot of verbiage surrounding different people’s opinions on different designers’ collections as well as the politics: who was invited where, and who sat front row?
It seems as though the writing around the Spring/Summer 2017 season is much more charged. Dare I say it is even passive aggressive? Minus the passive. It seems as though long-reigning hostility has finally matured into full blown war between Vogue editors and bloggers.
On Tuesday, Vogue.com posted an article of sorts titled “Ciao, Milano! Vogue.com’s Editors Discuss the Week That Was.” In the article were many different editors, ranging from chief critic to the director of Vogue Runway, discussing what they saw during Milano Fashion Week. While there was some talk about the different collections (Vogue Creative Digital Director Sally Singer noted Bottega Veneta’s “empowering and lovely pieces”), the piece was a thinly-veiled jab at fashion bloggers who were also in attendance.
Senior staff members at the magazine house criticized bloggers, noting the entire situation as a “street style mess.” Creative Director of Bottega Veneta Tomas Maier described his latest collection as “about simplicity, and clothes for private pleasure. Something personal – more for the wearer than the onlooker.” Going off on that, Nicole Phelps, Vogue Runway director, added, “It’s not just sad for the women who preen for the cameras in borrowed clothes, it’s distressing, as well, to watch so many brands participate.” Vogue.com Chief Critic Sarah Mower said that it was “pathetic for these girls, when you watch how many times the desperate troll up and down outside shows, in traffic, risking accidents even, in hopes of being snapped.” How thoughtful; we don’t want anyone getting run over with their expensive and high fashion getups.
Another contention the editors seemed to gripe over was in regards to sponsorship. Just like with celebrity endorsements and brand partnerships, bloggers wear a brand’s clothes in return for exposure on their blog/social media accounts. Alessandra Codinha, Vogue.com’s fashion news editor, described the “whole practice of paid appearances and borrowed outfits” as “gross.”
Fashion bloggers have not stayed quiet about this whole situation, as they branded Vogue editors to be “jealous, catty and hypocritical.” It’s “Mean Girls,” turned up. Instead of vying for the love of Aaron Samuels, it’s the battle of the brands and status – recognition. Susanna Lau, more famously known as Susie Bubble, is a United Kingdom-based fashion blogger who started in 2006. She took to Twitter to express her thoughts on Vogue’s elementary bullying. “Firstly let’s not pretend that editors and stylists are not beholden to brands in one way or another, getting salaries at publications … that are stuffed full of credits that are tied to paid advertising but not explicitly stated as such,” Lau wrote on Twitter. She added, “bloggers who wear paid-for outfits or borrowed clothes are merely doing the more overt equivalent of that editorial-credit system … It’s just that bloggers sadly don’t have prestigious titles/publications to hide behind and represent themselves solely.” Yikes and yikes.
Vogue does, in a way, represent old guard members of high fashion before Instagram and Gigi Hadid. Things were more clear-cut; being “Vogue” was black and white.
It seems rather ironic that the very ones who are repelling this new wave of influencers – bloggers, social media stars – are doing so in the name of the very thing that is highly volatile and ever-changing. Fashion is all about novelty – so much so that we feel the need to showcase summer designs in the middle of Fall. Before, taking pictures and having cell phones out during runway shows seemed like heresy. Now, everyone and their mother are posting snippets of the Balmain and Public School’s catwalks.
It’s an age-old battle between new and old, tradition and evolution.