According to the Independent, fashion bloggers have lost themselves in the industry. Those Internet-savvy folk who once possessed the voices of honesty and reason have become slaves to designers and fashion houses in the interest of freebies, self-promotion, and the good seats at shows. In a sea of publications afraid of pissing off advertisers, and critics afraid of being banned from shows, they started off with the opportunity to say something different. But now, disgruntled magazine editors and industry veterans say, that time has past.
The Independent points a finger at Tavi, the polarizing 13-year-old blogger who stirred a small controversy when she sat front-row at Dior’s spring 2010 couture show with a giant bow in her hair. (She later pointed out that she’s short and her bow only made her as tall as other front-row guests.)
Sarah McCullough, Selfridges’ creative concepts manager and an avid blog reader, said: “It’s mind-blowing that bloggers like Tavi are at the couture shows and being showered with all kinds of gifts. It has soured things a little bit for me.”
Robert Johnson, associate editor at GQ has a theory as to why bloggers like Tavi are so appealing to labels:
“Bloggers are so attractive to the big design houses because they are so wide-eyed and obsessed, but they don’t have the critical faculties to know what’s good and what’s not. As soon as they’ve been invited to the shows, they can no longer criticise because then they won’t be invited back.”
Because so many glossy monthly magazines print scathing, honest reviews of the shows, and style spreads without kowtowing to certain design houses — also their advertisers — who forbid editors from breaking up certain looks or running those looks on certain pages. It’s hard to find anyone in the fashion industry who doesn’t fear pissing off a designer within an inch of their life. It’s also hard to find people who will turn down a lovely gift from Christian Dior. If even the industry veterans and studied critics, as Johnson says, “know what’s good,” it doesn’t matter a whole lot if they can’t say what’s not. (And some, like Cathy Horyn, are very open about being banned from shows for seemingly benign comments, and continue to pen what appear to be honest reviews.) But let’s face it — when Tavi gets invited to a show, and sits front-row with a giant bow on her head and blue hair, or interviews Siri Tollerød backstage, people talk. Top buyers and many editors don’t have that effect. Tavi is not just there because she won’t write anything harsh.
Fluff flies as fashion writers pick a cat fight with bloggers [Independent UK]