Sunday, February 07, 2010

Fashion weeks AW/10: let the circus begin...

Last season I was asked to be one of the small band of style bloggers sitting in the front row at Dolce. Garance, Scott, Susie, Bryan...and LLG. I thought quite seriously about going, but I had only left my executive fashion editor job in the US eight months before, and I wanted some separation between being a front/second row editor and a front row blogger.

And, not least, I was thoroughly enjoying my sabbatical, sitting in New York in my knickers, eating nachos and writing my book. Of course I was still anonymous at that point, which would have made the whole front row thing a wee bit tricky. (The nacho eating probably had something to do with not wanting to be photographed too.)

Looking back I don’t think any of us had a clue just how much of a sensation that seating chart would cause. Knowing what I do now, do I wish I had put on a frock & hopped it to Milan?

No, I don’t think I do. Of course, I’d have loved the resulting traffic and raised blog profile, but I wld have squirmed with embarrassment had I been plumped in the front row with a Dolce laptop perched on a plinth in front of me.

Bloggers do not as a rule post from their seats. Dolce were just using bloggers in the same way that they use Scarlett or J-Lo or Kylie at the shows. The only difference being that the celebs got tens of thousands of pounds to attend and the bloggers - well they just got a decent seat, rather than the more usual half a squab in the eighth row behind a pillar.

But I’m glad the others bar Susie were able to attend. That show signalled to the world at large that style blogging had arrived, and it has certainly made my job (and I do see it as a job, now) as a blogger much, much more acceptable.

So, am I going to start reviewing the runway shows now that Dolce & Burberry et al have made it acceptable for bloggers to be at the collections?

No, I am not.

I’ve done enough professional critiquing of fashion shows in my career. (I started reviewing shows back in 2000). I'm going to leave all that to my fashion editor peers who already do it admirably well themselves, without adding yet another voice to the clamour.

Frankly, there are too many bloggers out there who strongly critique the shows without a strong knowledge of craft, technique and history to back up their position and I do not wish to be lumped in with that number. (You don't need to be a professional fashion editor to have that knowledge, but I don't think you should attend & then review the shows unless you have it.)

I will be lurking at some of the shows, but it will be to catch up on the work of the designers, get material for future stories, and to file colour pieces about the presentations. (I want to write about the atmosphere, do the re-sees, inspect the hems & stitching, and talk to the designers.)

In answer to some of your questions, I am going to Copenhagen Fashion Week not New York Fashion Week next week – I’m excited as I’ve done New York plenty of times, but never Copenhagen as they clash, and then, well, watch this space...