Fashion Blogosphere Deblogged

Amy Nightingale unclogs the drains of the overnight global sensation that is fashion blogging and what you need to know to become the next Susie Bubble

I blog therefore I am. Blogging is becoming part of the modern person’s sub consciousness; before breakfast, squeeze it in at lunch, dash one out after dinner, blogging is the new quickie. In the last 24 hours out of the 112,144,927 blogs on the
Internet, 87,582 of them were created in the last 24 hours and 441 new posts have since been added. What are all these beavering Internet nerds blogging about you might pause to wonder, probably topless girls and the latest gadgets you dismiss them with. Wrong on both accounts. When googling blog topics, ‘fashion blog’ brings up a total of 102,000,000 results, and almost every top fashion journalist has got themselves their own little pocket of cyberspace on which to inform, astonish and entertain their adoring fashion-loving fans.

If you have been left in the dark about this global sensation of blogging and when you hear the word ‘blog’ all it brings to mind is an onomatopoeic range of noises similar to a blocked drain, perhaps it would be helpful to know that the word blog derives from ‘web log’. Web logs are pages of links and are what blogs originally evolved from, though before this family tree of internet use becomes more complex than a Dickens’s novel of who’s related to whom, a definition is in need of. Where better to receive such wisdom then from the most popular blog set up site, blogger.com: ‘A blog is a personal diary. A daily pulpit. A collaborative space. A political soapbox. A breaking-news outlet. A collection of links. Your own private thoughts. Memos to the world. Your blog is whatever you want it to be. There are millions of them, in all shapes and sizes, and there are no real rules. In simple
terms, a blog is a website, where you write stuff on an ongoing basis. New stuff shows up at the top, so your visitors can read what’s new. Then they comment on it or link to it or email you.’

The fashion industry is incredibly hierarchical and ruled with a rod of iron by a few austere women; if Miuccia Prada shows us that severe black bobbed hair is in, we obediently get our hair chopped. Similarly, if Anna Wintour were to feature obese models in couture, we would all be joining the McDonald’s morning queue. Though magazine subscriptions are now considered outdated to some, they are a thing of curiosity and fashion readers are not only turning to the internet to be informed about the latest fashion news, but are themselves becoming the editors of the fashion industry and sitting in the first few rows of major fashion shows.

To become a fashion journalist all it takes is an Internet connection and an opinion. Educational qualifications, experience and age are no longer important, though to get a following, receive comments and to be considered a first port of call for fashion information, grammar, accuracy and a generous dose of personality will gain you credibility and a name in the industry.

The previous nobodies who have made a classic rags-to-riches story and are now on every fashionista’s radar include the irrepressible Susie Lau of her ‘Stylebubble’ blog. Formerly a fashion outsider with just an obsessive passion for anything fashion related, Susie began publishing her inner ramblings on a blog in 2006 and has since been accepted into the pearly gates of true fashion heaven. She was the second ever blogger to receive a ticket to a Gucci show and now regularly attends the truly royal Chanel and Lanvin shows, but perhaps more importantly she has become a fashion insider as the Commissioning Editor of Dazed & Confused’s Dazed Digital website.

The slightly wickedly delicious and sinfully delightful side to fashion blogging is its level of un-censorship. If you have ever pored over pictures of celebrities with friends and bitched yourselves senseless over their lack of fashion style, then you are most likely already following the inimitable queen of gossip, Perez Hilton on his blog. Perez’s website has been termed ‘Hollywood’s most-hated website’ for his outing of rumoured gay celebrities and childish slating of celebrities’ style. Another equally bitchy blog is ‘go fug yourself’, which is run by catty two- some Jessica Morgan and Heather Cocks, and is based around pointing out celebrities who make being fugly the new pretty.

A lovely rose tinted light is cast over the blogosphere when you think in terms of its endless possibilities of democratisation, as Chris Hunt, founder of a relatively new London centric fashion and lifestyle weblog ‘modelsandmoguls’ comments, ‘It’s going to be increasingly easy for people to access blogs and other websites in the future as mobile devices offering a rich browsing experience become more common and we move in to the era of ubiquitous computing… the good thing about blogs are that they are free for the readers and that breaks down one major barrier to accessibility.’ It seems in blogosphere, previous obstacles are side stepped and those previously without a voice, such as thirteen-year-old Tavi from Mid Western America and blogger of ‘Style Rookie’, who was featured as Teen Vogue‘s blogger of the moment, can become fashion experts, commenting on the likes of Rodarte or the latest Comme Des Garcons collection and most recently, gracing the cover of POP Magazine.

The bloggers mentioned all have personality by the bucket load and are a mine of fashion information, but what has made them such Internet sensations? It’s simple: they are fashion geeks. Though this is no longer a criticism, as being a cyber geek can make you famous and even make you money. Tavi is one of only five fashion bloggers, including Susie Lau, to have teamed up with Borders&Frontiers, an organic cotton t-shirt company to produce her own designs. The Go Fug Yourself girls now cover Fashion Week for The New York Magazine and Susie Lau and Perez Hilton are celebrated outsiders within the fashion world. And this year’s S/S 2010 fashion weeks clearly proved the power and influence of fashion bloggers with the likes of Garance Dore, The Sartorialist’s Scott Schuman, Bryanboy and Jak & Jil’s Tommy Ton seated front row at Dolce & Gabbana, next to Anna Wintour, tweeting away live to their followers on laptops set up especially for them.

What makes these fashion bloggers different to all the other millions of bloggers is their transparency and dedication to fashion and their readers. To be a successful blogger, you have to let your readers into your life your wardrobe, and more importantly, update update update. At least twice a week, Tavi uploads straight up photos of herself in her quirky ensembles that she wears to school and is likely to conjure up an average of 57 people commenting on her outfit. It is Tavi’s unusual fearless style and her personable sense of writing which endears her to her followers. ‘Not much to say today. I have 23 mosquito bites, need a haircut, and the grocery store no longer carries the freeze pops that are basically the ESSENCE of summer.’

It is the personal, the mundane, the opinionated and the routine, mixed with a dose of glamorous fashion yearnings and a natural eye for fashion, which makes for a truly addictive blog. Fashion bloggers are our friends, our gossip partners in crime, they lust what we lust over and best of all they never tire of discussing the fleeting, ephemeral and glittery world of fashion, even if it’s 3am UK time.