In our little corner, where women publish text and photos about style to a software platform that displays each submission in a timeline, otherwise known as blogging, we see tremors too. In blogging, however, the sea change took place 3-7 years ago. These waves hit shore a few days after a storm.
For example, on one end of the spectrum we’ve got the the New York Times fashion blog. Written by Cathy Horyn, among others, the Times’ fashion reporters report primarily on the fashion industry, under a storied centuries old brand. On the other end you’ve got, well us. Women who like to wear clothes, and like to hear from and talk to other women who like to wear clothes. No professional affiliation involved.
Interesting bit to me, right now, is the middle of the spectrum. Kim France, the form editor-in-chief of Lucky, writes her own blog, Girls of a Certain Age. Read it. Remarkably similar to Une Femme, Duchesse, Audi, and Sophie, among others. Having done the magazine thing as best it can be done, France now tells us about that great little Helmut Lang top she just had to buy.
Sasha Wilkins, another fashion pro, has been at Liberty London Girl for a while. She peppers her posts with pictures of her dog, recipes (go easy on the carbs, woman!), and, yes, makeup prep for a Hunter Wellies photo shoot. All in a conversational tone. As though she were right there with you.
It appears that the diary is a seminal literary, or at least communication, mode. That even those who do style for a living want their personal voice heard. That style isn’t all about making money, or having a huge audience. Once that big wave of industry change recedes, we walk down the beach arranging driftwood, putting things to right.
Sometimes I feel like there’s never been such a dramatic change to human society, what with digital this and mobile that and photos processed six ways from Sunday. Then I remember that in England and New York at the end of the 19th century mail was delivered twice a day, and the upper classes sent each other hand carried messages whenever they pleased. Along came the telephone.
Now the telephone’s passé.
We’re a small corner, us style bloggers and readers, but we do reflect larger patterns. And, if it’s possible to understand writing and reading about Helmut Lang tops as a dashboard for social change, well then, bonus points for us.