31 August 2011

Quote of the Week - On Blogging


I'm glad I came across this interview with New York Times fashion critic and esteemed voice-in-fashion Cathy Horyn today because it's reminded me why I started this blog and it makes me realise that I've become a little distracted. Essentially this blog is my portfolio to show the industry how much I want to be a part of it. I know that at some point I want to be a fashion writer. It may not be my career in fashion from the beginning, nor may it be what I do forever. (I fancy myself as a bit of a slasher, i.e. a writer/stylist/consultant/designer – aren't I typical of my greedy generation? We really want it all.) I am disappointed that I'm not able to go to London Fashion Week and attend shows and practice my reporting skills next month, but this season I'll be based in Paris working for a brand presenting a show, and it will be fascinating to be 'the other side of the catwalk' so to speak. 

There is also the issue which I have debated recently, and indeed which Cathy brings up in her interview, of originality. I'm constantly concerned with the question of "what can I do to try and keep ahead of the game?" And I've made my own conclusion that perhaps going to LFW like I've always done, and standing outside the big shows and taking pictures of strangers' clothes along with the other bloggers –whose numbers grow season upon season– probably isn't being very original. It's become a bit of a circus, and as the 'obnoxious blogger' grows as a public character, its an association I want to distance myself from as far as possible. It's become cringeworthy, queuing for a show and realising that some of the biggest -and seemingly undeserving - egos in the industry belong to 'bloggers'. 

Not being at LFW, those 10 days a year upon which an unabashed 6 months of my blog content hangs, will definitely be a challenge to my reporting skills. But I think I'm in need of a challenge. I've had it too easy. When I think of all those hundreds of thousands of girls and boys, writing beautiful fashion prose from their bedrooms in the depths of a continent that fashion forgot, scarcely having access to a Vogue magazine and only imagining they could ever be invited to a real life fashion show, I owe it to them. 

And here's more food-for-fashion-thought from Cathy. At least I've learnt french - it's a start!

“Be original and start your own blog and do real reporting and learn French. Be a reporter. Don’t be a re-blogger.”


Kit said...

I feel the same way as you.
Good luck in Paris. xxx

the style crusader said...

Beautifully written Imogen and so perfectly on point. I totally agree with all you've said and your perception of LFW.

Personally feeling inspired by you referring to yourself as a slasher. I like that. I feel like one to (only minus the designer).

I'll miss you at LFW! No one manages to successfully teeter along the cobblestones in sky high heels and miles of long leg like you do.


the nyanzi report said...

Creativity and innovation is a currency as rare as Sri Lankan Serendibite.

No one, in my book, writes as beautifully as you do - (I think I've told you this like a thousand times).

Good luck in Paris.

polka dot said...

Your tweet caught my eye and I just read Cathy Horyn's quote, and every word of this post, and, as usual with you, so on the same page.

I've forgotten why I started blogging - my interest was only on shooting street style, I had no ambitions to work in the fashion industry - but along the way I unwittingly (and, unwillingly) became part of the problem. I was often shooting, promoting, befriending, the very group that have become the 'obnoxious bloggers'. Last LFW was the last of it for me.

This year, I almost didn't attend - nearly went on a gorgeous holiday to a remote Italian island instead. But now, I'll be going: I just won't be focusing on that nonsense. I'll be seeing (and shooting) the shows, seeing my friends, and steering clear of those people and that circus.

You've always, consistently, been a generous spirited, warm friend. A genuine friend: not someone using me, and using everyone else, to chase some vague idea of fame. I'll miss you in London but have a great time in Paris and good luck with this work. Big hug xox

Kate said...

What a lovely post.

I've been working as a freelance writer for over ten years and I love it, but I've always felt restricted by the stories I could sell into the titles I write for. So my blog was a complete liberation. Suddenly, I had a place where I could express myself, post my photos and write about what I wanted without having to please an editor or work to strict deadlines.

Over time, however, the joy I first felt has been leeched out of me. Naturally, the more you do it, the more people you meet, the more events you attend, and the more you start to see the ugly side.

I understand why lots of women turn to blogging - particularly if they want to break into the fashion industry - but some of the high school games and the bad behaviour I've witnessed over the past year has been sickening.

Huge egos born of nothing other than insecurity, passive aggression, tantrums, threats and slander. It all seems so futile. And it's such a waste. Imagine if that energy was spent on creating a unique point of view and developing an honest writing voice instead of back-stabbing and bitching.

Thankfully, the majority of bloggers I've met over the past year don't fit into this category - otherwise I would probably take myself out of the equation for good.

Que pensez-vous?



Fashionistable said...

Beautifully written post Imogen. And a nice pulling up of the socks for us all. Thank You.
Also wanted to let you know that Filoxfax are allowing me to give them away if you want to be in with the chance of a new one check out todays post. Xxxx

are you dressing up or dressing down said...

Such a great post, there are so many blogging clones out there these days all striving for the same thing - that dream fashion writing job. Good luck in Pariii.

Helen, X

Geneva (apairandaspare) said...

Imogen what an interesting write up. Not something I've thought about but I can't help but agree. Although being at LFW at Somerset House is amazing fun, it's so interesting to do something you haven't done before. Moving to HK has challenged me to look at fashion differently and try to delve a little bit more deeply. I must say I'm very sad I wont be seeing all your amazing outfits straight from the cobblestones of LFW! But looking forward to some different coverage. xxx

Miss Daisy Chain said...

Excellent post. i started my blog as a sort of (overly) personal scrap book and just in my wonderings i've found things along the way i havent liked, the way bloggers exploit their 'fame' or the way pr companies attempt to exploit bloggers. Its a very big mangled mess, where in which you find very little creativity. the inauthenticity of the blogposts and the comments, the 'follow-me-i'll-follow-you' its sad to see. But then there are some, like yourself, who are interesting and create something worthy of reading, visual delights and not just thoughtless daily posts. i applaud you for what you do, your blog is like a magazine, it explores your cultural pursuits and fashion. I always look forward to reading what you post because it feels like it comes from a place of passion and even better you actually KNOW about fashion. its not just dress up, you learn about it, youre like the fashion scholar completely immersing yourself in it. I really hope youre enjoying Paris and it inspires you as much as everything else has seemed to.

The Foolish Aesthete said...

This is a wonderful post. There is a proliferation of blogs but not enough of original content. I promised myself when I began my blog that I would stay true to myself and not get swayed by trying to grab followers, except to establish a deeper connection with my readers. I love the real dialogue that occurs in the comment forum borne of something posted. Thanks for posting your honest thoughts on these.


Anonymous said...

brilliant post - I've had it bookmarked since you fist posted and keep looking at it to remind myself about the reason I am blogging - because I want to be a journalist/writer. And with that profession in mind it's the writing that counts. And it doesn't matter that I don't have a gazillion followers and only receive a few comments per post - because the bloggers that I do hear from are lovely and genuine and actually take time to read and reflect on my posts - even though they don't always have pictures or outfits or even any mention of anything vaguely fashion related. I have to talk about what's on my mind - I can't put up a front. So thank you for this - I am off to 'do some reporting'.

Carla Borel said...

A great post and one for reflection. I'll be coming back to this one. Although I'm not a writer reporting, I need to get my finger out and take more pictures as that is what I do best and enjoy the most in my life. Thank you Imogen and have a wonderful time in Paris. xx

Anonymous said...

Excellent blog post, I have been reading into this a bit recently. Good to hear some more info on this. Keep up the good work!

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