Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Harper's Bazaar Russia

So I am literally running out of photos to show you because I have not had time to shoot any street style in the last ..well few months. So instead I thought I would share this with you. I saw this article in Harper's Bazaar Russia when I went home over the Christmas break. The article features my favourite Vanessa Jackman and I wonder if she knew this had been published. The problem is the article is in Russian and hence Vanessa wouldn't have had a clue about what it said. So I thought I would jot down the main points but the process of translating was so captivating that I tried to translate the whole article. So I thought I would share it with you ... since I don't really have any pictures to post.


"All on show"

By Polina Dubik (Translation by Sunday)

These days the stuff that goes on before the shows during fashion weeks resembles madness that one would normally see on the red carpet at a big movie premier. Except, instead of paparazzi, it's the fashion bloggers. Instead of movie stars - fashion editors and models. But the key question remains the same: who is wearing what??

"Natalia! Natalia! One picture please!" - a bunch of fashion bloggers from Japan are attacking our fashion director Natalia Alaverdyan in the middle of Tuilleries Gardens right before the Dior show. Two minutes later she is surrounded by dozens of photographers and approximately the same number of assistants writing down the details of her outfit. This scene is a common one during fashion week and happens at least 20 times a day - before and after each show in New York, London, Milan and Paris. 

"Sometimes the situation gets absurd" - says Shala Monroque, editor of POP magazine, who is one of the bloggers' favourites - "one fashion journalist told me that she started using the back entrance when getting to a show, otherwise she just won't get there on time" 

Today, the number of photographers who come to fashion weeks from all over the world to shoot editors, models, buyers and celebrities, exceeds the number of photographers who are there to shoot the actual shows. As a result, the photos circulate on multiple blogs and websites for months after the fashion week and are carefully analysed, criticized and evaluated by the commentators from all around the globe: "Oh, Carine is the best at wearing Gucci pumps from the label's Tom Ford days!" or "Who knows where I can get a white jacket like Emmanuelle's?" 

"The stuff that goes on before the actual fashion show is looking more and more like a fashion show in itself, - says blogger Tommy Ton, who shoots for - The way the fashion insiders dress, today is becoming almost more important than what appears on the catwalks". Of course, fashion insiders are aware of this and a lot of them are following the unwritten rules of this new game. 

"There are certain trends and patterns that become apparent. For instance, it is clear that the way editors dress changes as they travel from city to city during fashion weeks", -says blogger Vanessa Jackman. Indeed, at New York fashion week, which kicks off the fashion month, everyone is more reserved in how they dress, as though they are saving the best for Europe. The most interesting stuff starts in Milan - here you can see more prints and brighter colours. And, of course, the climax takes place in Paris. "everyone puts in a lot of effort during the Paris fashion week, - says Vanessa, - this is the closing fashion week and everyone is keen to show off their latest buys and the key trends of the season". 

During the S/S 2011 shows the favourites among the editors were the Valentino studded pumps, Celine bags, silk blouses, maxi skirts, Prada knits and 'cat eye' sunnies.

"The style of fashion insiders can be roughly separated into two main categories. Ones that opt for the clean cut, minimalist style along the lines of Celine. And the others, who mix prints, colours and go for interesting textures and fabrics" - says the founder of Maya Villiger. There is also the third type - models and young stylists, who are boldly mixing vintage finds with designer pieces. And of course, there are those that cannot be classified into a group, the likes of Anna della Russo who are in a league of their own. However, regardless of what category they fit in, everyone enjoys having their photo taken. "You shouldn't underestimate the importance of these photos for the editors themselves, -says Tommy Ton, - from a PR point of view, blogs are an excellent instrument. I know a girl, who got a great job offer from a big brand due to the fact that she appeared in the right outfit on the right blogs".

In Yasmin Sewell's view, who is the creative consultant of Liberty and one of Tommy's favourites, it's not all that simple: "Yes, of course, blogs make us more recognisable. But when you are working with big corporates, it is important not to overdo it, otherwise you risk getting a reputation for doing nothing but dressing up and having your photo taken".


the nyanzi report said...

...a reputation for doing nothing but dressing up and having your photo taken".

Now that's something that's become so prevalent that even the real 'fashionistas' are being put off. This is a case of the beast feeding on itself.

Great article. There are some great points raised.

The Photodiarist said...

Good read. This article is totally on point. I wish film student would do a documentary about what is going on OUTSIDE of the fashion week venues and the impact of the blogging phenomenon.