Can you teach blogging?
So I’m in New York at the moment, as I may have mentioned – but don’t envy my globe-trotting lifestyle a bit, because I’m here primarily to meet my new nephew and then, I’ve discovered, to cook, clean and go …
So I’m in New York at the moment, as I may have mentioned – but don’t envy my globe-trotting lifestyle a bit, because I’m here primarily to meet my new nephew and then, I’ve discovered, to cook, clean and go to the local supermarket, where English muffins are on a three for two and there’s no such thing as unsweetened peanut butter – but they do have “fancy Granny Smith apples”. That’s a direct quote.
I was recently reading Topshop’s blog, which is one of my must-reads although I rarely come away from it going “wow, I never knew that”, like I might when I read, well, the Guardian, I guess. Fashion blogs, it has just occurred to me, aren’t the most thought-expanding. On that note, go away from here. Read something good like Charlie Brooker or Kathy Sheridan and forget about fashion altogether.
Anyway, I digress. It’s late in New York and the baby has just finished a two-hour screamathon and I’m trying to get some work in before, you know, going to bed and starting this groundhog day all over again. So Topshop’s blog featured this:
I thought it was quite a neat idea – come to Topshop and learn about blogging, and in return we’ll get great PR, be seen to be very progressive and you’ll probably write about us in glowing terms. Then again, there are very few fashion blogs that write about Topshop in anything less than glowing terms – or, let’s face it, about anything in less than glowing terms.
Fashion blogs – says cynical, awake-late-at-night me – are often far too sycophantic, for a variety of reasons. In Irish fashion blogging circles, you firstly don’t want to be seen to critique Irish talent. Then you’re a begrudger, so you must speak about it in glowing terms, even if it induces coma-like sleep patterns. Secondly, you don’t want to be seen to critique high fashion, such as, say, Marc Jacobs’s latest collection, because you could be accused of just not having a clue. The current exception to this rule is, of course, anything touched by Galliano’s needle, as his chalice is very much poisoned and what could be more chic than to ridicule the recently fallen idols?
Then you don’t want to criticise high-street brands too much, lest they take umbrage and stop sending you press releases / free bags / invites to fancy events overseas. You also wouldn’t want to critique the brand you work for – in many cases, fashion bloggers work in fashion stores, which totally makes sense, but it doesn’t make for very unbiased reportage. Furthermore, you wouldn’t want to critique anything with (a) any charitable ties, (b) deep roots in Ireland’s midlands or (c) the word “startup” in its description. It’s a minefield!
On that note, I am considering doing a series of posts with “dislike” in the title – carefully thought out critiques of current trends / labels / designers / magazines. Please stop me now if you foresee any begrudgery, and then, eh, go read Charlie Brooker again. (Frankly, I’m surprised you got this far.)
Adios, amigos. Oh, and, the final list of nominees are out for Ireland’s Most Influential in Fashion, an awards ‘do that I shan’t be attending due to my current geography. I’m not on the list, but don’t worry, I ain’t mad atcha. xoxo