It’s become an awful cliche – that thinkpiece, usually written by a fashion journalist with more than a bit of schadenfreude “fashion blogs are dead“. Just as predictable is the refutation. And for a long time, I scoffed at the notion too. I mean, I had been blogging since 2005, and my fashion blog still had a pulse. True, I had somehow managed to dodge fame and fortune as fashion blogging became colonized by the digital it girl with her clothes and her money and her photographer boyfriend. Let’s face it, fashion bloggers were never out to make fashion critics obsolete, and the fact that fashion writers seemed to think so betrayed a lack of perception and surfeit of self-importance on their part. The true incarnation of the fashion blogger was a post-modern revision of the socialite.
Then I had to stop calling myself a fashion blogger altogether because the popular definition had become too tainted by all the wannabes and arrivistes who wanted to cash in on the popularity game and affiliate programs. What I did – draw and write thoughtfully about a subject that has always fascinated me – was no longer the accepted definition of fashion blogging. I changed my title on my business cards to “fashion illustrator and trend theorist” and continued to blog.
This year, I had to admit my fashion blog was clearly on life support. I had taken on more personal projects as I began to style myself as a “fashion artist”, and between that and my growing business as a freelance fashion illustrator, I had fewer post ideas and time to work on them. Every once in a while I post about a larger project, but gradually Final Fashion has become, at best, a monthly link roundup with the occasional portfolio piece.
Final Fashion is dying, following many of the other blogs I knew and loved. It really does seem like the end of an era – between 2005-2010, the new media revolution created a brief open window in the gated palace of the fashion media that weird kids could slip into. Those of us who did climb through that crack have since redefined what we do to become artists – writers, photographers, performers, illustrators. Being a fashion blogger now means being a sort of human advertisement, subordinate to social media platforms and big brands, and for those of us who were part of the early cohort, that’s not what we ever wanted.
The best thing to do at this point is to give our fashion blogs a proper memorial, like Tommy Ton did last week. They were there for us when we were discovering who we were. They gave us a way to enter our industry without following the route of internships and entry-level jobs. They gave us a way to meet friends who understood us in a way no one else did.
I’m in New York right now, so I’m going to hold a small funeral to honour all the fashion blogs at St. Marks in the Bowery in Manhattan on September 14, 2014 at 2pm. Everyone who has had a fashion blog touch their life in some way is welcome. If you do come, please wear a flower so we can find each other.