Wednesday, 15 October 2008

Fashion aggregators

I like today's Business of Fashion post: Can fashion bloggers be trusted online authorities? Of course! And yes us fashion bloggers are here to stay - speed is everything in today's fast fashion world and a quick scouring of the blogs is the fastest way to garner opinion.

That many of the major daily newspapers have chosen to add blog entries to their style pages only serves to back up the importance of speedy, considered opinion. Who can live without their seasonal dose of Cathy Horyn's hugely respected On the Runway blog, or's guest bloggers - for your daily dose? Speaking of which IMG's access all area's Fashion Week Daily diatribe from the front row is the industry must read. Way ahead of the pack was Scott Schuman with his roving lens and the design studio standard blog The Sartorialist.

And so the newer, faster, live-er offerings from the likes of Racked (you really killed it) or New York Magazine's The Cut and apparently now everyone else in between from Twitter or Flickr to MyitThings and Style Observer via the American Express backed portal Inside The Tents.

However this is nothing new. It's what the wire services such as AFP, Associated Press and Reuters have been providing for years. Back at my old job as a bona-fide fashion hack we used to scan the wires in the morning but it was exclusives that made the cut. I guess that's mostly the problem: all this aggregating of fashion opinion that's out there isn't even fact. There's a lot of dross out there and people are happy to put their name to it on-line. Quantity not quality has become the mantra in pursuit of the daily post. Maybe bloggers should consider themselves as online commentators (even journalists) and think of something original (whoa exclusive?!) to say if they bother to post?

And finally a word about the newest fashion aggregator: Distill. Edited by fashion historian, journalist and general know-it-all Colin McDowell, Distill presents a digested read of the style and fashion press from all over the world, offering a shorthand guide to what and who are in fashion, and how those trends are being captured and covered. A fashion magazine to rival and trump all the others no less. As McDowell says: "It's such a brilliant idea, I was a little peeved I hadn't thought of it myself." Still I must say, it's better than the zillions of posts pertaining to be fashion commentary out there that don't really say much at all. Is this a modern day, on-line version of Emporer's new clothes syndrome?

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