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Should not one have some style to to be an arbiter of style is the first thing that popped into my head as I read Ms Menkes comments in her online post in TMagazine "The Circus of Fashion" (Seeing as I read it online…is it not also a "blog ???") . Ms Menkes is herself then a blogger as defined by Wikipedia ! Though I feel that Ms Menkes did have some honest comments, I do feel they are a bit negative toward the new paradigm of "blogging" brought on by technology. I feel fortunate to see the benefits of this new technology in my lifetime, in that everyone now has "front row access" to whatever they want to see, and even in HD. Ms Menkes may have " lived through the era of punk", and so did I, and even before that, during the hippie era, of the 70's when I was a buyer for a "hippie boutique". In those days the use of the word boutique signified stores that sold an alternative style of clothes for hippies, that one could/would not buy at JC Penney or Sears. Clothes that hippie capitalists might wear (Steve Jobs/Issey Miyake) , vs the stereotypical tie dyed grunge that was not always the case, but yet is still portrayed erroneously as the " hippie uniform"and in the photos of those leaving Woodstock covered in mud. The legendary McAlpin Hotel Boutique Show of 1973, where Vivienne Westwood showed for the first time in the USA. There were many of us there who chose to dress differently then:long hair, platform shoes, bell bottoms, lots of leather and fringe, and vintage. We did not consider ourselves peacocks, but loved to have fun with our clothes and create our own styles. (No Mad Men suits for us !) Yes, to many it probably looked like a circus then, and every generation has it's circus, and now being older, (I am about the same age as Ms Menkes) have learned that each generation has its own "circus" Sadly there were few taking photos of us then. But yes, there was definitely a circus of another kind going on inside: A new direction ! Fashion critics were not even in my vocabulary or thoughts then. My wife and I dressed for ourselves. I can proudly say that our daughter recently ran a photo of her mother from 1973 on Instagram and her Facebook page, and got lots of "likes and amazing" as the platforms shoes and the clothes her mother wore are similar to the reincarnations of today, and possibly might be similar to offerings in Colette or Opening Ceremony now Dressing differently does not mean you lose credibility. It means you're brave enough to have your own sense of style. Yeah, my blood pressure is going up as I write this, but where does Ms Menkes draw the line between fashion and performance art as beautifully and thoughtfully presented by Ms.Daphne Guinness ? Is either considered a "Circus" Phillipe Starck once said that he wanted to "democratise design" and make it affordable. Thus his range of products is amazing and he has accomplished this. So why shouldn't fashion be able to do the same by those who love fashion and now can use the technology of "this century" to democratise and reach a greater audience, or does one have to write for the IHT, NYT, WWD to make them credible ? Sure the young ones have made mistakes, and most old and successful entrepreneurs will also admit to have made many mistakes, and quickly add how much they have learned from those mistakes. Is Ms Menkes and her group of "fashion editors" completely innocent of error ! Many of you may not know that some of the "poseurs and peacocks" outside the various fashion week venues are not just those who want to be photographed for their ego, but are " paid plants" by some of the biggest fashion houses in the world ! The Oscar Ceremony this weekend…will there not be 100's of stars and starlets being asked not "who is going to win" but "who are you wearing ?" Is this not disingenuous in that most of the clothes are offered to them and gladly accepted for their red carpet moment, not to mention the Oscar "swag bag" which I read was valued at approximately $47,ooo this year. I'm sure the products' makers will get plenty of PR mileage out of this "circus of swag" Do women who love fashion like Ms Anna Dello Russo not bring attention to dressing extravagantly, but at the same time creates a capsule collection for H &M that is affordable. Does she and all the bloggers who photograph her not drive business to the stores, sell more clothes, create more jobs, etc. Or is better for Ms Menkes's derisive comments on the world of 2013 fashion calling it a circus but worse, casting it's more relevant influencers , i.e, "bloggers" such as the excellent Susie Lau and Tavi Gevinson as "peacocks" just because they have a heightened sense of style and are good role models. Sure there are bloggers out there who are wannabes, there are those in every profession. But like my daughter, I follow Susie Bubble, as she is a damn good writer, and probably the most "authentic" in her love for what she does and Ms Lau's "style" shows it. In every metier the cream rises to the top. Or maybe it's better that young men and women in fashion work as unpaid interns, even needing "qualifications" to get an apprentice job, just to break into the industry for a CV bullet point. Then go on to get underpaid because fashion has become the Rock Star culture of this generation. There are more TV fashion related shows on, then music now ! Every business these days knows it must re-invent itself, as the world has changed, and this is called progress….. or maybe Ms Menkes needs to strap her Hermes seat belt in a little tighter, although I'm sure her front row seat is still there, as I'm happily watching the live streaming of FW from my favourite living room chair !
Toggle Commented Feb 25, 2013 on The Sad Clown at Style Bubble
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Feb 25, 2013