Who What Wear


Who What Wear

The big fuss about bloggers being fashion’s new royalty is far from true

Going by some fussed-up headlines of late,if you too believe that fashion bloggers are now royalty at fashion weeks and every quirky kid who writes a funky blog sits in the front row,here’s news. It is far from the truth. Barring a few (Miss Malini and a couple of others would belong here),most bloggers barely manage to swim through the mismanagement or manipulative tactics of fashion week organisers. Take the contents of following email. It was sent to a blogger from the PR company of Signature,one of the sponsors at the recently concluded PCJ Delhi Couture Week. The mail listed the following criteria (quoted verbatim) for blog posts on the event:

1. As Signature is an associate partner for the DCW,we would like you to brand/highlight Signature where ever possible than DCW.

2. Tags like Bold and Beautiful/Only the Bold stand out need to be highlighted.

3. Meet/interview celebrities/models/high profile personalities in the Signature Lounge.

4. Pictures of models (front profile) with Signature Brand in the backdrop where ever possible (You are free to walk around and click pictures).

5. Picture of banners of Signature are at the entrance. A few clicks would be appreciated.

6. Please link https://www.facebook.com/mcdsignature and live tweets @mcdsignature and #signature_dcw or #signature.

7. Write up has to be more on your experience with Signature @ Lounge/Show.

8. I have attached the Signature Logo so that you can use them on your blog. Please revert back if you have any doubts on the same.

Besides these guidelines,the blogger was also denied a pass till the very last minute before the Manish Arora show began on day four of Delhi Couture Week. The condition was that they had to finish taking the specified photographs. Sing for your supper,aren’t we familiar with the phrase? This blogger wasn’t singled out. Another tweeted a similar experience. When these two did get into the show area,they were led to distant seats,that prevented them from watching and photographing the show properly. It eventually led to jeopardising the PR strategy that expected them to post show pictures.

Pumped up as Indian fashion’s new,youthful VIPs,following a blazing democratic trail in fashion reviews in the West,bloggers here find seating at fashion weeks itself a messy issue,forget the front row. “Front row? Never. Not even once. Some fashion events are better organised and we do get to sit in the third row but mostly it is mayhem,” confesses one. “We are seldom assigned a seat; event managers seat us on those reserved for guests or other media so when the person turns up,we are invariably asked to vacate the seat,” he adds. With new hierarchies amongst Indian bloggers bobbing up — directly related to the popularity of a blog or its overall influence in fashion media — fashion weeks are fast becoming a site of opportunity clash for bloggers,who are mostly young girls and boys. Some of them do have a strong fashion sensibility,but little point of view. They have become fashion week regulars by virtue of a smart blogspot,not fashion education or experience. In fact,they often end up giving more per column inch “publicity” to an event compared to a print publication or television,yet very few write. Most document or review through edgy photographs. Their blogs have spicy irreverence but are yet to emerge as spaces for definitive opinion on fashion. Equating them with fashion writers is confusing and unfair to everyone around.

Yet,their importance has been fuelled by some sections of the media also by turning them — prematurely — into dial-a-quote stylists. Their opinions are sought on DIY fashion or for the “hot style tip”. Deserving attention to some has been puffed up as a generic trend,allowing every blogger to be clubbed with the rare expert.

But fashion week organisers aren’t fooled. They see most of them as eager-to-attend fashion weeks and their sites as places to run sponsored posts. Some bloggers willingly succumb to marketing manipulations. Others find it humiliating. “Some fashion weeks want us to post press-releases on our blogs,” says one,simultaneously wondering why. Everyone agrees that like journalists,fashion bloggers too will soon have to define their limits. More importantly,whether they are really able to do what they set out for: cultivate a personal opinion.