Ask Alexandra is my advice column. Have a question you want to ask me? Fill out the form here.
First off I heard about your blog through Anya of I’m the It Girl and I’m glad she shared it with me as I really appreciate your no nonsense opinions and humourous approach to the fashion industry.
I would call myself a fairly big fashion “follower”, I read a lot of street style, fashion and magazine blogs daily and just really enjoy the photos, different styles and overall whimsy and flexibility you can take when it comes to personal style. Within the past year or so…I’ve been finding myself having a strong dislike toward certain bloggers/fashion insiders due to their obnoxious and pretentious attitudes and taking themselves WAY too seriously.
I know you’ve commented on this phenomenon in terms of celebrity fashion designers, but do you not find the same when it comes to, basically, *everyone* else in the industry? There is no other industry where behaving like a douche bag is acceptable. I find the culture to be incredibly gross, superficial, vain and narcissistic. Have you noticed this recent trend too?
I think you are wrong in saying that there is no other industry where behaving like a douchebag is acceptable. I know douchebags who work in music, the arts, restauranteurs, technology, banking, almost everywhere. And to be honest, I think they have always existed, it is just that now they have more attention drawn to them because of the fact that everyone can have a voice on modern media.
Ten or twenty years ago, the magazines and newspapers controlled who got exposure, and even though I didn’t agree with all of the content they were publishing, they tried to feature fairly respectable industry figures. Today, internet publishing is open to everyone, which is very democratic, but also means that the public can control who gets the most exposure (if we figure more readers equals more exposure.) The average person has fairly bad taste when it comes to fashion and style, so that’s probably why the bloggers and industry people who are most popular are not exactly… high brow. Or intelligent, for that matter. (Perfect example is Jessica Simpson’s billion dollar fashion empire. Her designs are rubbish, but that hasn’t stopped them from being ridiculously popular with the masses.)
Another thing we need to consider is that some of these obnoxious and pretentious people pretend to be so as part of their profile. For example, I think Anna Dello Russo and her eccentric outfits, silly quotes, and ridiculous videos are all part of her act. On the other hand, you are absolutely right that there are a lot of fashion people out there that are just plain stupid, and they continue to garner a huge amount of attention even though the don’t actually contribute anything useful, interesting, intelligent, or fun to the fashion world.
Does this annoy me? A little. I have unsubscribed to a lot of blogs (particularly style diaries) because I couldn’t stomach the content anymore. And of the few silly ones I do read, I am always tempted to respond to. I’ve had to stop myself on several occasions from commenting things like “You are a dimwit.” Many fashion industry people these days don’t actually have any fashion education or real experience, for example, many of the bloggers, “stylists”, and a lot of the “designers.” That means the content being created is rarely exclusive, thought-provoking, or profound. The fact that supposedly “respectable” media attended Kanye West’s catwalk shows demonstrates that fashion douchebags do manage to command positive attention. Another example is the great number of bloggers who think a photo of their outfit yesterday is newsworthy information. Unfortunately, we just have to learn to accept this. It sucks, but its (fashion) life.