When I first started Wishing For Chanel I had a pretty decent Lookbook account, which is – rather embarrassingly still active. It may not look it but I put a lot of effort into those outfit photos. I also posted them on my blog and predominantly wrote about fashion, style and the designer collections (from the comfort of my bedroom rather than the FROW). Back then I would’ve told you without hesitation that I was a fashion blogger through and through. Sure there was a beauty review or ‘travel’ update, but writing about fashion was my thing.
And now? *shrugs*
I’ve written about the shift in blogging so many times, but I made the point in my last ‘existential blogging crisis post’ that I was grateful the ‘blogging’ game was changing and that it was becoming more acceptable to write about other stuff outside of your niche. It’s been so freeing applying that to my blog.
But when I reel off the list of things I blog about to people, there’s always a quite pause when I say I’m also a fashion blogger.
‘Really? You don’t look like you’d be interested in that kinda thing’
‘Wow, so like those girls who get to watch the runway shows? Have you ever been to fashion week?’
‘Oh cool! I never thought someone like you would be a fashion blogger’
When you Google ‘Top Fashion Blogs’ you slowly get in idea of why this visual stereotype of ‘the fashion blogger’ irks me a little. (This Stylecaster one is a perfect example). The men and women gracing the lists, yes, are fashion bloggers…but they’re also pretty prominently style bloggers. I have no problem with them and what they do (some of my blogging friends are style bloggers and I follow a tonne pretty religiously too). But in the same way that all Youtubers are probably sick of being stereotyped as either Zoella or PewDiePie, I too am done with the backhanded compliments that say I don’t ‘look’ like a fashion blogger.
Does personal style have to reflect your love of fashion? Do I have to dress like Tavi or Susie to warrant the credence and title of being ‘a fashion blogger’? Do I need to wander over to Somerset house and take snaps outside of the steps in dangerously high heels?
Is that what the definition of ‘being a fashion blogger’ has come to now?
I read a super interesting article the other day from The Cut, originally written in 2014, which claimed the golden era of fashion blogging was on it’s way out
“The thing that was different for the first generation was [most of us] rarely put ourselves on our blogs. The newer generation is all about themselves. What can we get out of this? It’s much, much more about self-promotion,”
– Scott Schuman (The Sartorialist)
And he is partially right. That first generation of bloggers are essentially still very much journalists rather than what we’ve come to know as ‘bloggers’. But in the space of time between them first taking their seats on the front rows and now, fashion blogging has shifted slightly away from the fashion itself and more on the author’s wardrobes and lifestyle surrounding the industry.
I want to reiterate that I love and accept this. But I don’t want to be pigeon-holed into that stereotype. It may come with age but I know my style. I know what I like. I know how to dress. My work wardrobe is semi-casual and on weekends I chill in plaid shirts and geek tees. Loving fashion is a bit like loving art. I don’t have to be wearing Warby Parkers and Doc Martins to appreciate a Warhol or Emin piece. Like wise you don’t need to be wearing Chanel to appreciate an impeccably tailored couture gown.
So where has this rather rambly post leave me?
As we’re right in the swing of New York Fashion Week and heading into fashion week season, again I ask myself am I still a fashion blogger?
I think the honest answer is yes. I adore fashion. I get just as much of a rush seeing the new Alexander Wang collection or the Summer-Autumn style transition on the highstreet as the publication of a new YA novel.
Despite the diversification of my ‘niche’ fashion is still my thing.