click click – 13-09-11

Welcome to click click, the sporadic review of what I find worth clicking on the internet.

These textural, meticulous paintings of textiles are a type of very abstract fashion illustration. The artist Andrea Higgins‘ obsessive reproduction of textiles worn, in this case by First Lady Jackie Kennedy, are a visceral/visual portrait. Via Covet & Want.

  • Tents, but No Circus – another season, another nostalgic article from an established voice about the way things used to be. What was once raw and glamourous has become efficient and industrialized. Trite but true.
  • Catwalk (1996) – the way it used to be. This is an excellent documentary, graceful without commentary, following Christy Turlington through fashion weeks in Milan, Paris and New York. Wonderful cameos of Gianni Versace, pre-Dior Galliano, young Kate and Naomi, clever Carla Bruni and others. Candidly captures a moment in fashion with such vividness. A terrific find.
  • Nian Fish – terrific interview with a pioneer in the relatively young profession of styling. Via Sarah Joynt.
  • The Long Tail – an oldie but goodie from 2004, all about a concept that I constantly refer to when thinking about media and entrepreneurship in the digital age. Geeky, but it applies to fashion too.
  • The Fashion Industry Wants Tumblr to Get its Fucking Act Together – it just isn’t often that you get to see this kind of business scrap play out in public. The valuation of digital media is beginning to get defined. Wild west numbers are a thing of the past.
  • How Sassy is Tavi Gevinson? – See for yourself. Watching her work develop is incredible.


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3 thoughts on “click click – 13-09-11”

  1. Re: The Long Tail

    I think most of the example given in the book are scalable professions (idea taken from the Black Swan): one-time creation that allows you to create (potentially) infinite amount of copy. Whereas in the fashion industry, it appears to me, only a few position at the top are that truly scalable.

    My second concern is most scalable professions tends to create only a handful of winners and lots of losers. As the article nicely shows, even the losers make money in the long tail. I don’t doubt that but my question would be do they make enough? It’s like the joke in one of the episode of Big Bang Theory, the 4 characters spends nights writing up this sophisticated apps to solve math equations that only 6 or so people in the entire world would really need it.

    If you’re an individual digital content provider of some sort, you don’t have the luxury to wait it out like a big record company or big publisher. It’s fine if the record company or the publisher is taking a risk with an obscure author/artist, they have the means to bear it. But if you’re operating individually, you still have to feed yourself and pay bills in the short run.

  2. Elle – I think the long tail applies to fashion in the sense of defining niches – the age of the megabrand is fading and more and more, it’s about finding and serving smaller tribes. This definitely applies more to the media end than the production side, but it’s still worth considering as it affects the way that we all find our audiences/customers. My own business is definitely a variant of the Long Tail – I’m often found on google for searches for “paper dolls” or “technical flats”, whereas I’m quite buried on the broader searches like “fashion illustrator”.

    As for the winner/loser ratio, I don’t think that ever changes. There will always be more losers than winners, and there will always be personal risks to bear. This is the nature of all creative industries, for all of time.

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