funeral for fashion blogs

dead lo

It’s become an awful cliche – that thinkpiece, usually written by a fashion journalist with more than a bit of schadenfreude “fashion blogs are dead“. Just as predictable is the refutation. And for a long time, I scoffed at the notion too. I mean, I had been blogging since 2005, and my fashion blog still had a pulse. True, I had somehow managed to dodge fame and fortune as fashion blogging became colonized by the digital it girl with her clothes and her money and her photographer boyfriend. Let’s face it, fashion bloggers were never out to make fashion critics obsolete, and the fact that fashion writers seemed to think so betrayed a lack of perception and surfeit of self-importance on their part. The true incarnation of the fashion blogger was a post-modern revision of the socialite.

Then I had to stop calling myself a fashion blogger altogether because the popular definition had become too tainted by all the wannabes and arrivistes who wanted to cash in on the popularity game and affiliate programs. What I did – draw and write thoughtfully about a subject that has always fascinated me – was no longer the accepted definition of fashion blogging. I changed my title on my business cards to “fashion illustrator and trend theorist” and continued to blog.

This year, I had to admit my fashion blog was clearly on life support. I had taken on more personal projects as I began to style myself as a “fashion artist”, and between that and my growing business as a freelance fashion illustrator, I had fewer post ideas and time to work on them. Every once in a while I post about a larger project, but gradually Final Fashion has become, at best, a monthly link roundup with the occasional portfolio piece.

Final Fashion is dying, following many of the other blogs I knew and loved. It really does seem like the end of an era – between 2005-2010, the new media revolution created a brief open window in the gated palace of the fashion media that weird kids could slip into. Those of us who did climb through that crack have since redefined what we do to become artists – writers, photographers, performers, illustrators. Being a fashion blogger now means being a sort of human advertisement, subordinate to social media platforms and big brands, and for those of us who were part of the early cohort, that’s not what we ever wanted.

The best thing to do at this point is to give our fashion blogs a proper memorial, like Tommy Ton did last week. They were there for us when we were discovering who we were. They gave us a way to enter our industry without following the route of internships and entry-level jobs. They gave us a way to meet friends who understood us in a way no one else did.

I’m in New York right now, so I’m going to hold a small funeral to honour all the fashion blogs at St. Marks in the Bowery in Manhattan on September 14, 2014 at 2pm. Everyone who has had a fashion blog touch their life in some way is welcome. If you do come, please wear a flower so we can find each other.

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10 thoughts on “funeral for fashion blogs”

  1. Sad to hear that Final Fashion is closing its doors, but completely understandable – and you’re definitely right about the label fashion blogger and how it’s really been diluted. That said, you’ve always been one of my favorite artists and one of the deepest thinking bloggers I know. I will miss your words and your theories. Hope the funeral goes well (can I say that? Seems rude!), and hope you’ll continue to write in other places.

  2. Hi Tiff and oni, thanks so much for the lovely words. To be honest, I’m not shutting down final fashion, the funeral is more than a little tongue in chic – an excuse for meeting like minded souls in NYC. I like doing the link round ups and sharing work from my portfolio, and I won’t rule out future essays if I feel inspired to do them. But I don’t want to feel beholden to being a blogger any more, so I have decided not to feel guilty if I don’t update as often. I like the format better than a static website, so Final fashion will still be a central location for finding my work.

  3. I haven’t engaged in blogging (or even reading blogs) in some time and for so many reasons, but I’m happy I curiously clicked into this post. I phased out of my blog with little discussion or fanfare (mostly because it was always a “maybe” until more recently), and this is a really nice articulation of some of my own feelings about the medium. I think it’s natural that many of the “OGs” so to speak are growing up and over “fashion blogging” as we knew it. Whether they do so publicly or not, I hope more bloggers explore their own voices, talents, and careers both in and outside of fashion and the internet. It’s damned liberating.

  4. Hi Danielle
    As I have only found you relatively recently and you are exactly the kind of ‘fashion blogger’ I had hoped to find when I first went searching, I am so relieved to read you are not closing Final Fashion altogether!

    I, too, am so bored with the (mostly young women) ‘fashion bloggers’ who write about what clothes they’ve bought recently and photograph themselves in them. I think they’d be more appropriately called shopper bloggers! Rarely do they offer anything insightful. We blog at Body Map, but not prolifically, and despite the trend I never want to monetise our blog. I never want to be beholden to anyone’s views other than our own.

    If I were in New York I’d join you. I really love your work. All the best!

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