I’m getting used to my bus pulling into the station at the same time as my train. I learned a couple of weeks back that, this being the case, it wasn’t worth attempting the jog across the footbridge to arrive on the platform as the train pulls out. It is infinitely more graceful to admit defeat and put the station facilities to use – check my bank balance, rummage in the M&S reduced bin and peruse W H Smiths’ ample magazine selection.
Having checked my bank balance today I decided I could afford to treat myself to a magazine. I marched up to the stand and took my time checking the cover images, cover stories and fashion spreads of InStyle, Vogue. Elle, Harpers, Vanity Fair….
NOTHING grabbed me. We seem to be stuck in a rut of same old same old. The covers could be one of a hundred I have stockpiled down the side of the sofa. The models are identikit imitations of each other, all angles and unnatural matte pastel tones on powdered complexions with back-combed powdered wigs to match. And I suddenly twigged why fashion blogging has taken off.
We can’t look like that! I mean it – we can’t, not in day-to-day life, not without make-up artists and hair stylists, photographers, lighting experts and photoshoppers. Sure, fashion as “art” is important and influential, but it’s not accessible. But when I look at what Erin, Andrea, Kasmira, Cecilia, Fia or Fi are wearing I can recognise how they have lifted sometimes the slightest of influences from these glossy pages and made them wearable. I can see how these stylish ladies take inspiration, not slavishly from fashion spreads, but also from the world around them, from TV, film, old photo albums, new fabrics, from simply what appeals to their personal aesthetic and even just what’s in their wardrobe. Blog style, while often trend-led, is infinitely easier to recreate than the catwalk or the glossies.
Not only this, but when we post our style experiments for all the world to see, all the world knows that we actually wore it. To work, to the shops, to the pub – we went out dressed like that and we didn’t get egged/shot/stared at. (And if we did we probably told you about it!) So you know that we can walk in those shoes or dance in that skirt, that we didn’t flash in that top and that your average Jane really can wear that look. As long as you’ve the personal confidence to strut your funky stuff!
Maybe it’s time fashion stopped with the exclusivity and started to accept the alternative. Our glossies have got to look and read so generic that I can’t justify Vogue’s £4 price tag anymore. Maybe, in these difficult financial times, the only way for high fashion to go is into retreat, where it can revel in its exclusivity unmarred by the ground-level style revolution. Either way, for me the glossy has had its day. Until someone comes up with a viable alternative (consider Jamie Oliver’s magazine, successor to the now repetitive Delicious/Olive/Good Food offerings) I’ll be getting my fashion fix from the style mavens of t’interwebs!
(DISCLAIMER: Of course, next month I’ll have to buy at least one glossy for the Golden Globes/Oscars red carpet round-up… But that’s not about fashion, it’s about glamour!)