Wednesday, August 4, 2010

This week's Editor's note

Here's this week's editor's note from On This Day In Fashion!
After last week’s inaugural editor’s note, I received a few emails from people reaching out with comments and questions—which is great! As the site grows I hope more readers share their thoughts. In fact, one of our shorter term goals is to set up some kind of fashion Q&A center where readers can come and ask any fashion question they like, from style concerns, such as what shoes look best with caftans (not closed-toe black flats, Hilary) to shopping dilemmas, perhapswhere to find vintage YSL, and fashion history questions, such as when the very first Fashion Week happened (July 20, 1943). We’re working toward a few cool ideas and, as always, feel free to let us know if there’s anything you’d like to see or improvements we can make.
One question asked last week is one that’s asked most often: Where do all the stories come from? Publishing a story about something that happened in fashion every day of
the year sounds like a mammoth undertaking—and we do work really hard to find, research, write and edit great stories—but our greatest resource is the one we work on: the Internet. I have a pretty decent fashion library amassed over the years and I visit my local libraries and bookstores—a lot. But when I wrote my book in 2005 I found I could get into the nitty-gritty of fashion history the most quickly from different online sources, including blogs, content management sites, Google books, magazines and newspaper archives, my local library website and a little Wikipedia thrown in for good measure. As someone who still remembers how to use the Dewey Decimal System, I think the democratization of online content is awesome. Of course, we all know that the Internet can be unreliable—we find inaccuracies almost every day—so I keep careful notes and records of our sources and fact-check everything against multiple, credible sources as carefully as possible. We always welcome feedback on whether we’re getting our stories right or wrong, and hopefully we’re doing a pretty good job so far.
The other most frequently asked question is: What will you write about once a year is up? The answer to that is more, more and more! History, of course, never stops happening, so our work is never boring and there’s always something to research. We have a huge database of stories to draw from, and we add to it every day. Plus, we don’t write about every little thing in fashion that happened on every single day: We pick one or two stories to really dig into and save the others for another time. That said, there will always be only one day when YSL introduces le smoking, Claude Montana marries Wallis Franken, or Chanel turns her house over to striking workers. And on certain days it really does seem like nothing worth writing about ever happened. On those days, we focus on epic editorials or cool personalities so that you are always adding to your mental daily fashion encyclopedia. I love to read long books about the people in fashion and different eras, but sometimes the facts can be too sweeping. We choose our Stories Behind the Styles by asking: Would this make an interesting little tidbit to chat about at a party? Our stories are typically a little more specific, more focused and detail-oriented, which, I believe, can make for a brisk, fun read.
In the meantime, look forward to new stories for the upcoming week, including another truly epic event at Chanel, a few fabulous Cinemodes, cool moments in menswear and tributes to the lives of two very fabulous and influential style icons. Until then, I’ll meet you back here next Wednesday.

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