Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Fashion Week Here and There

This editor's note post is reblogged from the September 15 edition of On This Day In Fashion.

As we roll into our third month parked here on the www, you may have noticed a few recent changes and updates to On This Day In Fashion. If not, allow me to give you the dime tour: A long overdue project—masthead bios and photos—have been posted on the About Us page so stop on by and pay us a visit. Cinemode, one of the most-read features on the site, got its own page yesterday, so you can skip on over there and more easily read through our fashion-in-film movie reviews. (Coming up soon: Audrey Hepburn in Sabrina!) Also, in honor of New York’s 67th annual fashion week taking place as I write and you read, all this week we have been running a “7th Avenue Special!” series, reruns of New York–centric stories from OTDIF that highlight the history and achievements of the city’s Garment District and Seventh Avenue. I am especially fond of today’s story written by Cody Bay, about how plucky New York girls and women bandied together, stood up to their mob bosses and formed the very first garment worker’s union. I really enjoy all of the 7th Avenue Specials, but today's is a definite must-read.

As far as Fashion Week goes, you’ve probably noticed that we are Twittering things we see and like, and delivering Daily Fashion Alerts on the day’s goings-on. I think when
you have a fashion blog, people usually assume you go to all of the fashion shows. I have gone to fashion shows, both in New York and Paris—where the shows are spectacular—and ones in smaller cities, where the excitement of a night of glamour in a non-fashion capital is a lovely thing. But the truth is, I don’t love fashion shows. I watch snippets of videos coming in from New York and have moments of envy, but I’m a fashion fan, not a fashion critic. Also, the madness that surrounds Fashion Week isn’t my cup of tea. I’m not saying I’d never go back to Fashion Week (one ticket to Paris—yes, please!) but I’m happy to view the live feeds while remembering how much my feet hurt the last time I did shows.

Besides, what gets my pulse racing is street style. I love people watching in general, and get a much bigger charge from personal style over carefully crafted (and marketed) runway looks. And even though I love fashion, I’m not a shopper. I separate the two the same way I distinguish visiting an art gallery from collecting/purchasing art. It’s an appreciation factor; I’m in awe of the artistry and craftsmanship, the beauty and the costume and the fantasy, but not the mass acquisition. This is something I’ve noticed—a likeminded attitude—in Paris. There, it seems, everyone loves fashion. You can chat about designers with bankers (I actually have done this), and have a serious conversation about the artistry of the clothing. Conversely, in the U.S., say “I like fashion,” and the response might be “Oh, I hate shopping,” or “You must have a lot of shoes!” or “Do you like Sex and the City?” Here you find a more consumer-driven reaction to fashion, not creativity driven. The hype around fashion week—and certainly Fashion’s Night Out—crams this mentality home, and it's a turn-off for me. But it’s also a reason I’m so drawn to the world of fashion bloggers. There’s a new niche appreciation budding out there with certain leading bloggers, and it leans toward design and artistry over shopping and acquisitions, and marketing and advertisements. I like that.

As for On This Day In Fashion, much of our inspiration when writing the stories comes from that same thought process: An appreciation for the artistry, the ambition, the drive, the inspiration and the legacy of fashion. Also, an interest in the industry: how it operates and sells, and the practical implications for consumers. Shopping interests me more from a social and economical perspective but not an emotional one. To that end, we try and feature Stories Behind the Styles that are fun and informative, sassy and smart and insightful. I hope you're enjoying the ride; feel free to get in touch and let us know what you think!
Ali Basye

Photo: Me and my new brand new husband taking our inaugural turn on the city as married folks, here on the red carpet at Bellevue's Fashion's Night Out. Image by Duell Fisher of Team Photogenic and Seattle Seen.

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