Fashion blogs contribute to, expand image-driven industry

Dana Reszutek

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As the latest collections are debuted at Fashion Weeks around the world, all eyes are on the runway. Trend reports from London and Milan meticulously analyze the highlights of each show, trying to predict what people will be wearing in seasons to come. For years, the true words of style were accessed exclusively through fashion publications — only by studying the September issue of Vogue could one obtain the latest designer inspirations for the season’s looks.

This tradition, although still prominent, seems to be fading in comparison to a more accessible place for fashion study — the Internet. Fashion bloggers, by means of blogging platforms like Tumblr and Blogspot, have formed more open subculture of fashion.

By simply scrolling through a site, images of carefully styled outfits capture the imagination of the younger fashion-obsessed generation. Instead of purchasing the latest magazine, one can go online and check out these blogs for instantaneous and free style advice from those who have deemed themselves “The Man Repeller” or “The Style Rookie,” to name a couple of popular examples.

The college-aged generation has taken the concept of a trend into their own hands. The blogging culture has opened a door of stylistic freedom in which publicly displayed fashion creativity can rebel against the runways and form its own unique seasonal trends. The concept of street style has especially flourished in this online environment. It’s much easier to find inspiration in looks presented on real, relatable people than in editorial fashion spreads, which seem to be the driving force behind the success of ready-to-wear fashion blogging.

It’s almost as if the blogger presenting their self-styled looks — although cost may make these outfits just as unattainable as those displayed in publications — demonstrate an air of possibility, a suggestion that one does not have to be Vogue-worthy to enter the world of fashion. Accessibility comes from both the personal nature of the blog and the apparently feasible means of replicating the styles found therein.

But what about the idea of the model — is the need to emulate a six-foot tall, size zero figure slowly disappearing? Fashion blogs present women of all body types, yet despite the physicality of whoever is modeling the styles, a subconscious desire remains to have a part of that image for ourselves. That idea is what most often encourages an imitation of looks.

What, then, are we truly focusing on when we view these blogs? Are we admiring the clothes, or just the popular and charismatic Internet socialite wearing them? Regardless of the looks presented or the model’s popularity, it’s the emotion that is reflected from the image that captures our attention. Whether we’re looking at blogs or flipping through a magazine, one thing in fashion will never change — the way an image or an article of clothing strikes us, be it on a commercial or artistic level, is what draws in the viewer.

A version of this article appeared in the Wednesday, Oct. 2 print edition. Dana Reszutek is a staff writer. Email her at [email protected]