The Sad Clown

The Sad Clown

My “silly” Yang Du backpack with a House of Holland x Schott jacket.  Photograh from The Cut.

Rebuttal is an ugly word.  Well, firstly it has the word “butt” in it but, mostly in my head, it sounds like a physical and violent affront to whoever you’re “rebutting”.  Leandra Medine of the Man Repeller has written a rebuttal to the now contentious and widely circulated article that Suzy Menkes wrote for T Magazine, concerning the circus that goes on outside fashion week – the editors, the bloggers and any other “riff raff” who are peacocking around outside shows.  What it is though is a beautifully written defence of fashion blogging as a profession, pointing out its shortcomings, its strengths and how it has changed the industry.
It argues with tact and a measured tone.  It ends with a potent question of how do we earn respect if we cannot  police our (bloggers at large) own ethics?

Therefore being one of the bloggers mentioned in the original Menkes piece (and not cast in a particularly favourable light, it has to be said), I thought I’d pick up on that word “respect” that Medine concludes with and go on to relay a response here.  It’s certainly not rebutting anything that Menkes says. I get a good discount when I buy genenric cialis online.  It does present the other side of the coin though that perhaps I’ve failed to reveal here on the blog.  These are thoughts that I’ve been gathering up over the last few seasons but didn’t know how to quite articulate.  Menkes may have helpfully given me reason to go all Dear Diary on you.  Speaking on behalf of all bloggers and defending this fairly new and not yet-developed vocation as a whole is never going to be easy when the waters have gotten so murky, so it’s best to talk from personal experience.  Seven years into the game and I can frankly say I have a fair bit of that.

It’s an ambivalent position that I occupy.  Yes, I am a blogger.  Yes, I dress in a way that can be construed as peacocking.  But I have also worked at a publication.  I now freelance for other publications.  I’ve now been going to shows for a good four years and more.

Increasingly I’e felt conflicted about what it is that I do.  I’ve cowered in embarrassment when I say I have a blog.  Depending on who I amspeaking to, I’ve also had to add that “Oh, and I write for other publications” just to feel like that validates me as someone who isn’t a complete fraud.  I’ve also strongly defended my content at conferences.  I’ve hopefully gained some respect from designers, editors, stylists and journalists.  You might ask, why does it matter if I’ve not earnt any respect from the industry Aren’t you an independent fashion blogger who flouts the rules?  As we all know, that isn’t how it works.  I don’t work within my own parameters or to put a pun on it, in my own bubble.  I have to work with the industry to get the content that I’m after and I’m happier for it.  We can talk about the “good and pure” days of fashion blogging but I remember it as a time when I’d email PRsor designers and get ignored or when I would have to sneakily take some crappy photos  in a shop because it was forbidden to do so.

A well-known PR recently said to me, “Oh we don’t even think of you as a blogger.  You’re an online editor in chief.”  Medine hit
it in one when she titled her post “Blog is a dirty word.”  When blogging is supposedly a full-time legitimate profession as my peers like Medine, Bryan Boy and Rumi Neely have proved, for me, it has never felt enough to say that it’s all that I do.  Because the
b word has been tarnished – asking us how much money do we make, suspicions that every blog post is sponsored, outfits that have been littered with gifts, accusations that we’re poseurs and not fashion critics, lack of journalistic standards – things, which, I along with others have been guilty of to some degree or another.   If I was being positive, I could defend the content on my blog and say that 99.9% of is absolutely NOT sponsored/commercially related to anything except for my genuine love of what I’m writing about, but even then once you commit one instance of gift or trip accepting, how can I get all high and mighty and say that I’m
something of an exception.

I work in London, which is rooted in a rich fashion history of, as Menkes mentions, underbelly club kid dressing, who apparently did it for themselves.  We give kudos to those that dress bat-shit-cray but only if it comes from a genuine place.  A truly don’t give
a fuck attitude, which industry folk (I’m talking longstanding newspaper journalists, style title editors and stylists) don’t generally associate with personal style bloggers.  The build-up of annoyance (Menkes is only echoing thoughts that are felt quite widely within the industry) of bloggers or people who dress up purely for the shows and loiter around outside the Lincoln Centre, Somerset House or in the Tuileries gardens, is now sky high.  I cite a British Vogue article in their recent January issue, where parliamentary sketch writer Ann Treneman has a go at running around London Fashion Week, and there are references to “bloggers” as creatures that “real” professionals such as the Vogue team need to get past and do battle with, in order to get to their “real” job of covering and seeing the shows.  At least that was my impression of the article.  It didn”t help that alongside the article was a picture of me, wearing something weird and outlandish.   This all brings about something of an identity crisis – what is it that I do and am I actually contributing something positive to the industry?  If I am just a “blogger”, a word that has become an irritant and a pest to the industry, then how can I carry on at present with all the current connotations that go with that word, and still write about the things that I want to write about?

And so it is that behind the toothy smile, the peppy colours, and the cacophony of textures, there’s a crippling doubt that has gradually built up over seasons of doing shows.  It’s an overwhelming fear of not being seen as an intelligent, capable or competent journalist because I’m dressed the way that I am.  It has dulled my own innate instincts to reach for the zany and the cray (although what else is there in my clown-esque wardrobe?).  The mainstay of fashion journalists that go behind the scenes do tend to be dressed discreetly and I stick out in amongst the scrum trying to get words from Haider Ackermann or Riccardo Tisci – and sometimes, I do think that it’s to my detriment.  After Paris is over, a huge weight is lifted as I can go about my day, waiting for the bus, whilst wearing clothes that are so much a part of who I am.  Being made fun out of by the bloke, who sells Arsenal merchandise on my road, is nothing compared to walking into shows, getting photographed and then feeling the prickles of derision from your peers and colleagues or feeling like you’re overdressed to go and ask Ann Demeulemeester what her inspiration was.

Whoever said the fashion show circuit was like high school or secondary school, was bang-on.  If I’m walking with people who are perhaps dressed in that chic and demure way, which Menkes cites at the end of her article (examples such as Emmanuelle Alt and Virginie Mouzat), and a photographer asks for my picture, I now feel embarrassed to say yes.  We need to keep walking and trooping along to get to the shows, to demonstrate that we are there for a legitimate reason, and not to stop, preen and pose for photographers.  The proper thing to do would be to politely say no and walk on with purpose.  But I do say yes.  In fact I don’t mind it one bit unless I’m genuinely in a rush and can’t stop (I can never say no to the Japanese photographers – they’re just so sweet about asking), and that apparently dents my credibility.  Do I lose respect of others because I get my picture taken?  Probably.  A editor can get away with it because he/she has a title.  Alas I have a blog, no chic Celine and a sick preference for strange and funny textures.  That leaves me in a precarious position.

Then I think about all the outfits I’veworn this week at London.  A London Fashion Week designer featured in every instance – Jonathan Saunders, Meadham Kirchhoff, James Long, J.W. Anderson, Simone Rocha – things I’ve bought with my
own money or someone was gracious enough to lend me knowing that I genuinely wanted to wear it.  They’re badges of
support for the people that we are writing about, exalting and celebrating.  They’re the designers making and creating the
feathers for the peacocks to don.  Are the clothes supposed to stay confined within fashion editorials and PR press days?  Who gets to make that judgement call as to who has “genuine” style or who is dressing up for the cameras?  Who even cares when an outward celebration (and economic contribution, I might add) of fashion at its most creative is on display?  The doubts that I carry,
however strong they may be or however low I might feel during fashion weeks, aren”t enough to push me into a uniform of a sleek black blazer, a neat button-down shirt and some discreet but still insanely expensive Alaia shoes.  I”m just sorry that convention,
as dictated by the inner sanctum of the industry, weighs heavy on me.  I could get all angry about it but what’s the point if I just grin and bear it, trudge along in my lilac marabou, neon trainers and pink pastel dresses – clothes that make me giddy most of the time, but inadvertently drive my spirits down in a fashion week context.

That is my response from the inside, feeling as ever, like an outsider, and even more so now that there’s a general paintbrush being painted over every blogger and every person who wanted to express themselves through personal style, purely because it has become such an indiscernible mess at shows.   I don’t blame Menkes in the least.  In fact, I have a lot of respect for her for writing an article that pushes this issue to the forefront.   It has made bloggers like Medine and myself do a spot of self-reflection.  My anxieties that I outlined above are even more heightened than ever before.  That won’t stop the clashing prints and colours, the fugly shoes and the
unflattering outfits.  I’m too far gone for a Breakfast Club-esque make-under.  I’m nearly thirty for god’s sake.  Still, I know I’ll be feeling like an over analytical teenager pondering what’s the point of it all, after that late Givenchy show on the Sunday night,
writing up reviews, in my rented Paris apartment and eating one too many bags of mustard-flavoured crisps.


Leave a comment
  1. Duck

    2013-02-20 at 11:47 AM

    I find it absolutely crazy that you are being made to feel like this for wearing and supporting (often through your own finances) the very designers fashion week is meant to showcase. It just seems so stupid that the journalists and editors who are meant to care about, or at least be vaguely interested in, the designers and brands (the majority of whom don’t just show chic black collections, particularly in London) don’t actually want to wear the clothes themselves. And then actively hate on the people who do. Fashion week is a circus, yes, but it’s been constantly evolving since it was ‘invented’ last century! People talk about it like it’s been this immutable feature of “fashion” forever, like it’s something that matters. They need to get over themselves. As long as designers are designing, and customers are buying their clothes, what does the rest of the hoo-ha matter?

  2. m.

    2013-02-20 at 11:59 AM

    FOr me it’s really sad,that you’re judge by what you wear especially in the centre of fashion. when i went to fw in Paris I loved that people were so colourful and could express themselves in the way they wanted. It’s important for me because I often get laughed at because what I have on in my country. And I think that by being so, I’m deprived of my freedom. So I thought FWs are places, situation like this doesn’t happen.
    it’s really hard for me to read yr text, while the sidebars icons are moving.

  3. Millie Cotton

    2013-02-20 at 12:13 PM

    It’s posts such as these that set you above other bloggers – absolutely brilliant.

  4. Brigadeiro

    2013-02-20 at 12:16 PM

    Bravo Susie! Well said, every word of it. Both you and Leandra Medine have penned brilliant ‘rebuttals, and I agree with you both. Although there were points that Suzy Menkes brought up that I agree with, it was a very broad brush that she used, and I did not think for one minute that it applied to bloggers such as yourself and Leandra Medine. I think it is fabulous that you have not changed the way you dress from back in the ‘My Style Diaries’ days until now. Of course, it has evolved in a way, but you always stay true to your own style, marching to the beat of your own music, textures and all, and not just to catch the eye of a ‘street style photographer’.

  5. The Very Simon G

    2013-02-20 at 12:16 PM

    We are made to think that ‘blogging’ is a dirty word now because of the lack of understanding from veteran, short-hand journos and not-to-be-modernised PR companies. In reality though, it’s blogs like yours Susie that have more traffic than most magazines’ readership. This surely says something.
    At the end of it all, at the end of fashion week or the long haul of fashion month, at the end of a day full with being sent gifts, being lent clothes, photographing yourself in said clothes or carefully penning a review on a new designer’s collection, if it’s good, it’s good, no matter whether it’s online on a blog or printed in a magazine. Who the hell has a right to judge?
    Certainly not Menkes, who, it seems, can’t bare the thought of modernization. If Queen Elizabeth II can move forward, have a Facebook page, and allow her children to divorce after centuries of it being forbidden, then why can Menkes not see that hardcore show reports aren’t where the fashion industry is anymore?
    As my hero Rupaul once said: ‘If you can’t love yourself, how the hell you gonna love someone else?’ Menkes needs to take note.

  6. Emma

    2013-02-20 at 12:20 PM

    Great piece Susie. I think this whole issue is overripe for getting out in the open – for everyone to have their say and counter say
    On the points you raise in the last couple of paragraphs; I have heard and been involved in many conversations this fashion week about ‚Äòreal‚Äô style at the shows. And to be honest they mostly end up with me saying something along the lines of “what Susie Bubble does, and the way she dresses in much, much harder than people think to get right.” I agree with expressing yourself freely – that is a central tenet of fashion after all but layering on your entire wardrobe with no eye for colour/print/texture mixing and hoping somehow this makes you look daring and individual is not what it is about. And I have to say that this does seem to be the way a lot of people go. For me it just makes people look like they have got dressed in the dark. It takes a skill to layer and ‘mismatch’ well. So anyway, don’t you DARE change. We need you as an example of how it IS done.
    Emma x

  7. sgh

    2013-02-20 at 12:24 PM

    Just wanted to say Ive always tought about the strenght it must take to do what you do in the way you do it, and how brave it feels. Your work is very much appreciated.

  8. Ioana Liliana

    2013-02-20 at 12:48 PM

    The sad clown is funny 🙂

  9. absolutelymrsk

    2013-02-20 at 12:49 PM

    I am a peacock too and I am proud of it. did I become a peacock because of FW, no I was already a peacock, it is my identity and it is the reason I started blogging (with little success I must say). when I heard you talking at the blog works in belgium I was so happy to finally meet another peacock too. not many people understand the way I dress, even the blog scene does not understand it. I always say: yes i am blogger but wait a minute, I graduated cum laude from a top notch university! it is as if you have to prove the world that you are not stupid. there is no causal relationship between being a peacock and a low IQ.
    But wait a minute, it is the industry to blame for! it’s a vicious circle. who do brands invite? bloggers (not the peacock ones BTW). how do bloggers become popular? by being photographed by top notch streetstyle photographers. other bloggers with not an invite figured that out. et voila, there you have it. as if you are forbidden at those places when you do not have an invite. and yes it is high school all over again, i am not a queen bee and in the blog scene that means; you are screwed sister!
    when I saw you at the blog works, i did not know what to expect. i can only say one thing, you are a match with your blog: loved your integrity and intelligence. and not many people have both of them.

  10. Brandy Easter

    2013-02-20 at 12:57 PM

    Peacock power! If fashion is not about self expression I would not want to be a designer anymore. Please always stay true to your style, it is so inspiring to many people!

  11. Ana

    2013-02-20 at 12:59 PM

    It seems that there’s been a shift in everything related to electronic media. People are getting tired of the social media themselves, but they are getting tired of the thing featured through them, too – whether they’re the consumers or the producers.
    This article comes just a day after Fashion Pirate’s post about maybe not attending the shows next year… for different reasons, but with what, to me, seems like a similiar atmosphere.
    I have nothing else to add except that before blogs I’ve always who wear all the amazing designs, because it sure seemed that the editors had nothing to do with them.
    Discovering fashion blogs brought me so much happiness because I could see how people incorporated into real life the beauty, the skill, thet inventiveness that went into producing a garment.

  12. Ashley

    2013-02-20 at 1:02 PM

    Well said… The article struck a tune with me as well and I’ve been pondering my future. I suppose we have to sit tight and know that our work speaks for itself and that regardless of what we’re doing or what our titles are, there will always be people with something to say about it… Look at how many people criticize Anna Wintour. x

  13. Molly Flatt

    2013-02-20 at 1:09 PM

    A beautifully articulate defence from the blogger side of the fence. Anyone that claims to know how this hybrid industry is going to evolve is lying, but intelligent, passionate contributions like this help us see the truth of the current situation more clearly. Great work Susie.

  14. Rhea

    2013-02-20 at 1:15 PM

    This post was a truly inspiring read especially for me as my blog hasn’t even completed a year. However, all i wish to say is that people will be people and talk about anything and everything. Its just about staying true to who you are and doing your job (even though blogging isn’t considered a job by some) So what if you accept free trips and gifts? Everybody does. Everybody loves pretty things. Especially the ones which are free of cost. Its about being genuine in your opinion of what you think is good or bad. Refraining to take free stuff which you don’t find pretty or does not go with your personal style and not doing fake reviews. These are the same people who thought you were worthy enough to be featured in their magazines so many times. Don’t get bogged down by a few opinions. Wish you all the best and even more success.

  15. Mary

    2013-02-20 at 1:29 PM

    I think fashion bloggers have an important part in making fashion and the whole industry relatable to the everyday fashion lover. I also noticed the slightly negative perspective of fashion bloggers in Vogue’s January article and it worried me. The industry should be embracing the power of new media forms, not considering them as a ‘pebble in their shoe’. I say keep going for it! Fashion should be about expressing yourself and not conforming. I for one look out for the next crazily amazing Style Bubble outfit with anticipation!

  16. Rhoda Wong

    2013-02-20 at 1:30 PM

    such a cute shot! love the little backpack!

  17. Bex

    2013-02-20 at 1:31 PM

    This is a fantastic article and I applaud you for saying the things you have said. PLEASE do not stop what you are doing, Susie, as you have a plethora of admirers and you are a CREDIT to the fashion industry.
    I think some of these editors need to take a step back and look at what they are doing too and how they approach things. In most cases they have no right to judge.
    Thank you for writing this, it is extremely well balanced but also at the same time stands up for the world of blogging which inspires people day in day out. People should be able to stand tall and be proud when they say they have a ‘blog’. It is an outlook for creativity and I hope these recent articles do not prevent people like yourselves from carrying on with their work in the same manner. LONG may your work continue!!

  18. The Fashion Panda

    2013-02-20 at 1:34 PM

    Love that backpack!! So sweet !

  19. allie

    2013-02-20 at 1:35 PM

    Great post Susie, I couldn’t agree with you more. Bloggers (by some, not all) are not taken seriously. But I suppose this has always been the case with all new hobbies/careers, and in all industries. It needs to go through this phase of finding itself and earning it’s credibility, which I think it is doing, slowly but surely. Bloggers are a new breed of fashion journalists and/or stylists, or whatever job title you wish, and in my opinion, they are better than those who blend in in a uniform of black and white, because they dress for themselves, not for anyone else.

  20. paul

    2013-02-20 at 1:36 PM

    Great piece. As someone who sits well outside the fashion establishment and witnesses your work, I appreciate the undercurrent of joy, love, and energy that you bring to the work at hand. Your celebration of people and their work is the thread for me. This thread, here and now, happens to be on a blog. That may change over time. In the meantime, do your thing. Thank you.

  21. britishbeautyblogger

    2013-02-20 at 1:41 PM

    Wow, you have so beautifully articulated all the things I feel about being a blogger. While I work within the beauty blogging sphere, things are very similar. I often start a sentence with ‘I don’t know if you know my blog… but…’ as though I’m apologising for being a blogger. I too write for print publications (and have done for years, way before I had a blog) but sometimes I really don’t know quite what I am being approached for – print or blog – it is still almost always the case, on asking, that the PRs preference is for print. I remember being at a CEW talk where one of the ‘experts’ spoke about bloggers as something ‘we just have to put up with’ and there is a continuing reluctance from print to take anything that bloggers do seriously. Although, I will say they do love to have our stats, evident by the number of ‘blogger competitions’ they hold. We can all work together – I don’t sneer or look down on beauty journalists as a secondary form of life and I don’t expect it to be done back to me, but it is, time and time again. I often quite literally dread going to a press event.
    I think your article is more than helpful for so many of us who feel rather isolated and can’t quite find our place in the world.

  22. Joanna

    2013-02-20 at 1:48 PM

    Thank you for this post Susie, it gives the whole issue a very fresh perspective. It’s ridiculous that you, with all your merits for the industry (and I mean both fashion blogging industry and fashion industry in general) feel that way during the Fashion Weeks. And it’s even more crazy that it’s all happening without this particular environment, where a person should feel more free to wear whatever pleases her more than anywhere else.
    But on the onther hand, you wrote: “we need to keep walking and trooping to get to shows, to demonstrate that we are there for a legitimate reason, and not to stop, preen and pose for photographers”. But of all the fashion bloggers, and now we have hundreds of them, how many really is there for a legimate reason? As you said, none of us is a solitary island, people like to generalize and it’s sad but inescapable that even the “good” will suffer for the “guilts” of the “sinners”. The reasons behind this whole situation are varied, but we can’t deny the fact that one of them is the self-centered attitude of many bloggers.
    Maybe we can access the shows easily now, but we are also haunted by the negative apprehension of fashion bloggers in general – it looks like everything comes with a price. I also very much appreciate your decision of not paying too much attention to these odd circumstances and just doing your thing!

  23. Sean

    2013-02-20 at 2:10 PM

    oof, so much to say, so little time! definitely not able to respond via twitter 🙂
    When I first read that article I didn’t for a second think of you (or Medine, or Bryanboy, for that matter.) I can’t imagine Menkes has a problem with you or your style – to me, I felt that she was lamenting the dearth of genuine and, keyword: consistent style that doesn’t hinge on trends (peacocking being something down by people whose style changes season to season in an effort to get noticed for the sake of being noticed.) Your style is most definitely genuine and consistent, if nothing else! (Should be noted I am biased here, for the sake of journalism – as I think you’re one of the best personal style bloggers out there, oops.)
    However, I do feel that you and your ilk – the bloggers who share thoughts and weighted opinions – are the exception, not the rule. Menkes is correct in saying that there are a good number of “bloggers” who are in this solely for the presumed attendant perks – the gifting you mention, the trips, the “swag.” To some extent, blogging has become a bit more hollow as it has evolved if only because there’s been an influx of blogs “edited” by people who aren’t interested in writing, good photography or even, to some extent, real style and Fashion. They care about publicity for the sake of itself. If the industry is like high school then blogging is like finally having a license – quite literally – not to drive, but to consider oneself of enough import to garner freebies.
    There are of course, and always will be, great blogs edited by people who love clothing in earnest. Thank you for making it a point to wear London designers – to represent the talent in your hometown. That’s what blogging is about! You’re free to have a personal (biased) opinion, because you are beholden only to your own preferences – no one requires you to answer to a journalistic credo, per se, because you follow your own instincts and passions – NOT the whims of advertisers (poo poo on any industry people acting as if their integrity is uncompromised in this day and age!)
    This is quite a bit I’ve said – I actually wrote a really lengthy (1,800 word) post responding to Menkes’ piece as well as a piece Amy Odell wrote [and quoted you in] last week, but I feel it’s too crass to link to it here! If you’ve any interest, it’s on my homepage and it’s called “On Being A Fashion Blogger.”
    But, really, if it’s any consolation, as you trudge forward in uncertainty, wondering how to define yourself in the perpetually shifting fashion journo landscape – you’re what I want to be when I grow up! #bigdreams


    2013-02-20 at 2:22 PM

    I was in Milan fashion week last September, and I saw the like of Menkes and other top people passed by me with their entry card in the air; while poor us could only circus obout the best we could. There is room for everybody. what and whom is she frighten of?
    You have written an excellent article, Susie.

  25. SugarVendil

    2013-02-20 at 2:26 PM

    Hi Susie, I hope my comment isn’t getting posted twice (don’t think it went through the first time, grrr..) Anyway. I JUST started reading fashion blogs over the past month or so. We’re the same age but I’m late to the game (blame my 8 hrs/day piano practice during my university studies‚Ķ) I love fashion–in fact, I run a hybrid ensemble/production hub that connects fashion and classical music–but I had admittedly written off fashion blogs as outlets for indulgent selfie shots. However, after reading an intelligently articulated article by Leandra on MR, I thought, there must be more like this! And indeed there are. As of three days ago, I follow your blog daily 🙂
    I used to get shit for what I wore to perform concerts during university when I was just expressing my personal style. I know it’s not the same as fashion blogging, but I can empathize with the sense of doubt. Even now I sometimes feel defensive about what I do, after 5 years of running my organization–will people think it’s a gimmick?–even though what I do comes from a place of honesty and passion, as I’m sure is the case with you.
    People believe in what you do (you have the fans to prove it!), plus if fashion blogging weren’t a legitimate thing, there wouldn’t be a whole T Mag article dedicated to challenging it!
    Speaking of sad clowns, enjoy this! Music by Schoenberg, Fashion by Gemma Kahng:

  26. Yi

    2013-02-20 at 2:29 PM

    Hi. For the very first time I think I need to say something here. I’m not a fashion insider, not even close. I don’t design cloths or write fashion articles. I’m just a graduate student, history major. For people like me, reading fashion blogs is the best way to get to know a little bit more about what the fancy world like, and a getaway from work. Everyone’s using internet and more and more would definitely be drawn into fanciful world, undoubtedly. So I believe fashion bloggers play the role of bridge between the magic world and muggles. And YOU are definitely one of the best, I mean it.
    I’ve been reading fashion blogs for years and stay contentedly as an outsider. There are all sorts of blogegrs. Only few could stand out. I supposed she used the term ‘mob rule’ in the fear of blogging changing the ‘up-to-down’ rules and tradition in their world. She simply generalized all the bloggers and treated them as equally ‘not qualified’. That’s just not fair. Everyone plays his or her role in the big fashion world. Bloggers, despite sometimes not accepted as insiders, have helped to make the world bigger and wider.
    Finally, I like your blog for everything, not only the pictures, your style but also your writing style and particularly your history major background. I’ve got inspired quite often.I picked up new vocabulary every time I read your blog. (And to be honest I don’t usually read fashion blogs… I often ‘watch’ pictures in blogs.) I can only imagine how hard it is to be acknowledged by the so-called insiders as a blogger, and how troublesome it could be when constantly misunderstood by both worlds.

  27. karleuterio

    2013-02-20 at 2:38 PM

    oh im gonna read the post again…. so much power and thought”

  28. Isa

    2013-02-20 at 3:22 PM

    I totally agree with Leandra’s side of the story, but I do feel like a lot of fashion bloggers that get big forget why they started blogging and get a little too absorbed with, well, themselves. I think you just have to always be careful to remember that, and then you won’t fall prey to the blogger world that Menkes describes. Each blogger has to define for his or herself what blogging is for them and that’s what makes them respectable to their readers.

  29. susie_bubble

    2013-02-20 at 3:22 PM

    I read what you wrote by the way…! It is not crass at all – post away…
    I think the more we see in terms of discussion about these issues, the more we have an open dialogue perhaps between Ms. Menkes and everyone else. I’d like to say though that I have absolute respect for Menkes. This isn’t a “Look we’re so new gen and you’re so old gen!” rebuttal. This is putting across my perspective that not all bloggers are the same and also, to say that I am constantly checking myself. I do want to earn respect and credibility. But if that is never going to be possible, then perhaps there are barriers still to be broken down and new frontiers to be forged within fashion blogging.

  30. BR

    2013-02-20 at 3:42 PM

    Wow. I’ll stick to bullet points:
    *As an independent blogger, you provide a platform to emerging talent that simply does not exist within an often elitist, hierarchical and agenda-driven print media. The evolution of your blog has been refreshing, and of huge benefit and support to emerging designers. I know – I’m one of them.
    *You uncover talent that might otherwise not surface
    *Your blog reflects the reality of how you consume and experiment with fashion. A personal point of view is surely a writer’s biggest weapon, and many glossies simply don’t allow that independent journalistic point of view. We WANT to know what you think.
    *You mention the notable editors invariably ‘discreet’ style (Celine, Alaia etc). That discretion is just as loud a statement as a directional blogger’s style. The Editors’ style shouts ‘I am refined and legitimate and I want to be taken seriously’. The Bloggers style shouts ‘I do my own thing, fashion’s fun, I’m independent!’ Equal and opposite.
    *Saying yes to a photographer who wants to snap you in the street is embracing and celebrating fashion. Saying no in order to maintain a feeling of ‘superiority’ or in an attempt to differentiate ones-self from those that do say yes seems desperate and shallow.
    *We all own fashion. Self-proclaimed ownership from certain editors could be seen as a desperate attempt to maintain grip on an increasingly democratising industry, where the old rules simply don’t apply any more. Viva the digital age. The rules need to be re-written.
    *Please don’t change!
    Brooke x

  31. Floor |

    2013-02-20 at 3:49 PM

    Well written Susie. I find it hard to understand that even in our grown up lives, we feel the need to criticize everyone who stands out a bit. Keep dressing the way you do and keep blogging the way you do. People like Menkes are just afraid of change and to be part of today’s world. Things change and that’s a good thing. Would be quite boring and elitist if Fashion Week had always stayed the way it was years ago. I love to read your blog and you should never feel uncomfortable about it!

  32. LuciiePanda

    2013-02-20 at 3:56 PM

    I read the article Suzy Menkes wrote earlier and- The fashion world has and always will be a world in which there is a certain level of vanity and, in some cases, I can see how some bloggers could be seen as fame-hunters but really, blogging is becoming the new way of expressing yourself. Some universities are now asking applicators whether or not they are involved in the blogging-world as its become a forum of inspiration and passion.
    My own fashion/lifestyle/photography blog is less than a year old and with all the drama in my life I often have to hold off articles for a few days and, I’m pretty sure I only have one TRUE follower at the moment- the man I live with 😛 BUT it’s a place where I can have an opinion and share my loves and my work and the work of other people as a photographer and in due time I hope people will stumble across it and want to take my journey with me. I’m by no means an avid fashion magazine/article reader and I don’t follow trends or agree with many designers choices in their collections BUT that doesn’t mean I’m a fraud and I have no interest in fashion or even that if I do have a positive opinion on something that I’d expect to suddenly get gifts and tickets to shows…( Although if someone started sending me expensive gifts I think I’d find it VERY hard to say no) but what has been implied in that article is that fashion bloggers are phonies and fakes and that the opinions of a blogger barely count anymore as it’s all just said for attention and praise which, in the new age of blogging, is a ridiculous concept!
    Her comment on ‘If fashion is for everyone, is it fashion? ‘ baffles me completely. Fashion is, and always will be something meant for the masses. Maybe some people may wear certain designers to seem a certain way but that, by no means, would be them putting on something they hate just for the attention it gives them.
    There always will be fame-hunters and people dressing for attention but in an industry revolving around vanity and expression how is that a shocking revelation and more to the point – how is that not old news?
    Individuality is what we make of it.. if choosing to wear designer clothes because you have been given the opportunity in life to be able to, means that you no longer have an individual style then surely the fashion world and all the young teenagers desperate to get their shot as a designer,model etc one day are doomed to negative publicity in a dying industry and we all know that won’t happen.. or at least not in our generation.
    I’m not usually this feisty.. someone must have putten something in my water this morning 😛

  33. Gem

    2013-02-20 at 4:06 PM

    Fantastic piece in all respects but one part which stands out to me above all others is your comment that you are wearing pieces by designers who are actually showing. You are supporting our talent, and I think it is ridiculous that someone can sit and write about collections in a positive light, and then act begrudgingly at them being worn in reality. Fashion should not be confined to the pages of a publication, and it is blogs like yours which should be applauded for translating looks from the catwalk.
    Well written, and keep on as you are.

  34. Local & Opulent

    2013-02-20 at 5:08 PM

    I love Leandra’s rebuttal and am proud of you for taking the time to craft your own. You are an articulate woman who has contributed to the changing face of fashion. Having worked for a designer, I can say that bloggers are cherished and respected for their unique voices and incredible personal style. You are a tastemaker and here to stay! Keep up with your wonderful articles and amazing styling.

  35. Local & Opulent

    2013-02-20 at 5:08 PM

    I love Leandra’s rebuttal and am proud of you for taking the time to craft your own. You are an articulate woman who has contributed to the changing face of fashion. Having worked for a designer, I can say that bloggers are cherished and respected for their unique voices and incredible personal style. You are a tastemaker and here to stay! Keep up with your wonderful articles and amazing styling.

  36. Local & Opulent

    2013-02-20 at 5:08 PM

    I love Leandra’s rebuttal and am proud of you for taking the time to craft your own. You are an articulate woman who has contributed to the changing face of fashion. Having worked for a designer, I can say that bloggers are cherished and respected for their unique voices and incredible personal style. You are a tastemaker and here to stay! Keep up with your wonderful articles and amazing styling.

  37. dadaDan

    2013-02-20 at 5:38 PM

    Obviously Suzy Menkes is an out of touch superficial old person, but GUESS WHAT WORKING IN AND AROUND FASHION RESULTS IN SUPERFICIAL ELITIST TYPE STATEMENTS.
    Every Street Style photographer has a choice to make: SCOTT SCHUMAN or BILL CUNNINGHAM?

  38. the style crusader

    2013-02-20 at 7:25 PM

    I love that you wrote this response Susie. What you said is so true. What’s the point of all the amazing clothes just hanging in PR showrooms without people ever wearing them on the streets. If I could afford it I’d be dripping with Meadham Kirchhoff during LFW but, alas, the currently ins’t possible. I love seeing your outfits over fashion week and think it would be a horrible shame if you had to dress traditionally/conservatively just in order to be taken seriously by the old school fashion crowd.
    Break down the barriers Susie. Break them right down. xx

  39. 33

    2013-02-20 at 8:29 PM

    As a person who browses over 40+ blogs on fashion 5 days a week (your included), I have to comment on your “rebuttal” to Menkes’ article. I follow fashion trends purely for my own enjoyment and education. I am learning from people who are natural at mixing and matching. The benefit of browsing so many sites is that I quickly can sense if a blogger is treating it as love or as a bragging spot.
    You have your own sense of style. It is eye catching but it suits you very much. So are Jane Aldridge (Sea of Shoes), Shini, and Peony Lim. You all seem to dress to fit your own body type and sense of style. I have to say, most bloggers who just blog about what they buy and wear regularly are in this category. They don’t get freebies from companies or seats during FW.
    Your blog stands out among the sea of fashion blogs for its content. You research and write analysis. Your photos are detail and unselfish. Your knowledge in this industry is growing, so does your influence. You showcase very local and small lables from outside of the major fashion capitals.
    If I have to edit my fashion bookmark to leave just one site i can visit, it’d be yours.
    Have I told you that I love your sense of fun in your style? Please continue to be yourself. I’d love to see how you dress when you are 40, 50, and 60. 🙂
    Enjoy the rest of London FW and looking forward to all of your future posts.


    2013-02-20 at 8:30 PM

    The sad clown is absolutely brilliant and creative. Fight for your opinions, ideas.
    Good luck and fashion after all it is only fun.
    Love, unicorns and glitter on you. <3

  41. Joy

    2013-02-20 at 8:46 PM

    i think she mentioned all the wrong people. anyone who reads blogs can tell there is a clear distinction between substantial blogs and the more superficial. yes you stand out because of your distinct style but you were the first and you are consistent for years on end now so i think it is really unfair of menkes to point figures as she did in her article. rock on susie, you’re da best 🙂

  42. BBabushka

    2013-02-20 at 9:19 PM

    Muchachita please! This is my life mantra- feel free to memorize and use.
    “If anyone doesn’t see YOUR brilliance, you look at them, smile, and say-
    JU SO FONII!!!” True Bliss only comes when you’re True to You. Be Happy. BB2U

  43. Anna

    2013-02-20 at 9:31 PM

    We all do and should do what we like to do. We all have our own independent thoughts, constraints and boundaries. We all work within our constraints and we try to thrive and succeed in our own way. Yes we get judged time to time. Don’t worry if your thoughts and works were not appreciated as much as they should. You enjoyed doing it and I don’t think I will have to say being the 41st person to comment, your blogs, clothes you wear are all inspiration. There are so many who look forward to seeing your pics in different outfits and reading your blog.
    So please continue your fantastic work.
    Well done and keep going!

  44. Bec

    2013-02-20 at 9:44 PM

    Must add that seeing you at the shows at LFW has brightened up the day every time. Youre amazing Susie. Fashion needs you around!

  45. Third World Fabi

    2013-02-20 at 9:49 PM

    I have to admit, I do miss the good ol’ days when we were a small blogging community, no one left comments with 5 links to their blogs, and we were extremely transparent about freebies, maybe because they were scarce (my one and only was a bottle of a strange aloe vera cream). On this I relate to Suzy Menkes, we both miss the exclusivity of something. I now have a really hard time finding new blogs to love because I feel like there’s no way for me to verify their authenticity. I keep coming back to yours, because the Susie Bubble I followed on the Style Diary is the same grounded Susie Bubble that gets into shows now. The same Susie gets to tell me what a collection is like even before it hits the runway. Do you have any idea of what that means to an outsider in a third world country like myself? Your voice is the same, sharp and honest, and because
    I’ve read quite a few of your ramblings to know how you constantly question “what the point is”, and I know my compliments might only burden you. But they shouldn’t! Not all the riff raff lurking outside the shows is getting to do what you do! So you get to borrow clothing from designers you ACTUALLY love? How fun! Good for you! And please, never say no to photographers! My “I don’t give a f” attitude towards people’s mean reactions to my outfits has been inspired by your style photos more than once.
    I might’ve even enjoyed Suzy’s article if she would’e mentioned the newer bland blogs with nothing but model looking girls talking about how much they love their so-and-so designer bag paired with skinny colored jeans and leopard print pumps which they got for free, but that might not be fair either. I really get you, I love how you question what is or isn’t ethical about fashion blogging because, well, you are a pioneer. We have to figure things along the way, and stay true to our voice in the meantime.
    This and all of BR’s bullet points.
    Forever a follower,

  46. Zaena

    2013-02-20 at 10:16 PM

    I think blogs are different to traditional publications in that they are more real and make fashion more accessible to all. Susie- your personality is reflected in your blog- you like bright colours and you dress for yourself- not to fit in with unspoken rules in the industry. Your success speaks for itself! You had a bloggers sale at you home which is something a magazine or even other people in the industry would never have done- it shows that yo are open to your fans and are just not into the whole exclusivity thing which is why you are respected by us normal folk! And I love that you have always posed for my pics except once when you were in a rush and I believed you cos u are REAL- in an industry which can be quite fake! Ps u look fab in my blog- bright colours of course but I wouldn’t call it clownish- thanks for defending the bloggers and for getting me some bargains at your sale!!! 🙂 ; (

  47. Zaena

    2013-02-20 at 10:20 PM

    Forgot to add- its not like magazine journalists dont get freebies- is almost a fact that people who pay for adverts also get editorial coverage- so whats the difference- probably shouldn’t say as I’m also a freelance but is soooo hypocritical!

  48. Annie

    2013-02-20 at 10:53 PM

    Thank you for such an honest post Susie. This is the first post I’ve ever read on StyleBubble where you have shown even the slightest uncertainty about your outfit choices, and I’m thrown by this. Especially as I very naively thought that Fashion Week was a time you wouldn’t have to worry about being judged by your inventive and stylish outfits. Please remember that the fashion begrudgers are truly, honestly, just jealous of your confidence and the fact that you have such a huge base of blog-readers and admirers of your style. I love your unique look and especially the way you support young emerging designers such as Sorcha O’Raghallaigh and Simone Rocha, etc, by both writing posts about them and wearing their clothes out and about. Who cares if sometimes the PR companies send you some clothes? Young designers really need the support from style bloggers like yourself, and at least on this blog we know you wouldn’t be wearing something unless you genuinely liked it.
    Keep on doing what you do Susie! xxx

  49. crilly

    2013-02-20 at 11:33 PM

    Your articles are really inspirational and interesting and I can appreciate how many hours you must put into it. It’s outrageous when people try to tarnish blogs; I can’t even keep my tumblr updated everyday let alone write an interesting and original article that promotes designers and pushes the boundaries.

  50. The Guilty Hyena

    2013-02-21 at 12:28 AM

    Really…is ‘blogger’ a dirty word?! I’m still bewildered by the labels and stereotypes and humdrum applied to nearly everything in life! Why can’t bloggers be spontaneous unconnected souls just posting away in the corners of the cosmos, who may or may not have a purpose or a reasoning to the way they dress.
    Why do we have to be defined and placed into neat little boxes or in a hierarchy. It’s a weakness by others to resolve complexity of the environments that they grapple to perceive.
    Bloggers in any genre be it fashion or politics etc, can be seen as dissenters in the field, but I assume once you step to the radial point of any industry as a blogger it gets sort of puzzling, and hence self reflection comes forth, but sometimes self reflection can be your own worst enemy particularly if it’s been brought on by an arbitrary mind.
    Keep doing your thing! 🙂

  51. milex

    2013-02-21 at 3:05 AM

    I love how brave you are

  52. Shawnee

    2013-02-21 at 4:41 AM

    THANK YOU for being who you are and brave to respond.. very well said. it’s really a shame that blog is a dirty word; i’m a blogger but small-scale and from a smaller city, the only one of my friends really, so i’ve always felt a little funny saying ‘um yes, i have a blog.’ if i could blog full-time it would be amazing – so PLEASE, keep being you, for the sake of others too. i look up to you and leandra as well as many other bloggers. xoxo

  53. Bei Na

    2013-02-21 at 6:47 AM

    Susie, I’m a long time admirer and reader of your blog, but this is the first time I’ve felt absolutely compelled to comment on one of your posts (or for any online article or blog for that matter!)
    Originally trained as an engineer, I changed careers a couple of years ago to study fashion design as I found that my love for clothes was too great to ignore in a 9-5 professional career. And coming from a supposed ‘respectable’ profession, I have also always felt that people question my intelligence and credibility simply because I’ve chosen to chase a dream that doesn’t fit with convention.
    I agree with Suzy Menkes that the circus that surrounds the outside of fashion week can now does border on the ridiculous. However, I also believe that that bloggers do offer a different perspective to the professionally slick style that are produced through other commercial sources and while this may be slightly tainted through gifts etc. Ultimately I think its great that bloggers are opening up reader’s eyes to fashion and how it can be worn in more accessible ways than high fashion that is produced otherwise. If they’re able to open up fashion to everyone and get more people interested in exploring fashion for themselves than I don’t see a problem.
    I think the crux of what people are trying to work out now is whether blogging is a valued opinion to be trusted and whether that trust is being illegitimately gained through ‘professional help’ through sponsorships, gifts and professional styling help from stylists with a commercial agenda. And I think this is something that the consumer and reader is intelligent and smart enough to work out for themselves and I find it insulting that the conventional fashion establishment can’t see this and just allow things to run their course. A coherent, cohesive and strong personal sense of style is so well documented and traceable through a blog and readers can easily tell when a blogger is really considering things for themselves or when they’re being influenced by other external factors. In the end, longevity and respect in the blogging world can only be achieved by those that offer credible, independent and interesting perspectives on fashion. Self centred blogs about preening, chasing trends and camera flashbulbs will fade off when people realise that there is no substance underneath the pretty picture.
    Building something worthwhile and credible takes time and effort, and I’ve always been a strident admirer of how your blog constantly strives to provide not only pretty pictures of personal style, but actually give a nuanced opinion on designers’s work and how it relates to you. I also love how you use your considerable respect and base of followers to open up people’s eyes to new designers and fresh perspectives that don’t always get exposure through other mediums. I’m always blown away by the intelligence with which you dissect designer’s work and re-style things with your signature. I can’t say that I agree with every outfit you put together, but I absolutely love the bravado and happiness that you wear with every outfit and you inspire me to keep pushing boundaries in what I wear and how I approach design. I think that your blog is an amazingly rich fashion resource and I guess I just wanted to let you know how much I, and perhaps other ‘silent readers’, value it. Please don’t let the fashion ‘elite’ down on you, because you’ve proven yourself to be worthy of your position and people can tell you’ve worked hard to get there!
    I don’t blog – but coming from my background I completely understand how other people’s opinions can sometimes feed into your own self doubt and I was completely surprised by the vulnerability displayed in your post today. I guess I just wanted to say that I love your work both in terms of your personal style and intelligent commentary and that I hope you keep on blogging!

  54. Juliet

    2013-02-21 at 8:18 AM

    What you’ve written is defiantly amazing Susie. if anything, you will always have the support of your readers.

  55. Risja Marie Henriette

    2013-02-21 at 9:55 AM

    Dear Susie,
    i was well aware about these thoughts from the fashion hierarchy, in holland there have been debates about bloggers sitting on front rows of fashion shows a few years ago. This particularly was about tavi gevinson who is very young and talented in my eyes and for me i remember feeling rather down about the fact that she had found her calling/passion/ whatever at 13 and it took me a few years longer to develope my fashion sense and opinions about designers. Anyways.
    I think the people in the industry ( which i do feel bloggers are a part of but let’s say you’re not in this particular case) feel that blogging is a hype which will part. And all the bloggers will stop blogging or just completely vanish? I don’t think that is true, the internet is a great medium to state your opinion write articles about what you think, and other people can choose freely if they are going to read it or not, they are not being held captive in a dark room with only a computer full of blogs which they must read. But i think that is where it comes from. Also the frustration that these people have done it the right way, worked very hard and worked there way up in the industry get to say what they want to say finally get to see the shows and then suddenly there are all these bloggers “stealing” their spots at fashion week. this also i think is so out of context since you can never say what the right or wrong way is and having a blog is also , apparently, a very effective way of getting to that point, and who says you haven’t worked your butt off…
    I’m kind of frustrated since i think good blogs, and yours is on of them are very nice to read and i do feel like reading a piece about meadham kirchhoff and then added with some very nice pictures gives me more then watching the pictures on and reading their review. I just prefer to read what you think since we are from the same generation and ok i have my own opinion about things but it’s just nice to see a person writing about so many different aspects of fashion or just things they like is refreshing and it’s often better then a magazine article on something. I for instance hate the parts in dutch vogue about what’s in at the moment or which shapes are in style. I don’t read it and i don’t care for it.
    Anyways, i could write on and on about this. You are a value to the world and also to the fashion industry, you chose to pick another route than magazine editors or stylists but you chose a path and you do what you love. I do get the frustration but honestly i think you should be taken seriously. And also a good peacock is nice to look at,do you have to wear all black to be taken seriously? I don’t see the point in that, being creative by combining different brands , layering stuff and doing unconvential is refreshing. I like what you do dear susie.
    Heaps of inspiration, tons and tons of beautiful clothes and love to you,
    I hope all these messages will cheer you up or at least evoke a debate, which is always good.

  56. Suzi Maynard

    2013-02-21 at 11:16 AM

    Just keep being real Susie. We love you for it.
    I’m a full time primary teacher and blogger on the side.
    I make zero money on my blog because I’m not in it for the money. Just a love of being free in what I say and do fashion wise. It’s the opportunity for personal expression that truly matters to me. I’m happy when others read my blog and enjoy it too.
    Suzi x
    For the Love of Audrey

  57. Annie Abbott

    2013-02-21 at 11:50 AM

    So many others have posted comments that have expressed same thoughts as mine that to repeat them would be, well, repetitive! So ditto to all of you who have congratulated Susie on the quality and content of her writing (the single most important factor in separating the great bloggers of the world from the less-so in my opinion) and then of course staying very true to character and providing us with a ‘real’ insight into the works of both emerging and established designers. Add to that the fact that you travel to relatively low-key (and very un-peacocky) destinations such as my home town of Melbourne to present brilliant talks and I think it proves that you’re worth every last bit of space in the line-up at fashion week. As an emerging designer myself I feel fortunate to have an accessible and open-minded forum of bloggers to speak to, and I hope that your confidence peaks after reading the very long list of comments above (and no doubt below) mine. thanks Susie.

  58. cremedelamer

    2013-02-21 at 12:55 PM

    I think you’re actually more legit Susie. You should just ignore it. Those questions can be applied to glossies too – they make so much money from ‘reviewing’ products, getting freebies. Have you seen some of these people that work on glossies? Just look at those caricatures on Ab Fab that work on Patsy’s mag for reference (there’s some truth in it) and that’s Menke’s heyday. I know it’s changed quite a bit since and there is a lot of freelancing – but sometimes it’s just nepotism etc. rather than talent.
    I have been reading your blog for ages and I definitely trust it more. A lot of print fashion journalism is just shameful lately – ‘pop of colour’, so ‘on trend’ etc.

  59. Bonnie

    2013-02-21 at 1:58 PM

    Thank you for posting this!!! I know exactly what you mean but atlas i am still going through an identity crisis phase and trying to transition from being a ‘peacock’ to maybe more minimal- esque look, reason being and i truely admire your brave and boldness, but after a year of living in paris and studying fashion, my style is going through a troublesome time of adjusting changing from my own personal i’d say colourful twist to a somewhat dull drab, more so i felt my school was not open to my ideas, and the jury i had at school even laughed at my design right infront of my face ( going a bit off topic).
    Don’t change for anyone else though susie i enjoy your outfit posts and have been reading your blog for a long time now, you have in some part opened up so many new things to me and your readers and i love your support of new talent and maybe in the future when i have a label you will discover it 🙂
    Your style is personal to you and i think that for most of us we dress to our moods and and i love wearing sparkly, shiny colourful prints, not because i want to be photographed, or even way before the whole streetstyle blogs started i do it for myself and i like to have fun with what i wear and it makes me happy!
    Sorry about the rant and Thank you for writing the post!

  60. Denise

    2013-02-21 at 3:53 PM

    Susie, maybe it’s because I’ve been lying in bed for 24 hours straight suffering with strep throat, but I wanted to cry when I read that the joy of how you dress is taken away from you at fashion week. The place where it should be most appreciated, and the most free and fun for you. First, I never would have guessed that being a fashion blog pioneer with years of paid dues and then some – you really are an ‘online editor-in-chief’ delivering admiration with insight and context and never missing a day – that you are made to feel like an outsider for doing what you do. Because of the high quality and sincerity of your blog, and your expert commentary given alongside the traditional critics for the fashion TV shows, I assumed you were seen as an exception. I’m shocked that you’re not, by some. And second, anyone who ‘gets’ fashion should know that you’re the real deal. I’ve seen you around fashion week in London and Paris (wanted to say hi but it would have been intrusive at the time) and the sight of you is pure joy. You and Fred Butler are like rays of sunshine, to me you ARE fashion. You do not wear the uniform, the ‘bang-on-trend’ (ugh) head-to-toe outfits that have been constructed for us, and you inspire others to express their sartorial version of how Phoebe from Friends runs through the park. I can’t even believe this is a discussion. Please keep being you. Some of us do appreciate it. A lot.

  61. Mark

    2013-02-21 at 8:13 PM

    As someone who owns a designer brand that recently showed at London Fashion Week I can sympathise wholeheartedly with the comments by Menkes. I see it from two sides as we are a very small designer label and as a result mix in circles more with bloggers than print journalists, however over the last week it’s really brought it to the fore in my mind actually how much damage the more minor bloggers are doing to the industry. For so many of the shows I have been to, the circus outside has been made up predominantly of people who are clearly there just to be seen and who, rather than writing intelligent and coherent reviews of the shows they have the privilege to see, instead use the opportunity for either self promotion or boasting about who they have met, which row they have been seated in, or whether they have been able to get backstage. In addition I have read many tweets during LFW by bloggers whose noses have been put out of joint as they have been relegated to the second row.
    As an independent designer, I invest many thousands of pounds both in my collections and in the show/exhibition during fashion week. This money comes from our personal savings and the other jobs/work that we do all year long and is a massive risk and investment for us in order to do something we love. After all the stress and 6 months of work it has taken to get to LFW with a collection we are proud of, I am sure many of you can understand how galling it can be to see a front row of the show taken up by people who simply tweet inane comments and then write indifferent reports onto a website that costs them nothing at all and requires no risk or investment on their part. It’s all the more frustrating to think also who could be sat in those front row seats if they weren’t taken up by bloggers who have milled about in the freezing cold for two hours prior because they have nothing better to do.
    There are of course exceptions to this and many blogs have become informative and entertaining, with real journalistic merit – the stylebubble blog being one of those in my opinion. However the ease at which it is possible to start a blog has unfortunately led to a proliferation of poor quality websites which, simply through having a large twitter following (manufactured or otherwise) become a ticket to shows and events previously unattainable and lend their writers an air of entitlement that has not been earned.
    For me, the journalists from printed media will always take priority simply because there is a financial investment there and some risk has been taken in order to start their enterprise, whatever the circulation, and as a result a great deal of thought needs to go into the content in order to make it commercially viable. Of course you can argue that in these cases the content is skewed by commercial interests and this is of course true, however I can at least be confident that if the publication chooses to include my brand it is because they feel that their readers will genuinely be interested in it and there is a cost associated with this (in terms of page space) – whereas with a blog the content can just run and run completely for free and at no risk to the blogger and as a result can include anything at minimal risk.
    The amount of times I have been asked during LFW about my inspiration, knowing that this information is going to be rehashed into something lacklustre and read by only a handful of people makes me feel quite tired. If I was able to use this same energy in selling my products or talking to real jobbing journalists (rather than someone who has just taken the day off from their day job) then I think maybe I could be further forward with my brand then I am right now, however unfortunately as a small designer I have no choice but to pander to the ego’s of the many bloggers who have used their show ticket to serve their own interests rather than wanting to actually report on anything credible.
    I am under no illusion of the fickle and shallow nature of the fashion industry, however this season I have seen so many hundreds of people claiming to be bloggers and using this as a gateway to entry that it really dents my opinion of that side of journalism.

  62. Gwendomouse

    2013-02-21 at 8:57 PM

    I don’t understand Suzy Menkes. She works for an industry that is all about creativity and innovation and self-expression, but expects all insiders to dress demurely and conservatively. Her whole professional life revolves around -and depends on- those clothes designs, but if people buy them and joyfully wear them, and want to be seen in them, she sneers. And she pretends that the independent opinions of fashion bloggers, many of whom are talented writers, are worthless, while it is well known that the big fashion magazines mostly cover their best advertising customers in their editorial. Why else is Vogue full of corporation-owned luxury brands, while Style Bubble introduces us to to designers we have never heard of before? I smell hypocrisy. And I hope you’ll never wear crow black, Susie.

  63. susie_bubble

    2013-02-21 at 9:49 PM

    I really want it be known that this is NOT some sort of personal vendetta or defensive hit-back at what Menkes is saying. I actually agree with her article in parts. I COMPLETELY understand that Menkes comes from a school of thought where wearing the clothes she talks about is completely alien as a concept. This was just a response that came from a different perspective, one that perhaps Menkes was necessarily aware of. Leandra very eloquently defended the profession of blogging in general. I merely pointed out from personal experience the repercussions of appearing to “peacock” even if it comes from a genuine place.

  64. Mark

    2013-02-21 at 10:00 PM

    I think the main point is that during Fashion Week in particularly, many bloggers “peacock” when for the rest of the year they will be blending into the background with everyone else. If that’s your personal style in a normal every day way then fair enough, but dressing up and prancing around during LFW in the hope of being photographed or getting into the right show’s when everyone else is working hard to actually curate the whole event isn’t a great look. That’s probably the main point being made from that side.

  65. Cherie City

    2013-02-21 at 10:24 PM

    Susie, your blog continues to be great because you support so many British and emerging international designers, which very few bloggers do with the same dedication.
    The Menkes article is the 3rd I’ve read at the beginning of this year critiquing bloggers (food and lifestyle, on these occasions) from a slightly bitter position. It seems like editors/reporters have come back from the Christmas break and decided 2013 is the year we try and get rid of the bloggers! I am joking a little, but the timing is interesting. Is it finally reaching boiling point?
    Higher standards from bloggers would definitely help change perceptions – none of us are perfect. We should reflect on why we started our blogs and question whether we seem to be unintentionally in the pocket of certain brands. I feel like my Twitter feed is turning into an endless stream of ‘thank you’ notes for received gifts – surely we can do better than this.

  66. Aliya

    2013-02-22 at 12:19 AM

    The interesting thing for me is before I even knew who you really were, your outfits always made me take notice in street style photos. And every time, I see you donning some outfit as “outlandish” or colorful as it may be, it has never seemed forced or alienating like how I feel people in the industry can look. I always breathe a sigh of relief when I see your pictures because I think, there is someone who genuinely wears what she wants to wear and really appreciates it all. You seem much more attainable in the essence of figuring out one’s style and what’s true to yourself vs a fashion “insider” who gets snapped, and that’s what I ultimately like to draw inspiration from.

  67. hatte

    2013-02-22 at 12:29 AM

    Dear Susie,
    i meet you on the 4th of December 2012 at Nopi in London and it was one of the best nights of my life. i lookup to you not only because i like the way you dress but more so how much guts it would take to be who you are and not to conform to what other people think. i look at other ‘blogs’ i see all the presents and the business class flights they get and think that’s not what personal style and expression should be about. You on the other hand, when I read your blog and look at your outfit posts I think wow this chick is so crazy and clever and god i wish i was as brave to wear what i want. I hope you are proud of what you do because i get so much enjoyment from watching your day to day antics.
    all the best!

  68. Fernanda

    2013-02-22 at 1:03 AM

    I read this post twice because it was just flipping awesome. I think you are a rare blogger and I find your content incredibly delightful to read. I think its smart that you write for other publications. Not because your blog isn’t good enough on its own (because believe me, its amazing, and you know that) but because its great to get constructive criticism and feedback on your craft. I think thats why a lot of up and coming bloggers attempting to follow in the footsteps of veterans such as yourself crash and burn so badly. As a blogger myself (I’m in the very painful beginning stages of niche blogging and I’m sucking terribly) I feel like it’s easy to feel stuck inside my head and sometimes I just want to shoot my post off to someone to read and critique it but its just me. I feel like, for me, it takes away the growing process of becoming a better writer. I wish I could write for publications to gain experience and grow and better my blog.
    But, I understand where you are coming from in regards to feeling like you have to defend the term “blogger” by stating that you write for other publications. Its frustrating that even after you’ve gained such great experience through writing for thos big publications, if you decided to solely dedicate your experience to your blog that you’d still feel this need to defend your title. That isn’t fair to a seasoned blogger such as yourself with legit industry experience. But, like Leandra said, only the strong survive and I think your diligence and talent will carry you higher.

  69. susie_bubble

    2013-02-22 at 8:55 AM

    It’s one of fashion’s great contradictions that we laud designers who put out their untempered creativity in leaps and bounds but chastise those that are wearing those very designs. It’s almost as if the industry does want to see it purely as a caged in as an artform or contained within editorials where they can control the environment. God forbid actual consumers wear the clothes. It’s something that I’ve never quite understood…

  70. susie_bubble

    2013-02-22 at 8:56 AM

    Apologies about the text reading… I don’t really post this amount of text so i know it’s quite hard to concentrate on. Fashion week is I suppose a more freeing place but that depends on the person. If you need a fashion show environment, cameras and other “peacocks” to feel comfortable with your own style, then perhaps that overt style isn’t for you.

  71. susie_bubble

    2013-02-22 at 8:58 AM

    Love that you got a bit of Rupaul in there…
    Will remember that for sure.
    You’re right in that what’s good is good whether it’s online or on print but digital is still not on par with print in terms of status. Even a digital outlet of say a Vogue or Elle is seen as the sort of “little sister” of the magazine. That will change but it will take longer for the industry itself to acknowledge those changes.

  72. susie_bubble

    2013-02-22 at 9:00 AM

    It’s very difficult to make the distinction between what’s genuine style or what is a mask that you have adopted in hopes of style individuality. People would say that perhaps I layer on for effect and for posing. But then people didn’t know me back when I was 17 and going to sixth form in about five different layers. It is hard to make that sort of judgement call though.

  73. susie_bubble

    2013-02-22 at 9:23 AM

    Your description of Queen Blogger b is interesting. You point out some deficiencies within blogging hierarchy that I think is a separate issue but also worth discussing. Why is it that the same few top bloggers get invited over and over again to shows etc? There’s definitely better content out there worth highlighting but they don’t have the traffic figures quite yet…. how does the cream rise to the top in this day and age?

  74. susie_bubble

    2013-02-22 at 9:27 AM

    I just read that FP post. I think she was also talking about how ritualistic blogging routine has become. Perhaps we do need to change things up. If the blog was a game changer then along with that, we need to keep evolving.

  75. susie_bubble

    2013-02-22 at 9:35 AM

    Another good point. Magazines have in fact co-opted methodology of bloggers and also likewise have featured them. I don’t think there’s necessarily a widespread friction between print and digital but fashion week seems to cause tension because it all comes to head outside of the shows.

  76. susie_bubble

    2013-02-22 at 9:36 AM

    I do wonder when this “teething” phase will end. I’ve been doing this for seven years and I thought two years ago, it had all died down and had been settled. I wonder, why these old arguments have reared its head again?

  77. susie_bubble

    2013-02-22 at 9:38 AM

    Another hypocrisy. Yes, we’re amateurs, we’re idiots, we don’t know what we’re talking about. But magazines want to form blogger ad networks, hold competitions, feed their content out to bloggers to spread the word. It’s an imbalanced relationship that I’m not comfortable with. Let’s sneer at these bloggers but let’s use them for what they’re worth as well.

  78. susie_bubble

    2013-02-22 at 9:42 AM

    You are right, there are those that are at shows without any real “legitimate” reason other than wanting to soak up the atmosphere of fashion week. I’m loathe to criticise that though. It’s a personal thing. If I didn’t have access to the shows, I wouldn’t bother hanging round at the venues in the freezing cold or try to sneak into shows because I’m chicken. That said, I would never besmirch those that do so. It’s their prerogative. They may not even have blogs so it’s not just a case of good vs. bad bloggers.
    I do agree with you though that the bad apples of fashion blogging have generally tainted the profession as a whole. But who has set standards of ethics and professionalism? Nobody. It’s hard to police when we’re all self publishers and run our own ships. Perhaps we all need interception but how would that work?

  79. susie_bubble

    2013-02-22 at 9:50 AM

    Welcome onboard! I like your concept of marrying classical music and fashion – you’ll have to email me more about that. I feel like classic music is probably another profession where dressing out of convention would illicit negative reaction. Like I said though, it sounds really interesting (I’m classically trained too in piano – duh, like every other Asian chick…) so please do send me more info!

  80. susie_bubble

    2013-02-22 at 9:55 AM

    Checking ourselves and constantly reminding us of how we started is something I’m very wary of. It’s difficult though because as the blog gets bigger, you’re offered more access, more perks, more this and that. Would anybody in the same position have the balls to say no in every instance? From my perspective, it’s important to say yes to the right things and no to the wrong things. It’s a tricky balance. Sometimes i might mess up. Sometimes I get it wrong. But it’s unchartered waters and we just need to learn how to navigate them so that we a) dont’ jeopardise our readership and b) manage to make a living.

  81. susie_bubble

    2013-02-22 at 9:57 AM

    Thanks Brooke. Very orderly and precise (like your knits!) with your bullet points. The saying yes to photographer point especially riles me. Does it make you the “cooler” person to say no to photographers who are just making their way in the world, making a dime like the rest of us? It is perfectly ok to decline if you’re not into it but don’t sneer at those that say yes and think that you’re the bigger/better person for saying no.

  82. susie_bubble

    2013-02-22 at 10:00 AM

    That was the killer line for me too. I’d really love her to expand on what she means by that. I know she doesn’t believe that fashion isn’t for the masses. Again, individuality – how do we dictate this? How do we decree what is genuine and what is peacocking?

  83. susie_bubble

    2013-02-22 at 10:04 AM

    Great point about the “good old days” – when i referred to those days, I was talking about how getting content was so difficult. But you’re right, I do also miss that small community aspect that meant we’d comment on each other’s blogs and forge a real dialogue.
    Thanks Fabi for reading my “ramblings” – I do always question everything because otherwise, we’d all fall blindly into traps that will hurt our blogs in the end.

  84. susie_bubble

    2013-02-22 at 10:07 AM

    It’s not uncertainty about what I’m wearing but a fear of what reactions they might illicit once I’m in a “professional” environment when I have both my blogger and journalist cap on. It’s awful to feel that way but I do and maybe it’s all in my head but I’ve seen the looks, heard the whispers and read the tweets – fashion week puts you under a magnifying glass.

  85. monica

    2013-02-22 at 10:24 AM

    Hi Susie! Why do you defend yourself for what you are wearing? By doing that you are responding to Menkes’ provocation, she probably WANTED you to write a defense of your outfits and fashion choices, don’t you think?
    But the real issue here is that she was trying to defend her territory (why does everybody assume that Suzy Menkes is without flaws?!) that has clearly been invaded by a new generation of fashion writers and the easy way to make the new guests at the party feel uncomfortable is to point out that they are not adhering to the dresscode. In reality, this is all about power and all you have to do is to keep doing what you are doing and sod the rest.

  86. Kelly

    2013-02-22 at 11:08 AM

    I will admit that I, like many others most likely, read Menkes’ piece with a kind of “Amen, sister!” gusto for reasons that probably have a lot to do with my former job shooting street style outside the Paris shows for 3+ years, and all the cynicism that goes with that scene and the feelings of insecurity that inevitably arise as you shoot photo after photo of people whose outfits are worth half your annual salary, and realizing most of it was gifted, loaned, or purchased with a steep, eye-winking industry discount. The affluence [or presumed affluence] that goes with it all can be hard to swallow for those of us from a “normal” background trying to carve a more traditional, work-up-the-ranks path in the industry. That said, I absolutely agree with the anonymous PR person cited above who referred to you as “an online editor-in-chief” vs. a blogger, and your presence- and looks- at fashion week and as blogged in your daily life have long been a massive inspiration for this reader, as has your event coverage (for ex. I was so charmed by your Port Eliot 2011 coverage that I went myself in 2012). You have a command of color and texture and proportion that is so unique; at the risk of sounding like a swooning idiot, your style somehow transcends style and it is wholly and utterly your own. And I, along with many others, truly appreciate being a part of that in the traditional sense of the spectator and discovering newness, in general, via your point of view. I’m sure the exposure you have brought to young labels has helped many a designer’s bottom line, too, something that Menkes neglected to acknowledge. So keep doing what you’re doing, Susie, the older Suzy will catch up soon, we all hope, as shifts in the fashion matriarch continue to make room for more Leandras and other originals who inspire all of us.

  87. Graciela Martin

    2013-02-22 at 3:19 PM

    I do understand where Suzy Menkes is coming from. I can relate to how she feels because I have felt like that many times. Even though I am nobody in this business, from an early age I knew I wanted to work in fashion professionally, and have been taking all the formal steps to get there, like graduating from university, taking courses, writing for magazines, mastering English and French (my mother tongue is Spanish), etc.. Coming from a very troubled third world country (where I still reside) magazines won’t spend money to send a journalist to FW and even if they did, fashion houses won’t be interested in inviting a magazine that comes form a country where none of these high end brands are available. Still, after a lot of hard work, and using my own means, I managed to attend London and Paris FWs a couple of times and managed to get in a few of the biggies (not all of course) even if it was in standing. But I also got a big taste of rejection and PRs treating you like a clochard (bum) because you are not dressed in fancy high end clothes. It is a tough, dirty world. Still I knew more than ever that this is what I wanted to do for a living. I didn’t want to go to fashion week to get photographed or become famous, I actually wore head to toe (Zara and H&M) black almost always. I am serious about this. So, to make my point, I have been taking sh$# from PRs and working my but off to get somewhere, then and along come these “peacocks” more desperate for attention than Lady Gaga, and are suddenly getting endorsements, free clothes and trips and access to the most coveted shows. I wonder if they know anything about fashion beyond fancy labels and top models. Why bother to get an education if anyone can do this?
    On the other hand, it is of course, unfair to put all the bloggers in the same bag. Because people who are talented and bring a fresh, intelligent perspective to the table are definitely worthy of their front row spots. Some people are naturals, it exists in every field. But again, these are exceptions.
    I also have my blog, it’s practically nonexistent in this sea of celebrities bloggers. I started it way before this crazy hype began, I use it as a writing exercise and scrapbook of my favorite things. Still, I’d be a complete phony if I said I would not have taken stuff and accepted trips had they been offered to me had if my blog were famous. I hate being called a blogger, because I am not. I am a fashion journalist who has a blog.
    So yes, most of the bloggers are a nuisance and sell-outs, but those truly talented ones (like Sussie) should keep up the good work because the truth is, they did change fashion forever.

  88. Joe

    2013-02-22 at 7:40 PM

    These are really inspirational to other people who are into textiles and fashion, it is a one of a kind idea. Well done

  89. The Photodiarist

    2013-02-22 at 8:48 PM

    I’ve seen and photographed you during a few fashion weeks. Your style is really unique and genuine (and by that I mean that it seems to reflect your own taste and not what you think you should wear because it’s fashion week). In fact, it is really exciting to see what you will wear next as your looks are so creatively put together and so very much your own thing. So, in that vein, I implore you to stop worrying about what others think about your style. Personal style is not about “fitting in.” That’s why it’s called personal style. And it is not as if the fashion industry requires a uniform. Supposedly, it’s about celebrating and helping people to create “personal style.”
    As for this new “blog shame” that is going around — I say don’t engage in it. While I agree with Suzy’s point that the various fashion weeks are a circus-like, it is what it is. You have to brush it off. It’s not like Suzy Menkes’ article will prevent the inevitable increase of photographers and people wanting to be photographed. The laws of the marketplace ultimately govern fashion like all other industries — if people want it, someone will be there to supply it. When people no longer want it, then the circus will diminish. Smart editors and bloggers have used the circus to their advantage to advance themselves and their brands. What’s ultimately wrong with that?
    Reportage of the industry is and has been changing for a while and the change is affecting people positively and negatively within the “old guard” and the “new guard” in the fashion world. “Blog shame” is just one way the old guard is using of trying to stop the tide of change — which cannot be stopped. Just like Suzy and other journalists and editors who’ve found or created and must now perform their jobs, you’ve created a career for yourself (inclusive of your blog), which you must perform. Just like Suzy with her recognizable hairdo and other journalists and editors who’ve created their own personal style, you’ve developed a style for yourself, which is genuinely yours, makes you happy, which you should continue to wear. So just do it. Who gives a shit what anyone says or what people think. Your accomplishments should make you happy, put a smile on your face and give you self-confidence and self-assurance about your place in the fashion space you are occupying. Honestly,and I mean this in the kindest way possible, it is kind of your choice whether to worry about what others think about you and I hope you choose to ignore them and continue to dress and blog the way you have. Also, remember, all press is good press! The fact that the members of the old guard are talking about you is more important in this case than what they are saying about you!

  90. Nicola

    2013-02-22 at 8:54 PM

    Ha, I have never ever seen in-depth reviews and comparisons of designers and brands (both big and small) like what you post on your blog in a magazine like Vogue. Ever. And I’ve also never seen anyone featured in those magazines who can make straight-from-the-designer, “outlandish” outfits visible and comprehensible the way you do. If you ask me, and obviously no one is, blogs like yours do more favours for the industry than the print editors, especially when it comes to new or up-and-coming talent. And isn’t evolution and change what fashion should be about? It doesn’t take a whole lot of journalistic ability or dedication to write about the big names that everyone already knows, but in my humble opinion, the ability to show your readers the new, or small, or slightly weird names and collections and actually situate them within the greater sphere of fashion and influence represents a hell of a lot of journalistic clout.
    Anyway, everyone peacocks in their own way (you can bet that those demurely dressed editors know that their blazers and understated shoes make them look more professional and reputable than the rest) so you may as well be the happy peacock strutting around in the eye-searingly colourful feathers that you love.

  91. Kri

    2013-02-23 at 4:56 AM

    Dear Menkes,
    Embrace change – that is life, and get on with it.

  92. kelly

    2013-02-23 at 5:54 PM

    Hi Susie,
    I’m not sure if you’ll read this, but it needs to be said. When I started reading your blog a few years ago, your personal style to me was the visual embodiment of unrealized potential of what great, adventurous design pieces could look like on a real human being. Your words were, and still are, wise and sincere without being condescending.
    You have a refreshing, sharp point of view that keeps me coming back again and again.
    I have great respect for Suzy Menkes as a fashion writer herself, but I see no reason why the new and the old of fashion reporting cannot exist in the same space/room together to write about the very thing that binds the two together. It seems to me that all it comes down to is that those in fashion reporting (specifically) with the “real jobs” is still not really understanding what the digital age has brought to their precious front row seats at shows.
    Yes, there’s a lot of crap internet, it’s true… But good lord, there is such greatness too. Your blog is the very example of it. There’s a fantastic balance of thought, personal views and great passion for everything this industry has to offer.
    I don’t know if this makes any sense at all, I’m just a bit taken aback and upset that this old argument has reared its ugly head again. I, like you, thought this was already put to rest.
    Fashion is supposed to be the tool which helps those who feel like they don’t belong feel like they do, what with the constant search for the new/different/exciting. It’s ridiculously hypocritical that the same cannot be said of the people who bring the said new/different/exciting to the masses.
    Anyway, please keep doing what you’re doing and keep that wonderful head (hat/headpiece/fascinator optional) held high.

  93. Frannie Pantz

    2013-02-23 at 6:27 PM

    Susie, I read this as well as Ms. Medine’s rebuttal to this article and was so inspired by them I decided to give my own two cents. I wrote a post on it. I know that you are a very busy woman and probably won’t have time to read it, but if you are so inclined, you can find it here:
    I’ve been a long time follower and fan of your blog, even though I never comment. I’m glad to see your recent post about feeling better. Keep your chin up. You’re doing a great job. Best to you.

  94. camilla

    2013-02-23 at 7:25 PM

    I’m so glad someone finally mentioned that January Vogue article, quite frankly I thought the disdainful attitude towards bloggers presented was wholly unfair considering the input they have in the Industry at the moment. Yes, bloggers are gifted things and god forbid they should be payed for the time and effort they put into their blogs. It’s worth questioning the credibility of bloggers in some cases, but the best bloggers only allow themselves to be endorsed by companies that they would happily talk about even if they were not paid or gifted anything. What really irked me about Menkes article though was the way in which she essentially stated that people who don’t approach fashion in an understated way are peacocking. Dressing like Emmanuel Alt is lovely in its own way, but so is dressing like you or Leandra or anyone. If we all dressed like the black crows Menkes describes, then the idea of personal style would be lost and thus much of the blogging industry would falter. Although, perhaps Menkes would like that. Blogs are a way to make fashion accesible to more people, and are worthy of respect not disdain. The whole article came off as somewhat elitest, and almost hypocritical since Menkes does not exactly dress in the ‘understated’ manner that she praises.

  95. Stacey Kelly

    2013-02-23 at 8:42 PM

    “They‚Äôre badges of support for the people that we are writing about, exalting and celebrating. They‚Äôre the designers making and creating the feathers for the peacocks to don.”
    I like that you are who you are, and that you seem to wear whatever you want, without concern for what others might think. It’s a breath of fresh air in an overly self-conscious world. Keep it up. Maybe some bloggers are just seeking attention but that doesn’t negate the authenticity in what you do, an authenticity which I feel every time I read this blog.

  96. Duck

    2013-02-24 at 1:47 PM

    I think it’s partly to do with the kinds of people who often go into fashion journalism/PR. They might like luxury and fashion, but they’re not actually that creative themselves, and so they appreciate the industry more for its cachet and the freedom it gives them to act like massive cultural snobs. Then they don’t like it when people come along and burst their pretentious little bubbles. I’m all for elitism when it means valuing real talent and calling out the objectively crap, but not when it’s based on some false sense of superiority.

  97. Duck

    2013-02-24 at 1:56 PM

    I would suggest that A LOT of the people who hang around and try to sneak into the shows don’t even have blogs. In fact I’ve met several people queuing for things who it turns out don’t have any connection to fashion at all, except that they are obsessed with it. I know a few faces now whenever I go to the menswear shows in Paris who hang around outside Ann D, Rick Owens etc and wait until the last minute when the PRs let them in to stand. They are groupies, and they wear all the designers’ clothes, and just want to feel part of the brand. And yes, they take each other’s pictures while they’re there. Tbh I don’t really see what’s wrong with that if that’s their passion, although perhaps Ms Menkes would have a problem with them being there.

  98. Graciela Martin

    2013-02-24 at 3:04 PM

    Another thought: it’s not like some editors or journalists don’t favor one or other designer because of friendship, personal interest and give priority to the brands advertising in their magazines. Having worked in fashion magazines myself I know how it goes. So it’s not exactly fair to satanize every blogger who has taken a gift or promoted a brand when a lot “pros” are guilty of the same things as well.
    Yes, in most cases these bloggers have taken it to extremes, selling themselves out completely. You wonder if they are serious about fashion or just want to be famous and showered with gifts (it’s obviously it’s the second one most of the time). And of course, this is annoying for serious buyers and journalists who mean business and are here to do a job, not to win a popularity contest.

  99. Kate Brown

    2013-02-24 at 3:38 PM

    Love this Henry Holland jacket and that back pack is so cute! Katie B @ Minerva Collection – UK Handbags & Jewellery

  100. EUGENIA

    2013-02-24 at 4:47 PM


  101. Jeanie Annan-Lewin

    2013-02-24 at 5:13 PM

    What a well written and thoughtful piece Susie.
    Having worked in the fashion industry for far too long (ages as an assistant and now as a stylist) I can see menkes point of view It’s annoying to get to a show and see a group of people prancing around, trying to be picture worthy,everyone should be focusing on the matter at hand the clothes. I constantly get frustrated by people who bound about the Blogger card like a badge of honour but I think there’s a large difference between someone like you who contributes to a vast amount of publications than someone who wants to be the next street style star. I find myself often ashamed to admit that i write a blog i don’t want to be labelled and i see myself as a stylist first and everything else second. On the whole i think that fashion has always been and always will be a bourgeois occupation and people in those circles are often afraid of what they don’t fully understand.

  102. The Style Engineer

    2013-02-24 at 10:20 PM

    Such a great piece Suzie! While Fashion Week has turned into a total Circus, there are people who are true individuals, and who dress in an authentic way, you being one of them. The people wearing mouse heads or wigs bigger than their bodies are ridiculous, but you definitely are not. Keep dressing just the way you do, Suzie!

  103. footagehead

    2013-02-25 at 3:58 PM

    Should not one have some style to to be an arbiter of style is the first thing that popped into my head as I read Ms Menkes comments in her online post in TMagazine “The Circus of Fashion” (Seeing as I read it online‚Ķis it not also a “blog ???”) . Ms Menkes is herself then a blogger as defined by Wikipedia !
    Though I feel that Ms Menkes did have some honest comments, I do feel they are a bit negative toward the new paradigm of “blogging” brought on by technology. I feel fortunate to see the benefits of this new technology in my lifetime, in that everyone now has “front row access” to whatever they want to see, and even in HD.
    Ms Menkes may have ” lived through the era of punk”, and so did I, and even before that, during the hippie era, of the 70’s when I was a buyer for a “hippie boutique”. In those days the use of the word boutique signified stores that sold an alternative style of clothes for hippies, that one could/would not buy at JC Penney or Sears. Clothes that hippie capitalists might wear (Steve Jobs/Issey Miyake) , vs the stereotypical tie dyed grunge that was not always the case, but yet is still portrayed erroneously as the ” hippie uniform”and in the photos of those leaving Woodstock covered in mud.
    The legendary McAlpin Hotel Boutique Show of 1973, where Vivienne Westwood showed for the first time in the USA. There were many of us there who chose to dress differently then:long hair, platform shoes, bell bottoms, lots of leather and fringe, and vintage. We did not consider ourselves peacocks, but loved to have fun with our clothes and create our own styles. (No Mad Men suits for us !) Yes, to many it probably looked like a circus then, and every generation has it’s circus, and now being older, (I am about the same age as Ms Menkes) have learned that each generation has its own “circus”
    Sadly there were few taking photos of us then. But yes, there was definitely a circus of another kind going on inside: A new direction ! Fashion critics were not even in my vocabulary or thoughts then. My wife and I dressed for ourselves. I can proudly say that our daughter recently ran a photo of her mother from 1973 on Instagram and her Facebook page, and got lots of “likes and amazing” as the platforms shoes and the clothes her mother wore are similar to the reincarnations of today, and possibly might be similar to offerings in Colette or Opening Ceremony now
    Dressing differently does not mean you lose credibility. It means you’re brave enough to have your own sense of style.
    Yeah, my blood pressure is going up as I write this, but where does Ms Menkes draw the line between fashion and performance art as beautifully and thoughtfully presented by Ms.Daphne Guinness ? Is either considered a “Circus”
    Phillipe Starck once said that he wanted to “democratise design” and make it affordable. Thus his range of products is amazing and he has accomplished this. So why shouldn’t fashion be able to do the same by those who love fashion and now can use the technology of “this century” to democratise and reach a greater audience, or does one have to write for the IHT, NYT, WWD to make them credible ? Sure the young ones have made mistakes, and most old and successful entrepreneurs will also admit to have made many mistakes, and quickly add how much they have learned from those mistakes. Is Ms Menkes and her group of “fashion editors” completely innocent of error !
    Many of you may not know that some of the “poseurs and peacocks” outside the various fashion week venues are not just those who want to be photographed for their ego, but are ” paid plants” by some of the biggest fashion houses in the world ! The Oscar Ceremony this weekend‚Ķwill there not be 100’s of stars and starlets being asked not “who is going to win” but “who are you wearing ?” Is this not disingenuous in that most of the clothes are offered to them and gladly accepted for their red carpet moment, not to mention the Oscar “swag bag” which I read was valued at approximately $47,ooo this year. I’m sure the products’ makers will get plenty of PR mileage out of this “circus of swag”
    Do women who love fashion like Ms Anna Dello Russo not bring attention to dressing extravagantly, but at the same time creates a capsule collection for H &M that is affordable.
    Does she and all the bloggers who photograph her not drive business to the stores, sell more clothes, create more jobs, etc. Or is better for Ms Menkes’s derisive comments on the world of 2013 fashion calling it a circus but worse, casting it’s more relevant influencers , i.e, “bloggers” such as the excellent Susie Lau and Tavi Gevinson as “peacocks” just because they have a heightened sense of style and are good role models. Sure there are bloggers out there who are wannabes, there are those in every profession.
    But like my daughter, I follow Susie Bubble, as she is a damn good writer, and probably the most “authentic” in her love for what she does and Ms Lau’s “style” shows it. In every metier the cream rises to the top.
    Or maybe it’s better that young men and women in fashion work as unpaid interns, even needing “qualifications” to get an apprentice job, just to break into the industry for a CV bullet point. Then go on to get underpaid because fashion has become the Rock Star culture of this generation. There are
    more TV fashion related shows on, then music now !
    Every business these days knows it must re-invent itself, as the world has changed, and this is called progress….. or maybe Ms Menkes needs to strap her Hermes seat belt in a little tighter,
    although I’m sure her front row seat is still there, as I’m happily watching the live streaming of FW from my favourite living room chair !

  104. PMG

    2013-03-05 at 2:47 AM

    You’re a professional. You’re going to these things for work. I have known your work forever online and you’ve always been the same style, etc.
    The bloggers making fashion week like a ‘circus’ are the ones that are trying to be fashion bloggers, brands, etc. I don’t believe knowing your work as long as i have that was ever your intent.

  105. Rebecca

    2013-03-08 at 1:35 PM

    you should be allowed to wear what you feel good in, isn’t that a big aspect of fashion? …and I dare say it’s not like you hang outside of Sommerset house with the sole purpose to get papped x

  106. Rebecca

    2013-03-08 at 1:38 PM

    sorry to elaborate on my previous comment, I really enjoyed Menkes’ article however surely if ‘everyone has front row access’ it must increases sales? clothes are there to be sold and worn

  107. lorena

    2013-03-10 at 12:07 PM

    you’ re so smart and I find your site very interesting information, something hard to find in magazines.
    It is very insirador read your blog.
    Best, Lorena

  108. Natalie Joos

    2013-03-10 at 6:30 PM

    If they were good, would people not take notice? And would their numbers not rise with more people watching? Surely it’s not just about numbers. Can I tell you how SMALL my blog is compared to yours or Leandra’s? It’s PEANUTS! Yet I am invited. Why I am seated next to BryanBoy and Rumi Neely each show – they are both massive bloggers. Yet, there I am. So it can’t just be about numbers. There has to be a perception factor, or image. At least that’s what I have to believe to make sense of it, however grateful I may be…

  109. susie_bubble

    2013-03-10 at 8:23 PM

    You’re definitely a prime example (although I’m sure many bloggers would be well jelz of your numbers too…) I’d also compare this situation to magazines – a Dazed or an i-D have far less circulation figures than say US Vogue or Glamour but get seated similarly at shows. It can’t be just down to figures. Quality of content and a unique point of view must matter too…

  110. Sid Rhule

    2013-03-11 at 11:01 AM

    Hello Suzie, and to the long list of commenters!
    It appears that the Menkes article has generated a lot of traffic and interesting comment. That’s the real tribute to Blogging. It’s interactive, engaging, connected and a fun community.
    I would like to add a little comment of my own, perhaps some of what I would like to say has been commented on already, but I was really inspired to think deeper into the reality of Blogging.
    I love the whole mood of fashion at the moment.
    It has an energy that reminds me of my clubbing days in the Philip Salon era at the Mud Club, London Charing Cross road, in the late 80’s!!!
    I graduated in fashion design at Brighton, (Quite a few years ago now!) and have worked my way through this “Crazy Fashion Circus”, styling, writing, predicting trends, designing menswear, until now, as a creative director, I develop creative concepts as my living.
    Here is where the modern world starts to clash with some of Menkes rather traditional comments. It has always been an important factor as a designer to communicate your message and conceptual ideas, writing creative inspirations for press releases, directing photoshoots or briefing external creatives.
    Today there is a much wider pool for inspiration and as a way to record these inspirations I also started my own blog around 6 years ago. I have also written for magazines and I think the success of Blogging and Bloggers, such as you, is the way in which you communicate. This is in a way that continues that fashion experience and inspiration. You are feeding the creative world.
    This is where some of the more traditional press commentaries fail; their reports are so factual and flat. It is not in keeping with the ‘insane’ fashion world, where fabrics are expensive, ideas are irreverent and passion is the main fuel for this madness. How can their reports make the so “Crazy” become so sanitised!
    We are living in a story telling world.
    We want moments of escapism and ways to enjoy the exposure of new messages.
    This is why I enjoy Blogging, and reading the stories from Bloggers.
    In a negative way, some video diaries and photo book, all, flicker style pictures of what people have on each day, definitely bring down the message, power and influence of “Real Blogging”.
    When I want to see examples of the latest delivery from Zara- I’ll visit one of the many, mega stores presenting low quality, inspired by the top designer collections, which are very easy to find!
    I don’t need to see someonelse’s wardrobe on a daily basis. I can do that in the paved streets of any high street, globally!
    We live in a period of great change and invention.
    Change in dress styles and adventure.
    I think this is a wake up call for everyone involved in the industry, of fashion, monitored and edited or not to keep the content and the views inspirational and high quality. (And humorous!)
    Keep it up Suzie; I particularly enjoyed your marathon story from last year, an exposure of your personal goals and inspirational achievements. Great stuff!
    Sid Rhule

  111. Sid Rhule

    2013-03-11 at 11:05 AM

    typo- of course Susie, with an ‘s’ not with a ‘z’. much softer! xx

  112. LALUCE

    2013-03-13 at 3:56 PM


  113. kim p.

    2013-03-26 at 3:59 AM

    Wow, I am so glad I made a revisit to this article. I had a suspicion blogging wasn’t highly praised by the up-i-dies of the industry, but I had no clue it was completely scoffed at. It’s that exclusionary attitude that will always make a career in fashion seem unattainable to youth and incomprehensible to a wider audience.

  114. LaVoguette

    2013-04-03 at 9:54 PM

    Very beautiful : articles, styles, photos, blog !

  115. Ewa

    2013-04-09 at 4:47 AM

    Hi Susie, whenever I want to know what is bubbling up on the fringes of fashion(and will eventually trickle down like slow lava into the mainstream) I turn to your blog. Unlike big magazines, you don’t have to play that game; I know I get unadulterated reports from the front lines, and I just love that you talk about so many designers that most publications would feature as a footnote, I think your work is invaluable. Don’t stop.

  116. F

    2014-01-27 at 3:35 PM

    Hi Susie, this is a fabulous blog post and, yes, you nailed it when saying that your clothes are part of you and, why should you say no to a polite request for a photo? I just thought I’d tell you that something is going wrong with your fonts and all your apostrophes look like funny symbols on my laptop and iPhone. As it is such an important topic that is likely to flag up at every fashion season, I thought I should make you aware of it in case people come back to revisit your post.

  117. Albertine

    2014-02-13 at 5:26 AM

    I am 42, and since I was 10 have pored over Norman Parkinson’s pictures and narratives, studied the impossible confections of the Boue Souers, studied fabrics in Kolkata, dreamed about Fortuny, worn saris a gazillion different ways, and read and re-read passages of how Lady Murasaki’s characters dressed. For years I arrived ridiculously early for haircut appointments to flip through Vogue and other fashion magazines. I cherished a few items of clothing and wore phenomenal if inexpensive outfits from time to time. Then, I moved to New York to work through a PhD in literature, entered the work force, got married to an Economics professor and now have two children. Somewhere in the midst of it all I became inured to the fashion scene in New York, which I thought would be unbelievable when I moved here in 1996. And I was BORED with the magazines. We even received the magazines basically for free so as to do something with airline points that were going to evaporate. I never read them. I put them–pristine in their plastic– straight into the basement of our coop for others to read. Sometimes for inspiration I would go back and look up interesting people and old photographs. But most of the time, this part of my life quietly drifted away and I wore basic JEANS all the time. And then I found your blog, and I am curious again. Yes, I realize that nothing is pure and free from compromise, and no, I am not in agreement with all of your ideas; however, I am grateful to you and other bloggers (although you are my favorite), for putting a little inspirational spice into my everyday life.


    2014-02-25 at 4:47 PM

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    yours these days. I seriously appreciate people like you! Take care!!

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  120. MissGhesquiere

    2014-07-27 at 1:07 PM

    Honestly, I think lumping you in with other bloggers was just a stupid mistake. You have a blog. You are not what is commonly recognized as a “blogger” today.
    I totally take her side on this but I don’t think she did a very good job of focusing on the aspect of peacocking that fashion people (or normal people like myself!) hate. It’s the calculation of it all.
    When you wear a giant Meadham Kirchhoff for Top Shop mongolian lamb scarf I am completely convinced that is the way you dress whether or not you were gifted it. To a long-time watcher like myself, yourself and Tavi are part of a new breed of liberated girls, untamed by societal conventions regarding the expression of your genuine aesthetic desires. When Chiara Ferragni wears the same I know it is because she was paid to do it (and paid to instagram it, and paid to post about it) and her team made a calculated decision to give her fans an “eccentric day”. The same goes for Chic Muse, Bryan Boy, all of the mass of Italian bloggers, etc etc. Prints! Graphic clutch! Eye-catching jacket! Rocker layering! It is so boring.
    While bloggers like yourself and Tavi offer genuinely new insights and fresh perspectives on collections and movements in fashion in general, you must admit that the majority of fashion bloggers are there for the fabulous. They don’t really give a crap about Meadham beyond what PR value one of their coats can generate. All that seems to concern them is what PR value an item can generate, what money and how all of this can sustain a publicized life built around the superficial me. What’s most frustrating is it’s not even about fashion!! At all! It’s about them.
    They brag endlessly about “collaborations” with “top brands” which we are treated to in the form of a photo of their face next to a bottle of Disaronno or a new Dolce Gabbana perfume next to a bunch of flowers. Can we all just die now I don’t think Creativity itself can surpass this!
    And after all of this bullshit self-promotion, disregard for the profession, idiotic tweets in response to work that has taken the designer 6 months of hell to produce, and racketeering which leeches on young talent who are almost forced to gift and pay for these grafters, they ALSO take the place of industry professionals who have devoted their working life to putting designers work front and center in the most creative and respectful manner possible. That’s what pisses people off. It’s that these money-spinning, clueless, crowd-sourced mediocre wannabe socialites seem to be worth more to the major brands than the people who care (beyond the object of self-promoton.) To put it bluntly.

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  122. Fernando

    2016-01-28 at 5:49 AM

    Jajajjaja Menkes´s attacks comes from the fact that her job, mission, and perspective are obsolete. Bubble´s approach is fresh, new, and we all can relate. Menkes tries to make the point she is the real thing cause she was in the in crowd at the CDG shows. Well, now I go to similar fashion shows in Tijuana and they are just as cool, and the clothes are just as conceptual but much cheaper. Now regarding peacock, I cannot help but connect that word with Menkes hairstyle.

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