This morning I found myself thinking about the traditional fashion press vs. Tavi as blogger target practice debate. I've read a lot of guff from affronted journalists and actually not much from fashion bloggers. Maybe I just haven't been looking in the right places, or maybe it doesn't matter much - the affronted wailing of journalists could be considered death throes, as they topple off their front row seats. Apparently some fashion journalists believe that a blogger can't report on clothes as well as them, because bloggers don't know about fashion, the history of fashion and they aren't trained in it. Well, what if they do and are? I've met people who had fantastic jobs at magazines and been stunned to discover that they've only been interested in fashion for a couple of years, or that they're really into 18th century literature and only took that job at Vogue because their mum/aunt/sister got them in. Equally, I know people who didn't have the right connections, confidence or luck (edit: or private income, thank you Rose) but who are a font of knowledge - and blogging is the perfect medium for them if they have a strong point of view. The thing about magazines is that all the personality is removed from the writing to fit the voice of the magazine. Then you end up with an article that tells you there were a lot of beige coats shown in Paris, with little enthusiasm or insight into why.
So I really don't buy the notion that all the people sitting at shows and writing about them are experts. What I do understand is the access they have and the relationships they're able to build with designers which might allow them to give a different spin. Cathy Horyn (unarguably an expert!) does this brilliantly when she writes of sitting down to lunch at Alaia's studio, for example. But often the old guarded elitism stops that from happening - or the fear of giving too much away and spoiling the mystery (a less cynical way of putting it.) I think it can be done in a way that enhances, and it will be. Garance Dore's recent videos from fashion week were great at giving you a window seat into the world of fashion month and I'm hoping - since she now has the access, that she'll continue in a way that lets us see more about the clothes as well.