Privilege Blog

Famous Style Bloggers Could Have Said To Newsweek, “We Told You So”

So Newsweek has gone all digital. Yes. Read about it here. In other news, you can get your own e-book designed, published, and distributed to online outlets, for $250. The world, as it will, changes.

In our little corner, where women publish text and photos about style to a software platform that displays each submission in a timeline, otherwise known as blogging, we see tremors too. In blogging, however, the sea change took place 3-7 years ago. These waves hit shore a few days after a storm.

For example, on one end of the spectrum we’ve got the the New York Times fashion blog. Written by Cathy Horyn, among others, the Times’ fashion reporters report primarily on the fashion industry, under a storied centuries old brand. On the other end you’ve got, well us. Women who like to wear clothes, and like to hear from and talk to other women who like to wear clothes. No professional affiliation involved.

Interesting bit to me, right now, is the middle of the spectrum. Kim France, the form editor-in-chief of Lucky, writes her own blog, Girls of a Certain Age. Read it. Remarkably similar to Une Femme, Duchesse, Audi, and Sophie, among others. Having done the magazine thing as best it can be done, France now tells us about that great little Helmut Lang top she just had to buy.

Sasha Wilkins, another fashion pro, has been at Liberty London Girl for a while. She peppers her posts with pictures of her dog, recipes (go easy on the carbs, woman!), and, yes, makeup prep for a Hunter Wellies photo shoot. All in a conversational tone. As though she were right there with you.

Even Jennine, of The Coveted, she who launched and runs IFB, has begun writing her personal blog once again.

It appears that the diary is a seminal literary, or at least communication, mode. That even those who do style for a living want their personal voice heard. That style isn’t all about making money, or having a huge audience. Once that big wave of industry change recedes, we walk down the beach arranging driftwood, putting things to right.

Sometimes I feel like there’s never been such a dramatic change to human society, what with digital this and mobile that and photos processed six ways from Sunday. Then I remember that in England and New York at the end of the 19th century mail was delivered twice a day, and the upper classes sent each other hand carried messages whenever they pleased. Along came the telephone.

Now the telephone’s passé.

We’re a small corner, us style bloggers and readers, but we do reflect larger patterns. And, if it’s possible to understand writing and reading about Helmut Lang tops as a dashboard for social change, well then, bonus points for us.

31 Responses

  1. “Sometimes I feel like there’s never been such a dramatic change to human society, what with digital this and mobile that and photos processed six ways from Sunday. Then I remember that in England and New York at the end of the 19th century mail was delivered twice a day, and the upper classes sent each other hand carried messages whenever they pleased. Along came the telephone.”

    Yes, indeed. My eldest, who will be 30 next June, barely remembers vinyl records. Now no one even purchases CDs. I love blogging, and the internet, and often wonder what we all did before Google. It will be interesting to see how much more it all evolves in the years to come before I am no longer.

  2. I have many of my mother’s letters to my father from the mid 40’s and she posted and received letters twice a day. I love that. But it will never happen again. I love the digital world, but long for past forms of communication-but wonder what would I do without my iphone. Ah well.
    Very interesting post.

  3. Interesting! It does seem that change is happening faster now.

    As a teenager I used to read fashion magazines like Sassy (where Kim France once wrote), and one of my favorite parts was when they took fashion photos of regular people wearing their own clothing. It was relatable and fun to see how other kids dressed — more so than looking at a fashion model who had been prepped and primped.

    Style blogs are like a digital extension of that. It’s fun to see what people actually choose to wear, and why, and how they got it, etc. Maybe for the same reason that reading memoir and novels are fun — a glimpse into the human psyche of sorts.

  4. I read about Newsweek early this morning, and felt a twinge of sadness. But in truth, I don’t really buy magazine anymore. The only “paper” we get is the Sunday, NYT.

    I shop online mostly also – such a timesaver.

    But, I do feel that all of this technology has a general tendency to add a certain kind of speediness to all of us that I’m not fond of, and I’m making a concerted effort to slow down and try to savor the “time I’m saved”.

  5. I very much enjoy your blog and those of other stylish women. It almost seems as if a number of blogs are going by the wayside, making way for Tumblr and Pinterst, quick-hit images with brief commentary. Attention spans are decreasing at a fast rate. Not surprised about Newsweek – although it’s still nice to sit down with an actual hardcopy magazine now and then.

  6. When I was younger we had mail delivered twice daily. It was The Royal Mail back then before it morphed into Canada Post.

    I am not ready to read a newspaper, magazine or book online. Blogs on the other hand…I have to ration my reading or I’d be sitting all day long!

  7. Cripes, the world is changing, just heard that The Guardian is seriously considering dumping all print editions apart from weekend.

    1. Quite right Tabitha,sugar and salt are the big culprits,beloved has lost over a stone in 8 weeks,cutting biscuits,cakes all things sugary/salty out of his diet…..poor man he had a sweet tooth!!Ida

    2. True. But Sasha’s always trying to lose weight. So I keep thinking she ought to try some lean protein, see if that worked.

  8. Count me among those who like clothes and like to talk with others who like clothes. In my real life, spent mainly among academics, artists and writers of various kinds of print, only rarely will someone discuss clothes. Although style is obviously extremely important to all these individuals, no one will deign to discuss it. And yet, I wonder if some of them are blogging? hmmm Because anonymity changes everything. Would [i]Shades of Grey[/i] exist without book readers and the internet? You can buy it and read it without your peer group knowing. And you can comfort yourself that record numbers of others are doing the same. In some circles clothes and style are soft porn. I would be interested in clothes with or without the internet. The internet makes it much more enjoyable. Thanks to you, Lisa, and all the other style bloggers! Thank you Thank you

  9. This is so spot-on, you nailed it Miss LPC. I have cut my blogging back to 2-3 times weekly, time allowing. As you note, “style isn’t all about making money, or having a huge audience…,” the dynamic is much bigger than merely those considerations. This one is *really* good, and ever-so-timely, I also read the Newsweek stuff this morning.
    Sending you a smile,

  10. It is indeed a “Brave New World”. The advancements of technology have broken the sound barrier. I wonder how many publications and magazines will be able to stay in print form.

    Everyone knows I have never been a daily blogger; in fact sometimes barely weekly. I hope that those interested in promoting the arts and entrepreneurs will come and see my posts regardless.

    My cats’ activities during the day is not something that I feel most bloggers have the time to care or read about.

    2012 Artists Series

  11. Our postman HAND delivers messages from rural houses to each other along with the posted mail.
    Never realised anyone still sent out ‘at home cards’ the old guard here in the UK like to keep up the old traditions!! Ida

  12. The very best thing about blogging is the sense of community, and the opportunity to meet amazing women like you, Lisa. Thanks so much for the mention. I’m feeling quite honored!

  13. There is an intimacy that comes from bloggers like you. You never read like a magazine. You’re so open ( as open as a sturdy girl can be) and personal. Not slick, not well produced and that’s what I relate to. I can tell when a blog is a business and I just don’t relate.

    I enjoy reading the comments from your bloggers, it feels like a community. a community from all over. Somehow it’s soothing.

  14. great post! I love blogging and reading blogs. I read very few magazines now because I much prefer getting the real voice of the writer and I am more inspired by style on other women than models.
    I still like magazines, don’t get me wrong and I enjoy studying the styling of a nice photoshoot. But I’d say 30% is magazines and 70% blogs.

    I love your blog!!

  15. i spent all last week at a school sponsored literary festival. Every author in attendance was self-published. And to put it as kindly as possible, there remains a necessary role for good editors.

  16. Both you and Danielle make an interesting point about “relatability”. Could some of this be a backlash over the way many publications forgot about their readers over the past 20 years? First it was the modeling industry, now the celebrity hype machine that features people who often have little merit or accomplishment.

    Despite all of that (and the fact that I am a blogger, too), the idea of the demise of print puts me into a funk. There is so much out there in the digital world that it is difficult to sit down and really process anything. There is always something else screaming for our attention before we have gotten half-way through the previous thing.

    Thanks for posting and starting a very important conversation!

    1. I’d like print to stick around too. But I do think magazines forgot readers a bit, since their money all comes from advertisers.

  17. I am honoured to be mentioned. Funny that I can spend hours lost in the NYT but if I’m online for more than 45 minutes reading blogs, something inside me says, Enough.

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