Friday, January 18, 2013

Charming People

Ah, fashion blogging that dissembling mirror! I am moved to revive this blog due to a ferment of discussion begun by Harriett of the Bright Young Twins. I have been fascinated by the swell of emergent ‘vintage’ fashion bloggers pricking the Internet like pale Catherine wheels. All titled with analgesic nouns such as Vintage Sweetheart, Tea & Lace, Violet & Vellum, Forsythia & Foxglove. ‘Mid-century’ has moved into the mainstream—nouveau riche phonies and yielding seventeen year olds alike are swaddled in sundresses splashed in invariant computer-generated florals. Yet the fetishisation of nostalgia is a conversation for another day…I want to talk about art.

I am particularly interested in Harriett’s suggestion that clothing is a creative vehicle that has afforded her a voice that she has not been able to harness in other areas of life. This I understand. Yet fashion blogging is perhaps not a congruous platform for creativity and will seldom generate a thoughtful, honest interaction.  Most commentary seen on blogs is simpering blandishments with a hyperlink to the commenter’s own derivative blog. Most blogs do not suggest dressing as a creative act. Clothing seems to be the apparatus for accessing ‘cool’—something blogging homebodies often are not.

The internet is awash with girls with Type A personalities using clothing as a template for self-control and abrogation. Those that everyday administer licks of eyeliner, coax their hair into curls, vaunt their girdles, stockings—those who must conform to an era so completely that it restricts them or rather it is used as an unquestioned constraint to simplify inner chaos. There is no freedom and therefore no art in this.

Then there are those bloggers with a mercurial fashion sense who clumsily ape the bloggers de jour: a gaudy tea-cup, a posy of wildflowers bobbing in enamelware, some glad-rags hung about mint-green bedroom walls.
And there are those too with an exceptional talent for mimicry, low self-esteem and a schmick camera hoping to snaffle a book deal or column.
And few exist also who display a more unique, playful take on dressing who ascribe an art to it yet seem to require blogging as a safe intermediary between the adult world of artists and the playing of dollies online.

All bloggers share a self-consciousness, a need for confirmation from others, a sharp inward gaze. All dress with mind to how they will best represent themselves in a photograph whether or not this is an imagined self or a true self is irrelevant. The unceasing search for a dress, a bag, a blouse, a hairstyle to wholly represent oneself hampers the search for a genuine self independent of possessions. This process is one of control and approval and there is little creation in this.

I do believe fashion is art but fashion blogging is most certainly not, nor is it concerned with art, it is essentially a DIY fashion rag. Artists become who you are, do not bother yourselves with the trifles of an insecure blogging set.