27 May 2018

10 Years Later

I would like to think that I have earned the right to call myself an old school fashion blogger, even though I am another decade or two away from being an OG. I started this blog as a teenager with next to no knowledge of fashion and dress. What I did have was a burning curiosity to learn about anything and everything connected to what we wear and why we wear it. It has been ten long years, and in that time life has taken me down paths that I would never have expected, but I am grateful for every single moment. Throughout it all my love of fashion and dress has continued to grow to a point where I decided that it was an avenue that I wanted to pursue academically. And not just studying for a few years, but something that I could dedicate my life to. I have been in hospital beds, barely able to move, reading books on fashion theory. I have been snowed under with deadlines and family issues, and escaped into a book on fashion history. It is something that I have barely scratched the surface of, even if I have been rubbish at sharing that passion fully here on the blog.

To use Rosie Findlay’s classifications, I most certainly consider myself a First Wave fashion blogger. She places the transition between First and Second Wave in the period between late 2008 and mid-2010, which I agree with, having experienced it first hand. Indeed it was towards the end of that period that I found myself in talks with a few companies, who seemed at the time to be signing up bloggers left, right and centre, as the shift began for blogging to become more industry. In a way blogging became the exact thing it had originally intended to provide an alternative to, but that was inevitable I suppose. Thankfully there are bloggers who made the transition successfully, and continue to provide a voice worth listening to, as well as exciting new blogs and websites that are well worth the time. For me monetisation and advertising is not something I have ever been comfortable with, and so I have always considered this blog more of a side project I do purely for the enjoyment. I always said that I would continue blogging for as long as I found it fun, and thankfully it is still somewhere I like to escape to so that I can simply share what I find interesting.

To pick up where Findlay left off, I think that we are currently in the middle of a Third Wave. The shift has occurred from personal style blogging to lifestyle blogging, with platforms such as Instagram and YouTube becoming the main avenues for promotion. Fashion is a visual medium, so it is perhaps unsurprising that such platforms would come to the forefront. In these spaces it is often not the individual voice that is the focus, it is not even the clothing, but it is the brand that is the focus. The way the individual and their lifestyle is portrayed online becomes the product and the brand being sold. It is what has allowed us to enter a world where influencers play such a major role in shifting the culture. Now arguably this has always happened in blogging, but I find that the shift from being able to identify with a blogger and seeing them as an actual person, to a finished glossy product that we aspire to become or live like, is the inevitability of the commodification that has occurred over the past several years. It is a fascinating evolution to watch, and while it is not one that I have actively taken part in, I nevertheless feel the tug.

I do actually think that it is an exciting time to be a blogger, or a podcaster, or simply post things you find interesting on Instagram. There are so many platforms for us to share what we love that I think that we all have the ability to express our own ideas and creativity more easily than ever. And while I do think that there is now a huge space for more personal voices and informed opinions to re-emerge, there are thankfully always voices out there worth listening to. I am not sure what this blog will read like in another ten years, but I know that this past ten years would have never been possible without each and every one of you. Thank you all from the bottom of my heart, I really cannot express what it means to me for someone to take even a few seconds out of their day to scroll through what I share with the world. I am excited to see what the next ten years of blogging brings.



1 comment:

  1. Congrats, 10 years is like a lifetime in internet years!
    - Fe