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Thursday, December 31, 2009

Fashion Can Haz Internetz?

Posted by Marjorie Skinner on Thu, Dec 31, 2009 at 12:36 PM

There's an interesting piece by Cathy Horyn in today's NYT Style Section called, "Why So Stodgy, Prada.com?", pointing out that except for sites like Burberry and Hermés, major fashion houses, for all their artistic cred, haven't really embraced ye olde internets. I have mixed feelings on the subject, because I understand the desire to want to preserve a sense of rarity and mystery in an age of over-sharing. On the other hand I'd honestly love to know what Nicholas Ghesquiere has for breakfast. I think the tendency of fashion houses to shy away from robust usage of the web translates down to the indies, too, though. In general Portland's stores are much better at blogging and being accessible online than designers, with a few notable exceptions like Katy Kippen and Elizabeth Dye. Dye, for instance, is also a writer, and it's certainly true that not everyone needs to be a blogger on top of whatever primary profession they occupy. One of the untapped avenues of potential that Horyn calls out is the fashion film, and I was reminded of the Luxury Jones video installation at the Content event earlier this fall, which was utterly captivating, gave the clothing a vibrant context, and made me want to buy every single piece. It's one thing to want more of the same, but such things take time and other resources that most small designers don't have—even larger houses that have had to do layoffs over the past year are probably wary of pouring money into the interwebbed abyss. As someone who spends a ton of time online window shopping and designer/fashion blog trolling, it's hard to pin down exactly what I want to see more of. How things are made? Sure, but glamor and marketing magic is more fun. Do I want to rearrange the order of the looks on a runway? Like I have the time. Other than MORE, it's hard to know what to feed the bottomless internet. What you want is something unattainable, untranslatable, the essence of someone's tastes, imagination, style. It's all about continuing an endless fantasy quest, and I think the industry giants of fashion are just afraid to fail, so they've largely just let independent bloggers do it for them. But does that satisfy you?

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Helpful scarf ideas on the Hermés site, anyone?

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