The daily blog has become somewhat of a web phenomenon, so much so that a) single dads like Scott Schuman are now hired by Style.com and travel the world to photograph the stylish; b) stay-at-home moms like the Bag Snobs are now considered to be the bag gurus of their day; and c) a "sixteen-year-old from Indiana" can voice his opinion (to use a phrase from Scott Schuman's speech) about fashion alongside Vogue's Anna Wintour. And now I, alias Thumbelina Fashionista, have joined the online discussion because unlike magazines, blogs are instant, unbiased, and daily--a testament to the new opiate of the masses: fashion.
The insatiable need to have instant access to the daily blog is fueled by several factors: a) fashion is slowly becoming global, not regional; b) fashion is becoming more accessible, not less so (hence the plethora of books about "how luxury lost its luster"); and c) fashion trends move faster, not slower (hence the new existence of four fashion seasons). Cathy Horyn of The New York Times and Diane Pernet both commented on the pleasurable global discourse that blogs provide, and it is this postmodern fusion of cultures that is slowly creating a new kind of fashion and fashionista: one who reads The Sartorialist with the pleasure of examining fashion trends all over the world, and not just in one's backyard. And while fashion can be dictated by region (as in my recent post about Uptown/Downtown styles), one is not fastened down by location any more than a sophisticated traveler would be. Therefore, one sees Hollywood stars dressing both in an Uptown and Downtown manner, depending on mood and situation.
This fluidity--or lack of rules--has created what some call the new "Wild West," in which the authority is no longer just the fashionable experts at big name publications. The fear in this is one's new reliance on a multitude of voices that can often crowd out an insecure inner voice; but through the discourse, the arguments, and the posts, one finds that old Biblical adage to be true: "iron sharpens iron." This unprecedented exchange of voices foreshadows a new age of fashion, which has already embraced high and low as the new ideal in dressing. And now, even museum curators have found a place for blogs in their exhibits (if you haven't already, check out the Met's blog: http://blog.metmuseum.org/blogmode/). The equalizing power of blogs is both the appeal and the result, one that will continue to transform fashion in the years to come.