On style diversity of fashion bloggers or Ode to Heels
Recently, I came across the post of a Melbournian blogger who postulates the Australian fashion scene is made of tribes. Apparently there is a tribe of “glossies” whose uniform consist of sky high heels, designer handbag, skinny pants or body con mini, fur jacket and balayage hairdo with a center part*. Only by wearing this “uniform” will you be allocated front row seats and become a person highly sought after by the street style photographers. Those glossies are considered to be slavish conformists lacking creativity. Alternatively, there is another tribe to which this blogger believes herself a member. That tribe is not present at fashion week’s front row because they are busy hunting for treasurers in Salvos, Savers and Vinnies. Moreover, this particular tribe expresses a “mad sense of beauty through their stylish creativity” and also includes Anna Della Russo, Karl Lagerfeld, Brayn Boy and Tavi. (You have the right to conform: Fashion tribalism at RAFW, Lady Melbourne, 20 May 2011)
Reading this post made me sad initially because such simplistic categorization of Rosemount Australian Fashion Week audiences implies that if you carry Prada bag, lust over latest Miu Miu heels and have a flawless blow dry then you are victim of conformism and lack a true sense of style. To me, fashion is about freedom, fun, experimentation and joy not about brands or particular place of shopping. There are amazing bloggers who pull off vintage and DIY so well that I cannot help but envy their sense of style. Yet other lovely bloggers are showcasing the latest Celine bag to their thousands of followers. People love and follow bloggers who they can relate to or can get inspired by or are simply just entertained by. In fact, some bloggers can be considered to be style icons while others are popular due to their bizarre originality. Why divide audiences into “good” and “bad” based on which brand of bags they carry or the height of their heels?
I love my heels! I also love my gold Coach hand bag. Sorry, but I’d rather walk bare foot than buy Payless shoes. I used to sew my own clothes, but my aim was to bring my sketches into fruition, not to intentionally make something look DIY. Does it mean I am lacking a sense of style? Is it conformist to prefer looks of Emmanuelle Alt in stilettos rather than Susie Bubble wearing clashing prints?
There is no right or wrong when talking about style. Same applies to fashion. The brilliance of fashion blogging is it gives voice to diverse expressions of personal styles. There is no place for 2 dimensional categorisations. Perhaps a sense of beauty is also the ability to see the beauty and enjoy all of its manifestations... even if it is conveyed via 12-cm heels.