Thursday, May 6, 2010

French Fashion Bloggers

by Simone Miller

Olivier Zahm and Terry Richardson on Purple Diary

The concept of fashion blogging may seem relatively new but its roots lie in the 19th century idea of the flâneur. Like the flâneur, the French fashion blogger is all about seeing and being seen. Though the blogger's and the flâneur's territory, the internet and Paris respectively, seem endless, they are both confined by what Walter Benjamin refers to as the "phantasmagoria of space". Mallarmé is also at the roots of blogging because he created, wrote and published La Derniere Mode on his own. By self-publishing, French fashion bloggers such as Olivier Zahm of Purple Diary and Garance Doré of Garance Doré operate outside of the fashion system which gives them power.

Carine Roitfeld and Mario Testino on Purple Diary

Garance Doré's blog

However, both bloggers operate within the fashion system when they attend shows or contribute work to fashion magazines or feature important editors, models and celebrities on their blogs. By inviting bloggers to participate in the fashion system, the fashion industry, especially magazines and editors, are attempting to negotiate their power in relation to bloggers. However, blogs and magazines serve different purposes in the industry so it is doubtful that the magazine will entirely cease to exist in favor of bloggers.

Kate Lanphear of Elle

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