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State of the Fashion Union #5: What the Bloggers are Saying. FASHIONTRIBES FASHION BLOG

The State of the Fashion Union - the Fashion & Lifestyle blogosphere weighs in for Thursday, February 2, 2006:

In all the buzz surrounding the actual State of the Union, as well as the State of the Fashion Union, Blingdom of God reminds us never to forget to accessorize. From crosses to crystals to mandalas, symbols of spirit abound, but the reasons fashionistas sport spiritual adornment are as divided as the democrats & republicans - and Blingdom poses the question: Can a blingdom divided against itself stand?

For jewelry lovers following the State of the Fashion Union, Jewelry Weblog has highlighted the topics she thinks will most appeal to jewelry hounds - why trunk shows rule, how the print media is being transformed, the rise of crafting, and the fact that there's way more to fashion that a tall, skinny girl walking down a runway in a dress looking bored.

The power and influence of fashion and the media is a truly amazing animal. From deeming skinny jeans completely out the one minute, to beyond slimming and fab the next, fashion is whimsical, fun, and above all, fascinating. As an antidote to too much Plato, I Am Fashion feels that fashion is not only aesthetically pleasing, it gives you a reason to get up in the morning & something to work toward in life - especially when you're scratching your head and wondering why spending hours and hours on economics homework is a good thing.

The new talent at Fashionweek isn't just limited to the clothes, but also who is in them. A good showing at Fashionweek can transform a mere model into a star, says Kimair, creating the next Gisele, Linda, or Daria. Although the pale-of-skin/angelic hair types are getting all the play right now, stay tuned...you never know who this years's Liya Kebede (2001) or Hye Park (2005) will be.

The crumbling power of traditional media has been a fave topic on the blogosphere of late, but Final Fashion brings up an interesting point: the new media and traditional glossy magazines may not actually need to be in competition. Where blogs are for thinking, magazines are for dreaming. If glossy magazines leave the fashion reportage - both light and heavy - to the online media, they are then free to focus on what they do best: provide eye candy at its finest. As repositories of the best photography and illustration, high quality writing, and extremes of creativity, glossies provide an affordable & tactile connection with high fashion. .

Does being into fashion automatically mean you're but a daft fashionista? Au contraire, explains Teen Fashionista. More than being simply about shopping and spending money, clothing tells the world about the way you express yourself, how you're perceived by the world...and smart chicas of all ages realize this.

Quoting Simone de Beauvoir - how we love a SdB quote! - and the fact that she loved her Chanel, The Fashionable Kiffen is of the same mind as Teen Fashionista when it comes to the shoddy image of fashionistas and the fashion industry in general. It takes more than being a superficial diva or bitch-on-heels to succeed in the fashion industry...try a unique combination of business sense and artistic ability. Like art, architecture, or music, fashion design also reflects the culture of greater society. Intelligent women can, and do, enjoy fashion - both for its own sake and because image is everything - because it's possible to be brilliant, well-rounded, trendy, and smart...all at the same time.

Gwen Stefani has her fashion moments, good & bad. However her L.A.M.B. line - designed by genius downtown NY designer Zaldy - is a solid fashion home run. A Clean Pair of Heels eagerly anticipates the fall offerings from L.A.M.B. and even picks the must-have kicks from the label.

To take part in the Fashion Union, Red Apple has the following advice: 1. have fun with fashion - lay hands on a kooky pair of pink sunglasses or a banana shoe that makes you smile; 2. use fashion to become nice - don't fall into the trap of relying on "stuff" to make you fabulous; 3. style is a winding journey - enjoy the trip, so make sure to make tons of mistakes along the way; 4. keep your wardrobe stylish with at least three luxury pieces each season, such as an Hermes bag, Sergio Rossi boots or Jimmy Choos; 5. pick up one or two trendy - and throwaway - items each season.

The truly stylish transcend mere labels. According to Moose in the Closet, while fashion may be about the cash you have to drop on clothes, style is what you bring to the world and not what fashion brings to you. Exhibit A: Audrey Hepburn and Jackie O.

As a fashion designer, you have two options explains Verbal Croquis: work in a corporate environment, fulfill your tidy list of job requirements by doing the same things day in and day out, collect a nice paycheck & excellent benefits, and pass Go. Alternatively, you can work for a small company, do everything - literally! - and get paid a nominal feel to have another go at your education. Which is why she's a fan of Project Runway, which accurately simulates many of the stresses of a real, live design job - and lays bare the fact that notoriety and networking are two of the most important things a designer needs to succeed in the big, bad world of fashion.

Project Runway's Diana Eng has entered the Matrix-like intersection of technology and fashion at Brain Power Central: MIT. Yes, MIT. Their Seamless show showcases the most innovative work of designers who are infusing their threads with a heady dose of science & technology - and reinterpreting the very meaning of what fashion can be, reports Coquette. Items like the "Blogger Hoodie" which monitors increases in the wearer's heart rate - and captures the object of your excitement with the hoodie's built-in camera - go beyond being mere gimmicks & usher in the future.

Oh, dress your age! Meaning feminine, sensual, sexy - and appropriate - admonish La Dolce Divas. So no workplace cleavage and/or low-rise pants, or even navy blue suits with floppy white bows. Avoid the "casual Friday" trap of a too-caszh image that undermines your image, and adapt the trends so that they suit you and your environment: eg., heel heights of 2" for work, 3" for evening, and 4" for the boudoir. Other necessary know-how: less is more & luxury counts; don't end up looking dowdy because you're afraid to experiment; learn to spice up the simple with the chic; and remember - it takes till you're 40 to develop a true sense of style.

From  Down Under, Camarilla reports on the growing influence and prestige of the Australian fashion design industry.

Perhaps shallow fashionistas & celebs should take a page from the metal rocker playbook suggests Sense of Soot, and follow in the footsteps of Motorhead's Lemmy or Rob Halford (or even David Lee Roth's chaps & Kiss's regalia) by wearing - and being photographed in - exquisitely made couture garments repeatedly. Instead of shunning an already-worn and photographed outfit, why not celebrate it in subsequent appearances and seasons? How better to demonstrate the difference between ready-to-wear and haute couture by showcasing fashionable triumphs of lasting excellence with the respect they deserve, rather than treating the work of traditional beaders, hatters, glovemakers & other artisans like they're disposable.

So much of fashion is marketing, so many in the blogosphere are pondering the question of what the future of advertising looks like. Responding to Almost Girl's notion that a middle ground will emerge between the slick expensive ad campaigns and the more text-based ads, Omiru predicts that ad campaigns will soon be held to a standard which requires the response to the ad be measured in some way - just as you can now measure specifically how many people view your internet ad. And the splashy, pricey marketing campaigns fashion advertising is currently dominated by will probably be replaced to a certain degree by smaller, more affordable direct response ads of up-and-coming design talent.

In the raging blogosphere debate of fashion vs. style, it seems that fashion is the undesirable consequence of big money fashion marketing, while style is a magical, dirt-free form of expression. Typically-cited examples of timeless style, Audrey Hepburn & Jackie O., while stylish, also spent countless sums on their threads. Hepburn favored Givenchy, while Jackie dug Oleg Cassini & other French designerss. Neither scaled the heights of fashion by altering threads they dug up at a thrift store.  Fashiontribes notes that in order to be stylish, you need to have the money to afford fashion, and the time to put it together - and time is, essentially, money.

And Cool Chiq is adamantly so not jealous of Fashiontribes & Almost Girl coverage of New York Fashionweek - as your trusty Fashiontribes editors grace the front rows, wearing nothing but the most covetable shoes, and of course look fantastic in their gorgeous fashion pieces, quaffing champagne, and report breathlessly on the "faaaabulous time, dahling" everyone is having. [Note from your hardworking Fashiontribes editor: er, yeah, I like it. Forget the endless schlepping & racing from show to show from 9 am to 9 pm, hard won interviews, filing of stories, and the fact that you see the same fashionista faces day after day after day...the Cool Chic version is a suitably glamorous fantasy as to how we'll be spending fashionweek....that's now our official story and we'll be sticking with it.]

- Lesley Scott

Click below for previous summaries of what the bloggers are saying:

February 2, 2006 in Fashion, Pop Culture, State of the Fashion Union, Weblogs | Permalink

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