Colin McDowell's Opinion on Bloggers & Why I (Somewhat) Agree With Him

In the most recent version of the Business of Fashion's Breakfast Club, the group discussed this past season in fashion and the return of Savage Beauty. Near the end of the discussion, the group dipped a bit off topic to consumer knowledge and influences specifically relating to the histories of brands. This was in relation to Savage Beauty and how those clothes were never really bought by anyone, nor were they made to be. In Mimma Viglezio's opinion, the market and society was different at the time  of Alexander McQueen's primal work and this wouldn't be able to pass today. But Colin McDowell believed that the market has always been the same with the same goals, but it was McQueen's pure creativity and genius that set him apart and allowed him to make clothes for no one to wear. 

In his opinion, fashion is becoming more and more not about the clothes. I have to agree with this; so much of a runway show is the styling and ambiance and guest list, and so little is the actual clothes. This also links back to the previously discussed Zoolander marketing stunt at Valentino. It's taking social media outbreaks to move people, not well crafted clothes. Also in the words of Colin McDowell, this is the fault of bloggers, and other people "who know absolutely nothing" about fashion and yet have such a big influence. (He said this with apologizes to StyleBubble blogger Susanna Lau who was seated right beside him.) When I first heard this, of course I was naturally defensive, but through both my open mind and partiality towards Colin's opinions, I thought about the topic and found light within it. 

It does make sense that people with so much influence on a industry should at least have some background knowledge, but the ignorance is part of the beauty of blogging. When you blog, you're less likely to judge with the past of a brand in mind, and you're more likely to judge based entirely off of the clothes, or product. If you ever want a truly honest opinion on something, I recommend  turning to a blog because bloggers won't sugarcoat with hopes of getting on a brand's good side or dwell on the tiny imperfections because of a deep-rooted grudge. They tell it as it is. (At least, that's how I am with my blog; I can't be totally sure with others....) When I review a collection, I look at photos of every look on Vogue or and judge based off personal opinions and interpretations. I'm definitely not at the show in person and I rarely even watch the shows online. So, yes, I may not be as educated as someone who does this professionally, but I give my honest opinion and that's all that people come to my blog for. Ultimately, people choose bloggers and make them/us so influential because we don't know all the details. It's not our fault if we become more powerful than the professionals, it's the people's for actually listening to us.

He then suggested some sort of exam for bloggers to prove that they actually know something about fashion and have the authority to report. I have to agree with this a bit because sometimes I'll be browsing the blogosphere and see a collection review that's miles away from the truth and think it shouldn't be allowed, but hey, that's the beauty of the Internet. Anything goes. If we were actually certified and professionally educated in fashion we wouldn't be blogging, we would be stealing journalist's, him himself, jobs.

From left to right: Mimma Viglezio, Imran Amed, Susanna Lau, and Colin McDowell.
The Business of Fashion's Breakfast Club discussing the fashion season that was and the return of Savage Beauty.


  1. I found this article really insightful. I do feel that many bloggers have their strengths (not necessarily as writers) and not all of them have ever claimed to be journalists or reviewers. These opinions have a lot to do with pigeonholing all bloggers into one category which isn't fair. Of course bloggers who do claim to be journalists should definitely get their content right and do justice to the review with their skill set and knowledge. So good to read this on your blog. I'm going to find the full discussion and check it out!

    1. Yes, Colin is grouping all bloggers together, which isn't right. I don't think any bloggers can really claim to be journalists - they should be proud as bloggers! Some just might be more reliable than others, but that's for the reader to decide...
      Thanks for your lovely comment!