Nothing Beats Experience in Fashion Journalism (Op-Ed)

Blog Notes

Two things are true about fashion journalism today, social media is an option and trends are displayed quickly. Yet for “old school” veterans that hasn’t improved the industry, instead it’s lowered its standards. Taking a swipe at bloggers like Susie Bubble Sally Singer, Creative Digital Director for Vogue.com wrote, “They’re heralding the death of style.”

They’re heralding the death of style.

Sally Singer, Creative Digital Director for Vogue.com

When I’m surrounded by woefully attired passengers, diddling on their cell phones on the bus, in transparent leggings, garish t-shirts and pre-fabricated holey jeans, I must agree. If they’re being exposed to the latest online why aren’t they dressed better? I guess the phenomenal editing eye of Diana Vreeland, in the 1960’s, is as foreign to them as a tasteful pantsuit?

Polyvore Collage

Today, as a professional fashion/feature writer with over 20 years experience, I feel I’ve benefited immensely from paying my dues in print first. The same techniques-concocting an idea, researching it, then fleshing out a story-still apply and make my blogs just as strong as my print pieces. If I just decided to embark on a fashion journalism career because I can type and wear a size 6 that wouldn’t be the case.

Career Checklist: Chriselle Lim’s Tips for a Stylish Workday (http://www.whowhatwhere.com/chriselle-lim-work-wardrobe-tips-slide17) is a perfect example of how a fashion blogger transferred her print skills to the internet. This practice is eliminated by some over eager “street style bloggers” who just want to be seen immediately online to promote their blogs.

Their clothes aren’t carefully curated, and chosen out of self-awareness, but to play “dress up” as the icon they’re trying to be. Once the internet viewer sees them they falsely believe they’re a genuine fashion expert reporting on the latest. Realistically their presence dilutes the value of a viable design photographed by David Sims or Mario Testino for Vogue.

Letter to Diane Von Furstenberg Written by Diana Vreeland

In 2019, despite those who’ve successfully written fashion blogs and posted selfies without prior training, a portfolio with strong clips is still a requirement. A blog can be part of that if it’s consistently well written. An excellent way to ensure that is to get a solid education, take additional journalism and fashion classes, and write for a publication occasionally.

When this is achieved it’s possible to re-educate consumers who see clothing as disposable, a problem exacerbated by the internet. Whether they’re coached in fashion coordination, or creating a signature style, it should be a priority for responsible fashion bloggers. While social media can benefit fashion journalism profoundly, experience shouldn’t be overlooked in the process.

Works Cited:

Azher (Ali), Fateh, “How Social Media Is Changing Fashion”, Huffington Post, January 19, 2017 (https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/how-social-media-is-changing-fashion)

Sabahat, Raza, “Positives and Negatives of Social Media”,Voice of Journalists, May 18, 2015 (https://www.voj.news/positives-and-negatives-of-social-media)

Materise, Maria, “Is Social Media Changing the Role of Journalists?”, Cision, August 7, 2015 (https://www.cision.com/us/2015/08/is-social-media-changing-the-role-of-journalists)

Bruzdaam, “Social Media Makes An Impact on Fashion Journalism”, Beginning Journalism A University of Wisconsin Edu Claire course site about journalism,”October 23, 2013 (https://cj222wordpress.com/2013/3/10/23.social-media-makes-an-impact-on-fashion-journalism/)

Manlisa, Racco, “Vogue.com Slams Fashion Bloggers: ‘You are heralding the death of style'”, National Global News.ca, September 26, 2016 (https://globalnews.ca/news/2963638/vogue-com-slams-fashion-bloggers-you-are-heralding-the-death-of-style/}

Hunter x Target: Was it The Perfect Collaboration?

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Victoria Moore’s Hunter x Target Haul

 

Hunter x Target was the latest collaboration for both the traditional British fashion company and one of America’s most popular retailers. Since the debate started around April 14 and April 15, 2018, a lot of consumers, including myself, anxiously awaited its arrival.

Before using the mobile app, Hootsuite, I read various articles about the collaboration after searching for news trending stories on my News app. From the article, People Are Losing Their Mind After Target’s Hunter Boots Collab Sold Out Super Quickly by Stephanie McNeil on buzzfeed.com (https://www.buzzfeed.com/stephaniemcneal/hunterxtarget) I saw quite a bit of gloating going on from Instagram users who shared selfies and photos of their new swag, while most Twitter users, who posted, complained, “they were unable to purchase anything because everything was sold out or made of inferior quality.”

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Hunter x Target Price Tags 

Visiting the Store

With such an unbalanced response, I decided to visit my local Target to see for myself what was going on with the collab. So on April 17 and April 18, 2018, I examined the Trend Spot section and was able to buy quite a few items, on my wishlist, and talk to a few customers.

Tuesday, while examining the existing boots, I did see one pair of the coveted rain knee-highs, but they were a man’s size 11, causing them to remain on the shelf. They were still there when I went back the next day. One of the two men I talked to, in the department, told me they were from Woodland Hills.

“There were more boots and shoes there than here. They also have more clothes too.”

–Customer I met at “Target”

“There were more boots and shoes there than here. They also have more clothes too,” one of them said.

On Wednesday, when I returned to get the rest of the clothes I liked, I talked to another customer. “I came from Santa Clarita to see what they had,” she said.

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Hunter x Target Haul Slideshow

Comparing the complaints from the lucky ones who at least snagged one item against those who didn’t I was able to judge more objectively and obtain my own significant haul. Later, I took some photos of it, then used the PicCollage app, before posting it on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram as my Hunter x Target haul. In opposition to all of the gloating, I responded with what I felt was a tasteful display of gratitude, at what I was able to buy. Since I always seem to luck out and enjoy these collabs I don’t think Target should change how they do them because it brings customers into the store and introduces a higher priced, more stylish brand, to a lower economic group of consumers.

You’ve Got to Be Clucking With Me, KFC Ran Out of Chicken in the UK?: A Fast Food Reality Story

“No matter how perfect the setup, if it can go wrong it will.”

–Richard Quest of  “Quest’s Profitable Moment” in “How does KFC run out of chicken?” (February 23, 2018)

What do you do if you have your mouth set for a piece of KFC chicken and your local restaurant is closed because they don’t have any? Do you try to wake up from your nightmare and realize it’s really happening in the UK, and your fast food comrades are suffering? Sadly it was a proven fact earlier this year.

When the company was questioned about the “cluck up” of course they passed the blame and told Ruth Brown in What the cluck? KFC runs out of chicken (February 18, 2018, New York Post), “We’ve brought a new delivery partner on board, but they’ve had a couple of teething problems-getting fresh chicken out to 900 restaurants across the country is pretty complex!” But was it really fair to throw DHL under the bus for their failure to deliver the addictive meat?

In Making It In America by John Bassett and Ellis Henican, they write, “When a leader of a company makes a mistake they must do five things: (1) Admit it; (2) Take responsibility; (3) Correct the problem; (4) Compensate the people who were hurt; and (5) Rebuild public confidence and ensure that it won’ t happen again.”

While some restaurants chose to see the glass as half empty and closed entirely, others tried to see it as half full and stayed open. Side dishes of mashed spuds with gorgeous brown gravy, flaky biscuits awaiting honey, refreshing coleslaw, sweet corn, cookies and soft drinks could make a satisfying meal if you don’t mind doing without the chicken. If you do it’s a sad occasion.

Comments on social media were both helpful and hilarious, making this crisis direr. One that was both was @livekindlyco’s Twitter, on February 20, 2018, “Quorn offers its #vegan chicken nuggets to KFC. That’s one way to solve the chicken shortage.”

Despite this solution, the question remains, “How did it happen?”. Richard Quest of Quest’s Profitable Moment in How does KFC run out of chicken (February 23, 2018) sums it up by saying, “No matter how perfect the setup, if it can go wrong it will.”

As this tasty obstacle passed into UK history, and quick food aficionados were able to resume their fix, British gravy fans will also have plenty of chicken and gravy to complete their Christmas dinners.

In case another chicken crisis arises, I’ve included below one of the best fried chicken recipes available from Joy of Cooking Cookbook, by Irma S. Rombauer and Marion Rombauer Becker.

food dish served on black ceramic plate
Photo by Chan Walrus on Pexels.com

 

Pan-Fried Or Sauteed Chicken (p.577)

(Allow 3/4 Pound per Person)

Clean and cut into pieces:

Young chickens

Dredge them lightly with:

(Seasoned flour or corn meal)

Melt in a skillet:

A mixture of butter and oil

allowing for each half chicken 2 or more tablespoons of fat. When the fat has reached the point of fragrance, add the chicken. Cook and turn it in the hot fat until brown. Reduce the heat and continue cooking the chicken, turning frequently until done, from 20 to 30 minutes, according to size. Cook only until tender, as further cooking will dry and toughen the meat.

Works Cited:

Brown, Ruth. “What the cluck? KFC runs out of chicken”, February 19, 2018, https://www.nypost.com/2018/02/19/what-the-cluck-kfc-runs-out-of-chicken/

Allen, Felix. “Clucking Hell Why has KFC run out of chicken, which Kentucky Fried Chicken stores are open and what’s the DHL deal?”, February 22, 2018, https://www.thesun.co.uk/money/5611251/kfc-chicken-shortage-crossed-the-road-branches-open-dhl/

Quest, Richard. “How does KFC run out of chicken?”, February 23, 2018, https://www.money.cnn.com/2018/02/23/investigating/richard-quest-kfc/index.html

Bassett, John and Henican, Ellis. “Making It In America”, Hachette Book Group, 2016

Rombauer, Irma S., and Becker, Marion Rombauer. “Joy of Cooking Cookbook”, Bobbs-Merrill Company, Inc., 1931