Sunday, 29 November 2009

Blog Happenings

It’s a shame I only have time to update Hapsical once or twice a week at the moment (although upcoming holidays = more blogging time!), but I’m just about managing to keep on top of it, and of what’s going on in the fashion ‘blogosphere’ in general.

Just a few blog happenings which have interested me lately:

Jane Aldridge of Sea of Shoes (who was invited to attend the Bal des D├ębutantes at the Crillion hotel in Paris last night, where she wore Chanel Hautue Couture, no less…) has, in an unexpected move, deactivated the comments on her blog because “I have never seen the point of a feedback system on a personal style blog.” Jane, as you doubtless know, is a very pretty, slim, well-dressed girl who has an amazing personal style, who really gets fashion, and who owns a collection of designer shoes (and clothes) which seriously exceeds that of most fashion editors by a sizeable margin. It is therefore unsurprising that on most of her posts there would be at least a few malicious comments by jealous (anonymous) commenters, trying to pick apart her fantastical fashion existence. Still, these few unpleasant comments were always vastly outnumbered by comments from adoring fans (like us!!). Jane does rightly point out that a comment which merely goes along the lines of ‘OMG you look amazing, great shoes’ doesn’t really mean much, but I do seriously question the wisdom of cutting out commenters altogether, not least because it is in a sense to concede victory to the jealous haters.

The fact that several hundred people went to the effort to write something nice on each of her posts (even if, in itself, what they had to say didn’t really mean much) shows there is some value in having comments, if not just to please the blog’s readers, who obviously enjoyed leaving nice comments to an extent. Sea of Shoes is a really famous blog, and Jane’s e-fame is such that she even designs shoes for Urban Outfitters under her own name, and this is thanks, at least in part, to her loyal readers and commenters, who have now been distanced. I also worry that by deactivating comments, an integral part of what makes blogging unique is lost, and it becomes more like distant, inaccessible ‘old media’ again. Of course it is Jane’s choice, and I respect that, and nobody should have to put up with abusive comments, but personally I would be terrified to turn off comments, for fear of alienating the majority of readers who are nice and who want to say nice things, and because you lose your feedback system (I for one question posts if they receive no or few comments, although Hapsical is obviously on a much smaller scale than Sea of Shoes). It will be interesting to see if any of the other mega-bloggers like Style Bubble, Fashion Toast, and Style Rookie etc. follow suit, although I really hope they don’t.

I have been chortling away to myself ever since I heard Tavi (of Style Rookie) described as ‘the new Beth Ditto,’ as in fashion’s slightly unexpected obsession du jour, if not just because of the vast physical difference between the two. Tavi is an extraordinary 13 year old, who knows so much about fashion and has a very well developed, unique personal style for any age, let alone 13, but reading her blog these days is just a bit crazy: front row at all the big shows, flying to LA to meet Miuccia Prada, sitting opposite Hedi Slimane at a dinner, in Japan currently to meet Rei Kawakubo…I do feel that part of Tavi’s original idiosyncratic charm has been lost now that she has been so fully embraced by the fashion establishment. I also hope that when things inevitably move on, and fashion finds a new obsession (I mean how last season does Ditto seem now?!), she is let down gently and can just go back to what she does best, namely being the most amazing 13 year old fashion blogger the world will ever see.

After the tragic death of model Daul Kim, her blog remained online for a few days (enabling hundreds of people to leave messages of condolence in the comments section) before access to the blog was restricted. There’s something a bit eerie about looking back on the personal blog of someone who has died (and it was rather distasteful, to say the least, how journalists mined the blog, looking for signs of ‘suicidal tendency’), but I wonder if Google/Blogger and other internet companies (like Facebook, and email providers) are working out, or already have, some sort of protocol for what happens to people’s online lives after they have passed away (offline). This is something I have blogged about before HERE, which I still find myself thinking about from time to time (for the record, I have no intention of dying early!).

Finally, another blog you really should read (as well as Hapsical, of course!): Fashion Editor at Large. A while back, I mentioned that I was lucky enough to attend a couple of London Fashion Week shows thanks to a very cool fashion editor I know… well, this is her blog. In fact, a couple of months ago I sat in her immaculate study in her London house and showed her how to use Blogger, in exchange for juicy fashion gossip, so you really have no excuse not to read her blog! She is Melanie Rickey, and she is the Fashion Editor at Large of Grazia, which is a very successful weekly, glossy fashion magazine in the UK. Because of her job and her experience in the industry, her opinions really are worth reading, people like Christopher (Kane) and Kate (Moss) are on first name terms, and she has loads of exclusive pictures and interviews (check out her interviews with Sarah Mower and Yasmin Sewell, who you will definitely recognise from The Sartorialist and Jak & Jil…)


  1. Its a difficult topic, some argue that comments are vital to blogging and other that the content is king at the end of the day.
    There are some interesting precedents in the tech sphere where people have closed their blogs and opted for using email as their method of distribution. They argue that this keeps the replies more direct and people are less likely to write 'anonymous' bashing comments.
    I don't think the same would work in the fashion blogo-sphere, but I certainly thing people need to be aware of commenting etiquette.

  2. Hapsical my friend - thankyou so mucho for tipping Fashion Editor at Large! Getting into it is like moving to a new city, with all that entails. The steepest learning curve I have experienced in years. I agree with your thoughts on commenting - its wrong to deactivate the feedback stream - its a cop-out. The whole point of blogging is to engage and exchange - thats what makes it amazing and alive. Print journalism is pretty much a one way medium - so stemming feedback is reverting progress! So glad it was you who opened the door to the blogosphere for me xxx MR

  3. I think it's fair to note that Jane lied in that blog post when she stated that "always had a 'no delete' policy for my comments". I distinctly remember my comments being deleted repeatedly when I mentioned that her shoes for UO were all basically knockoffs. It would have been nice to her to admit that all of designs were essentially derivatives or pastiches of some of her favorite shoes.

  4. Thanks for this post. The blogverse is so overwhelming've provided such a nice summary, hitting some personal faves. yay Tavi! And i agree; i hope the comedown from her amazing, and deserved, current Sweetheart status is gentle and perhaps even a relief for her.

    best, j

  5. well as trying to get everything out just fine such people succeed on the Internet

  6. i have just spent 3 hours reading pages of your blog and i must say that i love it very much. your views on the creation process, fashion and art are interesting and are similar to mine. i like reading your blog as i can actually learn from the things you write. thanks for giving your time to do such things and reach out to some people out there.
    i will now continue reading the rest :)