Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Another Thorn in Fashion's Midriff

Pulitzer prize winner Robin Givhan at the Washington Post. Vannessa Friedman at the Financial Times. Suzy Menkes at New York Times' International Herald Tribune.
If you didn't know, you'd probably be asking why I'm naming these journalists. But that's just the thing; these are not just any journalists. They are the fashion editors of their respective titles. These are big newspapers and, OMG, they have fashion editors?!
OMG, because in South Africa, those who run newspapers think fashion is a trivial field that deserves to be featured once in a while, when and if a wire service (like Reuters or AP) has some or other article they think is interesting. Local papers have no dedicated fashion people. If anything, a general news reporter is assigned to cover fashion week and the results of this is what we saw in March with a Sowetan newspaper report that rubbished SA Fashion Week. And hold on... the said journalist was not even there to absorb and professionally dissect the event. She (or he... I'm not bothered to know) must have simply relied on hearsay for her story. And from who? A couple of friends who may or may not know what the hell they were talking about. Pretty, don't you think?
At The Times they have Jacquie Myburgh-Chemaly, a respectable and credible voice in fashion, but she too is a columnist. The Sunday Times Lifestyle section... I don't think they could be bothered. Pulling something out of the wires works for them.
OMG! Because fashion is a trivial field in South Africa!!! Who wants to read about it anyways?
Well, methinks a gazzillion fashionistas who couldn't be bothered about Zuma's latest baby. I'm not condoning their behaviour because I feel it is important for one to know what goes on in their country's politics, but the fact of the matter is that a lot of people would rather spend over a R 100 buying Vogue at Exclusive Books rather than buying our Sunday papers, simply because their tastes are not catered for. Yes, the lack of a National Fashion Council, the many fashion weeks and fashion magazines that seldom engage meaningful with the field are all problems that need to be addressed if fashion is to go anywhere in this country, but the perception fashion is trivial and that her contribution to national heritage is ignored is yet another thorn in fashion's midriff;.
Don't ask me why I chose to post this now, I don't know. It is just something I think about and I think it is absolutely wrong!
In an unrelated matter (before I forget), welcome to the blogosphere, Kepi. To those who've been living under a rock for a while now, Kepi is a member of Smarteez and he, too, has started a blog. Check it out at  as well as a behind-the-scenes on the recent Dazed and Confused Magazine Smarteez shoot, here.

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