Katie Chutzpah on "Bloggers versus fashion establishment"

Our resident fashion blogger afficienado Katie Chutzpah (as featured in last sunday’s Sunday Times Style) illuminates on the changing media landscape & teenage young blood, from the fashion ranks.

“You may probably be aware of the current hot debate in the fashion world that can be deconstructed as follows: bloggers versus fashion establishment. The power is shifting and thus unstabilising a great many as unbridled enthusiasm and quite often, hype, is traded and preferred to fashion editors with informed opinions but botoxed inexpressive faces of scorn. The new fashion vigilantes are here.

It appears that the new addition to the fashion hierarchy has caused an outbreak of ‘pass the smelling salts’ as overstretched PRs are ill informed (many don’t read blogs and don’t know good ones from bad), mainstream fashion hacks have their shackles up (sometimes quite rightly) as newbies crowd their territory and well, *sotto vocce* often the blogger dresses as a working spectacle and wannabe fashion personality rather than a fashion reviewer – you only have to look at pics of Tavi, Bryan Boy and Diane Pernet to see that. But mostly, it all boils down to youth, or more rightly, enthusiasm versus old guard, the power shift to new media and the hunger for new thoughts and opinions. ie. the new radicals. Even the feted CFDA (Council of Fashion Designers of America) has, for the first time, awarded voting stature to two famous bloggers (Bryan Boy and Tavi) which has caused consternation in the ranks.

It seems now even the legion of designers is already being mauled by youth. I recently attended the launch of the A/W ’10 collection of LUBLU by Kira Plastinina. Plastinina is 17 and has been designing since she was 14. SEVENTEEN! Yes, that’s right, she’s already a seasoned pro, selling to Harrods for the second season and is well known and sold in her native Russia, Eastern Europe and in L.A. My first question is how can one have garnered knowledge of design, technique and form a unique interpretation of fashion when so young? It takes years and unbridled talent, surely? However, Kira is up there with the best of them and importantly, her collection is selling. My second question is re finance. But, dear readers, I’m still none the wiser. It’s a sad fact that many incredibly talented British designers go bust as they concentrate on design and obtaining a unique style rather than number crunching and sales. It was St Anna of Wintour, after all, who stopped the genius of Galliano from going down le toilet, by encouraging hedge funders to back his collection. And the rest is history.
Miss Plastinina is surely saved from the realities of the rough and tough of a start up business by a wealthy backer but this doesn’t detract from her enthusiasm and determination. The collection itself is distinctly ‘All Saints’ by way of the Blitz club circa 1982, all shades of black, grey and muted cream textures with an outbreak of frills, beading and one shouldered dresses. Crucifix necklaces are added for further dark goth vibes but the whole air is of glam but wannabe edgy Muscovite meets Hoxton. A Russian Twenty8twelve if it pleases you.

Kira Plastinina may not be setting the fashion world alight with her collection but she’s sure to please a host of teenagers and women who dig Russian style and who (long to) hang out in Boujis, Vendome and China White. And that, is the power of youth.”

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