18 January 2014

Have style bloggers sold out to the lure of big fashion brands?

Once upon a time, street style photography captured fashion at its finest: self expression rendered in a mix of high street and designer, vintage and customised clothes. For a few seconds as you scrolled Facehunter or flicked through a magazine, you had a fleeting insight into a stranger’s personality and the image that they wanted to project to the world.
Today, however, marketing has found its way into the arena of sartorial individuality. Fashion bloggers too numerous to name (and I won’t shame them here) have fallen prey to the ‘sponsored post’ – meaning that they’re paid by brands to feature their products. Some brands even tell bloggers what to write, and even worse – there are a few bloggers that don’t explain to their readers that they’ve been paid to create a post. And those spontaneous street style photographs? Many are now a bland tick list of designer pieces that have been strategically gifted to bloggers to ensure brand exposure. You can’t buy style. Or can you?
Not all bloggers fit into the fashion cookie cutter though. There are still blogs out there that inspire and delight readers with their unique insights and opinions on clothes and how to put them together. Here are some of my personal favourites…
Sydney-based Hannah-Rose Yee of Capture the Castle writes about clothes with a poetic beauty and a sense of wonder that make you hope that one day she will write a novel. A mix of travel photography, cinematic style analysis and extracts from fiction, with a healthy dose of food porn thrown in for good measure; hers is not a daily #ootd outlet. Hannah-Rose delves into the beauty of simple dressing and reveals the infallible feeling that follows the discovery of the perfect Breton top.

Dylana Suarez of Colour Me Nana is a So-Cal girl living in Philadelphia, and she has kept her surf country roots close to her heart. Just as likely to quote Fleetwood Mac lyrics as she is to wear denim cut-offs in the middle of winter, Dylana’s outfit posts perfectly capture her free spirited hippie style. Also worth a visit is her model sister Natalie’s blog Natalie Off Duty.

Ellie Loughran of Pretty Much Penniless gives an honest account of her experiences of living in London without being able to afford a new designer handbag each year (or lifetime). Her creative ways of looking continually elegant and also her homemade preparations for her upcoming wedding are crammed with inspiration for anyone looking to update their look on a (very) small budget.

I am still a firm believer in the fashion blog: its universal accessibility allows people who might otherwise have slipped under the fashion radar to have a platform to share their style. While some may have been corrupted by advertising and sponsorship, others take blog ethics seriously and go on to triumph over big business and shine through their originality.
First published on Running in Heels.

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