Monday, 19 July 2010

(A Book On) Fashion Blogs by Kirstin Hanssen and Felicia Nitzsche, with Elina Tozzi

   Everyone observes everyone else


   This is what the book is for:
Fashion blogs are crucial news and inspirational sources for everyone who wants to stay up-to-date about fashion. These blogs are therefore both visually and with regard to content in competition with traditional media. Fashion blogs raise many questions. Is the fashion blogger the new trend-watcher? Can they be referred to as professional amateurs? How does blogging affect privacy? Is fashion blogging the ultimate way of self expression? Kirstin Hanssen and Felicia Nitzsche carried out a research.The main content of the book is divided into five categories: fashion journalism, street style photography, party photography, personal style and men's style. Bloggers around the world have been interviewed and the interviews are supported by visual blog material.
   And this is how I came to be a part of it:


   Last autumn, before the instituting of the Mode Parade e-mail no less, Kirstin sweetly requested my involvement in a project that has taken her, Felicia and Elina countless months collating URLs, arranging the publication of this milieu-exposing tome and selecting the 40-odd bloggers they felt to be the faces of this little world who were not Scott Schuman, Yvan Rodic or that plucky yet grandmother-esque 13 year old Rei Kawakubo-fetishist. And me. Apparently, they appreciated my flair for opalescent flamboyance and murky self-portraiture, as well as my ability to perpetrate offences against the English language five times a month

   Also, I suppose that they needed some guys in there

   Resource allowances for my contribution to the book were no less frantic behind my scenes. Kirstin had tailored a series of 17 interview questions, along with photograph requests. Which arrived in January. When I had just moved to Accra, where I remain to this moment. With my photographic library in London undergoing a back-up process due to a vandalised MacBook. And my dislike for the column's original "Style Time" moniker already thrown into sharp relief

   Authoring the column itself does not approach true posterity. Blogger's servers can crash and it will all burn. Or I could delete it. My own caprice is probably equal to that of Fate's, so who knows who will get there first

   Being published in a collection that will eventually achieve a wider release outside of Europe this year and thus blind the colour-sensitive that will view my ensembles: when I put it this way, that reads much like posterity. Or a posterity error, by any other measure

   Elina evidently intuited that Mode Parade is something of an atypical "fashion blog;" this I noted when she described the language of other bloggers as "somewhat tiresome" in comparison to my own. I'm guessing that it had not been a fruitful day on Google when she wrote that down. I jest, Elina; I always welcome a compliment 

   Of course, The Mode Parade isn't for much other than my disorderly ruminations and my Narcissistic Ensemble Recordings. And my caprice, as noted above. I've no interest in being on-trend and I'm never knowingly on the pulse; those are the fringe benefits of the research I undertake. I like being able to reflect on the few collections I appreciate, months to years after their deployment into the world. I also prefer tradition, and permutations thereof, to the trendy anxieties of the hermaphroditic, ankle bearing, voluminous trousered, overly cropped jacket-sporting set that champions "eccentricity" over consideration. Actually, I disdain any set that rides such a train of thought - the brain food tends to be ruinous

   And now, back to the process report:


   It came together in the end once I'd finally hit on the best name to rebrand this space with. I overthought the 17 questions posed to me and typed accordingly. I found the various portraits taken by YF, Jamie Archer, James Lewis, Stephanie Rushton and Daniel Barnett, acquired their permission  for their usage and forwarded them on, along with a few other ensembles I excavated from my inbox. Regrettably, I've improved on most of those presentations since realising my proclivities for oversized eyeframes, Western-influenced African sartorial largesse and copious facial topiary, but the passport photograph that I was asked to take for my feature was developed in an aged colouration that tidily evokes the current Me. I was even wearing a silk brocade tie from the 1970s and a vintage shirt with a long collar as if to underscore the confluence at play. The editors aside, who knows how much of this photography made it in

   Loved ones in London have a copy. Apparently, Elina mistook the "Barimavox" in the column's URL for a genuine alias, despite the mononym in my About Me/Your Author page that also appends each post. Or maybe she thinks "Barima Vox" is a cute appellation. Nevertheless, the book's feedback was aglow with approbation, and this from non-readers of this column, no less (hello, Mum)

   I wanted to review the book, but they won't let me have it yet. This means that its authors can potentially succeed beyond our little milieu. Which they deserve to. They possess two capabilities that seem to be embargoed in some parts of the world: they are talented and they care

   
   My semi-regular readers should not investigate this book because I am a part of it. They should investigate it because it really merits those apt old phrases, "painstaking" and "a labour of love," whilst seeking to analyse just what drives people like me to our amateur editorialising, public showcasing and fiscally unrewarding endeavours

   History is sometimes made by the passionate and the self-regarding, or so I've been told. On that premise, the book writes itself. Nevertheless, there is a tangible value to blogging for those same reasons; the existence of the book - to gather, to assess, to comment, to edit and to highlight - intrinsically asserts this. This shooting into the dark has attracted the attention of Big Others, as exemplified by the likes of Susanna "Susie Bubble" Lau and Garance Doré, who also took part. I'd go as far to suggest that one day every single brand of perceived or real merit will gleefully utilise this modest communication tool until it breaks

   But I'd rather not give away my interview responses. The book is published by, and available from, d'jonge Hond and a visit to the book's blog will yield its collection of coverage and other stockists. Its international release indeed awaits; I hope it will be confirmed soon

   To conclude, if the Fellows behind my favourite style/cultural blogs (as requested during the interview) happen to read this, your bows are in order: Winston, Ryan, ADG and Christian, MM, Robert, Nick et al

   Everyone observes everyone else. And then they take notes

4 comments:

Candice said...

hey thats really cool. well done for getting in the book i guess - how awesome :)
x

http://perthfashionista.blogspot.com

Barima said...

Many thanks. Naturally, it's recommended

Lovely blog,

B

little augury said...

Great for you- I will investigate- maybe 1 hint will lure me in.

Barima said...

Thank you, although I must inform you that my jokes were edited out on grounds of moral turpitude

B

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