Laura Gardner

Full disclosure

Full disclosure

How sponsorship affects fashion coverage

The relationship between advertising (brand) and editorial (publication) in fashion has never been straightforward. As journalism scholar Lynda Davis argues ‘editorial is perhaps the most valuable form of media content because it is perceived to be unbiased and believable. Its ‘‘purity’’ (precisely because it is not advertising) derives from its aura of authority and neutrality.’ We examine the notion of editorial transparency, and how four different publishing platforms – The Business of Fashion, Nowness, Porter and The Talks – are dealing with the issue in relation to their respective funding models.

READ MORE

Hacking the System?

Hacking the System?

Are You Ready To Remain Dazed & Confused?

As publisher and director of Dazed Digital, Jefferson Hack oversees an editorial and media empire that now incorporates AnOther Magazine, Dazed Digital, AnOther Man, NOWNESS (funded by luxury conglomerate LVMH) as well as Dazed & Confused. On their website, Dazed Digital boasts global brands like Armani, Chanel, Nike, Swarovski and Dunhill as key clients. Given this, Dazed Digital is unequivocally embedded in the mainstream fashion system, making the political-sounding rhetoric and graphics of Hack’s latest offering We Can’t Do This Alone seem empty to say the least.

READ MORE

In Parts and Pieces

In Parts and Pieces

How women appear #mycalvins

Calvin Klein’s heritage as a brand that attempts to push the boundaries with controversial, sexually-explicit advertisements has seemingly made a return this season with a campaign that serves up a well-worn narrative of ‘men act, women appear.’ The agenda of the brand’s new Spring 2016 campaign is clear: the trope of woman-as-objects sells, particularly through the lens of the campaign’s gritty, filmic aesthetic. It might sound like something we’ve heard before, but the reaction to the campaign – which, amongst other images, sees model Kendall Jenner presented as a collection of Polaroid body parts – has been alarmingly docile, prompting us to reignite the discussion since it’s hard to believe so little has changed when it comes to the portrayal of women in mainstream fashion media.

READ MORE

Walking Taller

Walking Taller

Jennen Ngiau-Keng on the business of elevated shoes for men

A handful of centimetres can have a lot of power in the business of shoes. Recognising a market for well-designed, well-made men’s ‘heels’, Jennen Ngiau-Keng’s began his company Taller Shoes in 2007 and now offers a range of over one hundred elevated men’s shoes. The company stocks a range, from black formalwear shoes to boating loafers, each of which add between five and thirteen centimetres to the wearer’s height with a reinforced insole.

READ MORE

Between Words

Between Words

On ‘The Maddening and Brilliant Karl Lagerfeld’

Historically, fashion has an uncomfortable relationship with critique: mainstream media coverage by newspapers and magazines often shy away from rigour and analysis on fashion’s output of events and collections. This is a dynamic that is constantly repeated in its discourse. References to other cultural disciplines, namely art and literature, are used to legitimise the domain of fashion, and suggest that it’s an industry that fails to measure up to a similar level of intellectual rigour.

READ MORE

The Best for the Most for the Least

The Best for the Most for the Least

‘Idealistically power should lie in the origins of creativity. A true and clear vision is ultimately a source of power. Realistically however, we’re dealing with a much more complicated organism. Fashion has its own ecology, built on a hierarchy of psychological and cultural relationships, with a bit of internal politics thrown in for good measure.’

Mary Ping from Slow And Steady Wins the Race on power politics in fashion.

READ MORE

Blank Looks

Blank Looks

The Evolution of the Nineties Waif

Emerging from fashion photography and styling that was intended as more realistic portrayal of fashion, the androgynous waif was a subversive take on mainstream fashion. But the look had broader implications, evolving from its original incarnation as documentary-style fashion photography into the minimalist grunge style adopted by designers in the latter years of the decade, such as Jil Sander, Helmut Lang and Josephus Thimister.

READ MORE

The Bryanboy Gesture

The Bryanboy Gesture

Appropriation of the Fashion Blogger Pose

The much-appropriated Bryanboy gesture – one hand at waist, hip cocked with the other hand is held high, proudly clutching a designer handbag – has become a powerful symbol in the digital era. More broadly, the ‘blogger pose’, as it has come to be known in the digital landscape, has given the everyday fashion follower the opportunity to adopt a centre-of-attention status in a culture of fashion commerce.

READ MORE

Imagining Fashion

Imagining Fashion

In Conversation with Adele Varcoe on the Performative Potential of Fashion

Performance is something integral to fashion, in industry, and our everyday experience: from catwalk presentations, photo shoots and red carpet events to the dressing up we engage with in our daily lives, all are very much acts of performance in an industry that is necessarily expressive. Artist Adele Varcoe’s work is concerned with these functions – a keen observer of the phenomenon of fashion and our responsive behaviour, her performance events and happenings aim to address fashion and our experience of clothing.

READ MORE

Mainbocher & the Decline of the Socialite

Mainbocher & the Decline of the Socialite

Reflecting on the Bygone Era of High Society

A quick Google search on ‘socialite’ will inevitably come up with any number of recognisable faces from twenty-first century celebrity culture. Touted by gossip magazines and tabloids like The Daily Mail, Hello and Who, the term is rarely used with flattering connotations. Paris Hilton, Nicole Richie, Tara Reid, Blake Lively and Kim Kardashian, among many other women, are just some of the wayward celebrities that nowadays are deemed as ‘socialites’.

READ MORE