22 September 2009

Sarah Mower!

Well over a year ago (during the AW08 shows) I was going on about Suzy and Hilary, two of the best fashion writers (read: journalists) around. My hat remains resolutely off to those two ladies and today (three seasons later), I want to acknowledge another, equally amazing writer, who sits very comfortably in the company of Menkes and Alexander.

Sarah Mower is a bit younger than the aforementioned, she writes runway reviews for Style.com (which, as an aside, is perhaps reflective of this age difference) and also independent feature articles for fashion magazines. Though her writing for Style.com has always been fantastic, this season (SS10) Mower has lifted her game unequivocally.

Brilliantly, through showing what fashion writing should be (in my opinion, well-written and -formed, clever, witty, informing, informed, astute, aware of history and of context, knowledgeable, etc.) she is not only revealing a lot of popular fashion writing for what it is (i.e. vapid - and the irony is not lost on me that this very blog of course falls into my 'popular fashion writing' category, which is essentially a category of independent blogs), she is reaffirming the role of the professional critic.

Through her very position as one of Style.com's foremost critics; through her reputation within the industry; through the very fact she is simply very good; and through implementing that freedom which, ironically, has been borne via the surplus information and opinion fashion blogs provide us, fundamentally altering what is considered reasonable editorial generally; Mower is able to be more critical than ever.

In doing this, she is proving the value of a good fashion review, reminding us why we want to read about fashion and what writing about fashion really is, or what it could be. That is, not merely teenagers bellowing their opinions out to the world (e.g., read 'Suzy' and 'Hilary' links above), not unconscious name-dropping, not the use of hyperbolic positives to describe rather than actual descriptions, not insertion of excess punctuation (!!??!OMG!!!FYI@@^^**!!\), etc.; all of which eventually renders any discourse redundant.

It's not that I'm suggesting blogs should be abolished (obviously), because there are some, like, AMAZINGLY FANTASTIC !!!! bah-logs jhlgkytd - yeah! - (seriously), and it is all part of the times, reflects the industry, the society, where we are at in the world generally, et cetera, et cetera - and all of this is, of course, therefore, necessary. What I am saying is there needs to some kind of quality control, some kind of benchmark from which to go by, something which brings back home what we are actually looking at when we see fashion on the runway - a criticism that is not solely for hipsters, those supposedly 'in-the-know' - something that will make us better informed, not only in terms of fashion but also generally better informed.

Take this snippet from Mower's review of the Topshop Unique show on Sunday: "With that, team Topshop rose several notches up the fashion-credibility charts — if anyone's still counting, that is. All the fashion world seems to care about now is what 14-year-olds think. And they love Topshop."

Biting (yes!)! Reading fashion reviews should be a worthwhile endeavour. We should get something out of it, we should be forced to think. Hence, whether consciously or not, through some subtle change, Mower is reinstating the role of proper fashion critique, reinstating thinking, thoughtful provocation and real knowledge.

Edit: The Mower brilliance continues! For more bites, click here, here and here.


Anonymous indihues said...

She surely has immense knowledge on fashion. i always like reading her reviews. meeenal maharaj also doest disappoint

17 March, 2010 10:11  

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