Fashion Critique – fact or fiction?


The VAMFF has come and gone almost in the blink of an eye and being busy of late I hadn’t had the opportunity to put pen to paper about one of the cultural programs I attended at the Wheeler Centre. But better late than never so here goes.

Fashion Critique – fact or fiction was quite the conversation starter. Drawing on the insights of several prominent fashion journalists that included Janice Breen Burns (Voxfrock), Briony Wright (i-D magazine) and Paris based journalist and author Dana Thomas (Harper Bazaar, Delux, Gods and Kings) the discussion centred on the notion that fashion design is an art like any other however serious critique of fashion seems to be a scarce commodity … just as is the space in which to publish it.

It seems that with the rise of social media, fashion seems to be reduced to a mere photograph that is either liked or disliked, with very little discussion in between. Gone it seems are the days when considered assessments and arguments prevailed in fashion editorials; presenting thought-provoking prose that investigated the who what where why when and how social, cultural and economic factors have driven and influenced fashion over time. It was interesting to hear from these three prominent ladies that have had to adapt to this new form of journalism in order to covey meaningful critique in 200 words or less.

The highlight for me would definitely have to be Dana Thomas who was every bit the polished journalist that was taught to always get the facts right and to uphold an ethical and uncompromised stance. This trait is something that seems to be lost on a wide volume of “fashion bloggers” out in the Internet ether who seem to be driven more so by e-commerce and a misguided sense that the number of likes they receive equals style influence rather than actually presenting something of uncompromised value.

It was an interesting discussion to say the least and I am so glad I had the opportunity to be a part of the event. For me  it was the perfect way to kick off the VAMFF and I look forward to many more of these types of “in conversation”pieces at future VAMFF festivals.


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