The third issue of the online Dalliance Magazine for 2014 has been released and can be read HERE. In this issue I have two stories published – ‘Quality Vs. Quantity’ and ‘Quick tips Travel in Style: Jetsetter’
Check out the images and story here or pop over to read the new issue!
Q. VS. Q
The digital revolution has given us unlimited access to a wealth of knowledge and technological advancement, however the rise of social media and consumer content online has resulted in an over saturation of images, videos and opinions. Where we once turned to traditional media such as newspapers, magazines, radio and television for entertainment and information, we now open our laptops, grab our tablets or use our phones to access the content we seek. Due to this revolutionised consumption of media, traditional sources are now expected to have an online counterpart as well as continuously engaging readers via social networking channels such as Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest or Facebook.
The fashion industry has developed a huge dependancy upon digital media in order to stay on top, utilising platforms such as Instagram, Youtube, Pinterest and Facebook to engage their consumers, promote their product and offer ‘exclusive’ behind the scenes footage and tutorials previously held in the palms of the gate keepers at women’s beauty and fashion magazines. Fashion magazines have also been hit with the necessity of online media to stay relevant, every publication has a website, Instagram and Facebook account, asking readers to ‘like’ their favourite covers and ‘share’ their images of the magazine. In the flurry to maintain readers, profit and advertisers, has the quality of the content shared via these online channels sacrificed the overall brand or aesthetic of magazines and fashion labels or is it truly maintaining and strengthening the bond between media consumer and creator?
Melanie Doncas, editor of Whim Online Magazine, believes that it boils down to the type of publication we are talking about.
“it really comes down to the aesthetic of the fashion magazine and whether it is directed towards a particular niche. Magazines which are dedicated to showcasing the latest fashion trends and what’s happening on the runway can probably get away with producing filler and sacrificing the quality of their content for quantity.”
However, she argues that publications marketed towards a specific niche audience must carefully curate their content to align with their overall aesthetic or brand identity.
“Publications which are designed with a more specific audience in mind and that cater to a narrower niche have to be a lot stricter about keeping the aesthetic of their magazine strong throughout both the publication and their digital / social platforms, as it is a lot more obvious if they begin producing fashion content which is clearly out of line with their ‘image’.”
Cameron Parker of Australian fashion label Blackmilk Clothing believes that social media opens gateways of conversation between the creator and the consumer that’s integral to understanding your target market. “[its the relationship] thats formed via social media that keeps our consumer engaged. We get great insights, bring people on the journey behind the scenes and we get a great idea of what will sell and what wont. It’s very much a two way channel.”
Blackmilk Clothing produces and sells leggings, swims, dresses and now a gym wear range inspired by pop culture, exclusively online. Parker explains that social media avenues have put the consumer in control, they decide what the next collection should be and what will be in it, whereas fashion mags are one way. “[It’s] some senior editor or designer telling people what they want, what they should be wearing or what information they need.”
Ultimately, Parker describes the way in which social media has played a huge role in launching an online fashion business creating what, five years ago, would have been considered a bit out there. He names social fashion sharing site Lookbook.nu, who were just starting up at the time, as a great way of achieving credibility for their product.
“Back five years ago we had product that was pretty different, crazy leggings, and we found that these very fashion forward real girls around the world would style it interestingly and chuck it up on lookbook. We love the relationship that we have with them, we don’t tell them how to style it – they style everything very unique and they have a massive following that girls can align themselves with them. It’s extremely credible.”
However, Phoebe Montague of fashion blog Lady Melbourne believes that, in the fight between print and digital content, it is ultimately up to the reader to pass judgement.
“They are different voices and they speak to different audiences. So for me, I would rather look at a blog or digital publication than a magazine for inspiration, But there are still whole swathes of people out there for whom magazines are paramount. It’s not the product, it’s the audience.”
Although, she does note that so much of what we unknowingly digest in fashion magazines is now ‘advertorial’ rather than pure fashion editorial or unbiased opinion, and references an episode of HBO’s Girls to describe the phenomena.
“I really love one of the latest plot lines in HBO’s ‘GIRLS’ where Hannah gets a job as a ‘writer’ for GQ magazine writing sponsored content. She has a real dilemma about it, until her first pay check comes in. Kind of sums up the whole industry for me.”
In this digital world it appears that while fashion mags still reign supreme, they are riding on the coattails of their once pristine reputations for authentic opinions, original ideas and unsponsored content. As more ‘advertorial’ creeps into our print publications, audiences are now turning to online tutorials by bloggers, vloggers and online independent mags for fashion advice and inspiration. I for one, understand the draw. It was just this month I picked up a copy of Elle Australia and Shop ’til You Drop, only to find that the supposed ‘eyeliner tutorial’ was an ad for the new L’Oreal Eyeliner.. and was printed in both glossies, exactly the same.
To satisfy ones wanderlust has become a right of passage into adulthood for our generation, but the art of packing lightly yet prepared is something that still eludes many of us, even the most experienced jet setter. The all important extra space we need for collecting keep sakes and investment pieces goes out the window as we grab that necessary ‘one last thing’. Here is some expert advice on what to pack and where to shop.
International designer Roksanda Ilincic tells Vogue “I don’t tend to wear a lot of make up, so I only carry the bare essentials”. This is most important when packing up your beauty products. Invest in travel-size containers that products can be transferred into, and create a capsule collection of basic makeup necessities.
When packing for a holiday, always pick separates in styles your comfortable and familiar with, Diane Von Furstenberg explains that “real style is effortless. It’s about being comfortable doing what you’re doing”. Pack colours that are easily interchangeable – black, white, navy and tan, neutrals always looks chic.
Bridget McCall of Life With Bird wrote in her Vogue fashion week diary “I find that comfortable walking shoes are the best for running between appointments, I much prefer to walk where possible than be in a taxi or underground”, so invest in a great pair of versatile and comfy ankle boots.
When in London there is no greater shopping pleasure than indulging in high street fashion. Walk along Oxford and Regent Streets to get an arm-full of Topshop, Urban Outfitters, Selfridges, Primark and H&M while Carnaby Street, the birthplace of the cultural revolution in the 60’s, is home to independent boutiques, American Apparel, Cheap Monday, Dr Martens and Liberty.
If you’re loaded with cash ready to splash head straight towards Galeries Lafayette, Printemps and Zara on Haussmann Boulevard. If not, head to Citadium on Rue De Caumartin for urban street wear and funky home and living pieces at high street prices. However, the true shopping gem of Paris is Marche Aux Puces de Saint-Ouen, the largest sprawling flea market in paris selling everything from rip-off watches on the outskirts to legitimate antique Louis Vuitton trunks and vintage Chanel bags inside the market centre.
Kuala Lumpur is usually just a connection on a long haul flight, however Malaysia’s capital has fast become a shopping mecca. Beauty lovers will lose entire days inside Pavilion Mall, where every high street to luxury cosmetic label has comprehensive store fronts ready to make you over. Luxury lovers can indulge themselves at KLCC Suria Mall while bargain hunters will walk out weighed down by bags of souvenirs from the picturesque Central Market.