Monday, 8 June 2009

Somebody just burst my bubble!

Firstly, many thanks to my lovely sister Amie (who should've shown off her pretty face but didn't, so i've done it for her below) for sort of looking after the blog! Not quite the post a day I was promised, but a great effort and some pretty matching shoes and bags, despite my aversion to both!
Amie loves shopping, especially for baloon animals.

Secondly, my holiday was fantastic, thanks! I relaxed, ate as much local cuisine as possible and did a little local shopping; of the famed leather goods I indulged in a bag, purse, and make up bag. Oh and Mike brought me a lovely turquoise and silver ring; the perfect souvenir! Yum!

Thirdly, it appears that whilst I was away some nastiness appeared on this here blogosphere that felt like a cold bucket of water being thrown over the head and so although i'm sure you've read it all over the place, i'm going to say what's on my mind!

Although I occassionally mock gently, i'm a big fan of the Stylebubble blog, and of Susie's personal style and encyclopedic fashion knowledge. I will also admit quietly that i'm more than slightly jealous of her good looks, great job and wonderful writing style. Stylebubble was one of the first fashion blogs I read and it inspired me to start my own (after i'd done some professional blogging for a little while and wasn't passionate about the celebrity copy I was creating) For me, and thousands of others i'm sure, Susie was the inspiration to start a creative outlet of my own.

Photo from WendyB who apparently got it from Stylebubble via Racked.

So imagine how perturbed I was to find that Susie felt she had to remove pictures of herself looking rather adorable in a Pam Hogg catsuit (the very same ones I deemed unwearable, I feel vindicated to report) because her "people" felt it was bad publicity. This to me seems ridiculous; Susie is undoubtable the most famous and successful in a sea of thousands of fashion bloggers. And having your pop up store and overpriced goods advertised to this readership, and for free, seems to me like a very very good deal.

This also raises some serious questions for not-so-famous bloggers like me; I regularly do "changing room guerilla posts" where I try on outfit after outfit, and write nice things, often write some not very complimentary things. Do I need permission from the store to do this? Am I breaking any laws by taking these pictures and publishing them, and will this in turn damage my credibility? It seems likely that the stores dont want people taking these photos, as I was once asked to stop photographing the sunglasses in H&M. But is this a legal requirement aimed at protecting copyright of the garment (which I can sort of understand) or one aimed at preventing uncomplimentary publicity?Does anyone know any more about this than me and want to advise?

Either way, poor Susie was left feeling embarrassed and like a square peg in a round hole (my words, not hers) I know how this feels. Ms Hogg's people made pretty and petite Susie feel like she was too short/fat/plain and shouldn't fit into the fashion industy.

And to make matters worse, some awful chap called Terrence on refinery 29 wrote this about Susie on a piece she wrote in the Metro about Graduate Fashion Week: Susie Bubble is a celebrity blogger now, on this note we can all agree. However, she is NOT 'pretty', nor 'interesting looking' or in any way fit to model designer's clothes. At least Beth Ditto modeling for magazine covers is interesting because SHE is interesting in looks, life, and attitude (original and unique). Andy Warhol was right - anyone can make themselves famous.

This makes me angry as 1. I saw that feature in the metro and thought she looked beautiful (and that the outfits she'd picked were inspirational) and 2. because of the message that gives to genuinely normal ladies like me. I love taking photos of myself for this little blog; looking fat in dresses that are labelled wrong or wearing crazy patterns when i'm told that as a size 14/16 I should be wearing black. I love wearing clothes (just like Susie but not with the same level as finesse) and don't think anyone has the right to say that you have to be a certain size or shape or have a certain level of attractiveness to wear something. And it makes me worry that if because can be so cruel to Susie, who is half my size, they can almost certainly be as cruel to me. I have received emails about the "appropriateness" of someone my size wearing certain clothes, and I can tell you, it hurts!
Why, when everyone has to wear clothes everyday, do certain parts of the fashion industry have to me so damn bloody elitist?! And what on earth are other normal men and women doing validating this by critising people they dont even know, based purely on how they look, compared to an impossible ideal!?

No, Mr Stylist, there are no fixed rules about what you have to wear if you are an "apple" "pear" or shaped like any other kind of wretched fruit. All that matters is that you feel pretty/sexy/stylish - whatever you're going for at the time! No, Miss Fashion Editor, I dont have to wear black because "with my hips it's slimming". Speaking of which (whilst i'm ranting) why is it that 90% of designers stop making their clothes at a size 12, when more than 50% of the population is bigger? Would my fat hips give their label a bad name, just like Susie's enviable frame was "bad publicity" for Pam Hogg? Its all lunacy!

If Susiebubble wants to dress up like a bananna/christmas bauble/gorilla then let her because it makes her happy and she looks great! And if I want to wear floral leggings with a floral dress on holiday (despite the jeers of the locals. Sigh!) then I damn well can, because I felt great!

So my message I think is this: keep up the good work Susie, because you're an inspiration!
Phew. Rant over, and pre holiday tension returned. Back to business as usual I think!

Love, Tor x


KD said...

I couldn't agree more! Have we all forgotten the pre-school mantra "If you haven't anything nice to say don't say anything at all" and the not-so-preschool "What makes you think you can go and tear people down for doing what they love?" IF I was Pam Hoggs PR person I would be thrilled to see Susie wearing that!

WendyB said...

Interesting views on the intellectual property issue here:

tor (fabfrocks) said...

KD - As always, you're comment is right on the money!

WendyB - An interesting post! And glad to know that i'm (probably!) not breaking any IP laws!