Though New York Fashion Week is over, we’re still in the throws of London, with Paris and Milan still to come. If you like to cover shows for your personal blog, you’ve still got a ways to go and a lot of content to sift through.
If you’re like 99 percent of fashion bloggers in the world, you aren’t actually lucky enough to attend these shows for yourself, let alone sit in the front row and photograph the looks. So, you must turn to outside sources for your images and information on looks, guests, celebrity appearances, models, etc.
I had the good fortune to attend some shows on behalf of my job this season, but most of the shows I wanted to post about on my personal blog, I didn’t attend. Fortunately for us, today’s technology and the popularity of social media allows everyone almost instant access to the latest shows.
Here are some guidelines I try to follow when blogging about fashion week:
- If you didn’t attend the shows and photograph the looks yourself, you’re going to have to get them from an outside source, which is okay. I feel like I’m becoming a broken record here, but I’ll say it again anyway: You must credit your images. For example, at the end of your post, use italics or parenthesis to indicate the text is not editorial, and use a phrase like “images via” or “images from.” Do not say “courtesy of” unless the source gave you explicit permission to re-publish them.
- When I want to post about a show, I have two sources I turn to for my images, but there are a great deal of places to find them. I use Style.com and New York magazine’s blog, The Cut.
- Do not post every image from a show you liked. It’s total overload, and your readers can get full show coverage from larger publications. They come to you for your perspective, not your copy-and-paste skills.
- I like to use an in-browser photo editing tool called Picnik.com to put multiple images together in a collage and place text over them to identify the designer or trend I’m highlighting.
- Have a distinct perspective. Like I said above, your readers come to you for your unique take on fashion. They want to know what you liked specifically, and WHY. The digital space is inundated with fashion week coverage, and your contribution should be original, thoughtful and honest.
- Speaking of honesty – be true to your readers. Your post is second-hand news, and you should be upfront about that. This applies both to your post and to your social media promotion of your coverage. Site your sources and include hyperlinks if you pull quotes from other places. Also, I know it sounds like a no-brainer, but for example, don’t re-tweet Joe Zee’s iphone picture of Anna Wintour from the front row of Isabel Marant like it’s your own.
- Choose your descriptive adjectives wisely – and avoid the word cute. If you’re not sure how to describe something, read up on coverage from other publications to brush up on your vocabulary. After all, there’s a difference between sequins and paillettes.
- Be selective with your coverage. Vogue covers every show because they’re Vogue, and they have to. Stick to designers that you love, that you admire, and that create clothing and accessories you would wear.
- Identify trends. One way to create unique content is to sort through the shows yourself and find consistencies between designers. What colors were shown frequently? Hemlines? Patterns? This can be exhausting due to the sheer number of looks each designer shows, so I like to take notes as I go that I can refer back to later.
- Check your spelling. To be a credible source of fashion coverage and inspiration to your readers, you should be able to correctly spell the names of designers, types of fabrics, and articles of clothing you are reporting on.
As always, the goal with having a personal blog is to create a space to share your authentic voice and taste. Stay true to your aesthetic and your access level, but don’t be afraid to use images and input from outside sources (in moderation).
One last tip that I find helpful in inspiring original thoughts and perspectives on fashion shows is to watch the live stream on the designer’s web site or Facebook page when possible. That way you get instantaneous access and a better view than those actually present in the fourth row.
Have you been posting about this season’s fashion shows? How do you like to cover your favorite designers and trends?