Do we need critical fashion journalism?


Last week, I was pretty surprised to come across Business of Fashion’s article, Take Me To Church, which describes some of Alexander Wang’s choices as ‘obvious’ and ‘self-conscious’. It was totally right, and something I think every time I see that totally overdone punks-in-church trope. But what struck me was that for all the blogs I follow, I very rarely see anything that openly critcises designers.

I suppose most of this is down the fact that a lot of media is really advertising dressed up as journalism, so there’s a lot of tip-toeing going on. I guess anything truly horrible would just be ignored.

In a way that’s good; why dwell on things you don’t like when you can celebrate the things that you do? There’s a time and a place for criticism, though, and the lack of it is probably what sets the fashion world apart from other commercial industries like cinema and fine art. It’s a given that films need to pull in audiences to create profit, but it isn’t dismissed as vapid the way fashion is, and this is in part due to the fact that most media outlets doΒ little more than praise whatever they’re being paid to promote.

The is fine to an extent- magazines don’t really exist to ask these questions, which is why we need sources like Business of Fashion, where writers can take a step back and look at collections more objectively. This benefits all of us; the industry’s legitimacy is reinforced, a forum for discussion is created, and sometimes you just need to call a spade a spade, especially when it’s a sweatshirt tucked into sweatpants, because what the fuck even is that?




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