Fashion journalism

Alexandra Shulman Steps Down at Vogue

BREAKING FASHION NEWS:

First we had the news that UK InStyle magazine was closing its print issue to continue as an online only magazine and fashion resource and now it’s the turn of Bristish Vogue to drop a bombshell…

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This morning it was announced that after 25 years, Bristish Vogue Editor in Chief, Alexandra Shulman would be stepping down in June 2017 from the powerhouse fashion magazine.

“It has been very hard to find a rational reason to leave what is unquestionably a fascinating and rewards role but last Autumn I realised that I very much wanted to experience a different life and look forward to a future separate to Vogue.”  Alexandra Shulman, British Vogue

Speaking this morning of Shulman’s decision to step down, Conde Nast MD Nicholas Coleridge said that Shulman has been “the longest serving, and most successful editor of British Vogue in its 100 year history.”  Fine praise indeed.

Shulman thanked Conde Nast for opportunities beyond those she’d ever imagined and credited her time working on the centenary edition of the magazine as a career highlight.

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So what’s next for the British institution that is Vogue magazine, the bible in which every fashionista trusts?  Who knows?  As yet a successor has not been named but with Shulman stepping down in just 4 months from now, all eyes will be on Vogue’s socials……

“Thankyou for giving me so may opportunities and for trusting me to take care of the precious cargo that is Vogue, and allowing me the freedom to do the job exactly how I wanted.”  Alexandra Shulman

To read more about Shulman’s career click here, until next time Voyeurs…

Pixie xo

Why I’ll Never Give Another Personal Interview

Why I’ll never give another personal interview again

Well, that might be overstating it but today, I’m resolute. I’ll never reveal such personal information about myself and my family again. Let me rewind a little Voyeurs and give you some perspective….

A few weeks back I gave a pretty personal interview to Alysha Stirling of student web publication, Fashion North.  We spent three hours chatting over coffee in my second home, the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Newcastle.  Alysha is a student reading Fashion Journalism at Sunderland University and was pleasant, friendly & told me how she had followed my career and held me in high regard.  So far so good.

Now I accept full responsibility for letting down my guard and sharing details about my family when you all know that’s something that I don’t do.  I’m fiercely protective of both Bo and Plankton.  I keep them where they want to be kept which is at home, watching Top Gear and there’s a very good reason for that, it’s to protect my disabled son.

I liked Alysha. I really did. She came armed with pages and pages of questions and we talked at length about a variety of subjects, my career, and how I gave up a senior management position within the NHS after discovering the extent of my son’s multiple disabilities and how this would go on to affect his education and ultimately our lives as a family unit.  I felt relaxed enough to talk with her about this subject and I take responsibility for making myself vulnerable.

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What I didn’t expect however, was the personal attack from a Senior Lecturer at Sunderland University.  Yes, it’s someone I’m familiar with, and yes, it’s someone who for reasons I’m not entirely sure of, seems to have a real problem with me, but this is business, not a playground.  Now I’ve been in this business for a little while now, this ain’t my first rodeo. I’m well aware of the bitchiness that goes with this role.  The blogging community can be tricky, people seem to believe that they’re fighting for work and that their peers are competition which must be eliminated.  That’s just not true; we’re all out there working as hard as each other.  We all have a different audience, reach and serve a different demographic and on paper we should all be able to adapt and get on, which a lot of us do.  Business is about compromise, not fighting to get your own way or force your opinions on to others.

Anyway, I digress.  The Fashion North piece was published and shared as with anything else, and it discussed my role within the fashion industry as a single, self made entity.  There were specific highlights picked out by Alysha from our three hour conversation and compacted into a short 1400 word article, obviously there was some generalising, I guess to fit it into the paramenters allowed.  Within 48 short hours, all traces of the article were removed and I had vanished from the website as quickly as I had arrived and was replaced with an article on another Blogger.

I contacted Alysha – whom I discovered had ‘unfriended’ me on FaceBook – Fashion North, and the University Fashion Programme Leader in that order, to try to find out what had happened, and hit a stonewall.  Completely ignored and unfollowed by of them until I eventually had a cold email from the Programme Leader to simply say that it couldn’t be discussed.  Ouch.

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After tweeting about my disappointment (I tried not to, I really did), I took a call from someone.  Let’s call them W. Blower.   W. Blower clued me up on what had actually happened behind the scenes, saying it was unfair for me to be treated like this without being given the opportunity to have a say on it.  Kudos dude, you’re absolutely right.

What’s shocked me about this most, was not just the absolute bullshit crap stories made up about me,  but the fact that people are stupid enough to be taken in by his horseshit without making a judgement for themselves based on things that they already know.

I felt it necessary to write this post because I was prevented from having a voice.  I’ve not been given the opportunity to exercise my right to an argument after being so spitefully shut down by an individual with an acute dislike for me.  I’ll be honest Voyeurs, I would have expected more professionalism from a large educational institution, the unfriending, the stonewalling, it all smacks of sixth grade.  In what other aspect of life are you shut down for requesting an answer?  None Voyeurs, the University didn’t believe that I deserved, or had the right to an answer.  That’s one of the awesome things about blogging; you have a voice, and a platform.

Sidebar: I’m fine with people not liking me, but when people have convinced themselves that you’re a monster based on their own destructive lies about you, that’s not ok.  Never put up with hate, or people who bully based on hate; it’s definitely not ok.

That Voyeurs, is why I’ll never give a personal interview again.  Except to you guys, right here, in my online home, because you’re all awesome.

Pixie xo

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Fashion Voyeur Meets Fashion North

Well Voyeurs, today I was interviewed by a very lovely lady from student powerhouse, Fashion North for an actual feature.    if you’ve never heard of it, then get familiar.

Fashion North is a one stop shop; a fast paced hub dedicated to all things fashion and beauty and these girls have their fingers on the pulse.  The entire staff is made up of Fashion Journalism students at Sunderland University, students who give their time to researching the most up to date fashion and beauty news from the North East and around the globe and posting it to the website.

If there was ever an awesome advert for a Fashion Journalism course, then Fashion North is it.

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I was asked if I’d be willing to be interviewed for a feature on Fashion North by Deputy Editor Alysha Stirling and being an advocate for both fashion and the North East, I agreed without hesitation, because I’m nice like that.

I met with Alysha over peppermint tea and we talked fashion, beauty, politics and women in sport and it was like chatting with an old friend; an old friend with better winged eyeliner then me.  Me with last night’s hair and her with a gorgeous fluffy coat….

Wearing the remnants of a silver star transfer on my cheek from the night before and my gym kit I asked her “Why me?” and when she replied with “I just think that you’re really cool”  I knew we were going to hit it off.  In fact, she might not know this yet but I’ve actually decided we’re friends now.

She asked about my infamous Miami wedding – it’s my wedding anniversary tomorrow – and I paused as I had a vague memory of jumping into a pool in my wedding dress.  Is that rock and roll I ask myself?  Nah, just totes stupid I summise so I don’t tell her that particular gem.

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So Voyeurs, be sure to check out Fashion North, if you’re an avid reader of fashion social websites then add it to your reading list, you might just be surprised by just how awesome this crop of fashion students are.  I’ll update you with when the piece goes live (like twenty times each day for that day and probably the following fortnight) but it’s likely to be the beginning of December and it’s a pretty personal piece about me so you’ll discover some of my hidden secrets too!

Finally, I’d like to end by requesting a round of applause from all of you to celebrate the fact that I’m almost certain I didn’t say anything toooooooo controversial, although that remains to be seen…..

Pixie xo

 

“See Now, Buy Now” at NYFW

NYFW SS17 has come to a close and I’ve got to be honest Voyeurs, was a little underwhelming *sadface*.  There was a time that NYFW was regaled as the mother of all Fashion Weeks and the barometer for those that follow, but now?  Not so much, and I’m not the only Fashion Influencer to feel this way.

 

I was however, intrigued to hear that Tom Ford would be showing during NYFW this season after a last minute cancellation in February, albeit shunning the traditional and expected format and showing a “See Now, Buy Now” collection during the FW16 season (including cosmetics and skincare).  Let me explain –  The fashion industry is set up to make you feel that there are two seasons: Spring / Summer (SS) February to September,  and Fall / Winter (FW) October to March.  We all know that fashion is cyclical but the idea of funding these multi million dollar campaign is that after one season (6 months) a person will shun the current “trend” and move on to the next season, buying items from the next collection to tap into the next “trend”.  Since the first NYFW in 1943, this has always been the case and designers have shown a season ahead in order to allow time for manufacturing and creating garments to sell “on season.”  Hence, you see the FW collections in February / March and the SS collections in September / October.

With me so far?  Ok, now I’m going to scramble your brain a little more –  I am of course, assuming you don’t already know this, I’ve had a lot of emails over the last two weeks from Voyeurs asking what the difference between “on season” and “off season” shows is, and although I’ve replied to all of them, this might help a little and give you something to refer back to, or even share with your friends and future Voyeurs.

Ok, now you have a very basic concept of Fashion Week as a ‘thing’, let’s fast forward to 2014 – Blogging was becoming serious business for the fashion industry, with Conde Nast representing some of the biggest names at the time including Bryan Boy and Susie Lau and Bloggers were taking their place on the Frows of huge shows.  This is when came the shift; the difference between Blogs and traditional print media is that magazines are also cyclical, printing once per week or once per month meaning you have to wait for your fix, but Bloggers make it instant, with content produced immediately and shared immediately, readers, fans and followers get a glimpse of the collections in real time.  Sure, Fashion Editors of your favourite magazines have been doing this for years, but not everyone follows or even knows who these Fashion Editor are, Bloggers have become known, recognisable and now, marketable.

People often ask me about the difference between blogging and fashion journalism, as you know I do both and there’s one clear difference to me and that’s The Voice.  Let me break it down; when you buy a magazine, you buy a piece of journalism, a feature that someone has written about a topic they’ve been asked to write about, the account is factual, and delivers a point.  Sometimes, in the case of a column, there will be added elements of humour and sometimes not but when you’ve read it, you’ve left with more information than when you started.  Blogging however, is conversational.  Sure we’re sometimes paid to write features but ultimately a blogger writes about whatever they want, they have full creative control over their content and frequency of publication.  When I’m writing for you guys, I’m writing as I would talk, it’s light, it’s fun and it’s sometimes not politically correct but the only person accountable is me.  Remember, it’s immediate and when I’m showing you those covetable items from Fashion Week, they’re not available to view or buy for another six long months.  Got it?

Ok, where were we?  Ah yes, the shift in the fashion industry….

Sooooooo, in February 2015 Burberry announced that it would shift to a “See Now, Buy Now” format which sent ripples across the industry.  The naysayers gasped, saying it would never work and was a crazy idea, and anybody in fashion manufacturing quaked in their leather rider boots at the thought of prepping an entire saleable collection pre-runway show.

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Basically the concept of “See Now, Buy Now” is simple: In September / October when an SS show would normally be shown, Burberry will show a season appropriate collection for FW, the season we’re actually in and the collection will be shoppable immediately.  Simples.  When Tom Ford announced plans to follow suit, people sat up and took notice.  Ford has the ability to pack out a show space like no other, the Grand Master of fashion with a legion of celebrity disciples so this idea must have legs, right?  Sure enough, this season alone Rebecca Minkoff and Vetements  have announced their intention to follow this model along with smaller labels.

Never one to sit quiet on a subject so prickly, Karl Lagerfeld proclaimed “Its a mess, the reality is that you have to give people the time to make their choice, to order the clothes or handbags, and to produce them beautifully so that editors can photograph them. If not, that’s the end of everything.”  Not a supporter of the See Now, Buy Now movement then eh Karl?

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With huge slumps in sales, mega discounts offered in outlet malls and the rise of fast fashion and runway reproduction on the high street, it’s no secret or surprise that the luxury fashion houses have been hit hard.  With ‘micro trends’ (think glitter roots, perspex heels, fur slides) on the rise due to online influencers, we’re seeing a new mini trend every fortnight and as a result, the designers have become the outsiders.  Now that NYFW SS17 is over, it’s time for those fashion houses to take stock; Tom ford showed an awesome See Now Buy Now collection with a whole marketing campaign designed around the very concept.  Although Calvin Klein, didn’t show this season the brand plans to emerge in February under the creative leadership of ex-Dior front man Raf Simons, and Michael Kors has unveiled his plans to show See Now Buy Now in February.

It’s clear that there are huge and exciting changes afoot for the fashion industry and although NYFW SS17 has been mediocre as best, the most memorable shows of the season are the ones which adopted a See Now, Buy Now format (I’m looking at you Tom Ford).

Over to you London….

Pixie xo

 

Coming Soon…… FashionVoyeur.co.uk

Well, it’s finally official, Fashion Voyeur will soon be moving to a shiny new home in the form of http://www.FashionVoyeur.co.uk

So many of you are messaging me to ask what projects I’m working on, for recommendations and just to ask general questions about what’s going on in the fashion world, it seemed like the right time to go back to a self hosted domain so that I can interact with you more and ultimately, share more with you.

Some of my original followers will know that I used to blog from a self hosted domain called Pixie in Blue Jeans before setting up Fashion Voyeur to showcase the amazing fashion events I’m lucky enough to be invited to and the designers I’m working with.

The new Fashion Voyeur site will include all of the older posts from the current site in an archive so you’ll be able to refer back whenever you feel the need!

So here’s your chance to be involved, if there’s anything you’d like to see on the new site then get amongst it and email me at Pixie.Tenenbaum@gmail.com I’d love to hear from you! Stay tuned for updates on the go live date!

Pixie x