Fashion Writers & Bloggers: iSalute!

I was brought up to avoid the “CANNOT’ mentality like a plague; deeply engraved on my brain and in my mindset is the “CAN DO” mentality.

However, Fashion Writing is one of the those things that tempts me to utter the “C’nt” word. It is an entirely different world on its own within ‘MediaVille’, filled with intrigue, excitement and …i should stop there before I begin to sound like an old-school Nollywood trailer :p .

I don’t think it is so easy to string a full paragraph of 50-60 words out of the simple fact that Mali Cyprus wore a pink dress on the Red Carpet and the colours clashed (fictional example), but that is what these guys do.

I consume fashion reality shows and magazine with intense loyalty, and can perhaps match a few pieces together so that I am not so hard on the eye. Yet to write a fashion article might require a mini-miracle. I use might just in case some top fashion magazine publisher is reading this blog with recruitment intentions. I am not looking to dig my own grave – therefore i tender my disclaimer-  dear Sir/Ma, I actually can write fashion o, LOL.

Alright let’s get back on track…

Amidst my pondering on what makes fashion writing special, I decided to speak to a few colleagues and friends of mine whom are very active in the industry. I asked them to share their thoughts on how to write fashion pieces, using 2 questions as a guide:

1. What differentiates fashion writing from other forms media writing?

2. What makes a good fashion article/piece?

This chat features:

Romola Sadiq, Fashion Editor, Gidilounge; Damilola Oke, Fashion Blogger & founder, Modish and Andi Okon, Fashion Blogger

Romola Sadiq, Fashion Editor, Gidilounge 

Romola Sadiq, Fashion Editor, Gidilounge

What differentiates fashion writing…

The one major thing amongst others that I would say differentiates a fashion article from every other media article, is the picture-esque idea behind it. As a fashion writer, when you start writing an article, you don’t just use a one or two-liner description of an event/show. Rather, you create an illusion from start to finish of the article, constantly juxtaposing your descriptions making the reader feel as if they were reading ”pictures”. The Infusion of Glamour and Style; Fashion writing isn’t writing about style or just how wobbly someone’s clothes look, it goes beyond that!

What makes a good piece…

First things first, the writer must have an excellent knowledge of Fashion (Generally), Sound Word Play techniques, A writer with a bubbly/fun personality will definitely bring character to life in their articles, Use of Fashion Terms, Concise articles, Delivery of your points, High Quality images, Impeccable writing skills, Picture-esque mind frame, the list goes on but this final point cannot be over emphasized; A Passion for Fashion will help push boundaries with your articles. A Fashion article isn’t another newspaper article where you’re told what happened last night and you try to make a story out of it, you MUST be interested in Fashion to write a Fashion piece.

Andi Okon, Fashion blogger with HauteFashion Africa

Andi Okon, Fashion Blogger

What differentiates fashion writing…

Fashion like art is very visual so it requires less talking and more visuals. Still there is a need to do brief reviews and pay very close attention to detail when preparing write-ups. Fashion writing needs doesn’t need one to write an essay, you just need to know your fashion grammar and let the artwork do the talking. Yes, fashion is art- visual art. There is a very low tolerance for ‘beating around the bush.’

What makes a good piece…

Hmm! There are certain ‘precious little features’ in collections, photo shoots, etc that easily go unnoticed… A good fashion article should be able to draw attention to these, focus on distinctive features, concise, use understandable fashion language and grammar and if it is a review, give constructive criticism – No unnecessary bashing and no ass-kissing! 

Damilola Oke, Fashion Blogger and founder, Modish

Dami Oke, fashion blogger & founder, Modish

What differentiates fashion writing…

Fashion writing may not be different from other forms of writing considering the fact that one must need to primarily keep to the 5 w’s and H when talking about an event, a look, trends, an icon or anything else. However, the language is a lot more informal, today and blunt, to keep the reader interested. Also, you cannot afford to be diplomatic, its either right or wrong, no middle ground. There are no rules though, the key is to express oneself in the best possible way that your audience can enjoy, understand and appreciate your thought process and sense of style judgement. Fashion writing is also very creative, deep and for those of us who have a standard to protect, consistent.
What makes a good piece… 
A good fashion article tells it like it is, criticizes yet teaches, appeals to its audience, comes from a depth of knowledge about the subject matter, relates what is spoken about to reality and most of all, is enjoyable enough to be read, again and again
Summary of the ingredients of good fashion journalism as gleaned from the praticing fashionistas:
  • Less words, more pictures. It is not essay writing
  • Keep your article very visual (picturesque), this includes the words
  • Fashion Journalism is not about wobbly clothes and bad-mouthing, but engages constructive criticism
  • The writer must be armed with the knowledge of fashion and fashion-journalese (language)
  • Quality images
  • Keep the language informal and bubbly to appeal to the reader
The following schools offer Fashion Journalism as a specialised course:
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One thought on “Fashion Writers & Bloggers: iSalute!

  1. Temiville says:

    nice…Romola looks amazing!!! I follow fashion blogs a lot but to actually sit down ad write my own piece, i just kent…

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