Last week we were in Melbourne for L’Oreal Melbourne Fashion Festival and we couldn’t help but noticed that fashion bloggers were loitering outside of the Docklands venue that held the majority of the week’s shows. I guess that is what Suzy Menkes called ‘peacocking’ in her piece about how bloggers (and certain fashion editors) were dressing up to ensure they would get snapped by street style photographers and the like.
So we couldn’t help but take a few snaps of the proceedings and ask some of our favourite bloggers who attending LMFF 2013 a few questions about “peacocking”.
Firstly… what exactly is peacocking to them?
“Just as the beautiful peacock displays its feathers to attract attention, so too do the attendees of fashion weeks the world over,” says Tash Williams from Breakfast with Audrey. “Imagining up interesting and unique ways to wear pieces that catch the eye of a street style photographer has very much become a part of attending any fashion week, or indeed many fashion events.”
Or in a little more simple terms, peacocking at fashion shows can simple be described as “Being dressed up to the nines just so a swarm of photographers can snap you endlessly” according to Cecylia Kee from her self titled blog, Cecylia.com.
We all love a pretty peacock, or so we thought. With all the recent media backlash (which won’t stop due to the ongoing fashion calenders around the world – Australia is next up from April 8th with the start of Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Australia – we can expect to see more. So what do bloggers think of the whole phenomenon?
“There is a place for it because mega-bloggers bedazzle all of us with their incredible style, enviable wardrobes and slender frames, and we all desire to see their photos on our favourite street style blogs, but just as the bloggersphere is becoming over-saturated with fashion bloggers, it is also becoming overwhelmed by the new rise of a plethora of street-style photography bloggers. Being smothered by a hive of cameras is not a good look from anyone’s perspective,” says Cecylia.
A styler blogger herself, for Jess Dempsey from What Would Karl Do, she just loves to dress up for an event.
“Am I a peacock? I sometimes wonder if those who don’t know me think I am ‘turning it on’ for the cameras but the reality is, this is the way I styled myself for the event,” Jess says. “It is not forced just appropriate for the scene. I think it’s a photographers dream and what the world wants to see when they are googling images of street style, the fashion creatives at their best.
After the rise of street style bloggers and photography in the past few years, we have come to expect a crowd of photo hungry bloggers and fashion editors loitering outside of fashion shows for the ever eagled eyed street styler photographers – some a little less experienced, others with contracts for the likes of Blackberry, Style.com and Vogue under their belt. Is peacocking and street style photographer as much part of a fashion event/show as fashion itself?
“Since the rise of the street style blogger has come the rise of the “it-blogger” and “It-fashion editor” girls are as keen on seeing what Christine Centenera or Miroslava Duma wear to Paris as the shows themselves,” Tash says. “Which I think makes sense, these women and men are the trend-setters and influences as much as any designer or label.”
“Many bloggers and editors are wearing designer samples to showcase their work during fashion week so the amount of press they garner for these designers is invaluable,” Cecylia added. “Global readers can usually relate better to real women than models. However there seems to be a little bit of rebellion from industry insiders who can’t stand the sight of swarms of photographers endangering their lives and dignity.”
But many “serious” fashion folk have voiced their annoyance at the fashion peacocking circus that has now firming entrenched itself outside every fashion show venue, with many less photo friendly fashion editors and journalists suggesting that they should get their own entrance outside a fashion venue.
What should they do?
“What do you think of having a separate ‘ring’ where photographers can be around bloggers and editors who wish to ‘meet up’ there for a one second collaboration?” Cecylia asks.
While Jess says: “From what I see, everyone wants to get photographed and those who don’t, just tone down their look. It is so elite to be invited to a show wouldn’t you want the world see how special you are?”
We couldn’t help but ask Cecylia for a little extra commentary, since we barely witnessed her ‘peacocking’ outside of a fashion show, instead simply asking to take subtle style photos as we waited patiently to take out seats at the Mimco show at LMFF. So we thought we would end with her comments:
“Thanks to the documentary Dasha and Tim made, I’ve made a conscious effort to not seem to be peacocking. Thanks to the immergence of minimalistic style, I am finding it more refreshing to be confident in my own simple style that does not need external validation. Melbourne is not as huge a fashion week capital as Paris, Milan or NewYork so peacocking is not a problem yet. But this issue is definitely something for bloggers to think about. Plus just as fashion trends move so fast, not-peacocking is soon to be the new black.”