[This post was originally posted on 12th June 2008, but has now been archived]
Asian Fashion Blog actively encourages opinions and discussions, whether it's via comments on the posts or via emails to me directly. Here's a recent email I received from a fashion "expert" which I thought I would share you and also post my response:
Dear fashion spectator
I came across your blog today and to be quite honest I’m thoroughly disappointed by the fact that someone as clueless as you as has decided to become a self styled critic of the Asian fashion industry. Given that you clearly demonstrate no knowledge of what’s actually fashionable or of the trends relating to fabrics, cuts and embroideries in Asian fashion, I find it difficult to see what purpose your blog serves. Perhaps you’re aiming to educate the equally 'simple' women who believe they know what they’re talking about simply because they can distinguish the colour of one sari from another. To even place yourself on the pedestal of the fashion spectator I believe you need to understand the industry, trends and the garments themselves on a much deeper level. You are simply an insult to people who struggle for years on end to establish their brands and boutiques in this limited and fiercely competitive market only for you to launch nonconstructive criticism their way - although, notably, at your expense. Also, in case you have difficulty grasping what it is that fashion houses actually contribute to fashion shows then it is simply garments. Choreography, selection and dressing of the models are entirely the responsibility of the coordinators of the show, therefore ridiculing outfits on this basis is rather pathetic. I think you need to reassess your amateur style and think of the legal issues concerned with your activities including defamation and copyright in the shows/photographs before continuing. If you’d like a personal consultation relating to basic knowledge of Asian fashion, I may be able to point you in the right direction.
a much disgusted spectator of your unfashionable blog.
In my opinion it reads pretty harsh, but it covers a lot of points which I would like to publicly answer.
1) I clearly state I am NOT an expert on fashion, I'm just a normal person with an inquisitive eye and some strong opinions.
2) I admit that I know very little about fabrics/cuts/embroideries, but you don't necessarily need to know about ANY of these things to form an opinion on what looks good and what doesn't.
3) The purpose of this blog is to report on and comment on what's happening in asian fashion at the moment. There are hundreds of fashion blogs all over the internet which do the same - post catwalk pictures and comments for others to see. Perhaps you're unfamiliar with the whole concept of blogging, if that is the case there's a nice little article on Wikipedia all abour blogging which you can read here.
4) I understand that a lot of elements go into putting together a fashion show and the clothes are only one part of that, but realistically the clothes are the main reason people attend fashion shows. A badly presented show can reflect badly on a designer and that's something worth writing about!
5) I have nothing against the people who have worked hard to establish their brands and boutiques, but I think you are insulting them by suggesting my comments and opinions written on this blog could be damaging to their hard work.
6) The style of this blog may seem amateur, and in fact you are correct - I'm not a journalist, I'm not an industry insider and as I've already stated I'm certainly not an expert! I don't claim to be any of these things and perhaps the reason why people visit this blog is because I write in an unpretentious and "amateur" style.
7) With regards to any legal issues which may arise, I can confirm that all the catwalk show photos displayed on this blog have either been taken by myself or are used with permission from the photographers.
Finally, I'd like to say to you as a fashion "expert" (and other fashion experts out there) please feel free to educate me in any way you feel would be beneficial to me and my blog visitors. Although before you do, please could you be so kind as to share your own fashion credentials with us so I can verify the source of your wisdom.
Thanks for the feedback :)