Somedays there is no gloss. No lacquer. Just plain old opinions with a side of questions. Served piping hot. Because as soothsayers of the fashion industry, we are plagued with the disease to be opinionated. Not mere cheer leaders. And mind you, an opinion formed out of knowledge and information is the only one that counts. Maybe today would be the ideal day to talk about what in my definition, is fashion blogging, not necessarily opposed to status quo. For those of you not interested in this ever raging monstrosity of a debate, you are free to browse through the images alone.When I forayed into this now thickly populated jungle that is fashion blogging, almost six years back, my idea was this: I have a keen interest in fashion and I love writing and I'm going to put the two together and document interesting things that I have to say and shoot. I am happy to report that despite the dynamic nature of the internet and social media, I am till date, doing just that. Does that mean I have an opinion that will strike off a keen debate every time? Probably not but I do genuinely attempt to have an informed opinion about a variety of subjects under the vast realm of fashion that interest me. Does that mean that I'm an #ootd mannequin? Definitely not.
I find myself in the zone where I feel the need to talk about my ideas of fashion and style in things and perspectives much larger than OOTDs. I talk about my travel, however limited. I talk about books. I talk about issues that pertain to womanhood and society. And yes, I also post about my looks and OOTDs.
But where is the smart in the fashion blogger? Where is the funny in the fashion blogger? Are we going to start addressing everyone as a fashion blogger merely by the virtue of their overuse of the word 'chic'? Is everyone who posts their daily outfits on instagram a fashion blogger? What about the crazy perpetually-pushing-the-envelope fashion blogger? Where do I find her/him?
You know how a few grains of salt can make all the difference to an otherwise spectacular dish? From the perspective of a reader (of all kinds of fashion blogs), it is all about retaining that distinct flavour. Finding that one spice and perfecting it.
The aspiration is simple. To make people think. To maybe make a few smile. To inspire and create an aspirational value around whatever it is that you do best. To make a reader want to google a term by its smart, yet not overbearing use. To create a style statement (pardon the use of the cliche) that makes people want to pin you to their boards. (That came out much dirtier than expected) I simply mean be a pinterest sensation, maybe.
Not because I am an armchair policy maker but because as someone who professes fashion blogging as a career now, I want to feel the surge of inspiration to create a better body of work and be more critical of myself now more than ever.
Am I being cynical? Maybe. But I am also a reader who genuinely enjoys great written pieces and interesting styles documented by blogs. I take actual pride in the work that some of my favourite fashion blogs in the Indian circuit do and I make that amply clear.
But I believe that for every ten people who aspire to be or are fashion bloggers, at least five should enrich your (and my) life by cool/smart/fun value additions. Is it time to realign our paradigms of what we classify as fashion blogging in India? In my opinion, yes.
Let us inspire, empower and hatch plans to take over the world.
I would be happy to entertain a healthy debate here including take criticism about my own work because God knows I have put out some not so funny and not so inspiring posts at some time or the other.
P.S.: I would have never had the gall to neckerchief my way into this outfit if it wasn't for Man Repeller and since this was the only one I had, I couldn't have been happier for the colour play.
Creative Direction, styling and modelling: Shreya Kalra
Photography by: Tarun Chawla PhotographyFind him on instagram.
Denim shirt: Forever 21
Red pleated, inverse umbrella skirt: Cos
Neckerchief: Old, battered, cannot remember