The Fashion Twitterati
Daily Beast fashion correspondent Renata Espinosa shares the scoops from Bryant Park. Today, why Twitter has become the fashionista’s new best friend.
I finally understand the purpose of Twitter, and why I signed on to yet another distracting, time-wasting “social networking” Website. I did it for fashion.
This week, Twitter has been my most indispensable tool; it’s my pseudo-creative outlet; it’s my spirit guide. I no longer wait each morning to see what Cathy Horyn has to say about the shows she saw, I just login to Twitter a few times a day to find out everything I need to know about what I missed or to get an alternative take on something I actually saw myself. It’s a live feed of microinformation, like having cameras stationed in different corners of the room simultaneously zapping information back to the mothership and editing together the long shots, the medium shots and close-ups as it goes. You can follow my updates here.
When you’re dealing with fashion, and not the finer details of an economic stimulus package bill, a snap judgment is all you really need.
Fashion week used to be one of those controlled, inaccessible environments that CNN news tickers had no business covering. Now, all kinds of behind-the-scenes information can be had—dare we say, information that feels like it’s been covertly traded between spies (definitely part of its appeal, at least for me) from the inside, even when you’re actually, well, on the inside. I last felt this way a week ago when my friend Julie (@ julieklausner) live-twittered from the Westminster dog show—you have to follow these out-and-about Twitterers because they’re there when you wish you could be, or more essentially, they’re there so that you don’t have to be.
Besides vicarious pleasures, another bonus to following fashion week experts on Twitter is that it doesn’t get bogged down on interpretation (we can always psychoanalyze later—that’s what reviews and trend reports are for, right?). Instead, Twitter works as is an ongoing narration as though fashion reporters are truckers on the highway staying connected via CB radio or hobos leaving warnings through cryptic roadside graffiti. “All news that’s fit to print,” is reduced to an insta-headline or a visceral first impression. When you’re dealing with fashion, and not the finer details of an economic stimulus package bill, a snap judgment is all you really need. Fashion blogging feels downright logorrheic in comparison, and of course, a newspaper is too slow. The new fashion journalism is a Zagat’s guide to style courtesy of Twitter.
So, here’s what you need to know about Monday, Twitter-style: Kicking off the day, Refinery29 told us that [sic] “At zero maria, a designer's wet dream: eds in the house: stefano, sally, Anne slowey, and cathy wearing ski cap,” and then a couple of hours later, “At yeohlee, our second tightly wrapped headgear runway spotting of the day (first at zero maria). Miu miu fall ‘08 lives, unfortunately.” It’s a little bit like jibberish, but for fashionistas, it reads like gospel.
At Donna Karan, I broadcasted to my followers the news that “Spanx will be doing brisk business if women with booty want to wear Donna Karan's draped jersey skirts or dresses. Which is, uh, most women” while The Moment, the New York Times T Magazine’s blog, relayed this description: “Draped cashmere with a strong, emphasized shoulder—wearable Donna Karan!”
Thakoon gave us such Twitterables as The Moment’s “Disco lady lives on at Thakoon,” while I noted, “a rainbow of color blocked fur, disco sequined genie pants, ladylike silk shirt dresses in jewel tones (very YSL).”
I didn’t make it to Betsey Johnson, because I was eating a sandwich post-Thakoon, but no matter—all I needed to know was that “Betsey Johnson's presentation felt very personal and very 'greatest hits': crinolines, corsets, and striped catsuits” (The Moment).
Lots of simultaneous, almost manic Twitters came in around 6 p.m. as backstage reports from Marc Jacobs via The Moment started filtering in: “Look for towering upswept punk Princess Anne 'dos (especially on Kamila),” they wrote, immediately followed by “Guido Palau says the inspiration for the hair was the DIY approach of the club kids they used to hang out with and admired.” I also learned that famous makeup artist Francois Nars was doing his first show in 10 years for Marc, but the best thing about the Marc Jacobs show Twittering was that we got those quiet documentary-style nuggets like “Last rehearsal starting. Marc seems chill, and is chewing the fat with Guido, mostly about his new Invisalign-assisted toofs.” I had no idea!
Meanwhile, over at William Rast, one of the more head-scratching shows on the calendar (celebrities like Justin Timberlake with denim brands show at New York fashion week because...uh, why, exactly?), Refinery29 was screaming, “Horror! People with seats and major Eds get shut out of William rast at 8 minutes after time listed on invite! Who starts shows on time?” (Note to Refinery29—you didn’t miss much. In fact, you missed a big show of nothing—LA-style studded motorcycle jacket nothing.)
Back over at Marc Jacobs, Women’s Wear Daily’s Twitter relayed that “photogs swarm Anna Wintour and then Rachel Zoe. Is this as big as it gets?” and then as soon as the show started, “Lights down. First look out. High hair, gray cardigan and pants.” After the show, The Moment had yet another this-is-why-we-rock-the-Twitter scoop: “Marc Jacobs pulling up his kilt after Carine Roitfeld asked him if he was wearing underwear. (He was.)”
Some interpretation started creeping in—it’s hard to not immediately break down a show like MJ. The Moment’s take was “very Gloria von Thurn und Taxis and Diane Brill, first time at a punk debutante ball in the late 80s East Village.”
And even my colleague at Fashion Wire Daily, Godfrey Deeny, gave me a post-show assessment over the phone that sounded like a Twitter: “Marie Antoinette punk; Siouxsie and the Banshees meets Miss Havisham.”
Fashion week doesn’t need to consolidate its show locations—there has been talks with the CFDA this week to do so next season. We all bitch and moan about having to go from Midtown to some far west Chelsea gallery where their are death matches over taxis, but in reality we just need to station official Twitterers at every show. I may never leave my house again.
Renata Espinosa is the New York editor of Fashion Wire Daily. She is also the co-founder of impressionistic fashion and art blog TheNuNu and sometimes a backup dancer for "The Anna Copa Cabanna Show."