Sorry. I’m really, reeeally trying not to be too negative. I am also trying not to sound like Reverend Lovejoy’s wife (will somebody PLEASE think of the children) but I simply have to have a rant about this. I apologise in advance for having a go at Fashion for…

…Fawning over 13 year old Tavi.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with Tavi Gevinson, she is a thirteen year old blogger who has recently exploded onto the fashion scene with her take on Chanel, Versace and every other designer I didn’t mention just there. She’s been front row at Christopher Kane, whisked off to Paris Fashion Week and I believe she’s writing for Pop Magazine at the moment. A quick look on Wikipedia tells me that she is now regarded as “the frontline of fashion”.

Now I need to be clear that this isn’t a personal attack on Tavi. (What kind of person would that make me if I was taking a pop at someone exactly half my age?) I checked out Tavi’s blog and to be fair, she has a great command of English and understanding of pop culture for one of such a tender age (if indeed it is her writing it and not one of her parents/siblings/cousins/dog). I admire her youthful ambition and dedication to her passion.

Here it is in a nutshell. THIRTEEN YEAR OLD BLOGGERS SHOULD NOT BE FASHION DEITIES INVITED TO FRONT ROW FASHION SHOWS. They should be climbing trees, scraping knees or secretly drinking their parents liqour. Whatever.

Now if her parents are happy to fly her across the country to attend New York Fashion Week, grand! Sure a little exposure to high-heeled degenerates hoovering up coke in the bathroom is character building eh? But there’ll always be parents who are happy to put their daughter on the stage. So I’ll quit my bellyachin’ on that score.

But the industry at large does NOT need to listen to a 13 year old narcissist. And they do not need to invite a tiny, pre-pubescent girl to their shows to give their front row kudos. In fact in my book, it notches down the designers cred a fair whack.

Recently, I read this quote from Kelly Cutrone (founder of fashion PR firm People’s Revolution):

“Do I think as a publicist, that I now have to have an eye on some kid who’s writing a blog in Oklahoma? Absolutely”

Woman, you are dead to me!

When I was thirteen I felt super un-cool compared to my peers at school. I ain’t planning on feeling like I need to keep tabs on a kid, as a 26 year old.

Fashion and new media have had a fraught relationship over the past number of years. Now, I can see why opening up the world of fashion to bloggers has de-classified their business. Any auld gimp wearing Dunnes’ finest can now have an opinion on Viktor and Rolf’s chainsawed ballet dresses (I’m not the gimp in the Dunnes gear by the way. My socks are from MARKS I’ll have you know). But just because they’ve been, in a way, forced to embrace new media, they seemed to have grabbed hold of the most inappropriate person. Ah and she happens to be from the good old U S of A.

Now we all know that ‘fashion’ in a particular sense is meant to be perverse and subverse. I could go along with the idea that their adoration of Tavi is a Miss Piggy  HIIIIYA! to those who have said they need to open their world up and embrace bloggers. That the industry at large has flipped the middle finger by choosing the maddest example of a fashion blogger in an attempt to undermine those who sneered at the industry’s clamshell-like unwillingness to open up to the ‘masses’.

But I don’t think they’re that clever. For one thing, agencies recruit models for the catwalk at age 14, so a thirteen year old fashion journalist probably doesn’t seem that looney tunes to them.

I’m sure all the designers reading this are furiously taking notes, but a word to the wise, if I see Tavi sitting astride the be-freebied seats of your hallowed marquees, I will assume you have a screw loose, are mentally unsound – and not in a good way.

I love fashion. It’s both serious art and a lark at the same time. But with regards to Tavi? Sorry, but the emperor has no clothes.

Tavi Gevinson

Kelly Cutrone

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