Wednesday, 3 February 2010

Paris Haute Couture: Blogger Tavi – Fashion's Shame

A last thought on Paris couture.
Have I been mean in calling Tavi sad? Certainly, that was not the intention. But no-one who saw her at Paris couture could avoid thinking of the sacrifice of the innocents, I would have thought – a sacrifice by the business itself and, I'm afraid, by her parents. (I even found her outfit eerily reminiscent of the ceremonial clothing in which the Inca dressed their daughters before they led them up mountains, drugged them and left them in the snow as offerings to the gods.)

Pushing young and inexperienced people into a highly sophisticated and complex world such as Paris high fashion is a decision for mum and dad, of course, but to outsiders it is almost bound to smack of exploitation, no matter what the original intention. It is fine to talk about fresh young bloggers bringing a new perspective – and they certainly can. But this isn't an argument about the validity of blogging. Anybody with even a lick of sense knows that a fresh voice has to be a knowledgeable one if it is to have any significance apart from pure novelty. Little Tavi was stage-managed and styled for Paris – what a cute idea to give her an outsize bow in her hair to ensure that she didn't just blend in with the crowds – and that is getting dangerously close to exploitation, surely? (Not to mention something of a contradiction of the unaffected, unpackaged, uncontaminated view that most bloggers set out to offer.)

I can't help wondering about Tavi when she is in her thirties … then I think of Judy Garland and I just feel that, although she is probably enjoying the exposure to an exciting world (what little girl wouldn't?), it isn't something with which professionals in the fashion world should be co-operating.

Suffer the little children was not meant to include this.

"She's ready for her close-up": Tavi (and father) face the press.
Photo © Larry Ewing


  1. Not so much sad as tragic. This cult of celebrity/famous for being famous business is curiously creepy and freakshowish. Goodness knows what's coming next... hopefully the backlash I predicted a while ago. (Love your comment about the Incas!)

  2. I couldn't agree's is extremely tragic.

  3. And more ... (by the way, in a word ... why.)

    The fashion world is extending yet another prestigious invitation to Tavi Gevinson: Fashion Television has enlisted the 13-year-old blogger to cover her choice of three shows–Alexander Wang, Y-3 and Marc Jacobs–at New York Fashion Week. The show’s regular host, one Jeanne Beker, will be in Vancouver covering the Olympics.

  4. there has been a lot of tavi bashing going on lately however i wonder how much this really has to do with her age. where were the dissenting voices when there was a influx of 13 and 14 year old models walking the shows, for example naomi and kate were only a little older than tavi when they first walked the paris shows. fashion pushing the young and inexperienced, sacrifce of the innocents, it's been going on for years or have you chosen not to notice?

  5. Completely agree with what you say Colin!!Another blogger has coined a term "face of a concept" in explaining Tavi's fame and has gone so far as to suggest that even her hair coloring was deliberate!! Kudos to such intelligence! Its sad that fashion is largely peopled by insecure morons and pity that sad brain that came up with the desperate idea of including Tavi in the Haute Couture shows as an equally desperate attempt at publicity!!

  6. Anon: As far as i can tell, whenever the presence of a particularly underage model has been detected on an international runway or modelling in general, there is nearly always a bit of a fuss surrounding it - whether it was Miranda Kerr in Dolly magazine in the late 90s, or Monica Jagaciak a few seasons ago.

    The fact that it goes uncommented on when undetected doesn't mean adults have a free pass on manipulating pubescent children in fashion- whether they're models or child bloggers. I enjoy Tavi's point of view and her style, but in this instance it looks like she was turned into a fashion victim no matter how much she denies it.

  7. If Tavi is fashion's shame, what is BryanBoy then? What exactly is he famous for, apart from of course "being famous for being famous"? It is sad that a guy who asks "whom should I blow to get a front row seat at a fashion show" is acknowledged as one of the best fashion bloggers by Vougue.I guess that is the biggest shame!

    He might be a huge customer for fashion houses and a classic case of exibitionism at its best, but to laud him and embrace him so much, that is shameful and shame on you Anna Wintour for letting your pages be corrupted by such people!

    And who is the other person whom Vogue promotes? Jane Aldridge! What is she? "I own 100 odd designer shoes and I take pictures of my shoes for everyone to see and display my insatiable greed!" Is that accomplishment enough? So ultimately the blogs that are "popular" are the ones that offer advertisement to luxury brands, not the ones that contribute anything useful to fashion.

    Today the grand lady of fashion is brutually raped time and again.Sad, sad!

  8. I love Paris Haute Couture, is beautiful the way they do! hopefully we can continue to see such excellent work quality such as these.