especially now that this thing publishes to facebook i’m finding it extremely difficult to say anything more personal about the SF Fashion Awards. part of the problem with proliferating your blog is that people read it.
i do not want to detract from the fact that i fully appreciate and respect what Del Geronimo is doing with this now-annual event: giving props and recognition to designers who create amazing things and get little in return in the way of media or coverage. and let’s face it: fashion is a business, and getting public recognition is IMPORTANT — if you want to run it as a business. anyway, please consider everything here constructive criticism. i have a whole mind full of other caveats but i’ll just get on with it:
my personal conflicts around the event, and the award i was nominated for (which i somewhat discussed here), were more or less two-fold: 1. the name of the event implies that all of SF fashion is represented, and 2. because it is done by popular vote, it feels like somewhat of a popularity contest amongst those who do end up represented, instead of some sort of independent panel giving awards based on merit.
the first thing: to call it “THE SAN FRANCISCO FASHION AWARDS” suggests that the event producer has gone to some length to create an inclusive event that pulls from all the fashion scenes in SF. it is true that during the nomination phase, ANYONE can be nominated (i think). the problem is that the circles in which the nomination forms and such are distributed are overlapping and insular – i don’t think this is by design, just by lack of coordination and effort. for this event to REALLY encompass all of SF fashion, there would need to be a huge push and a team dedicated to reaching out as far as possible, spreading the word, getting people “on board”. i honestly have no idea how hard Del tries to do this – maybe he does as much as he can, but i’m sorry to say that if that’s true it’s not getting very far.
so what emerges is a list of people nominated of which i pretty much personally know almost everyone (except the models, although i’ve been in shows with most of them too). even if this were called the “The San Francisco INDEPENDENT Fashion Awards”, this wouldn’t be representative. i read SFINDIEFASHION.COM daily (which is awesome and you should too if you love SF indie fashion), and there are tons and tons of independent fashion designers in SF. most of designers in the events and fashion shows listed on that site i’ve never heard of. so the question is are people just not interested, or are they not getting reached? i have no idea. (btw, remember last year? i was in the running for things that made no sense, and said pretty much these same things then.)
on a more personal level: i am deeply honored and humbled by receiving the award for Best Blogger (especially since i STUDIED WRITING in college and have never had a job as a writer so getting an award for writing somehow makes me feel like that degree in English wasn’t a complete waste of 4 years), but honestly: this blog isn’t about fashion. this is a lifestyle blog. this blog is about my life. fashion has, in recent years, played a larger role in my life, MANY THANKS to all of the people who’ve encouraged me to develop my participation and roles in the fashion scene. if it weren’t for the likes of Danielle@Missing Piece and Miranda Caroligne and Scatha@Miss Velvet Cream and Staz@BadUnklSista encouraging me to push my love of dressing up into something more, a huge part of my life would be so much different than it is, and i am extremely and eternally grateful for that. and while i could argue, if i wanted to, that “fashion” IS a lifestyle, and therefore it makes sense for a lifestyle blog to win a fashion award, still: there are bloggers/writers out there who focus all of their content on fashion, and even some who focus specifically on SF fashion, like sfindiefashion.COM or Fashion Smashion, a snarky blog who thinks they should’ve been nominated for best blog.
so while i am totally humbled and fully appreciate the recognition, i find it a little uncomfortable to stand up proud and say “YES! ME! I’M THE BEST FASHION BLOGGER IN SAN FRANCISCO!” because i honestly don’t believe it’s true. (reagan insists that the award i REALLY won was “most fashionable blogger”, and that i would gladly accept an award for. :=)
on the second point, during the voting period, one of the nominees wrote that she wasn’t going to participate because she felt it was all just a popularity contest. she is an ARTIST (in the truest sense i have ever met in human form) and was not into the idea of “winners” and “losers” in art, or having to “promote yourself” in order to win, instead of just winning on merit. still, she was nominated, and so many of us voted for her because if anyone was going to “WIN” she deserved to win.
i empathized with her feeling, but at the same time – it is what it is and so why not run with it? and so i decided to try to shelve these conflicts and just promote and support what the INTENTION of the event is, despite all the caveats and misgivings. but then when we were there, the day of, i did not see her and felt some guilt/shame that she was standing her ground as an artist and not a player in the scene and to be honest i felt a lot of weirdness around her not being there because i agreed with her, but there i was all dressed up in my fancy dress participating like i didn’t have any conflict. (it turns out, she was there too, i just didn’t see her).
i am not a huge fan of competition myself – it brings out the worst, not the best in me – and i can totally see how as an artist to get into the realm of “winning” – who can “win” art? – feels like a violation of principles. but fine line here was at what point are you being too much of an art snob to accept an award from people who love you as an artist? at what point are you “too cool” to promote yourself, say thank you, open up and accept appreciation, and instead snub those trying to lift you up? i felt like it would be totally and utterly disrespectful to not show up to receive an award given to you out of love, no matter how many issues the implementation might have had. the intention is about RESPECT, and getting the nominations and votes of your peers is a sign of respect, a sign of love, a sign of recognition, and i think respect is deserved going both directions.
hopefully, as the SF Fashion Awards evolves, the net will be wider cast, the participants will be representative, and maybe the voting system won’t be as janky (or non-existent) and people will respect it more and more cred will be given to the event and the scene and the artists, which is the whole point to begin with. SF fashion gets put down a lot and there’s not a lot of attention for designers who are brilliant and hard working in this city, so i think the event should continue because i think it’s important. it just needs to grow, and there needs to be a diligent effort on the part of the producers and organizers to make it grow in a direction that reaches further than it currently does.
as for the actual fashion SHOW at the fashion awards, the only thing i have to say is: KITTINHAWK: i want you in my closet.Filed in bay area gems, blogging, fashion | Tagged with badunklsista, mirandacaroligne, missing piece, missvelvetcream, stellar | Comments (6)