Self Service magazine, Paris, S 2009
The primary fashion medium during the past century was not radio, television or film but the magazine. The fashion magazine began with sketches of the French court which were reproduced in books. Later in the 1800’s catalogs and magazines began to appear in both the United States and France. While both Harper’s Bazaar and Vogue came first, France’s short live Gazette du Bon Ton (1912-1925) was world renowned. It was 100 francs a year by subscription. It had exclusive illustrations and aimed to establish fashion as an art alongside painting, sculpture, and drawing. Now fashion magazines are deceasing in number while internet and new media are ganing influence.
Angela McRobbie is author of "Fashion as Culture Industry." She focuses on the UK and their government support of fashion. She describes the climate for UK fashion in the 1990's. The 1997 election of Tony Blair brought a “young country” vibe and “Hollywoodization” of the British culture industry. The British fashion scene focuses on street wise Alexander McQueen, star child Stella McCartney, and punk Vivienne Westwood, who has been influential since the 80's. The author is questioning government money put into culture and regeneration. The aim is to improve values and create better citizens, to support small views instead of mass market and stimulate the economy. School trained fashion design is supported in the UK, especially with Central Saint Martins encouraging the discourse.
McRobbie questions the integrity of the fashion press as soft fluff news: “Socializing with the top designers as part of a whole glamorous and international fashion circuit, gratefully receiving all sorts of fashion freebies, and fearful for being left out in the cold for filing a poor review, fashion journalists rarely step out of line.”
The world’s most famous and respected fashion journalist is based in Paris. Suzy Menkes was English educated and has been with the International Herald Tribune since 1988. In that time she has written over 1.7 million words in the paper. She has received the Order of the British Empire and the French Legion of Honor.
Founded in France in 1997, Fashion TV is the only 24/7 international TV network exclusively dedicated to fashion, beauty, glamour and style and has become one of the most widely-distributed television shows in the world: 31 satellite and 2,000 cable systems, with a total of 500 million households in 193 countries across the five continents. The channel is owned byMichel Adam Lisowksi aka “Michel Adams,” and emphasizes music, yachts and models with annual fashion cruises. Adams was arrested in 2005 for assault on models.