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BoF – AW11, the season that was

Imran Amed of The Business of Fashion always provides a great overview from an industry point of view on the catwalk season that was.

Just a week post Paris, and his autumn/winter 2011/12 round-up is in.

With the Galliano story dominating headlines around the world, both within fashion circles and out, it’s unsuprising Amed’s intro starts with somewhat of a “bitter” note. “Looking back, several of the most salient themes from this round of fashion weeks involve unsavoury behaviour, gossip and highly unprofessional comments from some of the industry’s most important figures,” he says.

He does however go on to highlight  the clothes (focusing on outerwear and prints), the growth of consumer participation and high profile clients in shows, the role of immediacy versus exclusivity (one of my personal favourite debate points at present), and the growing intensity of street style “paparazzi”.

“Think before we tweet”, is a particularly relevant point for this blog. It reads:

It seemed like just another fashion month, and then, with the high-profile meltdown of John Galliano, everything changed in a matter of hours. Soon, the fashion gossip mill was in a frenzy, turbocharged by Twitter which made the whole situation more ugly as the days went by and speculation about Galliano’s successor intensified after he was first suspended, and ultimately dismissed by LVMH.

A tweet by Derek Blasberg from backstage at the Katy Perry concert in Paris, citing an anonymous source which ‘confirmed’ the widespread rumour that Riccardo Tisci would be named Galliano’s successor set off further speculation on websites and blogs, who sometimes took Mr. Blasberg’s comments as though they had come straight from an official Dior press release. I found at least one website that took the Tisci rumour and reported it as fact, without any mention of the source at all.

But Mr. Galliano wasn’t alone. Rumours about the futures of Stefano Pilati, Hannah McGibbon, and Christophe Decarnin dogged designers and lit up the internet throughout Paris Fashion Week, creating a virtual feeding frenzy of immense proportions. We were an industry feeding on ourselves.

So dear fellow members of the fashion Twitterati, let’s think before we tweet. Careers and businesses can be impacted by what may seem like an innocent bit of speculation on Twitter, but can quickly turn into boldfaced headlines on major fashion websites, a hugely destabilising force at the most critical moments during the fashion calendar. We are all still learning how to use this powerful tool responsibly.

Check out the rest of the BoF post, here: Autumn/winter 2011 – the season that was

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Vogue’s Shulman takes to Twitter

British Vogue editor Alexandra Shulman is set to take control of the magazine’s Twitter account this evening, March 15.

From 6-8pm (GMT), tweeters will be able to ask questions about everything to do with the past month of catwalk shows and the autumn/winter 2011/12 season.

What are the key trends? What was the most unforgettable moment? Who was her favourite even?

Those ahead of the game can send in questions early to VogueQandA@condenast.co.uk or submit them via Twitter with the hashtag #VogueQandA.

Some of the questions flying in already surround John Galliano, as well as queries about how to proceed in fashion and her overall views on the future of the industry. It will be interesting to see what she decides to reply to…

The Vogue Twitter handle can be found at: @vogue_london

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Digital snippets – 07/03

Dolce & Gabbana A/W 2011/12

I’ve returned from a work trip to an inbox full of digital news and launches. Here are a couple of highlights:

  • Live-streamed backstage videos and a wall of tweets at Dolce & Gabbana in Milan [Vogue.com]
  • Office celebrates launch of its first designer collaboration with PPQ with an exclusive video [Office]
  • Behind the scenes on a Uniqlo shoot with Orlando Bloom and Charlize Theron [Vogue.co.uk]
  • And not stricly speaking anything to do with digital, but an update on the Galliano story. Despite being fired from Dior following his arrest and the subsequent release of an incriminating video, his show went ahead in Paris yesterday. Reports also state the collection will go into production. [Reuters, Style.com, Vogue.co.uk]
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Galliano arrested, does Twitter eliminate damage control?

John Galliano became a key trending topic on Twitter today following news of his arrest in Paris for alleged anti-semitic remarks.

Released by police early this morning, the Brit designer has since been suspended from his role at Christian Dior pending the police investigation.

“Dior affirms with the utmost conviction its policy of zero tolerance towards any anti-Semitic or racist words or behaviour,” Dior CEO Sidney Toledano said in a statement. “Pending the results of the inquiry, Christian Dior has suspended John Galliano from his responsibilities.”

It is unknown whether the Dior show planned for March 4 will go ahead.

It’s in scenarios like these I wonder whether the speed in which Twitter can power such stories around the world is a good thing. If it turns out Galliano is innocent, which for his own sake as well as Dior’s is hopefully the case, has his reputation suffered irreparable damage nonetheless?

Pre-social media, the story would undoubtedly have been kept far quieter. Yes, it will have likely still been headline-hitting in relevant countries (and rightly so), but perhaps not on quite the same scale. Either way, it seems Dior has made the right move in suspending him, but is damage control all the harder with the advent of 140 characters?