UPDATE: So what does Susie Bubble make of Scott Schuman's comments? Grazia Daily asked the lady herself... 'I don't necessarily think it's a bad thing putting bloggers on front row but I think Scott was talking specifically about the Dolce set-up where bloggers were strategically placed in front row with computers, sending out a message that they are fully willing to embrace new media within the fashion landscape,' Susie told us. 'Like that GQ editor says, Scott does regularly sit front row at shows. His grievances are I think about bloggers treated as freak/celebrity figures.
'I have sat front row at shows but I also sit wherever the PR deems appropriate to put me and whether that's second, third, fourth or fifth, it doesn't really matter.... I'm at shows to cover for myself or for other people and I'm just there to see the clothes.'
Blogger Susie Lau and Bryan Boy on the FROW at the Doo.Ri show in February
Fashion bloggers eh? We can’t live with ‘em and the fashion industry couldn’t live without them. Which probably explains why the Front Row, usually the preserve of Fashion- Editors-you’ve-heard-of, is now awash with fashion-bloggers-you-may-not-have-heard-of and has been for the last few years.
One man decidedly less pleased about the blogger hype is photographer Scott Schuman of The Sartorialist fame who, it transpires, is still reeling from the fact that Dolce & Gabbana 'humiliated' him by seating him front row along with fellow bloggers Tommy Ton, Gé and Bryanboy at D&G's spring show back in 2009 complete with podiums for their laptops while other industry insiders were forced to take a back seat.
In his rant for the latest issue of GQ, he outlines his grievances – and doesn’t hold back: '[Dolce & Gabbana] got a humongous amount of press. "Look, we brought the bloggers in and gave them the front row. Look at the dancing-monkey bloggers!" I could barely bring myself to sit down.' He adds, 'Like, "Ugh, I don’t want everyone looking at us." Like, "Oh, look at the cute bloggers! Isn’t that cute! Are they playing Angry Birds?"’
So should fashion bloggers be allowed to sit centre stage or are they becoming a fashion show gimmick to attract press attention? Either way, the prevalence of bloggers peppering the front row is being described as a “paradigm-shift moment” in fashion journalism and even now, ‘citizen journalism’ (as it’s sometimes known) continues to peak with fashion bloggers like Susie Lau and Tavi becoming household names thanks, primarily, to their online coverage of the shows.
Due to the immediacy of fashion and our appetite for immediate visual gratification (we’re blaming YOU, Daily Mail sidebar-of-shame), fashion bloggers arguably wield as much power as fashion editors. They see, they shoot, they write. Blogging is also, arguably, both democratic and merit-based given that they are largely subjective and allow anyone to take a platform. Also, many of the big name bloggers have been working on their own blogs long before they got front row. Take Bryan Grey-Yambao, aka BryanBoy, who’s been blogging about fashion since 2004.
But still, does Scott have a point?