After reading some of the comments on my last post, I’ve been thinking a lot about blogging and blogs. I really appreciate that so many of you reading this have been loyal readers through the years, I know that opening up a blog to read it is a commitment to time and brain power, something that is not always in large supply.
I follow blogs through a site called bloglovin’ and so I went to it to see how other blogs were doing. What I found was that there are dozens of formerly great blogs that haven’t been updated in months, or even years.
I can understand why someone would give blogging up. It takes a lot of time, energy, and thought. At the height of blogging popularity, I was trying to post every day. Now I ‘m lucky if I manage two posts a week. But that’s okay, because I blog, primarily, for me. I need a place to work out my thoughts on new things I see and acquire. And a big plus is that I also get the well-informed opinions of you readers. Without the comments, I’d be talking to myself, and might as well be just writing private documents.
Some of the bloggers I used to love to follow have now moved to Instagram. It’s a sign of the times, I suppose. But the fleeting nature of Instagram and other social media, while great for immediate engagement, does not lead to an easily accessible record of fashion research findings. To me, the fact that people interested in say, David Crystal, can google his name and find me, just like his great granddaughter did last week.
I’d like to think that what I’m doing is important, and I can definitely say that the few other active fashion history bloggers that I know of are doing important work. It’s worth your time to check them out.
Lynn at Americanagefashion writes about what the older woman in the 20th century wore. But it’s so much more than that. She looks into the advice older women were given and the images that were presented to women over fifty as appropriate.
Susan at Witness2fashion gives the best in depth look at fashion trends of the past that you can find on the WWW. Her experience as a costumer gives her the eye to analyze a 1920s dress as though it was hanging in her own closet.
Jonathan at Kickshawproductions brings a lifetime of fashion history experience to his writing.
For an in-depth look at fashion during WWI, read ClareRoseHistory.
Jen at Pintucks Vintage does not post very often, but when she does, it is always worth reading.
Liza at Better Dresses Vintage writes about fashion exhibitions and her own adventures wearing historical clothing.
And not strictly about fashion history, AllWays in Fashion is written by Michelle, who was a fashion insider during the 1960s through the 1990s, and who gives a great historical perspective to current trends.
Jackie Mallon is another fashion insider, who brings her years of experience to her blog post that include exhibition reviews and historical references in current fashion shows.
Unfortunately, this is the extent of my list, though I also follow a few vintage travel and lifestyle blogs, and a few that focus on sewing and quilting. If I’m missing any good fashion history blogs, please add them in the comments.
It has also occurred to me that a person who wants a voice on the web today is likely to turn to podcasting rather than to blogging (which is SO 2012). In just the past few months some new fashion history podcasts have appeared.
If you haven’t discovered podcasts, it may be time for you to try them. I keep track of the ones I follow on my phone, where there are dozens of apps that store your favorites and then let you know when a new episode appears. Here’s my list, and again I’d appreciate a link to any I have missed.
Bande à Part is a weekly conversation between fashion historians Rebecca Arnold and Beatrice Behlen. There is always good food for thought on a variety of fashion related topics.
Dress: Fancy is new, so new that there is only one episode, but I really enjoyed it and I look forward to more from Lucy Clayton and Benjamin Wild.
Dressed: The History of Fashion is from April Calahan and Cassidy Zachary. There is also a website with links and bibliographies.
The Museum at FIT Fashion Culture Podcast is, as promised, from FIT. It’s very new, and for now the podcast is just audio of previous conversations you can also find at youtube. I’m hoping this one will live up to its potential.
Unravel: A Fashion Podcast has been around for a while. The four FIT alums who produce it cover some fascinating topics. I have trouble following the conversation at times, as it feels like one is eavesdropping on a private conversation with references I don’t get. This may be a sign of the age gap between me and the podcasters.