The New Wave of Fashion Critics Shaping the Industry

It’s their opinion that matters

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By now, Diet Prada, is an industry staple. From calling out the world’s biggest fashion houses for cultural appropriation or fast fashion labels for counterfeiting designs, the platform, which garnered over 2 million followers since its founding in 2014, has led to a complete paradigm shift. 

Not long before their establishment, the future of fashion critics had been in jeopardy. With the rise of the IG influencers, honest collection reviews slowly saw their demise. 

As fashion houses adapted to accommodate the digital sphere, the world of fashion criticism had to as well. And Diet Prada laid out the blueprint. Today, fashion criticism found a home on Instagram and Twitter.

And Diet Prada—which has been criticised for its flagrant embrace of call-out culture—is not alone. IG is also home to some of the industry’s most respected fashion journalists, who don’t shy away from sharing sarcastic criticism and hyperbolic references. 

We’ve rounded up our favourites for you. 

Pierre Alexandre M’Pelé (@pam_boy)

 

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Brief thoughts: Balenciaga’s $780 football jersey. ‪When luxury houses tackle physical recreation, they usually go for the type of activities historically associated with and practiced by the upper class — especially equestrian sports. It’s like telling Average Joe: buy our riding boots and you might one day own a stable full of Asil Arabians. Balenciaga, a storied haute couture house releasing its own football jersey is a firm stance by its creative director.‬ It will appear to luxury lovers as an affront; Gvasalia disrespecting the legacy of Cristóbal Balenciaga. But it’s also what keeps the house relevant. Respecting traditions is boring (all the more so in the relentlessly fucked-up world in which we live). In the luxury sector, it means abiding to classism. So it doesn’t come off as a surprise for Gvasalia to occasionally defy Cristóbal’s legacy. If anything, it’s healthy, considering the designer’s turbulent upbringing. He once said: “my childhood was not steeped in flowers or butterflies but war.” But the Georgian designer does more than spitting on Cristóbal‘s grave. He does something more significant, and ideological. He’s disrupting the luxury house from within. His collections oftentimes exhibit a snub to the market he’s meant to seduce.‬ It’s quite paradoxal. Luxury houses aim to woo a wealthy audience with elevated, showstopping items one could not afford easily. With his football jersey, Gvasalia is deconstructing what luxury means. Does it still mean anything, anyway? Whether Gvasalia’s mission will leave a fruitful impact on how we perceive luxury is uncertain. What’s sure is that Demna Gvasalia is one of the few designers still walking in the streets (not just Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré) and still absorbing the zeitgeist. Football jerseys have become the new logo t-shirts, and symbols of appartenance and status. Everyone, rich or poor, fans or simple spectators, congregated to watch the 2020 UEFA Champions League’s final game. There were fireworks in Paris, straight men crying, and the emotion was palpable. Football is the sport of the people, all around the world. But one wonders who can actually afford to play on Balenciaga’s team?

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If there’s one thing that sets M’Pelé apart, it’s his honest and unsponsored voice. No, scratch that, it’s his knowledge of the industry. The journalist previously wrote for LOVE, Women’s Wear Daily and The Face, before launching his own magazine, SCRNSHT and becoming an editor at newly launched, Perfect Magazine. But his IG is where it’s at. If you’re looking for blunt reviews of almost every runway show, or to learn valuable history lessons on fashion, you’ve got to follow Pam Boy. 

Luke Meagher (@hautelemode)

Meagher has gained recognition online for his wit and humour, as well as his iconic YouTube roasts and review sessions. His latest hit? A complete review of the new Netflix hit show, Emily in Paris, where the protagonist is seen wearing a shirt with a print of the Eiffel tower to her first day of work. “Who the f**k wears a Paris printed t-shirt to go work in Paris?!” he said.

Shelby Ivey Christie (bronze_bombshel)

 

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Walked around Herrod’s with @melissaswardrobe saying “Prawwwduh” (Prada) like @londongirlinnyc – Am I British yet?

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The fashion and costume historian started her career as an intern at InStyle Magazine, and has worked with major publications ever since, including Vogue and W Magazine. Christie is particularly celebrated for her voice on Black history, and the lack of representation in fashion. She’s a must-follow.

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