Op-Ed | Fashion Bloggers Faking It As They Make It

NEW YORK, United States — It is no longer a secret that quite a lot of fashion bloggers buy fake followers. Realize it or not, so many other things about a social influencer can be faked, too.

In the world that most of the people would not bother to look closely, faking facial appearance, body image, show’s invitations, and even social status and recognition get easier and easier for bloggers.

A friend of my friend said it was her dream to one day attend fashion shows and fashion week. To someone who has never been to one, fashion shows may seem unreachable. However, getting into one is a lot easier than you think.

It is not that difficult to sneak in or to sit at the front row (especially in NYFW, the non-haute couture shows). Just like Amy Odell, who wrote Tales from the back row: an outsiders view from inside the fashion industry. When She firstly started as a fashion blogger for NYmag.com, she was nobody and was assigned to the back row.

However, just like it is easy to sit in the front row, especially when the show is about to start and the front row is still not full, fashion icons such as Anna Wintour and Rachel Zoe are not that unreachable.

Still, when it’s not their day, chances are bloggers tried and flexed and still failed to sneak in. In this case they would usually wander around the venue the get “street style photo” snapped by street style photographers or the photographers that they bring. That’s why quite a lot of bloggers, and even smaller celebrities, who are not invited to the fashion shows, have photos of them “attending” them. And this happens every fashion week.

Bloggers’ posts of their street style photos and of the fashion shows make people think they get invited to the show, and are well recognized and liked by fashion, and usually luxury brands.

Now things have to do with data and the digital world are even easier to fake. While faking to get invited is surprisingly common, everything you see online – a blogger’s followers, comments, amount of reads of their posts, and even the amount of clicks on their links can be fake.

Example of a suspicious follower growth chart

While top fashion media like Business of Fashion, or Vogue, only have 10 to 200 shares of each post, some bloggers easily gain hundreds or thousands of shares and comments under their posts.

And you think the fashion brands are unaware of this?

Sometimes even the people who work for fashion brands help bloggers fake the data. Bloggers want money, they want to get their job done, and their bosses want pretty data. It looks like a win-win.

Think about it – are we living in The Truman Show?

by Dolly Yun

March 26, 2018 10:07

Object Analysis-Flyer Designed by George Haas

Description:

Process:

  1. Substantial analysis: This flyer was projected in 35mm slide format originally, yet is now displayed on a canvas. Its size is slightly bigger than a printing A4 paper. It probably weights similar to a normal drawing canvas in similar size. It looks like it is enlarged from the original film to a canvas, so it is in an almost brandly new condition.
  2. Content: This flyer was designed for the Club 57 event on Feb 5 at St Marks Pl. It was to let people in New York back then to know about the event. There is a spider in the middle of the spider net in the middle of the picture. There are the $1 price on it, the artists’ names, “Club 57”, and the location.
  3. Formal analysis: It is a 2D object, in black and white, re-created (probably printed) on canvas.

 

Deduction:

Purpose:

  • moves from the object itself to the relationship between the object and the viewer
  • analyst contemplates what it would be like to use or interact with the object
  • if a photograph or other representational object is being used, analyst contemplates what it would be like to be transported into the depicted world

Process:

  1. Sensory engagement: If I am in the world of this picture, I would be in the middle of darkness with some small flashing lights. I would hear the spider crawling, and may feel the texture of spider net.
  2. Intellectual engagement: It will be at night. The spider is working on weaving its net.
  3. Emotional response: The image of spider and the net triggers my curiosity to look at the words on this flyer.

Speculation:

Purpose:

  • the analyst now moves completely to the mind of the viewer

Process:

  1. Theories and hypotheses: Why did George Haas chose spider and net for this event at Club 57? How do they relate to the artists and this event (if they do)?
  2. Program of research: There is no further document or analysis online about this particular piece. However, I think that the way the spider weave its net is connected to the way artists in the event create their art. On the other hand, animal symbol was a trend back then, just like Christy Rupp’s “The Rat Patrol”, so Haas might have thought about it when he created this flyer.

 

Christy Rupp

This is Christy Rupp. You can call me Christy. I’m an American. I started to live in lower Manhattan in my 20s. I’m turning 69 years old this year. I always had strong interest towards visual art. You can tell about my  fields by knowing where I went to study. I went to Colgate for University. After that, in 1974, I spent a year in Rhode Island School of Design for my M.A.T.. In 1977, I pursued my M.F.A. degree at Rinehart School of Sculpture in Maryland Institute College of Art. In that year, I started to have my work publicly shown and known. My first work was the Rat Patrol. I know a lot of artists and probably many of you use social medias such as Instagram, I do too, but I never really post my work on there. If you want to look up my work, you can always check out my website.

If you see me at an exhibition opening, you’ll probably see me wearing a colorful, statement necklace from my necklace collection. If it is freezing, which often is the case here in New York, I wear colorful scarves a lot too. I dress up a little bit for formal occasions such as openings. A dress and a statement necklace, or a crop top with jeans are just perfect. I’d like to keep my outfit comfortable and simple, and of course, easy to work in.

Back to my experience, after I finished my study at MiCA in 1977, I had exhibitions in early artist run spaces. We, a group of aspiring artists, illegally occupied the building belonged to the city and had our Real Estate Show. I was a part of the explosion at that time and participated in artist generated activities, including Collaborative Projects, Group Material, and Artists Call Against US Intervention in Central America. In the mid 1980s, I turned my attention to global ecological problems, for example, agribusiness and water contamination.

A lot of my artwork are inspired by animal behavior, such as The Rat Patrol, The Deer Museum, The Dog Show, and “Animals!”. Ever since I moved to the city, I was an impressed rats observer. I loved to think about their behavior, population movement, and social pattern. We all know about the garbage strike of 1979 that happened not long ago. There were piles of garbage accumulating, making certain areas infested, where rats considered as their territories. I started to paste lifesize rat images to mark areas that were infested, not to defend the rats, but to point out that we have created habitat for them and they would occupy it. It is just a way that the city ecosystem works. It is a result of its delicate balance.

When I have interviews, I always call myself an eco-artist, because urban ecology is also a big part and an inspiration of my work. I have work related to ecology such as H2O and Mountain River. I connect and speak to the current world with my work. In terms of materials, I have always worked with organic ones, and will continue to do so, but the most important thing for me during this whole process is to create things that are educational and inspirational. I always question myself about if my pieces teach people something. It is important for me to have my work being meaningful.

2018 will be another year for me to keep caring about issues happening in the current world, especially ecological and animal related issues as always. I am excited to explore more possibilities from my past work, such as The Aggressive Geese, and The Rat Patrol, and create brand new ones. Some galleries and museums in New York are discussing and planning a few exhibitions with me in later this year, so stay tuned.

 

 

 

 

Works Cited

“Bio.” Christy Rupp. Accessed January 28, 2018. http://christyrupp.com/bio/.

“Christy Rupp.” Wikipedia. January 23, 2018. Accessed January 29, 2018. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christy_Rupp.

Morgan, Tiernan. “Christy Rupp on Rats, Geese, and the Ecology of Public Art.” Hyperallergic. April 18, 2016. Accessed January 29, 2018. https://hyperallergic.com/179810/

christy-rupp-on-rats-geese-and-the-ecology-of-public-art/.

Pearson, Erica. “Artist turns chicken bones into pseudo-skeletons of extinct birds.” NY Daily News. May 11, 2010. Accessed January 28, 2018. http://www.nydailynews.com/

new-york/artist-christy-rupp-turns-chicken-bones-pseudo-skeletons-extinct-birds-article-1.447568.

 

Bridge 5: Final Self-Assessment

In this semester, I always take the benefit of seminar to reflect, document, and give myself critique on the projects I have done in studio class. If I don’t have seminar but only studio class, perhaps I won’t take as much time reflect on my projects. Having this opportunity, I now have many writings that I can look back to, that reminds me of what I have done well and not so well in each project. When I work on a new project in the future, I can be more aware and do better. For example, keeping time management in mind from my previous reflection motivates me not to procrastinate in my future project; knowing that working with a group is not as difficult or chaotic, and speaking to strangers can actually inspire me so much, I will be more brave in the upcoming projects in group working, and trying out new things. In short, reflecting on my previous experience working on project, I can continue my advantages and improve on my disadvantages.
Practice makes perfect. I definitely became better at reading and writing. If it were not seminar, I won’t read this constantly. I’m thankful for the weekly reading assignment, not only because I improved my English reading skills, but also because I found some intriguing and inspiring readings that I enjoyed reading a lot. They indirectly inspire me working on my studio projects too.
My perspective changed as a result of my experience in studio and seminar classes. I did not really like working in groups before because I was scared of irresponsible group mates. If my group mates are not engaging or participating actively, I would have to do all the work and struggle a lot to communicate with them. Luckily, my two group mates, Nora and Jasmine, made the group working not so scary for me. They participated in every process. We brainstormed together in each project, bouncing ideas off on each other; we would go thrift-store shopping with each other for our project and exchange our opinions; we respect each other and communicate often during the progresses. Ultimately, I feel blessed that I got to know them as friends.
The assignment of writing the short story was the most challenging one to me in terms of designing the plots. We each have our own idea and were trying to incorporate all of them. At the same time, it also needed to be a short story, so there should not be too many complicated plots or we will not be able to finish the story in such a short length. As a result of group discussion and feedback from our professor, we eliminated some too dramatic plots, such as Imani, the main character, killing her husband in the end. From this experience, I have learned about my strength to come up with ideas and brainstorm in group, and actively communicate them with my group mates. Sometimes my ideas inspire my group mates, so we came up with a new proposal as a group. I feel like I can still improve on time management, so that both my group and I will be even more prepared for the deadlines, and will have more opportunities to adjust our work before we submit it. I knew I had passion for fashion before. My experience of studio and seminar classes reinforced this. I incorporated sewing and fashion elements in several studio projects, and when I reflect on them in seminar, I became clearer that I want to continue designing and sewing as a hobby. What I like about the studio project is that we can incorporate so many different things that we feel passionate about or are good at, such as digital design, laser cut, painting, sewing, and so on. And we can later know our passion better when we are writing reflection papers for seminar.
As a result of my work during this semester, I will continue to pursue strategic design and management in the following semester. We did some strategic design in studio class, and I enjoyed working on them. I also can’t wait to work in fashion studios to design, sew, and create garments and accessories just as a hobby. From my journey this semester, I will keep in mind to constantly document and reflect on my work. Being organized will me my portfolio making a lot easier. Moreover, documenting my projects can be a form of art that I can continue explore and discover my passion. I can be more creative when I document my work in the future, with not only my writings, but they can also be drawings, podcasts, and all other different forms. I would like to explore more on this idea of using different forms to document and reflect on work.

Bridge 4: Redesign of Magazines

For our last project of the semester, Bridge 4, Jasmine, Nora, and I decided to recreate existing magazines in order to express our opinions and raise awareness for different topics, such as feminism, racism, the diversity of beauty, as well as including over-photoshopped magazine editorials and the unhealthy pursuit of way-too-slim bodies in the fashion industry.

I incorporated different techniques such as sewing, burning the magazine paper with candles, and collaging in my work.

My work:

Jasmine’s work:

Nora’s work:

Brunch Square-Our Bridge 3 Project

For this project, we went the Washington Square Park as a group and interviewed more than 10 people. Based on our conversations with them and their background, experiences, and stories, we designed this fictional brunch for them.

We feel that in New York such a fast-paced city,  where people usually do not really bond with or care about people around them. Everyday, in Washington Square Park, people just pass by without getting to know each other. People may never see each other again in their lifetime. If people are more willing to take the action to speak to strangers, or are willing to have serendipity, there may be so many interesting and moving experience. People would actually love it. Thus, we imagine ourself as an event planning company who caters a brunch party for all the people that we interviewed.

We imagined to have all the people who we interviewed to the brunch and give them a chance to know each other. We designed their plates and cups according to their personality, hobbies, experience, and by our understandings of them. The colors, imagined texture, and figures on the plates and of the tableware are reflections of the interviewees. Everyone gets a unique plate, which also comes with a cup and a sleeve that has a portrait of him/her. On the other side of the cup sleeves, there are their quotes or short sentences that represent them.

 

Bridge 3: Short Story Reflection

The most challenging part to work on a group project is the communication in different stages. In the beginning, when my group mates and I were brainstorming about the story we were about to write, we had a lot of different ideas. For instance, when generating the persona of our main character, Jasmine and I created our characters similar to the person we met at Washington Square Park whereas Nora had a more dramatic character who killed her husband in the end of the story. During in-class discussion, we had to decide if we as a group want our story to be more dramatic or closer to real life. While communicating with my group mates, I challenged myself to speak up more actively as well as to listen to my groupmates’ ideas. Despite the fact that we had different pictures about the story at first, we agreed on making it more dramatic. Our main character did not have to kill her husband at last, but the story can still be more dramatic than everyday life. On other stages of the process such as writing our first draft and revising for our final draft, it was a bit difficult for me to communicate with them through texts. Our schedules were different so that sometimes one or two of us may not respond to texts. When only communicating through phones, I found it challenging to make the whole story coherent, especially for the transition part between each person’s story.

However, while being challenging, this project makes me feel rewarding at the same time. The most rewarding moment was when Nora, Jasmine, and I read our story to the entire class. I felt that the effort and time I devoted to this project was worth it. While our story was being heard, I improved on my storytelling skills and my logic.

We divided the work pretty evenly in terms of writing the first and second draft. Based on the plot that we agreed on, we divided the story into three almost three even parts. I was in charge of writing Imani’s past story. Jasmine wrote from Imani departs Los Angeles until she almost finds out her husband’s animal testing while Nora did the part from that point til the end. I did almost all of the proofreading. I checked the grammar, spelling, and coherency of the story before we printed it out.

In terms of contribution, I would say I contributed the most for the coherency of the story and to the proofreading process. For the rest of the process including brainstorming, putting the ideas together, and writing, all three of us contributed quite well. My least contribution aspect was the printing. Jasmine was the one who printed out the two drafts and brought it to class. If I get to do the project again, I would advise that everyone to be responsible for their own proofreading. After proofreading our own parts of the story, we can still proofread the parts that our group mates wrote.  

Our Interview with Her

On a Monday, we were lucky enough to have met this lady in Washington Square Park. Before the interview, she was reading a novel. After we asked her if she would like to help us on our school project, she smiled, “Yes! I would do that. ”

We asked her if she was satisfied with the current world. She looked surprised, “I mean, you would be crazy if you are!” She then told us about how only two penguins out of 3000 survived through a moving, and how racism still exist in a lot of places. Moreover, “if you did not happen to read that particular news or article, you would not even know about them! It is horrible! ” She introduced her personal knowledge and opinions about these problems to us very patiently. We did not asked many questions but focused on listening to her. Her genuine love towards human and animals are very inspiring to me.

Later we got to know that she was a teacher before. It did not surprise me that she gave us an amazing “lecture” at the park!