“Thanks to the Internet, fashion has become a conversation rather than a lesson, and more than ever… It’s open to interpretation.”

In giving the world infinite access to information, the Internet has sped up trend cycles so quickly that, like a hummingbird, they seem to be standing still. Fashion styles flow in and out of our gaze faster than they ever have in the past as new designs and styles are constantly released. Before the Internet, fashion information was limited access. Now, it is uncontrolled.

The Internet has changed the way customers communicate with designers. Through online shops, opinionated fashion blogs and instant feedback, it has given fashion designers the ability — finally — to answer the demands of their customer now. Because of this “now, now, now” attitude, trends, more than ever, are happening all at once rather than cycling. You want skinny jeans or tailored flares? A ’70s maxi dress or a ’60s mini? Or maybe a ’50s circle skirt? You can have them all immediately, and all you have to do is cross the tiled floor at H&M. Fashion is happening atop of itself.

Aiding the rapid trend fire is this decade’s version of the supermodel: the fashion blogger. Armed with uninhibited opinions, a stream of uncontrolled information and an endless cyber world, the blogger is the new gatekeeper of fashion knowledge. They communicate directly with their reader, one consumer to another, without overtones of selling, ad dollars, or any attempted control, and the reader appreciates it.

To imagine all the blogs out there in cyber space is to imagine the night sky. They are millions of tiny, personal magazines circling the world. Similar to a magazine publication, a good fashion blog has a unique point of view, appeals to a specific demographic and generally provides an even mix of opinion-laced information and editorials. What is important, however, is that unlike a monthly fashion publication, a fashion blog can reach its readers instantaneously. Now fashion lovers, no matter their wealth or social status, can share their thoughts with the entire globe and, for the first time in fashion history, their thoughts have the potential to be just as respected as that of any fashion editor.

As major fashion editors, like Anna Wintour of Vogue (can’t discuss fashion media without mentioning her), have lost their monopoly on fashion information, the masses have stopped following trends so blindly. And how creative we’ve become! We have access to thousands of blogs, websites, news articles and even the fashion shows themselves, which used to be exceptionally restricted. We can create our own opinions and analyze our own trend reports as we connect directly with other fellow fashion followers via blogs, Facebook, Twitter, etc. Instead of looking only toward editors for guidance, we also listen to pre-teens (Tavi Gevinson) and abusive friend duos (the Go Fug Yourself girls — my personal favorites), to London fashion maven weirdos (I mean that in an adoring way, Susie Bubble) and Man Repellers (can’t help but be amused). They write to us, we comment back, and they write again, almost instantly. Reading a good fashion blog is like talking to your most stylish friend. Thanks to the Internet, fashion has become a conversation rather than a lesson, and more than ever it’s open to interpretation.

— Written & Illustrated by CLAIRE MARICE