By: Charles Bowen
Newsrooms are such schizophrenic places. In one corner, we deal with murder and mayhem, while in another we wonder whether hemlines will be up or down next year and whether boots and fur will be in or out. Style and fashion have had a home in American newspapers longer than most sports sections, but few hardbitten reporters want to admit to any familiarity with Calvin Klein, Oscar de la Renta, or Roberto Cavalli.
And chances are the professors in journalism school didn’t cover accessories, designers, and the runways of Paris. So where does a beginning features editor go to learn the facts about fashion?
Quick — to the Web! Vogue and W have created a site that not only looks marvelous, but also has the goods. Come here to catch reports from the fashion shows in New York, London, Milan, and Paris. Also, pick any designer and watch a slide show of runway photos. You’ll especially like the slick Catwalk Clips of highlights. As the video runs, commentary scrolls alongside. For the working press, best of all is the site’s regularly updated report on trends and “The Scene.”
To use the resource, visit the site at http://www.style.com, where a busy introductory page provides linked headlines on breaking fashion news, such as what’s hot in the stores, what’s the latest from the designers, and what’s new in the catalogs from assorted stores.
Buttons along the top of this and all subsequent screens on the site provide links to:
* Fashion Shows. This section provides “Runway Reviews” with highlights from dozens of shows around the world. Also on this page are links to sections like “LookBook” (summaries of ready-to-wear collections and thousands of runway looks), “Backstage” photos and stories, “Star Sightings” with news of celebrities, “Best of…” (the site’s picks for the top items of the shows), and “Video” for clips from the catwalks.
* Trends. This department includes a “Trend Report” for a summary of what’s hot this season. Also here are departments called “Editors’ Top 10 Picks,” “Vogue’s Talking Fashion,” “Window Shopping,” and an “Ask Style” section to field questions.
* The Scene. Buzz and dish are the topics of this section, with news of everything from awards to gossip. Departments include those devoted to parties, “Eye Spy,” and “The Red-Carpet Watch.” There’s even a drop-down menu to help visitors find specific parties and specific models.
* The Store. Here are shopping tools — including the Hit List, Designers, and Categories — to help users find the editors’ picks for the hottest fashions and accessories currently in the stores.
Also at the top of each screen are direct links to the sites operated by Vogue and W, which will connect you with the magazines’ specific fashion and trend reports and supplemental material.
Other considerations for using Style.com in your writing and editing:
1. For quicker navigation of the site, scroll to the bottom of any of its pages and click the Site Map link. This provides a simple overview of the entire site.
2. Style.com is provided as part of the Advance Publications group, which also includes CondeNet, Conde Nast, and Fairchild Publications.
3. To reach other related sites offered by the publishing group, scroll to the bottom of any page and click the drop-down menu labeled either Choose a Site or Choose a Magazine.