On 16 July, the star of Polimoda Guest Lectures is Tim Blanks, a figure of international renown and one of the most influential journalists in the sector, who will open a Q&A, Questions and Answers session on the subject of Fashion Under [Press]ure, moderated by Linda Loppa, Danilo Venturi and Patrick De Muynck.
Editor-at-Large of Style.com, with his distinctive pungent and punchy style Tim Blanks doesn’t simply talk about fashion, he analyses it as a “cultural phenomenon” using different languages including writing and video, as in his memorable reviews of the runways or the video throwbacks in which he revisits key moments in the fashion of recent years. His reports on the fashion shows are authentic exercises in comprehension and intuition. His concise, technical language explores both the cultural context and the industrial aspect of fashion. His evidence helps us to get a clearer understanding of how much fashion is influenced by the media and, above all, how the role of journalists has been transformed by the web, which has radically revolutionised the experience of fashion, putting it literally under [press]ure through an increasingly rapid communication, almost real-time.
With his unconventional and critical eye, Tim Blanks is acknowledged as an opinion-leader the world over and his thought is a perfect synthesis of the approach of the Master in Fashion Writing, one of the specialisations that Polimoda has targeted, recognising the strategic importance of the journalist and those who work in fashion communication. The Master in Fashion Writing addresses in an exhaustive manner all the aspects of writing related to fashion with a view to training future journalists, fashion show reporters, creative writers for fashion agencies and advertising agencies and professional bloggers. The fashion writers operate within the industry on a number of fronts: they know how to recognise and describe the latest trends, they work for fashion magazines on paper or online editions, for marketing and communication agencies, performing key roles for the brands. Fashion writers are today’s opinion leaders, as proved by the illustrious cases of Tim Blanks (Style.com), Suzy Menkes (New York Times), Imran Amed (Business of Fashion) and Scott Schuman (The Sartorialist), to name but a few. Through the Master in Fashion Writing Polimoda aims to stimulate the critical and creative capacity of its students to consider fashion as a complex phenomenon in which creativity and industry come together, helping them to develop a personal point of view that can call into question or throw up new perspectives.
Tim Blanks is a perfect example of the importance of the fashion writer, a “Dante” of our times and a visionary whose work although “intangible” nevertheless leaves its mark on the fashion and communication system.
Born in New Zealand, Blanks began his fashion career in 1989 when he started to appear as a guest on the authoritative Canadian TV show Fashion File, where he remained up to 2006. Subsequently he worked for some of the world’s leading journals and newspapers, including Vogue, GQ, The Financial Times, Interview, Fantastic Man and Arena Homme Plus. In the meantime he also wrote and presented Masters of Style, a series of 60-minute documentaries dealing with the most important designers.
The memorable video-reviews he did for Style.com are hallmarked by his concise and pungent style. Blanks’ authoritative role in fashion journalism was endorsed in 2013 at the CFDA Awards, when he won the Media Award in Honor of Eugenia Sheppard, the most sought-after accolade in the world of fashion journalism.