thanks for the memories*, [*read; education]
by annika hein on september 1, 2015

Gone, wiped, deleted, no longer available; or if you want to get technologically technical you could say ‘404 Not Found,’ either way the outcome remains the same; the content’s not there, the layout is all wrong and references to the title both in 1st and 3rd person keep interchanging between the original and the imposter.

Sometimes change isn’t as good as a holiday, sometimes change is a little hard to swallow, especially when it’s the change you’ve been purposefully avoiding in hope that it really wasn’t going to happen anyway. No such luck, this morning Style.com officially become Vogue Runway, bringing with it a whole new website filled with pre developed content to replace what was, all with the simple click of re-route button. During the early hours of the morning, while the masthead still read Style.com and the banner image collated an impressive display of the first looks from every show reported on by the Style.com team from Fall 2015, Nicole Phelps bid farewell. Below is a small except from her good bye, originally published on a page and link, which is now sadly redirecting to an alternative article entitled, “Welcome to Vogue Runway.”

“Still, this feels like a moment to honour what Style.com has achieved since we published that first runway show in September 1999. The honor, in case you were wondering, went to Donatella Versace’s Versus Versace show, held that season in New York. Fashion was a radically different business in the late nineties: slower, more insular, hyper-exclusive. Sixteen years later, the sole constant may be Madonna, who was wedged into the front row at Versus and continues to be a presence at the collections today.
From that very first season, Style.com brought its users inside the shows, via runway, detail, backstage, and front-row photos. Later, we added video coverage and innovative mini clips of key collections so you could see the clothes in motion, just like the lucky people who were actually there. When the street style phenomenon took off, we were on the front lines.
Style.com became a daily ritual around the globe, and not just for the designers, behind-the-scenes players, street style mavens, and party people we chronicled, but for fashion voyeurs, including one very famous outsider who with time became an insider.”

For 16 years, Style.com was our progressive older sister, the ultimate cool girl the one who had the smarts and the looks and the instant street cred; we came to rely, know and love it’s talented editors, authentic vision and instantaneous commitment. Of course we always knew this progressive online come print hybrid technically came under the Condé Nast umbrella, it was common, if not a little shaded knowledge; but they did their best at twice removing themselves and their expertly tailored approached from the restricting uptight preconceived corporate expectations. Style.com was unconventional at times, fearlessly opinionated and smart so smart! The articles invited, enticed and provoked; authentic and unaltered in their approach, they were extensions of the editor’s thoughts, their real unbiased thoughts, primarily written for those they assumed had an equally vast knowledge of the industry and subject matter at hand. These editors embodied a publication whose refusal to pander down to the consumer and refusal to become a billboard for glorified advertorials, cemented it as an industry icon, earning it the universal acknowledgement that, ‘if Style.com didn’t cover your show, you hadn’t made it (yet).’

Since the first online coverage of that runway show back in 1999, long before the reign of the digital age and social media hysteria, Style.com has remained committed and dedicated, promising to deliver only excellence from the forefront. A constant, familiar and well loved heartbeat of the industry, they didn’t simply report and review, they invited you into the backstory, prompted you to remember, research and reference past shows, trends and moments of significance. It wasn’t simply reading, it was an education, a glorious well documented, creatively inspired education.

In a disappointing exchange, content and storytelling has taken a back seat to make way for revenue and for some reason Vogue Runway just doesn’t have the same ring to it. But maybe it’s just me, maybe it just needs a little warming up, an acronym or an abbreviation…VR? VR.com? Or maybe, just to surprise and delight, we’ll be graced with content as equally creative, thoughtfully intelligent and authentically informative, maybe. After all, albeit my hesitation and seemingly impulsive resistance to Vogue Runway, or rather loyalty to Style.com, I got sucked in… extensive archives from the pre internet era that’s arguably one of the most notable decades in fashion history really is a good way to soften the blow…

Au revoir Style.com thanks for the memories - SS16 won’t be the same without you.