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The Sartorialist's Commenters Feel Strongly About Flip-Flops

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    NEWSLETTERS

    The Sartorialist on what really sparks the most passionate debate among the commenters on his style blog. (Published Wednesday, March 30, 2011)

    The Sartorialist, a street style blog run by Scott Schuman, may be a well-regarded arbiter of good style, but that doesn't mean it's impervious to criticism. Take, for example, the recent outburst of angry comments on a post chronicling two looks worn by Angelica Ardasheva, another fashion blogger. When Schuman -- who, it should be noted, was a fan of Ardasheva's style -- described her as a "bigger, curvier girl than most of the other bloggers who you see in the press," focusing especially on the "sturdy but beautiful shape of her legs," commenters erupted.

    "I think you have been in the fashion industry too long if this girl is 'curvy,' or 'sturdy,'" wrote one.

    The entire episode reminded us of our interview with Schuman during New York Fashion Week, where he discussed, among other things, the "two-way conversation" of the blog medium, and focused in particular about the things that really sparked intense debate among the commentors. Among the things that were particularly scandalous: Fur, cigarettes, "girls that are too skinny," and, most interestingly, flip-flops.

    Schuman seemed interested not only in the debate itself, but how the blog could then serve as a sort of historic marker when it comes to fashion:

    "I would love to know in 1910, when Lartigue was taking his photographs of these incredibly fashionable women in Paris, what their equivalent of the flip-flip was. What was that one piece? The bonnet? Were people like: 'Ugh. I hate bonnets.' ... To me, it's so much more than fashion."

    As for Schuman's reaction to this particular post, he has since posted an update saying that a post like this one "creates a real and important conversation."