Writing Guidelines

Style Guide | Writing Tips

What We Need

Please supply the following for publication:

• Preferred Story Length: 300 words or more
• Minimum Story Length: 150 words
• 3 photos minimum, sized 699 wide

Fun Writing / Tone Guidelines

Editorial voice and “philosophy”:

We believe in diversity, equality, justice, kindness, fairness, and — most importantly — in love toward people. It does not mean we stop being critical thinkers. Quite the opposite: it means we employ critical thinking toward a greater good.

We are always:

• Intelligent
• Humorous
• Relatable
• Knowledgeable

We are never:

• Snarky
• Snobby
• Celebrity-obsessed
• Fawning

How to Write a Critical (Negative) Review

For big designers, say what you want to say, although we recommend sounding constructive and leading with the positive.

For smaller designers, remember that one of our main goals is to support new talent (or someone who, with proper guidance may one day BE a new talent). So try to think of yourself as a teacher. This means blending tough love with encouragement. Point out what you feel they need to DO to reach the next level. In other words, we believe in them in principle: so tell them what we need to see in order to give them the positive review we “know” they deserve. (Example.)

Guidelines to Writing About Celebrities

We give celebrity designers no more attention than small designers. We prefer small designers to celebrity designers. We write about celebrities only when necessary to the subject of fashion.

Further Voice / Content Guidelines

Make it personal or funny: don’t be afraid to tie in a personal story!

– “For me, suede shoes always …”
– “Some say watching 12 hours of fashion TV is a bad idea. Not me.”
– “When you and two roommates share a 200 square foot apartment, you need every free moment you can get.”) Etc.

Feel free to use your “voice” (whatever that may be) when writing. Talk about your recent bad date. Your cat. Whatever. As long as it fits. In other words, don’t feel like you have to be “serious sounding.”

Be brilliant and insightful, but also relax and have fun. Write articles people want to read!

Larger cultural connections are cool.

– “In the 1942 film Casablanca …”
– “If light is truly made up of both particles and waves, perhaps it’s not so far-fetched to think …”

No need to overdo it; but these oddball comparisons can be fascinating and fun.

• Other random ways to make it fun or playful:

– Tie in a song lyric, especially in a funny way in the headline, if it pops into your head; like for a recent story on a designer that was Bowie inspired, we called the story “Sound and Vision.” (Not brilliant, but hey.)

It’s okay to be a little punny in the headline:

– “Black to the Future” (story on modernizing black lipstick)
– “Room with a Shoe” (salon presentation for shoe designer); we don’t take ourselves too seriously.

Plug, plug, plug: Make sure everyone involved (within reason) gets a mention. Look at all the brands and people mentioned in the press release (especially for parties). Think how happy each person involved will be to see their name in print, from the caterer to the florist.

Big one: Honor the designer by being specific and analytical: The greatest compliment you can pay a designer is to really see their work. So be specific, not fawning. We don’t use “breathtaking” or “amazing” unless (in those rare instances) it really was breathtaking or amazing. Likewise, words like “beautiful” mean very little. Instead, subtly mention specifics that imply true appreciation: “Hand-beaded appliqués and bias-cut gowns in rich fabrics completed the looks.”

When in doubt, use the press release!: It contains a whole bunch o’ details you can use for inspiration, from background on the designer to detailed descriptions of the garments appearing at the show.

: )

We want you to have fun writing for FWO. So feel free to have fun with it!

With love,