Style Guide | Writing Tips
What We Need
Please supply the following for publication:
• Preferred Story Length: 300 words or more
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:
We are never:
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 …”
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 …”
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)
• 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!