There is no question that the world of fashion has changed in the last few years. Instagram has completely altered the game, and the way we view and consume fashion. Now, more than ever, being trendy means being authentic, and standing out means getting attention. As a result of this, many high-profile celebrities have turned to filming their outfits and posting them on Instagram, leading to a new form of ‘visual journalism’.
One of the all-time most popular visual journalists is Robert Pattinson, currently enjoying a very successful run with his YouTube channel, ‘RPattz’. Launching a series of videos showcasing his unique sense of style and attitude, the 25-year-old has attracted over a million viewers on his channel, with over 70 million views across his various social media platforms. We spoke to Scott McGill, fashion director at HOKEN, about the role of social media in today’s celebrity world, and the special camera test that helped make Robert Pattinson a YouTube superstar.
From Pre-Production To Post-Production
Before we get into the nitty-gritty of making a successful YouTube video, let’s discuss the production process.
“Production” in this case means filming the video, not including the editing process. Post-production involves the edit phase, where the video is pieced together from footage captured during production. For Robert Pattinson, this involved getting into a van with his camera crew and hitting the road to follow his muse around London for a few days.
“The best part was just getting in the van and driving around London. I always thought that getting into a weird little van and driving off was such a cool image, and it really captured the attention of the viewer,” says the Hollywood star. “I was worried that a couple of them might feel sick or something, but in the end everyone settled down and had a good time.”
While the van ride was undoubtedly exciting, the real highlight for the former “Twilight” star was the edit phase. Thanks to his unique perspective and eye for beauty, the world of fashion suddenly had a new star. And what’s more, he was determined to remain authentic to the style of the “vintage” films he grew up watching. This certainly didn’t mean that he had to replicate the outfit from head to toe, but it did mean that he had to remain true to his roots in terms of what inspires him. And what inspires him, ultimately, is his muse – Kristen Stewart. When Stewart announced that she was leaving “Twilight”, it was clear that Robert Pattinsonwould be moving forward with or without her, and it was a decision that he’s come to embrace.
The Nostalgic Appeal
As we’ve established, one of the biggest draws of the ‘RPattz’ channel is the unique perspective and romantic nature of many of the videos. In “Van Love”, for example, the actor sits in a van, talking about his love for fashion and style, and the influence of his muses – most notably, Kristen Stewart. And you’ll often hear him speak about fashion and style in a really romantic way. In the most recent season of “The Twilight Saga: Ecliptic”, Pattinson’s character, Edward Cullen, makes a romantic statement about fashion, declaring that “the power of fashion is that it is subjective… It is very difficult to define what is fashionable and what is not, because the fashion industry itself is constantly changing and evolving.”
Based on this, you’d assume that Edward is some kind of fashion guru. But he’s not. He’s just a guy who happens to have a knack for putting style-related cliches in romantic contexts.
Style And Trend
But why is fashion so important to celebrities? Well, for one thing, it’s a way for them to express their personalities. As we’ve established, many celebrities have turned to social media to extend their reach, and, as a result, have established themselves as style influencers. This, in turn, has led to a change in the way we view fashion. Instead of just focusing on the latest trends and what’s ‘in’ or ‘out’ of style, we’re seeing a change in popularity towards focusing on individual style. Even more importantly, through social media, celebrities can now tap into a much larger audience, expanding their reach globally.
The Influencer Phenomenon
The explosion of celebrity-based fashion content online has, for the most part, been fueled by two things: social media and influencer marketing. And what’s an influencer? Well, according to Merriam-Webster, “an influential person who can influence others to accept, follow, or adopt a new idea or product”.
That’s a mouthful, but essentially, it’s someone who has or garners a lot of influence in their chosen field. Influencers can range from well-known celebrities to simply someone with a large social media following. The point is that, as a celebrity or a person with influence, you can put out a variety of content on an almost daily basis, and attract a potentially very large audience. This audience will then have the opportunity to learn about your chosen product or service, and either like or dislike it based on their level of interest. If you can prove to them that you’re “influential” in your chosen field, you’re guaranteed to have some high-quality traffic moving to your blog or website.
So, what’s the future of celebrity and fashion? It’s difficult to say, as so many factors come into play. One thing is for sure – the digital sphere will continue to play a pivotal role in shaping our future relationships with celebrities and the fashion industry. It won’t be long before we see celebrities extending their influence into the digital sphere, through blogs and social media. It also won’t be long before we start to see celebrities directly interfering in the fashion industry, via social media, through endorsements and collaborations.
For now, it’s enough to say that celebrities will continue to play a pivotal role in defining what is in and what is out of fashion. They’ll continue to influence our perceptions of style, and our relationship with fashion will continue to evolve.