What motivated you to join WikiProject Fashion? Do you tend to focus more on current trends or historical fashions?
Johnbod: I really only cover historical fashions, and my interest came as a by-product of my interest in art history, and the very fine historical series by User:PKM and others.
Daniel Case: After reading Lauren Weisberger's novel The Devil Wears Prada, in about two days, I created the article in about the same amount of time (this was six or so years ago). From there I went to starting the article on the (then-upcoming) film version, and then decided that our article on Anna Wintour needed some improvement. That turned out to be a two-week task, during which I learned of the fashion project's recent creation. I was probably the first male editor to join that project (I do find fashion interesting, although you'd never know it from the way I dress). So I did a lot of work assessing articles and creating categories and navboxes, and have remained involved since then.
PKM: i focus on historical fashion, which has always been an interest of mine, and I was motivated to join the project when I saw some of the skimpy coverage we had five or six years ago. I think "hey, I can fix this!" Is a great motivator.
Are some time periods or elements of fashion better represented on Wikipedia than others? What can be done to improve coverage of neglected fashion topics?
Johnbod: Generally I think we cover historical fashion, and worldwide traditional costume, better than contemporary fashion, plus there's no WP:COI issues to worry about, thank heavens. We need more good editors interested in the subject.
Daniel Case: +1 to Johnbod on his first answer—and he should know, he's done a lot of the work there. As for improving coverage, it depends on the subject area. Bios of contemporary figures are easy to write; historical ones not as much. A lot of research material that would make for good articles about say, articles of clothing is not readily available online, and not everyone can get to the libraries that would have it offline.
PKM: i think our coverage of niche items is good in many cases, but we're less successful with the basics. Polonaise_(clothing) is a great example of many informed editors working through the evidence together - check out the Talk page. But basic articles like Trousers are actually very hard to get right. Everyone knows what trousers are, right? And everyone adds what they know. It's hard to find a good balance among historic coverage, contemporary trends, styles, and component parts. Similarly, we have focus articles on the history of fashion by century through the Medieval period, but no general survey of Medieval clothing.
Does the project deal with many marketers trying to influence articles about their brands? What can be done to protect the neutrality of Wikipedia's fashion articles?
Johnbod: I think so, in articles on brands and designers. It's a lot of work for the normal AFC/AFD processes, which I think do a decent job.
Daniel Case: Perhaps the generally low quality of the articles works in our favor here—those would use Wikipedia to promote their fashion lines know it's a not good source, not widely read for that kind of information, so I don't see much effort to influence it in a promotional way. What there is does get dealt with through the usual channels, as John notes.
Calliopejen1: I've seen a lot of articles about marginally notable designers and models created as a part of apparent PR efforts. I really haven't seen much promotional activity with more established brands, however.
How closely does Wikipedia's fashion coverage overlap with coverage of pop culture? Are there any art or entertainment projects that could collaborate with WikiProject Fashion?
Johnbod: Eerrr... dunno. There's a fair bit of an overlap with my main project, Visual arts, on the historical side, as with User:PKM and others. Also Textiles, certainly.
Daniel Case: In the early days it seemed like we and WikiProject Textile Arts might find a fair amount of common ground. There's a jewelry project, too. As for the pop-culture connections, it's largely because of the work on those projects that we have some quality articles for ours about people for whom fashion is a side thing like Gwen Stefani.
Has it been easy to find reliable sources for articles about fashion? What kinds of fashion books, magazines, television programs, and websites are useful for Wikipedia articles?
Daniel Case: As I said above, it depends. For contemporary subjects, there's plenty of reliable sources—all the fashion magazines like the various Vogues, TV shows (Style with Elsa Klensch was always the best), websites like Style.com. Older subjects, or less people-oriented ones, not as much online, or in English.
Johnbod: There's tons on the web, but I think WP:RS for contemporary fashion are rather problemmatic, since we know there's a lot of advertorial. This may be one reason why not many good editors work in this area (not that I can claim much knowlege of our coverage). For historical & traditional fashion the situation is not bad.
Calliopejen1: I think that finding reliable sources for contemporary fashion is relatively difficult, even setting aside the issue of advertorial content. The various Vogue magazines (which recycle a good deal of content among themselves), for example, generally have relatively few profiles of designers and such. Much content in the Vogue magazines is more lifestyle-related; they also tend to profile various individuals outside the world of fashion. Style.com does put out reviews of most major fashion shows, but it's hard to get a broad view given collection-by-collection articles. There are relatively few sources that write "what everyone knows" about contemporary designers and their aesthetics more broadly.
What are the project's most urgent needs? How can a new contributor help today?
Daniel Case: A larger community of involved editors. Anything a new contributor can find to do within the very broad framework of this project would be welcome. Ideally I'd love for the fashion project to have the sort of fashionista/o you rarely find: both with an intricate knowledge of the topic and the ability to write about it encyclopedically.
Johnbod: Agree with that. I'm not sure the to-do list on the project page represents our top priorities frankly.
Anything else you'd like to add?
Calliopejen1: Wikipedia's fashion coverage is often somewhat of an embarrassment in my opinion, and I think the problem is closely related to Wikipedia's demographic slant and lack of female contributors. For example, the article Rouge (cosmetics) contained a photo of a lipstick palette rather than rouge from 2006 to 2011 (!). If more women were involved in Wikipedia, we wouldn't see issues like this, and I believe our fashion articles would be much better-developed. (A special thanks, of course, to all the men who do help out in this arena!)