What was a high in 2011 – when Singapore was placed at number 8 in the Top 10 Fashion Capitals by the Global Language Monitor’s annual ranking of the Top 50 Fashion Capitals – has dropped by a 10 places; Singapore is now at number 18 in the list of top 55 fashion capitals; after Hong Kong at number 12 (down from number 6 in 2011, however) and Bali at number 14, but ahead of Tokyo at number 17.

Naturally, due to the focus of the London Olympics and the royal wedding, London has come out on top of the rankings at number 1, followed by New York (last year’s number 1), Barcelona, Paris, Madrid, Rome, Sao Paulo, Milano, Los Angeles and Berlin, rounding out the top 10 fashion capitals.

Other major Asian cities were also listed; Shanghai sits at number 22 (dropping from number 14 in 2011); Bangkok comes in at number 32; Seoul debuts at number 34 and Mumbai scrapes in at number 38 on the list.

BLOG Singapore drops to number 18 in list of Global Fashion Capitals DECOR
Image from Blueprint 2012 fashion industry tradeshow; yes, there is still fashion happening in Singapore despite the drop in ranking.

How is this exclusive list developed? Basically GLM, using its proprietary “Narrative Tracking technology”, analyses the World Wide Web, the top 250,000 print and electronic news media and social media sources like Twitter, for words, phrases and concepts related to “fashion” connected to a particular city and then calculates the list. This is how they come up with the top 55 global fashion capitals.

So, what does this mean for the growth of the fashion industry in Asia, exactly? That last year was better for the incidence of fashion related news perhaps? Does it mean that Singaporeans are any less-fashionable this year than last year? Not really.

It’s obvious that London won as much because there was just so much stuff being written about the city in general that naturally the incidence of the words connected to “fashion” increased. As any fashionista worth her Hermes Birkin knows, it’s not what you say (about fashion) but what you wear that really defines your style.

After all, are you going to tell the thousands of fans currently gearing up for New York Fashion Week, London Fashion Week, Milan Fashion Week and Paris Fashion Week – let alone Tokyo Fashion Week and Seoul Fashion Week – that they’re wasting their time and should be heading to Madrid, Rome, Sao Paulo, Los Angeles or Berlin?

No way! Global fashion capitals are much more than just the number of times their names are mentioned in conjunction with a particular word; it’s about the history of the industry and the creativity of its inhabitants.

While the Global Language Monitor’s annual ranking is interesting, it’s not the definitive definition of what truly makes a capital fashionable.

Read the Global Language Monitor’s full story: London Edges New York for Top 2012 Global Fashion Capital.