Monday, 29 April 2013

Mad about the girl.

Blogging changed the fashion industry. Whether big sceptical names in the industry like it or not. Suzy Menkes may disagree but she has been proven wrong by so many big names that have even bigger people behind them. On Saturday I had the please of listening to Sussie Lau, Anna Dello Russo and Garance Dore talk about what blogging means to them. They were one of the first names on that new phenomenon’s scene.

Susie started publishing her personal style when she worked in advertising. Style Bubble evolved from her snaping what she was wearing in her everyday life. The idea at the beginning seemed insane. Why would you photograph yourself? Who do you think you are? It was novel. It stepped away form big designer names and unhealthy looking models. It focus the ‘the girl’. She could be anyone. She could be you or you. It was something that people could relate to. Something that anyone with a camera and Internet access could do. No strings attached.

Susie pointed out that it was a bit of selfishness that created her blog. She wanted to write what she wanted to write about. Her timing couldn’t be better. The idea of a blog was just a twinkle in fashion industry’s eye. She figured out that fashion is something to be worn. Not just objectified. It all became an emotional experience.

When in 2006 Scott Schulman (better known as the Satorialist) started taking photos of her at different shows she was surprised to hear that he was going to put them on his blog. ‘Blog?’ she asked doubtfully in her most Italian accent possible. The word itself seemed to sound slightly repelling. But there she is. Blogging herself and how successful she has become at that? She calls the blogging phenomenon ‘a breath of fresh air’. Over the two decades that she has been in fashion for she experienced the coldness of the industry. The cold statue approach has been there for years so the crazy idea of running a blog seemed more comfortable.

Anna may come across as a diva. But she’s nothing like it. She just strolled around the Southbank Centre covered top to toe in YSL. ‘I invite everyone to my home’ she says with a sincere smile on her face. She’s just one of these people you want to be friends with and her Italian accent couldn’t be more heart-warming. She creates that positive aura around herself. She makes everyone laugh with her honesty, gestures and a huge smile that never goes away. She says that she was born with the obsession to buy clothes. When asked why she wears whole outfits by one designer she replied that people behind the brand spend 6 months of their lives creating the look so we should just enjoy it. When you put clothes on you should be able to say ‘oh bella’ and feel great.

Garance’s blog started as a personal diary. She snaps women dressed the way she would like to dress. ‘I want to be this girl’ is the thought that makes her capture someone. Not just an outfit. The whole person. She tries to make people beautiful in her photos. Garance would never publish an unflattering picture of anyone. She was interested in real girls, not models, in the microtrends that happen in the street rather than on the catwalk. The fashion industry has to adjust to this thought. Most designers create their moodboards filled with streetstyle and other inspirations when working on a collection. As a Parisian living in New York she has experienced the difference in how people dress in these two cities. In Paris women are more aware of their shape and usually go for what bring them some kind of comfort. For example, if they look good in a certain pair of jeans, they will keep on buying that same cut. In New York people experiment, play with fashion. And there’s also different styles in different neighbourhoods. Garance said that she struggles to find inspiration at fashion shows. She seeks for it on the street, where fashion is happening.

All these amazing women come from different parts of the world but they have one thing in common. They keep on being authentic. They still do what got people to read their blogs in the first place. Susie Lau pointed out that trying too much can lead you off track. Anna called blogging ‘the revenge of the invisible people’. She also said that getting dressed for her is a job. And even though it’s hard to imagine her dressed down, she admitted to wearing Abercrombie pants when doing yoga. If she can keep it real despite having two apartments – one for her and one for her clothes – so should we. 

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