Thursday, 27 December 2012

The Biggest Fashion Blogger Clichés and how to Avoid Them

In the lull between Christmas and New Year, I thought it would be fun to take a light-hearted look at my blogging genre and some of the stereotypes that come with the territory. If you're a blogger then you'll probably recognise a lot of these, either within your own blog or from the ones you've got bookmarked for regular reading. 

 He was so determined to nail the vintage look that he went Elizabethan.
[Image my own, taken  at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival].

Of course, you could be running a perfectly successful site by following this list to the letter, but I'm not saying that these points have to be flaws: they're just trends within the blogosphere that I can't help but notice. 

Those fashion blogger clichés in full...

  • You own Jeffrey Campbell Litas and can't stop telling everyone how great they are, in the hope that the PR department will spot you and send you another pair. THEY WILL NOTICE, DAMMIT.
  • You have ombre-dyed hair but would never have considered this until it was fashionable.
  • You go by a more original-sounding version of your name, such as 'Tigerlily' (you were born Tracey) or 'Nebulissima' (you were born Nicola).
  • You regularly mention your boyfriend in your blog posts and occasionally dress him up for outfit posts, which he loathes.
  • You regularly mention your dog/cat in your blog posts and occasionally dress him up for outfit posts, which he loathes.
  • You practically blackmail people into becoming a follower of your blog/Instagram/Hello Cotton/ account and you have a recurring dream of reaching 1,000 Twitter followers, which is surely a premonition, right?
  • You begin your post with the immortal words: 'Hiya, girlies!'
  • You greet commenting blog visitors as 'babe' or 'hun'.
  • Your really imaginative fashion icon is Kate Moss or Alexa Chung.
  • When you put up an outfit post it will consist of approximately 20 photos taken from slightly different angles, including classic poses such as Mildly Aghast, I Have No Idea There's A Camera Present and the Too Close For Comfort. (We all do it, so don't pretend you haven't too).
  • You take grainy pouting photos of yourself in changing rooms, holding up your iPhone 5 so that we can all be clear about the make and model.
  • When you take close-up photos for your blog, you have no idea how to use the Macro function. Wait, there's a Macro function?
  • Your regular posts include Wednesday Wishlists and Instagram grids documenting the minutiae of your day.
  • You leave insightful comments on other blogs such as 'FOLLOW ME! I'LL FOLLOW BACK! ENTER MY GIVEAWAY TO WIN A TAMPON! GREAT POST, HUN!'. If you call me 'hun' again then I will go all Attila on your ass.
  • You never credit image sources and will sometimes post whole series of photos (such as those from major fashion events or product launches) with little or no commentary.
  • You have a whole section of the blog dedicated to attracting PR attention, but the email address you use is something akin to
  • When dealing with companies or press, you add three kisses at the end of all correspondence.
  • You nominate 10 fellow bloggers for an award that you've never heard of, with a daft name such as the Sweet Sugar Bubblegum Blogging Gals Lovefest, which must be passed along in a chain letter style, with the person who ends the chain burning in hell (or Primark).
  • You dream of being invited to super cool all night raves in East London warehouses with posh people who call themselves DJs and smoke roll-ups.
  • The main reason you began blogging was to try and get free clothes.
 You are so edgy that your hair is actually made of diamantes. 
This bloke is apparently an art installation... 
[Image my own, taken at London Fashion Week S/S13].

How to avoid the pitfalls and stereotypes

  • If you don't want to compose a Wednesday Wishlist then don't bother. The world will not end, honest. Your followers can, and will, shop without you.
  • Find out what your personal style is about. Step away from the role models and the routine of stalking your favourite high-profile bloggers and actually discover what you want to wear.
  • A picture tells a thousand words, or so they say, but repetitive photos are really not the answer. It's quality, not quantity, and we don't need to see the same pose in the same outfit but with a 360 degree view. You have a mirror for that.
  • Don't post for the sake of posting - if you don't have anything original to say then don't panic. It can wait.
  • When you do post, say something different, and always credit your image sources. If someone nicked your content and passed it off as their own then you'd want to know about it, so treat others with the same courtesy.
  • If you're marketing yourself as a blogger then remember to be professional, not casual. Get yourself a non-cheesy email address and use it; respond to outreach from businesses in the same way that you'd respond to a job vacancy, i.e. no kisses, full sentences and proving your worth. Oh, and ditch any embarrassing fashion aliases (you heard me, Tigerlily). 
Happy blogging and may your posts be non-duplicate in 2013!

If you have a favourite blogger who avoids the pitfalls then feel free to share their URL below.

Saturday, 15 December 2012

Finchittida Finch Christmas Pop-Up Shop at Boxpark Shoreditch

Last Thursday night I wrapped up warm and made a festive pilgrimage to Boxpark in Shoreditch, where cutting-edge jewellery designers Tida and Lisa Finch, of Finchittida Finch, were celebrating their Christmas pop-up shop (complete with beautiful snowflake-print walls and decorations). I know the girls from school and college (ah, memories of A-Level Art!) and they've always been immensely talented, so it was great to catch up over some Beerlao and see what they've been up to. 

Finchittida Finch Jewellery in Boxpark
 Making a statement in silver and gold.

Finchittida Finch Jewellery - Monozygotic Talismans
 Arm yourself with some eye candy.

Specialising in intricate laser-cut statement pieces that have been sported in music videos by the likes of Ashanti, Mele and Lianne La Havas, you'll probably find that their work looks distinctly familiar, and you should be prepared to see much more of them in 2013. 

Finchittida Finch Jewellery - Monozygotic Talismans
 Each piece was set in a screen-printed jewellery box.

Finchittida Finch Jewellery - Monozygotic Talismans
 A necklace and body chain on display.

A large part of their inspiration for the current Monozygotic Talismans collection comes from their Lao heritage and fascination with Lao culture, which is transposed into symmetrical forms such as oversized earrings, body chains with multiple panels and quirky tribal alphabet initial necklaces, in a wearable colour palette of gold, silver and black. 

Finchittida Finch Jewellery - Christmas Pop-Up Shop
 Decisions, decisions...

Finchittida Finch - Monozygotic Talismans
 [Image via the girls themselves] L-R: Tida and Lisa, of Finchittida Finch.

Finchittida Finch Lao Heritage - Loy Krathong
 Their Tumblr blog shows recent celebrations of the Lao festival, Loy Krathong. 
 How fun and colourful does it look?! (Meadham Kirchhoff would totally love this).

 One reason for their use of symmetry is that Tida and Lisa are twins (hence the 'Monozygotic' reference). I loved the fact that they'd used the snowflake - yet another symmetrical design - as the basis for their Christmas shop.

Finchittida Finch Jewellery - Initial Necklace
 Judging from this photo, the letter 'S' is immensely popular amongst alphabet pendant fans.

Finchittida Finch Jewellery - Initial Necklace
You can see how the different tiny sections are cut to create the finished piece.

Finchittida Finch Tribal Alphabet Necklace
 Here's what I bought: a P, obviously... (as worn at home by my battered cherub statue).

Finchittida Finch will be hitting Boxpark with another pop-up stint throughout January. If you're in the area then make sure you check them out and bag yourself a unique piece of jewellery. For those of you unable to get to Shoreditch, head to their profile on ASOS Marketplace.

Sunday, 9 December 2012

Fred Perry x No Doubt: A Supercool Collaboration for 2013

Be still, my beating heart - it's time to rock steady as one of the most perfectly matched collaborative efforts of the fashion and music world hits stores in early 2013. Say hello to a meeting of stylish minds as the talented team at Fred Perry fuses with the unutterably cool band No Doubt, whose recent revival could not be more welcome in my eyes. Having had much of my childhood and teenage years defined by songs like Don't Speak, Hella Good and Ex-Girlfriend, I was really excited to see what this collaboration would look like. 

Fred Perry x No Doubt Collaboration: Bomber Jacket
Not your average bomber jacket - this one has the edge of Gwen Stefani (£150). 
[All images via]

What I'd style it with: 
Feel free to mix up your look with this one, as the jacket combines a classic American shape with British tartan. Bombers are great for teaming with black miniskirts and Doc Martens, but if you want to smarten up the look then team yours with oxblood or navy heeled ankle boots instead. Keep make-up minimal: just add a slick of lead singer Gwen's failsafe red lipstick - I've heard that she uses MAC's Russian Red.

Fred Perry x No Doubt Collaboration: Slim Fit Shirt
 The classic slim fit shirt (£60) gets its reggae on.

What I'd style it with:
There's no question that this piece works best with trousers, but the style is fairly flexible - skintight, drop-waist with braces, capri pants or even one of this season's single-stripe trousers, seen everywhere from George at Asda to J. Crew. Just make sure you don't wear it with flares under any circumstances, or you really will be taking things too far. Instead, be playful with make-up and add liquid eyeliner in one of the reggae colours from the No Doubt stripe - red, yellow or green - before either slicking back your hair or adding a quiff.

Fred Perry x No Doubt Collaboration: Colourful Jumper
 There's a colourful but preppy edge to the v-neck sweater (£90).

What I'd style it with:
I would dress this down for daytime with a vintage calf-length skirt in a plain colour - either a 50s-style full skirt (perhaps with a petticoat) or something a little more figure-hugging from the 40s. Alternatively, tailored charcoal trousers with low-heeled court shoes or slouched boots would also work. If you wanted to accent the magenta in the pattern then now's the time to do it, as both Sonia Rykiel and 3.1 Phillip Lim are currently selling trousers in this colour.

The pieces won't be available until next year, but that isn't going to dampen the enthusiasm for many of us, especially as you can pre-register your interest online to be notified about when each product goes on sale. As with any Fred Perry range, the price point can seem prohibitive, but you are paying for a heritage label which has die-hard brand advocates from all backgrounds: it's just that some of us save up for a little bit longer than others in order to pay for that coveted laurel wreath. 

There's a whole sub-section on their website discussing emotional attachment, which is something that is much rarer with today's in-your-face labels who have to chuck special offers at you every five minutes and run re-tweet and follow competitions to get your attention. The fact that Perry has its own entire music-filled subculture, enjoyed by people of all ages, is a testament to its enduring appeal. By joining together with No Doubt, the brand has proved that it still knows what the people want.

Thursday, 6 December 2012

Top 3 Illogical Celebrity Fashion and Beauty Lines of 2012

Cher Lloyd's First Fragrance
There's nothing like a celebrity scent. Who knew singers had such great olfactory skills?
[Image via Digital Spy].

Without further ado, it's time for a little 2012 review of those strange but true celebrity product launches that sometimes make you wonder if you're just having a strange dream. 2011 was the year of Myleene Klass' nail wraps, but this year these famous names excelled themselves when it came to hidden talents. 

1. Cher Lloyd's perfume - If there's one person I hope to smell like, it must surely be Cher Lloyd. Her intoxicating blend of top notes including whining, pouting and being difficult in interviews, mixed with base notes of chav and reality TV, made for a memorable combination that was bound to be a success. Apparently One Direction will be the next out of the starting blocks to conquer the market, though no word as yet whether the most prominent top note will be Harry Styles' little black book of older women or Zayn's fags. Let's just hope none of the boys watch the film Perfume and take inspiration from Ben Whishaw's dedication to the cause of a perfumier, or the Twittersphere would truly implode with underage girls offering themselves up for sacrifice.

Robbie wished his mates would be a bit more talkative sometimes.
[Image via the Daily Mirror].

2. Robbie Williams' clothing line inspired by his granddad - Those of you with a spare £500 will be pleased to know that you needn't let it burn a hole in your pocket any more. You can exchange it for a Pilot's Leather Jacket, or perhaps dip into it for a cable knit cardigan which will set you back a paltry £135 from the Farrell brand. Ok, so kudos to Robbie Williams for using quality materials in his clothing, such as lambswool, but not many a fan of Rudebox and Candy will have the disposable income to match his price points. Meanwhile, those of you who regularly drop half a grand on a jacket will probably not see Williams as a style icon. 

Made in Chelsea Star Launches Fashion Line
It Starts With An Idea (ISWAI) clearly wanted its models to be totally unique. 
These three slightly horsey looking blondes tell me that Caggie is the one on the right.
[Image via MTV].

 3. Caggie from MIC's fashion brand - Posh reality TV star Caggie Dunlop (you know, the one who hangs about with people called Binky and Hugo), is all about keeping it real, apparently. That's why she has launched a fashion line that's all about being unpretentious and involves working with upcoming designers (plebs, yah), and - according to MTV - deals with 'themes close to Caggie’s heart: New York, Rebellion, Religion, Da Vinci and The Universe'. That's right, guys, she just can't stop thinking about Leonardo Da Vinci's anatomical studies and black holes and Brian Cox, in between filming that deep thinking existential show, Made in Chelsea. If only the producers would let her have more screen time to discuss her thoughts on Stephen Hawking or perhaps to incite a current affairs debate on the issue of women bishops. Oh, and if you'd like to buy a less cerebral piece from the ISWAI collection then there's a bright pink 'Keep Calm and Caggie On' t-shirt for just £22.

I really do despair for humanity sometimes. Here's to 2013, when we should brace ourselves for yet another onslaught of stylish celebs astounding us with their entrepreneurial nous.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...