If we are to believe the hype, the world – for now – belongs to fashion bloggers. They work in their own time, spread the good cheer via online marketing and get to play dress-ups along the way, usually taking snaps of themselves wearing outfits for their followers to replicate.
Whether you’re a young and trendy London-based, modern-day guru (Susanna Lau of stylebubble.typepad.com) or a New York-based icon (Scott Schuman, who started www.thesartorialist.com), bridging fashion with daily life doesn’t get more resplendent than online.
It’s here they live in harmony, aren’t limited by word counts or how many photos you can load at any time. It’s all about free rein and free publicity in the digital age.
In fact, it’s online that aspiring stylists, writers and trendspotters put their kudos to the test, keep their nose to the ground and report on social events, taking happy snaps with iPhones and tweeting discoveries. They’re usually between 18 and 34 and fixated on fashion.
Melbourne-based Jess Dempsey, who runs fashion blog whatwouldkarldo.com, was flown to Sydney in May this year by GHD hair products to cover Mercedes-Benz Australian Fashion Week. She reported from behind the scenes, noting beauty tips, fashion must-haves and she hunted story angles at the runway shows of Toni Maticevski and Alice McCall.
More than ever, companies are actively pushing their brand by associating with some of the blogging community’s most popular names. It’s a win-win; bloggers such as Dempsey enjoy the perks, and the products get free airtime.
“Fashion blogging is an expression of myself and my style,” says Dempsey, who used to work as a visual merchandiser for Hugo Boss. “There is no right or wrong because it’s my journey, my visual diary and fashion life story … I love the networking with other bloggers and how we differ from each other with our own sense of style.
“On my blog I differ by the way I style myself and take inspiration from Anna Dello Russo – my style icon – or toughen up a look with a hint of Karl Lagerfeld by adding a collar or some gloves. I always detail what and who I am wearing at the end of each post with a link to where I purchased it so my readers can re-create the same look,” says Dempsey.
Cecylia Kee runs cecylia.com: “As far as I know, I’m the only vet-turned-boutique-owner-turned-fashion-blogger out there,” she says. “My unique background, insatiable appetite for fashion and my quirky, elegant style sets me apart. I am also passionate about promoting up-and-coming designers.”
Then there’s Cheryl Lin from businesschic.com.au; she’s gone niche by tapping into the working professional’s wardrobe. She launched her site in 2010 because there wasn’t much out there offering style tips for the working girl.
“My approach to fashion blogging is different because of my niche that focuses on what people wear to work and work-related events,” says Lin.
“I didn’t start off wanting to take photos of myself for the blog … but by photographing myself I am able to share my style and interpretation of business chic through the labels that I like and select to showcase on the blog.”
Bloggers are happy to share their message. They’re style-conscious, do the hard work for you and bring a consumerist-meets-paparazzo eye to the finer detail.
For Dempsey, it’s the pat on the back that is most rewarding. “I have received emails from high-end designers giving me positive feedback about my work.
Or when a follower emails me to say that I have inspired them, that recognition is very rewarding and is what motivates me.”
Fashion bloggers are the new face of the digital age. These Melbourne bloggers put it all on the line in their quest for original elegance, quirky styling and niche seasonal trends.
Cathryn Wills is the creative and commercial director of the chic Mimco brand. For the spring/summer 2012 collection it’s all about decadence, baroque twists and vintage movie romance, and the 1920s, ’50s and ’60s get a favourable nod in bags, shoes and jewellery.
Lizunova nuit earings \ $2600
The art nouveau elegance of these stunning Lizunova Nuit earrings makes a breathtaking statement. These are 18-carat white gold complete with onyx and peridot, but come in platinum, yellow or rose gold and other gems.
Olga berg clutch \ $139
This ruby satin-embellished clutch by Australian label Olga Berg makes a royal entry on the handbag scene. It’s perfect for glamorous evenings and a formal way to add sparkle to an outfit. We love its art deco styling as much as we do its glittery intent.