The effect blogging has had on the contemporary fashion world is that of an unprecedented nature. Now arguably shadowing even printed matter, fashion blogging has become a powerful entity in modern media and created overnight sensations out of a host of young style enthusiasts.
For our Behind the Screens feature, The Goodhood Store has invited five of our favourite London based bloggers to style themselves head to toe in Goodhood wares and talk openly about the effects of contemporary fashion blogging. The result was five very unique styles and some fantastic insights into the world of style blogging.
Q: At what point does an item of clothing have collectability for you?
I know if an item of clothing is one I'd like to use, preserve and collect at the point of meeting it for the first time. Something about it instantly captures the imagination - perhaps an humourous incongruity in its design or an unusual detail that makes me curious, or a superb example of construction or finishing techniques that I'll want to dissect and understand. Occasionally the item is made in such an appealing material that I find myself compulsively holding and stroking it so I simply have to bring it home!
Q: As an avid user, do you think Instagram is changing contemporary photography? If so, how?
Photography has not changed since its origin except in its technical aspects, which for me are not important." I came across this quote from Henri Cartier-Bresson prior to receiving the interview questions, it feels like a meaningful coincidence and my answer to your question echoes Cartier-Bresson's opinion. I have been using Instagram on the iPhone for around a year and it has become a way of snapping and sharing things I come across daily. Convenient, discreet and cheap - these are the qualities I value with this medium. I find that it has made me more conscious and contemplative about the choices involved in making a picture since the time between creating to publishing is severely shortened. The results from Instagram suit my standards, I find them decent and presentable, especially after the filters are applied. I imagine that some detractors of Instagram may have issues with the post-shooting distortion of what is captured but I see it as a parallel to the pre-shooting manipulation of selecting between different film stocks for a camera. There is no dishonesty if illusions are known and understood to be that, illusions. Anyway isn't photography a reflection of moments rather than a record of reality?
Q: How do fashion blogs/bloggers influence your shopping habit?
Fashion blogs absolutely affect my shopping habits. In particular, they affect the way I shop online. I might see something in the context of a fashion blog, whether it is how someone else has worn it or on another blogger's wishlist, and before I know it I am considering how that item might fit into my wardrobe and I'm dropping it into a virtual shopping basket of my own. In the same way I might admire someones outfit on the street, fashion blogs give me an insight into how others differently interpret a particular style, trend or garment. Blogs with a heavy (but skillfuly contextualised) product focus can be very effective advertorial, and i'm definately a sucker for it.
Q: Does your clothing influence your lifestyle? If so, why and how?
I think I dress for the life style I'd 'like' to have; I always imagine I dress quite like I would if I still lived in the Irish countryside with my unbrushed hair, vintage shirts, Breton tops, brogues and baggy trousers. Sometimes I think I actually forget I work in a pretty slick tidy part of London full of bankers and not many casual dressers! To a degree most people who love fashion are subconsciously visualising a 'lifestyle' that their outfit would fit perfectly into. I guess when I'm picking clothes in a shop or putting together an outfit I'm imagining I'd wear it while strolling through some French town or sailing on my own canal boat. While in reality my lifestyle is quite stressed and hectic, so I guess people are right when they say that at the end of the day fashion is all about escapism.
Q. How do you go about incorporating select menswear pieces into your wardrobe?
The kind of menswear I like to wear is functional but still flattering. I like to wear marl walking socks, classic grey sports sweaters which are a little bit oversized but still hang well without drowning me. i've never been massively feminine in the way I dress, particularly during the day. One of my favourite menswear pieces is a hand-me-down from my Stepdad, a replica England football top worn by the team between 1980-83.
Q. What do you look for in a fashion blog?
My favourite bloggers are the kind that don't follow a 'must buy something new every week' philosophy. One of the things I really love about reading blogs is that personal element; the blogs I read are very much in a similar vein to my own personal style, so often chances are I'll read about something I like and will want to buy myself. But to me it's very important that there is an emphasis on saving up for something that you will really love and value, rather than being influenced to buy something for the sake of a 'blog fad'
Q: Did motherhood change your approach to fashion?
Kind of, but not totally. I think that it's important to have a balance of statement pieces and good quality basics. Lycra, chiffon and non crease items are essential as you don't have time to iron when your a mum. It's also good to have a few dressy/smart pieces that you can dress down (rather than up) with a pair of trainers or flats - that way people think you've made more of an effort than you actually have. Bright colours and patterns are also great as it can give you a bit of a lift which you may need after a sleepless night, the patterns will also cover up milk spills and baby sick.
It's really important for a mum to make an effort with her appearance no matter how exhausted she feels, as motherhood can be a slippery slope to frumpiness. After all
happy mother = happy baby.