Style Diaries: Blogging Fashion


17 Monday 17th January 2011

Audrey Leighton runs Be Frassy, and its sister shop Frassy Rags (where everything is <£20). She was featured on the cover of Style Diaries. For the chance to be featured on the cover yourself, enter our competition here. Audrey describes herself as "an individual turning her own sartorial wheel". Penelope Sacorafou from Fox & Squirrel spoke to her.

Congratulations on being featured in the book and being listed as one of the most important fashion bloggers. When did you start blogging and what inspired you to do so?

I started blogging while I was at Durham University, I enjoyed my degree but didn't really see how it would help me within the Fashion Industry, so I decided to start a website- an outlet that would allow me to be creative and expressive with Fashion. It wasn't too long after that I started my online shop - Frassy Rags. I guess inspiration came from - but also artistic bloggers like Isa from Bohemian Musings...or they sort of illustrated how accessible the blogging world really is.

I believe that fashion bloggers should be recognised for their ability to predict trends, to set trends and to make fashion news available to a broader audience and I can just hear critics say that a book dedicated to their personalities is yet another example of the prevailing 'celebrity culture' and our obsession with individual lifestyles. Are fashion bloggers proof of the democratisation of self-promotion through internet technology or are they in it for the sake of fashion?  

I don't think bloggers can be related to the 'celebrity culture' but instead a counterculture to this celebrity fixation - our photographs, writing and overall content is generally very down-to-earth and accessible to everyone. Bloggers accumulate followers not through any status, but through their creativity - and I think readers often see the bloggers they admire, as friends, as people they can relate to. After all, we are real people with real budgets and lives grounded in reality, and while people might be interested in the individual 'behind' the blog - I don't think we are anywhere near celebrity status. I think an interest in a blogger's personality is more of a budding online friendship than anything else.

Do fashion bloggers nullify the role of trend forecasters such as WGSN, Trendstop et al?

No, I don't think so at all. I think bloggers facilitate the role that fashion forecasting companies play in the industry - I mean, I certainly can see trends forming online through the handful of blogs I read religiously and I am sure companies such as WGSN are analysing these blogging trends too.

The ability of blogs and online publications to turn out fashion content so quickly has been held responsible for the short life of fashion trends. What do you think the future beholds for offline fashion publications such as magazines?  

This sort of reminds me of when devices such as the Kindle were launched, people were convinced that the written book would become exctinct, but I refuse to believe that. While I think that blogs, online magazine websites such as Refinery29 or WhoWhatWear have proven stern competition for offline publications, I think that they will continue to operate because while I am total cyber geek, and almost everything I do from reading to shopping is online, I will still always buy the magazines that I enjoy rather than access their content online. However, saying that I think magazines might have to drop their prices to maintain circulation, because as a lot of people have pointed out "why pay £5-6 for a magazine when I can just read similar stuff online for free?"

Their ability to churn out trends so quickly contradicts the recent prominent trend of 'sustainability in fashion'. What do you think the role of bloggers should be in combating fast-fashion and promoting sustainability?

Maybe I am the wrong person to ask this, but "sustainability in fashion" seems completely boring to me and contradicts everything that fashion is. I believe fashion should be a constant whirlwind of ideas, and ever-changing styles - whimsical, off the cuff dressing. The essence of fashion is its movement, its continual "newness", constantly cycling through trends....and bloggers keep very up to pace with this. So, while maybe promoting sustainability is something we should as bloggers respect, I don't think we do. We jump on every new trend, every new look as soon as it hits the internet, and that is what makes blogging so interesting and diverse.

Any tips on great vintage shops in London?

Vintage in London is probably the best of any city I know. Brick Lane is always a treasure haven, as is Rokit just off Neal Street. Beyond Retro in Soho is good. And there are some incredible vintage shops in Notting Hill - both vintage designer and bargain bins. Angel has some great places too, as does Camden. London is literally bursting with vintage goodies - Spitalfields Market - go there too!

Out of all the bloggers listed alongside you in this book who inspired you the most and why?

Gary Pepper Vintage - she is adorable and a workaholic, and I love the clothes she sells. Plus Nadia of Frou Frouu, because she's my friend and I have really loved seeing her blog gradually get the recognition it so rightly deserves!

And, finally any tips for aspiring bloggers?  

Just do it. Click onto blogger, and get started. It is that easy, so if you are considering it, jump on the blogging wagon and get involved: it is SUCH fun!


Style Diaries is available now, from all good book shops. If you'd like the chance to be on the cover yourself, enter our competition here.

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