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The magazine about fashion bloggers!

STYLE SAMPLE

PLUS: SPRING STYLE PICKS SHOULD YOU DELETE YOUR COMMENT SECTION? WHAT TO EXPECT FROM BLOG SPONSORS ...and more!

A LTE

it’s always

O O E AFT RN N Liz of Late Afternoon talks blogging, modeling, and keeping your head straight in the fashion biz.

StyleSampleMag.com

somewhere


STYLE SAMPLE Editor-in-Chief Tamia Stinson tamia@stylesamplemag.com

{blogger’s paradise} To subscribe, visit www.stylesamplemag.com. For information regarding permissions and advertising, contact editor@stylesamplemag.com Published by TheStyleSample.com Creative Commons License Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike

A

s I write this, we’ve just come off of a “fashion blogger high” during New York Fashion Week, during which the Chictopia10 Social Influence Summit and the Independent Fashion Bloggers Evolving Influence Conference took place (read more on page 4 and online at stylesamplemag.com). Fashion blogging and its many participants received coverage in industry publication WWD, as well as mentions in both new and traditional media. Fashion bloggers’ time in the spotlight is often the subject of controversy. Traditional media folk—from print magazine editors to those who write for online publications—have expressed their displeasure at the influx of “inexperienced” new voices commanding their readers’ attention. However, as panelists at the IFB conference noted, we’re not interested in ousting the traditional fashion industry—rather we would prefer to peacefully coexist, and will continue to add our voices to the stream of information and opinions flooding the web. Not necessarily because we’re interested in fame and fortune (well, not all of us anyway), but because fashion is what we love and we’ve found a supportive community that shares our passion. As blogging and bloggers continue to gain recognition, opportunities both positive and negative abound. If you are interested in monetizing with sponsorships, check out the article about working with public relations agencies and press representatives

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on page 25. As bloggers, we open ourselves up to direct feedback from our readers, feedback that often includes both praise and criticism in a very public forum. But is it necessary? “The Etiquette of Comment Sections” on page 22 examines what happens when readers are limited or no longer able to offer such feedback in the form of comments. Blogging is a boon for search engine optimization, so independent business owners and designers Nicole Fisher, and the Stylestalker girls use blogging to connect with their target audience (pages 22 & 23). In terms of artistic talent, illustration and photography reign supreme in the blogosphere, and illustrator Belle Kröl (page 20) and self-portrait photographers Zanita (page 16) and Crystal (page 7) are inspiring examples of the way art manifests itself in fashion. With every issue I am inspired and impressed by the initiative and grace of the people who contribute, as well as countless others I come across while surfing your link lists. As fashion bloggers continue to gain credibility and scrutiny, remember to do what you love.

TheStyleSample.com tamia@stylesamplemag.com


{

ISSUE #6

ANN COLVILLE SOMMA

VALERIE WARRINGTON

Holier Than Now

Beauty and the Budget

Valerie is the founder of Beauty and the Budget, the frugal fashionista’s guide to shopping. As a passionate writer and fashionista, she’s aspiring for a career that will combine both loves.

Ann Colville Somma is the blogger behind Holier Than Now, co-founder of the Cliquesound ad network, and a branding and innovations consultant to the fashion and beauty industries. @HOLIERTHANNOW

NISHA

AMY CLAIRE THOMPSON

Nisha is a law student and fashionphile from Calcutta who mostly prefers hiking boots to stiletto heels despite referencing the latter in the name of her blog, Nonsense On Stilettos.

Amy is a student and writer from NorthEast England, who has the annoying habit of loudly making her opinions on everything known to everyone all the time. Sadly, they tend not to listen.

Confessions of a Fashion Editor

Nonsense on Stilettos

@BLUEFLOPPYHAT

TIANA REID

SARAH

SORINO

Looking Sharp!

Tiana is a writer and student who splits her time between Montreal and Toronto, all the while dreaming of New York. She likes to think she fights her biggest battles with her pen.

Sarah is a student at Point Park University working on her Masters’ Degree. When she’s not blogging or writing, she can be found shopping at independent boutiques around Pittsburgh and writing for her blog, Looking Sharp!

@FASHIONISTA0921

@TIANAREID

CERI HEATHCOTE

Style Eyes Fashion Blog

@HEATHCOMM

JULIA WHICKER

Song of the Exile

As well as writing for her personal blog Style Eyes Fashion Blog, Ceri has her own company called Heathcote Communications, which provides fashion blogging, online marketing, and PR services for fashion companies.

Julia Whicker is a writer living in Richmond, Virginia. She is an enthusiastic proponent of costumery as escapism. She blogs at Song of the Exile.

MOLLY

KATHLEEN FLOOD

Molly is a fashion blogger and senior at the University of Alabama studying journalism and photography. She loves to incorporate her aesthetic eye for photography with her personal and unique style.

Natural Disaster is a style and culture blog inspired by colors, textures and finding the patterns and coincidences in everyday life. Sometimes anecdotal, always impulsive and constantly evolving—like the weather, it’s gracefully, and sometimes wickedly, unpredictable. Here comes the Flood.

TRY a Fashion Blog

@MOO488

@_AMYCT

Natural Disaster

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CONTENTS

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ISSUE #6

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8 6

NEWS

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SINGULAR STYLE

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10

4

The latest happenings from around the blogosphere and what to check out online. Highlighting the style of design and photography student Crystal of 11:11.

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TRENDS: DOLLY DAYDREAM

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STYLE IN MY CITY

BLOGGER’S PARADISE

New York Fashion Week was abuzz with two fashion blogger conferences. By Ann Colville Somma of Holier Than Now

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Myriam of Mode-moi-selle shows us the best shopping in Naples, Italy; Michelle of Glisters & Blisters explores the style scene in Jakarta, Indonesia.

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FRAMING THE PICTURE

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DRAWING INSPIRATION

BLOGS TO WATCH

Featuring A Stylized Hysteria, Come Over to the Dark Side, We Have Candy, Coop Style, and Kansas Couture.

Dream your way into spring with pastels and pattern. Edited by Amy Claire Thompson of Confessions of a Fashion Editor

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EMERGING DESIGNER

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BLOGGING + BUSINESS

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FEATURE: IT’S ALWAYS LATE AFTERNOON SOMEWHERE

Zanita shares her favorite images and tips for self-portrait photography. By Sarah of Looking Sharp! Illustrator Belle Kröl is busy using her talents to her advantage. By Tiana Reid of SORINO

With her first baby due in May and plans to extend her line, designer Nicole Fisher has an exciting road ahead. By Nisha of Nonsense on Stilettos Bounty hunters: On and offline with the girls of Stylestalker. By Kathleen Flood of Natural Disaster

The success of Late Afternoon’s Liz Cherkasova is due to more than great style. By Ann Colville Somma of Holier Than Now

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TIPS & ADVICE

Working with press reps is a big part of monetizing your blog. Here’s what to expect. By Ceri Heathcote of Style Eyes


Memorable high fashion.

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FROM THE BLOGOSPHERE

One Question, Three Bloggers with Jenifer of Fashion for All Mankind, Lei Ann of Give Me Platforms, and Tariro of Savile. Edited by Molly of TRY a fashion blog Quotable

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OPEN-ION: THE ETIQUETTE OF COMMENT SECTIONS Comments are a big deal to most bloggers, but what happens when they’re limited or— gasp!—deleted altogether? By Julia Whicker of Song of the Exile

www.Madras641.com StyleSampleMag.com

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NEWS The latest happenings in the blogosphere Compiled by Valerie Warrington of Beauty and the Budget

ON THE FRONTLINE OF FASHION

Los Angeles beauty blogger Bren of SoMuchPretty has created an amusing challenge for fashion-savvy bloggers. With style challenge The Fashion Frontline, eight bloggers compete in various style categories for each day of the week. Readers vote on their favorite, and whoever gets the most votes, wins the challenge!

BRITISH STYLE BLOGGERS

We all know Britain’s got talent, but they’ve got style too!

“I chose a mix of bloggers with different backgrounds,” says Bren. “[There are] blogs with lots of hits and blogs with low hits, so we can help promote them!” The Fashion Frontline officially launches on April 15, 2010, with the looks and polling section set to open on May 1st. Vote for your favorite at www.thefashionfrontline.com.

British Style Bloggers began as a way to bring inspiration to its creator, Amy Claire Thompson of Confessions of a Fashion Editor.

DESIGNER CHARLOTTE TAYLOR BLOGS HER WAY TO FASHION WEEK

What’s it like to be a first time designer premiering in London Fashion Week? Charlotte Taylor tells all in her blog!

“I love that we have created a community,” says Thompson. “The discussion and support that bloggers give each other always makes me smile.”

The principal idea of her blog was a way for her to connect with the fashion industry. She could see the fashion world was using blogging as a means of communication, and she was also looking for advice.

Image: Claire Pepper

Since 2009, the site has been dedicated to exploring the world of British style and fashion blogging, and they hope to gain international support for the upcoming Body Image season.

GOT NEWS?

Send your tips and information to editor@stylesamplemag.com with “News” in the subject.

Her line was originally designed for 20–35 year old women, but Taylor feels the target market for her collection has expanded. “My mum, for instance, looks fab in a lot of pieces that I have designed, but so do all my buddies,” says Taylor. From preparing for a lookbook shoot to getting the wrong labels in, readers can take a detailed look into Charlotte Taylor’s life and what goes on behind the scenes with an aspiring designer launching her first collection.

ONLINE @ STYLESAMPLEMAG.COM FASHION WEEK BLOGGER EVENTS

A full wrap-up (plus photos) of the major blogger events during New York Fashion Week, including the Chictopia10 and Independent Fashion Blogger conferences. Read all about them here!

11 WAYS TO PROMOTE YOUR ONLINE SHOP

You’ve set up shop, you have great products, now you need cutomers! Check out these tips for promoting your venture.

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Interviewing is a big part of writing (especially for this magazine). Click here for tips to help you conduct great interviews.

PLUS: The best shopping, how to take self-portraits, writing tips, and more!

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7 TIPS FOR CONDUCTING INTERVIEWS


STYLE

SINGULAR STYLE

Crystal Wood, 19 Location: Michigan Occupation: Student Blog: 11.acesaura.com Twitter: @growtrees Name:

ABOUT ME: High pitched giggling drives me crazy!

My guilty pleasure is watching

I never leave home without my

If I was in an art show, you’d see lots

and my iPod.

journal for poetry

A perfect day for me involves solitary walks , thrifting , and hanging out with someone

adore.

I

The last thing that made me laugh out loud was a

friend of mine who has some of the craziest/strangest dance moves I’ve seen!

Gossip Girl.

of photography! Portraits and self-portraits are my specialty. My favorite candy is anything with chocolate because there’s just something about woman’s

needs and chocolate.

Learn more about Crystal on her blog, 11:11

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EVENTS

BLOGGER’S PARADISE

“The outfit ins ration alo was worth ticket pri

Two conferences during New York Fashion Week put fashion bloggers squarely in the spotlight. Text and images by Ann Colville Somma

I

FB (Independent Fashion Bloggers) is a community made up of more than 6,000 bloggers around the world. The Evolving Influence Conference, held at the Helen Mills Theater in New York on February 15th, provided a forum to discuss growth opportunities for this now highly influential arm of fashion media, and sought to address the future of monetization, ethics, and influence for fashion blogs.

IFB Evolving Influence Conference Clockwise from top left: Bryanboy, Tavi Gevinson (Style Rookie), Susie Lau (Style Bubble); Tavi Gevinson, Diane Pernet (A Shaded View on Fashion); Gala Darling.

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The day brought together a global who’s who of successful independent and corporate-sponsored bloggers including Gala Darling, Tavi Gevinson (Style Rookie), Bryanboy, and Susie Bubble (Style Bubble/Dazed Digital). Representatives from new and traditional media like Business of Fashion and The New York Times also spoke. Minx provided complimentary musthave manicures by day, while the Couturious Cocktail Party capped off the event that night with food, drinks, and a photo booth by Weardrobe. The conference consisted of four panels, each rich in ideas, and the success of this year’s event sets the stage for future IFB conferences. Though they may become larger than this 300-person affair, they will certainly only become more valuable for the blogging community.

Read the full summary at StyleSampleMag.com


spione h the ice.”

Chictopia10 Social Influence Summit

B

illed as a forum where “global online taste makers meet executives from premium brands,” the Chictopia10 Social Influence Summit was held on February 13th at the Allegra Laviola Gallery in lower Manhattan. Intimate invitation-only events for the panelists and select guests were held the following day. The day’s panel discussions brought together bloggers including Judy Aldridge of Atlantis Home, Danny Roberts of Igor + André, Liz Cherkasova of Late Afternoon, and Rebecca Stice of The Clothes Horse to discuss the future of blogging and provide insights to optimize brand-blogger relationships. Marketers and media specialists including Modcloth founder Susan Koger and Botkier Marketing Director Jennifer Wexler shared their take on the blogosphere, highlighting the importance of associating their brands with individual style and independent voices, and sharing their take on activating communities with new tools like Polyvore (whose VP of Products, Jess Lee, also spoke). The day was capped off with a fashion show of emerging designers including Alexandra Grecco and the Triskaidekaphobia line of jewelry designed by the girls of Six Six Sick, followed by a cocktail party at the Tribeca Grand Hotel.

Clockwise from top left: Jane Aldridge (Sea of Shoes), Lucrecia (Fashion is Poison), Rachel (That’s Chic), Liz Cherkasova (Late Afternoon), and Taghrid (Taghrid.cc); Taghrid, Liz, and Danny Roberts (Igor + André); Janelle Haskins (Nelle & Feathers), Alexandra Grecco, Landon and Hannah (Hannah and Landon); Rebecca (The Clothes Horse) and Erin (Cali Vintage). The outfit inspiration alone was worth the $129 ticket price for Chictopia members, but the opportunity to gain executable insights from experienced bloggers—and meet them in person—made the event highly rewarding.

Read the full summary at StyleSampleMag.com

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BLOG WATCHING

blogs 

TO WATCH

Fresh faces and unique concepts in the world of blogging

,

Najeema Boston

What’s your favorite part about blogging? I love that blogging connects people from around the world with each other, and I really love that blogging allows the average women (i.e., me) to be involved with media and the fashion world. Blogging is absolutely changing the way people share information, and I’m excited to be a small part of that!

A Stylized Hysteria

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Why did you start blogging? It’s just great way to get in touch with other girls who share the same interest in fashion and clothes! And when you are always spending lots of

www.coopstyle.com

Why did you start blogging? I am pretty shy in real life, but I’m full of opinions and I wanted a space to share my thoughts and love of style, makeup, and everything beautiful. It feels great to have a place where I can express myself 100%—no filters!

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am

Amsterd

Coop Style

AStylizedHysteria.com, @Najeema

Who do you hope to reach? I would love to reach absolutely everyone with a computer and an interest in fashion! Really, I want to reach those who enjoy fashion and clothes, but aren’t necessarily following every bit of breaking news. I focus on accessible fashion for real life, not couture or outfits full of designer pieces.

Cindy,

na, i t n Vale ilan M

Why did you start blogging? I started my blog on September 28, 2009. I’d spent some time in this amazing online world, but only as a spectator. I finally decided to become the “creator” of a space where I can be myself without limits and I created Coop Style. In my room I can dream and make this wonderful city— which is unfortunately inhabited by bigots— into the medieval city of my dreams. I decided to dream of New York and Paris, like in a teen movie!


Come over to the dark side, we have candy www.comeovertothedarksidewehavecandy.com, @Comeovertocandy time (and money, haha) figuring out what to wear, you want people to see it. When you are just going to work or to see your friends and family—who don’t really pay any attention to it— it’s just nice to get compliments and opinions from girls who do notice and appreciate the little details in an outfit! Who do you hope to reach? Hard question! I didn’t even expect that there would be that many people interested in my blog about my personal style. I’m now at 900 followers and to me that’s unbelievable! Apparently I’m just as much an inspiration for other girls as they are to me, and that’s all that I could hope for!

and every single comment that I receive on a new post. It just puts a smile on my face and gives me so much energy! And like I said before, I love being able to get in touch with other fashion bloggers. Some I’ve already met a couple of times! How cool is that? Where are you from? I’m from Holland and I live near the capital of the Netherlands: Amsterdam. It’s a great place to shop and visit for inspiration. When I was younger and didn’t get my inspiration from the internet, I always went to Amsterdam to get inspiration from the streets there!

What’s your favorite part about blogging? My favorite part of blogging is each

I think fashion blogs are a great communication tool for people who are passionate about outfits, accessories, and what’s shown on the runways and in glossy magazines, and are also a source of news, inspiration, and fun. Who do you hope to reach? I have no particular muse unless you count Gabriel Coco Chanel, so whoever I reach is fine. What’s your favorite part about blogging? The first great thing is taking pictures! I love photography and I do not know what I would do without my tripod and my little Canon! I also love the relationship with my readers. It is great reading their

comments, advising them, and talking to them! Everyone is so nice and they also give me their suggestions and advice.

Katy, Kansas

Kansas Couture KansasCouture.com, @KansasCouture

Why did you start blogging? After graduating from college, I was looking for a way to channel my creative energy. Fashion was a longtime interest of mine that I hadn’t explored very deeply. After becoming a regular reader of several fashion blogs, I decided to start my own. I didn’t really have any expectations in the beginning, but Kansas Couture has provided me with so many unbelievable opportunities. Who do you hope to reach? I hope to reach people like me, people who have a similar attitude toward fashion. One of the most important aspects of my blog is that it doesn’t take a lot of money to have interesting style. My goal is to inspire readers (particularly those on a budget) to get creative with their day-to-day outfit choices. Overall, I strive to be relatable and accessible. What’s your favorite part about blogging? Blogging pushes me to constantly improve. I want to keep things interesting for my readers, so I’m always trying to take my style one step further. I also appreciate the dialogue of the blogging community.

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TRENDS

Dream your way into spring with pastels and patt

Dolly Dayd {

ALLEGRA It’s on with Allegra BJ

{

CAROLINA Closet Full of Nothing

{

NATHALIE Accessory Pirate

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Sunglasses, Chloe

Bralet, Topshop

Back to the roaring 70’s: these cream and brown cat-eye “Tilia” sunnies by Chloé are nothing short of retro-fabulous and totally perfect for easy breezy spring days!

You see them all over the runways: flower prints and the underwear as outwear trend. Pair it with a boyish blazer and high-waisted pants to unveil a line of nude skin—very sexy, very Dolce & Gabbana!

Rosette top, H&M

Particuliere polish, Chanel

Y-Mail blush, YSL

Chain earrings, Topshop

Fun and flirty, this subdued rosette top from H&M’s garden collection is a must for my spring wardrobe.

What better mail can you get in spring than something from YSL? I adore the print on top, and the blush gives skin a fresh look after those cold wintery days.

The “Jade” reign is hardly over and Chanel has released yet another brilliant nail color just in time for spring. Particuliere is a milky grey-taupe that perfectly compliments this season’s soft shades.

I love long earrings, they make you feel so graceful. These pieces can be an eyecatcher for a simple look or complement an outfit for a night out.


terns.

dream {

MELISSA

Fashion Trend Guide

EMMA

{

Gotham Hipster

{

FLORRIE

Intrinsically Florrie

Edited by Amy Claire Thompson of Confessions of a Fashion Editor

Mini bag, Bebe

Body lotion, Burt’s Bees

Open back dress, Luca Couture

Buckled wedges, Sam Edelman

Necklace, I Love Cutie Pie

Chiffon blouse, D&G

With its classic quilted pattern and feminine heart shape, this charming bag from Bebe will make carrying around your essentials fun again. It’s just the right size to stash a few small things, too!

The pale pastel blue and white stripes are simply delightful juxtaposed with the open-back detailing. Cutouts will be big for spring!

I Love Cutie Pie do the most sweet, whimsical jewellery—the kind that makes you happy just by looking at it. This necklace was inspired by Hansel & Gretel.

Warm weather means showing more skin, and that means staying moisturized. This lightly scented lotion is not only 99% natural, it contains royal jelly, and gives skin a subtle, healthy glow.

These shoes are a spring necessity, a whimsical spin on your typical gladiator sandal. They’re very versatile; I could even wear them into the fall with a cute pair of socks.

The theme made me think of dolly mixture and this top is so sweet in its coloring. Could it be more feminine?

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‘ROUND THE WORLD

style 

CITY

 in my

“Naples... has a fashion soul, too!”

Naples, ITALY Myriam, 25 Mode-moi-selle

W

hen someone thinks about Naples, his mind goes to its tasty food (pizza and sweets above all), its awesome landscapes, and its museums and historical sites. Well, I can tell you it has got all that, but it has a fashion soul too!

Street Style

Top: the author in the Vomero district and at the Campania shopping center; above: at Coin department store; below: Via Scarlatti

The majority of people living here don’t follow the runway trends. The most quoted style is flashy, colourful and equipped with designer accessories. But as with everything else, there isn’t only a single point of view in fashion: thanks to its five universities, Naples attracts students from all over southern Italy and Erasmus Student Network. People from all around the world contribute to the variegated street style, especially in the inner city.

The Shopping 14

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It’s within the inner city that you can find the most bizarre shops: small windows full of Oriental silver rings, earrings and necklaces, nu-hippie clothes and customized t-shirts are the most visible items along the tiny streets that cut across the city from Piazza del Gesù Nuovo to Via Duomo. If you prefer high designer brands, just go to the Chiaia district and you’ll find everything you want! There are boutiques such as Fendi, Vuitton, Hermès and many more, as well as Mango, Pinko, Liu Jo and other less expensive brands. This is a classy district very close to the seafront, and you’ll have a great walk even if you can’t buy anything. However, my favorite shopping places are Via Toledo in the city centre and Via Scarlatti in the Vomero district. The first one is a very long street full of shops for every price point: there are Spanish brands such as Bershka, Pull and Bear, and Zara


Jakarta, INDONESIA Michelle, 17 Glisters and Blisters

“One thing is for sure: locals embrace trends.”

W

Images: Nikicio.com; Fenny Chen

hat’s the first thing that jumps into your mind when you hear Indonesia? I’d reckon thoughts related to terrorism are one of them. Despite the ugly news, the fashion sphere is better than ever. These days, there are more events than you can count on two hands. From runways to Jakarta Fashion Week to charity sales, there’s always something to look at every day.

(my favorite!), and Italian ones such as U.C.Benetton, Motivi, Camomilla, Intimissimi, and many more. At the end of the street there is a beautiful 19th century gallery full of shops and cafés…you have to go there, it’s amazing! Via Scarlatti is a small promenade in the smart district. There you can find a nice department store (Coin), a bigger Zara – hurray! – and some other shops. If you can get around by car, there are two shopping centers close to town with more than 100 shops (Campania and Vulcano Buono), and a big outlet is opening soon (La Reggia).

e

MYRIAM of Mode-moi-selle is an almost graduated language student with a passion for shopping and a neverending love with fashion. You can find her under stacks of books and fashion magazines, in a Zara store with eyes sparkling, or on her fashion blog. Come and enjoy!

If you’re lucky, you might be able to visit the occasional Brightspot Market (www.brightspotmarket. com). You’ll love the products from local & international brands such as Cotton Ink (cottonink.blogspot. com), Petite Cupcakes (www.petitecupcakes.com), and many others. The exhibition, held few times a year, is a must-go for all fashion worshippers.

Bargainista Heaven Like to bargain? Then ITC Mangga Dua is your place. ITC has everything from $13 bodycon dresses to knock-off Louboutins to factory outlet designer pieces. Starting from $40, you can walk away with Stella McCartney’s leopard screenprint t-shirt. Of course, you won’t walk away with that price easily. If you’re heading down here, drop me a line and I’d be happy to bargain for you!

Unique Designers Bargaining not your thing? Drop into Tribute Birdcage and bury yourself in unique young Indonesian designers pieces from Nikicio, KLE, and many others. Pay a visit to

Far left: the author and friends in Gossip Girl mode; above: Nikicio Spring/Summer show, Brightspot market

the Balinese brand Biasa at Kemang Raya for casual beach pieces. I know that beachwear might not sound that appealing, but don’t compare Biasa to Billabong. Instead, think Cavalli’s maxi-dresses blended with Karen Walker’s preppy style. You never know when your perfect summer piece could be waiting!

Jakarta Style It is actually very hard to define one particular style for J-towners. One minute you’ll see cute Blair Waldorf bows and another you’ll catch a glimpse of Erin Wasson’s rock-child vibe. One thing is for sure, locals embrace trends. Thanks to the increasing amount of magazines, getting inspired from gazillions of sources isn’t a big deal anymore. Actually, me and my blogger friends just did a “Gossip Girl” inspired photo session. Once you’ve done your shopping, fill up your tummy at a historical dining site, Huize Trivelli (www.huize-trivelli.com). The Dutch-based restaurant serves variety of foods that are prepared by the Dutch owner himself. I don’t think there’s any better way to study the past than this!

e

MICHELLE of Glisters and Blisters is a newbie in blogging and has a passion for two words beginning with an F: Fashion & Food. The fashion business student collects black shoes and dreams of following Patrick Demarchelier’s path in fashion photography. You can follow her on Twitter @glister_blister.

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FASHION + ART

FRAMING

THE

PICTURE

Blogger Zanita has mastered the art of selfportrait photography. Here, she spills some of her secrets. By Sarah of Looking Sharp!

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ike most fashion bloggers, this 23-year old fashionista from Sydney has no formal training behind the camera. She credits her knowledge of photography to working with professional photographers on modeling shoots, inspirations from magazine editorials, and pure experimentation. Armed with a Nikon D60, a tripod, and a remote, Zanita self-shoots her blog photos from her secluded rooftop deck, allowing herself two seconds to strike the perfect pose. To inspire us all, Zanita lays out the basics of her fashion photography.

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WHAT IS ESSENTIAL TO CREATING BEAUTIFUL IMAGES? Framing. My advice would be to try different angles and to get closer to your subject. Cropping just above the knee and along the top of the head better conveys an image of the mood of an outfit and subject. Also, utilizing props such as chairs can make a photo more interesting and seem more natural. WHAT ARE SOME TIPS YOU’VE LEARNED ALONG THE WAY TO PRODUCE GREAT PHOTOS? Mastering natural light is key. Take photos outside first thing in the morning or in the evening when the sunlight is less harsh and more direct on the face. Also, take photos on a very cloudy day because heavy clouds disperse light beautifully. If you must take pictures inside, utilize the light filtering through windows. Using basic editing software can dramatically improve the impact of an image. Try adjusting the contrast and brightness and changing the temperature of the image (increasing the orange tones or reducing the saturation). WHERE IS YOUR DREAM PHOTO SHOOT LOCATION? An isolated beach! Beach sand makes a natural reflector and the wind and ocean are beautiful natural elements. Now with Zanita’s insights, we can all start creating stylish photos for our blogs! Visit Zanita online at Zanita.com.au.

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W

hen I spoke with Argentinian native and accessories editor for Chic.tv Belle Kröl, she was living every fashion blogger’s dream: covering New York Fashion Week. Like many fashion weekers, she was overworked and underslept, but loving every minute of it. In fact, life was so hectic for Belle that we scheduled our interview for midnight!

Drawing

Inspiration Belle Kröl

Blogger and illustrator is busy using her talents to her advantage. By Tiana Reid of So Right Now

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TELL ME A LITTLE BIT ABOUT WHAT YOU’RE DOING AT NYFW. I’m doing a little bit of everything so that I’m happy with the results later. I’m spending lots of time inside the press lounge, interviewing, photographing, getting to know my favorite models backstage, and sitting in the press row at some of the shows. I’ve been sleeping like, three hours a day, but even when I do get the chance to sleep, the excitement keeps me up. THAT SOUNDS HECTIC, BUT ENVIABLE. WHAT ABOUT THE ILLUSTRATION PART OF YOUR


“ WORK? HOW DID YOU GET INTERESTED IN FASHION ILLUSTRATION IN PARTICULAR? Drawing comes naturally to me. My dad is a great illustrator, so I guess that’s one reason it’s innate for me. Linking illustration with fashion made me realize that they’re both things that I want to spend all my life doing. HAVE YOU BEEN DRAWING ALL YOUR LIFE? Since I was two! When I was five, I always paused the movies The Little Mermaid and Sleeping Beauty again and again to draw the princess’ hair, crowns and dresses. My sister used to hate watching movies with me! WHAT ARE YOUR MORE CURRENT FILM INFLUENCES FOR YOUR ILLUSTRATIONS? The Virgin Suicides, my favorite movie, is the start of my inspiration. The photography is so awesome that ten years later I keep watching it and finding something new. The twist that Sofia Coppola creates is truly amazing.

The Virgin Suicides, my favorite movie, is the start of my inspiration.

Far left: Sketch of Snejana; left and below: Belle’s pencil sketches.

WHAT ARE YOUR OTHER INSPIRATIONS? I’m so obsessed with Lady Gaga that it scares me. I keep singing her out loud in the streets and I know I look so ridiculous but I just don’t care! I really do have deeper musical influences… Just to make it clear. HAVE YOU EVER DRAWN HER? I’m just waiting to find the right outfit (or wig!). I can’t figure out how I would “decorate” her, but she’s on my to draw list. WHO ELSE IS ON YOUR “TO DRAW” LIST? Anna Wintour, Kate Moss, Karl Lagerfeld… There are some hot choices, I just need inspiration, and time! Visit Belle online at I Know What You Wore Last Season and Belle Kröl Illustrations.

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PROFILES

designer { { 

EMERGING

With her first baby due in May and plans to extend her line, designer Nicole Fisher of Nic*Fish has an exciting road ahead. By Nisha of Nonsense on Stilettos

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rowing up in a family of Philadelphia creatives, former teen model Nicole Fisher realized by college that her heart lay in apparel design. Inspired by her mentor Sayida Hafiz, Nicole studied fashion design at FIT in New York before setting up her own Philadelphia-based label, NIC*FISH, in 2000. Femininity and confidence are qualities Nicole prizes in her clients, which she also sees in women like Chanel Iman, Rihanna, and Scarlett Johansson—all ideal NIC*FISH wearers. Her latest collection features simple, convertible pieces that multitask as much as the women she designs them for. Nicole’s design skills are backed by a wealth of experience—having juggled work at Free People with simultaneously running NIC*FISH, she recalls the task of balancing the two as no real challenge despite the surprise and curiosity of her colleagues. Even the recession—nemesis of many independent designers—is something Nicole sees in a positive light, as an opportunity to restructure her creative vision. Her hopes for the future include opening a standalone NIC*FISH boutique, being stocked by stores like Harrods and Henri Bendel, and mentoring young people in the arts.

On the importance of formal training

“It’s important to have a formal education to gain the basic technical knowledge of fashion illustration, construction, design terminology, and collection development. However I strongly believe real-world experience brings academic knowledge into reality. For young design students, it’s important to focus on both.”

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Managing her business as an independent designer without a team is demanding. The lack of financial investors is a challenge, which Nicole sees as opportunity to succeed by making wise decisions about the direction of NIC*FISH. But independence is also Nicole’s favorite aspect of her job: her progress with the label spurs her to do more to develop it to her exact vision.

I hear music

“Musicians are extremely fun to work with,” says Nicole, who has collaborated with several performers. Her aim when designing costumes for musicians is to ensure they’re functional, comfortable, and expressive of the artist’s own style. In her own words, “It feels awesome when they trust my creative viewpoint.”

Advice for aspiring designers

“Always believe in yourself and your creative talents,” recommends Nicole. She also believes that pursuing a formal education, learning the business, and finding people who support their dreams are essential for young designers. You can find Nicole online at nicfish. com and follow her on Twitter @ DESIGNBYNICFISH. Her line can be purchased online at Etsy, iStyleList, and Yannique.

Left: Nicole with her merchandise; below: her convertible jumpsuit.

Images: Rehes Creative

The toughest part of her job (and her favorite part)


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BLOGGER  business    

with a

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Bounty hunters: On and offline with Stylestalker. By Kathleen Flood of Natural Disaster

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t was mutural attraction at first sight with SueAnn San and Rachel Zeilic wh,o met while “fashion perving” one another during lectures at the University of Technology in Sydney. After becoming friends and literally sharing the same job at an advertising agency, working on alternate days representing mostly alcohol and beauty brands, they realized that Australia had a void for trendy, affordable clothes. “We’re both aesthetic junkies: obsessed with style, fashion, mags, blogs and shopping,” says Sue-Ann. “We used to save up all our money and go to London or Los Angeles to blow it in Selfridges, Topshop and at the vintage markets.” In response, their online store, Stylestalker was born. “We were really young at the time (Sue-Ann was 22 and Rachel 21) so we just jumped in head first. We found our vendors in Indonesia by literally going there and knocking on peoples doors,” said Sue-Ann.

Separate strengths

Last August they celebrated their first year of business, but have yet to have a party. According to SueAnn the two are rarely in the same country. Their personal styles are also oceans apart. Sue-Ann rocks a “tougher” look, favoring harder fabics, darker colors and embellishments, while Rachel goes for prettier, more ladylike dresses and colors. Sue-Ann says their differences are also their strengths because they always come up with different ideas.

Just do it

Sue-Ann and Rachel encourage anyone who’s thinking about starting an online business to do it, but because they just jumped right in, they wish they would have maybe taken a fashion design course and done more research on their target market. Regardless, Stylestalker has been a success. “I guess the most crazy part of it is how quickly it’s grown from a small online store to a business which has over 100 stockists,” says Sue-Ann. “Rach and I literally squeal when we see girls on the street wearing Stylestalker.”

Current obsessions

If Sue-Ann could only wear one outfit this season she’d be wearing “a luxe jersey dress paired with a strong shouldered blazer and some tough boots.” Her other current preoccupations include anything Alexander Wang, the entire Alexander McQueen (RIP) S/S 2010 collection, credit card debt, eyebrow pencils and late night TV shopping. “We’re From top: currently obsessed Dancing in the with knives and vacstudio; images from their line. uum cleaners,” says Sue-Ann. Just as addictive is Stylestalker’s blog, where a recent post alludes to Jen Brill’s great taste in men (referring to her boyfriend Terry Richardson). When asked if she would date Richardson if she could, Sue-Ann replied, in perfect Stylestalker form: “Of course. He’s a bit scary sexy.” Stalk Sue-Ann and Rachel at www.stylestalker.com, and on their blog at www.stylestalkerdotcom.blogspot.com. Find them in the US at Pixie Market and Nastygal.com.

They design everything together, but there’s no typical day for the duo. Stylestalker designs for a woman who probably follows a similar ethos. “Our girl is savvy, sexy, sucessful and likes to look hot. She’s always a little undone with a bit of rock and roll, tousled hair and tight dresses,” says Sue-Ann.

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FEATURE

The success of Late Afternoon’s Liz Cherkasova is due to more than great style. By Ann Colville Somma of Holier Than Now

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O O E AFT RN N somewhere

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t’s always late afternoon somewhere, and around the world countless fans are checking Liz Cherkasova’s blog for their daily inspiration. With her effortless style and honey-blond hair, it would be easy to mistake this San Franciscan for just another West Coast cutie with a camera. But Late Afternoon’s rise from a college hobby to a monetized business—and Liz’s transformation from UC Santa Cruz psych major to up-and-coming buyer/stylist and social media and marketing specialist—reveals a savvy business woman behind the blog. A recent graduate, Liz settled in San Francisco because it’s the best of both worlds. Unmistakably Californian (she was raised in L.A.), the city also has the bustling urban feel of New York, where she hopes to end up. Her new home parallels her personal style: it’s West Coast at its best—relaxed details and vintage are key—but with a metropolitan polish and lean silhouette that’s more Madison Avenue than Monterey Bay. With her unique vision and 5’9” frame, it’s no surprise Liz has modeled for Nasty Gal and Tobi, but her ability to translate Late Afternoon’s success into opportunity isn’t due to good genes and great style alone. She’s a natural networker with a passion and integrity that shines through in the philosophy she revealed to Style Sample.

Grow Online by Going Offline Liz cites her involvement in the Chictopia network as the key factor in expanding her audience—and her career options. The popularity of her outfit posts led members to her website and sparked collaborations with Chictopia’s founders. She was featured prominently on the site, and brought her passion for the community to the offices of Chictopia as a social media and marketing intern. The relationship-building paid off: this year, Liz spoke at the Chictopia10 Social Influence Summit in the company of Judy Aldridge of Atlantis Home and other industry insiders.

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“Know-

ing your way around social media is a really valuable skill right now.”

At meet-ups, successful San Francisco style bloggers inspired Liz to seek sponsorship. She approached brands that advertised on her friends’ blogs, and was soon booking ad space and creating a media kit to showcase her stats and press clips. She now counts ModCloth, Need Supply and Nasty Gal as sponsors, and parlayed her relationship with Nasty Gal into an internship. In a tough job market, Liz saw her blogging savvy as a marketable talent. “In this economy, people don’t quite trust you yet and would rather take you on as an intern and see what you’re capable of. They’re looking for hands-on experience. Knowing your way around social media is a really valuable skill right now.” Her passion for the community goes beyond her commercial endeavors: she counts Aimee Song of Song of Style and Jennie Lodge of Going West as close friends. “Meeting people—industry people and other bloggers” is the greatest benefit of her blog’s success. “We hang out, we go out, we have dinner parties together—it’s probably one of my favorite parts of being a blogger, just having the opportunity to make these friends.”

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Let Success Expand Your Wardrobe—But Not Your Ego From the effortless appearance of her style shots, it’s hard to imagine Liz stepping out looking less than chic. But when asked if supporting this image is top-of-mind when she leaves the house, Liz summarizes her “brand” in one phrase: “I’m a real person.” She continues, “I don’t really believe that I should have to look perfect all the time—that’s not what my blog is about. I walk out of the house in my sweats all the time… I don’t really feel it’s necessary to always look great. It’s not a very realistic standard.” And though Late Afternoon fans may aspire to Liz’s styling talents, a wardrobe like hers is an attainable goal. She favors smart basics and affordable gems culled from chains like H&M and Zara, and favorite vintage haunts like Painted Bird. She’s eager to point out that she’s on a tight budget—like many of her readers—and isn’t afraid to share that she sells pieces at Crossroads and Wasteland when it’s time for a closet cleanse.

Many bloggers struggle with the ethics of free gifts, but Liz’s down-to-earth approach has helped her build authentic relationships with her sponsors and, in turn, with her readers. “Sponsors help me maintain [my] wardrobe without the financial strain, but if you don’t like [a gift] it’s not your duty to promote it—if you’re honest with sponsors, they’re very understanding.”

Fashion’s Future While Liz’s confidence emboldens fans in their personal style quest, her ability to leverage Late Afternoon towards a future in fashion is an inspiration to her fellow bloggers. “Blogs are a fashion revolution,” she’s unafraid to state. Liz’s style acumen and business intelligence puts her firmly at the front of the charge.

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VISIT LIZ ONLINE at popcultureafternoon.blogspot. com and follow her on Twitter @lateafternoon.

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TIPS & ADVICE

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Fashion Bloggers + PR:

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Maintaining a Relationship

By Ceri Heathcote of Style Eyes Fashion Blog ashion bloggers have received plenty of media attention lately, not least about their relationship with Public Relations agencies and press reps. Fashion blogging is a fairly new field that is growing and evolving all of the time. Working successfully with PRs has numerous benefits for the blogger and the PR, so how can fashion bloggers and PRs work together for mutual gain?

What you should expect from a PR

What a PR will expect from you

Generally speaking, the more traffic you get, the more influence you likely have, and the more interested a PR will be in working with you.

You need to hold up your end of the bargain and conduct your blog with the same level of professionalism you would a business.

RESPECT

TIMELINESS

No matter how small your blog is, you deserve to be treated with respect. Your small following is probably growing, and who knows where you will be at this time next year? A small cult following can sometimes be more important than a larger site with less relevant traffic.

Answer their emails in a timely manner. A maximum of 48 hours is a reasonable and professional time scale to respond to emails.

SOME BENEFIT Depending on the following and influence of your blog, this could include: · Interesting content, images and story ideas for your blog · Exclusive previews of collections · Tickets to launches, fashion shows, and industry events · Free products for review · Giveaways or competitions for your blog · Sponsorship offers

GET TO KNOW YOU No one has time to waste, least of all bloggers. A good PR should only approach you with relevant pitches.

CONVENIENCE If someone would like you to promote their product or brand for them, the least they can do is make it easy for you by providing clear and easy to understand information and images. This also includes answering any requests for further information and images in a timely manner.

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Working with PRs is a big part of monetizing your blog. Here’s what to expect.

KEEP YOUR WORD Do what you say you will do. If you have been sent a product to review, it is good etiquette to post the review in a reasonable time scale (about a week) and send a quick email with a link to the post.

A FIGHTING CHANCE Try to resolve issues with a company before posting anything negative on your blog—every company occasionally makes mistakes. It’s reasonable to give them the chance to put things right before venting on your blog.

YOUR VOICE Create well written posts that give your own point of view and personal take on the product or brand. A post which gives an honest and well thought out opinion is so much more influential than a post that just sounds like a marketing pitch.

CLEAR INFORMATION ABOUT YOUR BLOG

TRUST

A PR will usually need some information about your blog to make a decision on what they can offer. A media kit is a great way to present information on target audience, metrics, etc. in a professional way.

They should trust and respect your judgement on what is right for your blog audience. A PR should not dictate editorial content! It is your blog and it is completely up to you what you write. You should not have to compromise the integrity of your blog.

By engaging with a PR in a professional manner, you will maximize the chances of a successful relationship and your potential gain, whilst maintaining the integrity and individuality of your blog.

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FROM THE BLOGOSPHERE

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ONE

question  THREE

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Different perspectives, shared experiences Edited by Molly of TRY a fashion blog

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bloggers 

What is the one piece of clothing you always pick out of your closet to wear?

Jenifer, FASHION FOR ALL MANKIND

Lei Ann, GIVE ME PLATFORMS

Tariro, SAVILE

That one piece for me is the LPD, “Little Printed Dress”. A cute dress that hugs all of your curves in all the right places makes you feel like you could ask Johnny Depp for his number! A scribble print dress in a stretchy fabric and a Tuxedo jacket is my go-to outfit. I like that you can dress it up or down, depending on the accessories you pick.

I love shirtdresses! I find them to be a tremendously versatile article of clothing. This black shirtdress (which I thrifted) is one that I’m constantly pulling from my closet. I can wear it over pants, jeans or a skirt, buttoned up fully as a dress or left open as a jacket. However, my favorite way to wear it is over a poofy dress to add an interesting pop of color & texture!

One piece of clothing I always pick out of my closet are my Forever 21 jeans! I love them so much. They only cost 10 dollars and they’re so comfortable! They go with pretty much everything. I love jeans that are versatile and can go with any outfit I need them to. They’re really soft, and I’ve seen that they are really good quality. They are my favorite pair of jeans!

QUOTABLE!

Funny/interesting/thoughtful comments from the blogosphere

“Fashion, clothes and self-expression isn’t silly, it’s sociology. What we wear expresses very deeply how we feel about ourselves, our friend group, our tribe and our culture.”

~Seen on Why Fashion is Worth Blogging About, Good Morning Midnight

“That looks so, so grossly unhealthy. I can’t wait to eat twenty of them.”

~ Seen on Elephant Bread, Here’s Lookin’ at Me, Kid StyleSampleMag.com

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OPEN-ION

t n e m e m m o m c m o o s c c t n s s t t e e n n m e e m m mmmm com m o o c s conts c t s n s t t e e n n e e m mom m m c s comcoments s t t n en ommsC m t c ments men m o c s What happens when bloggers limit or— gasp!—delete their comment section? By Julia Whicker of Song of the Exile

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omments are a big deal to most outfit bloggers, and perhaps rightly so. The average number of comments a particular blog receives per post is an easy point of comparison, a visible (though inaccurate) measure of who’s reading. But among the fashion blogging set, there is also a sort of unspoken etiquette: comments are generally positive, and often “exchanged”—you leave a comment on my blog and I’ll leave one on yours.


s t n s t e n n m e e m m m o o m c m c ts ts cots coents t n n n e e e m “ mmm comomm o nts ts c e n e mm m s The comment section is indeed one of the newest additions to fan-culture; it offers an instant fix for those wanting to communicate with their idols.

The way the “system” works

There’s much that is good about this system. It introduces bloggers to each other, it encourages rapport and feedback and even friendship, and frankly, compliments can really brighten somebody’s day. And after all, it’s entirely possible that there are bloggers out there who genuinely admire each other’s style and really do want to communicate that appreciation. This tit-for-tat commenting can begin, however, to seem perfunctory. Even disingenuous; after all, what does it mean, really, if you’re only leaving a comment on a blog to get a comment in return? Or what if you leave one without reading the post’s text? If the comment feature’s intended function is as a forum for readers to create genuine discussion (and that, of course, is debatable), what are we to make of its actual function—as a place for readers to check in, to pay their dues?

Internet fame and fandom The issue grows murkier. Obviously, a blogger with 350 comments per post can’t possibly reciprocate every comment, so commenters must be seeking some other kind interaction. It’s almost like a contact high, one that enables fans to have instant access to their celebrity of choice. Perhaps it should come as no surprise then, that many bloggers with such large readerships decide to disable their comment sections, citing both the negative remarks (which are much more frequent at blogs with larger readerships) as well as the gushing praise as unsettling. The comment section is indeed one of the newest additions to fan-culture; it offers an instant fix for those

wanting to communicate with their idols. But once a blogger reaches such celebrity status, a host of even stickier questions arise, especially when that blogger decides to remove the commenting function from her site, as Jane from Sea of Shoes did last year.

Fame (and please choose your own loose definition of that word, since we are, after all, talking about internetfame) has always had a price, and that price has more or less been a loss of privacy. Being famous means you give up your right to police your own image. Whenever a “celebrity” blogger chooses to remove her comments, the backlash often smacks of feelings of betrayal—what, you don’t care about our opinions any more? We made you! The internet is a strange new world indeed, because these blogging celebrities can, to some degree, still control the very mechanism by which their success is most visibly measured: their comments. If they don’t like what’s being said, they can just turn them off and keep right on posting.

Good Etiquette Comment etiquette is an issue that will probably receive more attention if blogs continue to evolve as powerful marketing tools. We may very well be on the cusp of a new dawn -- perhaps new bloggers will forgo the comment feature altogether and thus avoid the recoil and dissention that removal often causes. Then again, in an era where everything from shoes to teapots can be reviewed ad nauseum online, why shouldn’t our outfits—and our blogging celebrities—be subjected to the same banal judgement? There’s a certain fairness to that. It’s a question that only time will answer.

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Style Sample Magazine Issue #6