Are Bloggers Over Fashion Week?

Over the last couple of seasons I’ve started to notice a trend: a lot of of the big bloggers are skipping out on fashion week. Chiara Ferragni isn’t strutting her street style, Kristina Bazan is posting brunch snapchats from LA, Julia Engel is on vacation in the Bahamas. I feel like New York Fashion Week used to be the difference between the big luxury bloggers and the mid-range small fish.

But now it feels like people are sort of over it? Can it be?

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Major bloggers like Chriselle Lim, Aimee Song, and Danielle Bernstein are all still hitting the shows (as well as style-famous editors like Shiona Turini and Elaine Welteroth) but it doesn’t feel like the same fanfare anymore. I feel like the shows used to be a status symbol – look I can get invited to Calvin Klein – and that bloggers attended regardless of if they worked with the brand. But with more and more influencers getting invited to shows and the collections being immediately posted onto social media, a lot of the bigger names seem to be opting out. They seem to be over it.

There’s been an interesting conversation happening around the Grammys (other than #GrammysSoWhite): are we just over big displays of what is “good” and “cool”? I think fashion shows are different because they aren’t attempting to definitively label other’s work, but they are known for leading the way of what will be cool next season and defining trends.

Does this work in the landscape of fashion bloggers and street style photographers? I think fewer and fewer people are looking to brands for inspiration and more are looking to see how their favorite social media star styles the pieces. In this moment of uber personal style how can brands keep up?

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I think two patterns have emerged the last few seasons:

  • Supermodels are making a comeback. Models are back in the public eye as celebrities in their own right – The Hadids, Kendall Jenner, Jasmine Tookes, etc. Designers are putting recognizable faces on the runway again to bring attention to the brand, but I also think to make people feel more connected to the clothes.
  • Brands are moving beyond models. A few designers have hired “friends” of the brand to act as models – J Crew did it this season, Mansur Gavriel has done it in the past. This definitely feels like an attempt to embrace style as an element of personality, that the clothes are enhanced by the individuality of the person wearing them.

With brands trying to address personal style, bloggers ignoring NYFW is really an amazing act of rebellion. For bloggers to say they don’t need the validation of the fashion industry just as that industry is realizing how much they need personal style bloggers shifts the power dynamic, especially after the industry was pretty resistant to the rise of influencers in the first place. Obviously this doesn’t peg to everyone, but it’s interesting that bloggers seem to be less and less involved in the mainstream fashion stuff as their own platforms become more powerful.

So what’s next? Personally, I don’t think blogging is going away any time soon and I think brands are going to have to find ways to better integrate influencer marketing into their strategy. In the meantime, you keep on brunching Kristina.

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Blog Roundup: Have a Romantic Weekend!

Hope you guys had a wonderful week! I don’t know about you, but I can’t believe it’s already Friday! No Valentine’s plans for me, but I’m actually really looking forward to having a creative weekend: I’m taking a writing workshop, going to the movies, and making a dent in my newest library book.

Here are a few blog-related links and some blogger industry news that’s fascinated me this week. And of course, let me know if there’s anything I missed – I seriously love putting this post together! Enjoy and have a relaxing and joyful weekend!

1. Chiara Ferragni Returns to Harvard

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Chiara Ferragni, the international blogger/street style star/designer/entrepreneur is returning to Harvard with her team to once again lecture in the Luxury Marketing MBA program. From her snaps it sounds like they focused on the ways that new platforms and fan engagement affect luxury commerce and how they transformed The Blonde Salad from a personal fashion blog to a complete fashion empire. She was one of the first really successful bloggers and has her own case study published by Harvard Business School (in case anyone is looking to get me a very unorthodox Valentine’s Day gift 😂).

I would have loved to be in that lecture and seen how they laid out their business plan. I feel like so many bloggers try to hide the fact their blog is also a business and so they don’t share their strategy and policies. This has led to a lot of confusion in the highly-unregulated blogging industry over legality, finances, and transparency, so hopefully the TBS crew can start to open up that can of worms for the benefit of everyone.

2. ‘My Child is Transgender’ on Cup of Jo

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Joanna Goddard’s blog is seriously stepping up! In the last year she has really responded to readers’ call for more diversity and social justice-oriented content. She is doing an great job at writing more inclusive posts amongst her usual style and lifestyle posts. Her voice is so intimate and she lifts up stories that are meaningful and reflect the social justice orientated readership she’s cultivated. Obviously there’s always room to do more, but she’s responding far more than any other blogger I’ve seen and she does it all while remaining authentic to her brand.

I also loved this post featuring children’s books with characters of color and her response to the November election.

3. LIKEtoKNOW.it the App?!

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Okay so this is less of commentary and more of mystery because I legit can’t find anything about this upcoming app! For those who don’t know, LIKEtoKNOW.it is a monetization tool for bloggers where followers can like an image on Instagram and then an email of shopable links is sent to that follower for them to peruse and buy their favorite items.

LIKEtoKNOW.it and RewardStyle, which are run by the Venz Box titans, have completely altered the fashion blogging landscape by giving bloggers a way to monetize their looks and get commission from recommending products. They’re like my heroes so I’m always really excited when they literally do anything – but why can’t I find any info on this app?!

I’m interested to see what the app is because so many brands and bloggers are steering away from the app thing. They’re cumbersome on the backend and require a reader to open an entirely different activity to access content, putting up another barrier to user interaction – especially when content on Instagram would show up without even trying (although that new algorithm is still getting under people’s skin).

But then you have apps like Mary Orton’s Trove, which is another shopping-centric app where you can shop directly from blog posts. So maybe apps are becoming the personal shoppers of the future? It’s obviously too early to tell, but I definitely signed up for first access to the LIKEtoKNOW.it app – I’ll be sharing once I’m in!

I am Loving Princess Margaret’s IRL Style

After watching The Crown (in one weekend cause it’s so good people), I was a big fan of Princess Margaret or at least her fictional portrayal… I got to googling and discovered how I much I love her IRL style too! She’s glamorous, whimsical, and unexpected. She wears diamonds and fur like nobodies business one night and pastel prints with statement earrings the next. The photo of her wearing a plaid bonnet and smoking a cigarette is basically my life goal.

Here are a few photos to inspire your Monday:

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Favorites from Spring 2017

As fashion month comes to a close, I always like going through all the looks from the big shows and finding my favorites. I’ve started to really hone in on which designers I love (Gucci, Mary Katrantzou, Rodarte), but I love finding new brands that are surprising and beautiful. I’m obsessed with the Molly Goddard collection for its off-kilter gauzy, neon awesomeness and am really digging Dice Kayek‘s tailored volume.

I’m also really loving the sort of ’70s professor meets Marie Antoinette’ vibe happening in a lot of collections for Spring. Ultra luxe fabrics, voluminous sleeves, and suiting = count me in. This means I’m obviously obsessed with Gucci this season because tulle ball gowns, pink plaid, and gold suits… come on! Anyway, I’ve included my faves below and pinned my other favorite looks here on Pinterest, if you’re interested. Enjoy!

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[Coach, Reem Acra]

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[Mary Katrantzou, Fendi]

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[Gucci, Maticevski]

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[Giamba, Molly Goddard –> my favorite look of them all!]

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[Gucci, Delpozo]

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[Dice Kayek, Antonio Berardi]

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[Marco de Vincenzo, Gucci]

I’m also apparently really into long-sleeved dresses and dramatic blazers, which isn’t wrong. My workwear come spring is going to get very interesting though lol. What’d I miss? Which collections are your faves? Fashion month can be completely overwhelming so I’m positive I’ve missed some badass stuff. Please direct me to it. Much appreciated.

Nordstrom Anniversary Sale 🙌

I know I’m late to the game on this one, but today I’m sharing some of my favorites from Nordstrom’s Anniversary Sale! This sale is particularly awesome because instead of waiting until the end of the season to get your favorite pieces for a lower price, everything for fall is on sale before hand. How nice is that?!

I’ve broken up my picks based on price – bargains (under $100), investments ($100-250), and dream buys ($250+) because this is typically how I shop. Being on a budget can make shopping particularly exhausting so I thought I would try to simplify things a little bit. Breaking things down by price helps me prioritize, especially for a big seasonal, department store sale like this one, and then I don’t fall in love with like 5 different things I can’t afford…

I feel like I’ve been going through a bit of a style transition lately (living in another country, getting a little older, dressing a little nicer for work) and I’m at a point where I’m not really sure what I even like anymore. I also always have to remind myself of what looks best on me and what pieces I could throw on today and they would already fit into my wardrobe. So it was actually a fun practice to go through everything and choose what I love – it sort of invigorated my shopping spirit again. There’s a lot to consider, but there are also about a million things in the sale, so I still have my pick of the lot.

P.S. If anyone knows how to not pay an absurd amount in post office pick-up fees (1/3 of the value of any products shipped from the US into Ireland 😭), please let me know.

Bargains (Under $100)

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Love this simple Cross Front Tee: casual but a little sexy. // Perfect slouchy fit on this Thermal Henley.

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Love the waist cinching on this Crossover Sweater. // A little V-neck and a little sheer make me love this Lace Up Sweater.

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I’m a sucker for the gorgeous collar on this Oxblood Peacoat. // Diggin’ the fit on this (faux) fur vest.

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Not usually a huge bomber jacket fan, but this one is perfect. // Powder blue heaven.

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Would love to transition this Floral Romper from summer to fall. // Obsessed with the ease of this Suede Shift Dress.

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I’ve always loved some sweet back-to-school wear. // Mod denim mini.

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These pants look like the most comfortable things in the world – perfect airplane outfit. // Love the seem down the front of these leather leggings.

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I basically live in printed sneakers, so eying these. // Gorgeous suede mary janes.

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These earrings would completely elevate my typical jeans and a navy T. // Obsessed with these mismatched earrings!

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Been in the market for a hip belt for a while now and love the light leather on this one. // Not usually a fan of monogrammed things, but this makeup bag is too cute!

Investments ($100 – 250)

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This jacket with jeans and over the knee boots = fall uniform. // This Delicate Lace Top would be gorgeous under a leather jacket.

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Would actually wear this tank everywhere, from under a suit to date night. // Weirdly in love with this simple button down.

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God bless a cashmere mini dress. // Saw these OTK boots on the lovely Meghan Donovan and immediately loved.

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Possibly my favorite piece of them all. // Love these neutral, but still statement making sunglasses.

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This bag looks way more expensive than it is. // Loving a shorter heel now days and these don’t sacrifice a beautiful shape, either.

Dream Buys ($250+)

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My mom would love this cardigan. // Dreamy mustard Suede Motorcycle Jacket.

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Perfect for the professor look (I just hope the fit on them is good). // The most coveted boots of the season for good reason.

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Wore out my Longchamp bag to death in high school, so I love this grown up version. // This bag makes me want to take a road trip real bad.

It feels so weird to be shopping for fall already, but it’s also crazy to think that August starts next week! The summer is flying by – it’s so crazy! Would love to know if you’re also shopping the sale and, if so, what’s on your to-buy list. I love how many pieces are really versatile and I can buy now and actually wear, especially in Ireland where it is fall all year. Send me your faves! 💕

Thank You, Bow & Pearl!

For the last three months, I’ve been working as a social media intern for the local Dublin boutique, Bow & Pearl. I’ve done everything from take product photos to organize stock takes to analyzing data from our social media platforms. I’ve also been working sales on the shop floor, so the whole experience has really given me an idea of what it takes to run a small independent business. I’ve always been drawn to the idea of working for myself and in some ways it’s never felt more possible, but you have to be so passionate and dedicated to your business – not sure I’ve found that fire quite yet. But I feel like it’s getting closer!

I wanted to share of few of my favorite photos from my time at Bow & Pearl to celebrate my last week. It’s amazing to think of how much I’ve grown in this experience – it feels like the time has both flown by and yet I’ve learned so much.

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So a big thank you to the whole Bow & Pearl team, especially my boss Bronagh, for taking a little grad student in and making her feel at home. I’ll miss the shop so much! Thank you!

13 Looks Perfect for Summer in Dublin

I know I’m always going on about the weather here in Ireland, but it has seriously hit me the hardest this summer. I’m used to long, hot, muggy Chicago summers where you wake up sticky and put on as few clothes as legally possible. Dublin is just so different. I’m currently wearing jeans, a long sleeved shirt, and a jacket and I’m still cold – plus the persistent rain doesn’t help either. It just gets a little tiresome dressing for the same season all year round, you know?

But instead of harping on about how shitty it is, I’ve decided to pull a few of my favorite street style looks that are perfectly suited for summer here in Dublin – still fun and fresh for summer, but a little more covered up and practical. Things are looking sunnier already!

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Obviously I’m into all things layered and quirky, but still put together. I think personal style is so cool and love that it really seems to be making its way to the forefront. And just a little side note, some of my personal style inspirations are Jenny Walton, Chiara Ferragni, and Leandra Medine. They are totally fearless and true to their visions of style – they’ve all reached some sort of personal style nirvana. Workin’ on it.

Summer Style Picks

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So this is mostly wishful thinking because it will definitely not be warm enough for me to wear any of this, but in the spirit of the season I wanted to put up a few picks for you hot weather folks. Classic with a fun, whimsical twist (& apparently I’ve got a thing for rabbits going this summer 🐰) Enjoy!

1) Henriette Dress by dRA – Lately I’ve been trying to focus on finding pieces that suit my shape. I get so caught up in fun proportions or trendy styles that I sometimes forget I’m dressing me. This dress is totally appropriate, though, with a deep V neck and empire waist and I love how easy it would be to throw on with white sneakers and silver jewelry.

2) Woodland Bunny Watch by Olivia Burton – We carry this watch brand at Bow & Pearl and I came across this sweet little piece while updating our stock. I love that it’s whimsical but still modern and has vegan leather which is good for both the animals and my wallet.

3) Rattan Wedge by Charlotte Olympia – Okay, so obviously a dream purchase with such a high price tag (even at half off!) but I love the idea of a statement heel. I find myself drawn to a lot of simple dresses so a little pop of personality is definitely needed. This pair is somewhere between old Hollywood starlet and chic suburban mom going out to dinner in Florida, which I completely love.

4) Round Rabbit Mini Bag by Andrés Gallardo – Another reach purchase here too, but I think I might be falling for the round bag trend. I saw one that I loved on Julia Engel’s blog and can’t stop thinking about them. I love the cobalt color and sweet detail on this one and the mini shape helps it feel like less of a hat box. I’m on the hunt for some more affordable options, so I’ll keep ya updated.

5) Bow Back Playsuit by One O Eight – I’m a sucker for a great romper and this one is perfect! We just ordered in pieces from this brand at Bow & Pearl and I stumbled upon this awesome little playsuit on their website. Love the fresh green and white pattern and I would totally style it as shown, with white sneakers and a bun. Or dress it up with a banana yellow heel and beachy waves for a date night. Can’t beat a versatile piece at a reasonable price!

What are you wearing this summer? Realistically it will be denim and sweaters for me all summer, but alas I’ve never met a cozy summer night I didn’t like…

New Jewelry at Bow & Pearl

To be honest, I’m not much of a jewelry person. I’ve worn essentially the same 5 or 6 pieces interchangeably for the last 10 years. Every now and then I’ll pick up something new, but it often has some sort of sentimental value or deeper meaning. I’ve just never been one to pick something up because it’s cute. Cue me seeing the little V-necklace below with a 15 euro price tag and all that goes to hell. It’s so sweet! I’m eying the circle necklace, as well – styled with a white v-neck t for something simple and summery.

This shoot was another I felt really happy with. Playing around with group shots was a new challenge for me, styling wise, and using the encyclopedia added a fun bit of texture. I love when things that are often just lying around can inspire an entire shoot and add a new dimension to simple product photos.

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Everything shown is new in at Bow & Pearl, along with a bunch more great jewelry! Like seriously we have such a haul in the shop right now… Come check us out in Ranelagh! Or online at bowandpearl.com!

Sunshine & Sparkle

As I’ve been shooting for Bow & Pearl, I’ve been trying to mix up the style of our product photos a bit and am really happy with how these turned out! I love their vintage feel while still incorporating a bit of nature in order to feature our summer jewelry. The mirror was a little tricky to get right, but I’m so happy with the result – a good reminder that experimenting can always pay off big.

I’ve loved taking photos each week and am already seeing myself improve, which is something I’m really proud of. I took up photography as a hobby a while back after watching my dad take photos growing up. As any self-righteous child, I used to be embarrassed whenever he would stop the car on a road trip to take a photo of a cornfield or when he took me along to set up a long exposure shot of an old tree at the arboretum for hours. But now I see so much of my own process in those experiences and appreciate that he has always been willing to get the shot he really wanted. I guess the apple really doesn’t fall far from the Nikon …

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Of course there is always more to learn and improve on, but it’s nice to see something that you made and really enjoy it. Per usual, everything above (including the candles and cards) are available at the Bow & Pearl shop in Ranelagh or check out everything online. Hope you enjoy! 😘