The Online Fashion Crusade Emma Ellen June 19, 2015 Bloggers, Fresh Mess, MESSFashion, Style How do we stay “in the know”? But more importantly, how do we stay inspired? As fast and slow as fashion may be, we embrace its changing styles with a great sense of devotion. We hang on every word and image; feeding on the ideals given. The tools and ways in which we continue to be inspired have shifted greatly over the past decade. I remember the sheer frustration of never being able to get my hands on the latest edition of Vogue and not being the first to scour every inch of those glossy pages until their corners curled and words were embedded in my mind. I saw beautiful women, dressed in beautiful clothes. Whilst I did see expression, I also saw the image that the industry wanted me to see. Looking back, that unrealistic image is now something of the past. For print media was in a way, a representation of the unachievable lifestyle the majority of us could only dream of. A life represented by Givenchy boots and Louis Vuitton handbags. Whilst it’s great to dream and to keep that dream alive, there was nothing out there to represent and sustain our reality. Cue, a digital revolution. Well, it wasn’t that sudden. It’s not like we woke up one morning and the world was obliterated into an online world. We had it coming for years. Individuals needing a new way of expressing themselves but also people who needed to relate to something, helped spur this revolution. What these people did for every single industry was create a way of reaching a bigger and better audience. Rather than limiting themselves to people within reach, they were able to connect with others on the other side of the world. Remember when the idea of an international pen pal blew your mind? Now put the above into this context. Did your appreciation for the digital world just double? So how did the fashion industry utilise this tool? It became something not limited to brands but to the followers. Blogs allowed individuals to express their own sense of style and influences. In turn, the inspired inspired the rest of us. We feed off each other’s ideas and project them into our own. Which is why I want to introduce you to some of the best that can be found online. People who are going beyond what fashion was once considered and digging deeper to create a more meaningful industry. Bustle Bustle is a media force, predominantly aimed at women that delivers everything you want and need to know. The formula that works for this online sensation is the fact that their writers are just like us. As they put it themselves ‘we’re insatiably curious about the world.’ The website is full of content, not just focused on fashion but on topics like politics, diversity, work and sex. It all began in 2013 and one year on it was estimated that the publication was reaching 20 million readers and had raised $15.5 million round of financing. Whilst social media has assisted in driving traffic to the website, the team aim for social media to only make up 50% in the future. They want to create something special and organic. Bustle is you go-to, your one stop shop for everything and in between. StyleLikeU StyleLikeU first began in 2009 when mother daughter duo Elisa and Lily decided to use this multimedia platform to inspire and honour authentic aesthetic and individuals. I first came across the pair on YouTube, watching their videos that delved into the true meaning of style. The individuals they speak to are raw and uninhibited. Elisa and Lily are combating the idea of trends and that to be “in fashion” you need to change who you are. It’s about changing perception through exposure and that ‘True fashion is the foundation for one’s identity.’ I am inspired not only by Elisa and Lily, but every single person they meet. For a style identity education, I can’t recommend StyleLikeU enough. Pandora Sykes Pandora Sykes is a UK fashion journalist, currently working for The Sunday Times Style. Sykes radiates personality and attitude. She is fun, kooky and just the kind of person I want to be friends with really. Every post, every image just says cool and there is no other way to describe it. Sykes explores all elements- from style advice, to travel to social commentary. I know what you’re thinking, what makes this stand out from the rest? It’s easy, laid back and have I mentioned cool? But it’s more than that; her tongue-in-cheek view brings light to some hot topics others don’t. Jasmine Dowling Jasmine Dowling, hailing from Brisbane Australia, is a letterer/graphic designer who uses her blog as a way of promoting her art but her fashion inspirations as well. Dowling’s media platform shows the beauty in simplicity. She explores themes in her art, trying to stir the creative side in her followers. Simple phrases, like niche and inspiration promote discussion and sharing, making you want to go out and find your inner Van Gough. In terms of style, Dowling is evidence of affordable and achievable fashion. Like any great blogger, her ability to style higher end pieces, acting as a focal point with lower end pieces that frame not only the body, but the style and the overall aesthetic.