Friday, 18 March 2011

Topshop's Blogging Masterclass, with Susie Lau and Stevie Mackenzie Smith

This is the second time Topshop have held an event at Nottingham's store, we felt that this one however was much more successful. It wasn't necessarily due to the larger turn out, but it was the fact that Susie Lau of Style Bubble, and Stevie Mackenzie Smith of Discotheque Confusion really gave us an insight into their worlds. Despite Harriet being armed with Topshop's questions for Susie and Stevie in case of silence at the Q&A session, there was no need as the questions kept coming and the answers were honest and engaging. We're often hurriedly booking train tickets to London when there's something cool going off, and wishing we lived there because Nottingham's not quite the epi-centre of Fashion - which is why it's always so great when something inspirational happens here! If you missed out on the evening, below is a round up of everything that we found particularly interesting...

Susie Lau, now a full-time professional blogger, started posting on Style Bubble during her lunch hours of her "dull" digital advertising job. Susie reinforced the importance of being passionate about your content - in the beginning, to make sure she had originality in her posts about discoveries of new designers and unknown shops she did google searches to see if she was simply re-reporting. Another point she made was about style blogging, and how she surpasses 'what I'm wearing today' by creating inspirational outfits around a theme or argument or piece which relates to an exhibition. We find we come across a lot of documenting of day-to-day outfits which has made us reluctant to do this ourselves, but Susie's approach has made us look at this element of fashion blogging in a new light, more outfit posts, we promise!

We were surprised when Susie explained that she often saves what she discovers at "Fashion month" until she's re-seen the collections and appreciated them up close. This was encouraging as this is something we do, in such a fast paced industry there's pressure to roll out posts as quickly as possible.
Whilst we were sat outside anxious for the event to start, we had to do a double take when Susie Lau walked straight past us (without sounding too cliché); in her own little bubble. It's one thing looking at style posts on blogs, but admiring some one's creativity in their dressing in person is another, so we ran after her for a photograph and to quickly ask what her outfit was made up of, we loved the vintage sheer robe she wore over the dress.                                                                                        

Susie likes to discover what makes designers special, above is an Proenza Schouler garment featured in one of her posts.

Stevie, who started her blog Discotheque Confusion when she was only 15, embraces fashion as “Part of your day, not something that has to be a big fantasy.” She discussed her love of blogs being due to the fact that they're "spur of the moment", which is what separates them from ruthlessly edited magazines. Her posts are personal as she has informal fun with fashion, leaving reporting Fashion news to someone else who "does it better", such as Fashionology or Fashionista.

Stevie commented on how as a student, she doesn't have the budget for loads of high-tech gadgets, and she finds personal pictures most interesting. This is why she shoots her style posts with a modest webcam, giving an intimate feel with the garment as well as the personality. Above is our favourite!
We love how Stevie shares the inspiration she finds, which is often from films - she recommended The Big Chill, Badlands and The Love Story. We've been delving into this recently with our Show & Tell posts, we get excited about so many things, it'd be selfish not to share! Stevie is a self-confessed 'Chloe Sevigny style enthusiast' but suggested that if you ever lose your style "mojo" that you hunt down a copy of The Cheap Date Guide To Style.

A prime example of a 'delicious pop cake' and one satisfied customer.
During the Q&A session both Susie and Stevie spied blogger Kristabel in the audience and complimented her blog, I Want You To Know. During the discussions, meeting new like-minded  people came up as one of the best things about blogging, and it was cool to have a tweet with Kristabel along with other attendees afterwards. We thought we'd share with you a video she captured and posted to her YouTube channel, and be sure to visit her blog -  similarly to us, she's masterfully juggling her life as a Nottingham Trent Knitwear student with her writing.

Since both Susie and Stevie began blogging about 5 years ago, they've seen the rise in popularity it has encounted, both from readers and writers. They both agreed that they want the industry to regard blogging as just another way of covering Fashion, rather than a strange phenomenon. This is the way it's going, and why shouldn't it? It's about individuality, and blogging gives the individual who wears it a voice. After all, Fashion needs an opinion.


  1. Such great coverage of a fab event- i'm so gutted I couldn't be there! x

  2. thanks for sharing this, wish i could have been there.