First up is Alexandra Vanthournout of Alex Loves. I first came across Alex's blog when I followed her on Twitter. I was often blown away by her incredible tweets about her style and views on trends - it just seemed to come easy. She spoke of things she loved and things that she didn't and some juicy bits in-between, but what captured me about Alex was her unique sense of being - she is just her very fab self and is immediately likable and I have to say, absolutely stunningly gorgeous, and with the style of a true fashionista. Alex has one of the most up & coming blogs, and to me, is something I aspire to be like, Here I ask our Alex some probing questions to get a sense of who she actually is:
Using only 5 words how would you describe yourself and then 5words to descirbe your blog?
Me: Short Belgian nerdy fashion lover
My Blog: My personal shopping wishlist.
How long have you been blogging now?
This is actually my second blog. The first one I started over 3 years ago, but I’d say seriously, 8 months ago.
How did you get into blogging?
I went from working in a very busy press office to working freelance at home. The shock was quite big. I suddenly had no colleagues, no one to talk to about what I read or heard. I also had a lot of free time, so I taught myself html in one week, built the blog from scratch and started writing away without a real goal or point. I never thought anyone would read it other than my parents!
How did your obvious love for fashion start?
I actually was a bit of a late bloomer! I went to boarding school and lived in my uniform, so didn’t really get a chance to really cultivate my own style until I was 18 and came to London. Being here I was suddenly free to wear whatever I wanted and experimented quite a bit (sometimes quite cringeworthy!), until finally getting to who I am now.
I am pretty lucky to have grown up in a pretty fashion-forward environment though. My mum was and still is a great lover of fashion - I raid her cupboards every time I go home and find dresses by Moschino and YSL from the Eighties. We go shopping together, we’ll take shopping trips here in London or to New York or Brussels or Antwerp. She’s definitely a big influence!
What has been the most pivotal/most memorable/favourite moment in your blogging career?
There are so many, I consider myself very blessed for all the great things that have happened to me in such a short time! I get invited to some pretty amazing events, meet so many great people – I’m very lucky. Possibly my best moment was when I heard a very well known fashion designer read my blog. I started crying! Unfortunately I can’t tell you who…!
Who inspires you?
Who… I think other bloggers. Everyone puts so much work into their websites and it really shows. They really push me to do better, to do more. Ideally I’d like to become one of the few bloggers who can do it professionally, so I really look up to them!
What item of clothing and style do you find yourself being drawn to over again?
A really classic striped tee, skinny jean, flat shoes – I see these girls wearing this super simple outfit and they look so extremely chic and somehow I can’t seem to replicate that. If you can look like a million dollars in a jeans and a tee, then you’ve got “it”.
Wow, that’s very difficult to answer! I’ll go for clothes. Because the bags and the shoes are always dependent on the clothes you’re wearing. Clothes can completely transform you, bags and shoes can just add something to that.
Favourite designer and why?
Erdem! He’s been my favourite since I saw his very first show at London Fashion Week a few seasons ago and I’ve seen every show since. My first reaction was not unlike falling in love, and I still am, madly and deeply! I cried at his last show… His dresses are just this great and rare combination of beautiful, dreamy, classy, girly with a hint of naughty. That’s not even starting about the prints… Am I gushing? Oh well! I own 3 pieces so far, and I hope to collect many more, because I believe he has the ability to become one of the fashion greats, I really do.
Hints on up+coming talent?
Can you still call Erdem upcoming? If not… Michael Van Der Ham. The kid has barely got his second collection out but I’m swooning all over the place. I can’t wait to see what he does next!
Other blogs you read?
I don’t read many blogs on a daily basis. I’ll often click on a link through twitter, but there’s very few I check again and again. Fashion Foie Gras is my bible, I admire her so much for all the hard work she puts in. The Style Crusader is great too, I love her beautiful pictures. And The Blog Wore Black, a pretty new blog by the author of What Kristen Wore – she has a great eye. It’s pretty new but I think it’ll go places!
What makes a good blog?
I like a clean layout. Cluttered, busy looking blogs are really off-putting I think. The content should shine through, not everything else!
Content-wise, I think a good blog is one that a) updates regularly – otherwise people won’t come back, and b) is written with a passion, whatever that may be. I hate blogs that have content that’s pretty much out there on a million other websites. If you write from your own personal passion, whether that’s shoes or clothes or photography or baking or whatever – if I can feel your passion in your posts, it makes a blog so much more attractive.
If you were on a desert island what is the one thing you couldn’t live without?
My iPhone! I’d have my music, take pictures, I’d tweet (because the island would have wifi, obviously), write emails, blog! I couldn’t live without it!
Favourite high street shop and favourite designer boutique?
High street… probably Topshop. I still think they stand out neck and shoulders above the rest and they support the young designers with their amazing collaborations, which I really respect.
Designer… Matches. I prefer a multibrand and Matches has such a great selection of edgy and established designers. They have a great online site too, so I browse before I go in store!
Is there a destination in the world that inspires you most for fashion and why?
London. There’s just this buzz here that you can’t really find anywhere else, in my humble opinion. It’s the perfect breeding ground for young talent to experiment, grow and create a cult following before they hit the big time. For example, in the past few years I’ve been to shows of the then still young and upcoming designers like Gareth Pugh, Giles Deacon and Christopher Kane – and look where they are now! I love being around all this creativity. Whereas Paris is exciting because it has all the big names, and god would I LOVE to attend a Chanel show one day – but none of them will change the course of fashion anymore. It’s these young guns who will. So that’s why London for me is the most important fashion city in the world right now.
A fact or detail not many people know about you?
I lived with nuns and monks for years!
I hope this gave you a little more of an insight to what makes Alex tick, cos I have to say, if you think she's pretty darn amazing here, she is even more so face-to-face!! Let your Style Crush commence...
Until next time...