There’s no denying the fact that fashion trends make everyone look the same. Pretty much the same can be said about fashion blogs. A few years ago, fashion bloggers were the people who led us away from the sameness of trends and showed us how to create our own sense of style.
Now, however, it’s hard to tell them apart. All extol the virtues of Spring/Summer and Fall/Winter trends. All show off pretty selfies as posing models. All are aimed at readers who think that `8,000 for a casual top is unaffordable.
All? Well, like the small Gaulish village in the Asterix comic books, some fashion blogs still hold out. They boldly reject the common stereotypes. Take a look at some of the best.
MYTH: Fashion bloggers are rich girls showing off
Busted by: Aanam Chasmawala’s blog, What When Wear
Chasmawala is not some rich fashionista with more money than sense. She makes a living as a stylist and model, and as a contributor to other fashion blogs and magazines. “I interned, freelanced, and worked for months to be able to buy a Macbook that would help me work better,” she says. The 23-year-old mass media graduate has her eye on every trend, fabric and sequin that exists.
Her blog, What When Wear, covers everything from shopping hauls to fashion previews, and styling tips to who’s wearing what. For her readers, Chasmawala’s blog is gospel. “Every year, one of my followers takes my advice on what to wear on her birthday,” she says.
Myth: Fashion blogging is totally a girl thing
Busted by: Purushu Arie’s blog
Purushu Arie is very much a purush. And he doesn’t just write: he also models the clothes he talks about. Why? Because Arie, a graduate from the National Institute of Fashion Design, knows what he’s talking about. But he wasn’t always this comfortable with his blog. “It was a secret for the first six months,” he says. “None of my friends knew about it.”
Today, his blog is about more than just fashion for men – something ignored by other fashion bloggers. It is a comprehensive commentary on trends and styles that a lot of people might find too funky. “The content on most fashion blogs is not well-researched or accurate,” complains Arie. So the desire to give bloggers a better platform to express themselves, led him and his girlfriend to start Rivista di Moda, a magazine for fashion bloggers.
Myth: Fashion bloggers know about clothing but nothing else
Busted by: Swati Ailawadi’s blog, The Creative Bent
Ailawadi’s blog, The Creative Bent presents a side to fashion few others have explored – the smarter side. Driven to match her blog’s content to that produced by fashion journalists, Ailawadi does much more than sign her posts with XOXO.
The Creative Bent is rich with articles about why you should be an environmentally conscious fashionista and how the neon fabric you buy at a branded store comes from the poorest neighbourhoods of Delhi. She boldly criticises designers who are size-biased and addresses India’s obsession with fairness products. She also occasionally posts fashion-forward DIYs, like 15 new uses for a coat hanger. “It took time, but I got readers who wanted to read about fashion, not just see women in pretty clothes,” says Ailawadi.
Myth: Fashion bloggers love expensive couture
Busted by: Gia Kashyap’s blog, Gia Says That and Aayushi Bangur’s blog, Style Drive
PennyWise is the title of one of the most popular sections of Gia Kashyap’s blog. Ambling through street markets around India, Kashyap highlights the wealth of low-priced fashion India has. “I want to hire writers from all over the country to document affordable nationwide street shopping,” she says. Kashyap’s online store is easy on the pocket too, nothing costs more than `1,500.
Meanwhile, Aayushi Bangur’s blog, Style Drive, shows you cute DIY hacks that add life to the shoes, bags and shirts you already have in your wardrobe. Her tips on hair styles, nail art and upgrading old shoes, clutches and shirts push you to be on-trend without going broke every season.
Myth: Fashion bloggers are model thin
Busted by: Sonaksha Iyengar’s blog, The Sonshu
Why can’t fat girls rock crop tops?” asks Sonaksha Iyengar, the plus-sized blogger who refuses to wear tents just to hide her dimensions. Her blog, The Sonshu, is a respite from all those jazzed-up, Photoshop-ed posts of petite women in tiny clothes.
“Yes I am fat. Let’s talk about it,” she says fearlessly. Iyengar is not merely curvy. She is fat, comfortable with it, and has an attitude like Mindy Kaling. “Brands discriminate,” she says. “Popular brands never approach fat bloggers.” But style is never about size, and Iyengar’s simple, effective style proves just that.
MYTH: Fashion blogs are only about pouts, poses and selfies
BUSTED BY: Manou's blog, Wearabout
Manou (who doesn't use his last name) travels through India and Bhutan, shooting photos of random people on the streets who display an effortless style. "My blog is actually inspired by a Japanese photo documentary," he says.
You'll never see Manou himself in his blog. He just posts pictures of other fashionable people in their own zones. There are no big brands, no poses, no commentaries on trends. Just a celebration of what fashion is really about: a natural sense of style.
From HT Brunch, August 3
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