The Grazia Middle East held this week swept the UAE fashion world off its feet. Here’s a quick round-up of who won:
Best International Designer went to Marc Jacobs ( may favorite too!) while renowned UAE designer Dima Ayad took home the Best Regional Designer Award. Chanel was a double winner with the Best International Accessories Designer and Best Luxury Fashion Brand awards (indisputable, ofcourse) and Nathalie Trad was named Best Regional Accessories Designer.
Giuseppe Zanotti scooped the award for Best Luxury Shoe Brand while Zara and Tory Burch won Best High Street Shoe Brand (yay, another favorite!) and Best Contemporary Shoe Brand, respectively.
H&M won Best High Street Fashion Brand; Karen Millen, Best Bridge Fashion Brand and McQ Alexander McQueen, Best Contemporary Fashion Brand.
I quite agreed with a lot of the choices made by the expert panel of judges. Though I didn’t attend the event this year, I had a small chat with one of the judges for awards -Emily Johnston, founder of the hugely popular style blog Fashion Foie Gras. Regarded as one of the super-bloggers Emily takes questions about the ups and downs of being a blogger today and her personal style that inspires millions across the globe. Here’s the Q& A:
1. What was your inspiration or motivation behind starting the blog?
I wanted to start a conversation about fashion. At the time, when blogs were just taking off, I was very interested in the walls that were coming down around fashion. We were no longer being preached to about style and industry news. There was a real shift happening and I wanted to be a facilitator in the process of making fashion an open forum.
2. You’ve been in the blogosphere for five years now- what are the most significant changes you have observed in the fashion industry, as a blogger?
Probably the most significant change has been in the way bloggers are perceived. At the start there was a lot of tension between print and online. Now we all appreciate the advantages of working together and in having conversations across all mediums.
3. After Suzy Menkes’ famous article about how bloggers have turned Fashion Weeks into a circus and after New York Fashion Week’s decision to exclude bloggers from their invitation lists, do you sense a growing fatigue and a certain reluctance towards bloggers in the international sphere? Does this mean bloggers have outlived their time in the spotlight? What are your thoughts?
I have to say I really rate that piece from Suzy. I think it addressed a lot of topics that were being swept under the carpet or talked about behind closed doors. If anyone was going to write that piece and “get away with it” it would be Suzy Menkes. However, I don’t agree with all the things that were said. I think bloggers have done a lot to really bring fashion week to the masses, but even that has backfired a bit. I always find it’s frustrating for my readers to see things they can’t buy now. Sure the trends presented on the catwalk can be replicated immediately, but the pieces themselves are not available for another six months. It’s frustrating to say the least.
4. When you pit blogs versus magazines/ online magazines, what advantage do bloggers have over their traditional counterparts?
I don’t think there is any pitting anymore. Everyone is online these days, even the traditional print magazines. Truly, things have changed and we’re all writing about one another, linking, etc. The only real advantage I can see for bloggers is the fact that they are their own personal editors. There’s no red tape. You decide what you want to do and it happens.
5. In terms of your personal style, which is your most frequented high street brand? Luxury brand?
I am in love with Zara, but these days who isn’t? For luxury, it’s all about Ralph Lauren!
6. Biggest style inspiration? Why?
Again, I have to say Ralph Lauren. Funny answer, I know, as he’s a man. But he has this amazing eye and the way he puts together women’s fashion is absolutely divine in my humble opinion.
7. What is your biggest advice to aspiring bloggers? Any dos or don’t s in your book?
Here’s the only do – give it your everything! Anything less and your blog will be average, and these days average doesn’t go far.