I recently asked you guys if you’d be interested in a Q&A style post and was overwhelmed with all the lovely/insightful questions! Lots of them were very similar in terms of theme, so I’ve whittled them down to the most popular, and have tried my best to answer them without things getting too wordy! Anyway, I hope this isn’t too much of a snooze fest and thank you to everyone who got in touch…
1) What’s your education/university experience?
I went to university in Leeds and left with a degree in English Literature – I really enjoyed my time there and looking back, wouldn’t have changed it for the world! English was always my strong point throughout school/college, so it seemed like the natural path to follow. I had no idea what I wanted to be – I knew that I’d like to work for some kind of fashion magazine, but that was as far as my thoughts extended. I actually don’t think I would choose a fashion related course if I could go back in time – there’s so many other ways to gain experience, and university really isn’t for everyone. There’s so much pressure to know who you want to be at 18, and the truth is – some of the most interesting people I know still don’t. There’s no shame in that, I think you’re extremely lucky if you find something you’re passionate about early on. I came out of uni without a clue what direction to take – I got some fashion based internships under my belt and worked in retail for a while before finally gaining the confidence to start my blog. I never for one minute thought it would grow in the way it has and enable me to pursue opportunities I could have only dreamed of before…
2) What are your favourite books?
I love Vladimir Nabokov – his writing features a lot of dark themes but he almost makes you forget. Lolita is his most famous example of this, but a lot of his narratives pre-Lolita deal with very similar themes. Laughter In The Dark is amazing – I’m a huge fan of dark humour and Nabokov just has a way with words like no other. The Virgin Suicides is also great – I read it on holiday when I was younger and couldn’t put it down. The film adaptation by Sofia Coppola is also one of my favourite films, the aesthetic is exactly how you’d imagine when you read the book. I love Patti Smiths writing too – I’ve read all her books but Just Kids always stands out, the way she talks about New York in the Sixties, meeting Robert Mapplethorpe, surviving by selling their art, and having little but their vinyls and handmade treasures. She also makes reference to Andy Warhol/The Factory and the death of many icons of that time like Edie Sedgwick. It’s just everything I want in a book and would probably be my desert island choice. Other favourites would have to include Franny and Zooey, Bonjour Tristesse, and The Collector. I actually based my dissertation around contemporary Gothic fiction, and find that I have a bit of an obsession with all things macabre! Do let me know if you’d like some kind of literature based blog post as I’d love to put that together…
3) What inspired you to start a blog? How did you go about starting your blog initially?
I was kind of ‘lazy blogging’ a bit on Instagram, posting my outfits each day and engaging with the following I had – it just got to a stage where starting a blog felt right. I wanted to discuss my outfits in more detail, and I wanted a place I could write/reflect more of my personality. I bought the domain for Alice Catherine on my birthday and just made a plan for how I wanted my blog to look, and the type of content I wanted to create. I worked on lots of blog posts before launching it and have posted regularly ever since. I’ve always been inspired by both fashion and literature, so blogging naturally appealed to me. I realised there wasn’t just one role within the fashion industry that was right for me, I wanted to do lots of different things and felt that a lot of jobs were restrictive. I wanted to style outfits, take photographs, write, grow something of my own from the ground up. Blogging is the only thing I’ll stay up till the early hours of the morning working on, so I just knew that was where my true passion lied.
4) How do you style your fringe/bangs?
I just wash my hair as normal – I alternate between a purple shampoo and then just a regular/sulphate free shampoo & conditioner. I then put some heat protector through the ends whilst it’s still wet, and blow dry my fringe forwards with a comb. I then blow dry the rest of my hair using a wet brush and I’ve recently just bought the GHD air hairdryer which is amazing if you have really thick hair that takes forever to dry! I then just run some argan oil through the ends of my hair and use my straighteners to smooth over my fringe/slightly curl it under. I tend to wash my hair every 2-3 days as it doesn’t really get greasy, but I don’t like any products I use to build up too much. I really don’t spend that much time on my hair – I’m currently trying to grow it so I just wear it up a lot as I don’t want to fry it too much with any heat appliances.
5) If you could time travel, where would you go?
Probably to the Sixties – a lot of people tell me I was born in the wrong era and I strongly agree (sigh). I appreciate that a lot of eras are romanticised, but I’m just so drawn to that point in history. The way people danced, the clothes they wore – they weren’t lazy with their outfit choices. Their bags matched their shoes, even the regular work attire was impressive. Homes were colourful and life in general just seemed more colourful and vibrant – I’m not a fan of technology either (said the fashion blogger), I love old things and always have done since I was very little. They just have some much charm – antique furniture, books that are falling apart and have hidden notes to past loved ones. It’s all treasure to me and I love anything that has some history behind it or a story to tell.
6) What’s one dream piece of clothing you wish you had?
I’d love to buy a dress from Reformation one day, they are a brand that has been on my wish list for years now. I’d love to visit a store one day and pick up a few pieces – their designs are just so beautiful/flattering. I’m always on the hunt for the perfect vintage wicker bag too!
7) What are your favourite TV shows – both current and old?
I love 90’s TV shows like X-Files, Buffy, Twin Peaks, Freaks and Geeks, and obviously Friends – I think I’ve seen every episode at least ten times. We just constantly have it on in the background if we are cooking or having a hangover day. More recently, I love Girls (sad face that it’s all over), Big Little Lies was great, The Walking Dead, Boardwalk Empire (huge Michael Pitt crush), Line Of Duty, Black Mirror, Stranger Things, West World, and the first few seasons of American Horror Story were great too (Jessica Lange is a goddess). Anything that can make me laugh is a winner also – Parks & Rec, Orange Is The New Black, The Office (US), Peep Show, too many to mention and I’m forever adding to my watch list!
8) What’s your process when styling yourself each day?
I love this question – I find learning about the way others conduct the ritual of getting dressed each morning so interesting. I know some people love to start from the shoes up or pick a statement piece and work around that – I do both of these from time to time. Recently, I build my daily outfits around my denim pieces – so I pick out a pair of jeans and then work from my mental state outwards. If I’m feeling more ‘girly’ one day then I might throw on a blouse and some ankle strap shoes, other days it’s a basic t shirt and my Converse. I just dress for my mood – I don’t dwell too much on trends, and just build my outfits based off what I’m drawn to/what makes me feel like me each day. Most of my outfits include denim, polka dots, or stripes – it’s just something I’ve come to accept…
9) What platform do you recommend for new bloggers starting out?
Honestly, I think this is just down to personal preference – I chose WordPress as I felt it would give me a little more creative freedom based off the minimal amount of research I carried out before hand. I paid for my domain – there are multiple websites you can get this from, then I rent my server monthly. I then installed a theme and made tweaks to that theme based off how I wanted my website to look. There’s still lots of things I’m working on design wise – it’s definitely a work in progress and not something I try to rush all at once. I’d recommend keeping your design minimal with the content as the main focus – there’s lots of little widgets etc you can install to make it look more personal, but for me, it kind of puts me off if there’s too much going on all at once. Again though, it’s just down to personal preference and what works for you!
10) What do you look for in a brand when collaborating? Reputation, ethics, etc?
I usually know straight away if a brand feels right to work with/has good synergy with my own work. I’m always drawn to independent brands with good ethics or interesting pieces that reflect my own style but also have a vintage inspired influence. Reputation is obviously always considered too – I normally just ask myself would I buy their clothes if they hadn’t approached me and can I wear them in a way that’s authentic? If it’s a brand that I’ve admired for ages then I automatically jump at the chance if the brief is right and I feel like it’s a project I have a bit of creative freedom with. A lot of campaigns are based around ten different people doing the same thing in exactly the same way, which can be a bit disheartening from a creative point of view. Everyone has to make money somehow though, and if you’re genuinely a fan of the product/clothing then I don’t see any issue with it. I think there’s a lot of judgment that surrounds sponsored content/advertisements, but if you’re creating something you’re proud of then why should anyone judge?
11) What camera do you use and how do you edit your images?
I recently did a blog post on my current blogging routine which will probably be much more informative than answering in short! However, I use the Olympus Pen Epl7 camera and iPhone 7 plus for the majority of my Instagram content – everything you see on my blog is taken by my photographer Adriana whose website is always linked at the end of each post. She works with a few other bloggers too, so I definitely recommend getting in touch if you’re stuck photography-wise. Photography is a huge part of making a blog come to life, so I’m lucky that I can work closely with someone I trust to make this happen – liking who you work with is half the battle and makes shoot days a breeze!
12) Have you thought about starting YouTube?
I’ve been leaning towards YouTube more and more now that I’ve made the transition to full time blogging. I have a lot more energy to channel into my content, and I feel that YouTube could definitely be worthwhile – I guess there’s just always the worry of saying something wrong, or not coming across the way you’d like. I think it’s just little self conscious niggles that have been holding me back – I’d love to make look books and do more chatty style videos but I’m just worried people would fall asleep! Let me know in the comments below if you’re in favor of a YouTube channel, as I’m not sure I’d be all that interesting to watch…
13) Who are your fashion icons?
If you’ve followed me for a while then you’ll know that I adore Jane Birkin and Francoise Hardy – they just epitomise everything I love about fashion. That masculine meets feminine juxtaposition that’s just effortlessly cool, messy undone hair, and make up that enhanced their features rather than covered everything up. I admire so many people from the 60’s/70’s – Edie Sedgwick, Anna Karina, Bianca Jagger, Jean Shrimpton, Mia Farrow, Marianne Faithful, Brigitte Bardot – this list is endless! I’d love to see inside the wardrobe of Bowie and The Rolling Stones too – especially whilst on tour. They just had the coolest, most interesting pieces – metallic’s, vibrant prints, over-sized jackets – that whole iconic rock n roll style that inspired groupies of that time to dress the way they did. I generally find lots of inspiration from the films I watch, and I’m also really obsessed with Chloe Sevigny – totally recommend her book if you don’t have it already. Definitely a coffee table favourite and a constant source of outfit inspiration!
14) What are you wardrobe staples?
Always a great pair of jeans that fit like a glove and some sort of stripe top. A stripe blouse is a must because I can wear it tucked in during the day, but also unbuttoned slightly/tied up with some layered necklaces for the evening. A green khaki jacket too – it looks great over the aforementioned pieces, but also over a little dress and some ankle strap shoes. Then I’d probably have to mention a pair of Converse because they instantly make any outfit look cool. Plus, it doesn’t matter what situation you find yourself in – a prom dress? Formal suit? Converse literally match with anything.
So I hope that was insightful for any of you that asked questions! I’ve also linked a recent interview I did for Husskie below, in case some of you might find that interesting. I’m sure I’ll do lots more of these types of chatty posts, but for any unanswered – I always try to reply to any direct messages/comments so feel free to contact me/ask away…
Photography by Adriana
Read my recent Husskie interview here if you fancy learning a little more about me!
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