In Swide's series Meet The Bloggers, we interview the leading lights of the blogasphere. Today's upcoming blogger is London based JaJa Hagreaves.
Fashion is a never-ending merry go round and so it’s refreshing to find a blog such as July Stars that has a cultural base. July Star’s (and accompanying twitter site also in French) effectiveness is that it puts into context the season’s new trends with historical references and designer’s inspirations.
The blog’s author Jaja says that she uses her blog as a platform to navigate the continually evolving world of trends, photographers and stylists, ingredients she is passionate about – and it shows.
Believing content is king (hurrah!) her inspiring fashion moments are brought
to life, and Swide for one can’t help put taking a peek.
Life pre-blog was like a barbarian sport culture, trying to focus on reading the people I love and admire but also finding fresh new and ambitious blood. It’s so easy to get swallowed by the blogasphere and it can sometimes become an obstacle, a bubble disconnected from the real world. It can also be a heartening experience when you meet people who share your passion!
ONLINE IS A WAY OF LIFE – DO YOU OPT FOR A NON-WIFI SPOT IN YOUR SPARE TIME OR IS YOUR BLOG ALL CONSUMING?
I’m reluctant to engage with my blog and the web in general when I’m on holiday but I sometimes fail to resist the temptation. I have a Blackberry and it makes it increasingly harder to distance myself from July Stars.
DO YOU STILL READ PRINT MAGAZINES?
I read a disconcertingly enormous amount of fashion blogs and magazines. Anything from French Vogue, Jalouse, Purple, Self Service, Lula, RUSSH, Encens, Fantastic Man, Paradis, Grey, Pop, Nylon to the more conventional fashion publications like Elle, UK Vogue, Grazia and the Financial Times (style section). I sometimes go to the Japan Centre in London to buy obscure Japanese magazines. My fascination is insatiable! Print magazines offer a more intense experience with a more lasting and profound impact. When I look at fashion photography in particular, I genuinely believe that compositions, colours, effects and patterns are more vibrant on print. I’m not saying that these qualities are necessarily compromised on the web but there is a certain flatness you would never get with a magazine.
THERE ARE SO MANY BLOGS OUT THERE – HOW DO YOU SORT THE GOOD FROM THE BAD? WHAT ARE YOUR CRITERIA?
The competition is incredible and few stand out but I usually know in the space of a few minutes whether I will like a blog or not. The process of elimination is very quick. I like to see a combination of individuality, quality content, good design and writing. Fashion kids copying each other and so-called vacuous “outfit posts” usually make me yawn (although there are a couple I find absolutely charming).
WHO IN YOUR OPINION ROCKS THE BLOGOSPHERE? DO YOU SUFFER FROM BLOG ENVY?
I love Maya from Turned Out or her wonderful and inspiring street style photography, Emilie from Cats Eyes because she shares her ruthless and hilarious world of boys and fashion. I will also always click on Liberty London Girl, This is Naïve, Purple Diary and the Vagablog. I read so many blogs every day for different reasons but these are consistently exciting and interesting.
HAVE YOU EVER BLOGGED WHEN UNDER THE INFLUENCE AND REGRETTED
No, not yet!
STRANGEST PLACE YOU’VE BLOGGED FROM?
My grandmother’s house in a tiny French village in the middle of nowhere. 50 inhabitants, one bakery, no butcher and no supermarket but they have broadband!
IS THERE A PERSON YOU’D WISH WOULD START A BLOG?
There are several people I can think of: Carine Roitfeld, Yasmin Sewell, Peter Beard, Erin Fetherston, Lucille Troquet and Catherine Baba.
HOW DO YOU SEE TWITTER IMPACTING ON BLOGGING?
Twitter is quite a powerful but also controversial tool. There’s no subtlety in it but I would recommend it for its highly effective business angle: you can follow the shows in real time or get the scoops before everyone else does. The principles are simple, concise and quick. It represents yet another modern cultural change generated by the mounting popularity of the Internet. It’s quicker than blogging and easier because no careful preparation is needed. The two go together as surely as England and tea!
Your can follow July Stars on Twitter at twitter.com/julystars
WHAT’S BEEN YOU MOST SUCCESSFUL POST?
My most successful posts are always the more revealing and personal ones. Readers seem to really like pieces that are manifestations of your life. Another effective and overwhelming coup de théâtre in terms of most successful posts occurred when Garance Doré referred to me on her blog. July Stars reached its zenith twice thanks to her blockbuster blog!
With special thanks to Jaja Hargreaves
***Read more from Swide's Meet The Bloggers series***