Welcome to the age of the blog. Whether it’s photographing fashion on the street, documenting personal style or commenting on the industry, millions of independent fashion voices are being ferociously devoured by online audiences. Possessing the ability to satisfy the fashion enthusiasts with timely and often-intimate content, the blogging world provides a tasty combination of style and voyeurism that fashion followers just can’t get enough of.
One such blogger who is successfully pleasing audiences around the world is Melbourne’s Jamie Wdziekonski of Oh Jamie. Originally beginning by photographing local events and uploading the images to Facebook, the 19-year-old smartly entered the blogosphere in order to reach a more public audience. Today he documents personal fashion inspiration, his own unique style, fashion events and local labels he admires.
Confessing his love for Melbourne fashion, Jamie lists local labels such as Limedrop, From Britten, TV, Carly Hunter, Alpha 60 and Trimapee (who he also works for) amongst his favourites. “They're all so different but when put together you could create an outfit post that would make Tommy Ton of successful street-style blog Jak&Jil faint,” he explains.
As a blogger about town, Jamie is constantly coming into contact with fashion industry insiders and local labels on the rise. His most recent introduction was to the design duo behind label Upper Left Arm. “They're definitely ones to watch. I've seen their AW11 collection and was blown away. So far from it's not what I'd usually go for but I want everything they have made.”
A born-and-bred Melbourne boy, he describes the Melbourne fashion landscape as sophisticated and classic and laughs when mentioning the city’s cliché colour, black: “Personally, 98% of my wardrobe is black, which sounds dull but with talented Melbourne designers playing with textures and prints, the layering is limitless and you can really pull some great outfits [out of it] despite it all being one colour.”
Alicia Hannah Naomi, from the blog Sea of Ghosts, agrees with the black cliché, attributing the city’s talent for layering and experimentation with making the monotonous colour a signature style trademark. To put it simply, “Melbourne fashion is broody,” she says.
As the designer behind jewellery label DROWN as well as the founder of online jewellery and accessories store Alegorie, Alicia uses her blog as an outlet to chronicle what inspires her, including art, design, fashion, interiors, music and personal style. She also draws inspiration from Melbourne city, where she believes creativity is at its strongest.
“The more time I spend in the city the more creative I like to get with my style. The opposite is true when I don't get opportunities to spend time in the city.”
This geographical relationship is even the subject for Alicia’s blog fodder, where she charts her own personal style. “Today I'm blogging about the loss of my style which correlates with the amount of time I'm spending in my studio in the suburbs. I really seem to have disconnected with my normal style.”
While the city itself plays an integral part in Alicia’s personal style, local designers such as Estelle Deve, Does Not Equal, Trimapee, Limedrop and Alpha60 are favoured. “I also adore the work of boundary-pushing Melbourne design duo DI$COUNT, who are currently only working on one-off pieces but will be launching a proper collection shortly.”
But it’s not only the up-and-coming designers that bloggers choose to focus their online attention on. The city’s unique retailers also play an integral part in Melbourne’s fashion melting pot.
“The creative talent and diversity of retailers based right here in Melbourne in second to none,” says Emily Harris, editor of the Melbourne Girl blog. “We have every style we could ever imagine, and the freedom and flexibility to find it when and where we want.”
Listing luxury designer Anna Campbell and romantic label Lisa Taranto amongst her favourites, Emily’s personal style may differ from that of Sea of Ghosts and Oh Jamie, but her blog plays a similar role as a form of personal inspiration and expression.
After working in the graphic design industry for six years, Emily recently branched out to begin her own design business and pursue her love of fashion blogging. Like most professional bloggers, she is also heavily involved within the industry and recently launched her own fashion label, King Lincoln.
“I wouldn’t call myself an expert in any sense,” she says modestly, “but because I am passionate about what I preach, I hope that this is reflected in my blog content. My passions are street, surf and urban fashion with a Melburnian edge, so to speak.”
This ‘Melbourne edge’ has not only influenced her blog, but also her wardrobe. “Having come from country NSW, Melbourne has without a doubt moulded my fashion style,” says Emily. “I think the beauty of Melbourne designers is that they are not limited to one particular genre of fashion. They cater for our diverse and rich culture that is not found anywhere else in Australia or the world.”
But thanks to blogs such as Melbourne Girl, Australia and the rest of the world are able to discover the city’s designers, retailers and iconic style.