Online media aficionado and fashion blogging pioneer from London, Susie Lau (aka Susie Bubble) has again graced Australian shores for this year’s MBFWA. Lau’s blog, Style Bubble, helped forge the fashion blogging path and now this savvy thinker is a front row regular on the international fashion circuit. Lau has been extra busy this week, sharing her knowledge with a series of online media talks across Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney, as well as viewing the new local collections at fashion week and tweeting live at Topshop Melbourne tomorrow (May 5) from 2-3pm. She took the time out to chat with Broadsheet, sharing her outlook on Australian fashion, her tips for emerging bloggers and her MBFWA favourites.
TN: What's your take on Australian fashion, Susie?
SB: I hate generalising about a national aesthetic and I do think that Australia has a fairly diverse fashion landscape, but in general I suppose Australian fashion tends to veer more towards the relaxed and the easy-to-wear. Not that that can't be interesting in its own right. I think the weather here is especially conducive to using lots of prints and lightweight fabrics in the clothes, which means there's always a ‘resort’ type vibe in the collections.
How do you think the Australian blogging community compares to its international counterparts?
It's much like any other country really. Of course, countries like USA and Sweden have been very much pioneers in fashion blogging, as they've certainly been doing it for longer. In the UK, it's still not a widely mainstream thing. I think in Australia, it's about the same as it is in the UK. Categories-wise, you see the same patterns – popularity of personal style blogs, street style blogs and not too many writing-based fashion blogs. Likewise you’re also seeing a rising level of professionalism (ie bloggers going full time) that is in line with everywhere else. I'll be speaking a lot about this in my talks with Portable.tv.
Are there any particular elements of fashion design that you think Australians could work on?
I don't want to prescribe advice for designers. I think everyone needs to find their own path. I would probably say that perhaps there is a tendency to be heavily influenced by other designers and perhaps not enough exploration into finding a unique point of view. That's symptomatic of a lot of designers in other countries too though. The great thing in Australia though is that there are lone voices that are standing out – Dion Lee, Romance was Born, Ellery, etcetera.
What have your favourite shows been so far and what are you looking forward to?
I'm nearly at the end of the week so I've only got a few left like Christopher Esber, which I'm told will be very good. I've enjoyed Romance was Born, Ellery and Zimmermann. We Are Handsome was fun too. I've actually spent more time going to showrooms so I can get a broader picture beyond fashion week. I think Emma Mulholland’s off-site event was really cool. Jenny Kee’s retrospective presentation was probably the most inspiring for me overall.
Australian design heavyweights Josh Goot and Dion Lee pulled out of MBFWA. Do you think Australian fashion events are still relevant in a global environment?
Of course the traditional fashion week is still relevant, but the difficulty with MBFWA is the fact that it’s out of sync with the mainline fashion weeks. It's too late for it to be part of northern hemisphere AW 12/13 but too early for it to be our resort. The internet does make it easier to debut collections how and when you wish, but that doesn't make a physical show any less important.
What blogs outside of your own do you get a kick out of?
I love Luxirare, The Cutting Class, Park and Cube and Business of Fashion.
What tips would you give a start up fashion blogger?
Find a niche that you can occupy. Don't necessarily feel you have to go along with what other ‘big’ fashion bloggers are doing.
You have so much content on Style Bubble. Are there ever times when you struggle to find inspiration for content? How do you stay so motivated?
I see so much on a daily basis that I actually always have too much to write about. I do Style Bubble all by myself, so my problem is not having enough time to blog everything I want to.
Which city’s fashion do you always look forward to seeing when you travel?
Tokyo! It's still hands down my favourite city to visit.
Susie Lau (aka @susiebubble) will be tweeting live via @Topshop_AU at the Melbourne Topshop store on Saturday May 5. For the answer to all your fashion Qs, tweet @Topshop_AU between 2pm and 3pm.