Members of the invitation-only TheFashionSpot forums are best known for their enthusiastic reactions to new runway collections and their fast sharing of new pictures and scans. But many members also make themselves known through their broad knowledge about art and beauty and are admired for their unique personal style. In our new series, we are spotlighting some of the most outstanding and interesting contributors to the tFS forums and giving you get a peek inside their offline lives.
Jamie Myers, who goes by the user name rochasfille in the forums, is one of our favorite not-so-secret shopaholics, sharing many of her enviable purchases in the Secret Shopaholics thread and making us swoon over her impeccable style. The 27-year old fashionista, who hails from Mobile, AL, dropped out of The University of Alabama where she majored in Pre-med Anthropology and is currently trying to turn her admirable dedication to fashion and shopping into a career by becoming a stylist and writer. Jamie, who lists Love, Purple, Vogue Paris, and Vogue Nippon as her must-read magazines, wants to move to a city where the opportunities to have a career in fashion are less minimal than in her hometown and where she would like to someday "have full creative control of my own 3-D digital magazine, which I design issues of in my head constantly."
Jamie is allowed to dream big, seeing as how she has managed to impress none other than Ashley and Mary-Kate Olsen when she entered a contest sponsored by PopSugar and Elizabeth & James where her design was chosen as the winning entry by the Olsen twins themselves. As the winner, she was invited to Fashion's Night Out where she got to meet the Olsens in person. About the experience, she says it was "surreal" and that she now has even more respect for the sisters and their accomplishments. Jamie loves that their label The Row is one of the brands leading the way in keeping their manufacturing based in the U.S. as much as possible and she hopes that many more designers follow suit because it is something she is very passionate about as well. She also was impressed by how extremely knowledgeable Ashley and Mary-Kate Olsen are about what they do and says that both of them were very sweet.
In addition to contributing to our forums, Jamie also runs her own style blog called Fashion Nerd Diary. On her blog Jamie writes about her inspiration, her favorite fashion shows, and her own personal style in such a charming and nonchalant way that she makes it easy to identify with her and the blog will certainly make you curious to know more about her. That is why we asked her to talk to us about current trends, her shopping tips, and why she loves sharing her thoughts on fashion with fellow tFSers.
The Fashion Spot: I recently read an article in our forums about double denim being an upcoming trend (Double Denim now OK). I see you are already way ahead of the trend since you already shared your interpretation of a denim-on-denim look on your blog a few weeks ago! (Denim on denim on nerd). What is your opinion on this trend, do you think it's easy to make it work?
Jamie Myers: I feel like denim-on-denim has been a brewing trend for quite some time now. The first time I remember seeing the look (and liking it) was on the Chloe Spring/Summer 2010 runway where Hannah MacGibbon showed a slouchy patchwork combo. In my mind, it was this look that single-handedly launched the recent resurgence of denim-on-denim acceptability in the fashion world. Of course Vogue Paris has been featuring the look for years in more of a country/western/Texan themed sense, styled with rustic leather and heaps of turquoise and silver. That said, I still don't think the trend as casual wear has quite made it to the masses, and especially in the south where I live, it most definitely conjures up notions of a 'country bumpkin' sensibility.
The look I wore recently on my blog would unequivocally be a 'NO' in the majority of people's minds here, and paired with my platform sneakers and crazy Prabal Gurung sunglasses, it probably just skewed as outright confusing. All local judgment aside, I think denim on denim is a classic look, and like other popular staples such as mariniere tops or ballet flats that emerged as trends decades ago, denim pairings are an ideal addition to any wardrobe of basics, as denim can be worn with literally anything. Like all trends, of course, the denim on denim look will most definitely lose its 'it' factor in years (or seasons) to come, but since its acceptance in the 60s, denim has held a secure place in the world of fashion, so this is one trend that is definitely worth investing in if you ask me.
tFS: Does it occur quite often that you try a new look and later see it become a trend? And if yes, does it annoy you when that happens or are you proud about foreseeing what's “in” way before something is labeled the next big trend?
JM: I have always considered myself a fairly decent trend forecaster, since I have followed fashion so closely since I was 10 or so. I'm generally several years ahead of the curve where I live, but I've never gotten credit for actually starting any trends. This doesn't bother me at all because I wear pieces so differently than other people do here, and I don't think that their adaptation to trends has as much to do with an appreciation for fashion as it does just fitting in. The only time that I have been irked about having worn something first and not received credit was in middle school when I wore these little beaded serenity bracelets a full year before all of the 'popular' girls started wearing them (at which point I had to stop wearing them so as to not be perceived as a follower, grrr). Of course, the reason I was upset was because I was in middle school, and thus had the emotional maturity of a middle schooler. In general, I think it's irrelevant who gets credit for starting a trend. It's all about making that trend your own and wearing said trend because it represents your personal style and not because you want to be perceived as 'cool,' which is so not cool anymore, anyway.
tFS: Do you usually strategically hunt down particular items every season or do you tend to browse in certain stores or websites and come across those amazing items by chance? What are your tips for successful eBay and vintage shopping?
JM: Every fashion week, I am attached to my computer, scouring Style.com for the pieces that I 'have to have' for the upcoming season. Since the closest place I can actually walk into a store and shop my favorite designers is seven hours away, I generally buy things online or over the phone, and I always know exactly what I want months before the products actually hit shelves. That, the miracle that is Moda Operandi, and the fact that I have established some great relationships with SAs, allows me to generally get my key pieces for the season no matter how popular they become in the fashion community. Of course, I have a limited budget, so my designer purchases are restricted to smaller accessories like belts or sunglasses, one pair of shoes per season (and maybe another in the sales) and a bag every year or two. For everything else, I am all about eBay.
I think the best way to become a skilled eBayer is just to spend a LOT of time on eBay. I started out doing really general searches for things like '80s dress' and after painstakingly sorting through the thousands of results of these general searches, I started to pick up on which designers I liked and then started doing more specific searches for those pieces. eBaying can be quite the chore, but since there are no vintage stores where I live, it's sort of my only option, and once you get the hang of it, it can really be an indispensable source for one-of-a-kind items and designer look-alikes. Since designers often base pieces in their collections off vintage finds anyway, why not buy the original if you can't afford the reimagined version? I also prefer buying vintage because the quality is superior to that of fast fashion or contemporary clothing, and even though I'm not the biggest fan of the hunt, there's nothing more exhilarating than finding that one-of-a-kind piece that is so totally ME.
tFS: You also run your own fashion blog, Fashion Nerd Diary. With the slew of fashion blogs out there, what do you do to set yourself apart from other bloggers? What are some of your favorite blogs to follow?
JM: Two of my favorites are actually from tFS members who regularly posted in the What are You Wearing Today thread – KittenMasks and Collections. I also regularly read street style blogs like STREETFSN, All the Pretty Birds, and Vanessa Jackman, and my favorite "top" style blogger is Karla Deras from Karla's Closet. I don't follow any other popular personal style bloggers because I don't feel like they have much new to say about fashion, although they clearly show a love and appreciation for it and all have very admirably honed personal styles. I'm just more into innovation than interpretation when it comes to the blogs I choose to read. I personally have shown very little of my personal style on my blog because I'm extremely camera-shy, and there is a serious learning curve when it comes to taking good pictures. I'm such a perfectionist, and I hate the fact that the photos I post now aren't up to my own standards of what I would like to present.
I would honestly prefer just to style other people. I asked stylist Brad Goreski when I met him at Fashion's Night Out for his best advice on how to get into the fashion industry, and he just said, "Blog, blog, blog." I prefer to blog about content that has less to do with the way I dress than combinations of things that inspire me, which I would ultimately use to compose the pages of an editorial if I had the opportunity to create such a thing. I do think that is one of the things that sets my blog apart from others out there — I post about multiple things that inspire me at once, from art, to interior design, to music, and obviously, fashion. I think those worlds are all highly intertwined and each has a major part in shaping the way I view fashion, from what I want to wear today to what I dream designers will create tomorrow. My mental space is basically a revolving carousel of Celine, Pierre Guariche, Hope Atherton, and Grimes right now, for example.
tFS: You always offer such insightful comments on the outfits of celebrities and fashion personalities. When you look at their outfits, do you take inspiration from them or is it more the fact that these people represent very different styles that makes them interesting to you?
JM: To be perfectly honest, I always feel some degree of shame whenever I visit celeb style threads. I don't think it's fair that their lives are constantly imposed on by the paparazzi, but at the same time, I do really enjoy seeing what some of my favorites wear on a day-to-day basis. For example, I think that Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen have completely mastered the art of everyday style, so they are a constant source of inspiration for me. There is a definite overlap in our wardrobes, and I have even noticed photos of them wearing the same exact things on the same exact day that I have, albeit it in a totally different way. I think the best thing to gain from these types of threads is the knowledge that you can express your personal style even on your most dressed-down days. And it's always inspiring to see someone wearing something in a way that you would have never considered for yourself.
tFS: We love when members contribute to various areas of the forums and you are definitely one of those that are active in a good amount of different forums and threads! Do you have a favorite section or thread on tFS to read or contribute to?
JM: My favorite threads on tFS have always been the "What are You Wearing Today" and "Secret Shopaholics" threads because of the personal dialogue that they entail. As someone who is obsessed with but isolated from fashion entirely, it's so refreshing to actually share my thoughts with other like-minded people, and along with my blog, tFS has always been one of my favorite places to do so. I am saddened by the closure of WAYWT, but there are plenty of other threads that keep me inspired on a daily basis, including those of Katie Grand (she's my absolute favorite stylist and I totally idolize her body of work, personal style, and her overall career!), Ece Sukan, Julia Sarr-Jamois, and all of my other favorite stylists and fashion industry staples.