60 seconds with…Holly

Just as you can express your character with what you wear your flat can reveal your personality as well. Someone who knows the art of decorating with all its secrets is Holly Becker. The Founder/Editor of decor8 and international best-selling author of “Decorate” is definitely one of the most creative persons in the interior business. Still she found some time to talk to us about her passion for decoration, her inspirations and her latest design crush.

Could you introduce yourself?

Hello! My name is Holly Becker and I’m a blogger, book author, design consultant, teacher and interiors stylist. I like to do a lot of things within the field of interior design, experimenting with new ideas and experiencing lots of different scenarios to make my work day more exciting. If I’m not teaching a workshop in Morocco, Berlin, New York or Amsterdam, I’m speaking at a design fair, writing a blog post, styling a space for my second book, teaching my e-class online (decor8eclasses.com) or interviewing and photographing a shop to review on decor8. I love to do many different things within my field so I can continue to train my eye, learn, explore, share and connect with others.

How did you get the idea to start your blog?

I took a creative writing workshop in Boston (that I nearly blew off due to snow and lack of motivation!) and the New York Times Writer who was also the teacher gave students advice that changed my life. She said, “If you are not on the internet you do not exist.” That made me worry because there I was, a freelance decorator with clients, yet I had no online presence. I went home and the next day I started my blog.

Describe your blog in 3 words.

Fresh, Creative and Inspiring.

What is your favorite aspect of blogging?

The immediate feedback that I get from readers and the ability to connect with so many like-minded people worldwide so easily. I love being a part of such a vibrant and supportive online community and that together we are breaking barriers and paving new roads.

Who is your target audience?

Those who crave a fresh, friendly, honest and creative approach to decorating and design. I’m all about experimenting, personalizing and making design accessible and fun!

Is blogging your passion, profession or both?

Both though the passion came first and will always be what steers my business.

What is your favorite thing to do when you are not blogging?

Travel… which usually results in a blog post. :)

Where do you turn for inspiration?

Currently I turn to two main sources: Pinterest and Instagram (I’m @decor8 if you want to see my Instagram photos).

What was your latest design crush?

I’m actually in love with a few things. First, the new Birds n Bees wallpaper from Timorous Beasties, anything from Dutch designer Piet Hein Eek and the work of German stylist Dietlind Wolf which I follow on her blog.

Who is your favorite designer/brand?

There are so many talented people, I just blog about my hundreds of ‘favorites’ on decor8 to make it easier than picking only one!

What’s your best deco advice?

Personalize your space – let your home tell the story of who you are, what you love and what you dream about. Another tip is to be confident and do what you want – it’s your home – if you want to mix and match, wallpaper the ceiling in a bold pattern, paint a wall jet black, install a swing in your living room, paint your table bright red – DO IT and then stand by your decision, be confident and own it. Nothing is more inspiring that a personalized home decorated with confidence. I’ve seen homes that were not beautiful but that were so confident and personal that you fell in the love the moment you entered. It’s not about setting the goal to have a gorgeous home -  it’s about setting the goal to create a cozy, accepting and deeply personal and confident space because only then will beauty result. Confidence shines through the face of a person making them more beautiful, isn’t it the same for a home?

If you were a piece of design/object, what would you be? Why?

I’d be the bespoke painting on the wall that you keep in your home always – attractive, inspiring, lasting and a piece that inspires conversation when guests arrive…

Do you have an object/ a piece of furniture that you keep since your childhood?

Yes, I have the dress that I wore when I was born – it’s going to soon be framed because it’s such a precious piece of my history that I cherish – and I have a photo of me wearing it that I want to put with the dress. I even have the little bracelet with my name on it from the hospital that the nurse put on my wrist when I was born but my mother still has that and refuses to part with it. :)

How often do you change the design of your interior?

I’m always tweaking and moving things, my interior today is different from what it looked like two weeks ago!

How would you describe your home?

Creative, welcoming, personal, bright, happy and handmade.


Tic Tac…60 seconds are up! Thank you, Holly!


60 seconds with…Valentine

Valentine from the blog Hello it’s Valentine lives in a colorful and glittery world. This smiling little French creature loves to walk through the majestic city of Paris and take pictures of her bubbly outfits. But not only is her blog about fashion, Valentine also gives her readers travel tips and even advice about how to decorate a home. Enter Valentine’s world and find out more about her interests and inspirations in “60 seconds with…”

How did you get the idea to start your own fashion blog (www.helloitsvalentine.com)?

Quite simply by the acquisition of a small digital camera, with which I photographed anything and everything.
I wanted to share my pictures, and the idea of a “catch-all” blog came to my mind.
At the beginning the blog was not really focused on “fashion”. It took me a while to find my editorial line.

Describe your blog in 3 words.

Bubbly Colourful Parisian.

What is your favorite aspect of blogging?

Taking pictures, talking with young women from all parts of the world, meeting people, going to events that I would never have gone to if I were not blogging, being curious about what is happening around me and be inspired by all these things…
Blogging is based on sharing: having time for yourself is good, but having time to communicate with others is even better!

Who inspired your fashion sense?

Everyone and no one!
Women in the street, in the subway etc.. are my main source of inspiration (without mentioning Streetstyle blogs).
If I had to mention only one person who inspires me, that would be my mother. She has an incredible sense of style. By observing her, I learned how to apply makeup, accessorize my outfits …
Besides, I’m so proud of her: she is an artist, and her relationship with colors is pretty amazing. It depends on the moment, the phases… She and I are very connected, and her relationship to fashion has clearly rubbed off on me.

Has blogging changed your relationship to fashion? If so, how?

Of course: the opinion of yourself that you get through pictures changes a lot of things!
To look at yourself in a mirror and to look at a picture of yourself on a computer screen are two different things! We are much more critical in the second case: we are more impacted by what looks good and especially what’s wrong!
In addition to blogging, I grow up and began to sharpen my tastes, my expectations of a garment or an accessory.
And of course, to watch what others can do is an inexhaustible source of joy and ideas!

What are the advantages and disadvantages of blogging?

Fortunately, there are much more advantages than disadvantages!
I met many true friends thanks to blogs and events where you can meet new people. Without mentioning the lovely gifts, etc.. but I don’t want to ramble on about it.
Because it is inevitable to be criticized when you expose yourself on the Internet, I would say that this is the only disadvantage.
Girls can be harsh, awkward or just aggressive in their comments. It’s a pity because it won’t change anything for passionate people who will continue anyway.

What makes your style unique?

I do not have the pretention to describe my style as unique: it is not.
I wear what I like above all (by trying to be attractive).To dress (so as putting makeup and doing your hair) is a chance when you have the means to vary the pleasures.
Unique or not, I’m having fun. Good for me if you think that I have style.

What is your top fashion tip?

Avoid at all costs following trends, especially when people annoy you with “DOs” and “DON’Ts”.
To know how to make choices in fashion is the best advice I can give: there are some things that are good to take, but remember: leave the wrong aside! ;)

What is your favorite thing in your closet?

My collection of dresses, all the colors of the rainbow in the sky … It makes me happy!

Where do you turn for inspiration?

Lookbook.nu? haha
Honestly, I love to open the Glamour UK: the fashion pages are often very inspiring, because the pictures are well done.

Whose personal style do you admire most?

Frida Kahlo, the painter (even if she is not alive anymore). She could wear the Tehuana outfit very well, and wore her hair braided with lots of flowers in it.
Her life has been one long ordeal of suffering, but she was physically fit and always primed.
You are forced to admire her, few women in her case would have been so pretty.

What is your favorite decade in fashion? Why?

The 50s and 60s : because of the very feminine and easily wearable dresses.

Which advice would you give to someone who would like to launch a fashion blog?
Working on the design of your blog is more than important. I do not look at blogs sometimes just because the design is over the top and gives me headache.
The quality of the pictures is also important to me, I am almost ashamed of my beginnings when I had no critical sense on my pictures…
And of course: starting a blog is a great adventure: but be diligent! Nothing comes easily to you if you do not commit yourself seriously.

You will soon be in Berlin, what do you expect from this city?

This is the second time I go there with my boyfriend.
This was the first city we visited together as a couple. Our first love weekend abroad: magic!
I hope that we will visit more than we already have, that we’ll go cycling (our common passion) and have a drink with my Berlin friend, Maggie (and blogger! www.hoardoftrends.com)
Berlin is so atypical, both modern and rooted in its history … It’s always interesting to see how it is elsewhere and to discover the world.
Berlin, we are on our way!

Tic Tac…60 seconds are up! Thank you, Valentine!

60 Seconds with…Ella

Before studying at Central Saint Martins Ella did an internship for a fashion brand in Paris where she decided to start writing a blog. La Petite Anglaise (www.ella-lapetiteanglaise.com) is both, a personal fashion diary and a platform to write about everything that inspires Ella. The aim of La Petite Anglaise is to combine high fashion with street fashion. Discover more about Ella, her style, her inspiration and interests in “60 seconds with”.

What first inspired you to create a blog?

Writing and fashion have always been my two great loves and I always dreamt of writing for my favourite fashion magazines. I was desperate to give fashion journalism a go and realised that Anna Wintour probably wasn’t going to fall over herself to hire an eighteen year old with no experience so I decided to take matters into my own hands by starting a blog.

How did you choose the name of your blog?

Although I decided that I wanted to start my own blog I spent months and months procrastinating on the grounds that I had nothing remotely interesting to write about. Then in June 2010 I managed to snag an internship at up-and-coming designer brand, Baron Baronne in Paris which finally motivated me to start writing. The name seemed fitting as I was an English girl alone in Paris (and it sounded quite cute) and after that I couldn’t exactly change it!

Who is your target audience?

I don’t really have a specific target audience. To be honest I’m thrilled if anyone at all finds La Petite Anglaise interesting! I’d say that the majority of my readers are female and between the ages of 15 – 30 but as the blog has grown (and I’ve got the hang of Google Analytics) I’ve found my audience to be much broader than I first thought. I find that my readers range from other 20 year old Londoners to middle aged men living on the other side of the world.

What message do you feel your blog communicates?

I think, or at least I like to think, that La Petite Anglaise combines high fashion with high street fashion in a way that it’s accessible, fun and hopefully interesting. My aim is basically to share my own experiences in the fashion industry and anything else fashion-related that inspires me with my readers.

Is blogging your passion, profession or both?

Blogging is predominantly my passion but over the past year I’ve learnt a lot more about how it can actually developed into a profession. Whether or not La Petite Anglaise ever becomes more of a business than a passion, it has definitely had a huge impact on my professional life. Blogging has opened up a lot of incredible opportunities for me such as attending fashion week, writing for other publications and meeting a huge range of other people within the industry and for that I’m hugely grateful.

Has blogging changed your relationship to fashion? If so, how?

Blogging has had a huge impact on my relationship to fashion. Before I started La Petite Anglaise I had no real concept of how the fashion industry worked. Working with designers, PR’s and publications has taught me exactly how much hard work goes into everything from getting a feature on party dresses ready for print, to getting a collection down the runway. Aside from that doing outfit posts and attending lots of terrifyingly chic events has definitely improved my personal style!

What is your favourite aspect of blogging?

I love sharing exciting new designers and pieces of fashion news with my readers but my absolute favourite aspect of blogging is getting to attend Fashion Week. The shows, the outfits, the parties… it’s like heaven on earth.

What makes a successful post?

It’s impossible to say what exactly makes a successful post. Often I write something that I find fascinating and no one else is remotely interested! I think that the posts people most enjoy are one’s that contain information but don’t take themselves too seriously and aren’t excessively wordy. I usually try to make my posts concise, witty and fun to read with lots of good quality images.

What was the best comment you ever received from a reader?

The comments I most enjoy reading are one’s from people who’ve only just discovered my blog and find it interesting enough to want to return. Complimentary comments on outfit posts never go amiss either!

Who inspired your fashion sense?

My ultimate fashion inspiration has to be Audrey Hepburn. She is the absolute epitome of effortless elegance. I highly doubt her style is remotely recognisable in my own but hey, a girl can dream! My more modern fashion inspirations are Alexa Chung, Olivia Palermo and Kate Moss.

Which other blogs do you read on a regular basis?

I read Style Bubble on a regular basis (who doesn’t!) and Fashion Foie Gras is another favourite. Both are beautifully written and always an excellent source of fashion news.

Which designer would you love to meet?

Last year I spent six months working for fashion consultant, Iman Pasha, and we organised an event in Doha, Qatar which meant I was lucky enough to spend 3 days with Holly Fulton, Mary Katrantzou, Jonathan Saunders and Roksanda Ilincic. They happen to be four of my absolute favourite designers so spending a very intense weekend with them was both a lot of fun and slightly surreal! I would really love to meet Marc Jacobs. I’m totally obsessed with his work and also think he seems like a total riot. I mean, have you SEEN those semi-naked perfume ads?

What is your favorite thing to do when you are not blogging?

When I’m not blogging I’m usually shopping. I have a serious retail addiction. Aside from that my favourite thing to do is go for cocktails and dancing with my girlfriends.

In your opinion, what will be the top trend for summer 2012?

Top trend for Summer 2012? I’m sure that brights are still going to be huge, but the trend that cropped up the most during Fashion Week was 70′s. Holly Fulton, Burberry, Temperley, Jaeger London… It was EVERYWHERE!

Tic Tac…60 seconds are up! Thank you, Ella!

60 Seconds with…Andrea Martínez Maugard

According to the motto “Fashion is always a comeback” the Chilean fashion blogger Andrea started her Blog Martirio’s way in 2007. Her favorite topics are fashion, cinema and music but finding her inspiration in the fashion of the 60s and 70s she also loves to write about vintage movies starring Catherine Deneuve or other iconic actors.

How long have you been blogging?

I’m blogging since 2007, and I remember when I started no one really knew what was all the fashion blog world about, but I did it because I loved the idea of writing about vintage style, my favorite subject, since Martirio’s Way motto is “Fashion is always a comeback”.

How have fashion blogs changed/evolved since you began?

Uff, when I began you could tell the bloggers’ names all around the world, the same people created like a circle of virtual friendship with fashion and style behind. We posted everyday like twice sometimes, and you had time to visit and left a comment about the post. Today, I can’t even visit all the blogs that I like and neither comment about the articles. There’s so many blogs that you really need a lot of free time to do it!

What importance do social networks have for you?

Well, thanks to my blog I met a lot of interesting people related to fashion and I could started working as a fashion writer and collaborator with publications like “200 Días en Sing Sing” (a cultural spanish magazine) and of course, my job as Editor in “Viste la Calle”, the first street style and coolhunting web in Chile. That was a dream come true, and now we even have our own printed magazine called “Reviste la Calle”.

What was your first contact with the fashion industry?

I remember when I started a lot of people told me that they love to read about 60′s and 70′s fashion, and one of those persons had this huge vintage models online database. She also told me that she liked my posts and everything, and suddenly I realized that she actually was a supermodel in the 60′s, she worked with Rabanne and Cardin, lived in Paris and had her Vogue moments as well; her name is Linda Morand, and time after that I did an interview with her for “Viste la Calle”.

How is the blogger scene in Chile / South America?

Now there’s a lot of girls interested in taking pictures of them and to show their everyday outfits, like a lot of people in the world. I think only a few likes to publish articles on fashion and chilean designers. There’s important examples like “Quinta Trends”, “Como te vistes”, “1,2,3..Ojo de Águila” and of course, “Viste la Calle”. In Chile, there’s a mix between music, movies, fashion and the social scene as main subjects of important projects like “The Youthquake” and “Anormal Mag” so it’s very interesting to see how fashion leads to other subjects.

For you, what is the world´s most fashionable city?

I love Valparaiso and currently live here, but I think that London has to be the most fashionable city in the world. The cultural background, the Swingin’ Sixties, everything started there even the good musicians and legendary bands. If you watch “Blow Up”, “What’s new Pussycat?” or any Bond movie, the scenes and styling are cool and original, so I have to go with London.

Where do you turn for inspiration? (books, magazines, art…)

Mostly vintage magazines like “Paula” (a chilean fashion mag from the sixties), past and current issues of Vogue, fashion icons like Catherine Deneuve, Anna Karina, Françoise Hardy, photographers like Brad Elterman or William Claxton and movies; I take a loooot of inspiration discovering old and new movies from Korea, Italy and Hollywood.

Which other blogs do you read on a regular basis?

I like to read everyday “The Fashion Spot”, a social network based on fashion but everyday I discover a new blog so I have a lot to read and I keep this blogs on bookmarks that I discover all week long.

Where do you get the ideas for your blog posts?

I like to have different sections on my blog, and one of my favorites it’s called “It’s not the same but it’s the same”, and basically I compare two pictures from the past and present with similar style, models, dresses, etc. Many people ask me how I get the idea of the perfect picture for the comparisons but I have no clue hahaha; I just watch a picture and instantly remember some other and started to look for that one. Pure eye training maybe, who knows.

Which designer would you love to meet?

I think all my favorites are gone (Yves Saint Laurent, Ossie Clark) but from now I would like to meet Tom Ford. He’s talented in fashion and movies, my two favorite subjects and also he’s incredibly sexy.

What was the best comment you ever received from a reader?

I think all the comments are really lovely. I started this blog only with my ideas and my crazy love for vintage and it was nice to see that other people love the past so much as me; but twice my blog was named one of the best fashion sites by two TV shows, and that’s one of the most flattering things that has happened to me.

Where do you think your fashion career will lead?

Hopefully to write in as many fashion projects as I want to. Now I’m really happy and focused in my fashion writer skills, just after a year since I had a more conservative work with an office and a bored life. Now the office is at home with all my inspiration and as many time to write as I want, and I have at least two new collaborations coming soon.

What is your favourite thing to do when you are not blogging?

I like to watch movies. I had my italian giallo phase, my korean horror phase is now on works, and I love to read biographies. My favorites are “Brando”, Pamela Des Barres’ “I’m with the band” and “The secret diaries of Catherine Deneuve”. I’m still waiting for an Al Pacino bio.

Describe your favourite shoes.

High heels patent leather mary jane pumps. That’s it.

The most timeless designer?

Yves Saint Laurent. From Frida Giannini to Azzaro, everyone has a piece inspired by the french designer in any of their collections.

 Tic Tac…60 seconds are up! Thank you, Andrea!