Monday, 23 April 2012

Lou Lou Chats with Alex Stedman, blogger ('The Frugality') & Junior Fashion Editor ('Red' magazine)

Today's 'Lou Lou Chats' is with Alex Stedman, whose blog 'The Frugality' is one of my favourite recent blog discoveries. Alex describes her blog as "not about shopping in Primark, or living off toast every night. I believe there are people out there like me: I live off every penny I earn. My wage goes towards my mortgage, bills, travel, food and (sadly) my credit card bill. But I don't set my sights low, I still want Eames chairs for my flat and the Mulberry Tillie handbag. I'm just sensible with money where I can be to afford the luxuries." In addition to writing a fabulous blog, Alex is also Junior Fashion Editor at 'Red' magazine, so has a great insight into what goes on in the fashion industry.Therefore I was delighted when she agreed to answer questions for my blog.


Describe your style in three words.

Boyish, preppy, contemporary.

Alex Stedman. I love this outfit that she is wearing - great combination of leopard print and neon!

Please tell us more about yourself.

I work on a magazine, live in South London, love fashion and am a workaholic.

Why did you decide to start blogging?

I just thought there were too many blogs that look the same. They had pretty pictures but were all photos of them wearing shoes that cost £700. This is not normal. I wanted to show people the ‘real’ side of fashion. A Fashion Editor that does cook her own meals, rather than go to Shoreditch House every weekend.

This 'Theyskens Theory' bag inspired serious bag-envy in me!

Why did you decide to take the direction you have with your blog, as opposed to a ‘straight’ fashion blog?

Same as above really, everyone who I told about my idea said ‘I’d love to read that’, so that gave me the push I needed. I also wanted to do it before someone else did.

Has there been a particular highlight for you since starting up ‘The Frugality’?

Just seeing how many people click onto the site has been really gratifying. The amount of people who have found my blog just from browsing the web, or through recommendations has been overwhelming.

What has been your best bargain ever?

Oh god. Everything I buy from H&M is always a bargain. They are so on the pulse without the hefty price tag. I love my New Look studded brogues. I also have a pair of Balenciaga sandals that cost me £200 in the Matches sale 3 years ago, but they are STILL my favourite sandals of all time.

Studded brogues, £44.99 - New Look

What would be your top tips for hunting down a bargain?

With shops like H&M, Cos, Zara, the key is just to go in regularly, there is always new stock. With designer stores, make sure it’s only something you wanted full price but couldn’t afford.

If money was no object, what would be the first thing that you would buy?

Proenza Schouler PS1 bag….and a desk for my study

Do you think that there is a perceived divide between people working for the ‘traditional’ fashion media and bloggers?

I am turning to bloggers more and more for information hot off the press. Whenever I google a fashion news story, it’s always a blog I find it on first. I think it has made the ‘traditional’ magazines up their game in terms of fast, on the pulse information. However, I also think that magazines have more time to think about the reader and the articles, and hate it when I see ‘filler’ posts on blogs that haven’t got a specific purpose.

What advice would you give to people who are looking to get into a career as a stylist/fashion writer?
Sorry to say, work experience. It is invaluable: what you learn, the contacts you make, not just on the magazine but also the other side with PRs. Every paid position I ever got was through recommendations from work experience or making a contact somewhere. I was also a hard worker.
What would your ideal weekend be?
A lie-in. My weeks are so hectic I enjoy being in my flat on the weekend, watching films on the sofa, maybe a takeaway.
Is there anyone in particular who has inspired you in the fashion industry?
I have always loved the effortless style of Emmanuelle Alt. And people like Sarah Curran from my-wardrobe. The website is looking great these days.
Top Tip 
“Expect the worst. Hope for the best.” This is what the 75 year old twins in Angela Carter’s ‘Wise Children’ always said. I can’t even count how many times I have said it now, but it has got me through many a stressful moment!

You can find Alex on Twitter as @TheFrugality and can see her fashion styling in 'Red' magazine, which is on a newstand near you now!


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