Of Style, Confidence and Fashion Blogging
Of Style, Confidence and Fashion Blogging
It feels as if a new fashion blog is launched every two minutes. There seems to be an overload of fashionistas online these days, and it comes to the point that searching for online inspiration for an outfit is like slipping into an Instagram/Pinterest black hole.
But these ladies (and gentlemen) are not your typical selfie-stick, pouty-faced, immaculately dressed Instagram celebrities simply putting an image online for attention. Independent publishers and top-tier fashion bloggers worldwide are now raking in multimillion dollar campaigns – these are people who are at the front rows of runway shows, who are called in as ‘Influencers’ at private events with fashion designers, who are sent the first item in the new seasonal fashion line-up even before it hits the racks, and even get their own reality television shows. These fashion bloggers are no longer the stuff of self-proclaimed fashionistas – they have the potential to rule the blogosphere.
Fashion blogs have seized the attention of the fashionable Brunei population, and the rest have started to take note. Sporting a range of styles from funky and fun to classy and modest, these local fashion bloggers are here to pose for you – and give you some tips on style, fashion and most importantly, self-confidence.
Back in 2010, Nabeela’s first foray into the blogosphere began in the UK with beauty products. She stopped not long after and it wasn’t until 2016 that she returned to blogging. It began simply enough: she was documenting her outfits and style on Instagram until her profile started to gain enormous recognition locally and regionally. Once international fashion brands started approaching her to do paid reviews, she began to see the demand for a fashion blog, and from there, with the help of her husband, Lipstickmyname was born.
About Lipstickmyname: “Lipstickmyname is mainly a style blog where I feature my lookbook and outfits, some sponsored posts and paid reviews, but you can also find bits on lifestyle and beauty and other things I want to talk about! I’ve always been into fashion/beauty blogging and in fact started a blog in 2010 for a while, and started actively documenting outfits again early last year on Instagram before I started my blog.”
On her personal style: “All the local fashion/style bloggers have distinct styles, and I can’t really pinpoint what my style is exactly, but I would say my style is a balance between bohemian and androgyny – I love feeling girly but at the same time I love structured outfits. I like to keep my outfits minimal with 2 to 3 colours in my palette (one of those colours being white or black) but I usually add a statement item, usually shoes or jewellery, or have certain details that you wouldn’t expect on it.”
On opportunities since she started: “Alhamdulillah, I’ve had a few collaborations with designers and stores, both locally and abroad. I’ve had a few sponsorships and gifts, but the most amazing thing about this is meeting new people! I’ve had the opportunity to meet inspiring people who do amazing things.”
On being a fashion blogger in Brunei: “Having a small market of course has its limitations. Other countries have existing fashion industries that do a lot of collaborations with fashion influencers and bloggers. However, I don’t see it as a limitation, but more as potential to grow. Brunei’s fashion industry is on a rise. We have a lot of local designers that have branched out internationally and we’ve had quite a few fashion exhibitions and events happening lately.”
19 year old May is a Computer Science student from Universiti Brunei Darussalam (UBD), and her love affair with writing began when she was much younger. She started her blog as a way of publishing her writing, and initially posted pictures of her outfits simply because she believes style and fashion is an outlet of self-expression. Once she started gaining more followers and fans of her unique style, she began attending fashion events, started collaborations with local designers, and best of all: she met with all kinds of local fashion-bloggers to be inspired by.
About The Mayden: “I took a gap year from A’Levels to University, and had nothing to do. I had been blogging on and off previously, although it wasn’t about anything specific. So I decided to give it a go again, and started documenting things I wear. Basically, that’s how The Mayden began!”
On her personal style: “I gear towards the darker side, with a grungy, alternative and gothic essence. The way I dress is influenced by the media, largely. I follow a lot of Youtube channels and bloggers, and they always do their own thing. It’s weird because I’m an introvert by nature and I don’t like to be in the spotlight, but there’s this paradox where I wear clothes that makes me stand out! I just wear what I want to wear.”
On opportunities since she started: “My most recent collaboration was with Revolution – a sneaker shop in Brunei. I’ve also been invited to various fashion events in Brunei. But I think the best opportunity that I’ve had so far is meeting these bloggers in real life, because most of them have become my closest friends in real life as well. Getting to meet like-minded people who you can share ideas with, who you can talk to and know what you’re talking about, that has become one of the best opportunities for me.”
On being a fashion blogger in Brunei: “I think it’s already established that the Brunei market is catered towards people whose fashion sense isn’t like mine. Plus it’s still a small community and a small industry, so in that sense, it’s definitely limiting. But I consider myself as a representative for people who dress differently. I have hope that Brunei is open to other kinds of fashion, and I think that eventually some local designers will step up and there will be more of a variety of fashion here.”
Fina has never thought herself a ‘fashionista’, but she always believed that style defined a person. That was one of the reasons why she transitioned from a socialite Instagramming events that she attended into a local fashion blogger to be reckoned with. Her style has gained her thousands of followers, but stepping into the blogosphere has given her the chance to spread her wings; with her blog as her oyster, she sees it as an opportunity describe an outfit in detail, to plug an event that she attended, to meet and interview fashion designers, to show her personality more and to allow her creativity to flow.
About Weekend Frocks: “It’s called weekendfrocks.com, it’s currently pretty feminine looking with blush tones and the content I’ve uploaded so far mainly involve event coverage i.e fashion events and pop-up dinners. I was inspired to start the blog when I had an opportunity in a front house role at Digitial Fashion Week, which this year will be officially part of Singapore Fashion Week, and it was just inspiring to see the crowd and influencers over there with their sense of style and their creativity. Earlier this year I did a Fashion Journalism online course with the University of Arts London, London College of Fashion for a few months and enjoyed that aspect of writing. It helps keep my creativity flowing, and challenges me too.”
On her personal style: “Feminine for the most part, and I tend to go for soft hues. I’d probably go bohemian for a festival and an edgy look for an evening out. I think most, if not all, of the bloggers have their own personal style, but it’s probably my fondness for dresses or one-piece which is my unique selling point.”
On opportunities since she started: “Starting my blog has given me opportunities to attend events which allow me to network and connect. It’s been absolutely enlightening meeting people in the creative industry, whether it’s emerging or established designers, the marketing team, make-up artists and other influencers – there’s always something to learn from them. Apart from that, local and regional designers do get in touch whether it’s for a feature on their webpage or Instagram, or whether it’s to send over some freebies! It’s not financially sustainable yet and I’m a long way away from being able to make a living out of it but I’m enjoying the ride for now.”
On being a fashion blogger in Brunei: “Is being a fashion blogger in Brunei more limited than in other countries? I would say yes and no. The fact that there is less of a range of style options and boutiques to choose from is somewhat a barrier. But because things are emerging, it’s easier to get into the scene (think of it like a Silicon Valley tech start up scene), and there’s an advantage to be a first-mover. Also I think that Brunei is seen as a potential market by our neighbours due to our spending power. I find that the Malaysian fashion scene is keen to reach out to the local bloggers.”