Sconnie is Looking Sharp – Interview with the COOLEST. PERSON. EVER.



Last year, after I was finished moving Cristian into his dorm room down in Madison my mom and I decided to get away for a while. We decided to drag poor Cristian along as we went to a shopping center and it was a good thing we did. I’ll tell you something about my boyfriend
. He is friendly to everyone and can strike up a conversation with anyone. While I was debating if I should get a knee length a-line “elf cape” (like the Lord of the Rings elves, not Christmas elves) or a skirt that was made out of tie material he was talking to the girl who was my personal stylist and was so graciously running back and forth through the store grabbing different sizes.

I asked him “What piece should I get?”

He answered (being the amazing boyfriend he is) “I don’t have any preference, both look great on you.”

Awww….

I replied “I’m leaning more towards the skirt because I could make different outfits and thus more posts.” (Like he had any idea what I meant by posts)

The gal who had been helping me threw in her two cents “I like the skirt too… Posts?”

To which I explained that I ran a fashion blog etc. etc.

She. Was. So. Sweet.

Right away she grabbed a piece of paper and asked me to write down my blog address so she could take a look. We chatted about blogging for a few minutes and then I decided upon… The skirt. (big surprise right?) I knew I needed to interview her one day. Well, that day has come!

Without further ado, meet Gabby from Look Sharp, Sconnie. (aka the coolest fashion blogger I know… Also the only fashion blogger I know… But I can say with confidence that if I met others they wouldn’t be as cool as she is.)
Maddie: Will you introduce yourself to my blog?
Gabby: Cheers – My name’s Gabrielle, or Gabby, or Gab, or Pocahontas if you’re feeling chummy and want to make me like you. I live in Madison, WI when I’m awake, and Paris while I’m asleep. One time when I took a long walk on a beach I saw a dead sea turtle – so I’m a little wary, but I’m open to trying again.
M: How long have you been fashion blogging, and what prompted you to start fashion blogging?
G:I started blogging because, quite frankly, I hated college and couldn’t find anyone else who wanted to talk about the things that I liked. Consequently, I was reading other peoples’ blogs for like, 4 hours a day and thought that maybe I should get my butt up and do something my own. (Also, my two scrolling fingers were like, super tired). My initial blog consisted of me taking photos of people in outfits I liked on the street. After I graduated, it (d?)evolved into me posting photos of myself, because I felt strange asking college kids for their pictures (a little predatory?). Short answer: I started in January of 2012 (2 years baby!) because I was lonely.
M: As I looked back on your archives (I unashamedly load about 10 pages worth every night before the school wifi turns off to read before bed) I noticed that you’ve had some amazing opportunities these past few years. Is there a favorite? Or two?
G:Wow yeah. I’ve really been lucky over the last couple of years. I’d say my favorites were my trip to New York Fashion Week last fall with Marie Claire, Yoplait and Twitter for which I got to be featured in an ad that ran in the October issue of Marie Claire Magazine. I learned a ton about what goes on behind a shoot, got to meet some amazing NYFW celebs (including Nina Garcia, The Man Repeller, and Brandon – the photog behind HONY), and had an overall amazing time. Recently, I was flown out to California for the Polyvore Meetup – which was unreal. We were spoiled with hotel rooms and spa treatments and endless candy and cupcakes, and best of all, we got to see the insides of the Polyvore Headquarters – which, as a huge Polyvore fan, was a dream.
M: We all know that one of the highest compliments a blogger can receive online is someone leaving a well thought out comment or question at the end of the post… But, branching out from behind the backlit screen, cups of delicious greek yogurt and piles of unfolded clothing in our rooms… What is one of the highest compliments you’ve received (regarding your blog or outfit etc..) while out and about?
G:Honestly, any time someone tells me that they read my blog or they recognize me from my posts, it’s the biggest compliment I could ever imagine. I always end up breaking down and hugging random strangers because I’m SO flattered that someone who I know is busy and has a life of their own will take the time to even glance at the images, let alone read the text. The fact that some people reference specific posts and topics absolutely bowls me over, and I usually annoy them by begging them to be my friend.
M: Instead of the “what are the top trend predictions for 2014?” type of question, what I want to know is what are YOU hoping 2014 will bring to the fashion realm? 
G:Whoa. Such a good question. Hmph. This is actually kind of a conflicting question for me to answer, because as someone who likes to be a little bit different, I almost hope that the things I like will stay obscure enough so that I can continue to wear them without them feeling “overdone”. Is that super hipster of me? Probably. Regardless, I’m loving the direction that casual clothing is taking – how it’s slowly replacing formal wear. I kind of hope that 2014 will see the day that I can show up to a job interview in high-waisted light wash boyfriend jeans, black stiletto booties, and a silk blouse, and not be frowned upon. I realize that I will probably need to keep hoping on this front, but a grungy gal can dream.
M: 2013 saw an uprising of the good ole 90’s. From overalls coming back in, to Disney print sweatshirts now considered couture… Some of it was good (Can we say Dolce and Gabbana f/w 2013?)

 And other trends more “meh”… What are some things that you hope go far far away and don’t come back for a very long time that have been considered “in fashion”?  


G:Oh man. Well, first of all, if a “trend” is making you happy and confident, you go ‘head and wear that trend until it ends and then circles back around again. However, in terms of things that I don’t find aesthetically pleasing myself, I’m gonna go ahead and cliche this one up with the denouncement of heeled sneakers. I like the idea of comfortable footwear that also flatters the rear, but in execution I find them kitschy and … dare I say it, uncool. If I can also venture into fashion social trends, I’m also kind of over all of this NYFW hate. If you’re lucky enough to get to go into the shows, rather than lurk outside of them, maybe try being a little bit more grateful about the opportunity. Just an observation from a mid-western outsider.
M: Something that I love about you is that you don’t care what is “in” and you wear whatever you find comfortable. What is something that you will wear no matter how much it’s considered “out”? (But who cares about the fashion rules anyway?)


G:First – thanks for thinking of me as averse to trends – very flattering, though likely (certainly) untrue. To answer – Cows are my favorite animal (dolphins too, but I feel like that’s not relevant here), and yet I still LOVE leather. Brown, cognac-colored, slightly distressed leather will always (dangerous word, I know) work in any outfit in my opinion. I could have an all black slick suit on, and I would still carry a vintage leather purse. Same goes for leather booties. Can’t really think of an outfit in which they would not add a touch of perfection.
M: You and I are both from WI…Which we know isn’t the fashion capital of the world… (I received weird looks for wearing a skirt to a college class) What is the most difficult part of being a fashion blogger in this environment and wearing what would be considered “normal” for someone in the fashion blogging world but is totally foreign to a state where it’s acceptable to wear a Packer jersey to church?

G:Hahah. Aw man. Well, sports luxe is “in”, so … maybe the joke’s on us. Seriously, though – it is a bit alienating at times. The most disconcerting aspect, for me, is the fact that people assume that, because I dress “weird”, I’m obsessed with my physical appearance. It’s like, if I wear something “eclectic” (aka: not a red WI *enter sport’s team name here* sweatshirt), suddenly I’m narcissistic or I think that I’m incredibly cool. Really, it’s how I feel most comfortable and effortless, but here, it doesn’t come across that way. In fact, it takes more thought for me to dress “like someone from Wisconsin” than it does to dress “weird”, but very few people will ever see that. That being said, once you find it, there is a community here that does appreciate sartorial strangeness – they’re just not super easy to find.
M: For someone who is just starting out in fashion blogging, it can be exhausting… You have no idea if there’s anyone out there who is actually reading it or if what you’re wearing even looks good to others. What is some advice or encouragement you can give to them?
G:Goodness – if you find someone who can answer that for you, send them my way. The only “advice” (I use quotes a lot, no?) that I can give to anyone going outside of their comfort zone is to try and shut out the instinctive thought of “I wonder what other people will think of this” after everything you do. It’s literally debilitating. A lot of people will judge the things you do until they realize how happy it is making you – so let it make you happy first before allowing other peoples’ judgments to come into consideration. That sense of contentment will be strong enough to dispel any fear of judgment from others.
M: To finish up I have a bunch of questions bundled into one… What are some shopping tips? To thrift or not to thrift? Vintage? Waiting for 6 months for something to go on sale or is an impulse purchase required? What are some of your favorite places to shop at? And finally, what brand dominates your closet?
G:AhHHHhh. So much. OK: Thrifting? YES. How could I say no??!? It’s one of my favorite coping mechanisms, and one of the best chances to try out an alternate personality. Just bought a floor-length faux fur coat from a thrift shop, and I’m sort of digging who it makes me.
Sale-wise, I’m big on happiness – so if you’ll lose more happiness in the time spent waiting for it to go on sale than you will from the cut to your bank account you’ll suffer from purchasing it now, just get the darn thing. I heard something on the radio about happiness the other day, and it said when debating a purchase, consider : “Will this make me happy next Tuesday?”. Will those booties you’ll wear every day make you happy next Tuesday? Then get them. (this was, admittedly, not the intention of said advice, but I’m big on co-opting wise advice in order to support my shopping addiction, so … go me).
Shopping question: Lately, I’ve been digging boutiques. I love hearing the story behind the item I’m purchasing. That being said, I’m still drawn to Zara – so sue me. I’m also into all the small Australian online boutiques with awesome Instagram accounts – they do knock-offs better than anyone. As for brands, that’s changing so fast it’s hard to answer. I worked as the personal stylist at Anthropologie for a while, so I have a ton from there, but lately I’ve been working on building up my designer pieces – so I’ll update you soon and let you know how that’s a-comin’. I’ll probably just keep shopping at Zara though, so don’t get your hopes up.



*****

A HUGE thank you to Gabrielle for being willing to let me interview her! You all should check out her blog Look Sharp, Sconnie.

xoxo,

Maddie
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3 Comments

  1. January 30, 2014 / 5:35 pm

    You're the awesomest blossomest.

    Cannot wait to meet up again – outside the fitting room 😉 Though I wouldn't be adverse to a round or two of good ol' dress up.

    Enjoy England, and get in touch when you're back in town!!

    For now, think of me as your new #1 fan 😉

    -Gab

  2. January 30, 2014 / 5:36 pm

    i love this interview, maddie! you asked really thoughtful questions and i really think that anyone reading about gabs will really get a good sense of who she is. i love her.

    though i now live in hong kong, i still consider the midwest, particularly madison, a home in my heart. i grew up overseas, but i decided to go to university in america, and the midwest just became my home that way. i'm a fashion blogger, too (though teaching pays the bills) and i'm thrilled when i find other bloggers who share some of the same sensibilities that i do. it's nice to 'meet' you…and to read your blog. mine is http://www.imanorbyah.com if you're interested in popping by.
    xo
    n

  3. January 31, 2014 / 2:51 pm

    Great interview!! AND, I'm a fellow WI blogger and stylist, among other things… graduated from UW, transplanted from Chicago, and Minneapolis native – so something like a Windy City MinneSconnie. Whatever. Anyhoo, Madtown is now my home and I'd LOVE to meet-up!! If you're so inclined, check out the blog I try and update: http://www.some-thing-nice.com

    🙂

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