Marta Represa, the author behind the lovely blog, Les Paradis Artificiels, is here for a little Q&A. Marta writes her blog from the beautiful Paris (lucky her) and is Senior Editor at 160g Magazine as well as other fashion publications. Her blog is a place I've been going to for quite some time for her insightful thoughts on fashion, film, and art.
1.One of my favorite aspects of your blog is how you often incorporate iconic style figures. If you could name your top five style icons, who would they be?
For me, style means more than just dressing well: it's about personality, about manners, movements, and how a person relates to others. Only people who are elegant in all these ways are truly stylish. I do have many style references, but my all-time favourite style icons are Cary Grant and Katharine Hepburn for their natural chic and strong personalities, Marlene Dietrich for her extreme sophistication which was always fun but never ridiculous, Audrey Hepburn because she was a true lady and Humphrey Bogart because he couldn't help being elegant despite his hard-boiled attitude. They are all actors: I grew up constantly watching classic Hollywood films and what I saw in them became a reference for my tastes.
2. Who are your favorite fashion designers?
There are many talented designers around right now. I love Alber Elbaz's work for Lanvin: his ladylike designs are ageless; Christopher Bailey's collections for Burberry Prorsum are rock & roll yet understatedly elegant; I love Sophia Kokosalaki's Greek-inspired designs, being Mediterranean I feel related to them; Gareth Pugh is the most exciting designer the world has seen for years, and his edgy creativity goes beyond mere fashion. Throughout fashion history I admire Jeanne Lanvin, Hubert de Givenchy, Yves Saint Laurent and Hedi Slimane.
3. I'm sure you have many, but can you describe a memorable moment that you've experienced working in the fashion industry?
I think more than moments it's about the people you meet. The fashion industry is big and complex. Like in any other line of work, you can meet nasty, superficial people. But you can also get to know (and I have been very lucky in that way) lovely, creative, educated people. Whenever I work with people I can learn from I feel happy.
4. What are some blog sites that you frequent?
The blogosphere is so cool; I love finding new, exciting and innovative blogs. Right now I'm really into A Daisy Chain Dream, Daisychain has the loveliest baking recipes; I love the pictures from Swedish photographer, Emma Arvida. Jak & Jil is the reference for chic streetstyle. Tavi makes me laugh so much with Style Rookie; and Denise Grayson, from The Swelle Life, is a really talented writer.
5. You work for many great international publications like Artificial Magazine, Wound Magazine, and Zink Magazine (to name a few). Can you share some pointers for hopeful fashion journalists?
A true passion for fashion is essential, and deep knowledge of culture and the arts in general will be a great help and make a difference. And, of course, your writing technique has to be flawless. Contacts are as important as talent, and getting to be a well-known writer takes a lot of time and work, so it's important to be constant and believe in yourself even at bad times. Apart from that, you have to forget all the classic clichés about fashion; this is an industry where people actually work very hard, glamour is not an everyday reality and money doesn't come to you by magic. Being a fashion journalist is far from being the easiest of jobs, but it can also be incredibly rewarding. For me, it's a pleasure supporting young designers I believe in and helping people define their style.