So Haute right now. The Exposed Style City Fashion Blog With The Fashionable Ms Reynolds

Exposed’s sense of fashion comes down fairly heavily on the ‘hobo’ side of ‘hobo chic’…
So we were always going to need a bit of help when it came to talking maxi-skirts and peplums. Enter Claire Reynolds (on a ridiculous pair of heels, natch) to advise us! She’s friendly, smart and knows her Loeffler from her Lacoste. We had a chat to find out more – and tease a few of the features you can look forward to in her new Style City blog for Exposed. Ser-wish!
Exposed: Exposed’s new Fashion Blogger! Knock us down with a feather boa. Actually, tell us how you came to writing about for us…
Claire: Well, I first came to Sheffield to study back in 2008 – although I lived about an hour away so I knew Sheffield well already – and I studied Geography and it was the first time I had MONEY! Well, a little bit anyway …
Exposed: Student grants and loans you mean?
Claire: Yup, so I actually had a disposable income and between that and moving to a new city I realized I could actually find a personal style, which was quite exciting.
Exposed: Was there an element of ‘You look different!’ When you went home?
Claire: There was a bit of that – like ‘God, you’re not just sat in a t-shirt anymore’…! Now I’m the ‘fashion’ person in my family, which I find quite strange. My aunt’s always asking me questions about what to wear!
Exposed: Was there a particular label or item in particular that set you on your way?
Claire: There’s always something to aspire to. But for me it wasn’t about the thing I want to buy – it was about the person I’d want to emulate. I’m obsessed with female fronted bands, so I looked at people like Alison Mosshart out of The Kills and Emily [Haines] from Metric, who were so cool and I was like ‘I want to look like that!’ You’ve gotta make it your own, but it still makes you inspired.

Exposed: Absolutely. So how did your writing and blogging start?
Claire: Well, when uni started I just started a blog documenting everything. It started off being a bit of a wish-list [laughs] – with bits on what I liked that month, what I was doing at uni, what I was saving my pennies for – and it just developed from that. I think if you get involved with the blogging community and reading blogs so much, it becomes a two way relationship where you get inspired by others as much as they do by you.
Exposed: Is there much competition between bloggers for The New Thing?
Claire: You find that bloggers pick up on trends faster than magazines do. Without a doubt. Take leather pleated skirts, they were in last year, and they’ve come back this year, but no one can remember them from a year ago, and you’re like ‘I remember this!’ Only bloggers picked up on it. It’s weird.
Exposed: You operate like a magazine in some ways. You’ve got your deadlines and have to foresee what’s going to happen, rather than what’s happening at the minute. How do you find that?
Claire: The thing is, the Internet’s so immediate you can get up in the night with an idea and have a post written and uploaded a few hours later!  Trends then get reported on other blogs, so it’s a great platform for independent labels to get attention. For example, Champagne Diamond in Grimsby do old fashioned granny-style cat print on skirts, which is really simple idea, with one woman making them all but she’s been sold out for months, all because four bloggers have all had the same skirt.

Exposed: Have you had a post that has just sparked off and made waves, after suddenly coming up with an idea? The perfect blog post, if you will?
Claire: Yeah, the one I still get hits on, even after two years, is about when I decided one morning to dye my hair. I literally went to the shop, bought some blonde dye, did the ends peroxide, created a post about it. If you search ‘dip dye hair’ in Google, I’m in the top searches.
Exposed: So what made that post explode the way it did?
Claire: Because it was right at the point where dip dye hair was becoming a huge thing and loads of people were Googling how to do it. So I showed people how to do it – you don’t need to go to a hairdresser, you can dip dye at home – it was like the student guide of dip dye hair [laughs].
Exposed: So what have you got planned for the Exposed fashion blog?
Claire: It’s going to be focussed on Sheffield, first and foremost. It’s a city I love and I want to be here as much as I possibly can. Also, big fashion cities like London and Manchester get loads of attention, and I think Sheffield hasn’t been left behind – it’s got a lot to offer in terms of creativity, style, brands, designers and up-and-coming entrepreneurs.  I think people in Sheffield are really open to new ideas and are really supportive of each other. Style City’s a great platform to show that off.
Exposed: How would you characterise the style of Sheffield?
Claire: Well as a big student city there’s the usual student fashion with people coming from all over the country, but mainly Sheffield’s style is influenced by its love of music. I worked on Division Street for two years, where a lot of the independent shops are, near where the music venues are and where the creatives live. Division Street has a vintage twist, but it’s also more punk than the whimsical idea of British vintage. It’s not just paisley bikes and 1940s hairdos. It’s a little more tattooed.
Exposed: Bands that spring to mind when I think of Sheffield style might be The Crookes or Dead Sons, or possibly Wet Nuns…
Claire: I always think of Kate Jackson from The Long Blondes, who were my favourite band, I’m still devastated they split up. She used to work in Freshmans behind the counter, so I feel she’s an inspiration not only as a musician, but style-wise too really.
Claire's Style City blog starts on the Exposed website later this week. Follow Claire on Twitter at Jazzpad.

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