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Coveted Interviews

Inside the Bubble…

Style Bubble is one of those blogs, over time, I become more and more fond of. I initially started reading it last year, since I discovered you can type in any subject and “blog” into Google, and you have a plethora of blog worlds, brimming with information. I began my fashion obsession, not with Vogue magazines and Luis Vuitton Bags, but with actual people who never grew out of playing dress up. Susie Bubble is just one of those women. She not only plays dress up for us, but shares her musings and makes brilliant connections between inspiration and execution. Since March 2006, she’s been posting almost daily, so I guess you can say she’s become part of my life. Here she talks to us about her latest obsessions and just how she develops her wardrobe.

The Coveted: Ok, I have to ask everyone this… what are you obsessing on these days?
Susie Bubble: Looking for GIGANTIC studs that resemble the ones embedded into the roads forming speed bumps to sew onto jackets and tops in a Givenchy AW07-8 manner. Wearing unexpected outfits in situations inspired by Brigitte Lin’s character in Chunking Express (the woman in the blonde wig, sunglasses, Manolos and trench whilst dealing in drug trafficking). Any sort of knitted stockings worn over tights. Trying to figure out what to do with the bags of leather straps and buckles that I bought at the Boudicca warehouse clearance sale (I’m envisioning an elaborate top of some kind). Anne Valerie Hash’s bags that are made of the softest, washed leather that you want to touch your cheeks with. Finding the perfect lucite hexagonal handbag to carry around my keys, a debit card and not much else (I’m finding that downsizing the stuff I lug around CAN be done…exciting stuff!). Scanning in old issues of The Face to keep a digital archive (I collect back issues). Buying mid-calf skirts from charity shops and tightening them so that they are tight pencil-shaped, so much so you have to move your legs in a funny way when you walk (best paired with ankle/mid-calf boots).
TC: I hadn’t really put the pieces together until a few days ago, but there is a distinct Hong Kong influence in the way you dress. Do you maintain that consciously? In what ways does London affect your style?

SB: It’s very odd that you say that my style is Hong Kong influenced as people from Hong Kong say that my style is decidedly UN-Hong Kong. If by Hong Kong influence you mean a ‘Japanese’ street style aesthetic (layered, messy and contrasting) then yes I guess you could say that, but it’s not because something that I consciously think about. I hardly spend enough time there to have those sorts of direct influences filter through to my style! It may be something that was instilled in me since my first taste of fashion experimentation was spawned in Hong Kong and going to Tokyo etc but to be honest, I would say London has a bigger influence on what I wear, both in terms of the composition of my wardrobe (most of my clothes were bought in London) and the designers that I favour being based in London. Of course living in London directly influences me as I procure most of my wardrobe from the shops here. I’m inspired by the lack of judgment in what I wear that is afforded to me by living in London. Sure there is still an element of judgment but in comparison to places like Paris or even New York, I feel like London doesn’t bat that much of an eyelid at what you’re wearing. The variety of shopping experiences in London from markets, naff charity shops to one-off boutiques and high-end department stores also opens up my eyes to new labels constantly which I consciously like the incorporate into my wardrobe.
TC: Can you describe your process developing your wardrobe? i.e. function, influence, intuition, vision….

SB: Let’s say that function comes last as I don’t have restrictions in terms of ‘office attire’ even though I hold a 9-5 job. For instance, I don’t go out shopping to seek that one black pencil skirt I supposedly need or that basic white t-shirt that supposedly everyone must have. Other than that, it’s very difficult to describe a process. My wardrobe has come about through impulses and moments felt on the spot when I saw that item. I can’t remember each exact moment for every item I bought but it might be something like seeing my cousin’s wooden toys and then seeing a Peter Jensen folky embroidered dress and correlating the two which makes me want to buy that dress. There are obvious things I take on board like catwalk collections that floored me, reported trends that I really want to try that will affect what I buy. But along with those considerations, it has to be instant love regardless. Beaded flapper dresses may not be the ‘a la mode’ but if I see one, I’ll want to run my hands over it and try it on and most probably buy it.

TC: I’m dying to know what your favorite piece of clothing is….

SB: Alas, I’m afraid it would be horrible to play favourites with my wardrobe as every piece of clothing serves its purpose and has some amount of affection from me (otherwise it wouldn’t be in my wardrobe…) but I’ll have ‘of the moment’ favourite pieces and right now, it’s surprisingly a very casual white puff-hemmed pinafore from the label Tofu. It’s a good building block piece to layer over or under and put together something very un-casual with it.

TC: From the very beginning, you’ve kept Style Bubble a personal project, declaring you are not an insider, yet, you’ve written for magazines, and fashion blog are quickly gaining influence in their own quirky way… do you still feel like in outsider? Is this something you want to surrender to?

SB: I would still say that even though I’ve dipped my toes into the ‘industry’, I still feel like an outsider. Style Bubble is still very personal and I still blog for the same reason I did 1 year ago; that is to just present ideas, findings and my own fashion journey to people not because I want to inform people and get everyone to like what I like, but just to have it documented in a concrete manner. If offers to write for magazines and all the other opportunities that I have been very lucky to have via Style Bubble suddenly stopped tomorrow, I’d still continue to blog. I’m very tentative about overstepping the boundaries. I’m not a professional fashion journalist nor should I presume that I am one. I’m not familiar with the ins and outs of the fashion industry. I’m at a point where I don’t really have a clue what exactly I want to do or indeed whether I want to work in the fashion industry permanently. I’m quite happy to write freelance and quietly go about my own geeky blogging thing at home and consuming fashion in my geeky way, which is why I still feel like an outsider. Nothing wrong with that though!
TC: Style Bubble is a personal account of the development of your style, and it’s blog that’s influenced a lot of people, and continues to grow. Do you ever ponder what impact this has on the Fashion Industry? How has the personal nature of blogging affected you?

SB: I don’t really see Style Bubble as something that has influenced people and therefore talking about my insignificant blog as something that has impacted the Fashion Industry (see….it’s so important it has capital letters!), is just frankly ludicrous. I’m a girl who works in digital media planning who posts some outfits, chats about designers and shops a lot. That is basically the breakdown. Don’t get me wrong though - when people say they are influenced by Style Bubble, it is very flattering, but I suspect that if more fashionable people from London who dress a lot better than I do also wrote a blog, perhaps they would have that same ‘impact’? I just happen to be geeky/blog-obsessed enough to do it. If anything, and this is related to the second part of your question, blogging has affected me more than it has done for readers. I have learnt to have a thicker skin, to perhaps realise that I do have some redeeming merits and that maybe I’m not the useless lemon I thought I was when I graduated from UCL with a history degree and no clue as to what I was going to do.

Now for an easy question… do you have a favorite emerging designer of the moment?
Who is it?
SB: Oooh…that’s actually a hard question. I get excited by a host of new designers at any given time. I suppose the designer I’m itching to try on is David Bradley, a recent Middlesex graduate who will be stocked at the Two See store in Covent Garden. I love his use of geometric shapes. It’s like tremendously beautiful wearing a mathematical pattern.

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10 comments for “Inside the Bubble…”

  1. hahahah ! everyone was waiting for this interview to come! ^_^

    Posted by Bobble Bee | August 27, 2007, 7:56 am
  2. Susie Bubble (no matter what she says!) is such an inspiration because she’s so fearless and creative with fashion. Sure, there are other people with great style, but I love how Style Bubble gives us a glimpse into the innovative thought that goes behind the amazing outfits. Thanks, Jennine for posting this interview, and thanks to Susie for her amazing work as well:)

    Posted by Kori | August 27, 2007, 9:46 am
  3. Nice interview!

    Posted by WendyB | August 27, 2007, 11:44 am
  4. great job on the interview!

    i have been a fan of her blog since the beginning (and even prior to that, her stylediary and on tfs), so it was interesting and amusing to see someone else pick susie’s mind!

    you’re doing a fantastic job on the blog ever since you’ve kicked into fast gear! the coveted has become a daily destination of mine… :)

    one last little thing…could you please add me back to your blogroll? like some others, i got deleted when you changed your format.

    Posted by dreamecho | August 27, 2007, 2:05 pm
  5. thanks for your lovely comments! ha! patricia, i think you probably saw this coming…

    i too really got so much from this interview, it’s really great to hear the process of others, especially if you admire them.

    Posted by jennine | August 27, 2007, 3:24 pm
  6. she is always sweet and modest, I love that.

    Posted by punky | August 27, 2007, 5:53 pm
  7. Man, she is so cool! I am jealous of her style.

    Posted by Emma | August 27, 2007, 8:34 pm
  8. I wouldn’t copy her style but I love her insight and fantasy. Nice Bubble! :-)

    Posted by Lilybert | August 28, 2007, 2:11 am
  9. Whaaaat. What are the chances, I interviewed her recently for my blog too.. hmm weird. But haven’t actually posted it yet, though I was hoping to this weekend.

    Hmm! Your questions seem a lot more intellectual than mine, ha!

    I did one with Coco of Cocos Tea Party aswell so yeaahh.


    S xx

    Posted by discothequechic | August 29, 2007, 7:21 am
  10. OMG she is too cool. And you are very cool for conducting this interview. It has a very journalistic quality about it. I like.

    Posted by Teresa | August 29, 2007, 9:50 pm

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