Q&A: 15 MINUTES WITH JULIA REBAUDO OF STYLONYLON
Stylonylon’s Julia Rebaudo talks the perfect bathtub flat lay, her denim obsession and why the business of fashion blogging is no longer all about 19 year-old rich kids…
Julia, why did you start blogging?
‘I started Stylonylon just under three years ago now – I’m a journalist and when I went on maternity leave I wanted a new project to keep me busy. I’d also just got my first proper camera and was getting into photography, so I wanted somewhere to put my pictures. Now I work on the blog four days a week and I love having the flexibility to be my own boss and set my own deadlines whilst looking after my little boy.’
What were your first steps?
‘The first step is going freelance in whatever field you’re in and then just going for it. The response can be immediate and blogging becomes addictive. I can’t even remember what my first post was, but I started doing travel and lifestyle diaries, so it was a bit of a jump into the unknown when I began doing outfit posts, but now that’s a feature that makes my blog what it is.’
What makes your fashion blog different, when there are *squillions* of others out there?
‘I think there are a few great bloggers out there now who speak to women in their 30s and 40s. My friend Erica (Davies, who blogs at The-Edited.com) and I both found when we started blogging that we were reaching a similar audience of women who were around that age, with families and some money to spend. And these women weren’t being spoken to by a lot of the other fashion blogs. So maybe we’re this new breed of blogger who’s a bit more grown up. We’ve had another career before blogging, and we don’t want to dress like 19 year-olds. We want information on where to get a great pair of jeans or that perfect shirt.’
What makes an outfit blog-worthy?
‘For me, it’s the simpler, the better. I’ve found people respond best on Instagram to clean lines and outfits they could achieve for themselves. I’m not a peacock dresser anyway, I’m obsessed with denim. I’ve probably got around 40 pairs of jeans at this point – that sounds like a lot, doesn’t it? My favourite brands are Topshop, ASOS, Uncivilised and MiH and they’re all organised by colour in my wardrobe.’ [Ed’s note: Sounds totally reasonable.]
What’s your top tip for taking a great flat lay photo?
‘I love doing flat lays on a clean white background and have actually got a metre square white board that I style all my stuff on. Some bloggers prefer to arrange them on their bed, or I find the bath is a great place to shoot beauty products if you’ve got good natural light. I always include something living, like flowers or a piece of fruit, too. Because photographing inanimate objects could be boring, it just makes posts feel more… alive!’
How many times a day do you check your Instagram?
‘You mean how often an hour? I’m very addicted, I turned my notifications off a while ago but I still look maybe three times an hour. I have a lot of dialogue with my readers on there and I like to get back quickly to people who’ve commented – it’s always about sharing brands I’ve discovered, or those extra tips on fit.’
You always use an Olympus PEN camera, why is that model your favourite?
‘Firstly it’s the fact that it’s so compact – before I’d been working with a bigger DSLR and obviously as a blogger I take my camera everywhere, so lugging something huge around just wasn’t practical. The other thing is it has brilliant Wifi connectivity, so you can transfer your photo immediately onto your phone. You can also control your camera using your phone as a remote and I do all my outfit posts like this – I put my camera on a tripod, hold my phone and see myself on my phone screen, then trigger the release. Life changing.’
Read Julia’s blog at stylonylon.com