I meet Susie on a Saturday at her apartment in North London. The building is a cool block of cement with a metal staircase and a communal wooden deck. The morning sun is gleaming and fills the living room with a warm glow. Susie’s boyfriend Steve is perched on the sofa with his computer. Every nook and cranny of the two-room apartment is stuffed with little knick-knacks: shoes, frames, cups, magazines, toys, and just, things. Secretly I am wondering how I’d organize the place, labeling, boxing and alphabetizing everything – I’m a hopelessly OCD – but in more ways than one this is a cozy, happy mess and I feel grateful. All that’s missing is a fuzzy cat rolled up in a ball somewhere. But I digress.
Susie’s juggling outfits like a trained acrobat. Her wardrobe has been shot a million times but she confesses it’s still a strange vanity preening over her clothes with strangers. I am in fact a little bit of a stranger. Even though Susie and I run the same circuit in Paris, somehow we never ‘officially’ met before today. Two weeks ago we bumped into each other on the metro at the Celine venue, and even co-hosted a party later but we barely said hello. Heck I didn’t even know she had this cute British accent! So we make up for it plenty today, cackling like hens, moving and climbing up furniture, cheerfully hopping around and swapping vintage shopping stories. I find out she uses the word ‘Brilliant’ a lot, is a Marmite fiend, loathes the color brown and would never be caught wearing a G-string because “they’re just really, really uncomfortable.”
Susie’s dress sense definitely does her name justice. She is bubbly, or “eclectic”, the lazy word she uses to describe her style. I love how she mixes prints and colors and favors “contrasts in outfits” though recently she has been seen making monochrome appearances, like that apricot and peach combination. She says the weather inspires her in the morning, which makes me think she must have an exceptionally sunny mind. I can’t imagine living in London and getting dressed for grey skies and fog every day. (Yes, this clear blue Saturday is a total, and welcome surprise! The sun always makes for a better picture; for a better everything actually, in my world!) So it must be the movies she watches. “I’m really into Never Let Me Go-esque rustic dressing at the moment. Anything that looks like it might have come from an Evelyn Waugh described party is also floating my boat,” she confirms.
After dress-up boot camp at Casa Bubble, we take the Underground to Alfie’s Antiques Market where Leslie, the owner of Tin Tin Collectables welcomes us with open arms and a particularly adorable Scottish accent. I don’t think Leslie ever anticipated the effect a little blog post about one of his garments back in October could possibly have had, if he knew what a blog was at all at the time… That is until Susie posted a picture of herself, wearing the 1930’s vintage pyjamas she had just purchased from him on her wildly successful blog, Style Bubble. “My phone was ringing off the hook,” exclaims Leslie with an astonished look on his face. “People called me from all over the country and beyond asking me for those pyjamas! “Is that the only color you have?” asked one. “Do you have them in a size XL” asked another,” he laughs. “I should’ve put them through to the Silly Questions Department!” He’s joking of course.
Stories like Leslie’s are becoming more and more common. Bloggers have acquired powerful, influential positions in any field they assume expertise. The perks, opportunities and rewards are phenomenal. And Susie is one of the few girls who have been able to make a lucrative, and above all, exciting full-time job out of it. “The list of material benefits could go on, but the best thing is opportunity in general, meeting people you thought you’d never meet, and becoming great friends, and doing things you never thought you’d do.” When her personal blog got picked up by Dazed & Confused, she worked there for two years, and just recently went freelance again. “Sleeping in until 11 am and then waking up wondering whether breakfast or lunch is appropriate?” she jests approvingly, debating her new found freedom.
Susie falls in love with a peach colored tabard and a jade-green silk robe at Tin Tin’s. She’s in her cocktail pyjama phase at the moment. “I love the idea of night wear as outerwear,” she says. Even though she’s already set up in the make-shift changing room, she doesn’t try on any of the things she likes, because she’s already figured out how to incorporate them in her wardrobe. And with so many eyes on her as a blogger, she feels a certain responsibility to find interesting, quality pieces. “I don’t really know what necessarily makes outfits ‘stylish’ or ‘inspiring’ because I don’t really dress conventionally enough to suit either adjective. I guess the best I can do is just dress in a way that makes me happy.” Leslie gives her a lavish discount and so we both have ‘Something Old, Something New’ to blog about.