Blogs a la mode

Rock'N'Girl by Stephanie Rousseau, Byglam.fr. Used with permission.

Et hop, mes amies, c’est la rentrée! It’s the time of year when we hunker down, get back to work, and put our flip flops and bathing suits away until next season. It’s not all sad though, because la rentrée also brings cooler weather, crisp days, new fashions, and renewed energy for all of our projects. In that spirit, I wanted to share with you some of my favorite blogs that are sure to provide you with some good fashion tips for fall styles (and all year round) as well as reflections on summer travels, crafts, art and life in general. These are not all the blogs I read, bien sûr que non, but the ones I find myself returning to the most often. As a note, many of these blogs are in French, but they also offer you the option to read in English. Bonne lecture, mes amies!

By Glam  Stephanie is a talented illustrator (she did the drawing that opened this post) and has incredible taste in clothes, shoes and make up. She is perfectly glamorous while understanding that she, and most of her readers, have a budget to respect. Stephanie also documents her travels around Paris, its small streets, shop windows, and sunsets and provides fantastic fashion, design and pop culture commentary.

Cachemire et Soie  Anne-So’s writing reminds of some of the best personal zines I used to read. Lyrical, emotional-yet-spare reflections on travels near and far and some of the quieter moments that make up the fabric of our lives. She takes beautiful photos and a keen eye for detail, plus a great eye for style.

Garance Doré  One of the best known French fashion blogs from a globetrotting photographer and illustrator now living in New York. I love this blog for its street style, inside look at the fashion world, and Garance’s personal reflections.

Dandy Prof  Fashionable life on the tenure track from a newly minted professor negotiating queer sensibilities, sociology and gender studies while wearing a skirt and tie. The Dandy Prof was also my style consultant for many years and prevented me from exiting the apartment looking *too* crazy. I’m really sad she doesn’t live in NYC anymore and I can’t borrow her clothes.

Jesse Anne O Another south Brooklyner who loves thrift stores, vegan cooking and fashion, handmade and vintage clothes. Like me, she shares a riot grrrl past!

Fashion is a Playground  Dreamy photos of a very stylish lady in Parisian and greater-France landscapes, with some travels further afield.

No Good for Me  A fashion mix tape that indulges fashion, beauty, music and pop culture as guilty and necessary pleasures. Also powered by former zinesters!

The Dandy Prof shows off casual academic style

Here are some of my other top blog picks (in no particular order):

Eleonore Bridge

The Cherry Blossom Girl

Deedee

Punky B The Fashion Diary

Play It Like a Girl

Lili Brunette

Slanelle Style

Stop By the Corner

Coco Cerise

Verte Cerise

Kriss

Le Blog de Betty

Fashion for Writers

Money Smart Fashion

What are the blogs you like to look at for fashion and lifestyle inspiration?

Being a blogger having been a zinester wanting to become a writer

Petite Super International
The other week I went to the Brooklyn Bloggers meetup at the Bell House with my friend Laura of the blog Eating the Beats. It was my first time going to an event consciously as a “blogger,” and despite having written on Killerfemme for the past few years I’ve been hesitant to really identify as being a blogger versus simply being a person who has a blog. All told, the Brooklyn Blog meetup was fun. I talked to bloggers who write about New York nachos, tech and gadgets from a girl’s perspective, writers for Broeklyn, and a brave young woman who writes about being broke and navigating New York’s dating scene. It was nice to hear people’s interesting ideas and find out about how they are crafting their blogs. However, I also feel like I’ve come to blogging too late to really get into it without seeing the bold commercialism that is behind so many blogs now. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but blogs are often seen as a means to another end, which is fine, if that’s your goal. While I too would love a book contract and/or a regular byline, I don’t necessarily think my personal blog will be my ticket to my dreams as a writer.

Mostly I feel like I haven’t found my blogging “community” yet. Perhaps it’s because of the vastness of the blogosphere (if we can even call it that anymore), but I don’t feel like I’ve found bloggers who share my ideas, values and aesthetics. In fact, most of the blogs I read are in French. While I thoroughly enjoy those blogs, it’s hard to connect with those writers when I write in a different language, even if I comment on their entries en francais.
Who will win the typing contest?
This made me think back to when I started making my personal zine Induglence in 1998. When I first encountered zines I knew immediately that I would make one myself. The concept of publishing one’s own personal writing made sense to me innately, especially as a teenager, because I knew that I could not expect anyone else to publish my work. Perhaps because I knew exactly the kind of writers I wanted to connect with—I would describe them loosely as young feminists interested in art, queer politics, and music—it was easier for me to immerse myself in the zine community. I felt like over the course of two or so years I was able to build up an audience for my zine and also a network of close friends, penpals and fellow zinesters that I felt I shared something in common with. My connection to and beleif in the power of the zine network extended into helping found the Portland Zine Symposium in 2001. It continues to resonate into my adult life because some of my closest friends (and neighbors) are women I met through zines over 10 years ago.

Perhaps its because I have close friends now that I don’t feel the same urgency to seek out people to connect with through blogs. However, I also feel like I am writing in a vacuum, and some days that makes me wonder if I should even continue to bother with this blog. Keeping a blog (and keeping it up more regularly and diligently) has reminded me about the whole reason I started making zines and keeping a blog to begin with: to write. Being a writer has been my dream ever since I was a little girl and it is something I am determined to make a reality in my thirties. I know it’s harder now than ever to distinguish oneself, one’s voice, one’s ideas, and one’s blog (especially if I don’t have hundreds of dollars and hours to sink into the design and hosting of it), but I also feel like its much easier for me to find opportunities to publish and connect with wider audiences nowadays. For me, I feel like blogging and writing for other web-based publications holds a lot of promise. We’ll see what the future will bring.

Hopefully in the next decade I'll be able to write a better novel than Ida the cat.

Blogged on the Zine Library Blog!

Jenna, my favorite blue haired zine librarian, was recently donated my old zines for the Barnard Zine Library collection. She put up a recipe for vegan chocolate chip cookies which I published in Indulgence #6. Yum! The thing that she didn’t say was that the recipe is from the Canadian label Endearing Records (who are amazingly still around!) mailing email list. I must have received that recipe in 1998? I suppose I’ve made it my own now, but credit where credit is due.