Photo: Marloes Horst by Marc de Groot for Jackie, Sept/Oct 2010
In a blogosphere overrun with self-serving fashionistas ready with their camera and boyfriend-turned-photographers at every style moment, there are few bloggers left whose identities are still shrouded in mystery. Enter, Joanna Gillespie, who’s more interested in documenting the hard work of others in the industry namely, top stylists, photogs and models than her own personal style.
Since Gillespie first started her blog, Fashion Gone Rogue has become a go-to source for top editorials when one just can’t fathom to spend an ounce more of one’s paycheck on yet another hefty international glossy. But while she wasn’t ready to reveal herself in the same vein as a Rumi or Tavi would, the face behind Fashion Gone Rogue did agree to appease our curiosities and answer a few of our questions. We even got her to play favorites… Keep reading to learn more about the top blogger, and of course a few of her Twitter secrets.
So first thing’s first what prompted you to start Fashion Gone Rogue?
It’s kind of an interesting story. Carl from The Fashionisto is my brother and he had been running his site for about a year. He told me that I should start a site since he knew I was interested in fashion photography. I didn’t want to do it at first since it seemed like no one would really take an interest. It started casually with me posting a mix of older and recent editorials and became more developed over time.
Youre one of the few big bloggers these days who doesnt post pictures of themselves (see: Rumi, Jane). Would you ever reveal your identity?
Perhaps. I didn’t start the site with the intention of putting my face out there, but I can see why people would be curious.
And what do you think of bloggers whose focus is on capturing their own personal style verses others’?
I think if someone wants to start a style blog then they should go for it, but I think it’s really a double edged sword. So much of a personal blog’s success depends on how people perceive you. Either people like your style or they don’t. With a site like Fashion Gone Rogue, it’s more objective.
We love all the editorials you choose to feature on Fashion Gone Rogue. How did you get such a trained eye?
I wouldn’t consider myself an expert by any means, but I’ve been following fashion photography since 2005. The fashion part really didn’t interest me until later on, so I tend to look at the overall story rather than just the fashion. I think the best thing to do when starting a site about any topic is to just observe first.
Good advice. Can you tell us a little bit about the process that goes into choosing what you decide to post on the site?
It’s hard to explain, really. I post what I think people will be interested in. I obviously post a lot of mainstream work like Vogue and Elle, but I also like to show other points of view from online magazines and even unpublished work.
Do you have an all-time favorite fashion editorial?
It would be difficult for me to choose my favorite editorial of the month, let alone of all time! Fashion is always evolving and its hard to say, ‘This is my favorite editorial ever.’ The great thing about fashion is that there are always new things coming out.
What about favorite models?
Daria Werbowy, Sasha Pivovarova, Shalom Harlow and Raquel Zimmermann.
Model Raquel Zimmermann shot by Craig McDean for W, December 2007
The West Coast isnt particularly synonymous with the best that fashion has to offer like NYC, but youre based out there nevertheless. What are your thoughts on West Coast style?
I would definitely describe West Coast fashion as casual cool. You have skater and surfer culture, which is an obvious influence out here. Also a more urban vibe. It’s certainly a crazy mix!
Reason for twittering?
It’s a great way to connect with people quickly and spread site news.
Your tweets seem to take more of a marketing approach than a conversational tone. How do you feel about Twitter as a PR tool versus a socializing outlet?
For me, it’s a great way to introduce the site to people who may have never heard about it before. Socially, you connect with just about anybody. I’ll get a tweet from a photographer or stylist, and it’s like, “Wow, I never knew they had a Twitter.”
I have so many favorites, but I’ll narrow down to five: Paolo Roversi, Greg Kadel, Camilla Akrans, Craig McDean and Ellen von Unwerth.
Linda Evangelista shot by Paolo Roversi for Vogue Paris, April 1990.
Anna Jagodzinska shot by Camilla Akrans for Vogue Nippon, 2008.
Camilla is a personal favorite as well! What about stylists?
I’m always intrigued by what Grace Coddington, Emmanuelle Alt and Olivier Rizzo do.
Daria Werbowy shot by Terry Richardson and styled by Emmanuelle Alt for Vogue Paris, 2007
When youre not dabbling in online endeavors, what else would we most likely find you doing?
The site takes a lot of time, but when Im not working on that I like watching random documentaries or films, traveling and hanging out with family.
You have over 7,000 Twitter follows. We can’t help but ask a slightly self-serving question…whats your secret to gaining so many?
Having a large site following is a great way to start. That, plus having updates on what is posted to the site is always a great way to get a lot of followers.
All photos courtesy of Fashion Gone Rogue.