Meet the Team: Gemma Cartwright
I've been blogging at Catwalk Queen forever, but for some reason I managed to escape the 'Meet The Team' questionnaire. Since I'm now back blogging with a vengeance after a bit of a break, I thought it was time I finally revealed all...
Name: Gemma Cartwright
Shiny Job: Fashion Editor
Background: I grew up in Worcestershire and moved to London at 18, where I studied fashion journalism at the London College of Fashion. During that time I was blogging and running Catwalk Queen in my spare time. I joined Shiny Media not long after I graduated to launch Shoewawa, and slowly over time there were new launches, more work and the eventual relaunch of CQ as a Shiny site. Now I head up the fashion team and live, sleep and breathe fashion blogging!
How would you define your personal style?
Never knowingly under-dressed! My look is quite young, ostentatious and girly. I'm rarely seen in anything other than dresses (I have about 100) and my favourites are retro inspired or vintage. I have a tendency to dress like I'm wearing a costume. My two fail-safe looks are 40s bombshell (tea dress, seamed stockings, heels and set hair) and 60s schoolgirl (shift dress, Alice band, black tights and flat boots with loads of black eyeliner). I only own jeans because I love tees with geeky prints or slogans on them...which I generally only wear on the weekend. I also love impractical shoes, retro specs and hats / fascinators.
Where do you shop?
I've recently got back into eBay in a big way. Hunting out decent vintage on there is a nightmare, but I love the thrill of finding that one perfect thing (I just won a handmade floral dress from the 50s in my exact size). On the high street, I like H&M, Oasis and New Look (for shoes). I have a lot from Primark but I'm trying to wean myself off it. I also consider M&S my dirty little secret. They do an amazing line in jersey dresses.
Who are your favourite designers?
Because they make clothes I'd actually wear: Matthew Williamson, Anna Sui, Diane Von Furstenberg, Erin Fetherston and Betsey Johnson.
Because they are cooler than I will ever be: Luella Bartley, Giles Deacon, Christopher Bailey, Marc Jacobs, Phillip Lim.
And because they are creative geniuses: John Galliano, Thierry Mugler, Hubert de Givenchy, Coco Chanel, Cristobal Balenciaga and Madeleine Vionnet.
Who are your style icons?
I wish I was Zooey Deschanel. When I saw her in the same blue H&M dress that I own, I got very over-excited that we'd both spotted the same bargain. I've also got a highly predictable Marilyn Monroe obsession and love watching old movies for inspiration. I am a bit of a caricature of myself, really!
What are your pet fashion hates?
Forced 'quirkiness' - that Lucky Magazine thing of putting together two items that really don't go, just to 'mix it up'. Sometimes it works (particularly on young student hipsters) but 90% of the time it screams 'trying too hard'. I also hate Crocs, embroidered denim and exposed midriffs.
What five items of clothing / accessories couldn't you live without?
My black Stella for H&M tuxedo jacket (I turn up the sleeves, Miami Vice style) a long-sleeved green dot patterned mini dress (also from H&M) that I've worn continuously for almost three years now, a really good black belt, a killer LBD (mine is from Oasis and looks like it's come from the Mad Men costume department) and some gorgeous indulgent designer heels (Marc Jacobs from eBay - the only way I can afford them).
What magazines / websites / newspapers do you read?
I read dozens of fashion blogs and websites daily so I won't list them all. I subscribe to Elle, In Style and Allure and read the rest (Vogue, Grazia, Drapers Record etc) at work. Newspaper wise I get The Sunday Times purely for the Style supplement, and read at least some of The Guardian website every day. On the important London debate of The London Paper vs London Lite, I'm firmly in the former's camp.
Share your big style secret with us!
Trust your instincts. And your mother. And learn to sew!