Crushing on Jessica Bialkowski

Scrolling through 21 year old Jessica Bialkowski’s blog (or looking at her flickr, for that matter) is like entering a dream world where everything is light and sunny, sparkly and sprinkled with a sort of ethereal cuteness. What stands out for me is her photography. Though her site is more personal diary than self-proclaimed “fashion blog,” there is still an emphasis on fashion and clothing. In Jessica’s photos, she captures clothing on its own, out of context, as well as in complete outfits she wears day-to-day.

What did you dress like in elementary school and how has your wardrobe changed since then?
I’m pretty sure back in primary school I just wore jeans (I think flares were cool back then, right?) and plain tops and that kind of thing. I don’t even really remember it that much because fashion wasn’t a huge focus for me, but obviously I have changed since then! For a large part of my teenage years I pretty much exclusively wore black jeans and band t-shirts, but since then my style has evolved to incorporate a lot of different things that I’m interested in (though I still wear band t-shirts occasionally) and I think it’s still changing and evolving now.

You seem to have a liking for bows, lace, and other little details in clothing now.
I think I always tend to gravitate towards clothing with a little extra detail, or if I’m wearing something plain I will add accessories to spice it up. I really feel like the details are what make or break the outfit and it’s where someone’s personal style really comes through. Floral dresses are a dime a dozen, but if it’s got a pretty lace collar or you match a cute belt and shoes with it, then you’ve created a look instead of just wearing a dress, y’know? Small details here and there make a big difference to an outfit and the overall impression that it gives people, so I always try to include a little something special whenever I get dressed.

What do you think contributes to shaping your style?
I think everything contributes to it. You can find inspiration anywhere – online, in the street, in the media, through music, books, or movies. I think generally my style is influenced by all of these things and by whatever happens to cross my path, but at the end of the day it’s my personal taste that brings individual elements together, and I am the one who shapes what I see into something that truly represents who I am.

We’re so used to seeing bloggers who only write about their outfits and clothing, and it can remove their personal styles from the contexts of their lives. How did you decide to incorporate a personal diary with a style blog?
For me it was more of a question of incorporating fashion into my personal journal because I have always used LiveJournal, so it was more about writing before it was about fashion. Even now I think my journal is still more life-orientated than fashion, but since the way I look and present myself is an important and fun part of my life, naturally it has become more prominent in my journal. At the moment I’m only working part time, but the industry that I want to get into career-wise (the management side of the music industry) tends to be pretty open-minded when it comes to style, so I don’t feel like that would hinder me too much.

You love op-shops (or thrift stores) and buy a lot of second-hand things. What do you like about buying used and vintage items?
There are several things I love about buying second hand items compared to new. Firstly, it’s the thrill of the hunt. You can walk into any chain shop and know exactly what you’re going to see, but when you go to an op-shop you can find just about anything – clothes, shoes, books, records, jewellery, perfume bottles, cute little ornaments, anything. It’s always a surprise and sometimes you walk away empty handed, but sometimes you find a real gem and to me that is much more rewarding than going to your local shopping centre. Secondly, I love that whatever you find is more or less going to be unique. There is probably more than one of it in existence, but chances are you will be the only person you know who has it and you can show your sense of style by picking out something that’s different to what everyone else is wearing. I also love that especially with the older items you find, there is a sense of history behind them and you never know what they have seen in their lifetimes. Op-shopping is also one of the only ways you can track down vintage fashion, even if most of it has to be hemmed! I also love the idea of recyling clothing instead of just buying new ones and throwing everything away – that’s quite important to me given the state of the environment and the impact that factories and large-scale manufacturing have on it. And of course, I love that op-shops are so much cheaper than regular shops. This is the first year of my life that I haven’t been a student, so money has always been tight with me and it goes a lot further when you’re spending it in op-shops!

Jessica’s Top Ten Style Influences (in no particular order)
1. Taylor Momsen: I’m talking about her current style here; there are certain outfits where I think she’s gone wrong, but on the whole I really love her look and how strong it is for someone so young.
2. Carrie: She seems like a really sweet girl and we have a lot of things in common, particularly when it comes to our taste in fashion.
3. Alexa Chung: A cliche response, maybe, but nonetheless justifed.
4. Alix: She is always so elegant and sophisticated.
5. Louise: Very sweet and girly but often with a bit of a dark twist that I love.
6. Blair Waldorf: Again, cliche, but utterly adorable.
7. The TV show Skins: Particularly Effy, Cassie (though there was always something a little off about her), and Emily.
8. The movie Grease: Ever since I was little I have loved the clothing in this movie, and whenever we went to the video shop I always wanted to re-rent it and watch it over and over. Not only do I love the girls’ clothing, but Danny Zuko is a BABE and I’m still in the process of convincing my boyfriend to try greaser hair.
9. Classic film stars who reflected the style of their time, i.e. Audrey Hepburn, Brigitte Bardot, Marilyn Monroe, Anna Karina, etc. I’ve grouped them together because I can’t pick a specific one.
10. Vintage Pin-ups: I just love the femininity of seamed stockings and garter belts.

- Stephanie Fereiro

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