Gloria is another fashion blog friend discovered over brunch back in the day. Her blog, UrbaneBloc covers fashion, shopping and gadgets, music and design… you know, things she likes! It is both personal and polished which is an admirable combination in a fashion blog.
She also has a quirky sense of humour and a soft voice which combined is instantly endearing. I asked her a few questions about what she likes and how she blogs.
UrbaneBloc is one of the sites I like to click through from my RSS feed for because the look is so distinctive. How did you arrive at the design for the site, including the gorgeous logo and the style of captions-on-photos?
Thank you so much – it means so much coming from a talented fashion illustrator such as yourself! I think it took a lot of trial and error to get to this point – it’s a mash up of aesthetic styles I like. The captions are always a product of toying with effects, and sometimes beautiful fluke.
For the urbanebloc logo, I knew I wanted something simple and universal (meaning it would appeal to anyone and everyone, and could apply to all aspects of fashion and culture coverage).
The design of the site was just something that evolved over time. Be on the look out for the next version within the next little while!
You teamed up with Chris from Mindzai.com two years in a row to curate The Peek, an exhibition of contemporary local artists and designers. How did the idea for the Peek come about, and how do you and Chris pick the artists for The Peek?
THE PEEK is an event that originally started out as a Mindzai.com event – Chris is one of my best friends so I wanted to contribute. It grew into something much more, a collaborative effort. Instead of showcasing visual and graphic artists, we brought in a fusion of fashion, music, photography, and visual arts. It was a really unique blend of people that we knew from the Toronto community. We reached out to artists that represented the most incredible emerging talent, many of whom we had admired in the past.
Besides fashion UrbaneBloc also covers techy stuff, music and urban culture. So I have to ask, how do you define “urban culture”?
I have a fascination with city-slicker lifestyle – much of which stemmed from the fact that I’m an uptown dweller. I love the culture that’s housed in the epicenter (sorry, geek word) of a city. I love to play downtown – the trendiest, most sophisticated, and downright most interesting folk congregate and create this urban culture. It’s not necessarily the most popular trends that dictate this culture. But that’s my take.
What are your favourite blogs, websites and magazines?
I’m a fan of Toronto fashion blogs. Yulanda from Little Thoughts is great, Final Fashion (love the illustration style), I check in with lookbook.nu sometimes. The standard FashionToast is always great, because you wonder how she gets her photos to look the way she does (and it’s something that’s coming for urbanebloc.com). I love lookbooks that are created by online retailers, like Shopbop.com, RevolveClothing.com, and ModCloth.com (dream job – being a stylist for a plethora of branded beauties). Magazine favourites include the general FASHION Mag, but I definitely dig the more independent ones like MetroPop, and The Block has some nifty looks. Lula is a magazine that’s pretty hard to obtain sometimes – but it’s filled with pages upon pages of beautiful imagery.
What have you learned from the process of developing UrbaneBloc for the past two years?
So much that I don’t know if I could confine it to anything remotely succinct in description! I learned that blogging is a huge undertaking – it’s about being connected online and offline. I learned that you only get out of it as much as you put into it. In this case, I’ve put a lot of my life into it and I’ve seen an abundance of positive response and results – much of which has been a reflection of my fantastic friends and readers.
I’m definitely happy on the path that I’m on. All the other perks are just icing on the delectable cupcake.