Leah of the blog Magic Mirror on the Purple Wall and I became friends my Freshman year at Laconia High School. Leah was a Sophomore in 2009 and we were enrolled in two classes together that year; a yearbook class, as well as an art course called Creativity and Design. It didn’t take long for Leah and I to recognize that we had a lot in common! We loved crafting and DIY, plaid, and more obvious, we loved all things 80’s. Michael Jackson, The Outsiders, hair bands… all of it. I don’t want to speak for the both of us, but I can speak for myself when I say that I believe that our connection and our commonalities really fueled our creativity in those classes that year, and most everything that I produced art-wise for projects landed in the realm of our common interests. It was incredible, and I still have most of those projects to this day!
As soon as Leah started posting about her blog on Facebook over a year ago, I was immediately hooked. It was another thing that we had in common. Blogging. I was excited to subscribe and get her emails almost daily to see what she was wearing or what her wardrobe was like for each of the seasons. Leah inspires me in many ways, but especially in the way she commits to her craft, and produces such amazing and consistent posts! I can feel her passion for the work that she does, always, and that is tremendously important.
It had been eight years since Leah and I had seen each other or talked at all outside of some comments on Facebook, but in August, I had the privilege of getting on a Skype call with her. We got to catch up and chat for the first time in forever, and in that time I asked if I could really take the time to pick her brain and get to know her as not just a friend, but a blogger and a member of the fashion community! Check out the interview below!
A: When did you start the blog and how often do you post for those who might be interested in subscribing?
L: I started the blog I work off of now, in November of 2017, right after Halloween. I had started another blog prior and wasn’t able to manage it as well as I would have liked. I knew this time around I wanted to be posting more frequently, and so I made sure that I had a schedule in place from the beginning. I wanted to treat the blog as part of my career and make it a priority. A big part of starting it though, was that it was an outlet for me; I was able to dive into all things fashion, beauty and other things I enjoyed. I had always wondered what it would be like for the blog to be a full-time gig for me, and so each time I post, my focus is to get more creative and push myself outside of my comfort zone. The more out there you are, and the more you experiment, the better you are and the more you get from it all.
A: How did you go about designing your website/blog, and what did you want the design to tell people about you as a person?
L: I use Blogger as a platform, and they have a lot of great templates to choose from, which is fun to play around with in general. I hadn’t always had it narrowed down to exactly what I wanted, but I knew from the beginning that I wanted it to be clean, simple and classic, with pops of color. I like to relate it to how I view my own style; classic but with a twist. Visually cohesive.
A: Where do you find your inspiration for all things fashion, beauty, etc.?
L: As far as blog posts go, I have followed a lot of really great bloggers since probably my Freshman year of High School. The content they create and how they push themselves to showcase that new bag or those new shoes in various different ways is always incredible to follow. I love the wide range and the elements they put together after being inspired by trips they’ve taken, characters they love etc. I work similarly.
My outfit inspiration nowadays comes mostly from the music that I listen to and the members of said bands. Movies and certain actors are visually what I associate with as well. In my opinion, there is something for everyone in the 1980’s. Even shoulder pads… if you can rock that Herman Munster vibe, more the power to you!
A: When did you know that fashion wasn’t just getting dressed every day, but was actually a hobby of yours?
L: You know, I don’t feel 26 at all. But I would say that it has always been a love of mine for as long as I can remember. I think the first time it really “clicked” for me though, was in the fifth grade. I remember styling a floral print dress with buttons all down the front as a duster jacket instead of an actual dress. I felt total confidence walking down the halls that day! It was eighth grade into high school, you know, where everyone starts forming that path of what they like and they try to figure out who they are, when I really remember reading articles in Teen Vogue. I would check their website religiously every day to read all about young people in the fashion industry. Those were lightbulb moments for me. I’d think…I’m decent enough, maybe I could do this.
A: As I’ll mention to those reading, I have known you since you were a Sophomore in High School. How has your style evolved since then?
L: I am laughing as you ask me this because I just had this conversation with my Mom and my Sister, and I admit that it has definitely changed! I don’t recall there being a specific moment in which it was transformed, especially because the things I’m interested in have been consistent, but I was 16 years old when I fell in love with brat pack movies, 80’s hairbands like Motely Crue and Guns ‘N’ Roses, and to this day I remain mesmerized by those styles as well as styles from the 50’s or 60’s; think… Audrey Hepburn and Jackie O.
Time Out: Though culturally, the 50’s and 80’s couldn’t seem to be any more different, Leah made me realize how many of the patterns, prints, color schemes and even silhouettes are the same across the boards in those time periods of history.
Coming into my own, I realized just how much I could customize my own look, and becoming a nail technician after high school left me understanding that the beauty community as a whole are advocates for all generations to live positively in the way they want to dress and express themselves in wearing make up etc. They encourage experimenting in those ways.
A: How has your family played a role in your career and your style?
L: My Mom has always told me to stay true to me, and my parents have both done everything they could for my sister and I. I am grateful that I had an older sister growing up and had her as a role model, because when I got to middle school and high school, instead of letting bullying get my down, I wore the things I liked and didn’t care what people said because it made me happy. If they don’t like it, they can buzz off essentially! Soon I found that the people that used to rag on me, started complimenting me instead, and commended me for being an individual. I remember seeing Kelly Clarkson's music video for Behind these Hazel Eyes, and I immediately wanted to try wearing make up like that! My Mom and Dad were totally fine with me trying the look, and would never bat an eye at my creative attempts. Nothing I did was a surprise to them!
Though my sister is a role model of mine, our styles could no be any more different. However, I completely respect that she did go through those goth and punk phases, where piercings and tattoos etc. were all for shock value! My sister really paved the way for me I think.
A: We talked about inspiration, but what eras are your favorite to replicate fashion-wise?
L: 80’s...100%, but for the longest time the 50’s, aka Audrey Hepburn in a year! The 60’s really isn’t my jam, but the 90’s are definitely coming back, and being a child of the nineties myself, neon, the softer pastels etc. all combined together... they look familiar and they make your heart happy. It’s comforting.
A: Were you ever into Jelly Sandals, and would you wear a pair today?
L: I do remember wearing blue and sparkly ballet flat style ones as a young kid, and as far as right now... never say never; I might find something that a designer comes out with that I’m totally on board with in that department. It could happen!
A: If you could collaborate with anyone on a photo shoot, or even a shopping trip, who would it be?
L: For a photo shoot... Alexander McQueen. He is by far one of the most brilliant designers that has ever lived, and just to see his creative mind at work would be like mind blowing.
To shop with, I’m going Freddie Mercury. That would be like the craziest most incredible experience, and it would be for the same reason...what he would gravitate towards, etc. Amazing! Queen was what my Dad listened to, and the We Will Rock You vinyl was the first exposure to that period I had. He along with Bowie, Elton John... they all had that screw you to social norms attitude, and I think thats really cool because I have had that attitude as well. In most instances Men’s clothes are better than Lady’s; just because you're a guy or a girl, doesn’t mean you cant shop in that section.
A: Who’s closet would you want to have for a day?
L: Kelly Osbourne! l LOVE her, and I think I resonate with her style a lot.
A: Which season is your favorite to shop for/which one takes up most space in your closet?
L: Fall definitely. I am obsessed. It's the season that makes me the most happy, and the colors are comforting and reminds me of back to school; I always loved back to school shopping! It takes up most of my wardrobe as well I would have to say. My staples are a good flannel, an oversized sweater, or I love a good blazer. Oh! And leather jackets are in there as well. I get very excited about those.
I do like to pack stuff away and organize with the idea of a sort of “capsule” wardrobe in mind. I separate my seasons because I know I won't gravitate toward some things at one time of year over the other. Reds for example, I usually leave for the holidays, and if I left them out, they would just take up space. Plus, hiding away some of your stuff just feels like a present that you have for yourself when you get to go through them again! There are certain items that I have had for years, that don’t get boring that way; they are like a brand new item again and you’ve changed a bit since then as well so you can sometimes have more fun with those pieces!
A: Do you have anything fashion-wise that you avoid or that is off limits?
L: For me personally I don’t care for some colors; 70s or 60s warmer kitchen colors usually aren’t for me and are not what I gravitate towards because I don't think they are flattering on me. Patterns that I don’t like? Stripes or polka dots; they don’t make me happy (though there are exceptions to every rule). I am also not big on the longer dresses or strapless items because I am bustier and I don’t care for feeling uncomfortable. I would add button down shirts to that category as well. Another main no-no for me is florals, but that also depends. I love them on other people though, and I love and respect others wearing things I wouldn’t because sometimes it is something I would never try, but I might end up reaching for because of seeing it styled by them in a different way!
I hope you all had fun getting to know Leah, and that you all go and subscribe to her blog for new posts in fashion and beauty almost every day! I had so much fun getting to chat with her, and truly think she is doing something incredible and inspiring with her platform! Very grateful for what she brings to the community!