A couple of weeks ago, Courtney from Designer Diva asked me to reply to an interview to help her with her final project in school. I thought it'd be a good idea to repost it here as she asked me a lot of things that some of you asked me before in emails. Take it as a little Mademoiselle Robot FAQ if you want!
*What does public relations mean to you? and How do you think it relates to your job?
MR: To me, PR means putting it out there all the time, networking and schmoozing at any occasion. It is a very hard task, that people often tend not to take very seriously. The thing is, if you decide to start a blog, PR becomes a massive part of your job. To increase a blog's readership, if the content is good, you have to do as much networking as possible. Thankfully, it is mainly online networking which makes things easier to get through to as many people as possible in very little time. Also, if like me you are quite shy & time poor, online PR is a gift from god.
*Describe your personal style. What are your favorite designers?
MR: Haha! This is the question I ask everyone in interviews, I never thought of replying to it myself... Let me see...
My personal style is a bit difficult to describe. I suppose in the day it would be Preppy/Geeky and in the evening probably still geeky, but with added vintage glam. For both, there is a good dose of cartoonchic. Yep, just coined this for you :-)
My favourite designers are Jeremy Scott, Marc Jacobs, Luella, Chloe, Alexander McQueen & Miu Miu. Whenever something catches my eye in a magazine, you can be sure it is by one of these designers. And it has been this way for a long time, unfortunately for my bank account!
*What, in your opinion, is the difference between British style and American style?
MR: I think British style is much less conservative and casual than many other countries' style. American style to me is very preppy, casual and sometimes folk. But this is my vision of it as a European. If you had asked me about the difference between French style and British style, I could have written pages and pages as I am a Parisian living in London.
To try and reply, I think basically British style is not ashamed of anything & is edgy, confident & fun.
*What is your absolute favorite piece of clothing or accessory that
MR: I have two favourite pieces of clothing: my black blazer and my KIND knitted cape. The black blazer I found in a charity/thrift shop for £3 and I wear it all the time. I think it brings instant cool to any outfit. The KIND knitted cape was a gift from my boyfriend when I was 8 months pregnant. It is beautiful and unique and makes me feel amazing when I wear it.
As for accessories, I have sooooo many necklaces & brooches & knick knacks that it is hard to choose... I suppose I'd say my keyboard necklace. I wear it all the time so it is almost a lucky charm for me now.
*How did you become a fashion writer and start your blog?
MR: I didn't really follow the academic path to become a journalist... I have an MA in Film Studies that I did on David Lynch. I always knew I wanted to be a journalist or a writer. When I first started working, when I still lived in Paris, I was a videogames journalist. I was always interested in fashion though, but not massively keen on the fashion press atmosphere, so I never wanted to work for a fashion magazine.
I started my blog on a bit of a whim. I used to keep a livejournal for personal stuff, and one day I felt too old for it and started a blog. I was home with my one month old baby (that was in november 2007) & a lot of time on my hands. I needed to do something that would keep my brain working basically. So I started writing about fashion & pop culture & all things I like. When I started off, I had only about 20 readers every day, so there was no pressure to provide content all the time. Then I started taking it more seriously and investing in it and it became what it is now, with about 1500 daily readers and a lot of pressure on my shoulders! But I am so pleased :-) It is like my second child.
*Why do you think blogging and social media is so important now?
MR: I think at the moment, people crave individuality and a little break from the traditional media's usual suspects. When it comes to fashion, I think that blogging brings a whole new light to the table. You suddenly see people from the street showing interesting and unusual looks, it makes fashion accessible to all. It is so important for everyone to be able to give an opinion on things. It is also a double edged sword, as you will often find that a lot of people are not really articulate enough to keep up, but that's a whole other story...Social media is a wonderful tool to keep in touch with friends, give everyone their own 15 minutes of fame, and most of all express
themselves. I find a lot of inspiration for my fiction writing while looking at people's pages on myspace for example. And flickr is an endless source of amazement.
*I love the magic 8 ball on your site, how did you think of that?
MR: I liked the idea of helping people more directly than by just writing "life improvement" type posts or style tips. So I tried to find a fun way to submit it to my readers. And then I thought of the magic 8 ball... My best friend Julie has a collection of them & so whenever I write the Mademoiselle Robot ball posts, I think of her. It is nice as she is still in Paris and I miss her!
*Describe an ordinary day in your life.
MR: Prepare to be extremely bored! I usually wake up around 9, check my emails & blog subscriptions, reply to everything I need to reply to & save the posts I find interesting to go back to them later. I do a lot of mooching around, playing with my daughter & the cats. Then I spend 15 minutes doing crazy interpretive dancing with her before we have our lunch. It is our daily routine. When she has her post lunch nap, I do some writing. Often, on Monday I will spend 9 hours writing all my posts for the week so I have time for other blog related things & for myself! In the evening, I generally watch films, read or watch my favourite TV shows on the internet (I don't have a TV). Because I work from home, I can often go out with friends in the evening as well, especially as I have a very nice boyfriend who doesn't mind staying at home looking after Mila when I go out. I generally go to sleep really late as for some reason I can never go to sleep.
*What accomplishments are you most proud of and why? (I noticed you asked most people you interview this question!)
MR: Hmmmm. The one I am the most proud of is to have turned my life around at 24 and decided to go live in England. It brought me so many good things: my boyfriend/dreamboat, my baby, my blog, many lovely new friends.
Then obviously I am really proud that my blog became so big, as I did it all on my own and never expected for that to happen.
My baby I hear you say? Well... I don't consider having a baby an accomplishment per se. Of course she is the love of my life, but I have done much harder things than having a baby :-)
*What is your biggest advice for someone about to work in the fashion world?
MR: Wow. Stay yourself, be tough, don't let anything get to you. Working in the fashion industry is like going back to high school as a grown up. There are cliques, there are popular people, they will laugh at you and make you feel stupid. Except that now you are an adult, you know you are amazing. So be strong & stay yourself & don't take any crap.
It is a big old cliché, but that's my advice!
If after this you still have questions... You can email me!