Helen Macdonald and Kimberley Grahame met somewhere you’d least expect two fashionistas would – Angus, near Dundee, Scotland. Since joining forces and beginning Wardrobe Conversations three years ago, they’ve racked up an impressive following, with over 1000 followers on Twitter and nearly 2500 on Instagram. Their site is one of the biggest fashion blogs in Scotland and both women are well known across the nation – in fact I regularly spot Helen’s red bob bobbing around above the rails of vintage fairs in Edinburgh and Glasgow. Wardrobe Conversations promotes a part of the UK’s fashion scene that so often goes ignored and their work has been fantastic for start up designers all across Scotland. I asked them all about how their site began, what they’ve been up to since then, and what we can expect in the future.
Tell me a little about each of you – how did you meet?
Helen’s a Clothing Design graduate who moved into jewellery and accessories, while Kimberley is an English graduate who’s still claiming to be working on her first novel. We actually met in high school in a small town and bonded pretty quickly over our shared hatred of PE. We used to spend our Saturdays shopping or reading fashion magazines in a local cafe if we couldn’t afford to buy anything. Our friendship grew out of those discussions and terrible clothing DIYs and we thought we were going to be a hit styling duo (Trinny and Susannah style). I guess we kind of did, haha.
What made you decide to start your fashion blog together?
We always wanted to work on a fashion project together. Now that we live in different parts of Scotland (Helen is based in Dundee, while Kimberley lives in Edinburgh) we wanted an excuse to get together more regularly and collaborate on something we feel passionate about. This seemed like the ideal way to do something meaningful and three years down the line it seems to be working for us.
What does the Scottish fashion scene have that the rest of the UK’s doesn’t?
Anything creative in Scotland has a buzz of national identity about it- we Scots are pretty proud of being Scottish. There’s a huge pool of talent coming out of all the Universities here and it’s amazing to see so many people being able to do what they love. One of our favourite things is to visit the degree shows each year and pick out our favourites. There is so much talent to be found! Although there’s a lot of tartan and tweed around, there’s also so much more on offer.
Who are some of the best female designers in Scotland right now?
There are loads! We love the amazing design communities in Dundee and Edinburgh. Isolated Heroes, Hayley Scanlan, Kerrie Aldo and Dreamland Clothing are our Dundee favourites. And Edinburgh houses the likes of Rowan Joy and C. Watson. We’re both huge fans of Karen Mabon and all her amazing scarf designs. Between the two of us we have quite an impressive collection!
You recently attended Edinburgh Fashion Week. What were some of the highlights for you?
The best (and most terrifying) part was taking part in a Vintage Style talk with Ema McLeary and Laura Russell. We love all things vintage so it was great to share our tips and tricks with the audience. While Kimberley loves to talk non-stop, Helen’s not a great public speaker so it was pretty nerve wracking but we ended up just having a really fun chat about clothes.
Who are your own personal style icons?
What we love about blogging and reading blogs is that style icons are so much more accessible. We love looking to other bloggers for inspiration, the more colourful the better.
What do you have lined up for Wardrobe Conversations during the rest of 2016?
Lots of collaborations with other creatives- designers, bloggers and photographers. Our 3rd blog birthday is coming up in May and we have something fun planned- last year we dressed up as each other to show how indiviudal style is, which was freaky but fun! We’re also looking forward to sharing more videos in 2016. We’ve experimented a little but we’d love to do some more lookbook videos to go alongside our photos.