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The Blog & The Beautiful
February 01, 2013 COMMENT comment
     
The Blog & The Beautiful
By Juhi Baveja
 
 
The unifying factor between women of different statures, professions, and outlooks, is their love for fashion, or so it seems going by the popularity of the fashion blog High Heel Confidential (HHC), run by bloggers Priyanka Prasad and Payal Parija. They initially started out by just deconstructing style statements, but the fashion aficionados found a lot more in common besides their matching initials. "Every time we'd meet, the conversation invariably would start with our private redcarpet fashion distillations. On one of those evenings, we thought of starting a blog and hence High Heel Confidential was born," says Prasad. The blog started in the early 2000s and became an open platform to discuss fashion sightings. It eventually turned big enough to earn them seats at the fashion weeks all over the country.

Based in the US, the Indian 'Trinny and Susannah' had technology at their behest, and connected with celebrities and media houses via Twitter. "We travel back and forth a lot, and have a photographer stationed at these events," says Parija. Their slew of sassy superlatives pushed the era of airbrushing aside, and conferred no special status to big names or designers. They stuck to primary ratings, making it a point to never cross the line between being blogger commentators and posing as fashion critics. And this precise moderation has won them accolades from all over the industry – celebs follow them, stylists vie for mentions, and social-media consumers talk about them endlessly. "We aren't telling you what to or not to wear. All we are doing is giving our personal opinion on a particular look if we like it," the duo pronounces.

Their journey is much entwined with the Indian fashion media. Although their counterparts abroad had moved on to street style and other pursuits, their 'who-wear-what' style of reportage was novel for its time, and helped in transforming the Indian blogosphere. "We started at the cusp of a burgeoning new media and the red-carpet tradition in India," says Prasad. "Today everyone has stylists, and want to look their best. It has been an exciting transition to witness as bloggers," say the girls, both in their late 20s.

Coming in the wake of the rise of Scott Schuman of The Sartorialist and Brian Boy, fashion blogging has now taken over the job of chronicling the runway trends and making fashion predictions. Speaking about bloggers being the new opinion makers, the HHC team says, "They sure are a galvanising force. Without having to wait for a magazine's cyclical publishing schedule, they are a source of fresh content and immediate reactions. Without having to depend on advertising revenue, bloggers also are perhaps a little more fearless. Though you must remember, a blog can never replace a magazine."

Their editorial vision was clear right at the blog's inception. "We set out to create a pure desi blog. Our focus is only on the Indian fashion scene.

There are way too many sites catering to the international scene already," they say. There is a certain curiosity about the duo due to the paucity of details about both of them. Their own lives are conspicuously shielded from their digital imprint, but their interactive posts have received positive responses In a way, the under-the-radar bloggers are sheltered from both the accolades and the brickbats. "We made a personal choice to separate ourselves from the blog. We aren't here to make some room in the spotlight for ourselves," says the politically correct twosome.

Their advice to the budding bloggers and photographers is to maintain clarity in the content, and keep it in tandem with the initial vision. Being regular and consistent in the key. "Be religious about updating content periodically – there needs to be a pattern and it needs to be consistent," say the bloggers who have updated their website every day for the past five years.

Listed under a new tab on their website, their future plans entail diversifying ahead. "The P&P project is a work in progress – it's mostly what either of us wants to say that is different from the celebrity or mainstream fashion," shares Parija.

Favourite blogs
Fashionista, Garance Dore, The Man Repeller

Fashionable fratpack
Sonam Kapoor, Kalyani Chawla, Prerna Goel, Neha Dhupia

Upcoming fashionistas
Sameera Reddy and Kajol

Favourite Designers
Rohit Bal, Sabyasachi and Anamika Khanna

Trends passe
Bodycon, colour blocking, Anarkali suits

Advice for celebs
Every woman should familiarise herself with what works for her body

Fashion faux-pas
Transparent bra straps

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