When I started writing Poetic & Chic, one of the very first blogs that I followed avidly was SFGirlbyBay. Five years later, it still is! I am pleased as punch to welcome the lovely Victoria Smith to the P&C Questionnaire. A style, photography, and design non-pareil, Victoria is a true tastemaker, and is also just a genuinely kind person (sometimes hard to find these days!) who's always full of fun and inspiration to spare.
Ladies & gentlemen: Victoria Smith...
What is your occupation and how did you arrive at it?
I have a pretty varied background in the design industry, I'm a journalism major with an Advanced Arts degree in Interior Design. After a short stint working in interior design, I moved into advertising (really long story). Over the years, I worked my way up from a receptionist to Director of Creative Services and Art Buying, and then worked as a freelance art buyer producing photo shoots for advertising agencies and designers on accounts such as Condé Nast Publications, including home and shelter magazines Domino, Architectural Digest, and House & Garden.
I started the blog in June 2006, as just a hobby at first. I've always had a love of photography and interior design, as well as writing, and the blog seemed to encompass everything I was passionate about. I initially started the blog as a way to post photographs of my interiors in the hopes of being featured on one of Apartment Therapy's home tours, and fortunately I was selected. Their blog post on my home tour directed traffic to my blog, and one thing lead to another. I did both the blog and my full-time job for two years, and in May 2008, with enough savings and a stable, steady readership, I began getting advertisers on the blog, too, so I took a giant leap of faith and quit my advertising job.
Name three things that inspired you this week.
The work of stylist/photographer Pia Jane Bijkerk; Anna Dorfman at Door Sixteen - her blog is my favorite, because I love her candid, straight from the heart posts; I saw Tina Fey speak at City Arts & Lectures this week - she is very inspiring as a writer. She said "perfect is boring." I like that.
What is your personal style "uniform"?
If I'm blogging at home - it's usually leggings and these vintage French night shirts worn with a soft sweater and socks. I like to be cozy. If I'm going out, it's usually jeans, or black leggings, oxfords and worn with a black tunic and some funky jacket. I have a lot of vintage jackets & coats.
Name one type of clothing, shoes, or accessory that always makes you stop and stare, and explain why.
Hmmm, I always admire someone who can wear a great pair of worn in jeans with a stylish, pretty blouse and heels. I love the simplicity and contrast of that - boyish jeans with a feminine top.
Do you buy vintage? If so, what piece in your collection is your favorite?
I buy a lot of vintage. I have a faux fur leopard coat that is a big favorite of mine.
Do you ever feel like you were born in the wrong time? If so, what era would you like to have lived in and why?
I always feel like I was born at the wrong time. I think I'd have like to been an young adult in the 50-60's - I love the clothes women wore and how stylish and dressed up they got. Like Mad Men. Also, I'm really more of a homebody, and think I actually would have made a pretty amazing housewife. I think it's a respectable and very difficult job, that can be done with great panache and style.
What current trend do you like the most?
I'm not a huge follower of trends. In fashion, trends rarely look good on me. I stick with what I know works for me. Is the handmade/homesteading revolution a trend? If so, I like that a lot. I love the idea of people making their own clothes, preparing preserves, and jams, growing their own fruits & vegetables. See, I'm a housewife trapped in the body of a blogger.
What current trend (in your opinion) cannot disappear fast enough?
Kim Kardashian. Or anyone like her. I'm not sure what it is they do exactly besides being famous.
What film could you watch over and over and still find something inspiring? Why?
Amelié. I love how imaginative it is on so many levels, the cinematography, the characters, the set design - even the photo booth and the traveling gnome. It has great heart. I love everything about it and have watched it probably seen it 6 or 7 times.
If blogging didn't exist, how would you fill your extra time?
I'd go out on my bicycle with my camera every day and photograph the city, and people on the streets. I'd be like Bill Cunningham. Or maybe, I'd move to Europe and travel around living in different cities with my dog Lucy. It's a toss up.