Illustration by Ayalah Hutchins.
In her excellent blog, Final Fashion, Danielle Meder shows that there is nothing contradictory about being a straight-talking artist who loves fashion. She has a clear eye, a unique voice and—as evidenced by her lovely illustrations—a handy way with a pen. Recently, Danielle answered The Style Notebook’s weekly “Talk to Me” questionnaire.
What was the first fashion blog you started reading regularly?
“I believe it was Manolo’s Shoe Blog in 2005. He (?) was really the first big fashion blogger that I remember. He’s still around, and with much the same layout too.”
What are your favourite blogs now?
“There are so many that I tend to drift through blogs sort of aimlessly now, finding them through Twitter or Google searches, letting their posts pile up in my RSS reader. Many of the blogs I consider my favourites had their glory days a long time ago, much like saying that New York was my favourite city 40 years ago.
I got rid of my sidebar a year or two ago to reflect the new way that I tend to harvest content and friends in blogland. It’s less clubby and political that way. I replaced it with widgets that show my del.ici.ous links, something that I hope rewards current, compelling content as well as randomly unearthed old-but-good stuff, rather than a particular blog title.”
How did you decide you wanted to start your own blog? And how did you come up with the name?
“I tend to find rather esoteric angles of fashion so fascinating—there is a temptation to rave and rant about them to my friends and loved ones, who frankly, could care less. Even in fashion school, I found I was the odd one out when it came to investigating fashion history errata.
So in my final year of fashion school, I directed those weird impulses towards the blog in the hope that I could become a normal human being in real life. (This has never totally worked.) The name ‘Final Fashion’ was also the name of my grad collection at school. It’s the sort of pretentious contradiction that delights me for no good reason, but it also expressed a sort of unrealized truth about myself—that my future wasn’t going to be as a fashion designer. Thus, the old subtitle I used to use: ‘the last collection.’”
Which fashion illustrators do you most admire?
“The greats: Kenneth Paul Block, Joe Eula, Antonio Lopez, René Gruau, David Downton, Gladys Perint Palmer. Any fashion illustrator who can make a living doing it deserves heaps of admiration.”
Do you think of yourself as an illustrator first, fashion blogger second?
“Yeah, usually fashion-illustrator who-blogs. Sometimes in conversation I’ll just describe myself as a bohemian or a dilettante. I think because I have no life-work separation, I sometimes try to avoid definite categorization.”
What is the best part of your job? The worst?
“The best part: getting to do things I enjoy doing almost all the time. The worst part: being 100 percent responsible for my own successes and mistakes, and facing the unknown on a regular basis without guidance.”
Check back tomorrow for part II, in which Danielle talks about what inspires her, her favourite fashion memory and more.
Below, an illustration for Yves Saint Laurent by Kenneth Paul Block.
Below, an illustration by Joe Eula.