Starting her blog pseudonymously in 2007, Londoner Navaz Batliwalla came out from behind her ‘Disneyrollergirl’ persona this year and feels much the better for it. ‘I was anonymous at first because I was working at a magazine,’ she says. ‘But then it was a USP. Last year, I realised I was missing out on stuff – people didn’t know who I was.’ Her blog, last year nominated as one of 40 ‘that really count’ by The Times, has become required reading for fashion insiders – as a stylist, journalist and consultant, Batliwalla is one of them, after all. With posts on everything from the influence of Helmut Lang to detachable collars, and special projects like a collaboration with Man designer Shaun Samson, the site’s biggest strength is its fun, intelligent and informed tone – standing out where other fashion blogs can merely gush. ‘It’s not always what I like but it will be me explaining why I don’t like something,’ she says. ‘That’s what people like about a blog – it’s a personal tone of voice that you tune into.’ This comes into its own during Fashion Week. ‘People love the behind-the-scenes energy of the blog,’ she says. ‘My camera is rubbish but they don’t mind a blurry picture. They like to know you’re really there.’ There’s no doubt, either, that bloggers now have a permanent place at the fashion table – or, indeed, in the front row. ‘The landscape has changed. It’s not, “How’s your funny little blog?” any more.’ Going through old videos on her laptop, she recently found one of Gareth Pugh’s autumn/winter 2006 show featuring hundreds of black balloons. ‘I had forgotten what a great collection that was,’ she says. ‘I remember asking Hamish Bowles [European editor-at-large at US Vogue] to take a picture of me with the balloons. He had to do it three or four times but I got my shot.’
For info, see our guide to London Fashion Week.