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Van Chic


Ten years ago fashion was an elusive world, glimpsed by the masses only through the lens of Vogue and other undisputed fashion bibles. Anna Wintour, editor of American Vogue, sat at a remote desk, in a remote New York City building, and dictated seasonal trends to the world. However, with the growth of blogging, we are now seeing regular fashionistas talking about fashion in an accessible way, and highlighting the choices of everyday people who are wearing clothes from everyday stores.

According to Elim Chu, the blogger behind The Style Seen, “You don’t have to be an editor at Vogue to have an opinion on where fashion is going.”

Elim Chu’s World

Chu was born in Regina and moved to Vancouver with her family at the age of three. She has been blogging for about three years and has developed an impressive following. She explains that while there are some bloggers who use their blogs as a business, for her it’s a creative outlet. “It’s totally something I do because I love it.”

Trench coat, Forever 21; Sheer tank, American Apparel; Coloured demin pants, J Brand; Leather pumps, ALDO.

Chu carries a camera in her purse so that she’s always ready to snap a photo if she sees an outfit she likes. After being questioned by a friend about what she was doing with all of the photos cluttering up her hard drive, she decided to start a blog. The Style Seen was born.
The blog is driven by Chu’s photos. She has always been inspired by the work of Scott Schuman, blogger behind The Sartorialist. His blog is heavily based on photography.

Chu explains, “When he [Schuman] takes a photo, there’s intention behind the photo. There is an element of what he sees, and what he wants you to see.” The Style Seen is similar in that it gives Chu the opportunity to guide her reader’s eyes through the lens of a camera.

The tone of the blog is very much Chu’s own. Brittany Law, Editor at Style Republic Magazine, agrees: “[The Style Seen] is very fun, sassy. The sky is the limit when it comes to fashion on [Chu’s] blog. I feel like I’m always discovering something new with The Style Seen.”

Chu Makes Fashion Accessible

Part of what makes The Style Seen such a goldmine for her readers is the accessibility of the fashion Chu features. She highlights local shops, making it easy for Vancouverites to stay on trend. In the past, fashion has focused on labels such as Marc Jacobs, Zac Posen, and Chanel. For the average Joe or Josephine, these brands are out of the question because of their sky-high prices.
It is refreshing to read about someone who styles herself in great finds from Zara, Joe Fresh, and H&M, all of which can be found in downtown Vancouver. The Style Seen also highlights neighbourhood boutiques such as The Board of Trade in Chinatown and The Barefoot Contessa, which has two locations on Main St. and Commercial Dr.

Chu says that bloggers are definitely having an impact on the fashion world. Blogs are showing that fashion is accessible to anyone who is interested. It’s nice to see outfits on the streets of Vancouver that are echoed in the blogosphere and that can be replicated without blowing the bank.

2012 Pacific Rim Cover, "Remembering Chinatown." Image of man standing next to bicycle in Chinatown.

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Issue 2012

Then and Now

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