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The 20 best fashion blogs

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It's taken a while but fashion has finally woken up to the internet. Online shops such as Asos and Net-a-porter are booming, brands such as Yves Saint Laurent are using short YouTube-friendly films to showcase their designs, and fashion designers are Tweeting like there's no tomorrow.

In the midst of this bold new landscape are the bloggers -- providing commentary at the click of a mouse. Whether they're posting catwalk images live from Paris, drooling over the latest Balenciaga wedges or writing about Lindsay Lohan's dress sense (or lack thereof), they have become an important part of the industry and a voice for a new generation of style aficionados.

"Right now they're at the forefront of fashion news and gossip," says Isaac Lock, the deputy editor of Love, the new magazine from super-stylist Katie Grand. "Pretty much anything new hits the blogs first nowadays."

Indeed, some blogs aren't just breaking news, they're making it. Late last year when the designer Marc Jacobs allegedly stuck his tongue out at the journalist Suzy Menkes on the New York catwalk, it was Cathy Horyn, the fashion critic for the New York Times, who fuelled the scandal with her blog posts on the Moment.

While blogs such as the Moment and Catwalk Queen are fantastic for delivering a daily fashion fix, it's the more personal sites that are receiving most attention.

Bloggers such as the Sartorialist and Style Bubble -- both about the blogger's individual take on fashion from a self-confessed amateur point of view -- have become a sensation.

The Sartorialist was named by Time magazine as one of the most influential forces in design, and Susanna Lau, the creator of Style Bubble, is given a front-row seat at Chanel shows.

So what's the secret to a great fashion blog? As Lau says: "It isn't necessarily about providing information, but having an individual voice. It's really important for you to stand out." Here, then, are our favourites ...

ashadedviewonfashion.com

While many bloggers like to remain anonymous, Diane Pernet positively welcomes the attention. A true fashion eccentric, the American-born journalist and editor is frequently spotted on the front row of fashion shows dressed head-to-toe in black with a voluminous veil. Based in Paris for the past 20 years, she blogs all about young talent -- it's a great place to spot a future Alexander McQueen or Raf Simons.

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bryanboy.com

Bryan Boy is a star. On his diary-like blog he sounds like a giddy, fashion-obsessed teenager, dreaming of Lanvin trainers and next season's clothes by label-of-the-moment Balmain. In real life, however, the 22-year-old from Manila has become a serious industry player -- Bryan is flown to the international shows, all expenses paid, and hangs out with Christopher Bailey, the Burberry designer. Oh, and Marc Jacobs has even named a bag after him.

ripped-knees.blogspot.com

Ana Kinsella, a student at Trinity College Dublin, writes a thoughtful blog on her own personal style, complete with pictures taken in her bedroom. Kooky and youthful, she's a breath of fresh air in a city where too many 20-something girls subscribe to the fake-tan, straightened-hair herd.

catwalkqueen.tv

One of the first fashion blogs on the scene, Catwalk Queen began as a labour of love for the London College of Fashion student Gemma Cartwright. Today it boasts more hits each day than Vogue's website. Great for celebrity style gossip, secret sample sales and exclusive fashion collaborations, it even has its own YouTube channel.

facehunter.blogspot.com

"Real people on the street can be just as inspiring and creative as top models in magazines," says Yvan Rodic, the man behind the street-photography blog Facehunter. Always travelling the globe on the lookout for new subjects on the streets, Rodic is more interested in personal style than in keeping things on-trend. It's well worth a visit just to see the sheer variety of retina-popping looks on display. "It's eye candy for the style hungry," he says.

feelslikewhitelightning.com

Whether she's lusting after the new resort collection from Giles Deacon or a vintage Jean-Paul Gaultier bustier, Elizabeth Spiridakis has a love of fashion bordering on the obsessive. The fact that she can't actually afford most of the items she writes about only adds to the charm of her blog.

Spiridakis seems to spend most of her time moving from one charity shop to the next. Such is her clout that she now gets recognised everywhere she goes.

gofugyourself.com

For a quick fix of celebrity fashion disasters, Go Fug Yourself can't be beaten. The creation of Jessica Morgan and Heather Cocks, the blog rounds up the latest paparazzi shots from the red carpet and passes judgement on the good, the bad and the 'fugly' (a merging of 'ugly' and another, less print-worthy word). Comments range from the cruel -- in one shot Lindsay Lohan is said to resemble an 'Easter bunny caught gnawing on his own chocolate-egg stash' -- to the even crueller, but all done with a brilliant sense of humour. Proof that fashion really has no mercy.

thestylebitches.com

Stylists Laura Cunningham and Blanaid Hennessy have taken the gofugyourself approach to poking holes in celebrity fashion a stage further with this distinctly Irish hot-or-not site. The mix of "style, gossip and stuff" is frenetic, interactive and huge fun. The site also hosts a mock stylebitches show, which looks very much like an irreverent version of a certain TV3 daily entertainment programme ...

jakandjil.com

The photographer Tommy Ton gives good shoe. Like the Sartorialist, Ton shoots fashionistas on the street, but for the 25-year-old Canadian the focus is on footwear. If you want to know which styles the high street will be copying in six months, then this is the place to look. Jak & Jil has become a big success, with 30,000 hits per day. In his hometown of Toronto, one department store has even created a Tommy Ton mannequin.

nymag.com/daily/fashion

Are you wondering what Michelle Obama is wearing today? Then check out MObama Watch, a day-by-day rundown of First Lady fashion. Alongside this brilliant guilty pleasure, New York Magazine's blog offers a host of stylish attractions -- from video look-books with Daphne Guinness to catwalk reviews. Its guide to the best buys of the season -- right now they're loving Diane von Furstenberg's Sweetheart Pant -- is also bang on the money.

Dublinstreets.blogspot.com

Andrea Horan and Matt Matheson have been diligently posting photographs of stylish Dublin hipsters on this blog for the past two years. It's a simple concept -- a pictorial record of the most eclectic, elegant and funky folk who catch their eye.

stylebubble.typepad.com

One of the blogosphere's biggest fashion icons, Susanna Lau (aka Susie Bubble) started her online diary in March 2006. Style Bubble sees Lau, a Londoner, playing dress-up with new purchases and offering her thoughts on everything from fellow bloggers to the rebirth of Miss Selfridge.

Thanks to its infectious tone, Style Bubble has become one of the most widely read fashion blogs, receiving 20,000 hits a day. No surprises, then, that Lau was recently recruited to the online arm of Dazed & Confused magazine.

tavi-thenewgirlintown. blogspot.com

Like many of her fellow style-bloggers, Tavi Gevinson posts pictures of herself in cool charity-shop finds and loves dissecting catwalk trends. Unlike most of them, however, Tavi is 13.

A self-confessed 'tiny dork' who loves the high-fashion labels Luella, Charles Anastase and Comme des Garçons, the Chicago schoolgirl has already been profiled by the New York Times and launched her own t-shirt line. Her biggest problem now? Finding designer togs that fit.

rosemarymaccabe.com

The eclectic musings of Ms MacCabe can land on anything from popular culture to caffeine withdrawal symptoms but when she's on style, she's on the money. Last week, she cast a critical eye on Kate Moss's latest collection for TopShop. Most appealingly, as a "size 14 on a good day" picture posts of her own outfits make it one of the more accessible style blogs around.

thelove magazineblog. wordpress.com

When Katie Grand left Pop magazine to start up a new venture with the publishing house Condé Nast, the fashion world was buzzing with excitement. The resulting magazine, Love, has certainly lived up to expectations and its blog is a neat window on to life on the precipice of cool.

themoment.blogs. nytimes.com

There are very few blogs that could persuade Donatella Versace to be guest editor for the day or ask Frida Giannini, the Gucci designer, to send in her holiday snaps. Such is the persuasive power of The Moment, the blog by the New York Times T magazine. Covering fashion, beauty, design and travel, the blog's recent highlights have included an exclusive preview of Madonna's Givenchy tour costumes.

thesartorialist.com

Since launching in 2005, Scott Schuman's blog has become a phenomenon. The formula itself is straightforward: the diminutive New Yorker travels the globe shooting simple portraits of well-dressed individuals including fashion insiders such as Carine Roitfeld, the editor of French Vogue, as well as stylish passers-by on the street.

It's Schuman's eye for detail that sets his images apart. He has recently made the transition from 'street photography' to advertising campaigns for DKNY Jeans, and has even modelled for Gap.

theselby.com

Almost like a 2009 version of Through the Keyhole, The Selby features pictures, videos and paintings of hip homes around the world, all belonging to the likes of Peaches Geldof, Julia Restoin-Roitfeld and the model Erin Wasson.

The blog started out as a side project for Todd Selby, a photographer, who began his career shooting fashion and portraits, but has since grown into something a whole lot bigger. "I wanted to look at people's houses and surroundings and try to tell more of a story," he explains.

thethoughtfuldresser.blogspot.com

Created by novelist and Stella contributor Linda Grant, the Thoughtful Dresser has witty musings on all things clothes related. Whether she's answering tricky questions such as 'How many shoes does a girl need?' or discussing female dress codes in Iran, Grant is one of the sharpest fashion writers around.

iblogfashion.blogspot.com

Prolific style writer Annmarie O'Connor's blog is like a bulletin board of everything fashion-related in Ireland.

She tips readers off to sample sales, fashion launches, competitions and fashionista events, peppering her posts with snapshots of wearable trends (velvet, scarves, transitional threads) from her own wardrobe.

O'Connor doesn't just write fashion, she lives it: her diary for last week included a trip to the Kensington Hotel in London, hosting style sessions in Kildare Village and recording the demise of her new Zara trousers and the soles of her Carvela loafers.

http://blogs.independent.ie/angelascanlon/

At no 21, an online bonus extra, we could not forget independent.ie's own fashion blogger Angela Scanlon!

No one is better at bringing us all the fashion news, trends and reports hot off the catwalk, not to mention digging around in fashionable wardrobes on our behalf.

Additional reporting by Susan Daly


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