Irish blogger, Jessica Garland-Blake, moved to London to pursue her fashion studies and take a step towards the career she wants. If you haven’t heard of her yet, the lovely Jessica is someone you should be following. Not only will you swoon in envy when looking through her Instagram, but you will also be able to get some top fashion tips from her blog she started. Her blog, Ihavethisthingfor.com is filled with all of Jessica’s must-wants and favourite fashion bits. We were delighted to catch up with her to find out a bit more about her blossoming fashion career and what inspires her.
Q. What inspired you to study fashion?
My grandfather made suits for Éamon de Valera, he and my grandmother were tailors, they owned their own factory in Dublin. My grandfather would always be dressed impeccably, in the smartest of suits, and I remember him talking about the “cut” of a jacket and me wondering what that meant exactly. I also remember my stepmother having a dinner party one night, and my father and I had to get out of the house! So he brought me down to the shops, buying a newspaper and giving me the fashion supplement, I must have been about 6. I saw this image of Gisele from behind, wearing these amazing knickers that had a red satin panel and this fringe beading, I spent the rest of the night drawing pants.
Q. Your blog kicked off quite recently what inspired you to do it?
I was always interested in doing one. I have a friend in University over here that has a blog, and while we were at London Fashion Week in February, she took a photograph of me and put a few hashtags under it on Instagram. I got so many likes and new followers that I thought I would try it out!
Q. You now live in London did you move there to pursue fashion? How do fashion and life compare to Dublin?
When I completed the course at Grafton Academy, I had an internship waiting for me. My final collection in Grafton was in lingerie, and I had heard of a course in London that specialized in lingerie, which is the course I am on now. My heart will always be in Dublin, I think it is a fantastic city, but I think London has so much to offer. Especially if you are interested in fashion. When I first moved here, I was working at my restaurant job and I served a table of beautiful Arab ladies, who were visiting London from Kuwait. They were immaculately dressed and just the most exotic creatures I had ever seen. They had these head scarfs (probably Hermes!) that were tied like a bandana, just under their hair buns, and absolutely flawless make-up. There are so many nationalities in London and they each bring their own style to the city.
The anonymity of the big city, and the melting pot of different cultures encourages people in London to take more risks with their fashion. And then the shops, of course, have so much to offer, I love going to Selfridges and Liberty just to look. I also eat out a lot over here – there is a constant buzz about new restaurants. I love that you can eat out on a budget and still have delicious food, that said, I do believe Dublin’s food scene is getting more and more exciting. When I was home last, I went to Forest Avenue which was brilliant and it was near impossible to get a table at Fumbally Cafe!
‘Places’ Sketch, pink powered paradise. On the blog I have a section called ‘places’ when I first moved to #London with @blueybluey we had no idea where to go so we spent our first weekends in O’neils, we went so much the bouncers gave us membership cards!! So 5 years later I have come across some amazing places thanks to @williamhorswill @aoifemcblake @forbes1e @natalielmalla @saffronknight @pattyhud -and places is where you’ll find them… A photo posted by Jessica Garland-Blake (@ihavethisthingfor) on
Q. You are a shopping fanatic, who would you say is your favorite designer and your favorite place to shop?
I think I am fanatical about shopping. However, I do really think about a piece before buying it. What else can I wear this with? Will I still be wearing this next year? Sometimes I buy a piece, try it on at home with other things in my wardrobe and if it’s not working, I’ll return it. I also think if you have seen something and you’re not sure and by the next morning you’re still thinking about it – get back to the shop and get it! I think Harvey Nichols do the best sales, but I love Liberty there is something very special about that store, the staff are very enthusiastic about their goods and they have such knowledge. My favorite designers are pretty much out of my price range unfortunately. Alber Elbaz for Lanvin is a genius, he designs for women of every size. Dries Van Noten makes me weak, I bought a top of his for a photoshoot with a magazine over here last month, it was a rich red with gold floral brocade and fringe along the bottom. It blew my budget and I worked extra shifts in the restaurant – but it was totally worth it.
Q. When you’re not studying or working on your blog what else do you love to do?
At the moment I’m really busy – I am interning, working in a restaurant and blogging. I get one day off a week so I love getting up early, going to the flower market, getting breakfast out somewhere (eating is my second love). I like catching up with Irish news on Image.ie or reading Vogue (I buy English and American Vogue, Elle and Harpers Bazaar)
FRENCH TOAST SUNDAYS ☕️ A photo posted by Jessica Garland-Blake (@ihavethisthingfor) on
Q. As a fashion blogger what is your go-to outfit?
A good fitting pair of jeans, mine are from NEUW, a good quality white jersey t-shirt, I love Acne, and smart flats. I bought my sister and I these leopard print canvas ones from Stella McCartney.
Q. It all started with your Instagram how do you make yours stand out and get so much attraction? Do you have any advice for someone who wants to up their Insta game?
I put a lot of thought into my pictures as I don’t want to fill people’s news feeds with silly/blurry photographs. Also have an interest, if it’s make-up, take a different approach to taking a picture of the MAC lipstick you just got. There are so many people on Instagram; I think you have to be different in order to stand out. Think about lighting as well, and what you want to get across in the picture.
Discover Jessica’s blog at www.ihavethisthingfor.com