When Rachel Met Carla Benstead of MessyCarla

I was reading my local newspaper a few weeks ago when an article caught my attention,  it was about a girl the same age as me who also started her blog around the same time as me. Reading the article I could’t help but love Carla and couldnn’t resist emailing her, we arranged to meet face to face but both our schedules played a part in it. Carla is from Hebburn, a town near my own of Sunderland, her blog focuses on girls of all shapes and sizes here in the North east and since starting she has been aproached by many a company- I had to find out more about her.

Where would you say your passion for clothes comes from?
I’ve always been interested in following fashion and what people are wearing;  but to be honest when I was a teenager I honestly didn’t care as much, I just enjoyed being young and being able to run around in t-shirts, jeans and no-makeup as I know I could do all that when I was an adult. I’ve always had little phases though that have been influenced by my interests – like when I was 12 and into punk music I dressed all goth in black with dyed hair, when I was 15 and into 1960s/70s cinema I wore men’s floral shirts, tank tops and flares, and when I got into electro and dance music when I was 17 I had weird shaped fringes, glitter eyemakeup and neon clothes.

Do you think fashion in the North East differs to London?
I think it does as people are a lot more laid back here, but Newcastle’s been voted as one of the most fashionable cities in the UK just behind London and Leeds (who both have fashion colleges). However, I think here there is a lot of freedom for people to wear what they want. Walking down Northumberland Street on a Saturday there’s all sorts of fashion – girls with designer handbags and hair extentions, kids in band t-shirts and big fringes, indie kids in vintage dresses pouting moodily – all sorts! I think it’s easier here to mix high street and designer – like here it’s perfectly acceptable to wear a Primark dress carrying a Miu Miu handbag. 

How would you describe MessyCarla?
MessyCarla is a celebration of not only curvy girls, but girls of all shapes and sizes. I just happen to be on the curvier side, and write about clothes suitable for our body shapes and offering something a bit different. It’s a celebration of the diversity of women.

What is the best thing about Fashion blogging?
I think it gives a chance for girls who are disillusioned by fashion magazines to voice a different perspective on the industry. I’m much more likely to buy a dress if it looks cute on an ‘everyday girl’ than an airbrushed, made-up model in a glossy magazine. It’s a lot more honest.

Who or what inspires your style?
I’m inspired by a lot of things – street fashion, what other people are wearing, Japanese and French culture, 1960s cinema and what music I’m listening to. I’m also of course inspired by other fashion bloggers – It’s a very comforting community who celebrate who each other are, our personal styles – and we’re very welcoming to new bloggers, too!

How do you think the industry is working towards battling the big size debate?
I think small changes are rocking the industry. From supermodel Erin O’Connor being a size 12, to Elle France putting a plus-sized model on a recent front cover to Vogue introducting a Vogue Curvy section on their website. Of course a lot of work is still needed in making these changes more permanent, and not just because the size issue is a trendy topic!

scan from the Sunderland Echo

What are your top fashion tips for Sping/Summer 2010?
I’m loving the corals and pastels trend at the minute – lots of pale greens, blues, corals and pinks. Floral dresses are still hot, teamed with chunky jewerelly, and big sunglasses. I’m loving double denim too – it’s been such a faux pas for so long, it’s time to embrace it again. My little denim jacket is going to be my staple over the Spring and Summer I’m guessing.
What tips would you give to other bloggers?
Offer something different, don’t be afraid of self-promotion, join in fashion debates within the blogging community – and above all, have fun with fashion! People take it waaaay too seriously sometimes.

And finally what’s next for Messy Carla and your life?
What’s next for MessyCarla is still being passionate about clothes, my 100 followers giveaway, making connections with bloggers and the industry alike, and keeping everything fresh and new. Personally, I’m off to New York for a week with my sister in June, and then I’m graduating university in July – I don’t know how I’m going to cope with everybody wearing the same outfit as me for that one!

All Images are from MessyCarla which you can visit HERE or the facebook fan page


About Rachel Charlton-Dailey

PR girl, gin lover and happy soul.
This entry was posted in Fashion, When Rachel met... and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

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