Arts

Student fashion blogger from the Caribbean writes about Ottawa fashion scene

 Photo by Inta Klotins

With more than 350 hits a day, Ottawa’s Wardrobe blog founder Jayda Ivy showcases student style while she adjusts to the fashion requirements of a Canadian winter.

Born in Halifax and raised in the Caribbean, Ivy enrolled at the University of Ottawa this year to study international management. The majority of her friends went to American schools, but she decided to study in Ottawa for its political scene.

“I was more interested in the capital, and studying international management,” she says. “I thought it would bring me more opportunities.”

After moving to Ottawa, one of the first things she purchased was a scarf and jacket. She asked for advice from her roommate on how people dressed for the Canadian winter climate. After a long haul at Forever 21, Ivy stocked up on sweaters and leggings.

“I’ve literally worn one sweater twice. It didn’t quite turn out to be my favourite thing to wear. I like that style, but I’m more into denim.”Screen Shot 2014-02-12 at 4.03.18 PM

Her blog has developed into a discussion of local fashion events and personalities as well as a forum for highlighting student fashion.

Having recently attended Her Campus’ Catwalk for the Cure event as well as Ottawa Fashion Week, she commented on recent statements made by Fern Mallis, creator of New York Fashion Week and former head of IMG Fashion. Mallis suggested that there be changes made regarding the preferential treatment of fashion bloggers sitting front row during Fashion Week.

“I feel like a blogger can get so much more to say than a fashion magazine,” said Ivy. “Vogue can have a snippet, but a blogger is going to be more honest. They will tell it how it is.”

For her Student Style section, Ivy and her photographer look for people who stand out from the crowd.

“It’s more about people who rock confidence more than their clothes. It’s completely sporadic. I just want to find people that catch my eye.”

She says it’s harder than it looks. She approaches students, telling them about her website and goals, and gives them her card to put them at ease. She’s not always successful as people are not always keen on having their photo taken.

She looks at Swedish blogs for inspiration, including a blogger she’s followed since she was in Grade 11, as well as other Ottawa fashion websites, like Twenty York Street and 613Style. As long as she’s studying at the U of O, Ivy wants to keep her focus on students, though she says she may branch out after she graduates.

“The whole point in my blog is to inspire people. Not from people from Sweden, not with people in New York. I want to make Ottawa fashion something people know about,” she says. “My main readers are (U of O) and Carleton students. I think it’s so important to have our own inspiration.”