Lilli launched her blog Frocks and Frou Frou in 2008. On her blog she posts images of herself, modelling hand-picked outfits and accompanied by tit-bits on her daily life – penned with delightful witticisms. (Our personal favourite is her blog-name for her husband, known to readers only as “The Sophisticate”).
Lilli’s voice and style and has a gathered a global following and her work has been profiled in several publications including: The Age’s Sunday Life magazine, French Glamour magazine, UK’s Grazia Magazine, Australia’s Cosmopolitan magazine and Germany’s Maxi.
All of these publications have included Lilli’s fashion outlook in discussions on the rise and interest in plus-size fashion sites, as Lilli’s site offers a fashion look-book that is refreshingly different to the regular output of international fashion publications.
What we (and hundreds of others it seems) like about her blog is that Lilli doesn’t engage in plus-size issues with any political vitriol, she comments practically on the business of choosing a great outfit – and clearly she is having a great time.
Lilli is an individual who epitomises the wonderful and truthful expression “the personal is political”. She is powerfully polite in a world that can be frankly quite rude if you do not measure up to…certain measurements. Her style is awesomely Melbourne, with colours to boot!
Hi Lilli! Thanks for talking to TENANT, a publication interested in profiling Melburnian’s influence on the evolving culture of the city through their choices and work- be it art, business or, in this case blogging.
What got you into “fashion blogging”?
I sort of fell into it – I had been an active member of several online plus-size fashion forums. They were mainly US-based and when I could not find anything similar for the Australian market I decided to start one myself.
How did you build on your readership?
Dumb luck really! I was just writing for myself and for other members of the fashion forums I was frequenting and the blog was starting to grow through word of mouth. Then, out of the blue, I got an email from a journalist named Kira Cochrane, who writes for The Guardian newspaper. She was writing an article about the rise of plus-sized fashion blogs and wanted to interview me. The article was syndicated world-wide and made its way to the The Age where they decided to expand upon the local interest aspect of the story and I was interviewed again. Since then I have been interviewed and profiled in magazines and newspapers around the world, which has helped me grow an international readership.
What do you think of the term “plus-sized”?
I would like to see the phrase “plus-size” become extinct, as it’s a term used by the fashion industry to describe women who are bigger than their core range. It’s problematic because it’s not standard: one person’s “plus-size” might be a size 14, someone else’s might be a size 22. One descriptor I do like is the word “zaftig”. It comes from the Jewish word “zaftik”, meaning succulent and juicy, and has been used since the 1920′s to describe someone with a full, rounded, lush figure.
You are a big advocate of Melbourne, what is it that you like so much about the city?
The thing about Melbourne is the longer that you live here, the better it gets. It does not flaunt its best assets. It encourages you to look for them. I love having visitors, because I get a kick out of taking them to hidden-gems, showing them amazing restaurants bars, galleries and shops.
Where do you live in Melbourne?
I have lived in the city – postcode 3000 – for just over a year.
What do you enjoy best about living so centrally?
I love being able to throw open the balcony doors and have the hustle and bustle of Centre Place beneath me. No one ever looks up! I also love Little Cupcakes in Degraves St – great for an afternoon treat and great coffee.
Did you grow up in Melbourne?
No, I grew up in Canberra and we holidayed on the South Coast – around Bateman’s Bay – a beautiful part of Australia.
Being into words (Lilli works full time in publishing) what would one of your favourite ‘Melbourne’ words be?
I love the use of the word ‘bloomers’ in Melbourne. In Canberra they are called ‘scungies’, but bloomers sounds so much more classy…probably not hard!
What about the weather here, as a person who makes it their business to post outfits, you must be very weather “aware”?
I love Autumn! I love the fashions and those bright, clear, cool days that Melbourne puts on.
What is some change that you would like to see in the city of Melbourne?
I’d like to see some better artisan markets. The closest we really come is the Rose Street Markets, which is pretty limited space wise. As a kid I used to visit Paddington markets in Sydney and it would be great to have something similar in Melbourne. The crowds at the biannual market like Finders Keeps and Melbourne Design Market prove that we’ve got the talent and the market for something like that.
Do you have a dream project, either within the frame-work of the blog or in addition to it?
I would love to partner with a fashion company to design a capsule line of clothing. I am a huge fan of Melbourne label Gorman. Gorman sizing stops at 14 – but I think their styles would work on bigger women too.
Yeah agreed and Gorman rocks – they had a great one-day sale yesterday. Oh the colour of it!
So, with all the thought and action behind your posts, how would you like to be remembered by Melburnians? Indeed by all of your present and future readers?
As someone warm and generous who promotes body positivity and self-love.
Thanks for your time today and letting me photograph your lovely home and cheeky cat. Thank you too for Frock and Frou Frou – it is always great to check out, before you head out.
A pleasure, it has been fun, good luck with TENANT, can’t wait to read about my Melbourne neighbours!
Oh, that reminds us – who would you like to introduce to TENANT Lilli? What Melburnian would you like to introduce and pass on to readers of this blog?
I think I’d choose my friend Adele to introduce to TENANT. She’s a reasonably recent import to Melbourne, having come from Adelaide via several years teaching in Japan, and I think it’d be fun for her to get to know the city a bit better. She’s the head of the Centre For Youth Literature and has herself penned a quite a big youth lit online review blog called “Persnickety Snark”.
Great, thanks Lilli. We can not wait to meet her!