Victoria in the FROW

Fashion

Super blogger and PhD fashion academic Victoria Magrath talks to Hannah Kane about her style evolution, her journey to success and learning to switch off

Words  Hannah Kane
Photographer  Helen McArdle at Kayte Ellis Agency
Fashion Editor  Nini Khatiblou

Victoria Magrath, or Victoria In The Frow as she’s known to her million-plus followers across various digital platforms, is so delightfully bubbly and friendly IRL, she’s a ray of sunshine on the bleak winter’s day we shoot our cover story. As she dances round the studio in metallic textures, soft knits, athletic details and a ballerina skirt, her infamous crowning glory, that long, silver mane, shimmers in the lights. No extensions, honest, and it’s in great condition – no wonder she’s a hair ambassador for L’Oreal Paris.

At 27, Magrath’s signature elegant and glamorous style has come along way since her teenage Avril Lavigne skater-girl homage – her first attempt at a “look”. We can all relate: “I remember when that whole style came out, a bit grungy, a bit emo,  I totally loved it and wanted to be like Avril Lavigne!” she laughs, curling up on the sofa. After that came a surf culture inspired phase: nothing but surf T-shirts, surf shorts, and surf hoodies. “I think it’s because when I was younger we used to go to Cornwall every single year. We’d always see the surfers on the beach and it really inspired me. That was my dress sense for a long time, a lot more androgynous and more tomboy.”

I started to be inspired by Victoria Beckham. She’s still one of my icons now, I think she’s so inspiring! I think she’s an amazing businesswoman

By the time she reached college, she was softening the look and working some classic pieces into the wardrobe. “I was still a bit more alternative, but with some feminine edges. I liked to wear white shirts, jeans and boots, and I think that’s when I started to be inspired by Victoria Beckham. She’s still one of my icons now, I just think she’s so inspiring! I think she’s an amazing businesswoman.” By 2012, Magrath was starting to find her sartorial feet. “I dyed my hair purple, and that was when I started the blog. I kind of went all out with experimenting. I was much more into colour and brights, and experimenting with shapes. The last two years I have definitely transformed into this more-luxury-but-still-chilled-out style.”

Collar, £150, Charlotte Simone
Body, £80.44, House of Harlow 1960 x Revolve
Top,
£29 Light before Dark at Urban Outfitters
Necklace, £15.99, Zara

Rings (right hand): hoop ring, £85, Dinny Hall,
feather ring, £35, Daisy London,
triangle ring, £285, Alexia Jordan
Rings (left hand): hoop ring, £85, Dinny Hall
Feather ring, £29, and spiral ring, £39, both Daisy London

Top, £180, Dagmar
Skirt,
£110, Needle and Thread
Choker, £12.99, Zara
Shoes, £310, Havva

Dress, £600, Florence Bridge
Top, £29.99, Zara
Rings (right hand)spiral ring, £39, and
feather ring, £35, both Daisy London
Rings (left hand): hoop rings, £85 each, Dinny Hall and
black crystal ring, £855, Alexia Jordan

Bra, £22, Urban Outfitters
Top,
£39 Sparkle & Fade at Urban Outfitters
Jacket, £1400, Melissa Pinkstone
Trousers, £39, Light before Dark at Urban Outfitters
Trainers, £75, Adidas at Schuh
Ring, £140, Coup de Coeur

In The Frow has a feel-good factor her fans love and it’s clear that Magrath is the human embodiment of its upbeat approach. “On my blog I want to always remain positive, hopefully I’d like to inspire people. I like to write those kind of posts, just more positive and uplifting.” It’s also these kinds of posts she finds get the most engagement. “I wrote one called ‘Nine things that I wish I could tell to my 15 year old self’. That got so much engagement from people agreeing with my points and offering their own ideas of what they’d say to themselves, or their children in a few years time, and it was just lovely to get that kind of discussion going.”

The same spirit shines through in the personal touch she brings to the digital sphere, reading and replying directly to (almost) every comment on the blog. “When I do write these more personal posts, the comments that come back are often paragraphs or mini essays in themselves because people can really relate to the topic, it really hits them. I always try to get back to every single comment on the blog, especially those ones – to show that I have read it.” I notice the tattoo on her arm reads “every word handwritten,” it’s a lyric reference by the band Gaslight Anthem, and sweetly ironic.

On my blog I want to always remain positive, hopefully I’d like to inspire people. I like to write those kind of posts, just more positive and uplifting

“At the same time I want to be known for my fashion advice and to be seen as a credible voice in the industry. That’s all I can really hope for,” she admits. There’s nothing to worry about there, however – Magrath clearly knows the nuts and bolts of the fashion industry. “I’ve always studied fashion, all the way through high school, to college and then university and the PhD,” she explains. A defining moment came when she was 12. “I remember I was sat with my mum and my step dad, coming up with ideas for a fashion brand and my own store, coming up with different logo ideas and ideas of things I’d sell. I was illustrating loads, drawing different dresses that I wanted to sell. So I’ve always been passionate about fashion and clothing, in that way.”

It comes as no surprise, then, that she plans to develop the blog into a store. “I’d love to be in the position to create or design my own product range – it would be a dream. Certainly something I don’t think I could manage with the workload now, but it’s definitely something I’ve thought about and would definitely love to explore in a few years time.” Can’t you just imagine her take on jumpsuits, feminine blouses, useful separates, cute knits and quirky swimwear?

A key strength of In The Frow is the quality of imagery, thanks in full to her boyfriend and partner in crime Alex Harrison, serendipitously a photographer and ex-graphic designer. Together they make a ‘words and pictures’ dynamic duo. “It just got to the point where I was so busy and desperately in need of a full time photographer that he ended up quitting his job and now works full time with me. We do have some creative differences where he’ll prefer one picture and I’ll prefer another one, but 95% of the time it’s brilliant and handy having someone there to give that creative input to be there and help me. I actually don’t know how I did it all before without him!”

I  think people don’t realise how many working hours do go into it, especially if you want to stand out from the crowd. But at the same time I think it’s such a lovely outlet for people’s feelings and emotions

What advice would she give to those who aspire to following in her footsteps? “The best advice I can give is that if you have the time to put into it, then perfect! But it’s going to take a lot of a lot of work to get it to a certain level and make an income from it. I think people don’t realise how many working hours do go into it, especially if you want to stand out from the crowd. But at the same time I think it’s such a lovely outlet for people’s feelings and emotions and beautiful imagery they want to take, and their thoughts and opinions and products. I always encourage people to start it because it’s such a good outlet and it’s a really good way to let off steam at the end of the day, you put your thoughts onto the page.

There is no typical day in the life of a blogger, and Magrath loves the variety. “Every day is very different, but on an average day that I would really like, I would get up around 7am. I’d get myself ready and go to the gym, or a yoga class or a barre class to get me in the mood for the day. I’d start writing on the blog, writing up a recent blog post that I’ve got the pictures together for, and go through my emails for a few hours. Have lunch, then I’d probably go out for a few meetings with a beauty PR or a fashion PR and then I’d go see my managers. Then I’d head back, have dinner with Alex, and probably do a bit more work then shut off about 7.30pm – 8pm. A general day where I’m getting lots of things done!”

Over the holidays she’ll be spending quality time with family in Wigan, a well-earned rest. “I’m a bit of a workaholic so I don’t like to spend to many days away from the office to be honest, but I’ll take four or five days off. Seeing friends, going to a local pub. Chilling out, having a pint of cider, walking the dog, going to cafes: brunches and lunches. It’s very much about food! Somewhere cosy with a fire on.”

There were half days where I didn’t even look at my phone, and it was nice, literally the first time in years that I’ve done that!

There are a few New Year’s resolutions brewing, though. “On the list so far: “I am going to give up cheese. I am literally the biggest cheese fiend, it’s ridiculous!” she laughs. Also, “I am definitely going to reduce alcohol consumption, I mean I don’t drink that much – that makes me sounds like a real alcoholic – but just reduce it down if I’m going out for a meal or when I go to events – I have a few champagnes and get a little tipsy. So less champagne and cut down the calories! Also go to a lot more yoga and barre classes, I really want to get into being much stronger and feeling more toned.”

As you’d expect from a media powerhouse, she’s on her phone quite a bit. “To be honest I’m usually on it every day, every hour,” she admits. But times are changing, “literally this Chicago trip I’ve just come back from, I kind of classed it as my first holiday in years. I mean, I know I travel a lot, but I’m always working and creating content. This was my first holiday away from doing any  jobs, just completely chilling out, and there were half days sometimes where I didn’t even look at my phone, and it was nice, literally the first time in years that I’ve done that! Not have a phone in my hand!”

Digitally detoxing, even if you’re an online entrepreneur smashing it? We’ll drink to that.

Model Victoria Magrath at Models 1
Photographer 
Helen McArdle at  Kayte Ellis Agency
Fashion Editor  Nini Khatiblou
Styling assistant  Kiera O’Sullivan
Hair  Alex Price at Frank Agency using AVEDA
Make-up  Jaimee Thomas at Frank Agency using MAC Cosmetics
Nail Technician  Sophia Stylianou at Frank Agency using Ciate

Jumper, £180, BACK
Trousers, £70, Jovonna
Trainers, £67, Adidas at Schuh

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