If you’re looking for a blog that will keep you dialed into the New York fashion scene, two steps ahead in entertainment buzz and will keep you laughing then Niki Blasina is your girl and her blog A Haute Mess is your answer. This west coast Canadian turned New Yorker writes about fashion in a fun and cheeky way. When she’s not rubbing shoulders with celebs like Ryan Reynolds on red carpets, she’s hunting for treasures in thrift shops and constantly finding ways to evolve her style. Read on to discover ten things about Niki!
What inspired you to start your blog A Haute Mess?
I definitely wanted to have a creative outlet, but truth be told, I had always wanted to go into fashion journalism. However, I went into PR hoping to make the transition out of it once the economy got better (and now that I’m in journalism I’ve learned the unfortunate lesson that the job market actually doesn’t get better, but lets not go there). So I thought a blog would be a nice touch on my resume, like “look how passionate I am!” and then I just started having way too much fun with it, lost whatever professionalism I had, and it kind of took off from there.
What do you love about living in New York City? How has the city rubbed off on you style wise?
I love living in New York because it’s so alive. You can never run out of things to do here, and no matter what your interests are it has something for everyone, from amazing museums and theatre, to some of the best restaurants in the world and vibrant nightlife. It’s expensive, but there are lots of really good deals in the city and ways to enjoy it on any budget. Me and my roommate are going to write a guide called “How to live in New York like a Gossip Girl without having Sex in the City to pay for it.” Stay tuned.
As for my style… I’d say I’ve succumbed to the stereotype and wear more black now. And believe it or not, I wear flats more. I do so much walking here.
What do you miss the most about Canada? (Besides hockey of course)
Poutine. Chronic Tacos. Friends and family. Colourful money. Ketchup chips. Over-the-top politeness. And also, I’m going to say it anyway: hockey! People here just don’t love it as much as we Canadians do, but there are still lots of fans. Just not enough Canucks fans. Things get weird when I’m at a bar watching a game and there are so many Chicago and Boston fans around – my sarcasm gets me in a lot more trouble out here.
You mention a love for thrift stores and finding hidden gems. What should girls look for to get the most out of their budgets?
I always look for ultra trendy or very seasonal pieces that you can modify to make your own. For example, don’t go to Urban Outfitters or Topshop and spend $40 on a fringed t-shirt – go to Value Village and spend $3 on a t-shirt, and then cut your own fringe. I promise it will look exactly the same. Same with pieces like leather shorts and skirts. You can find amazing leather pieces at thrift stores for far less than what you’d pay elsewhere, and with a simple nip and tuck you can update them to look modern. As for finding hidden gems, sometimes you have to treasure hunt a little bit, but you never know when you’re going to sift through a rack and find an $80 vintage Yves Saint Laurent dress.
How would you describe your personal style?
Really sweaty. It’s so hot in New York right now, I can’t figure out how to dress for it! And I keep wearing leather shorts as if I’m immune to swamp ass. (I’m not.)
I’d also say that it’s evolving a lot. I used to be more of a honey badger when it came to my personal style (you know, like honey badger don’t give a shit) but I have to be more practical now. I do so much walking, and then also if I’m out reporting I need to look fairly professional, so I’m more about wearing casual basics now that I can throw a blazer on top of when I need to look like an adult. My next challenge is going to be figuring out how to dress in a more corporate environment but still maintaining personality. You can take the girl out of the drop crotch… but you can’t take the drop crotch out of the girl.
Tell us about your style icons.
Hugh Hefner. The man wears pajamas and loafers all day, everyday. He’s living the dream.
As for stylish style icons, I love the way Emmanuelle Alt dresses. She always looks so effortless in the coolest way possible.
Congratulations on completing graduate school! What would be your dream writing job?
Thank you! I’m not sure if I have a dream writing job to be honest. I think a dream job for me is one where I can be doing both writing and video work. Or visiting the polar bears in the Arctic with the Discovery Channel. I’m a huge nature doc nerd.
You mention you want your blog to be about more than fashion. What other directions are you going to explore?
I’m going to write more about life in general I think. I seem to be one of those people that finds myself in ridiculous or funny situations and I want to keep writing personal essays or stories about them, like the time I was out in New York and said something rude about Kanye West, and who was I standing next to, of all people, unbeknownst to me? Kanye West. People have always told me that I’m a good storyteller, because weird shit always happens to me and I can tell it in a way that makes people laugh, so I’m hoping to continue doing that.
One area I definitely want to explore is telling the story behind the story. I’ve been doing a bit of entertainment reporting in New York, and when I’m out on assignment covering a red carpet at a movie premiere, I get the quotes I need and write the story my editor wants. But there’s so much more that happens that doesn’t make it in, like I interviewed Ryan Reynolds two days ago and we talked about random Vancouver-y things for the majority of the interview and he was cracking jokes about the legendary newscasters that we grew up with on the west coast. And don’t people want to know if he’s better looking in real life? How tall he is? (He’s definitely about 6’3”.) How skinny Blake Lively actually is? (So skinny. Like I could fit my man hand around her waist skinny.) These are important details!
Your writing is infused with what you describe as a “signature self-deprecation” humour. Who in your family is funnier your Mom or your Dad?
My Mom and Dad are both really funny people. They came out to visit me in New York in May, and we’re walking around the Time Warner center in our suit and tie after a nice dinner, and we see these giant, fat, naked sculptures. So my dad dared my mom to go touch a butt on one of these things. So she rolls up to this enormous naked statue and credit card swipes its butt crack with her hand, and the two of them are laughing their asses off like children. I had no chance of turning out normal.
(And Mom, Dad, if that story embarrasses you, it’s simply just revenge for my ENTIRE CHILDHOOD. Just kidding.)
What is one fashion rule you would never break?
I will never wear crocs, and I will never wear leggings as pants.
By: Megan Gartrell