Taking us to the front row of London Fashion Week is our latest style crush, Doina Ciobanu of The Golden Diamonds. Doina is the latest to join the super blogger legion, known for championing emerging Eastern European designers. Doina's shared her London Fashion Week style essentials, all available on Graziashop.com, here and she'll be taking over their Instagram for a behind the scenes look at the shows as part of their #GraziaInsider Fashion Month campaign.
We caught up with Doina to discuss her must-have pieces for spring, the secrets to that perfect Instagram post, and sharing perfume tips with Rihanna.
What is the inside of your wardrobe really like?
I'd love to tell you that it's very clean and organised, but it's the opposite. Only my coats are organised on their own rack; all my other things are randomly hung without any order, which sometimes getting dressed in the morning too long an experience!
How do you take such beautiful Instagrams - do you take them on your phone? Use any editing apps?
Thank you! My photos are mostly taken on my iPhone 6 which is a good-enough camera for a medium like Instagram. I think it’s really all about how you edit your photos. I use about 3 editing apps; Snapseed to fix bad lighting, Polarr to enhance the colours, and the final magic of selecting the right filter is always left to VSCO! I’m very varied when it comes to my Instagram photos; one week I’ll pick something with dark contrasts and a week later I’ll go for a filter with brighter whites and dreamier colours.
What is on the top of your shopping list for spring?
Off shoulder tops! I am so happy they’re fashionable again. I used to be obsessed with them as a little girl; they’ve always appeared so elegant and feminine. I think shoulders and the neck line are the most graceful part of a woman’s body and putting it on show works perfectly for me!
How did you get into the world of blogging?
Growing up in Moldova, my access to the fashion industry was very limited, nearly impossible (we don’t even have H&M or Zara stores!). The internet was the best way I could escape the depressing post-Soviet style and society, and what better use of the internet if not to create a blog? The Golden Diamonds was kind of my own “Alice in Wonderland” story.
What's the best thing about being a fashion blogger?
The fact that you’re not just a fashion blogger! So many people are still confused about a fashion blogger’s place in the fashion industry, but what they don’t realise is that fashion bloggers have evolved into “digital influencers” whose influence lies beyond just the boundaries of fashion (travel, beauty, fitness, tech, you name it); and secondly, this new term really brought a lot of new opportunities with it. We style, we model, we direct, we photograph, we do TV shows - fashion bloggers are everywhere and doing everything, which I absolutely love!
What would you never blog about?
In the past few years I’ve built up a lot of confidence to write about anything I want, so it wouldn’t be text, but rather photos. I would NEVER blog low quality photos. The Golden Diamonds is an aspirational platform. When I publish a photo I first ask myself “would my reader want to be in this photo?”, if the answer is “no” then the photo is not worth publishing.
What makes a good OOTD backdrop?
Haha, that is an excellent question since I'm the type of person who’ll refuse to take a photo unless the background is 100% what I want. Clean streets, no rubbish, no muddy walls or anything like that; beautiful architecture and inspiring landscapes. I’d say the perfect OOTD backdrop would be a Japanese Sakura park in full bloom (counting the likes already!).
What do you wear when you’re off duty that would never be on your Instagram?
I am normally very cold and love wrapping myself in scarves, jackets and big jumpers. And when I say that I don’t mean sleek Celine wrapping, with me usually the only visible part of my body are my eyes. #notglamorous
What are the style rules you live by?
You know, in the past few years I’ve broken so many of my own style rules but was so completely happy with how I looked, that I don’t really know anymore. But a universal thing that I hate is an ill-fitted suit on men.
What’s the one main thing you don’t think your followers know about you?
Mmm, the fact that i’m addicted to the smell of fresh newspaper?
What has been your biggest pinch-me moment?
Does Rihanna telling me I “smell good” count? (for anyone interested, I was wearing Tobacco Vanilla by Tom Ford)
Have you had any embarrassing fashion moments over the years that you haven’t wanted to share?
Oh yes, so often, I always forget to zip my dresses up. It happened again only just recently, during the first day of LCM. I was rushing to get out of the house, put this pretty Fendi dress on and went to the hair salon. My boyfriend wasn’t at home at the time… Actually, I think that’s the whole problem, it always happens to me when he’s not around! So I went to the salon, feeling all pretty and pampered with my new braid, posing for an Instagram picture in front of Jordan, my hairstylist. I went to the bathroom to discover I was completely, and I mean COMPLETELY unzipped, you could see all the way to my underwear. Luckily the zipper was on the side so I am still convincing myself that not many people saw it… If you pay attention on the right, you can actually see it in that exact Instagram picture...
What's your beauty regime?
Liz Earle cleanser, Clinique toner, SK II essence, Verso super facial oil or Natura Bisse double action day cream, depending on how my skin feels. In the morning I’ll also do ice massage before starting the routine.
What are your go-to beauty products?
How much do you think about the Instagrams you post?
If I’m on my own on some quiet days just working from home, A LOT. If I’m busy/travelling/with my boyfriend, almost never!
Who do you like to follow on Instagram?
@irinashayk- she manages to make even the worst quality photo look amazing.
@natgeotravel- amazing places and facts every day
@searching_for_adventure - inspirational curated profile
@fashionising- forget that he’s my boyfriend, Daniel has one of the most beautiful Instagram walls I’ve ever seen!
What's been your 2015 highlight?
A weekend in Paris with my mother and grandmother.
What’s your favourite emoji?
The monkey with hands over its eyes! I love how differently people interpret it, what do you think it is?
What are your go-to apps?
Music, Instapaper, Google Maps (I'm told I need to switch to CityMapper).
Who are your style icons?
Katharine Hepburn and the screen incarnation of James Bond.
What inspired your blog name – The Golden Diamonds?
It was a play of words from something I’ve always love: gold is a very elegant while diamonds are very strong but beautiful… But now I feel like people think I must be so vain “this girl didn’t have enough gold so she decided she wants diamonds too!
What are your favourite London hot spots?
Little House in Mayfair, Electric Cinema, Dirty Burger, The Ivy Chelsea Garden.
How many tattoos do you have?
Funny that you ask that! I have none but I’ve wanted to get one for years, I’ve just never found the right thing to ink on my body.