The Sense is a bilingual, fashion infused lifestyle blog, was born in 2009 to inspire and improve, to project and perceive, to love and be loved. Besides the regular outfit posts, the palette consists reviews – from theatre, through local and internation events, to Fashion Weeks, travels, recipes and health tricks, beauty, videos, shopping tips, and most importantly essays. Author of a blog is Dorka Molnár.
Dorka is a fashion styling graduate. She started working as an illustrator and a stylist for a teen magazine, which she later changed to pursue a career in writing. Dorka became the fashion editor of one of Hungary’s biggest independent online women’s magazines, Style.hu, and published her first book „I Solemnly Swear I’m Up to No Good”, which is an urban survival guide for smart and ambitious women. The book was topping the charts of Bookline, the biggest online book retailer in Hungary.
Visit her blog www.thesense.co to get inspired.
lostinfashion: How did you first get interested in fashion and why is it important?
Dorka Molnár: I think it’s always been a big part of my personality. I’ve cosciously been developing my artistic side since I was about six, that’s when I started art school and different courses. I‘ve never had any sidetracks, I was always shooting for a fashion-related career.
lostinfashion: Can you tell us about your blog, and what inspired you to start it?
DM: Blogging is still taking baby steps in Hungary today. When I started 6 years ago, I had no idea what I was doing, so the concept slowly morphed into something more than just stating a usually obnoxious opinion about fashion things. I don’t like to call it a fashion blog, that side is mainly a hobby and it’s fun, but I couldn’t do it if I wouldn’t bring anything else to the table than visual inspiration. I write reviews of books, cities, events, brands, travels, food, I give health, fitness, and beauty tips, I write brutally honest essays with snippets from my life, and I try to encourage the women who read me to be the non-filtered best versions of themselves.
lostinfashion: When did you decide to start blogging?
DM:I was studying to be a fashion stylist and I had a young teacher I really liked, so I was generally loud and myself at her lessons. She told me that I should start a blog to share all the confident nonsense I was talking, so I did. I’m a typical introvert, so it turned out I’m better with people from the other side at a screen.
lostinfashion: Being a fashion blogger requires one to network, how has networking helped the growth of your blog?
DM: Well… networking is the key to success, doesn’t matter what field is your choice. Showing up at events, having good relationship with marketing, PR, agencies, organizers, designers, investors, brand contacts, or even lawyers or finance people is crucial. It’s also very important not to fake anything, just be yourself around these people, even if they intimidate you at first.
lostinfashion: How important do you think social media is as a part of promotion and how do you promote your blog?
DM: The general idea behinds blogs is that they’re independent and genuine. Mainly because they don’t have millions of marketing budget behind them, so they use social media. My social media usage is usually conceptual and consistent, but if you try too hard, readers smell the desperation. If it’s too timed, too pose-y, too much, or want to be someone it’s not, it’s not going anywhere. It’s highly important to take time and effort to throw shit at the wall on all social media platforms, to learn what sticks. It’s not the same formula for everyone.
DM: My book – currently available in Hungarian – called „I Solemnly Swear I’m Up to No Good“ is an urban survival guide for smart and ambitious women. It’s a book of little wisdoms, technical and general things I’ve learned in the past 26 years, and my own illustrations to accent the humorous side. My goal was to create a light reading material with things that start off as a little seed in someone’s head and probably bloom into something that is a part of their personality later.
lostinfashion: Do you travel often? Do you have a favorite place to which you come back?
DM: Yes, I’ve spent the last 1,5 years traveling. My favourite place is Miami, which may sound like an add choice, but it’s more than South Beach bikini babes, coke, and rich guys on boats. It reminds me of Budapest, because the art/fashion/entrepreneur scene is so small and so ambitious. There’s always something exciting happening, and I adore the openness of Americans.
lostinfashion: How do you describe the fashion scene in Budapest compared to other major cities/fashion capitals?
DM: It’s pretty intimate. I mean literally everybody knows everybody, and even rivalry is toned down, because it’s basically „family“. I’m not sure it’s a good thing though. This is the first season that we host Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Central Europe with 50 designers of the region, which is a huge step. I really hope this is finally giving our very talented designers the platform to stand out, or to find capital to go international.
lostinfashion: What do you love about living in Hungary ?
DM: Well, technically I don’t live in Hungary. I’ve been living in London in the past 4 months, and other various places this year. But if I had to make a list, it’s definitely Grandma’s cooking, strolls on the Danube bank, the infinite amount of spas around Budapest, and night outs with Hungarian wine.
lostinfashion: Where girls usually get their clothes in Hungary?
DM: Zara, H&M, Mango? We aren’t spoiled with options, that’s the thing. One usually needs balls to dare to shop online, or walk into a showroom. I usually buy most of my clothes online or abroad, but for girls who don’t have these options, it’s not easy. Usually the point isn’t to be original though, we have a numb and natural cultural attraction to dress-to-belong.
DM: Yes, I do collaborations, that’s an important revenue factor for a blog. I always call them collaborations and not advertising though, because I only pick brands and items that match my personality and the blog’s profile. I turn down all other offers, it’s best in the long run.
lostinfashion: Do you have favorite Hungary designers?
lostinfashion: What are trends do you like and which ones don’t you like?
DM: I’m usually pretty nonchalant about trends, I like to build some of them in my wardrobe temporarily, but I prefer classics and timeless pieces. Anything that‘s overhyped will turn out to be a horrible investment for anyone who dresses on any sort of budget. Just remember all the wedge sneakers, the harem pants, the studded everything, aviator jackets, or acid washed jeans… RIP.
lostinfashion: What do you think will be the big hits fashion wise for next season?
DM: This fall I predict infinite amount of faux fur jackets and coats. Also 70’s style shoes, latex-like surfaces, and pom-poms.
lostinfashion: What’s your next fashion must have?
DM: I’m looking for the perfect comfortable leather boots for fall. So far zero success. Maybe I’m too picky.
lostinfashion: How is the current fashion scene different compared to a few years ago?
DM: I don’t think it’s any different, except for the big switch that came with bloggers and internet-famous people. Now everyone has the platform to show that they are outstanding, and it makes it possible to soak inspiration and be up-to-date every single second.
lostinfashion: How would you describe your own personal style and is there a person who is a fashion inspiration to you?
DM: I follow numerous fashion blogs, 99% on Instagram, none religiously. My favourites are Harper & Harley, and Haute Inhabit. My style is minimal and casual with a feminine twist. I’m not a big fan of prints, colors, or accessories, I like to keep it simple. Usually on weekdays it’s leather pants and sneakers, and I’m done. I like good quality shoes, jewellery, and bags, I prefer having less choices, but great items.
lostinfashion: How to find a proper style for yourself?
DM: I think it develops with time, plus it’s constantly changing, so there’s no recipe. The important thing is to understand that we don’t dress for other people, we don’t dress to impress men, to make women jealous, we don’t dress to belong, don’t dress to voice a social status, and we sure don’t dress because we saw people dress that way. If somebody can dress for the joy of dressing, to express themselves, to feel good in their skin, it’s a complete success.
lostinfashion: How much time, in your opinion, every woman should spend on preparing herself before leaving home every day? What would you recommend to all those women, who like to sleep a little bit longer in the morning but want to be chic every day at the same time?
DM: That’s a quite personal matter, I know people who look incredible 20 minutes after getting out of bed, and some who spend 2 hours on their make-up, just to look exactly the same as they did before they entered their bathrooms. For me it takes roughly 30 minutes, but I like to sleep. Being a master of concealers and highlighters, and being a smart dressing genious is crucial if someone needs more sleep.
lostinfashion: For those who want to start a fashion blog and share their ideas, what would your advice be to them?
DM: To always be themselves and don’t try to live up to the standards of the professionals who already made it. Everybody has their own audience and their own voice, and everyone starts from the bottom. It requires very hard work and dedication, like everything else in the world, but it’s really rewarding. Also: learn how not to care about haters and critiques, they’re part of the package.
lostinfashion: Thank you so much Dorka!