Interview | Olivia Purvis – What Olivia Did

Olivia Purvis

A natural. Photo credit:

Olivia Purvis (What Olivia Did) is a darling, there’s no doubt about it. The 21-year-old is taking over the blogosphere and her effortless style, sweet personality and chic blog are the reasons why. She’s already got a handful of awards under her belt, rising from “Best New Fashion Blog” at the 2011 Cosmopolitan Blog Awards to “Best Established Fashion Blog” by 2013 and she’s a favourite on the likes of ASOS, Company and Miss Selfridge (and a whole lot more). Her blog is a beautiful collection of ideas, photographs and whimsical words that hook you in and before you know it, you’ve gone back to a post she wrote 6 months ago. And that’s the reason why we all love her and it.

Not content with storming the UK blogging scene, she’s currently in New York for #NYFW. But, just before to jetted off to the other side of the Atlantic, she very kindly stopped by for a quick a chat.

Hello Olivia, thank you so much for allowing me to interview you. I absolutely adore your style, where does your love of the 60s come from?
You’re very welcome! I’m not sure really. I’ve always loved the music from the era, so I’m pretty sure it was only a matter of time before my style became influenced by it too. I think it was a real era of fun with style, so it’s hard to not want to make a nod to it now and again!

Have you always loved fashion and who used to inspire your style as a teenager?
I definitely have. I used to make scrapbooks of fabrics and designers when I was about 8, from old magazines as every last detail used to interest me! As a teenager, my style was somewhat of a massive experiment, so ranged from Timbalands, to yellow skinny jeans and big trainers in my ‘Nu rave’ phase (I wasn’t the only one, I promise), so I’d say inspiration came from anything on my iPod (which at the time was a combination of anything from Paramore to Hadouken!)

How did you find your personal style?
I think I’m still finding it! The fun thing about personal style is that it’s always changing and evolving, so you never have to be stuck in one way. I suppose in terms of finding mine though, it’s mainly a mixture of working out what works for my body shape, and most importantly, what makes me feel happy to wear!

(Check out Olivia’s latest video. Adorable.)

You live in London right? How does the city inspire your style?
Street style is amazing in London, so you can pretty much just look outside of a cafe window for a bout of inspiration, it’s everywhere! That’s without mentioning all of the amazing shops and museums and galleries!

What motivated you to start a fashion blog and did you ever think it would end up being so influential?
My best friend used to read a couple before I did, and kindly introduced me, which certainly got me going myself! It seemed super accessible, so I thought why not. I definitely didn’t think anyone would ever read it!

Do you prefer vlogging to blogging? How does it feel being in front of the video camera?
Not just yet! I’m still getting used to talking in front of it, and I definitely find the written word easier (plus, I’m not a massive fan of the sound of my own voice)!

You’ve had the opportunity to work with some lovely brands and magazines, what would you say is your biggest achievement from your blogging work?
One of them. It’s always amazing to be recognised by publications, and definitely means a lot- but a big achievement is definitely having such an amazing bunch of dedicated readers, who continue to come back time and time again!

I know you love baking, so you must be enjoying Bake Off right? Who’s your favourite?
I love Kate, Richard and Norman- but it changes week to week. I love Norman’s baking style and showing that sometimes simple is best!

If you were a contestant, what would you create for your signature bake?
I make some pretty tasty honeycomb brownies that I think I’d like to showcase if I got the chance!

When it comes to your blog, the photos are always incredibly chic! Do you have any tips?
Oh thank you! You’d have to ask my boyfriend for any tips, as he’s the man behind the camera- and does an amazing job!

Would you ever consider writing some sort of book? I can imagine a gorgeous coffee table book filled with pictures of your style!
I’d love one one day, fingers crossed!

What’s next for you and your blog? Where do you dream of taking it?
Who knows! As long as people keep reading it, I’ll keep blogging! But a book would be amazing- and maybe a cafe one day, who knows!

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