We chat to fashionista, blogger and pink-haired inspiration, Gala Darling.
"If asked in a bar what I do, which happens all the time, I usually just say I'm a writer, especially if I don't feel like engaging. But I guess officially, I would call myself a writer, fashion editor and international playgirl", explains Gala Darling, the mastermind behind ICING, an online fashion & lifestyle blog which has gathered a religious following. "I started it because I didn't want to work in an office or a shop ever again.Â Not the most romantic notion, I know! I wish I could say I started it because I wanted to inspire the world through style and aesthetics, but unfortunately it was prompted by a very real need to earn some money in a way that made me feel good. But iCiNG is an online magazine with a staff of one, my love letter to the universe. It's a big, beautiful mix of style, fashion, lifestyle advice and thoughts on how to live more magically."
"I'm a very excitable girl with pink hair, a passion for publishing and a magical view of the world!"
"It was a scary decision to become self employed. Not at the very beginning though, I think I was blissfully unaware of the challenges I was about to face, which made it much easier! It was a couple of months in when it really hit me, probably.Â Being in absolute control of your own income is a scary thing, yes, but I would absolutely recommend it. For me, there is no other way to live." She continues on to discuss keeping herself motivated. "I suppose it depends on the day. Sometimes I am motivated by the fact that I have to pay my rent, ha, but normally I am inspired by something and want to share it.Â Really the internet has changed the face of writing so much. It used to be that you'd write an article for a magazine and never know how it was received unless someone happened to write a letter to the editor.Â But now there is instant feedback, a super-quick-fix turnaround on everything, and information moves so quickly. It's really amazing. I am totally addicted to that rush and buzz."
With style icons including Little Edie, Marchesa Louisa Casati, Diana Vreeland, Mary-Kate Olsen and Karl Lagerfeld, we asked Gala to describe her style, to which she had her army of Twitter followers come to her aid. "I'm not good at answering this question, soÂ I asked my Twitter followers to answer it for me. Here's what they said":
@DanaBelle you're a certified unicorn tamer. you dress as sweet as a cupcake. edgy gone pink. jem & courtney loves fashion lovechild.Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â
@MissJewelsJ I would say you are like the a rare find in a rainbow of pick n mix! xoxoÂ Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â
@pmablog supersonic tiger orgasmÂ Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â
@PrincessPoochie A hint of pink sweetness mixed in with the dark side of a fairy taleÂ Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â
@forgivemeology Sophisticated sparkly neon bunny.
So what does a typical day in the life involve for Gala? "I wake up at 7.30am, order some breakfast from my favourite juice joint and start looking at my email as I wait for it to arrive.Â Write down a list of tasks for the day, and get into them.Â I do my best writing before noon, so I try to get it all done by then.Â Then I take a break and go for lunch, or a walk, or take a shopping break (this unfortunately happens much more than it should in shops all over the place -Â Patricia Field, Tarina Tarantino, Bergdorfs, eBay, Forever 21... haha). I use the afternoon to do less brain-intensive tasks, usually replying to emails, taking outfit photos or putting together the bare bones of future articles. In the evening I go out with my boyfriend for dinner and drinks, then pour myself into bed around 1am!" On a dull day, Gala would cheer herself up by "buying myself flowers and taking photos with them, listen to something upbeat and hoop it out (I love my hula hoop!), or just curl up in bed with some good food and watch old episodes of Sex & The City. I am a cliche, I know."
"New York has so much energy and vitality, it really is the centre of the world."
"I recently became the Fashion Curator (aka Fashion Editor) for ChinaShop, a magazine owned by RedBull, which is extremely exciting!Â I'm also writing a book - kind of a guidebook to life the Gala way, and I write a chapter of it every month, 10,000 words. I'm also sorting out my visa so I can live in the States permanently.Â All of this on top of maintaining my own website and bulging email account keeps me very busy!" With so much going on, we enquired as to how she keeps herself organized. "I have a Moleskine daily planner which I use for my daily tasks. I separate each day into three sections: business, personal and social - that helps keep my brain organised. I draw heart bullet-points with actionable items next to them and I highlight the text as I complete a task. I also have a hipster PDA (otherwise known as a stack of index cards bound together with a pink bulldog clip) with an ongoing "to do" list written on it. I carry it around with me and make notes whenever I have an idea for a story, or when I think of a song I want to put on a mixtape, or whatever. My hipster PDA and my Moleskine have saved my life. I do love to write lists though. If I don't write things down, I forget. Forever. You should read my journal, it is SALACIOUS!Â Hahaha."
"I do love to write, it permeates all aspects of my life, so even if I'm not blogging, I am probably writing a list, a postcard or in my journal. Other than that, I love to go dancing, hang out with my boyfriend, love on his dog, go on magical mystery tours all over the city, travel (favorite places are Las Vegas, Paris, New Zealand, Los Angeles), talk business with my friends, construct outfits in my head, buy immense stacks of books and get massages... !". As well as ICING and fashion, Gala's other passion is her adopted hometown, New York. "I have always wanted to live in New York City. When I was about 13, I remember sitting in the Wellington Public Library with a stack of books on New York beside me, making notes in a journal and probably secretly tearing out the pictures that spoke to me most. I first came here in 2006, when I was 22, and as soon as we arrived at our hotel and my feet hit the ground, I felt like I was home.Â It's such a difficult thing to describe, but people who have had a similar experience, that of feeling completely at home in a place they've never been to before, immediately understand. I had the time of my life and came back in 2008. I was meant to only be here for a week, but it ended up being 3 months... and I have been back and forth between here and New Zealand ever since. New York has so much energy and vitality, it really is the centre of the world. I cannot express how much I adore it!"
"I find inspiration all over the place, New York is wonderful for that. But also in music (currently on the stereo is an hour-long mix by Bong-Ra. He is brill!), movies, flower shops, the runway, foreign fashion magazines, strange little independent shops, amusement parks, airports...". We asked what she thinks makes a good blog. "An original point of view. People rehashing the same old nonsense over and over again, or trying to rip off someone else's style, is my personal ultimate intellectual turn-off. Be prepared to work hard and persevere! If you give up after a month, you'll never make any headway.Â My wife has an incredible website about graphic design, style and personal branding at Nubbytwiglet.Â I also love Mystic Medusa, Fur Coat, No Knickers and Jak & Jil."
Looking to the future, Gala shares her hopes and dreams. "Really, I have everything I want.Â I just want to continue to be happy, to continue to inspire other people and to keep pushing boundaries and amaze myself. However, if I had three wishes, they would be to own a beautiful apartment in New York City, to find an excellent hairdresser in the city who was willing to try fun new things all the time (if anyone has any suggestions, HOLLA!), and to be organised enough to eat 100% raw, all the time! I never, ever cook,Â ever! Seriously, I am not exaggerating, I don't even make toast.Â The way I see it, cooking is not something I'm good at. I'd rather work a little harder and pay someone who is RAD at cooking to make food for me, and then with the time I *could* be spending making a disaster in the kitchen, do something I actually enjoy.Â To me, this view makes perfect sense.Â Many people disagree with me, but it is not their life so they can think whatever they like!" What's next for Gala and Icing? "Who knows?Â Watch this space!"Â
Find out more about Gala, follow her blog and get loads of style tips at her website, iCiNG.