Fashion, Soap Operas and Social Media: My Dream

I have a confession to make. I am totally and completely addicted to The Young and the Restless. This is not a new addiction. This is a soap opera addiction that started when I was in utero. My mother watched it when she was pregnant with me and I was born with a love for the fictional city of Genoa City, Wisconsin. The addiction is so bad that there were certain days, starting in elementary school, that I would pretend to be sick so that I could catch up a bit on “Y&R,” as true fans call it. I follow Y&R on Facebook and watch each episode at night every single day. I missed eight episodes recently and (don’t judge me) I caught up on ALL of them online in ONE sitting. Thank goodness for commercial-less online viewing! I was able to get each episode condensed to 37 minutes.

A few weeks ago, I was thinking about the dress that Victoria Newman wore to her wedding ceremony to Billy Abbott. I am not talking about their fake and accidental wedding; I am talking about their intentional wedding. I absolutely loved her dress and wanted to take a look at it again. I Googled it and found the blog of my dreams. The blog, The Young and the Stylish, is a site entirely devoted to the fashion seen on The Young and the Restless. Not only did I find Victoria’s wedding dress but I found SO much more! Could this site be any more perfect for me? I decided that I just HAD to interview the blogger behind this wonderful creation and, luckily, Michelle Suarez agreed! I am not sure that I have ever been as excited to do an interview as I am now!

Q: I happen to be a big fan (big is actually an understatement) of The Young and the Restless. When did your interest in the show begin?

A: Well, I was taking an undergraduate class on television genres and one of our required screenings was to watch an episode of The Young and the Restless. I don’t know why my professor picked that particular soap, but let’s just say it was fate. The episode I saw that day was right in the middle of the Ashley/Sharon baby switching drama ({LH}: GREAT PLOT, by the way!) and I still remember my classmates next to me rolling their eyes and looking at their watches. However, for some reason, I was immediately hooked and I knew that it was going to drive me crazy if I didn’t know what happened next. I’ve been watching ever since.

Q: Are you a fan of any other soap operas?

A: Honestly, The Young and the Restless is the only soap I watch ({LH}: Good answer!) and it’s hard enough keeping up with that one, especially when you consider the fact that I am juggling graduate school, an internship, updating my blog and of course staying up to date with all the other shows that I watch. I am somewhat of a television aficionado and some of my favorites include Cougar Town, Parks and Recreation, the Bachelor/ette franchise, Modern Family and Community. Oh, and I am probably the only person left still watching Desperate Housewives, which arguably is a soap in its own right. I guess I’m just a fan of melodrama in general.

Q: What inspired you to start your blog?

A: I started The Young and the Stylish because I had just taken a class on new media and my professor encouraged us to become more involved with blogging. I was still a relatively new fan of The Young and the Restless but I knew that if I did start a blog, I wanted to focus on that show. After thinking about a possible topic, I realized I could write about the one thing that stood out to me about the soap, the wardrobe! You see, after every episode aired, I found myself searching for the clothes I had seen onscreen so it was just a matter of time before I turned my hobby into a blog. I also knew that I would have plenty of fashion opportunities to write about since the show is on five days a week and has so many characters. Thus, The Young and the Stylish was born. ({LH}: You are a brilliant, brilliant woman!)

Q: Has your blog changed at all since you first started it or did you have a pretty good idea of what you wanted it to be like right from its inception?

A: When I first started the blog I had no idea what I wanted it to be like or what direction I wanted to take it. I thought I would just start a place where I would look for the clothes on the show and share what I found with anyone else who was interested. All I knew was that I wanted to find a way to incorporate a picture of the character wearing the clothes and then include a link of where to get the outfit. One thing I will say is that the blog has definitely improved over time. In the beginning, I hadn’t yet realized the beauty of screencaps so if you look at the archives, you will see just about the blurriest pictures you can imagine (very embarrassing!). I also added polls and episode recaps, and recently started including a bit of my thoughts with each entry. The blog is constantly evolving because if I think of a new idea or a reader suggests something, I am open to trying new things. That is one of the things I love about blogging; nothing is set in stone!

Q: What do you hope to achieve with your blog? What kind of audience do you hope to reach? What do you want people to take away from your photos and articles?

A: I hope people will think my blog is not only creative but worth reading. I want The Young and the Stylish audience to be engaged and honest, which I think they already are! I love when people leave comments on the blog and vote in the polls because I really am interested to see what my readers think. I may have loved a certain dress on the show but if you didn’t like it, I’d love to know what it was that you didn’t like about it and why ({LH}: As I indicated above, I am entirely in love with Victoria’s most recent wedding dress!). I want my blog to open a dialogue and encourage readers to get involved in social media. After all, starting the blog encouraged me to do so! I also want people to know how much I appreciate the fact that they read the blog in the first place because without their contributions, the blog would not be the same!

Q: What networks (Twitter, Facebook, etc.) do you use to distribute the content on your blog?

A: The Young and the Stylish joined Twitter (@theyoungstylish) a couple of months ago and to be honest, it took a bit of persuading from several of my blog readers. For the longest time,  I really didn’t understand why it was such a popular form of communication until I started using it myself. Now, the blog has over 200 followers on Twitter and is constantly growing! I find that it is the easiest way to let people know when I have posted a new entry, updated part of the blog, or sometimes I like to tweet “live” while an episode airs. I also recently joined Facebook (as in about a week ago!) and am still trying to get people to “like” the page. As of now, only twelve people have done so but I’m really hoping more people like The Young and the Stylish than that! LOL If you are reading this interview and can spare a second, go “like” the Facebook page. I would appreciate it! Shameless promotion, I know! ({LH}: I’m interviewing you and asking you to talk about your brand! Shameless promotion is invited!)

I know that I am the one who conducted this interview but I am totally in love with this concept! This is the PERFECT example of using social media to expand on a passion or hobby. Some of you probably have interests that you think may seem frivolous or trivial but that is not the case. If something strikes a chord with you and you have something to say, I encourage you to start blogging and let other people see what is on your mind!

Do you relate to Michelle? Do you see yourself taking a personal interest and bringing it to life for others via a blog? Have you already done this? I would love to hear your stories.

  • CMI

    Like you, I stumbled across Young and the Stylish after I saw a necklace on Facebook that I just couldn’t get out of my mind.  Sadly, it was too late and I didn’t have enough information to find the necklace but I think this concept is brilliant.  I really believe the someone with the right entrepreneurial spirit could make a decent living by sourcing styles seen on a variety of popular television shows.  Michelle is amazing.  I’m sure it takes a lot of time.

  • CMI

    Oops – saw the necklace on Y&R – just “liked” Young and the Stylish on FB so I guess I had that on my mind.

  • Joanne

    LOVED the Interview!  I happened on the Young and the Stylish blog, while looking for a necklace worn by Nikki Newman!  I wrote in and altho the exact necklace was not found, i got some ides for the one I did eventually buy for myself.  I check the blog every day, and am amazed at the amount of money spent on wardrobe.  Most of it is too expensive for my pocket, but I find it all fascinating anyway.
     ( BTW, I also watch Desperate Housewives religiously!) 

  • Dawna

    Phyllis Newman is wearing a black high neck halter on the 9/18 and 9/19 episodes of the Young and the Restless. Does anyone know where I can find this top?

  • I sent this on to the blogger who announces and reviews Y&R fashion! Hopefully she will have some advice/guidance for you! 🙂

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