Renata Certo-Ware, the mastermind behind the Philly-based style and fashion blog, Scorpion Disco, is a self-proclaimed "fashion junkie," but she won't be caught dead dressing her beloved cockapoo, Portia, in silly outfits (although the blogger reluctantly admits to the purchase of a pint-sized raincoat for the pup). Here, the 25-year-old newlywed tells us how her blog came to be, and gives us insight into Philly's best spots for shopping and people-watching.
What prompted you to start Scorpion Disco?
Well, honestly, I was living in Istanbul with my boyfriend (now my husband) and I was bored! I spent a lot of time online, and I always gravitated towards the fashion blogs. I figured that I have a strong sense of style (at least, my mom thinks so!) and I wanted to join in the "conversation" that other people were having through their blog posts. The more people there are out there offering their opinions on fashion and their new finds, the more we all can learn from each other and form a community, so I figured, I'll jump right in!
How is your blog different from other fashion/style sites?
I include my own personal style, but I don't think I'm the authority on what to wear, nor do I have the resources to be, so I mix in a lot of photos of fashion shows and events I attend, things I buy or want to buy or want to eat, my favorite models, and new designers I "discover" on my internet browsing adventures.
How do you define your personal style?
Subject to mood and availability, first and foremost. But my general guidelines are bright colors, never neutral, never ordinary, never blend in! Basically, I'm not afraid of taking risks with an unexpected burst of color or mixing a vertically striped top with a horizontally striped skirt, and I'm never a slave to trends - I strictly only wear what I like and what looks good on my figure, which is more on the curvaceous side.
Name some of your favorite Philly boutiques.
I love Joan Shepp, because her boutique is one of the most well-curated collections of pieces from small, independent designers and well-known fashion houses, and the handbag selection is to die for. It's hardly ever prim and proper, and you can always find something funky and unexpected - like a Sonia Rykiel leather corset belt or a beaded head piece Isabella Blow would have worn.
I also love Arcadia, because they prove that eco-chic doesn't have to be dumpy! Their new boutique in Rittenhouse is like raiding your cool older sister's closet.
If you could get one store to open here, which would it be?
I think Philly deserves a Top Shop -- stylish, on-trend pieces with just a touch of European flair for a fairly reasonable price. Come on! An Opening Ceremony would be nice too, a great place for some seriously funky, off-the wall, 90's-inspired pieces in neutral colors.
Where's the best spot in Philly for stylish people-watching?
At the risk of sounding clichéd, I have to say Rittenhouse Square or Washington Square. Well-dressed people tend to prefer squares.
What's one thing you hate spending money on?
Clothing!! I hate to spend more than $25 on anything! I'm (clearly) great at bargain-hunting and finding sales. I have been known to blow my savings on anything obnoxiously pink, like the theatrically high-collared wool coat I bought from Umit Unal, an atelier in Istanbul, or the pink PVC Furla Candy Bag from their latest collection.
What trend do you wish would just shrivel up and die?
Creepers -- the shoes, and the people. But I actually think the shoes are worse! Why, oh why, do people think they look good?
Tell us about the oldest item in your closet. Why are you still holding onto it, and what do you love about it?
Definitely the combat boots I bought from the Delias catalogue when I was 15. Literally. I still wear them, a decade later!! There's no good way to store them, and they usually stay sprawled at the bottom of my closet. I promise myself after each winter I'll throw them away, and could never bring myself to do it.
What are the five key pieces for this season?
A long, flowy chiffon maxi skirt; anything in eye-popping pink or orange (Think Jil Sander);
chunky heels; a big bold, futuristic ring; and a surfer-inspired bikini from Lisa Marie Fernandez.
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