street fashion
Style

Part II: What Is Your Personal Style? 你的個人風格是什麼?

Few years ago, I interviewed a young girl for a merchandiser role in my team. She dressed decently like a normal office lady. I could tell that she’s quite intelligent and well-educated from her logical self-expression. However, at the same time, she also acted unconfidently by repeating to me that her weakness being “not fashionable and without fashion sense.”

Impressed with her good personal quality yet bothered by this message, at the end, I couldn’t help asking her whether she had the true passion to this role. She said yes, but just wanted to be honest with me as she was not sure if “fashion sense” and “being fashionable” could be trained or would be a hurdle in this role. I said this firmly to her, “as long as you have passion and eager to learn, it is totally possible!”

多年前有個面試至今仍讓我記憶深刻: 當時我要招募團隊裡的資淺採購, 來面試的是個年輕女孩. 她的穿著打扮一般, 但她條理分明的談吐讓我相當欣賞. 唯一讓我覺得相當困惑的是, 在面試過程中, 她不斷強調自己的缺點是不夠時尚, 也沒什麼時尚品味. 最後 我終於忍不住問她, 到底對這份工作是否真有興趣. 她說是, 只是她也想誠實以對, 因為她不確定時尚感這件事, 是不是能被訓練. 會否對她未來的職涯發展有影響

我非常堅定的告訴她, 只要你對這行業有熱情, 也有渴望學習的心, 沒什麼搞不定的!

These words are from the deep of my heart as they are from my experience. I was not a confident girl at my teenage. I had very thin and long limbs, tiny head, long neck and slim torso. With my height, I felt myself like an alien sometimes. My style evolution reflected exactly my state-of-mind and my life- there was time I tried to dress sweetly and girly to create an obedient image to get recognition from peers and away from being bullied; then I explored sexy outfits plus heavy makeup and pretended to be cool while being freed from those entrance exams; after then I wrapped myself with those so-called professional clothes to look sharp in my early career; afterwards it was a crazy daring period to adventure anything to be fashionable.

When looking back this black history, I have to admit my embarrassment for those uncountable mistakes. However, it is through these experiments that I start to discover myself better- what suits my body well, with what hairstyle and makeup I look great by gaining more compliments. Also with the confidence gained through my maturity in age and in life,  gradually I understand, accept and appreciate better how and who I am. From there, I build up my personal style and continue to learn and get inspired from the world and people around.

我會這麼說絕對不是只是想安慰她. 因為這完全是我的個人經驗. 在我的少女時期, 我並不是太有自信. 我不太喜歡自己的身體, 我有非常纖長的四肢, 很長的脖子, 以及小頭扁身. 我的身高很早就超越同儕, 在那個需要旁人認同的階段, 我常覺得自己的身形好像外星人, 和同學們格格不入. 也因此我的穿著打扮經歷過幾個階段: 有一段時間, 我渴望得到同儕的認同, 想逃開那些青少女間八卦小心眼的霸凌, 所以我把自己打扮成一個乖順, 甜美, 永遠躲在背後的羞怯女孩形象. 之後有段時間, 在拋開所有的升學考試後, 我覺得自己長大了, 體內的叛逆基因蠢蠢欲動, 因此我嘗試超齡的性感和濃妝, 談論獨立電影, 參與地下劇場. 再之後出了社會, 害怕自己看起來不夠專業銳利, 我把自己裹上那些所謂專業人士的服裝. 而後, 是一段大膽瘋狂的實驗時期, 我迫不及待地嘗試各種風格, 只為讓自己看起來更時髦.

坦白說, 現在回想起那段黑歷史, 以及那些不堪回首的裝扮, 我還是會臉紅. 但是, 我也慶幸曾經歷那些階段, 透過嘗試和錯誤, 我逐漸明白什麼樣的服裝飾品適合我的身形, 什麼樣的髮型和化妝讓我看來出色. 同時在我經過歲月和生活的洗禮逐漸成熟後, 我也更能了解, 接受並欣賞自己的樣貌和個性. 這些都是形成我個人風格的重要根基.

Gabrielle Chanel, Yves Saint Laurent, Karl Lagerfeld- these legendary designers who master the fashion history and industry all had the same comment that style is not fashion –  fashion is ephemeral and only style lasts. Personal style is the self-perception and expression. It decides largely one’s personal image, which connects opportunities and brings possibilities in life. The interesting thing is, in life many things are uncontrollable yet personal style is excluded.

How to build one’s personal style? From the book “The Truth about Style” by Stacy London, I found resonance to my personal experience. Ms. London suggests two starts: 1) accepting wholly what life has given to you- the good, the bad, the ugly without prejudice; 2) understanding your lifestyle. We all fear to be judged and therefore we try to embrace the mainstream and the current fashion without digesting how well it fits our body and lifestyle. However, if we don’t like what we see in the mirror- ignore or overcompensate for it- there would be a disconnection between who we are and how we appear. Only those organic to who/how we are and our lifestyle will make us empowered, strong and cool.

香奈兒女士, 聖羅蘭, 以及卡爾拉格斐這些影響時尚界的大師們, 都曾一致評論過風格和流行的不同: 流行是短暫的, 而風格卻能永恆. 個人風格是一種透過理解自身之後的表達, 它決定個人形象, 也因此會為你的人生帶來機會和許多意想不到的可能性. 最有趣的是, 人生中有許多無法決定的無奈, 但個人風格肯定是你能掌控的.

那麼, 要如何建立個人風格呢? 我在 Stacy London所著的這本書”The Truth about Style” 當中, 看到和我個人經驗共鳴的見解. 這本書的作者建議從兩件事上著手: 1) 不管是好或壞, 美或醜, 都要不帶偏見的接受你是誰以及自己的樣貌 ; 2) 充分瞭解自己的生活型態. 常常因為害怕外界的評價, 因此我們選擇擁抱主流, 盲目追隨現下的流行, 卻不去思考到底這些適不適合自己的身型, 個性, 以及生活場合. 如果總是選擇忽略或欺騙自己, 那麼我們就會老是陷入我們想傳遞的個人形象和外界所接收到的有嚴重落差的窘境. 只有誠實面對自己, 打造出來的時尚或造型才會有說服力, 也才有個人獨特的魅力.

Given this self-realization and acceptance, how to strategic and “consciously camouflage” oneself will be a life-long learning. To me, getting inspired by others and experimenting on oneself would be the most practical methodology. Take myself for example.  I select to follow quite a few celebrities, fashion designers, bloggers and fashion magazines on Instagram. Their styles and tastes may not correspond to mine, but I take them as inspirations to explore different styling possibilities.  I am sharing few I like the most below for your reading pleasure.

之後, 就是如何偷學別人, 多方嘗試, 有策略的用造型隱惡揚善. 我自己很喜歡觀察他人的造型, 不管是身邊的朋友或路人, 或者雜誌, 網路上的街拍或名人穿搭. 在Instagram上, 我追蹤了許多名人, 時尚設計師, 部落客, 時尚雜誌或品牌的帳號. 他們的風格不見得和我相似或能套用在我身上, 但我喜歡在他們身上找尋靈感, 應用在自己的造型遊戲上. 以下, 我分享幾個自己相當喜愛的部落客給大家參考.

Yoyo Cao       Instagram: yoyokulala

Avant-garde, versatile yet accessible. I love the well-organized harmony- between her silhouette and the background- on her pictures.  This Singaporean fashionista also owns her fashion brand Exhibit Store.

這位新加坡時尚博客的風格對我來說是前衛, 百變但又夠生活化的. 我喜歡她照片中, 服裝之間以及和背景間精心打造的和諧感. 累積諸多國際和網路上的關注後, 她已經有了自己的時尚品牌Exhibit Store.

Irene Kim        Instagram: ireneisgood

This Korean super model gains attention for her rainbow-colored hair. Her perfect body figure allows her to carry any styles- from street chic to high-end fashion. She is very good to mix all up-to-date elements under a mischievous attitude.

這位韓國超模以她不斷變化的彩虹髮色聞名. 她完美的模特兒身型讓她不管是演繹街頭風或高時尚都非常好看. 她的穿搭總是能協調所有最新流行元素, 並將之轉化成強烈個人風格, 既古靈精怪又時尚.

Margaret Zhang       Instagram: margaret_zhang

Being a photographer, stylist, law school student and fashion blogger for “Shine By Three,” this Australian girl attracts me with her creative style and the aesthetic on her photo.

這位澳洲籍的中國女孩, 既是出名的攝影師, 造型師, 時尚博客, 還是法律系學生. 她最吸引我的是她有創意的穿搭, 以及相片中個人和背景呈現出的整體強烈時尚感.

Vanessa Hung      Instagram: thehautepursuit

You don’t find too many colors and accessories on her, yet this Korean American masters her style with good taste, iconic bleached hair color and healthy image.

這位韓裔美國女孩有極好的品味, 她擅長洗鍊卻不簡單的配搭. 在她身上, 找不到超過三種顏色, 也沒有繁複的飾品搭配 . 她的標誌是一頭漂成白金色的頭髮, 以及小麥膚色的健康形象.

Lyn Slater            Instagram: iconaccidental

A professor living in New York. She started her blog originally to speak for regular women in the fashion world. Her unique style wins her attention to be a fashion icon accidentally. I am heavily attracted by her for our similar taste (obsession with Comme des Garçons, Yohji Yamamoto) and the attitude on her pictures.

她是紐約某大學的教授. 最初她經營自己的部落格, 只是想在專業人士主掌的時尚界中殺出一條血路, 為普通人的時尚觀點發聲. 然而她極有個性的穿搭風格, 卻意外讓她成為時尚偶像 (這就是她Instagram帳號的由來!) 我最初喜歡她, 是發現她的風格和品味和我非常類似 (我們都極度著迷 Comme des Garçons, Yohji Yamamoto!)  而她照片呈現那種不假掰的酷酷態度, 也是我的心水.

Aureta Thomollari            Instagram: aureta

This Albanian American is a multi-hyphenate: blogger, consultant, model and jet-setter. Her style is very eclectic, artistic and glamorous. Her Instagram account gives me a mood of visiting an art gallery. She’s amazingly skillful for stocking up accessories.

這位阿爾巴尼亞裔的美國女士有許多身份: 她既是知名部落客, 時尚顧問, 模特兒, 而且經常周遊四海. 她的風格華麗怪異中帶有強烈的藝術氣息. 我在看她 Instagram 帳號時, 常有種參訪藝廊的讚嘆. 她有另一點非常吸引我 ,就是多層次配搭飾品的好功力.

Welcome to share with me your story- your struggling and learning to identify your personal style. Let’s be authentically chic together!

歡迎和我分享你在打造個人風格上的故事和血淚史. 讓我們一起學習, 打造出具有個人原汁原味的時尚吧!



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