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  • Writer's pictureRim


To me, Fashion is a tool to express diversity and a link between the past and present to create the future.

I use style as a way to stage and celebrate the theatre of life.

styling by Rim Creative Studio/ photos by Linfeng Li / make-up by Susanna

Fashion “is about a need for visual recognition, staking a claim.” –Jean-Paul Gaultier

When it comes to Style, I’m a total nerd, and that’s ok, I’m fine with it. I tell myself stories, I imagine I’m the heroin in my own movies. Depending on the day, I’ll choose my outfits regarding what I want to experience or feel / which story I’m telling, which character I wish to embody. Style is our secret superpower after all!

Don’t get me wrong here, I’m not saying I’m like this unstable person who changes personality every day… Not at all. It’s more like I choose to consciously embody different aspects of my personality.

So, typically, one day I will choose to accentuate the softer, more feminine part of myself, some other days, I’ll enhance the strong, masculine part of me, other days? I might feel quirkier, more classic, more sophisticated, sportier, and so on… Some days, I want to dive dip into my love of vintage clothing, imagining I’m in some sort of 1920’s movie revival for example, some times, I’ll want to tap into the style of my favourites characters of the 1970’s, and so on…

While I accentuate some elements over others on different days, overall, there will always be a common thread, that makes the outfit really me.

Whatever outfit I choose, it will always be in accordance with my core values: playfulness, elegance, elevation, multi-culture, inclusion, timelessness, harmony.

I quickly make a mood board in my head. Key shapes, textures, volumes and silhouettes will flash in my mind, and I’ll use these downloads of inspiration to build my outfit. This process is usually super fast for me, it will only take a few seconds. Often, I will draw elements from different “worlds”, as I love to mix things up.

This process might feel a bit abstract for many, so I thought I’ll share with you my process in a series of Style deconstructed. I hope this will inspire you to experiment and play with your clothes.

Since last time, I talked about wearing sequins for breakfast, let’s kick this series off with some sequins!

Build your outfit around a key piece

Here, it all started with that stripy sequin top.

Nautical tops, aka “marinière” are very “French”, and while they have been first put in fashion by Chanel, and were quite in vogue in the 1960’s, they have been elevated to the status of fashion icon by Jean-Paul Gaultier.

Gaultier’s wonderful sense of playfulness and adventure with clothing resonates with me deeply.

I like how he calls into question clichés, standards, codes, conventions and traditions, and reinvent them.

The marinière was initially the uniform for sailors of the French Navy. During the First World War, inspired by seamen in Normandy, Chanel made a version of the stripy top for herself, and later on for her clients, emancipating women by prioritizing comfort and practicality.

The marinière became a staple in French fashion, a symbol of irreverence and effrontery, very en vogue in the 1960’s, until it became a classic wardrobe staple, finally elevated to an item of evening wear by Jean-Paul Gaultier, thus transgressing its code once again.

And as for the sequins, they represent joy, celebration, and the enchanting world of mermaids, grace and beauty.

So we have a good blend of feminine and masculine "codes" here.

Think about the overall silhouette and volumes

The shape is quite boxy and with its ¾ sleeves, it reminds me of 1960’s fashion, so I paired it with a mini skirt. This skirt’ slight bubble shape reminds me of a big pink happy summer bloom!

I like the association of flowers and stripes as they represent opposites, the geometric, neat, strength, regular, with the irregular, roundish, overflowing soft shape of flowers. I was also reminded how pink peonies look so nice in traditional blue and white Chinese vases.

Play with shoes too

As for shoes, I chose flats, to stay with the feel of comfort, with a blue cheetah print. The shape is a twist on a classic “tennis” shoe/sneakers: the tip is pointy, and the cut of the notch is more open than for the average tennis shoes, which makes it more feminine (a nod to ballet flats).

Animal prints have long been a staple of “chic” Fashion, symbol of power, elegance and flexibility. I especially like them when they’re not too much “first degree”, with different colours than the ones found in real animals. In my world, animals can sport all sorts of spots and freckles.

Accentuate your message with make-up

And finally, for make-up, I had in mind that portrait of Gaultier by Pierre et Gilles, where the navy stripes are associated to yellow flowers. What I like most about this picture is its theatrically fantastic joyful vibe. The joie de vivre inherent from their work helps soften the somewhat irksome reality of the human experience. I believe Fashion and make-up are perfect tools for that! I also wanted to keep some elements from the 1960’s with the cat eye eyeliner, while adding a playful touch of yellow to it.

Overall Feel

Overall feel of lightness, carefree joy, charming playfulness, the feminine borrowing from the masculine, softness and strength harmoniously paired. This is my go-to outfit for a spring weekend or mid-week meetup, it instantly lifts my mood, brings a smile on my face and for the people around me too!

What is your favourite way to experiment with Style? Do you consciously incorporate your values into the way you dress?

When was one time you felt your mood instantly lifted by your choice of outfit?

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