Fashion bloggers who have been in the game for quite a bit know of, mildly dread, or even curse to the deepest depths the existence of interview questionnaires that typically ask the same questions (Why did you start blogging? Who are your favorite designers? What other blogs do you read?) over and over. Rarely do interviews intrigue or engage me let alone consume my whole weekend, but the interview Martin Cho did on me for the website I Like My Style accomplished just that.
The questions were imaginative, and though some were bordering on being too personal, they weren't anything I can't dodge or shimmy around Hollywood-style. Martin even sent a set of follow-up questions to approximate face-to-face conversation in the interview that was done through e-mail. Let his work be an example to aspiring online journalists with his thoroughness and creativity. It was a rather lengthy interview; here are a few of my favorite parts:
Describe your style so someone who has never seen a picture of you could relate.I like to wear buttoned-up shirts, rolled-up pants, and jewelry made out of common household items.I grew up in Hong Kong and school uniform of white button-down, dark slacks, tie and blazer was the norm. The fit of the uniform is the only way to distinguish yourself (and a designer ‘book’sack). Did you have to wear a uniform? How would you change the silhouette now?I used to wear my school pants extra-loose and shiny, and I spiked my hair with Dep # 8. Nothing to be nostalgic about.I did have to wear a uniform consisting of a polo barong (short-sleeved white button-down shirt that was a little long and had side slits), black pants and black leather shoes. I don’t think I’d change up the silhouette that much because it is a classic Filipino garment, but I would luxe the uniform up by having the top done in good cotton linen, the pants slim and well-cut in fine wool, and, budget-permitting, I’d wear a pair of those architectural Raf Simons shoes with wings.
my dream school shoes (Raf Simons Spring 2009)
How do you describe style of Fillipino men? How does growing up there influence you?Filipino men like to look clean-cut and fresh as if they just stepped out of the shower. Living in the Philippines, you’re only always just able to wear one layer of clothing. That forced me to learn to wear clothes that fit really well; you can’t throw a nice coat over a sloppy outfit to make everything better.How about the style of Boston men?They do facial hair really well.Describe how you would want to look and dress like if you were a girl.I’d wear lots of black, bold jewelry, and a really sharp haircut. Shoes wise, I think the YSL star sandals (from S/S 2008) for going out at night and the Hermes Oran slippers in orange lizard for lazy shopping days would look lovely on a woman.Any female style icons that inspire you?Mary-Kate Olsen, Leigh Lezark, Georgina Chapman, and my mother.If Imelda Marcos were to ask you to design her 85th birthday outfit, what would you put her in, from head to toe (or beyond)?A Gareth Pugh terno and Boucheron jewels.
Roisin Murphy in Gareth Pugh
Reading your blog reveals your healthy shoe obsession: I believe in the transformative nature of good shoes to the overall effect of an outfit. What’s your explanation?I think shoes are very indicative of a person’s destination and activities for a particular occasion. People could wear different shoes to travel, to go dancing, to go to work, to a fabulous party, or on a date. Their choice of shoes, in terms of comfort, style, and even upkeep, reveal much more about that person than elements of the outfit that might be more evident at first glance like, say, a jacket or a shirt. Or someone may wear the same pair of shoes to all those occasions and that also says a lot about that person.If you could invite anyone from past and present to a dinner party:1) Who would you invite and why? Beth Ditto, Chow Mo-wan, Slavoj Zizek, Daphne Guinness, and Kelly Cutrone. If I don’t hit it off with any of the first four, I’m very hopeful I will with Kelly.
2) What’s on the menu? Food from Aubergine, my favorite restaurant in Manila, but I’m also bringing Paella Negra from Alba. For dessert, my famous cookies + chocolate-dipped macaroons and dried apricots from Faneuil Hall.3) A (dressing) theme for this party? Old Filipino adult movies.4) How would the night end? Late, after earnest conversation on the patio.5) Where would this dinner take place? My fictitious, spacious, modern maximalist apartment in either New York or Tokyo.I enjoy all your D.I.Y. projects (especially the curly hair tutorial), what brand would you like to design for (or wish would reach out to you for a collaboration)?Comme des Garcons! And I would also like to do a story for Men’s Non-no.Another constant theme of your blog is an appreciation of food. Music and art has been fast friends since time immemorial – what’s your thought on food+fashion?I think trends in food often echo trends in fashion: minimalism, environmentalism, Southwestern chic, a fascination with India, Chinoiserie. But nothing is more anti-fashion than an excess in food.Lastly, what’s the best advice you’d ever received?“Don’t be a doctor, you’ll have to wear a white coat every day.” - my father.
Seeing the sales associates at Margiela looking sharp in their white coats, donning a white frock everyday might not have been a bad idea after all. (photo from The Independent)
Read the entire interview here.