Websites that talk style without selling products are such a rarity these days. I would like to introduce you to a favourite website of mine : Closet Visit. There is the Coveteur, but it’s gotten too commercial and become a vulgar display of stuff. Jeana Sohn who photographs and runs Closet Visit has a great eye for detail and finds the most wonderfully stylish people to interview for her website. My favourites so far : Cheri Messerli, Roxanne Marie and Momo Suzuki. After reading these interviews for years, I wanted to write down answers to the questions for myself. So here we go.
Describe your personal style.
Simple but not boring. Utilitarian. Personalized.
Who are your favorite designers?
Stella Mccartney, Phoebe Philo, Jil Sanders, Yohji, The Row, Acne, APC, Tom Ford, Rick Owens, Ralph Lauren, Monsieur Dior, Monsieur YSL, Mademoiselle Chanel, Lemarie. My sister.
If you could only shop at 3 stores for the next year, what would they be?
TheRealReal, Ebay & Vestiaire Collective.
Are there any key pieces you find yourself wearing constantly?
I am a seasonal dresser. Blue shirt dresses in the summer. Black pants and a blue button ups when cold.
Ballet flats and oxfords.
What is your most recent purchase?
A black woolen coat by Celine. It’s positively toasty and the warmest thing I own.
Do you have any stories about amazing deals you’ve gotten on awesome pieces?
Everytime I find a pair of NDC Made by Hand shoes on sale, it’s quite eventful. They are the most well made shoes I know of. When I found my red oxfords on final sale and heavily discounted, it was a score.
I mostly shop second hand. And I am surprised to learn how the clothes move and get discarded. Fast fashion, I understand. Even the most well made ones.
My black winter coat from Celine and mid weight coat from Stella McCartney. They are extremely well made and I found them on the second hand market.
A black Stella McCartney dress that I started at, for months on Farfetch. It costed a month’s rent and I found it for a fraction of the price on Ebay three years later. I am quite surprised. You can find everything second hand if you wait long enough huh ?
Can you give us smart shopping advice?
Do not buy items made in sweatshops. It’s absolutely not worth it. You are not saving if it’s at the expense of someone else.
Learn about quality. Inspect the stitching, thickness of cloth, how you move in the clothing, composition of the materials used, etc.
Understanding cost per wear is essential. Loubs are not worth it if you wear them 10 times a year. The money rather go to a dress that you could wear 100 times. Find great fitting denim, well made shoes and great neutral handbags. They get the most wear !
Learn to take care of your pieces. A good quality piece could get destroyed if not washed/stored correctly.
When in doubt, sleep over the item for 15-30 days with zero exposure to it. If you stare at it everyday, there is a high probability you will buy it.
Buy less, buy better. I am working on the buy less part.
Where do you look for inspiration? Are there any places, websites, artists, etc. you tend to look to?
I used to like fashion blogs. But they have all become slaves to the trends and selling products. There is Tumblr and Pinterest. Movies. As I grow older, I find less style inspiration from clothes and fashion, and more from exceptionally brilliant people. There are some fashion designers who talk philosophically about how one should dress and the art of femininity. I find their words inspiring.
What does a normal workday look like for you?
Wake up, make smoothie, shower. Get to the lab before 10am. Sit in front of my computer for as long as possible. Take a walk every hour and make myself some tea. When the brain starts to shuts down, I sneak in an evening yoga class or a hike. I go home, cook, shower and go back to the lab. Go home at midnight, browse the internet and sleep.
How did you end up doing what you do?
I am an Electrical Engineer with a PhD in Computer Science. I took a course under Professor Andreas Spanias. I fell in love with the field. I made a presentation in one of my courses on a paper of my professors choosing. He was really impressed with how much effort I put into it. When I told him I wanted to do research in the future, he offered me a trial period to work under him. After 6 months, I joined his research lab. I started teaching a few classes per semester when my professor got busy. He then recommended me for a full time teaching position to the Department Head. I have been teaching ever since.
What’s the best thing about your job?
I love interacting with young minds. Teaching is a very fulfilling job. I have had some bad teachers in the past and I try my best to never repeat the mistakes they did. They treated teaching as something to do with minimum effort put in. I try to put in my 100% effort.
My research lab works helps me learn to use and develop technology to assist individuals with Visual Impairment. Its a hard task. But when I get good feedback, it’s extremely rewarding.
Which beauty products do you recommend?
May Lindstorm’s oil. Sk2 serum. Skinceuticals C E Freulic. Good sunscreen. The rest can be homemade from the kitchen.
5 things you can’t live without.
Macbook, tea, my chef’s knife, camera and good shoes.
My camera has been in the repair shop for the past month and may stay there for another month. In the absence of images, I have resorted to words to do the job. I take pride in hunting down good reading material. I plan to share my finds – blogs, books, musings till my camera comes home.