I've seen this page done a few times on blogs but I realised that I actually need one because in the interviews I've done, the SAME OL' questions get asked and STILL, things come out all wrong. In a few Hong Kong magazines, some people have written things like I'm a student studying in London who's from HK and that I'm 18 (I wish...). A wee bit wrong. Anyway, it's a boring chore but I'll just get it over and done with....
So, here I invite people to ask questions... anything that doesn't veer into the overly personal and I'll do my best to answer them here on the post... no interview type soul-searching questions either e.g. Do you feel that fashion is an art? *Yawn* that question is looong and tiiired and should be shelved in a rickety box.
I will then stick a link to the FAQ in the sidebar for future reference if people are at all interested... or you might not be at all...
I'll get the ball rolling with a few of the typical ones...
How old are you?
24 (will have to change that in a few weeks though!)
When did you start the blog?
March 2006. Apparently, it feels a lot longer because people have said things like "I've been reading Style Bubble for YEARS....!" which makes it sound like they've been reading it for decades... might have something to do with the way I ramble on and on and on...
What do you do?
I WAS working in digital media, hence my tagline as a 'fashion-outsider/enthusiast'. I'm now commissioning editor of Dazed Digital at Dazed & Confused. I'm still a fashion-outsider.
Where are you from?
I was born in London, UK but my parents are from Hong Kong.
What is your favourite kind of jam?
I veer between quince and apricot depending on the day...
*Ok, that last one wasn't typical but feel free to ask such randomness...
What's your favourite and least favourite thing about yourself?
I like the moon shapes on my fingernails. I hate the ones on my toes.
What do you immediately scan for when you go into a clothes shop? What are you drawn to?
Depends on the shop... I'm generally drawn to anything that takes my fancy on that particular day, on a particular moment... hard to say. Right now, I'd be drawn to heels constructed out of metal.
Do you find the Marni patent wedges easy to walk in?
Fairly easy. They're not 'taxi' shoes by any stretch of the imagination. I walked in them on cobbled streets on Stockholm for a good twenty minutes without too much trouble... though I wouldn't go hiking in them or anything.
Do you speak Cantonese? Hakka?
I speak fluent Cantonese and very bad Mandarin. No Hakka though I understand a little when I'm in the mood.
Do you like being a BBC (British Born Chinese)?
I don't like or dislike it? It's just part of who I am. Kind of like the moon shapes on my fingernails...
Do you say "Ai ya!" a lot?
No... but my boyfriend thinks it's funny to say it all the time.
Do you like sushi?
Yes, but I like fresh sushi. Supermarket or EAT/Pret a Manger sushi is rancid. Yo!Sushi is ok when I'm particularly hungry and impatient.
Where do you see yourself in ten years' time? Do you ever want to become immersed as an 'insider' of the fashion world?
If this recession doesn't make Western Civilisation crumble down to the point that everyone is in a destitute state then I guess in ten years' time I'd like to obviously still be involved in SOME way in fashion...in what way I don't know. I think fashion roles as we know it will change anyway and that familiar hierarchy will shift so I would never be a fashion luvvie/daaarrrling because there won't be that tolerance for that sort of people. Also, I can't address other people as 'Daaarrrling!' I'd sound really lame.
Do you ever dress "normally" and does it make you feel weird?
I'm afraid I'd have to answer that with another question; what does 'normally' mean - please define it and then I could probably answer.
EDIT: I think (well, I presume) what was meant by the "Do you ever dress normal?" question is, do you ever just feel uninspired or lazy and just hang out in tracksuit pants, your boyfriends jumper and your hair in a messy ponytail? Or are you always 'done up' if you know what I mean....
I guess everyone has their own version of laid back outfits. For me, it's never trackie bottoms. I tend to wear leggings and a sweater if I'm pulling on an outfit just to like cook breakfast or something. But then I'll always change. I could do up to 4 or 5 changes a day on a weekend.
How did you get the job at Dazed?
Through a tough round of interviews, a bit of Red Bull and a bit of luck...
How much time do you spend on the computer each day?
On the weekdays, it's easily 12 hours of each day as I work from about 10am to 7pm and then work some more when I get home or in the mornings...I'm talking day job work here...
Blogging wise, it's probably only one or two hours a day.
On weekends, it's far less...depends on what I'm doing.
Do you ever get funny looks when you're out and about and if you do what do you think/do about them?
On some occasions I get anything from tutting to outright abuse... the iPod headphones help quite a bit.
Can you read Chinese characters?
I can read Chinese fluently. However, I find reading simplified characters quite difficult for some reason. I also write too when forced.
What is your favourite root vegetable?
Without a doubt, it is the parsnip! I'm sallivating at the thought of roasted parsnips at Christmas with some rough sea salt and pepper crushed over them...
If you could live in any other time period (regardless of the fact that you probably wouldn't have fitted in very well in most), which would it be?
1760s' in London during the reign of mad George III, Shanghai in the 1920s' and 1970s' in New York.
How did you find staying in London for uni?
I chose to go to UCL PRECISELY because it was in London. I didn't want to leave my friends and I was a big baby who didn't want to go to a real campus-like uni. I personally loved it; living in residence halls across from Selfridges, eating out MORE than I should have and distracting myself with London more than I should have been doing. I don't mind daylight robbery - £1.50 apples from Selfridges Food Hall... yeeesh...
Who are your favourite artists?
The ol' faves...Francis Bacon, Marc Chagall, Gustav Klimt, Edvard Munch. At the mo tho I'm finding Twinkle Troughton's work quite hilarious...
If you could live in another city for one year of your life where would you go?
Probably New York just because I've considered moving there and I'd be able to find some form of employment (or maybe not in this current state...)
Do you think that was a cool way to "interview" with no questions or words? Or that was a silly post (reference to Stiletto Effect's Blogger Desk post)
Ho ho ho.... that's a cheeky way to drive traffic, no?
Yes, it was a cool way to "interview" judging from the number of comments on the post and also because people are voyeuristic. I also sometimes suspect a lot of readers here just skim through the text so visual interviews are always quite popular and successful.
What is your favourite country and would you live anywhere else besides the UK?
Right now, I'm quite happy in London but who knows in a year's time. I'm certainly not tied to this city and circumstances change all the time. I don't really have a favourite country... I have favourite cities and they include Antwerp, Paris (at certain times of the year...), Shanghai and Bilbao.
How has your taste in fashion, especially favourite designers, changed over time? Is there anything that horrifies you about what you loved at 15, or is it just that your taste has got broader / more sophisticated from there?
I don't think my taste is that sophisticated. I know more perhaps but I still go for really tacky, really stupid and banal things. When I was 15, I loved black sequins...I'm frickin' 24 and I still love the stuff. I guess the only thing that has changed is money. I don't shop at Etam, New Look and Topshop as much anymore yet I actually reminisce over those days of getting excited over shops like New Look (I had to take all of 2 buses to get there!). I always had pretty broad taste though and if anything, when I was younger, I took even more risk. I suppose designers like Chloe, Marc Jacobs and Marni ranked pretty highly when I was younger and that has of course expanded quite a bit. I think right now, I don't tend to treat any designer as god, and rather judge items on individual merit...
Have you lived in London your whole life?
How did you meet Steve of Style Salvage?
It's a boring story... through work at my last job. We fell in love over media planning meetings and lunches at Pret a Manger... oh and a very odd trip to Amsterdam.
Do you have any tips/tricks/secrets as to successful thrift/vintage shopping?
I'm not very strategic like that so this is quite tricky...I guess the only thing I could recommend is RIFLE like mad...I mean do COMB everything and put things up against you in the mirror. That's how I convince myself to buy quite ugly things in charity shops, thinking I could perhaps do something with them...
What inspires you in the morning when you dress? Do you imagine yourself in costume, or perhaps it is just whatever you see first in your closet?
Odd how people think I dress in costumes or some such! I tend to want to wear one specific piece of clothing/accessory and revolve around that. Or I want to go for some sort of a theme and then go with that. Depends how much time I have in the morning I guess...
What age were you when you realised that fashion was your calling?
I still don't really know whether "fashion" as an industry is my calling... but I've loved clothes ever since I could dress myself.
What do you consider the 5 staples of any girl's wardrobe?
I only know MY personal staples (I think I've done a post about this...). I couldn't possibly impose them on other people; Salvatore Ferragamo bow flats, grey jersey t-shirt that hangs right, a proper pair of black opaque tights, vintage slip dresses/skirts and some well fitting leather gloves.
Outside of magazines, what other reading material do you like?
It's terrible but I do read a lot less now that I work as I don't take the tube into work anymore and I get sick reading on the bus... BUT when I do have some time, I love Haruki Murakami books, any old classics like John Galsworthy, Evelyn Waugh, W. Somerset Maugham and also a good deal of historical biographies.
What advice would you give for trying to get started in the fashion industry?
I'm not really fit to give out advice like that seeing as I'm not strictly speaking IN the fashion industry and my route was a funny one anyway...
What kind of music do you listen to?
Look to the Playlist on the right hand column. I just discovered Playlist.com and I'm very excited...
Do you like animals? (the pet type)
Not really unfortunately... cats hate me and my two hamsters that I did have, mauled each other to death...I'm not selfless enough to take care of any pet properly...
Do you workout?
What would you suggest to someone who wants to start collecting hi end/high quality pieces, but that does not have an unlimited budget?
I don't really approach clothes/shoes as collectors' pieces for a start. I only buy things that I really love and I don't by any means have an unlimited budget... eBay, consignment stores, sample sales etc are my aids I guess...
How does it feel to be so open to the public?
There will always be a sea of things that I won't reveal...all of this is only the surface...
I am curious to know what your favourite brand is or the one you are most loyal to?
I don't really have a favourite brand. I go to certain places for specific items. E.g. I always buy school uniform tights from John Lewis, opaque ones from Tabio, grey sweaters from Uniqlo etc etc.
What has been your greatest bargain find and greatest extravagance so far?
Bargain definitely has to be the 0.01p vintage puff tiered dress from eBay and my extravagance was probably my Vivienne Westwood suede printed bag which I saved up for at uni...
Do you read manga/watch anime?
No but my sister is more into that stuff...not really my bag I'm afraid.
Do you have any cherished cuddly toys, if so what are their names?
Err...no... even as a child, I was never attached to cuddly toys...
You've been blogging for a long time now - do you feel that the fashion blogosphere now is different from what it was when you began (apart from the fact that it's bigger and clothing trends have changed)? If so, how?
Yes, it is vastly different and size aside, I think fashion blogs are more evolved in what they put out there. The majority of fashion blogs now are personal style blogs, centering around one person and that breeds I think even more voyeuristic traits in readers and this can on occasion turn nasty. It's also very easy I think to create sensation with a blog in a way that at one point in time, a blogger can suddenly go from having no readers to a lot of readers and the media endorsing bloggers helps a lot. I think it was a bit more organic and slow blogging three or four years ago.
What model is your camera?
Canon IXUS 90IS but I will be succumbing to a DSLR soonish...yes, I faltered!
How long have you kept your long hair? Do you actually trim them while growing to this length?
I've had long hair since I was about 15/16...I did have it VERY short like a pixie cut when I was 14 but my hair grew so fast and I just couldn't be bothered after that. I hate getting my haircut but I do trim my own split ends.
What's your karaoke song?
Brandy and Monica's The Boy is Mine. Failing that, Colours of the Wind from Pocahontas.
Do your parents and siblings read your blog?
I have three younger sisters and two of them read it occasionally and the youngest one is completed disinterested. I don't take offense. My mother occasionally looks at it to check that I'm still alive and my father doesn't quite understand the concept of the blog and therefore chooses to ignore its existence.
Your wardrobe is going up in flames, you can only save one thing, what would you save?
I can't choose favourites. I'll just have to let the whole damn thing go up in flames.
Who takes the pictures of you posing?
My boyfriend, Style Salvage Steve!
What are your favourite travel destination? Any dream trip you would like to take?
I've listed my favourite cities so any of those really. I want to do a Stephen Fry-style driving trip around the USA, going to every single state. I also want to do a proper Northern Lights in Norway trip soon...probably sometime next year.
Do you want to have children someday?
Did you go to Chinese school?
Yes, years of slogging away on a Saturday morning until the age of 16 when I couldn't take it anymore.
What did you want to be when you were young?
It changed everyday; illustrator, ballerina, astronaut, sound engineer, costume designer, lawyer...
Do you eat chicken's feet?
Yup...especially the cold ones for dim sum. Hmmm...
What do you think will be the big trends for S/S 09?
I'm the wrong person to ask such a loaded question... will leave that to the experts...
How did you discover TFS?
Whilst Googling for Parisian vintage shops. I believe my first post was in the Paris shopping thread...
Do you know any other languages or have a desire to learn others?
I can speak very poor French (when forced) and does reading Latin count? I really do need to learn French fluently and I will get that on my agenda.
How could someone live with another someone that has no taste in clothing at all?
Is that a not-so-secret dig at me and my wardrobe? You'll have to direct that question to my boyfriend Steve in that case... wrong person to ask...
When people make fun or laugh at the way you dress, you just ignore it? You are quite a strong girl with thick skin.
Like I said, the iPod headphones help a lot and in all honesty, I couldn't give a fuck...
But if you are so good, why didn't you apply for Central Saint Martins? UCL - they are good at sceince and maths...
When did I say I was 'so good'? 'So good' at what exactly?
I studied history at UCL because I really wanted to study history at UCL. I was actually very specific with my first choice. Studying fashion never even crossed my mind because I didn't want to limit myself. I never wanted to be a designer and at the time of A-Levels, I never set out a career path for myself. Call it youthful ambivalence. All I knew was that I wanted to live in UCL halls with my best friend studying history. Sorry, that's as far as it went for me... apologies if my life wasn't mapped out with a career goal...
Oh, and UCL is famous for subjects other than maths and science. Please refer to the Times' Good University Guide if in doubt...
How do your organise your wardrobe with so many clothes?
With difficulty, Ikea industrial storage and a lot of constant tidying up.
I don't do clean outs as I hate chucking things away...
Have you ever considered selling of your vintage clothing on eBay?
A few times but I don't have the time to sit down and do it and plus nobody would actually want my rags which are so personal to me...
Would you ever consider working in Hong Kong in the fashion industry?
I doubt anyone would hire me? I don't think I'd fit into the fashion industry there either... all in all, no...
Why is it that you like Bilbao?
I also named other less obvious places like Antwerp... I loved the architecture, the food, the atmosphere... hard to explain as with other cities...good vibes, good vibes!
What do you want for Christmas?
For the world to feel right again...
Does it take you long to put
outfits together? If you change 4 or 5 times in a day does this leave
time to leave the house?
Not too long...10 minutes max really. The good thing about living where I do now means I can come home easily and change and then go out again... I am mildly ridiculous when it comes to outfit changes.
What is it you like about Style Salvage Steve's style? (apart from the fact that you can steal his clothes!)
His style is very subtle, selective and pared down in a way that I'm not!
What is the one photo that always manages to inspire the way you dress?
I don't have such a photo...
If you could only steal one thing from another person's wardrobe, what would it be and whose wardrobe would you get it from?
I can't name the item but anything from Daphne Guinness' wardrobe would be great, ta very much...
Do you think starting a
fashion/style blog is a good way to introduce or wean yourself into the
fashion industry? And do you have any tips or advice on style/fashion
I hate this questions because it's really difficult for me to advise people to use blogging to get into the fashion industry. However if you mean blogging just to get a 'feel' for the industry then it would really depend. The truth is that not every blog will get recognised by the industry and really at the end of the day people should blog for the love of it and not have any motives behind it. Yes, I do work in the 'industry' as it were now but I still blog because I get something so much more out of what I do on Style Bubble. I only ever have one bit of advice and that is to be as genuine as possible and inject as much as of your personality in it... people will recognise that and most probably love you for it.
Can you post some illustrations?
Errr....unless people want to see stick men drawings then no I don't think so...
Do you consider yourself an artistic thinker?
I'd say that I'm creative in odd ways... unfortunately not skilled though...
Before blogging, what was your obsessive hobby?
Posting on TFS...ho ho ho...
Have you ever gone camping? What did you wear?
Yes I have... ONCE in Dorset and it was a school trip. I wore a fetching yellow kagoul and red wellies...
I know you haven't really jumped
on the 'celebrities as style icons' bandwagon, but are there any
celebrities or well-known/public figures with style you greatly admire?
Daphne Guinness fo' sho'...and maybe bits of Emilia Fox's stuff just because I think she's lovely.
Do you dwell on anything or anyone sentimentally?
Do you think you have a sensual charm?
I have the sensual charm of a wooden stick...
Are you spiritual in any way?
I like spirits I do...
Do you ever wear denim jeans?
I do have several pairs but rarely ever wear them... they're tiresome to buy and a bit of a bore to wear for me. At the moment I am liking my ripped ones over tights though.
Regarding the Teenage Takeover on Dazed Digital - how in the world do they (the teenagers) get their
stuff published...do you have to have some sort of
connection with the insiders of the magazine?
All the teens who got published were chosen by the Dazed editorial team - none of them had connections with the magazines as such. Apart from perhaps Eleanor Hardwick who was already profiled on Dazed Digital by yours truly but that's not really a connection. They were chosen because their story ideas/submissions impressed the editorial team.
How did you make your blog 'global'?
I think the question is referring to the blog being read by readers all over the world. I still don't really know how or why this is. The majority of Style Bubble readers are concentrated in the States and the UK and then the rest comes from all over the place... I guess this question is really about 'How did you make you blog famous?' in which case it makes it even more difficult to answer seeing as I don't know how a blog would be qualified as being famous. I guess... being linked on other blogs, websites, press mentions etc helps. The most important thing is to blog regularly and to stay true to what you're blogging about.
How tall are you?
I hover between 5"7 and 5"8.
What was the longest time you ever spent in HK? Did you go to school there at all?
I did for a short period of time...not long though - a few years, have spent most of my life in London.
Could you recommend a good tailor in London ..I'm desperate to get a coat made?
I don't unfortunately. I don't use tailors here as they're so expensive unlike in Hong Kong where it's much cheaper.
What happened to the buddug crow headband? Do you still wear it out?
It's still out and about but the thing is it keeps slipping off my head which is a little annoying when you're literally out and it's windy....I might find a way to fasten it to a bag or wear it on my shoulder like a parrot....
What would you think about making a collection?
Thought has never even crossed my mind... I'm NOT a designer that's for sure...
Where can I send you my lookbook?