ModeStar | Taste is Capital, Why Not Play Up Minimalist Simplicity to Glorious Effect?
People with excellent taste are few and far between, even sparser are new mothers who can retain their fashion influence among friends after having a baby.
At ModeSens, we discovered a young and fashionable new mother.
From Michelle’s words, you can sense that deep-rooted memories of the classics heavily influence her fashion philosophy. For instance, the Carrie Bradshaw from Sex and the City that so many of us have seen hundreds of time over, the Parisian woman’s elegant and considered aesthetic, the classic wardrobe staples that we all own: Collar shirt, cashmere sweater, white T-shirt… She prefers uncomplicated simplicity, and wishes to thoroughly understand quality design before wearing it in a way that brings out its essence in full force.
A lot of the fashion-forward believe that if you want to be on trend then you must adhere to the shelf life of fashion. After a brief shining moment, it’s already time to move onto something new. But we also know that those standing at the cutting edge of style, socialites and captains of industry sitting at the front row of fashion shows have more than once sported an old classic, or a slightly modified version of the old classic, in front of the crowds, to glorious effect. The key is in choosing high-quality pieces and brilliant styling.
Michelle is a fashionista who gets this, who knows how to lengthen the shelf life of her simple and classic fashion investments. To her, fashion is never fast food.
Q&A for ModeStar @ Michelle Maa
ModeSens: How did you fall in love with fashion and photography?
Michelle: Girls have an innate affinity for beauty. We always want to be prettier. In terms of personal style, I started off with an easy palette of black, white and greys, then ventured into adding pops of color and creative detailing. Eventually my style evolved into a more stable state of simplicity.
At our honeymoon, I discovered my husband is a great photographer, so whenever we get the chance, I would ask him to help me capture some beautiful moments.
ModeSens：What’s your favorite brand?
Michelle: My favorite brands are a mixed bag. For clothes, I prefer simple designs from High Street brands, like Vince, for example. I literally have a whole closet of Vince! I once read in How to be a Parisian Woman that said, “if you only had one sweater, then make sure it’s cashmere!” Compared to the dull and outdated Chinese cashmere brands, Vince is a breath of fresh air, making cashmere modern and upscale. Sometimes when I don’t know what to wear, I’ll toss on a Vince and a pair of jeans, et voilà! J. Crew and Club Monaco are also brands that I like.
Shirts from Equipment are pieces I would recommend. The most important thing about a shirt is texture. An Equipment shirt is a great buy whether it’s for casualwear or resort-wear. I really like clothes that don’t have logos on them.
With bags, where do I begin! I like all kinds of totes and It bags. From Chanel’s Classic Flap in the early days to Celine’s mini Classic Box and LV’s Petite Malle, I’ve got it all. But I would usually pick basic colors and classic styles that are easy to pair with.
ModeSens：Who is your favorite designer?
Michelle: Tom Ford. Even though he primarily designs menswear, I still love his work. Also, Marc Jacobs. He’s no longer at the helm of LV, but when he was, he brought so much to this old brand – vitality, youthful energy and a second lease on life. Previously I thought LV is for older women, like mothers, but now I’m totally obsessed with it. Lots of LV styles are so hard to get your hands on – no less difficult than a Hermes. The painstaking process, only those who tried to buy them would understand.
Similarly, there’s also Alessandro Michele who completely reinvented Gucci.
ModeSens：What’s your style bible? What styles suit you? What are your tips on personal style?
Michelle：The simpler the better. Effortless chic. I like simple designs. As for the statement pieces, you only need one or two eye-popping elements in your whole outfit. Don’t overdo it. If you overdo it, people won’t know where to look.
My style tip is to gradually master one color, and then try the next color. Like the white T-shirt for example, it’s so, so, so versatile! Important stuff must be repeated three times. Nowadays, a lot of people think a white T-shirt is too simple and don’t want to wear it. I once bought a silk camisole from Club Monaco. Even though it was a bit pricey at the time, but it’s so versatile, I wear it every year.
Lipstick is a girl’s best friend. When you are out and about, always carry a lipstick with you. It improves your entire complexion! Even if you go out without any makeup on, a lipstick and a pair of good sunglasses are enough to make you a street style star.
ModeSens：What’s your take on fashion?
Michelle：Always choose what suits you. Do not chase the trends. Should you pay attention to trends and new collections from the season? Of course, but you are just learning, then cherry pick the pieces that suit you, and not whatever that’s trending.
ModeSens：What fashion events have you been following recently?
Michelle：New York Fashion Week. During Fashion Week, fashion bloggers compete to see who’s got the best feed, which is a great learning opportunity for ordinary people like us.
ModeSens：Would you like to tell us a bit about your work and education background? Fashion events you’ve attended?
Michelle： I’ve studied in the U.S. before. In my gay best friend’s words, I’ve been “infected by the fashion atmosphere.” But now I work at a state-owned enterprise in Shanghai. Can’t tell, can you? Whenever you think of folks who work for the government, you think dull and boring, people who don’t care about how they dress. But my personal style is all about making myself happy.
ModeSens：What music or movies do you like? What are your hobbies?
Michelle：Sex and the City is my style bible. Carrie’s wardrobe in the show are never out of style. Chic and classic. I’ve watched it over and over again. Carrie’s fashion sensibilities deeply influenced me. The Devil Wears Prada and The Intern are also very good movies with a huge fashion element.
My hobby is to read fashion magazines. And shopping, of course! Ah, forgot I’m also a mother, so playing with my baby is also a hobby of mine.
ModeSens：What was your first impression of ModeSens? What do you like about it?
Michelle：ModeSens is very convenient. On Instagram or other social media, when you see an outfit on a fashion blogger, you have to guess what brand she’s wearing and what price it might be, but ModeSens Moments already show you the brand, the price and where to buy it. It’s so so so convenient. Saved so much of my research time. You can even make the purchase through ModeSens. It’s really easy!
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