My Style: Hollis Wong-Wear

Portrait of Hollis Wong-Wear

Portrait: Courtesy of Hollis Wong-Wear

Which designer never fails to impress you?

There's always something in the window of Versace that makes me gasp a little bit. They can definitely cross the line into tacky or overwrought, but their boldness inspires me.

Please describe your style in three words.

Intuitive, eclectic, and fun.

What is the biggest mistake one can make when getting dressed?

Underdressing for the weather. It ain't cute if you're shivering.

Do you believe in role models?

Absolutely, where would I be without them? Nobody is infallible but I am deeply inspired and motivated by the unapologetic brilliance and individuality of my role models.

What are your favourite fabrics?

Denim, silk, leather, and cotton.

Are there any style combinations that you object to?

For every "bad" style combination there is someone who can pull it off with flair. However, the ultra low rise pants with the crop top for the extreme abdomen midriff is not a good look.

Which city has the best-dressed women?

It's gotta be New York, although I'd love to see what's poppin' on the streets of Seoul and Tokyo.

Would you say that you are conservative or bold?

Bold. But it's always fun to take a seemingly conservative piece and style it into something fresh.

What are the rules in the way you dress?

I dress to embrace my body and my spiritedness with mindfulness to balance. There's a line between flattering and restrictive, and I never want to feel like what I'm wearing will prohibit me from moving or eating however I want.

Celebrities and style...

Can be iconic, disastrous, or bland as hell!

Name one garment/accessory that you can never have enough of?

In the summer, cut-off jean shorts. In the winter, heeled boots.

A woman should always look like...

However she wants to look. She should feel empowered to dress to her most confident projection of self.

Who taught you what you know about style?

My style is definitely crowd-sourced: I pull from the rich minds and sometimes closets of my impeccable inner circle. My mom and younger sister are definitely at the centre of my style palate and my favourite closets to raid. Luckily all three of us are the same size!

How do you select your clothing every morning?

Every morning is a different adventure. Based on the weather and where I'm off to, I usually dive into my dresser with one piece in mind and let the rest of the outfit frame itself around that piece.

What is your biggest regret?

Not journaling enough when I wanted to avoid myself.

The three essential things a woman should know about style are...

Lead with what you feel most confident in. Give yourself room to breathe. If it feels too tight, it is. You can always fall back on your signature colour or a signature accessory.

Do you have any shopping rituals?

I never purchase anything online, I do consignment/thrift shopping more than anything, and I *always* start with the sale rack.

We will never see you wearing...

Chaps.

Which new designers do you follow and why?

I'm really inspired by the crop of designers in Seattle who I've worked with personally or admired at a glance; the fashion emerging here is organic and effortless. FARIS, Rachel Ravitch, Silvae of the Woods, Wyatt Orr. And Logan Neitzel, Seattle transplant to NYC.

Who is the most stylish person you have ever seen?

Sade.

What is the first thing you notice on a woman?

Her face.

What are the most treasured items in your wardrobe?

Definitely the hand-dyed Japanese plum silk gown that Mark Mitchell made me for the Grammys last year.

The one image that defined your approach to style...

The style of Bob Fosse's dancers in musicals like Cabaret and Chicago had a huge impact on me growing up, that mix and match tableau. Sexy, confident, smoky, strong, with the freedom to move.

One article of clothing that a woman needs to pay close attention to is...

Her undergarments and that they don't distract from what she's got going on...unless they're supposed to! ;)

Is comfort an enemy of style?

No way, although I do feel like style should have edge. That's why I like heels; they make me stand up straighter, walk conscientiously, and be more present to my surroundings.

Who would you like to recommend for My Style?

Mark Mitchell, fashion and costume designer and fine artist.

The best words of advice you have ever heard?

The four agreements: Be impeccable with your word. Don't take anything personally. Don't make assumptions. Always do your best.

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