STYLE GURU BIO: Jessica Wang

Hello Fashionistas, nice to meet you all. I’m a 21-year-old Asian girl who learned how to pick a dress for herself before she was able to speak in complete sentences. My name is Jessica, a second year communication studies major at UCLA. I’m also a fashion-seeker, experienced online-shopper and an eager learner. For me, business casual is the style that can best represent my personality: independent, serious, yet easygoing and flexible.

In this celebrity-driven age, we are often left with an impression that fashion is reserved for the young and beautiful. Also, celebrity is the ultimate embodiment of style and elegance. Yet to me, fashion is not something reserved for a specific group of people, nor it is a fixed standard that can be represented by only the young, pretty or wealthy. Fashion is a way of self-expression. It has nothing to do with age, gender, status or appearance.

If fashion is a way of self-expression, then the standard to judge one’s outfit should not be solely based on whether she or he strictly follows the trend, but more on the ability to choose a style that fits, that highlights her or his characters and makes them distinctive in the eyes of others. For example, Ines de la Fressange, the first model to sign an exclusive contract with Chanel, argues in her book La Parisienne that Paris women are elegant because they know how to show their elegance, either through their outfits, or through their lifestyle. Confidence and elegance are a part of their personality, and the role of the tangible components of fashion reflect these personalities in a way that can be best appreciated and remembered by others.

I pay attention to trends because they reflect the top designers’ understanding of fashion, and they set parameters for socially approved styles. But at the same time, I deeply believe that trends are not equivalent to fashion. Destroyed boyfriend jeans could be a trend, but they become fashion when they are chosen to highlight and reflect the characters of certain groups of people. I hope my writing and understanding of fashion can help you get to know me a little better.