11th June 2016 / Style / by Chia Sihan

The Reign of The Self-Styled Stylistas

The ever-changing world of fashion is pretty similar to the stock exchange movement – one never really knows for sure who’s going to be hot or not. These self-made fashion arbiters show what sets them apart from the rest of the industry’s movers and shakers.

Alexa Chung, model/presenter/editor

The British model and presenter has come a long way since she was talent spotted at 15, and has since gone on to be the muse of fashion heavyweights Mulberry and Kaiser Karl, to name a few. She has also taken on the role of contributing editor for one of fashion’s leading and most respected publications. Her doe-eyed beauty and sharp wit has captured audiences all over the world, combined with an effortless style, keen eye for aesthetics and a refreshingly down-to-earth demeanour. To capture her journey in the industry, she’s penned It, a compendium of her writing, doodles and photographs, and shared her experience of becoming a style personality.

Looking effortless takes a lot of effort.

Her look: A blend of whimsical laced with modern sensibilities. Her style icons? Jane Birkin for inspiring her to “dress like a boy while acting like a girl”, and Annie Hall.

One thing about her: “I’ve been working in fashion since I was 15, and I’ve always found the inner workings of the industry fascinating.” – Alexa, in the Future of Fashion documentary series by the British Vogue

Chiara Ferragni, fashion blogger and influencer

A quick glance at the Italian fashion blogger’s Instagram account validates that life as a fashion girl is indeed fast and fabulous. With picturesque snaps of the style star globetrotting to fashion capitals around the world, it’s hard to imagine that the inspiration for her immensely popular blog, The Blonde Salad, first came while she was pursuing a law degree at Milan’s Bocconi University.

Started as a platform to chart her mixed “salad” of interests, from travelling to beauty to food, it has since evolved into a glamorous showcase of her numerous high fashion collaborations with notable names such as Louis Vuitton, Dior and Ermenegildo Zegna. The entrepreneurial beauty also has her online store and designed and launched a shoe line with shoe e-tailer Luisa Via Roma. In an interview with The Guardian, she reckons her popularity could be attributed to her fun and fabulous lifestyle as seen on her Instagram feed, which is replete with her celebrity friends, seaside getaways, and of course, fashion shows.

People love to dream through me.

Her look: Bohemian gypsy with a touch of rock-and-roll

One thing about her: Harvard Business Review featured her blog as a case study in their MBA program.

Tavi Gevinson, actress, writer and editor

Named by a major UK daily as one of “the world’s most influential teenagers” at 18, this fashion dynamo kick-started her passion for fashion with a voracious appetite for style bibles Lula, i-D and Dazed & Confused and her wardrobe experiments in her family home in the Chicago suburbs, styled with inspiration from her fashion hero Rei Kawakubo. These “experiments” meticulously documented on her 1st blog Style Rookie at the ripe old age of 12, no less.

Her blog quickly garnered high-profile viewers, and as a result, the pre-teen with her signature silver bob found herself right beside fashion royalty Anna Wintour and Karl Lagerfeld. Attracting the spotlight of the elusive fashion world at such a tender age would have been a dream for any fashion lover but not Tavi. In an interview with The Daily Mail, Tavi shared that after her first New York Fashion Week, she sat in the airport lounge at LaGuardia and cried.

‘I was, like, this is it,’ she recalls. ‘I got this one cool experience and now I was back to school, where I was made fun of for what I wore.’

Her look: Utilitarian with an elegant twist, and her trademark cool-as-a-cucumber gaze

One thing about her: Writing was how she dealt with the pressures of adolescence. “When you’re in high school, you don’t want to hear ‘it gets better,’ because you’re like, I’m not there yet. It’ll be a while. So when I was actually in high school, a lot of dealing with the pains of that was to romanticize it somehow, but then maybe I’d over-romanticize it,” she says in an interview with Vanity Fair.

About the Writer

Chia Sihan

A story junkie by nature, this TFCS scribe thrives on uncovering the backstories of her interview subjects, whether they are heads of corporations or a working Mum caring for a child with a developmental disorder. She finds it a privilege to be privy to these personal experiences. Some of the publications she has written for include the Singapore Women’s Weekly, L’Officiel Singapore, and Harper’s Bazaar Junior. It is this genuine love for storytelling and collaboration that led her to kickstart her journey as a co-founder of The Fashion Collective Singapore. Now the chief storyteller at TFCS, she is particularly inspired by the personal journeys of TFCS Mentors, not to mention their dedication towards the refinement of their craft.

Head over to The Editor’s Journal to read articles contributed by Sihan.

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