Fashionista Of The Week: Introducing The Beautiful Shane Lin

Shane Lin was born in Taiwan, educated in Boston, and now based in London. Coming from a long line of businessmen and women, she followed her family’s footsteps and studied Entrepreneurship and Economics, which later landed her a career in construction management and consultancy services. Due to the nature of her job, Shay has been working in male-dominated industries for years. As a female and a minority, she is very much aware that women had to fight much harder to be heard and seen in the workplace and society. Being encouraged by her sister and friends, Lin decided to start an account as her creative outlet. She explores the benefits of using her platform to amplify women’s voices by sharing her everyday style and hoping to, in the slightest, inspire the ladies out there to stop picking apart their bodies, discover their most attractive selves, and feel confident in their own skin.

Model & Mode Magazine recently caught up with Shane to discuss her journey in the fashion world, and here’s what went down:

Where do you usually shop? Are there any hidden gems when it comes to snapping up some awesome designer clothes?

I am a big believer in high-low fashion. I find mixing more expensive tailored pieces with more casual everyday pieces makes me look more styled and aesthetically balanced when done right. Aritzia, Storet, Arket, and COS do quality staple pieces with a subtle twist. Mango and H&M are also my go-to’s and good places for trendy and basic pieces at a more affordable price. For the past few seasons, they carried the most beautiful knitwear and dresses. I like to shop for jeans and trousers at Uniqlo. There’s something about their design that fits your body like a glove. I’d go to Zara for trend pieces as they are fast at catching on to the latest trends without breaking the bank. I would check out third-party retail websites like Farfetch, Net-a-Porter, and Forward for brands with hefty price tags. I’m always on the lookout for the best deal and shop around off-season or at the end of the season before I take the plunge.

What are your top tips when it comes to fashion for the cooler months?

Layering. Instead of putting on just one layer of top and a heavy coat, I’d start with a high neck or a crew neck sweater, throw on a blazer for a little bit of structure and complete the look with an oversized coat/jacket. This combo not only keeps me snug in cooler months but provides versatility for multiple occasions. I would also choose a nice pair of boots that give room for thick socks for some added warmth.

Where do you look for creative inspiration?

I usually take inspiration from Pinterest, people on the street, my mom and auntie (I might sound partial, but their generation had the best style, in my opinion). I also like to take ideas from other creators but avoid styling pieces the same way they look at others. I will usually personalize it to suit my aesthetic as some styles might suit others but might not make you feel 100% comfortable with them.

Is it hard to stay fashionable?

To me, staying fashionable is to have a clear mind and idea of what works best for you. Social media can be a double-edged sword. It is super helpful for new ideas, style tips, and inspiration, but it can make you feel more confused about what you want at times simply because there is too much going on out there at every single second. When I run out of ideas, instead of hunting frantically for ideas from social media, I would have a good look at my wardrobe and lay everything out in front of me. This helps to style things up visually in terms of what colors and pieces coordinate and harmonize.

How do you walk the line between being unique and having commercial appeal?

Under the influence of social media, we are so vulnerable to losing our individuality because we are not looking like someone else. What is in today can be out tomorrow. Don’t get me wrong; I used to fall into the trap of catching trends without thinking if that would suit or pair with the rest of my wardrobe. I believe comfort and fashion are equally important. I now tend to go for styles that I am the most comfortable with and confident in. At the end of the day, your uniqueness will only shine through if you are being yourself.

Are there any key trends you’ve seen for this year?

I see cut-out dresses or tops everywhere. I find this trend easy to replicate and not too “trend” driven. When done very minimally, I find a classically fit dress with very flattering and very fine slits, which adds a little extra something in a very inoffensive way. This year, I also see many blue and yellow in accessories and clothing, from duck egg blue, bright royal blue, and custard yellow. I love the contrast the vibrant colors create when paired with deeper shades, especially grey.

What do you think about the state of fashion today?

I am happy to see more and more people promote sustainable fashion. Both brands and consumers are putting more emphasis on sustainable production and consumption. The focus of the whole industry is shifting towards more of an environmentally-friendly narrative.

It’s got us to put more thought into what goes behind a piece of clothing and if what we buy has been ethically or environmentally produced. We don’t have to purchase new clothes constantly to create a new look or to stay current. We need to realize the power of reinventing, restyling, and reinvesting in something we already own. It’s still a long way to go, but I’d like to think we are on the right track.

What are the clothes we can rid our wardrobes of that are considered very ‘last season’?

Low-waisted jeans, neon-colored items, branded monogram belts, super exaggerated platform shoes need to be out the door. Those used to be the ‘it’ items, and you see them everywhere….(still remember that studded or rhinestoned Ed Hardy). It’s just my personal opinion, but I’m over them.

What fashion advice would you give an emerging fashionista?

I once heard a stylist named Molly Bingaman say that “the most attractive look is always the most authentic one.” I 100% resonate with that. How to show up authentically is something I believe we all struggle to a different degree at some point in our life. We put ourselves at the mercy of the critics and are constantly seeking acceptance, and because of that, we start questioning our style, taste, body image, and identity. My advice would be to take that control back. Don’t feel insecure if you don’t look like someone else. Celebrate your uniqueness, discover your authentic self, and everything will follow naturally.

The fashion industry has changed so much in the past few years; what’s the best advice you would give for staying ahead of the curve?

Don’t follow trends blindly, and don’t spend a ton of money on overhyped items. New trends are created every day and can spread overnight thanks to social media. Don’t feel like you need to catch that trends train all the time. I’d say to be selective and discreet about the fashion elements that are trending and mix bits and pieces with what you already have. Keep things simple. You don’t need to be doing what other people are doing. Source unique and classic pieces that will stand the test of time and will complement you and your wardrobe.

Fashionista Of The Week: Introducing The Beautiful Maria King

Maria King of “What_maria_wears” was originally born in Poland, but she has lived in Australia since the end of 2018. About a year ago, she was laid off from her job due to COVID-19 and she can definitely say that this event was the main driving force for her to start something new and that is when @what_maria_wears began.

As a professionally trained ballet dancer and graduate of Media Education and Journalism, she has always been a highly creative and social person, so creating her Instagram page was exactly what she needed. It gave her an opportunity to share the way she expresses herself through fashion, create content and connect with a lot of amazing women. The amount of support she has received from the community was more than what she expected, and it has been her biggest motivation since. She finds it amazing to see how women can support and inspire each other. After nearly a year she can honestly say that she’s happy with where her platform is heading and she’s incredibly grateful for all the amazing opportunities she was given when it came to collaborating with Australian and overseas fashion and beauty brands. Now she’s ready to grow more and see where it takes her.

Model & Mode Magazine recently caught up with Maria to discuss her journey in the fashion world and here’s what went down:

Where do you usually shop? Are there any hidden gems when it comes to snapping up some awesome designer clothes?

“What_maria_wears” is all about affordable fashion. I specialize in versatile styling and creating low-cost outfits, that look anything but cheap. I believe that fashion is for all of us, no matter what the budget is. I find designer fashion certainly not affordable for the average woman, so I shop anywhere I can find inexpensive fashion. There are plenty of brands like that here in Australia, you just have to have an open mind and do not limit yourself. I am also a huge fan of op shopping so I would definitely recommend those to anyone looking for hidden gems when it comes to fashion. Personally, I reckon half of my closet is second-hand.

What are your top tips when it comes to fashion for the cooler months?

The key to Autumn/Winter fashion for me is layering. There are a few tips and tricks on how to layer clothes and still look stylish. Some of my favourites are to invest in lightweight pieces for the base layer such as cotton blends or merino wool that still keeps you warm. Add thick knit on the top of that, use a coat as the very outer layer and you are ready to go!

Where do you look for creative inspiration?

I think inspiration is everywhere, as general as it sounds but it is true. You can get inspired by people you see on the streets, other fashion content creators, magazines you read, and even with movies you watch. I would not say that people particularly look for inspiration, I think it’s more of that inspiration is around us and it’s just important to be able to see it.

Is it hard to stay fashionable?

My overall goal is not to be fashionable at all. It is to inspire women, help them find their style, stick to it, and “shop” their closet. What I do is focusing on building my personal style and not really focusing on following trends. Of course, there are some trends I love but I always make sure that the items I add to my wardrobe are items I will love and wear for years. I find it very upsetting that some people buy a certain item and wear it once, considering the impact the fashion industry has on our environment.

How do you walk the line between being unique and having commercial appeal?

I set my own goals and boundaries, so I don’t find it hard at all. On my platform, I want to stay transparent and true to myself so I only collaborate with brands that suit my style and brands I believe that my audience would genuinely love. Having so many content creators nowadays, it is important not to compare yourself to others and believe in yourself. I am aware that I am not for everyone, and I am not trying to be. I focus on sharing what I love, and I am happy my audience enjoys it.

Are there any key trends you’ve seen for this year?

Trends come and go and it is impossible to keep up with all of them. I personally focus more on classic and staple pieces when it comes to styling but of course, there are some trends that have caught my attention. Statement sleeves, oversized fits, shoulder-padded pieces are some of my favourites. There are so many interesting ones, but I only go for the ones that suit my preferences.

What do you think about the state of fashion today?

I think there is a lot happening in fashion and I think that is what confuses most people who cannot find their own style. Trends are changing so much, and people are “told” what they should wear but they do not consider many important factors such as their personality, body type, or lifestyle. I would like to see, from us consumers more of a personal approach to fashion. To stop religiously following trends and focusing more on creating your unique style. Of course, there is nothing wrong with buying trendy items, as long as you buy them because you genuinely love them not because you feel you should, or other people wear them.

What are the clothes we can rid our wardrobes of that are considered very ‘last season’?

I do not think that we should add or remove items from our wardrobes based on trends. Why would you get rid of a coat that works for you and your closet only because other people start wearing something different? I personally stick to basic and staple pieces, and I build my style around it. Sometimes I will add a trendy piece because I like it, but it is always something that I am planning on wearing and keeping for a long time. I think people should focus more on building a capsule wardrobe that works for their style and lifestyle instead of following trends.

What fashion advice would you give an emerging fashionista?

I am not sure if I am in a place yet to give advice, but if there is something I have learned that I could share with people who are starting their journey with fashion, it is to stay true to yourself. Do not try to be like everyone else because then there is nothing that makes you different. Fashion is for everyone, but style is something very personal.

The fashion industry has changed so much in the past few years, what is the best advice you would give for staying ahead of the curve?

I am still very new in the fashion industry, so it is hard to say. I think we should treat fashion as a space that has a lot to offer and use it in our own way, the way that works for us. I think it is not necessary to “stay ahead of the curve” because, in my opinion, that is not the point. Fashion should give us joy and freedom to express ourselves through it, not cause headaches and stress to be “the first”, at least from my side, as a consumer and fashion lover.