"Wear what you love and don't make any apologies for it."
I would like to introduce a series of interviews, starting with the lovely Frances Kwon, creator of the blog http://www.pinkhorrorshow.blogspot.com/, the first interview of (hopefully) more to come.
Frances is the 22 year old creator of http://www.pinkhorrorshow.blogspot.com/, where she delights us with frequent posts about her life in New York. Her flair for fashion shines through in her photographs, which could easily come from an issue of ELLE or Marie Claire magazine.
This New York native has developed quite a sense of style, which is to be admired especially because of her young age. Her blog is very pleasant to read and I haven't been able to let it go since the first time I read it. The overall styling is so clean and modern. She keeps it very consistent, her main focus is her daily style, although we frequently get a glimpse of what Frances is like as a person.
She obviously likes fashion, but she likes to bake as well and seems to adore cupcakes (who doesn't!).
She likes to go out, eat and enjoy New York City at its best. In fact it is one of her favorite things to do in NYC since ""there are too many good places to go to and not enough time to enjoy them all". For those who have a trip to NY planned, head on over to Gramercy Tavern, Frances' favorite restaurant, which is located at 42 East 20th Street, between Park Avenue South and Broadway. According to her, the friendly staff serves the most amazing new-American food.
Last but not least, she loves her two loyal companions : Cake (her red cat) and Crumb (the black one). Let's not forget, ever since Grace Coddington wrote a book about her precious cats (Catwalk Cats), they will never go out of style and are therefore permitted to be featured on fashion blogs everywhere.
Frances' love affair with fashion started in her teenage years and she inherited most of it from her mother, who "was a very stylish woman". She has since learned the importance of fashion, saying it is "significant because it represents who you are and how the world will perceive you".
When you look at her pictures, she can not be perceived as anything other than stylish.
Her style could be described as classic, romantic, with a bit of edge.
She will wear a very elegant, soft, white blouse and pair it with leather (very short) shorts and the highest of heels. She will effortlessly combine elegant Prada heels with a rock and roll shirt and a vintage looking necklace. Most importantly, she will always make it her own. Some people throw on whatever is in and combine so many trends together, but if you fail to make it your own, you'll look anything but stylish. That's not the case with Frances.
New York seems like a great place to live. It combines culture, food and fashion. Is there anywhere else you'd like to live? "Right now I can't picture myself living anywhere else, but from time to time I'll watch a movie that takes place in California and everything looks so beautiful, the weather is perfect and sunny, no subway system with crazy people riding next to you haha. I look at that kind of life and sometimes think it would be amazing to take a break from NY and live somewhere in California.". She says she is lucky enough to have traveled quite a bit and pick up things here and there (like her favorite item in her closet : a collarless leather jacket she saw in a boutique in Korea a few years ago and instantly fell in love with) but will always love New York "because it's a giant melting pot of different styles", before adding that "French women always do have impeccable style".
So how has living in New York influenced your style? "I think almost everyone is aware of the "New York style" that includes a lot of black, refined and tailored clothing, but of course there's more to it than just that. When I moved here, I had more courage to wear things that I didn't before, more fashion forward items", she says, "I've learned more about the classic pieces that will serve both utility and style purposes because I'm walking around and carrying several things everyday.". You won't find any over the top pieces. Instead, you'll find lots of basics with a twist, which she glams up with thoughtful accessories, like this beautiful YSL ring.
Proving that simple doesn't mean boring (at all!) : Frances thoughens up a vintage dress with Zara thigh high boots and a Hermes belt.
It is obvious Frances loves accessories. She favours bold, timeless pieces that you can't ignore. Is there anyone in particular that inspires her? "Anna Dello Russo because that woman is FEARLESS! She epitomizes fashion-forward and I love that she lives in such over the top extravagance. She won't settle for one Chanel brooch, she needs 10. I clearly don't emulate her style exactly, but she inspires me to be indulgent and playful with my clothes/jewelery."
It's hard not to envy the upscale accessories in her closet. Would you rather save money for one piece you've wanted for ages instead of buying a trunk full of jewellery that cost much less? "I've made mistakes when shopping and now I know that trend items are not usually worth it because all this little money adds up and you're only collecting bargain quality items when you could have one really beautiful piece." Good advice, since you'll get a lot more wear out of something that's made out of quality material and not to mention is made with better craftmanship. Now that we're on the subject of jewellery, what's your favorite item that you cherish the most? "My Cartier love bracelet. It's classic, simple, and streamlined in design. Also the concept behind the Love collection is interesting. By "locking" the bracelet onto a loved one like a chastity belt, it's a little creepy!"
What I've noticed throughout her blog, is that she'll wear investment buys with items from Zara, J.Crew as well as vintage items (which she is trying to incorporate more into her wardrobe). This, in my opinion, is a great shopping mantra, as you only need to buy a few investment pieces that will last you forever and you can pair them up with less expensive things that can be more trendy and fashion forward.
What are the best investment buys a girl in her twenties should buy? "I'll admit, I'm a very fickle girl when it comes to clothes/accessories and I've made several mistakes in terms of what I've splurged on. Even now I fawn over impractical things but I've collected several staple items over the years. Booties have become my best friend. My simple black leather Pradas get the most use out of any shoe in my closet because like a good pair of jeans, they can go with almost everything. Platform shoes are also recommended because they provide more comfort, so if you like fancy footwear but can't handle heels, opt for a platform."
"For bags I really think two sizes are necessary for the average girl: one medium to large size bag that's easy to carry everyday items for school/work and a smaller more elegant purse for the evening. My favorite bag to go out with is a small Chanel 2.55 bag. A good watch is also a great staple item to have, I wear my Cartier tank Francaise watch for night and day because it works for both. Jackets/coats are important too, because they are the first thing people see in the winter! A well tailored jacket made of good material, not necessarily expensive, will last you a long time."
To finish up, a couple of final questions.
You won't leave your house without? "A bra. I think girls, even ones with a small chest, should not leave the house without one! Unless heavily layered with clothes."
Is there a certain trend you dislike and why? "Clogs...I just don't understand! I hated them when I was a kid too."
How would you define luxury? "Luxury can be frivolous, it can be meaningful, it can be extraordinary, or simple and understated. Luxury to me is definitely a form of extravagance but it can be anything from a first class trip to St. Tropez or a box of chocolate truffles from the grocery store."
And finally, what's your style mantra? "Wear what you love and don't make any apologies for it." I couldn't agree more.
*Frances is currently studying photography at Parsons (the New School for Design) in NY, something she has wanted to do for a very long time. When I ask her about her post-Parson plans, she is still unsure but has decided she no longer wants to pursue a career in photography. She does however want to remain in the fashion world and develop a career in the fashion and/or art industry in which she, withouth a doubt, will succeed. I wish her the best of luck! *