This week’s interview is with Jae, whose style and wit I’ve admired for some time. I wanted to interview Jae not only because she has exquisite taste but also because she has such strong and well thought out views on fashion. I may not agree with everything she says, but I love reading it all because my most interesting conversations are always with those who have a different opinion! I’m sure you’ll all feel the same.
There is so much interesting stuff here that I’ve made this into a two part interview – so head on to the first half below, and enjoy Jae’s amazing style – I’ve included some of my favorite outfits throughout:
Jae in Chanel jacket, Louboutin heels, and Hermes bag
What is your name? Where are you from, and what do you do?
I usually sign my informal correspondence with a J, so it’s Jae online. I’m from a tony, Jewish suburb of NYC and I’m an attorney…specifically a litigator.
When did you first start getting into fashion? What was your first high end purchase?
I started getting into fashion when I was in high school. Fashion being I thought I was so cool dressing in horrifically oversized Tommy Hilfiger emblazoned jackets. Then there was the Goth phase which I really haven’t ever left–just tempered with age. I’m still a massive fan of Givenchy (Tisci-zed), Haider Ackermann, Ann Demuleester & Rick Owens.
My first high end purchase was my prom dress. Calvin Klein Collection, a minimalist black silk backless dress…which has since been shortened to cocktail length! I still wear it after 12 years!
A day look
Who are you favorite designers? High end and low end?
While I love the aforementioned designers above, my closet has to be wearable for a 30 yr old attorney with a weird Mr. Potato body type whose significant other likes to hang out on the UES. Hence, most of my closet is Yves Saint Laurent and Proenza Schouler. I think YSL is the most classic and wearable brand, evinced by the fact that I still wear my mother’s strong shouldered, mini work dress from the 80s (so Melrose Place back then and now so Balmain!)
Other than my standbys, I own a little bit of what I believe each house is known for. A tweed jacket from Chanel, a trench from Burberry, Valentino for beautiful blouses, TSE and Loro Piano for sweaters. Each house has it’s strengths – meaning, if I want a bandage dress (which I don’t because I don’t have the body to pull it off), I’m going to get an Alaia, not some Herve mass marketed, made in China junk. As for low end brands, my go to place for workhorse items like Ts is Gap/Banana Republic’s day after x-mas sale and stock up on 3.99 tissue tees/tanks for the rest of the year.
I also am a HUGE fan of Loehmanns for my J Brand/Tsubi jeans. I adore Superfine jeans and they always end up on 70% sale at Saks or the Outnet since they’re not so popular here in the states. If I had to chose a low end brand, I’d go to Zara, but ONLY when it’s on sale because I remember when I first went to Zara in Barcelona in the 90s, the stuff was always under $30. I can’t ever pay more than $30 for Zara anything because it always falls apart within 2-3 seasons.
Chloe boots, Chanel bag
Which designer do you think is the most overpriced and overhyped…and which do you wish got more love?
So this is going to offend — the Wangsters out there, but Alexander Wang is a complete “emperor has no clothes.” He’s only successful because he’s from a well to do family who owns factories in China and he grew up with the Traina sisters. He had easy access to create his commercial vision and the friends to promote it for free. Meh. He’s no artist-he sells…commercialism. MEH!
And of course, Gucci…but it’s not very overhyped anymore–just overpriced. The gauche logo print accessories and cheaply made silk jersey for New Jersey RTW are just so offensive. I forget which editor called Gucci’s RTW an “expensive Bebe”. It’s never been the same since Tom Ford left. Oh those were the glory days…hmmmm velvet pants suit. Iconic.
Now to be nice! I ADORE Peter Som…who really doesn’t get enough love! His tailoring and lady-like details are often overlooked for things more flashy. I ended up with a lot of Bill Blass pieces when Som was helming it because it was just so beautifully made.
I told you all – this girl definitely has her own point of view and take on fashion. I hope you all enjoyed meeting Jae…check back tomorrow for Part 2 – where she’ll will share some more thoughts, and tips on what to purchase for the perfect wardrobe (I’ll say now that her answers have totally made me rethink how I shop). And of course, there will be photos galore. For those of you who want some more Jae, please check out blog here.