Move To Your Own Beat
What first sparked your interest in art and fashion?
I think us girls are naturally more sensitive and aware of artistic things from a young age. However, growing up in a very conservative family and going through a traditional Chinese education in Shanghai where I’m from, I never had the opportunity to explore my identity through fashion or the arts.
It was only until I entered university to study business that I started to figure out my interests in styling and other creative aspects. That’s how I decided to take on fashion studies abroad to discover my potential.
Is fashion and art something you want to pursue after your studies?
Yes, I’m trying to get a High Potential Individual visa after I graduate so that I can move to London, where I’ll probably work in a gallery or creative agency—anything related to art.
What is fashion to you?
To me, fashion has two meanings—to be trendy, and to find your identity. I’d say I follow the latter, and I even call myself an anti-fashionista in a sense.
Instead of chasing popular trends, I’ve been practicing sustainable fashion. No matter the kind of clothes I have, I can always create new looks by combining pieces in different ways, so I haven’t had to purchase any new clothing items for the past two years.
I never throw my clothes away too; I’ve been using my new fashion design techniques to upcycle unused clothes. Not only do I enjoy the process, it saves me a lot of money and I can dress uniquely!
Tell us about your favourite piece of clothing.
One piece I wear a lot is a shirt I thrifted from Japan five years ago. It’s really light and comfortable, so I’ve worn it every summer since; it’s especially great for dancing! Plus, the shirt has really unique patterns that make me feel like a gangster when I wear it (laughs).
We understand that you’re a dancer as well. How long have you been dancing, and what styles do you specialise in?
I’ve been dancing for seven years, and I picked up choreography along the way. I mainly do hip hop, but I’ve tried all kinds of styles from jazz to more girlish styles. And since I do choreography, I’ve had to build up a foundation of different styles like popping, house, a bit of locking, and even waacking.
Right now, I’m leaning towards more masculine styles and moves because that’s what I enjoy doing when I freestyle.
Do you take part in dance competitions?
I used to participate in many cyphers (freestyle dance jams), but I haven’t had the time to train lately as my Masters course load is getting quite intense.
However, I still enjoy being involved in the dance scene. In fact, I recently participated in some competitions when I vacationed Bali and Malaysia. The communities there are amazing and the people are so supportive!
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