Personal Aesthete


Style Journal ↴

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Personal Style: Margaret Zhang

I've been a fan of Margaret Zhang for a while now.  Her Instagram feed is the perfect combination of things that inspire me: out-of-the-box-yet-still-tres-chic style, a relaxed/candid creative life, posts of what inspires her, and behind-the-scenes photos of her projects. She also has such a talent for subtle posing.. no awkward hands to be found here that's for sure!




Style IconClaire Lee
Personal Style: Tracee Ellis Ross

I knew there was a reason why I liked Tracee right off the bat when I watched a couple episodes of Black-ish a few years back. I didn't realize she had a killer aesthetic, though, until I recently came across this Man Repeller ode to her style. I also didn't realize Diana Ross is her mother (!). I know, I live under a rock.

Most of the photos below are from her personal IG account, and she makes sure to credit the stylist if she uses one or herself if she didn't. With celebrities it's always hard to tell what % of their overall aesthetic is attributed to their own personal style vs. a professional stylist's (e.g. my Rihanna style feature below), but I am willing to bet that Tracee is an aesthete to be reckoned with. Not everyone would be down to wear some of those looks above.

I love Tracee's style in particular because its fun, classy, refined, bold, and strong all at once. She puts things together that you wouldn't think would go, but it's also not over-the-top busy and gaudy. She'll rock a t-shirt, wide leg pants, and super high stilettos while laughing at herself the whole time. My kinda gal.

p.s. she'll post throwbacks of her mom on IG from time to time and it's truly adorable. Mother-daughter goals.




Style IconClaire Lee
Personal Style: Rihanna

The Cut, New York Magazine's fashion site, has a Rihanna lookbook currently comprising of 203 Rihanna looks dating from 2005 to now. Here are my 12 favorites.

I love her overall style because it is a special mix of taste, confidence, and aesthetic range. I also love the feminine touches - even if it's just her nails or lipstick - to otherwise androgynous looks. Most of these looks are probably the creations of her stylist, Mel Ottenberg.

Either way, Rihanna slays at making uberly "normcore" items look luxe and polished.  My speculation is that she is an aesthete herself.. Exhibit A her Creative Direction at Puma / FentyxPuma line.  Werk werk werk werk werk.




Style IconClaire Lee
Personal Style: Jane Aldridge

Even though she's only 24, Jane is a member of the old guard of bloggers. She started her blog, Sea of Shoes, about 10 years ago in 2007. Jane is one of my biggest inspirations for a few reasons: 1) She is a genius when it comes to personal style (a type of talent and self-awareness that can't be acquired via hashtags or more followers); 2) She acknowledges trends only when they inspire her to create something entirely her own; 3) While many of her clothes and accessories are expensive, the way she has fun with vintage/flea market pieces and the way she changes her look completely one day to the next shows an open-mindedness that is sometimes lost in the upscale, elite fashion world; 4) She blogs for all the right reasons. It's hard for me to describe exactly what "the right reasons' are.. but in the end you can tell she does it for herself. As Selena Gomez said last night at the AMAs.. she isn't seeking validation. She's showcasing a love that speaks to her deep down.

It's also fun to look at her oldest posts such as this one and this one. Like many famous bloggers' first posts, it shows that the picture perfect brand you see today is something that was developed over time. While some starts are more "viral" than others, perhaps instant stardom/perfection doesn't usually happen to the best of them.

Photos link to image sources




Personal Style: Takahiro Kinoshita

I first came across Takahiro Kinoshita, the Editor-in-Chief of Japanese publication / menswear authority POPEYE Magazineback in 2012 when Garance Doré and Scott Schuman (The Sartorialist) did a 'Tastemaker' video of him for J.Crew.  Four years later, I am just as inspired by not only his personal style but also his work at the helm of the mag.

POPEYE just celebrated their 40th anniversary this past July, and since Takahiro was appointed Editor-in-Chief in 2012 (he was formerly a fashion editor at BRUTUS Magazine) he's taken the publication to new heights.  He's crafted the 'City Boy' lifestyle in its pages, and POPEYE  has spotlighted urban communities around the world including London, Portland, and California in general (for its 40th anniversary issue). 

Style photos found here and via Google Images, Pinterest, and Tumblr.  Many original sources are unknown / most likely taken by style photographers during fashion weeks over the years.

Issues 802, 807, 822, 826

Sources: HYPEBEAST (1, 2) + Inventory Magazine