My Wardrobe

Grunge with a touch of pink

Ms Jessica Ho ignores people's negative comments about her dressing.
Ms Jessica Ho ignores people's negative comments about her dressing.PHOTOS: AZIZ HUSSIN FOR THE STRAITS TIMES, JESSICA HO
PHOTOS: AZIZ HUSSIN FOR THE STRAITS TIMES, JESSICA HO
PHOTOS: AZIZ HUSSIN FOR THE STRAITS TIMES, JESSICA HO

Ms Jessica Ho believes in being comfortable in her own style

Q & A

Ms Jessica Ho, 25, single, freelance photographer, fashion stylist, illustrator

How would you describe your style?

I do not stick to a specific style. There are days when I feel like dressing in a grunge or sporty style, with my torn jeans and creeper shoes or tennis skirt and Nike shoes. Sometimes, I wear pastels or graphic-print clothing.

When did your interest in fashion start?

When my dad bought me a red kimono with a white floral design from Japan. I was three years old.

I was in love with Japanese fashion as a child, especially the Harajuku style because it does not follow fashion rules. As a teenager, I immersed myself in the Japanese Gothic Lolita look, characterised by heavy make-up and frilly Western clothing. I had two black Lolita dresses and people stared at me when I wore them, but I couldn't be bothered.

Who are your favourite designers and what are your go-to brands?

The late British fashion designer Alexander McQueen, Italian luxury brand Moschino and American clothing brand Unif. I like them for their unconventional designs and 1990s aesthetic - they do not follow fashion rules or trends.

Who are your style icons?

American fashion blogger Luanna Perez-Garreaud, whom I have been following for the past six years. I find her look versatile: grunge, bohemian and elegant. I also follow Russian model and artist Ellen Sheidlin for her fashion styling and looks.

Also, Canadian singer and songwriter Claire Elise Boucher (better known by her stage name, Grimes), who is my favourite music artist. She inspires me to be comfortable with myself and be a non-conformist.

What are your favourite pieces in your wardrobe?

My Double Stack T.U.K. creepers (photo 1). The platform soles add 10cm to my 1.58m frame and they are comfortable to walk in compared with stiletto heels.

For jackets, my favourite bomber jacket by American streetwear brand Obey (photo 2), which was designed in collaboration with American thrash band Suicidal Tendencies. It goes well with many of my outfits. Another jacket I like is a dark blue one (photo 3) that I bought from a streetwear store in South Korea. I love that it has big pockets so I can do without a bag. I usually wear this with a dress or T-shirt for an edgy, minimalist look.

Then, there is my T-shirt from hair pomade brand Suavecito. It's one of my favourite oversized T-shirts and I wear it for work and on casual days. I also love the handmade chokers (photo 4) my best friend made for me using fishing lines.

What are your weaknesses when it comes to shopping?

Pastel-toned apparel, especially in pink because I think it is a cute colour, as well as shoes. Shoes are an important element of an outfit as it can change the look of it. I have 60 pairs of shoes.

What is your favourite splurge piece? My Fenty Puma by Rihanna fur sliders in pastel pink (photo 5). I love to wear it with socks.

Some people might find the style silly, but I think I can pull it off. I like wearing them with a cap, oversized T-shirt and shorts and find them comfortable.

My best friend helped me to get them through a reseller for $130, as they were sold out in stores. The original retail price was about $80.

Is there a purchase you have regretted?

Not really. Whenever I get sick of a certain piece, I will challenge myself to style it in a different way - such as an oversized T-shirt, which I cut into a crop top with fringing detail - or donate it to the Salvation Army or sell it at flea markets.

What is your most recent fashion purchase?

Two polo T-shirts (photos 6 and 7) and a rainbow belt (photo 8) from a sundry store in Geylang last December. I like the T-shirts because of their 1980s vibe. As for the rainbow belt, I plan to use it as a styling prop in photoshoots for my future projects. I paid $13 for everything.

What is the best shopping or style advice you live by?

Own your look and do not let other people's negative comments make you doubt your style.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 23, 2017, with the headline 'Grunge with a touch of pink'. Print Edition | Subscribe