The Paris-based fashion blogger shares her best-kept style secrets. A tour-de-force you want to watch out for. By Dawn Hee
It’s not every day you meet someone who is both stylish and fluent in French, Japanese, Mandarin and English. But thanks to her years of education in London, Japan and Paris, Taiwanese fashion blogger Amilus Chou is quite the multilingual fashionista.
The 30-year-old, who could very well be mistaken for Japanese with her lithe frame and porcelain complexion, gamely shares with us her fave shopping destinations, handy style tips as well as what it takes to be a Vogue Japan blogger.
sXs: Bonjour, Amilus! You graduated from Waseda University with a Bachelor’s Degree in International Liberal Arts in 2011. What made you go into fashion blogging?
Amilus: It was 2010, and I was a Taiwanese student in Tokyo venturing into street style photography. I was inspired by The Sartorialist and the model-off-duty blog Altamira. Garance Doré, who made me first enjoy reading someone’s blog online, was also a major influence.
Aside from your own blog, you also write for Vogue Japan. How did that opportunity come about?
I was lucky. Ms Kozue, who worked for Vogue Japan, came across my fashion blog and asked me if I would like to be an official Vogue Japan blogger. How could I have said no to such an opportunity?
As a Taiwanese carving out a career in fashion overseas, did you face any obstacles?
I didn’t think too much about carving out a career when I first worked on my blog. It’s more of a hobby and nature of mine. And then it expanded into photography, styling, lifestyle, travel etc… these are all bits of my life. Doing what I love in a foreign land has lots of advantages — everything in the city is new, and it’s easy to be curious about anything that are often taken for granted by the locals. Of course, there are also obstacles such as language barriers and administrative issues like visas and overseas taxes.. but isn’t that life?
You’ve lived in so many countries – has it influenced your sense of style?
I believe that people are made of experiences. If it was just a short five days in a foreign country, it might not influence one too much. But living in a different city for a few years has definitely changed who I am, and made me who I am today.
Which country is your fave and why?
It’s hard to pick, because it depends on what I want to do. In a year, it would be ideal if I could spend six months in Europe (Paris, London, and the rest of Europe), three months in Japan (including a few weeks in Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Shanghai) and lastly, three months in a place I’ve never been to.
One piece of advice for aspiring fashion bloggers is…
To always be the best version of yourself, and treat your readers as friends. Don’t count the likes or number of followers! Having 10 people who love you is better than having 1000 people who like you.
You’re always well-dressed. Have you ever had a fashion faux pax?
No. I always encourage people to try any style they like. It’d never be a faux pax… at least it was exactly what you wanted then, and every experience we’ve had makes us who we are today.
Your personal style is inspired by…
Everything? And my Pinterest board. (Laughs)
Recently, I’ve been inspired by nature a fair bit – a lot of pinks and whites. It was the season of peonies and ranunculus just a few weeks ago, and peonies are my fave flowers.
Audrey Hepburn is a forever classic, as well as Lea Seydoux and Sarah Linh Trans. Certain movies have also inspired my style. Think Wes Anderson, Wong Kar Wai, Carol and The Danish Girl.
The fashion brands you love are…
Christophe Lemaire and Gucci by Alessandro Michele (Love!)
Miu Miu’s 2011 AW collection, Hermes by Christophe Lemaire (again).
Vivetta and Olympia le Tan are fun, too.
May I also add a mix of vintage from the 20s on the list?
You’d recommend shopping at…
Anywhere! I do a lot of vintage shopping online and at the flea markets. I also enjoy designer brands (especially at sample sales, which are a lot more affordable). I still go to 109 (Shibuya, Tokyo) when I visit Japan, though I’ve been shopping less at fast fashion brands recently. Still can’t say no to limited ed collabs, though!
Also, I personally order from brands that we carry on our online shop. They are usually young and new designers — creators with their own little ateliers. If we are lucky, we get to meet them at the trade shows during fashion weeks.
One article of clothing all ladies should own is…
A piece of happiness? (Laughs) Maybe a timeless coat if you live in a country where the winters are long. Make sure you are comfortable in what you are wearing. I’d probably invest in a 100 pairs of beautiful flip flops and sandals if I lived in Singapore.
One style tip is…
To be yourself and have confidence in yourself. Style is not about trends. Rather, it’s about being yourself. Be confident and be comfortable.
Not just another girl. Follow her @a_unefille