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Lauren Kim

1. When do you feel at your most attractive?

Psychologically--when I'm able to convey exactly how I feel with sharp humor. Physically---when I'm able to pull off something ridiculous (like a sequined suit or something).

2. Do you notice women on the street? If so, what sort of women do you tend to notice or admire?

Yes, I notice women who have distinct style. I love seeing a lady wear something I could never pull off, or think to even pull off.

3. What are some things you admire about how other women present themselves?

I love women who have a fearless way about them--while maintaining a courteous awareness for others.

4. Was there a moment in your life when something “clicked” for you about fashion or dressing or make-up or hair? What? Why did it happen then, do you think?

It happens every day! Because my perception is evolving constantly, the somethings click all the time. I think it's also because I'm still discovering what it means to be myself. That allows me to look at a piece of clothing and utilize it to form a different narrative each time I throw it on my body.

5. What are some shopping rules you wouldn’t necessarily recommend to others but which you follow?

Buying pieces that have only aesthetic value which--most often than not--does not coincide with practicality.

6. What are some rules about dressing you follow, but you wouldn't necessarily recommend to others?

Dress to the nines. Whatever that means.

8. Do you have a unified way of approaching your life, work, relationships, finances, chores, etc.? Please explain.

With reckless abandon

9. Are there any clothing (or related) items that you have in multiple? Why do you think you keep buying this thing?

Black clothing+shoes (it's slimming), shoes with ankle straps (slimming and feminine), high waisted pants (excellent for pooch camouflage), structured dresses / tops (so i can pretend to be a sculpture for a day).

10. Have you ever successfully given someone a present of jewelry or clothing that you continue to feel good about?

Yes--I gifted my girlfriend a maroon quincenera looking dress.

11. Is there any fashion trend you’ve refused to participate in and why? 

Crocs. They look like amphibian innards.

12. Can you say a bit about how your mother’s body and style has been passed down to you, or not?

My mom has a completely different body than me, she can fit into virtually anything whereas I have very specific tailoring needs. She's really great at making old things look new--I learned thriftiness and how to reinvent clothing from her.

13. Have you stolen, borrowed or adapted any dressing ideas or actual items from friends or family?

Oh yes, constantly. I think it's important to share everything--especially with other women.

14. Was there a point in your life when your style changed dramatically? What happened?

In high school and college it was important for me to wear costumes--the more extreme the better. It was fun to wake up and dress according to my mood. On Monday I might be a domestic goddess from the 50's, Tuesdays would mean 90's haggard, and so on. After college, I landed an internship at a high end gallery and came to the stark realization that I had nothing to wear to work--that's when I started investigating style in a more subtle and accessible way. I think I've always been fearless about the way I put on clothing, lately I've gravitated towards sculptural, modern pieces for my executive-realness persona at work.

15. Is there anything political about the way you dress?

I'm a firm believer in the personal as the political, so yes. Clothing is a form of expression, an opinion. And all opinions are political whether someone admits it or not.

16. Please describe your body.

Soft, floppy, flexible, short torso'd, smooth.

17. Please describe your mind.

Dreamy, idealistic, inquisitive, emotional, sharp, vulnerable.

18. Please describe your emotions.

Humorous, introspective, empathetic, sad/happy, curious.

19. What are you wearing on your body and face, and how is your hair done, right at this moment?

Body: t shirt, linen high-waisted pants, black flats
Face: liquid eyeliner, smudge of concealer to hide my erupting zit, eyebrow pencil
Hair: down & unruly

20. In what way is this stuff important, if at all?

It's important because it's unimportant. The unimportant things are the most revealing.

21. With whom do you talk about clothes?

A coven of goddess women.

22. How do institutions affect the way you dress?

It changes the tone of my dress.

23. Do you think you have taste or style? Which one is more important? What do these words mean to you?

I think style is more important. Style is how you interpret or reinvent ordinary things, whereas taste is the stuff that curators claim to have. Taste is an invisible, unquantifiable thing that makes someone a vessel of cool or sophistication. Taste feels stuffy and better-than-thou.

24. Do you remember the biggest waste of money you ever made on an item of clothing?

No--I forget to protect my brain from trauma.

25. Are there any dressing tricks you’ve invented or learned that make you feel like you’re getting away with something?

No, clothing only enhances!

26. Do you have style in any areas of your life aside from fashion?


27. Can you recall some times when you have dressed a particular way to calm yourself or gain a sense of control over a situation that scared you?

Probably when I dress for interviews. People treat you differently when you dress more "appropriately".

28. Would you say you “know what you like” in the area of fashion and clothing? If so, do you also know what you like in other areas of life, that is, are you generally good at discernment? Can you say where your discernment comes from, if you have it? Or if you don’t have it, why or why not?

I know what I like in terms of fashion. As far as other areas of life--it just depends. I do shop like how I solve problems; I look at every single piece until I decide. It's good and bad.

29. Did your parents teach you things about clothing, care for your clothing, dressing or style? What lessons do you remember? Or did you just pick things up?

No, my mother is Korean and therefore does not believe in parenting.

30. What sorts of things do you do, clothing or make-up or hair- wise, to feel sexy or alluring?

huge cat eyes, with clothing that completely covers me but is see through.

31. Many people say they want to feel “comfortable,” or that they admire people who seem “confident.” What do these words really mean to you?

Embracing who you are--quirks and all.

32. If dressing were the only thing you did, and you were considered an expert and asked to explain your style philosophy, what would you say?

If attending a punctuation party, I would come as an exclamation point!

33. What is really beautiful, for you, in general?

vulnerability & bravery in the face of opposition, dissent, eloquence, individuality, & humor.

34. What do you consider very ugly?

small minded, judgemental points of view. kirkland jeans.

35. Are you generally a good judge of whether what you buy will end up being worn? Have you figured out how to know in advance?

no, i'm an impulsive buyer and will picture how my life will change for the better if only i had this translucent, sequined underwear with tassels. then i buy it only for it to see the light of day maybe one or two times.

36. When you look at yourself before going out, and you are trying to see yourself from the outside, can you describe a bit about what this “other person” is like? What do they like, dislike, what sorts of judgments do they have? Is this “outer eye” based on someone you know or once knew?

she is a part of a notorious girl gang, who can hangout with crust punks to nerds to snobby gallery people.

37. What is your process getting dressed in the morning? What are you considering?

my emotions, what characteristic i want to convey that day,

38. What are you trying to achieve when you dress?

i don't know. i don't think anything.

39. What, for you, is the difference between dressing and dressing up?

there is none for me.

40. If you had to wear a “uniform” what would it look like?

high waisted romper / jumpsuit with a jacket.

41. What would you say is “you” and what would you say is “not you”?


42. What is your cultural background and how has that influenced how you dress?

I grew up in a conservative, judgemental environment. It helped me learn that I should fly my freak flag high without any fear or doubt.

43. Do you remember a time in your life when you dressed quite differently from how you do now? Can you describe it and what it was all about for you?

I dressed like a slutty, riot grrrl in my teen years. I was learning about my sexuality and heavily influenced by Kathleen Hanna, Coco Fusco, Kembra Pfahler, Chris Kraus, and rock n roll. Now I'm more refined--and I'm under the impression that I look more conservative but people always approach me and start talking about oddities which I love. I guess you can never hide the freak inside.

44. What sorts of things do you do, clothing, make-up or hair-wise, to feel professional?

Blazer, minimal makeup, brush my hair.

45. How do you conform to or rebel against the dress expectations at your workplace?

I try to look as terrifying as possible. I"m unsure if that's conforming or rebelling in my line of work.

46. Do you have a dress code, a school uniform, or a uniform that you wear for an extracurricular activity?


47. Are there ways in which you conform to or rebel against these uniforms?


48. Do you find it comforting or constraining to have a uniform?


49. What is an archetypal outfit for you; one that you could have happily worn at any point in your life? What do you like about it?

Tshirt and jeans. it's classic and effortless.

50. Do you ever wish you were a man or could dress like a man or had a man’s body? Was there ever a time in the past?

Maybe for a day, but no. I like being a woman!

51. If there was one country or culture or era that you had to live in, fashion-wise, what would it be?


52. Do you consider yourself photogenic?


53. When you see yourself in photographs, what do you think?


54. Are there any figures from culture, past or present, whose style you admire or have drawn from?

Yayoi Kusama

55. Have you ever had a dream that involved clothes?


56. What would be a difficult or uncomfortable look for you to try and achieve?

Club rat

57. If you were totally comfortable with your body, or your body was a bit closer to what you wish it was like, what would you wear?

Vintage sacks

58. Is there anyone that you are trying to attract or repel when you dress?

I'm trying to repel narrow minded, scared people.

59. Are there any dressing rules you’d want to convey to other women?

No, I say throw all the rules out the window.

60. What do you think of perfume? Do you wear it?

It's fine. Sometimes.

61. What are some things you need to do to your body or clothes in order to feel presentable?

Wash them

62. How does makeup fit into all this for you?


63. Is there a certain look you feel you’re expected to like that you have absolutely no interest in? What is it? Why aren’t you interested?

Mom look. It's just not for me.

64. Can you describe in a basic way what you own, clothing and jewelry-wise?

Costume wardrobe for an impractical person.

65. What is your favorite piece of clothing or jewelry that you own?

It changes all the time--but right now it's my rings. One I found for myself when I was in middle school, and the other my boyfriend gave me last year.

66. Tell us about something in your closet that you keep but never wear. What is it, why don’t you wear it, and why do you keep it?

My mother's broken purses. It's sentimental.

67. Looking back at all your purchases over the past five to fifteen years, can you generalize about what sorts of things were the most valuable to buy?


68. Is there an item of clothing that you once owned, but no longer own, and still think about or wish you had back? What was it, what happened to it, and why do you want it back?

Yes, this horrid carpet looking coat I used to wear everyday when I was in college. I found it for $5 at a thriftstore, and it just disappeared one day. I think about it all the time, I've never seen a jacket like that to this day.

69. If you had to throw out all your clothes but keep one thing, what would you keep?

This drapey black dress.

70. Building up your wardrobe from nothing, what would you do differently this time?


71. What’s the first “investment” item you bought? Do you still own or wear it?

Shoes from Spain. I love them, and still wear them.

72. Was there ever an important or paradigm-shifting purchase in your life?


73. What item of clothing are you still (or have you forever been) on the hunt for?


74. What are your closet and drawers like? Do you keep things neat, etc?

Most of the time, yes.

75. Were you ever given a present of clothing or jewelry that especially touched you?

Yes--the ring my boyfriend bought me.

76. Did you ever buy an article of clothing without giving it much thought, only to have it prove much more valuable as time went on? What was the item and what happened?


77. How and when do you shop for clothes?

When the mood strikes!

78. Do you like to smell a certain way?

Not gross

What’s your birth date? 
Where were you born and where do you live now?

4/12/89. Born in Eugene, Oregon. Raised and currently living in Los Angeles, CA.

Say anything you like about your cultural/ethnic/economic background.


What kind of work do you do?

Design Firm

Are you single, married, do you have kids, etc.?


How do you feel after filling out this survey?

My eyeballs are dry from staring at the screen for so long.

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