Read Surveys (By Author)
1. When do you feel at your most attractive?
When I've just woken up and I've had the luxury of sleeping in. More specifically sleeping in during the summer (when sleeping in also means I'm a little sweaty).
2. Do you notice women on the street? If so, what sort of women do you tend to notice or admire?
Of course I notice women on the street! Women who are so confident and carefree just exude a quality that begs for admiration. Some people have that quality when you see them in the flesh, whereas others are more effective in photographs. It's incredible, and one can't quite quantify what it is that makes it so. And so the saying goes, that je ne sais quoi.
3. What are some things you admire about how other women present themselves?
Confidence. Always confidence.
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?
When I had my son, my body changed, and I had time constraints due to a small child. I really wanted to hone in on what clothes, makeup and hairstyle made me feel good and I really wanted to focus on that. We all know what style we go to that just does it for us. For my entire life, I always feel good with long hair, minimal make up, and white clothes (and jeans).
5. What are some shopping rules you wouldn’t necessarily recommend to others but which you follow?
I sometimes see clothes on other women and love it on them, then I buy it myself. But one should really buy clothes that work for oneself, not pieces that one sees working on others.
6. What are some rules about dressing you follow, but you wouldn't necessarily recommend to others?
I sometimes wear two collars layered on top of each other. For example, a collared button down dress with a collared button down chambray shirt on top. It's a bit strange, but I like it.
7. What is the most transformative conversation you have ever had on the subject of fashion or style?
I was talking to my brother-in-law's girlfriend, who is French, and we talked about a lot of things regarding fashion and style. Most notably, she talked about how interesting it is that women are sometimes offended if men compliment their clothing and decide to dress differently; as if it's some form of subversion to dress in a way that is attractive to men. We talked about feminism in dressing, and how looking attractive to your partner can also a form of empowerment. We also touched upon fashion vs. style and how some women develop style, while others follow fashion. (we may or may not have decided that French women do one thing, and American women do the other).
8. Do you have a unified way of approaching your life, work, relationships, finances, chores, etc.? Please explain.
9. Are there any clothing (or related) items that you have in multiple? Why do you think you keep buying this thing?
White t-shirts forever and ever and ever, amen. I buy it in hoards because I feel good in it.
10. Have you ever successfully given someone a present of jewelry or clothing that you continue to feel good about?
I recently gave my sister a Dries van Noten shirt that I wasn't in love with. She, however, is completely in love with it. It wasn't quite a present, more like a hand me down, but it makes me happy to know that it found a new loving home.
11. Is there any fashion trend you’ve refused to participate in and why?
Embellished anything because it's really rare that an embellished item of clothing doesn't look tacky. (totally my opinion, bedazzle on if it makes you happy!)
12. Can you say a bit about how your mother’s body and style has been passed down to you, or not?
I wish I had my mom's legs, but alas, I don't. My mom was so beautiful and stylish in her youth. The most incredible shoes and bags. These days, she stays pretty basic and doesn't quite give herself much time and effort anymore. However, when we were young and lived in India, my mom would go to antique markets and find lots and lots of antique jewelry. She bought it in droves and used the pieces to create new jewelry. One piece that is my absolute favorite was an antique Indian nose ring (the kind that attached from the nose to the earlobe) and she created a necklace from it. I begged for many years for that necklace and I finally got it. All of them are made of at least 24k gold, which makes them so soft and fragile.
13. Have you stolen, borrowed or adapted any dressing ideas or actual items from friends or family?
My friend has the most interesting style. I call it uniquely Alli-style. Where she can put together the strangest items of clothing and look so lovely and not at all eclectic. It's a skill I admire. I tried a few times to adapt it (unsuccessfully).
14. Was there a point in your life when your style changed dramatically? What happened?
Once I finished college and transitioned into an office job, I started to wear much more formal clothes during the day, and a uniform on weekends. Also, when I had my son, I really honed in on that weekend uniform.
15. Is there anything political about the way you dress?
I don't use my body to make statements on a regular basis.
16. Please describe your body.
A little bit boyish, very slight curves. At 5'5" I'm small according to American standards, but not for the rest of the world. I've always loved my stomach most, and today, after having had a baby via c-section, my stomach looks a little different, but I still love it for the awesome little life it bore.
17. Please describe your mind.
Open and curious.
18. Please describe your emotions.
My emotions are easily triggered, I cry easily and laugh at anything. Sometimes that also means I have a hot temper, it's the Spanish in me.
19. What are you wearing on your body and face, and how is your hair done, right at this moment?
My face is squeaky clean. I'm about to go to sleep. My hair is pulled back in a low pony tail and I'm wearing a white cotton nightie that is super soft, light and short. It's my favorite thing to wear.
20. In what way is this stuff important, if at all?
It's actually only important if it makes you feel a certain way. If clothes make you feel good, or if they make you feel bad. That is how to give it importance!
21. With whom do you talk about clothes?
My younger sister. She loves clothes, we have incredibly different styles, but I value her opinion. She's quite rational about her clothing purchases. I talk to her about everything and anything. I also talk to her best friend, who has also become one of my closest friends. She shares the same rational ideas about clothing.
24. Do you remember the biggest waste of money you ever made on an item of clothing?
A purse. I spent $500 on it. It wasn't that it wasn't beautiful, it was that it wasn't timeless, it was a trend. I eventually resold it years later for $40. I used it 3x. What a waste!
26. Do you have style in any areas of your life aside from fashion?
Our home. I love the style of our home. Evolving, but staying classic at the same time. Pieces handed down to us, pieces that we've bought together, all coming together and evolving as we do too. Unlike my own personal style in clothing, our home is a joint effort. I love that.
30. What sorts of things do you do, clothing or make-up or hair- wise, to feel sexy or alluring?
A swipe of red lipstick does wonders for your outward appearance. Matching beautiful under garments make you feel sexy without anyone knowing why!
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?
I think they're synonymous. Comfortable in one's skin creates confidence. You can't be confident if you're uncomfortable physically or mentally. They definitely work together.
33. What is really beautiful, for you, in general?
Gratitude. When a person is grateful for the gifts they've been given, and they're not constantly asking for more, that kind of satisfaction and acknowledgement just shines right out of their face.
34. What do you consider very ugly?
Women who don't support other women.
Being overly concerned with pleasing others.
40. If you had to wear a “uniform” what would it look like?
A white t-shirt, jeans that sit right on my waist, leather sandals and red lipstick!
41. What would you say is “you” and what would you say is “not you”?
I really love my vision of "me" to be beautiful basics and classics. What is not me is tight ostentatious fashion.
42. What is your cultural background and how has that influenced how you dress?
I was born and raised all over Asia, my father's job caused us to move around quite a bit. I was brought up with lots and lots of different cultures and peoples. I have a huge tendency to gravitate towards ethnic handmade jewelry and bags and leather goods because I love the stories that accompany them and I've met the people who make them. Within my sort of daily uniform, I always have something I'm wearing that recalls that part of my childhood.
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?
There are different stages in my life where I wore different hats that informed my wardrobe. When I was a child, I lived on a tropical island, next door to my grandparents who had an olympic sized swimming pool. I lived in a bathing suit. In high school, I went to an all-girls' catholic school, I wore an ACTUAL uniform, not a self-imposed one. When I worked at a non-profit arts education center, I wore clothes that were easy to move in and fine to get covered in paint and clay. Today I work in a museum and I'm a mother, I have two different kinds of clothes, my professional ones and my play clothes that allow me to move around and play with my family.
48. Do you find it comforting or constraining to have a uniform?
Having gone to a private school all my life, I find it comforting. It's like your mom's special soup, just like familiar and comforting and happy.
52. Do you consider yourself photogenic?
Yes. My mom is one of 10 sisters. My aunts are vain (admittedly), and one of my aunts won the Miss Universe title in 1969 and everyone learned how to take a photograph. My aunts made it a point to make sure we all knew how to take a good photograph, how not to shy from a camera, they taught us how to feel comfortable in front of it so that it can capture a truer image. It sounds strange, arrogant and unimportant even, but being photogenic has nothing to do with actually being beautiful, it has to do with whether or not you're comfortable having a photograph taken. That being said, we ALL have bad photographs of ourselves.
53. When you see yourself in photographs, what do you think?
I'm in a transitional age, not as young as I used to be, but definitely not old. When I see photographs of myself today, I notice the difference.
54. Are there any figures from culture, past or present, whose style you admire or have drawn from?
Who doesn't love Jane Birkin? I'm no exception. Ali McGraw. Josephine Baker. Andy Warhol. All the ladies of Advanced Style.
58. Is there anyone that you are trying to attract or repel when you dress?
My husband. Always. However, sometimes when I wear certain clothes that are large and voluminous he calls them my man repelling clothing (a nod to Leandra Medine).
65. What is your favorite piece of clothing or jewelry that you own?
An Indian antique piece of jewelry that my mom made when we lived in India. It was a former nose ring turned necklace. I love it.
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?
A white coat that I bought when I had my first paycheck. It cost me $175 and I bought it from Sisley. I emptied out my bank account for that coat. It's beautiful and wool. I rarely wear it because I worry that I'll soil it. But it's so classic that I know I can keep it forever.
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?
My god-mother is Italian. She grew up in Italy and married my uncle in the Philippines. She gave me all of her clothes from when she was a teenager. Vintage Missoni, Cacharel, Gucci, a whole trunk of incredible clothes. She gave it to me too early, I was 12 and didn't know the value of the gift. I wore the pieces a few times and then I thought "I'm tired of this" and gave them away. I kick myself almost once a week over that.
69. If you had to throw out all your clothes but keep one thing, what would you keep?
A really inexpensive black shift dress that I bought as retail therapy one day. I can wear it every single day, dress it up, dress it down, and the black is fading, but it just looks better with age. It's perfect.
73. What item of clothing are you still (or have you forever been) on the hunt for?
Currently on the hunt for a grey cashmere crewneck sweater.
80. How does money fit into all this?
I like to save for the piece of clothing that I like. I'm tired of buying and getting rid of things when I tire of it. I'd rather save for something I love, or buy it second-hand.
What’s your birth date? Where were you born and where do you live now?
October 18th, 1982. I was born in the Philippines and live in Los Angeles now.
Say anything you like about your cultural/ethnic/economic background.
I was brought up in a more affluent society in the Philippines, but I have a deep interest in the indigenous filipinos and the history there. My father's family came to the Philippines in the 1800s and conquered parts of the islands, married filipina women. My mother's side is French, German and Filipino. Truth be told, I'm more European than filipino (true mutt), but whenever people ask "what are you?" I always answer filipino. I almost never say that I'm mixed, unless they pry. I feel strongest of my filipino roots.
What kind of work do you do?
I work with curators at the Getty museum. I also own a small business with my husband, an online store (in the works) featuring things we love, objects and furniture that are classic, well-made and heirlooms.
Are you single, married, do you have kids, etc.?
Married, one son.
Andrea Hawken is a young(ish) mother living and working in Los Angeles. She studied art history in college, spends her work-days at a museum in front of a computer, and her weekends looking at art with her family. She also owns an online store, Maker Los Angeles, with her husband Aidan Hawken.