I am so so so excited to share with you all my feature in the May 2012 issue of SELF China! I was approached for a Mother's Day makeover piece, and I had the opportunity to literally MAKE OVER my mother, styling her in what I would wear myself.

My mother and I have had a nontraditional relationship for the majority of my life - she is super fun, bubbly and definitely outgoing. She's currently the owner of a restaurant/lounge called Cafe Solé located in Annandale, VA (10 minutes outside of Washington, D.C.). I travelled down to visit her to do the shoot for SELF China.
My mother's personal style is very classic - she's usually wearing a pair of bootcut denim and a button down shirt with simple sweaters. She's a luxury-fiend, though - the majority of my luxury brand knowledge came from her collection of bags and jewelry. Chanel, Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Prada, Hermes, the list goes on.
My personal style can be classic as well, but there's always a hint of edge somewhere. For the shoot, I wore Zara high-waisted skinny pants, an H&M blazer and DVF wedges with a statement necklace. I knew a black and white palette would look great on my mom, so I put her in a black, long-sleeve dress and tights, Manolo Blahnik booties, an amazing white hooded vest and Chanel pearls.
When it came to the makeup, though, it wasn't that easy. She could NOT have ever imagined herself in a red lip, and when I tried to put my go-to makeup look on her, she almost freaked. It was a great feeling getting her out of her comfort zone, though - after a while, she started to embrace it.
I had so much fun on this shoot - it was an amazing experience working with the team! :) Keep reading for the interview translated into English.

Name: Jinna Yang
Age: 23
Occupation: Style Blogger
Astrology sign: Leo
Describe your personal style: Classic with an edge, mixed with vintage charm
MOM:Name: Tammy Kim
Age: 45
Occupation: Restauranteur
Astrology sign: Cancer
Describe your personal style: Classic casual
SELF: What do you think of each other’s style? What do you like the best and the least?
Tammy: Jinna’s style is very funky and she likes to take risks. I love that she can experiment with certain styles that I would not be able to wear. When she was younger she wore a lot of bright colors - most of the time it was very overpowering but her style has grown up a lot.
Jinna: My mom’s style is very classically casual. She is a denim fiend. She has so many jeans and she never likes to wear stuff that is too elegant. I love this about her but wish I’d see her “glammed up” a little bit more, since I love to get dressed up in really high-fashion things.
SELF: Do you think your fashion style reflects upon or influences your mom/daughters? Where do you draw inspiration from?
Tammy: When Jinna was younger I didn’t know where she got her style influences because it sure did NOT look like mine! Now that she’s older I can see that she enjoys certain brands that I do. We often share handbags and accessories. There are also things in her closet that I would never think to wear, but when I tried some pieces on, I was surprised at how well they fit!
Jinna: My mother definitely has influenced my sense of style since we go shopping together all the time. The process of developing my style has been nurtured by her. I’m inspired by a lot of different things, including other fashion bloggers, the magazines, celebrities and my grandmother. My mother has always played a major role in developing my sense of style, though.
SELF: Tell us some fun stories between you two. 
Tammy: I remember when Jinna was in high school and she had these Converse sneakers. It was her first day of school and she had an outfit all planned out. She couldn’t, however, find her red shoelaces that she had decided she wanted to wear with her blue Converse sneakers. She freaked out, and said she couldn’t leave until she found her shoelaces. I had to help her look all around the house to find the shoelaces, which ended up being her bookbag the entire time. She was late on her first day of school because she couldn’t go to school wearing any other laces. They just HAD to be red!
Jinna: Well, during this makeover, I found out that she had never put on a false eyelash strip before. I put one on her eye, and she completely freaked out! She wasn’t used to seeing her eyes look like that, and because she’s not a very glamorous person (or just not used to looking so glamorous), she didn’t know how to handle it! She kept asking to take it off, and I wouldn’t let her until we took the pictures. She was so nervous about it, and I thought it was the cutest thing ever.
SELF: What do you not understand about each other’s fashion choices?
Tammy: It’s always been my philosophy to invest in high-quality pieces that will last a lifetime. Jinna often goes to stores and purchases clothes that she can only wear for a season. I am not really a trend-shopper, and I make sure that everything I buy will last for a really long time. I don’t understand why she spends money on disposable clothing.
Jinna: My mother does not like to go into stores like Forever21 or H&M because she becomes very overwhelmed. She will, however, go into Dolce & Gabbana and spend $160 on a plain white tank top. I don’t understand why she doesn’t just go into a cheaper store to buy basics that are a lot less expensive with little difference in quality.
SELF: What things do you think you can share with your mom/daughter, what are some things/topic you wouldn’t want to share, or just can’t share in more detail?
Tammy: I like to tell JInna about my past and my family. It’s difficult sometimes to talk to her about the reasons why things happen, or even my own reasoning for why things have happened, but it’s still good to tell her stories and hope that my past will help prevent her from making the same mistakes as I did when I was her age. We can always talk about men and celebrity gossip is always a guilty pleasure.
Jinna: I can share anything and everything in my mom’s closet if she’d only let me. Accessories and handbags, especially (only because she actually LETS me borrow those). We are always talking about celebrities and boys, you know - girl stuff.
SELF: Was there a particular moment in time where you were particularly impressed/astonished/pleasantly surprised about your mom/daughter’s fashion taste when you were going out with her? 
Tammy: In the summer time when Jinna was younger she’d wear the shortest shorts ever... with high heels. Sometimes I’d have to tell her to put a cardigan on or something to make sure that she didn’t look too overexposed. I realized later that most of the other teenagers her age (at the time) were wearing shorts that short. Seems as though the designers are making shorts even shorter, and I guess it wasn’t her fault, but it can be a bit embarrassing. However, at my niece’s wedding, she arrived in a gorgeous satin cocktail dress, and I hadn’t seen her dressed up like that before. She looked stunning and very elegant.
Jinna: My cousin got married a few years ago and I hadn’t seen my mother in formal attire in a really long time. She looked amazing, wearing a deep grey Alberta Ferretti gown. She looked absolutely glamorous and it was a lot of fun watching her dance and waltz around in such a high-end dress.
SELF: What do you love about your mom/daughter, any touching moment that you’ve always remembered? Please tell us the story.
Tammy: When Jinna was in college, she had an internship near the Washington D.C. area, where I was living at the time. She stayed with me for three months while helping out at my restaurant. It was a lot of fun to have her so close, and I got to see her every night since she was working. She was always willing to help out and is a natural people person, so having her at the restaurant helped my guests feel really welcome and comfortable.
Jinna: I remember when we had an argument around Christmas one year, and we hadn’t spoken to each other for about 5 months after. She didn’t call me, and I didn’t call her, and all of that time went by. I decided to stop by her restaurant on Mother’s Day without letting her know, hoping that she wouldn’t hate me. When I came in with flowers and a card, she immediately greeted me with open arms. She’s a really forgiving person, and I knew that she hadn’t called because she wanted to give me my space and time. She acted like nothing even happened and she didn’t hold a grudge at all. I loved that about her, and after we talked about it, we now make sure we talk all the time.
SELF: What do you dislike about each other? Were there any conflicts between you and your mom/daughter? How did you resolve it?
Tammy: My daughter can be extremely stubborn when her mind is set on something. Even if I don’t agree with her actions or her thoughts, I usually give her the opportunity to learn from her own mistakes. She’s a smart girl, and when she comes to me for advice, I give it, but other than that, I don’t really like to step in to tell her how to live her life.
Jinna: Understanding my mother has been interesting because I didn’t realize until I was older that I had to truly get to know her for the person she was. For so long I had thought of her as just my mother, and didn’t think to consider who she was outside of that role. We have had our up’s and down’s, but it has been a priceless journey. She has such a spunky, fun personality, and people are drawn to her in the most genuine way. She’s a total people person and I know now that she’s the reason I’m the same way.
SELF: Describe the relationship between mom and daughter in one sentence, what would you say about her? Can you share a great /unique story about how special your bond is?
Tammy: Everytime I introduce my daughter to someone new, they always say that we are just alike. It’s such a special feeling to know that even though we spend most of our time apart, we still have that bond where she grows more like me. Watching her grow reminds me of my life as a young woman. I’m very proud of her, and although we have our minor differences, deep down inside she understands who I am and vice versa. It’s a wonderful relationship to have.
Jinna: I’m her mini-me. I realize more and more everyday that I am just like her - the way we interact with others, our sense of humor, and even our style. There are times when we go shopping and pick out the exact same thing, just in a different color. It’s uncanny.

Questions for Jinna: 
SELF: What’s your mom’s strength and weakness in terms of appearance?
Jinna: My mom has a great smile and she can rock almost any hairstyle. However, her height works against her for certain styles of clothing.
SELF: What do you think your mom should improve on her style and appearance? What kind of items do you think are suitable for her?
Jinna: I think my mom should show off her amazing legs! She should wear skinny jeans or leggings more often to emphasize her shape instead of hiding it underneath baggy clothing.
SELF: How important do you think moms should care about their appearance?
Jinna: Moms should care about their appearance to feel that inner happiness and confidence. When we look good, we feel good, and vice versa. No matter our age, women should always take the time out every once in a while to invest in ourselves. Whether it’s by getting a manicure or a facial, or picking up those sunglasses you’ve always wanted, we should pamper ourselves to make sure that we can walk around super confident and happy!
SELF: After making over your mom, how do you feel about her “new” look? Which look do you prefer now, before or after? How many years younger do you think she is after the makeover?
Jinna: I absolutely adore my mom’s new look! I think she looks really polished and a bit edgier. She’s not gaudy in any way but definitely demands a bit more attention than her older look. She also looks a LOT younger, with her hair down and the cute hooded white vest. I think if she incorporates more looks like her new look into her everyday wardrobe, she will feel a lot more confident. I still love her classic, casual style, and it’s always important to look chic but effortless, which she does so well. However, seeing her glammed up was so exciting and I could tell from the smile on her face that she loved it too!
Hope you enjoyed the interview/post! xx

1 comment :

  1. Aww~ this is so sweet! And so amazing-- congratulations on the feature!!! Keep working hard girl, it's totally paying off! xoxo, Elle