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Art of Style

Get dressed with Vanessa Hong

Since launching The Haute Pursuit in 2010, the Brooklyn-based blogger has been at the forefront of fashion’s new guard. Want to inject your closet with her brand of fashion-forward cool? This is how it’s done…


Find your signatures

“It might be my Chinese upbringing, but I’ve always considered gold to be very auspicious. I always have some on me, whether it be the hoop earrings I wear every day or my favorite pendant – it’s actually a 16th-century coin that my boyfriend’s grandmother gave him that I strung on a gold necklace. I love it because it reminds me of him. I’m not very good with hair and makeup, so I keep it really basic. Usually I’ll just wear a very light foundation and then some sort of highlighter and eyeliner. I feel naked without my cat-eye liner; it’s the one thing I actually know how to do.”

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A splash of statement gold jewelry is a Vanessa Hong signature
Whether it’s a love-at-first-sight coat or focal-point jacket, outerwear is key to Hong’s wardrobe

Invest in outerwear

“I spend the bulk of my money on jackets and coats because those are investment pieces. Whether it be a beautiful oversized blazer or a perfect shearling coat, they grow with you over time. The most cherished piece in my closet is a Calvin Klein coat from Raf Simons’ first collection – it’s yellow faux fur wrapped in plastic. I remember seeing it for the first time on the runway and thinking, ‘You will be mine.’ This season I have my eye on the classic Burberry trench in tartan. I feel like it’s something I would wear forever.”

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Chitose Abe’s label Sacai is a big favorite of the Haute Pursuit founder

Think female (designers)

“It’s great to see female designers creating clothes for strong women who don’t want to dress like everyone else. Like Chitose Abe at Sacai: she can do pretty, but it’s in a really cool way. I am so blown away by her every season. Plus, she is literally the most humble, genuine person. There’s so much fluff fashion out there, so it’s great that we still have designers using their craft to do more than just put clothes on a man or a woman, but to really say something powerful.”

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Look for inspiration in unusual places

“I never leave home without my digital camera. When I first started blogging, I had to learn all about photography. Now I always carry a camera, so if I see something inspiring, I can take a picture, it’s like a compulsion. I don’t have style icons per se – I think developing your own voice in every aspect of life [is important]. Mostly I’m just inspired by normal people and fleeting moments. I might see an older woman in Paris, and she’s just going to buy bread, but she looks amazing, or I’ll go carpet shopping and be mesmerized by the clashing colors. I’m fascinated with the ephemera of life.”

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Make an effort

“Dressing is an emotional thing – it’s a representation of your current state of mind. There is no outfit algorithm – it’s about more than pieces just looking good together. For me, it has really become a way to express myself and even lift my mood. My mom always taught me that when you leave your house you’re presenting yourself to the world, and your look is a big part of that. It doesn’t come from a place of vanity or insecurity, but more a place of self-love. Plus, you never know who you are going to bump into, especially in a city like New York, so put your best self out there.”

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Hong sees fashion as a form of self-expression and self-love

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