This week’s style diary guest is the lovely Hyesoo Yoon. The South Korean entertainment television producer and host, who resides in New York, tells us all about her personal style, and how style is not just about the clothes. Equally important is personality, attitude, lifestyle, and how we communicate all these things.
Sibylle Eschapasse: Describe your style? If a close friend were to describe your personality in three words, what would they be?
Hyesoo Yoon: I think I’m very influenced by the European style, so I love classy, chic, minimal, effortless, and natural styles.
Actually I asked one of my best friends for this question and she said funny, trusting, and graceful. Otherwise she would also say that I’m gentle, intelligent, and loyal too.
Ms. Eschapasse: How did your style evolve since you were a teenager? What is the wildest thing you ever wore?
Ms. Yoon: I was very skinny so my mom always forced me to wear something that would cover my thin body shape, but fortunately she had pretty good taste. I started to try something more crazy (hip-hop, vivid colors, bold prints …) after I moved to China for high school. I used to go shopping as much as I could and tried various styles. That was definitely my style transition period! I think the wildest thing I ever wore was hot pink velvet sports pants and snake printed T-shirt (which was eventually thrown away by mother).
Ms. Eschapasse: How do you dress on workdays versus weekends?
Ms. Yoon: Even for work, if I have a shoot, I just wear a very different look. I wear more colorful pieces for TV, and especially if I meet celebrities, I tend to be more dressy and luxurious. I’ve wanted to wear items from many Korean designers for my show since it’s a Korean entertainment and cultural show, and Lie Sang Bong is one of my favorite and most worn designers.
If I don’t have a shoot, I’m wearing outfits as comfortable as possible for production work and running for meetings. Jeans or leather pants, silk shirts, cashmere turtleneck sweaters, oversized coats or rider jackets. These are all I need for my workdays and for the weekend as well! I won’t wear makeup, but usually shades.
Ms. Eschapasse: What are three accessories you can’t live without, and what’s one item that makes you instantly more confident?
Ms. Yoon: Actually I don’t wear many accessories. … I like bracelets or rings but it’s always hard to find my size… (it should be XXXS). I love to wear cuffs or bangles a lot and some bold accessories, but just for shooting!
Ms. Eschapasse: Who have been your greatest fashion influences? Who is your style icon?
Ms. Yoon: Jane Birkin and Parisian fashion editors!
Ms. Eschapasse: What does having style mean to you? In other words, please define style.
Ms. Yoon: Style to me … well everyone has white T-shirts and jeans, but everyone wears them differently and looks different, because they have different stories behind them. So to me, style is not just about the clothes, but it’s about your personality, attitude, lifestyle, and how you communicate all of these things.
Ms. Eschapasse: What is one purchase you’re most proud of? What would you pay a lot of money for, and what would you never pay much money for?
Ms. Yoon: My Mulberry Lily bouclé tweed bag (I die for tweed). I’d pay a lot for classic, basic, wearable items that I can wear for a long time. I’m trying not to pay much for shoes since I don’t tread carefully! (Good shoes can be worn out in just two days if I wore them!) But I still wouldn’t be able to leave if I go to the shoe salon in Saks or Bergdorf Goodman!
Ms. Eschapasse: When you go on the red carpet, how do you want your outfit to make you feel? Which designers can achieve that?
Ms. Yoon: Classic, chic, and confident. Definitely Lanvin and Valentino.
Ms. Eschapasse: What do you think of how others dress and what’s your advice to people who would like to develop their personal style?
Ms. Yoon: I used to judge how other people dress, but now I just try to see their good points since they have their own individual styles and beauty. Look at yourself in a positive way and find the good points about yourself to love, and if you also love your weak points, I’m sure others will see it as a uniqueness about you! Just keep trying to find something that can make you more attractive and remember to always be yourself!
Favorite color: White
Favorite perfume: Hermès Un Jardin Sur Le Toit for summer, Roses De Chloé for spring, Balenciaga Florabotanica for fall and winter
Favorite restaurant in NY: All of Jean Georges’s restaurants (especially Mercer Kitchen)
Favorite drink: I don’t drink alcohol so usually tea or nonalcoholic cocktails with fruits or mint flavor
Favorite movie: “The Great Gatsby” (I know this movie got criticized a lot for storytelling, but I love Baz Luhrmann’s visual interpretation.)
Favorite book: “Zhuan Falun”
Favorite quote: “When it’s difficult to endure, you can endure it. When it’s impossible to do, you can do it.”
Sibylle’s “Style Diary” is a column that explores style from the perspective of choices, and what that means for different people, with personal advice from some of the most stylish people in New York.
Sibylle Eschapasse is from Paris and now lives in Manhattan. She is a journalist and a contributing writer to various publications. Sibylle is also the author of a children’s book, “Argy Boy a New York Dog Tale.” She may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org