Jamie Wu Qian Qian is a woman who knows exactly what looks good on her. When we met the style maven, she had just returned from her first successful outing at the London, Milan and Paris fashion weeks in September, where her visually striking looks caught the eye of street-style photographers as well as international publications.
Describing her style as eclectic, Jamie dresses with editorial flair and, thanks to her expert mixing and matching of streetwear with luxury fashion, the Shanghainese always looks like she had just stepped out of the pages of a fashion magazine. No surprises here, considering one of her earliest sources of inspiration was her mother’s fashion periodicals—a rarity in 1990s China. “China was not the most open of societies back then, and to have foreign magazines and being able to read them was very rare,” she says. “My mother took such an interest in fashion and started to experiment by making clothes for me. This definitely piqued my interest.”
The 34-year-old worked as a TV producer and stylist in Shanghai, before relocating to Singapore with her husband in 2016. After moving here, she took to fashion blogging, initially for fun but now as a career. Her impressive Instagram account, @jamieqqwu, which boasts nearly 50,000 followers as of press time, features a carefully curated fashion collection, from Y/Project’s controversial slouchy boots to this season’s must-have nylon Prada belt bag. Unique details are crucial to her style, and you will be nonplussed to find classic elements in her wardrobe, save for the clean white turtlenecks and basic tees she layers with her more striking pieces.
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Jamie’s style has also been inspired by her love for architecture, whether it is her experience running the now-defunct Hamilton House restaurant, which was housed in an art deco-style building in Shanghai, or the works of her favourite designers Glenn Martens of Y/Project and Virgil Abloh, founder and designer of Off-White and artistic director of Louis Vuitton menswear. Before fashion, both designers were architects, and they subscribe to the ethos of fashion being more than just clothes, but rather a concept. This is also something that Jamie shares. “I’ve always been drawn to pieces with architectural design,” she explains. “With my body type being on the thin side, I feel these pieces help to create a more interesting shape.” Even her style icons are women who weren't afraid to experiment. “I think a lot about what Jamaican singer Grace Jones wore in the ’80s—a lot of strong shapes, and she has created her own style.”
Keeping up with fashion trends is important to Jamie, but not in the way most people would assume. “I keep up with trends because so much of it is tied to the macroeconomics of the world as well as people’s mentality, especially now since we are so connected thanks to technology. For example, Kate Moss’s androgynous look did really well in the ’90s because it expressed so much of the culture then. I think fashion reflects economics first, and then culture. So in keeping up with the trends, it's not just to decide what to wear to be trendy—I don’t care about that. But I'm always curious as to why and how certain things are trending."
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