Quad Style: Wendy Xiao
Hi, my name is Wendy Xiao and I’m a first year with intentions to major in History and Visual Arts; this is how I start all my cover letters! I’m also currently involved in MODA. I enjoy visiting art galleries and I make lots of art myself. I love Kermit and the colour pink, and, lastly, I can also use Microsoft Excel and do basic math because I took a quarter of STAT 200.
What are you wearing for this shoot?
For this shoot, I am wearing mostly Chinese and South Korean brands that I found online, as well as some Uniqlo. For footwear, I’m in my Nike Tartans and Wotherspoons, and I am also accompanied by my pink Kermit portable charger. I did try to go hard on different fabrics for these looks so one is heavy on the corduroy, and the other is a quadruple plaid look (there was supposed to be 5 plaid items but I left my socks at home).
How would you describe your personal style?
I’ve noticed that my style shifts with the climate that I currently reside in. Currently, I’ve been wearing a lot of pinks, purples and neon colours, because I’m resisting against the dull winter weather and seasonal depression. Whereas over fall quarter, I found myself wearing lots of yellows and browns. Overall, my styling preference leans towards streetwear and I’d like to achieve the title of “a tasteful hypebeast art hoe who dresses well.” One look I really want to have is wearing colourful full piece suits, kinda like RuPaul or Cate Blanchett’s character in Ocean’s 8.
Where do you find style inspiration?
I follow a lot of Instagram streetwear accounts that pull together the coolest outfits, and seeing how they play with accessories, colours and shapes often give me fun ideas to try. I also get inspiration from Korean celebrities and those “what people are wearing to Fashion Week” photos.
Where do you like to shop?
I’m still discovering Chicago’s local fashion scene but I’ve definitely been getting into vintage and thrift shopping, which isn’t something that was available where I lived. I recently picked up some great stuff! There are a few streets in downtown Chengdu/Singapore where I go every time, and hit up all my favourite stores. One of my favourites is definitely Dover Street Market, I always take my time to walk around there every few weeks or so. I am such a big fan of their collaborations with brands and designers, creating these gorgeous art spaces that truly blend the boundaries between art, high fashion and streetwear. Some of my favourites include the Gucci and Nike collabs, as well as those ASSC Vans, and this Carhartt x DSM jacket I discovered. It’s really a religious experience walking around DSM and trying things on, 12/10 would recommend.
I mainly do my shopping online because I’m still a bit of a brand hoe and I like my New Year's/Black Friday discounts and you can really cop some expensive things for a very good price. I did get scammed on Grailed once trying to buy a Fenty sweater so idk what to tell ya. I also enter raffles for sneakers but I’ve never won any...
Do you have any fashion regrets?
Yikes, let's just say that it took me a while to get where I am and I would say that pre-2016 Wendy was a big fashion don’t. Before getting into fashion I dressed like every boy you knew in 9th grade. I found a photo of me wearing a grey Zara beanie, H&M zip-up hoodie, Adidas shorts and navy converse. Yes, I wore grey, navy, and black in the same outfit.
What’s your relationship to fashion? Has it changed over time?
Initially, I got into fashion because I had friends who were very invested in streetwear and sneakers. I lived in Singapore and the streetwear culture there was growing, meaning that there were more and more opportunities to explore looks. Slowly, I’ve become obsessed with the challenge of dressing myself in ways that would be compositionally balanced, colour coordinated, and aesthetically pleasing. It’s quite a pretentious thing to say but I also just love it so much. My love for fashion also increased as there has been an increase of overlaps between high fashion, the arts and streetwear; three things that I absolutely adore!
Why is fashion important to you?
Fashion has definitely helped me a lot in finding the confidence in being comfortable with who I am. I struggled a lot with my gender identity back in high school and having the freedom to experiment with my visual presentation. As an art form, I am a fan of how [fashion can] exist above the boundaries of gender. I like that fashion is an artistic outlet for me to mould and shape my identity, but it is also an art form that is explored by designers around the world.