Two times a year fashion’s finest gather in the British capital for the bi-annual fashion event of the year: Fashion Week. Hoards of journalists, bloggers and armies of photographers are ready to see or be seen. It’s a phenomenon inherent to fashion, and we love it. Currently, we find ourselves in the slower fashion months, and we’re starting to reminisce the hustle and bustle of fashion week. With the SS20 of London Fashion Week looming around the corner,we sat down with Harper Silin, LFW-habituée and probably one of the most photographed people at last fashion week, to talk about all things fashion.
First off, congratulations on all your exposure and making it on Vogue! We want to know who this girl in all these pictures is, who is Harper?
I’m a textile design student, but that’s not me. Basically I just love fashion. In high school I wasn’t a really good student. However, I loved painting and reading fashion magazines. One day I heard that my sister’s friend went to London to study fashion, the moment I heard that I knew I wanted to do the same, and pursue my dream of becoming a fashion designer. After my second year at uni, I took a gap year and returned to China to gain some more experience. There I started working as a pr and a fashion buyer, and I haven’t stopped since.
"I’m a textile design student, but that’s not me. Basically I just love fashion"
Being born in China, what prompted you to move over to the British capital?
London is known for its famous fashion universities and its creativity. People really accept and appreciate creativity here, if you would do this in China they would just say “you’re crazy!”.
When the Fashion Week madness is not upon us, tell us, what does a typical day in the life of Harper look like?
Believe it or not, the day-to-day Harper doesn’t really dress up or wears makeup. When I have an event or plans with friends I’ll pay careful attention to how I dress and look. But most days, I’ll be wearing a mix of vintage and contemporary pieces. The rule of thumb is to always combine vintage-contemporary styles, no matter how much I love vintage, I will never wear an entire vintage look.
"If you would do this in China they would just say 'you’re crazy!'."
How did you get started in the world of blogging and being an influencer?
I started my blog two years ago. Before I shared my fashion on the app THE RED, where I gained around 80,000 fans. It was when I started working for the brand GB-DAVID that I really started gaining a following. GB-DAVID just entered the market in China and didn’t really have much of a name in the Chinese Market. So I started styling their bags with my looks, benefiting both mine and the brand’s online following.
"I choose a piece based on what I fall in love with on first sight."
Now that we have you here, we’re eager to pick your brain and fish for some tips. Being published in big publications such as Vogue and Elle, tell us what is your secret or best tip for getting the attention of such influential street style photographers?
I’ll tell you a secret, most of the time I don’t even know I’m being photographed. I was so shocked when I saw I was featured on Vogue! I had no idea! The number one condition to be streetstyled is having a unique sense of style. Secondly, I always try to tag the photographers, it’s my way of showing you’re grateful as well as an opportunity to build a relationship with them. They will be more likely to shoot or recognise you the following fashion weeks as well.
I was so shocked when I saw I was featured on Vogue! I had no idea!
Could you give us an inside scope on how you select and style your outfits for LFW, where do you get your inspiration from? Do you get help?
I choose a piece based on what I fall in love with on first sight. After that comes the fun part, the dressing up. Adding accessories is key to transforming pieces from clothes to looks, just like magic it makes them special. I focus heavily on colours and materials, which is probably influenced by my major in fashion textile design.
What was your most memorable moment during London Fashion Week?
There isn’t just one moment, it’s always the same moment during every show I attend the curtain call. All the models come down the runway together at the end of the show, I never fail to be in complete awe.
In Feburary of this year you wore two of our designers, Viola Menchini and Hope Macauley, are you passionate about promoting young and graduate designers?
I prefer young designer’s work, their pieces are always full of energy, fun, passion and you can just feel their dreams.
This fashion week you collaborated with us, Fashion Crossover London, how did you find that experience? Any designers, in particular, you like from our platform?
I am so happy to be able to work with Fashion Crossover. You have so many beautiful and interesting brands, all using interesting materials and prints, I love them. I had such a hard time picking a favourite one.
And lastly, do you have a go-to outfit formula that ensures you look stylish every day?
If it’s winter, invest in a good looking coat and shoes. In summer, some beautiful accessories and lipstick. Finish every look off with a touch of perfume and you’re good to go.