Fashion is a muse: A Conversation with stylist Ju Hui Lin

I was somewhat thrown into this shoot and I wasn't entirely sure what to expect, but when stylist Ju Hui Lin told me that a photographer friend of hers Ching Ching, who she'd worked with in the past for Marie Claire Taiwan wanted to collaborate on some shots I felt like it was gonna turn out unarguably fresh.

Between the two of their incredibly hectic schedules, Ju Hui manages a brisk freelance career regularly working on the styling team for shoots with noted publications like Milk, ELLE Tw, and Vogue Tw, while Ching Ching is building her personal portfolio of artistic work and as we'd later find out is James Bond or some other mysterious shit that keeps her ridiculously unavailable via email, and the limited time I had in Taipei near the start of this year we had to put it together pretty quickly if it was going to happen at all. 

Frankly, it was cold as fuck but sunny in Taipei's Wanhua district where we were able to piece together a vivid, eclectic story based on looks styled exclusively by Ju Hui, with a few Goodluck pieces thrown in there from the Earthly Delights collection. 

I was able to run a few questions by Ju Hui as well which gave a lot more insight into her background, perspectives, and inspirations. Being able to view style, and fashion through her lens gave me some pretty interesting insight into what crafting a look means to her. 

Peep below: 

So firstly, maybe you'd like to just tell us a bit about where you are from and how you got into styling

I’m from a small town, called Homei, in Chunghua, which located in middle of Taiwan but l’ve been living in Taipei since college. I remember on weekends during high school as one of my favorite times. Not just because there’s no school but because of the TV show Project Runway. I was always amazed while I watching it dreaming maybe I could be a fashion designer and work in the fashion industry one day too.

After graduated from college my friend who worked in ELLE as an stylist assistant had to take a day off and asked me if I could cover her work since I really want to grab a chance to peek at this industry and because her boss really needed an assistant but she couldn’t be there. I said yes without hesitating even I know I got zero experience haha. But it turned out quite well and since then I got interesting in styling. I was covering for her off and on whenever she needed me to and after a couple months my friend went to England I officially started as stylist assistant at ELLE. Through that job I met lot of people hair-stylist, make-up artist and stylist. And then I started working as an freelancer and got more chances to work with fashion editors from Vogue, Marie Claire, Bazaar, Milk, Men's Folio and so on. That’s where I started. And I still enjoy doing it.

 Do you feel like as a stylist you have the ability to express your creative vision or are you limited by the clothes you have available to you?

We always make a mood board and set a theme. It’s about the vibe we want to create, lights, hair style, make up and what clothes might fit the theme for the fashion shooting. but even when we do the commercial shootings we do the same thing for our costumers too. So we aren’t limited by clothes they are one of elements of shooting. Doing the shooting is like drawing, everything is adjustable. Learning how to use those elements properly is crucial. Sometimes it is about the light, sometime it is about hair and makeup and sometime you need to add some accessories for the look and if you do it right the photos will sparkle. The only thing I am limited by sometimes is a lack of preparation or lack of creativity. Doing the shooting you got to be open-minded so nothing will limit you.

Love or hate trends?  

Hate. It’s weird to say as a stylist but I like trendless classic looks more. People always chasing trends seeking what are the newest items of the fashion but not everyone fits that trend well. People buy stuff they don’t really need or fit in and then create fast fashion waste.

 What should people be wearing this Summer?

Clothes I’m seeing for summer have some of these elements such as prints, color blocks, neon color. But still it depends on what is your style, and body type and what makes you feel comfortable.

 What will you be wearing this Summer? 

Well I usually wear crop top with jeans, trousers, culottes or skirts whatever it got is high waisted. Because I’m short and I want to make people think I am taller than I really am. High waisted can make your legs look longer and create the illusion. And I love wearing silk texture or marching various prints together or matching contrasting colors together like purple and green, add some colors for summer and you could pop out from crowed.     

 

 How do you define "Fashion", and how does it differ from "Style"?

Fashion is art, a muse and style is attitude, a lifestyle.

Fashion is more like making dreams for people. I love to see those clothes as art pieces but not everyone actually wears those clothes on the street from runway coz it’s kinda crazy sometimes in real life. Taking those art piece elements and turning them into your personal look and rock it that’s style. Fashion is not unapproachable you still could capture some inspirations from runway. Like color, how they match fabric and prints to create a look.  

 

What makes you happiest? 

Not specifically but most of time what make me smile and happy is when people who I love are happy.

Can a person find happiness without love? 

Love is crucial in life and I don’t think people who live without love can be happy. Love could be in any form like family, friendship, romance any of it is crucial and add color in our life. Without love doesn’t life turn black and white?

How can we keep up with your work?

Right now I start cooperating with a photographer for my portfolio hopefully I will got enough works done soon so I could create a website and instagram account for it and you guy could keep up my work but editorials that I’ve worked on are regularly featured in Vogue Taiwan, and ELLE Taiwan! Stay tune!