We know – first dates are always nerve-wrecking!
What if he doesn’t like me? What if she doesn’t like my shoes? What if I overdress? What if… Just what if?
Don’t you worry now, for we have here – Ms Sammi Chiang, GaiGai’s very own Chief Personal Branding Analyst. We sat down to have a chat with her about her imaging experience at Fleek with GaiGai and also, to share the makeover session she had done with our male client QingHai!
Answers by Sammi
Hello Sammi! Could you share a little about yourself with our readers?
Hi everyone! I would say I am very helpful and open minded – which help when I’m styling my clients. I have very supportive parents who encouraged me to chase my dreams, to do what I want to do. They are also very open minded like me! Something interesting I’d like to share – my sister is a painter in Mexico!
When did you discover your passion for fashion?
I discovered my passion when I was 20 years old and just started my first part-time job in a boutique shop in Taiwan. I met many stylists and helped them select outfits for celebrities. I had a lot of fun and, of course, I learnt a lot. At that point, I immediately knew what I wanted to do in the future.
Where did you study fashion?
After I finished my Diploma in Media Communications in Taipei, I decided to pursue my Master’s in Fashion – I was also considering between London and Milan. I eventually chose Milan because it is cheaper! (Sammi laughs cheekily.) I studied fashion at Istituto Europeo di Design, Milan, Italy where I took my Master’s degree in Fashion Communication and Styling.
What would you define your style to be?
I have tried a lot of different styles in the past, from Japanese to Goth, and now, I prefer to look more sophisticated and minimalist. I like to mix and match exquisite items with basic apparels together to create an effortless yet stylish everyday-look.
Why did you venture into style and imaging instead of fashion design?
Firstly, like I mentioned earlier, I love helping people. I love to make people feel happy and confident about themselves. To me, imaging is about having different styles catered to different individuals while fashion design is focused on skills requiring knowledge on fabrics and making of garments.
Imaging is about people while fashion design is really about the apparels. This is why I chose imaging because I enjoy mix and match and creating different styles more than playing with fabrics and making garments. I believe that fashion changes every year even through seasons, while style is eternal.
What are the Do’s and Don’t’s for first date attires?
Gentlemen, please put on ironed clean clothes with long trousers and covered shoes – try to avoid open-toe shoes.
For the ladies, blouse goes easily with skirts and long trousers. If you want to leave a better impression, dresses or skirts are the way to go.
A lot of ladies have the perception that high heels are great first-date shoes but the height of your heels greatly matter too – too high and it may become a hindrance instead of a complement to your style! It is also important to not reveal too much skin to avoid leaving wrong impressions or sending wrong signals.
Of course, it is very important, besides style, that you have to be aware of your personal hygiene as it could result in body odor and breath which greatly affect first impressions. Always smell good!
Do you have any particular stories to share from your imaging experience at GaiGai?
Once, I had a female client who has leg length discrepancy – it is the situation whereby one leg is structurally longer than the other. This resulted in her lack of confidence. In this case, I helped her choose the right dress that complemented her body structure and at the same time, taught her to put on a little make up to look more presentable.
The best part is she did not even have to buy that dress as it was from her very own wardrobe – she just didn’t know how to wear and style it! She looked so beautiful and the date went really really amazingly. After which, she told me she managed to pick up a few tips on how to mix and match her own clothes and well, she is dating someone now! I am truly happy for her!
Now we’ve heard from Sammi, let’s see what happened during the makeover magic session with Qing Hai!
Here, we have Qing Hai in his ‘before’ look – in his very own style of dressing before meeting with Sammi for consultation on what changes he should make to look better!
Lo and behold…
The AFTER makeover look!
And just in case that the difference isn’t as evident yet, we have here the comparison between the before and after look!
Besides the obvious changes such as haircut, hairstyle and changing from spectacles to contact lenses, we asked Sammi to go into details as to what happened during the makeover!
Makeover Magic – Sammi shares!
Hey Sammi, could you share what you thought when you first saw QingHai?
Firstly, his hair is short so he can’t really make big changes or switch to a very different hairstyle. Secondly, his body shape is easy to work with – slim and angular – I can easily think of which shops to go to. We got all his clothes from one shop!
Could you share a little more about what happened during the makeover?
The entire session took only an hour. He had naturally curly hair which is good to style – I only asked him to trim it and to use wax and style it to give off a more stylish and trendy look. He was wearing Adidas monochrome sneakers, which is a really versatile pair, so I did not have to do anything with his shoes. I came up with 3 looks and they all go with the shoes really well as you can tell from the photos.
I started by picking out the bottom which are trousers and bermuda shorts. After that, I started looking for tops to create different looks. Ultimately, like I mentioned earlier, it’s all about knowing how to mix and match with the basis of working with the right apparels for your body type.
How else could you have styled him differently?
I could have come up with a more formal and classy style but he is only 24, which is a little young to carry that style as he is still studying. It is more beneficial for him to look trendy than professional, with the type of girls he would like to attract.
What was necessary for change?
His sense of style when it comes to mixing and matching clothes has to be adjusted. Most importantly, he has to understand his own body shape and type, with the correct mindset that he has to be bold enough to try different looks to find out what really suits him.
The reason why I mentioned the boldness and courage to try a different look out of his comfort zone was because of this incident during the makeover. While we were looking for tops, I picked a very baggy t-shirt as shown in the comparison photo. He told me that he is skinny and with the baggy t-shirt, he didn’t think it suited his body type. I then encouraged him, telling him that the material is different and he should trust me; Just try it! Guess what? The outfit ended up being his favourite! 😛
Makeover Magic – Qing Hai’s Review
After hearing from Sammi, it is only fair that we sit down and have a chat with Qing Hai – the main beneficiary from this makeover session!
Hi QingHai! How did you feel before the makeover? Were you nervous?
Hey, yes I was! I have never done anything like this before. It took some convincing from my friend before I finally agreed to this makeover. I knew how I looked and needed a change, but for someone who prefers to be within my own comfort zone, the first step is always difficult.
After the makeover, what do you think has made you feel different, and how has it made you feel different?
I definitely felt different after this makeover. I was really surprised what I could wear for someone as skinny as I am. I used to think I could only pull off the typical jeans and t-shirts look but clearly, I was wrong! Hahaha.
Sammi mentioned that you had a favourite look. Do you think you’ll keep to this style moving forward?
Honestly, yes, I will keep to this style. I like what I am seeing in the mirror right now and definitely will strive to dress better, as taught by Sammi.
What did you think about Sammi’s guidance during this Makeover mission?
I love what Sammi did for me and how she really cared about what I want. She asked me about my own fashion preferences and took them into consideration. She didn’t force me to wear what I didn’t believe I looked good in. I always felt that light blue clothes don’t go well with my skin tone and upon hearing that, Sammi immediately changed the light blue piece she picked that I was supposed to try on.
She made extra effort to go through different styles with me and asked what I think about them and how I thought I could match them with my existing apparels. During the session, she was really fun and friendly, and she also shared a few tips on how to talk to and approach girls, haha!
Have you ever pictured yourself being able to dress like that?
No. Never in fact. This was really a great experience and I did not regret giving in to my friend’s persuasion.
Would you encourage your friend to come for this makeover session with Sammi?
Yes, I would definitely encourage another friend to come for this service. However, it is very important that they come with a more open-minded attitude as the first step to accepting things outside your comfort zone is usually very difficult.
Thank you Qing Hai! Hope you enjoyed the session with Sammi!
We would like to thank Qing Hai and Sammi for contributing answers and their experiences to this article. Also, if you are interested to find out more about Sammi’s personal sharing tips and how to work within your tight budget – or even within your own wardrobe – to get clothes that suit yourself, you’re in luck!
Sammi will be speaking at our GaiGai Connects: Get on Fleek workshop scheduled on 23rd June at Esplanade Mall! Food and drinks inclusive. Rest assured it will be a casual and fun workshop – forget boring and sit-down seminar workshops, urgh – GaiGai is here to bring you only the best of the best, and the fun of the funnest workshops!
Following our very successful pilot GaiGai Connects: Ready to Mingle workshop, we have decided to work with Sammi for the second of our GaiGai Connects series! This workshop will be open to both genders and it also has very limited seats – so sign up today before it is sold out!
See you there! 😉