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Christine Chiu—star and producer of Netflix’s Bling Empire, front-row fixture, and beloved couture connoisseur—is no stranger to the glitz and glamour of fashion week. In fact, she thrives in it. Case in point: her very busy and chic trip to New York last week. In town for the start of the S/S 23 shows, Chiu came equipped with a packed schedule and an arsenal of photo-worthy looks to suit every occasion, including a stunning royal purple Saint Laurent number for the #VogueWorld show and an archival sculptural velvet Mugler minidress for the Fashion Media Awards (two of our faves).

To cap off a fantastic fashion-filled week, Chiu attended the Tom Ford show, and with the help of stylist Micaela Erlanger and her glam team, makeup artist Carolina Gonzalez and hairstylist Henry De La Paz, created the perfect finale moment. Outfitted in a leather sultry bra top paired with perfect lime-green trousers and accented with chunky gold jewelry and the designer’s signature eyewear, Chiu was the epitome of early 2000s glam. Who What Wear got an exclusive peek at how her look came together and caught up with Chiu after the event to talk about the ensemble and her favorite moments from NYFW.

Tell us about the look you selected for the Tom Ford show. What about this look immediately caught your eye? 

My look for Tom Ford was selected by Elizabeth Saltzman (presumably on behalf of Tom) and styled by Micaela Erlanger. I was both flattered and shocked that they had confidence in me to pull off a leather bra! But one really cannot go wrong when wearing Tom Ford. Although this season’s look is a great departure from what I normally would select for myself, it turned out to be my favorite look of the week! A buttery leather bralette was paired with silky, slouchy lime-green cargo pants and completed with the iconic Tom glasses. When in Tom Ford, one instantly feels and looks fucking fabulous. 

What do you love about Tom Ford’s approach to design? 

Tom is the embodiment of chic, and it overflows into all of his designs. I love that he knows and respects a woman’s body in a manner to best accentuate the right curves and bits. He is simultaneously daring and playful, sensual and strong, polished and fun, luxurious and delicate. The quality and craftsmanship is second to none, and the understated richness of each piece is a perpetual tease. I have jokingly told the TF team that if I were ever stranded on an island and could only wear one designer for the rest of my life, it would definitely be Tom Ford, as I am also incredibly comfortable in every piece!

What was the inspiration for your hair and makeup? 

[From Micaela Erlanger]: We drew inspiration from 2000s-meets-’80s references. From big smoked-out eyes to lime-green nails, a high half-pony, and touch of body glitter, this look had it all and hit the right notes. 

[From Christine]: I got a light emergency spray tan against Micaela’s will, and I am not mad at it! 

What about jewelry? Do you have a rule of thumb when it comes to accessorizing? 

My first love and encounter with jewelry began with high jewelry and suites of jewelry, whereby they all match in a set and are worn as such. Along the way, I have acquired an appreciation for mixing and matching. The latter is so much more fun. I now love to layer with less hefty or substantial pieces from different jewelry designers and add to my heart’s content. I am very enthusiastic about collecting vintage, fine, and high jewelry pieces that play well with others.

Okay, let’s pull back a bit. What do you love about attending fashion week in New York? 

NYFW is raw, fierce, vibrant, and exciting! The streetstyle is infused with so much creativity and personality, and the runways are filled with surprising talent. NYFW celebrates diversity in an effortless, authentic way that I haven’t seen other fashion weeks accomplish as powerfully. The spectrum of cultures infused in the designs, range, and backgrounds of emerging to established designers, and clash of the high and low (uptown, downtown) during NYFW keeps me on the edge of my seat. NYFW is truly a global melting pot of artistry and flavor.

Looking back on the week, is there a show that really stood out to you and why? 

This NYFW was one of anniversaries and celebrations, from Fendi’s 25th anniversary of the Baguette to Dennis Basso’s 40th to Pamella Roland’s 20th, Bloomingdale’s 150th, Harlem’s Fashion Row’s 15th and even the Metropolitan Museum Friends of the Costume Institute’s 20th. The vibe was coming together and honoring the industry and people of fashion. In that same vein, Vogue’s 130th celebration, via #VogueWorld, was a standout show. #VogueWorld not only attracted incredible talent both on the runway and in the seats; it created a unified vision with countless acclaimed designers and brands and also loudly projected a clear messaging of diversity, inclusivity, and community in fashion. It was fun, quirky, and out of this world! 

New York is our first look at the trends that will dominate spring 2023. Did you spot any that you are particularly excited about? 

As a little girl, I grew up in a purple house with shades of purple wallpaper, furniture, carpet, drapery, and more because my mother loved the color so much! Needless to say, I have avoided hues of lilac for most of my adult life. During this fashion week, Micaela encouraged a beautiful silky YSL suit in royal purple as a nod to my mother (who passed away) and also to reintroduce this beautiful tone back into my fashion palette. Micaela was on to something, as all variations of purple could be seen throughout this season’s runway collections. Sequins, silks, and see-throughs seem to also prevail on the catwalk for NYFW S/S 23.

Let’s talk about your street style looks. You partnered with stylist Micaela Erlanger. What was your vision for the week? 

Fashion for me is expressive, experimental, and should tell a story of who I am, who I want to be, or where I’ve come from. I tasked Micaela to utilize her selections and styling to show a range of Christine, because beauty, to me, is multidimensionality. Whereas the Tom Ford look was sporty-chic, LaQuan was sensual, Jason Wu was romantic, Monot was vixen, YSL was large and in charge, Jonathan Simkhai was cocktail-chic, and Pamella Roland was flirty-sweet. I wore an archival Thierry Mugler velvet dress to the Fashion Media Awards, as I am obsessed with fashion history. Wearing his piece allowed me to reflect upon and speak about his incredible contributions to fashion—the late Manfred Thierry Mugler was one of the first designers to champion and celebrate diversity/inclusivity. He was also a pioneer in playing with shapes, cuts, and materials. 

How would you say your approach to street style at NYFW is different from Couture Week in Paris?

Without doubt, NYFW is very different from Couture Week in Paris. I wanted to be immersed in all the feels of New York but without losing myself and my personal aesthetic. Micaela worked with the various brands and houses to pull pieces that were able to achieve this delightful balance of New York spirit with a splash of glam. In terms of logistics, for Couture Week, I am wearing pieces of haute couture that I have purchased and own. For NYFW, brands worked with Micaela to dress me. Both are equally interesting and exciting.

During a week of nonstop shows and events, what are your skincare and beauty essentials? 

“Me” time is the hottest show of the season on my fashion calendar! I have recently obliged myself to scheduling out personal time for reflection, rejuvenation, and refreshment on my calendar, whether that includes mediative time, a nap, facial, or massage. This self-care time during NYFW was a 90-minute facial experience with Mario Badescu spa, during which I was steamed, toned, rehydrated, collagen-enhanced, and sent back out to the fashion streets refreshed and glowing. 

Most memorable moment from the week? 

I was asked to be a part of Oscar de la Renta’s S/S 23 video campaign, which was shot in the midst of fashion week and in lieu of their traditional runway show. It was such an honor and insanely fun. Can’t wait to see it soon!

Want more New York Fashion Week coverage? We’ve got you covered here!

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