+  Edited and photographed by Iké Udé, author of Style File. Selected as one of Vanity Fair’s 2009, 2012 and 2015 International Best Dressed Originals.  +

special guest/ CHIU-TI JANSEN talks about her 2nd OUTFIT: 2 in 15 acts

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What items did you use to compose this particular outfit?
-Oscar de la Renta pale pink taffeta gown with balloon skirt overlaid with chocolate brown lettuce edge hem
-Oversized crystal and pearl necklace, bracelet and earring set
-Giuseppe Zanotti nude sandal with silver crystal studs


How did you arrive at the decision to compose such an outfit?
Ethereal but not sweet—this gown has an elegant bone structure. It fits me like a glove.


Did you compose this outfit spontaneously or was it planned ahead of time? 
In keeping with the elegant design of the gown, I chose pearls that complement my hair and skin tone.


On a scale of 10, how pleased are you with this composition/outfit? 


What roles do color, the fit, and integrity of fabric play in this particular outfit? 
I adore the contrast between the pale pink and the chocolate ruffles. I think Watteau back is one of the most attractive sartorial elements from the 18th century France. This particular sack-back folds at the hem, forming a flattering arch with a sense of movement away from the body.


How soon would you repeat/wear this same outfit again?
Any time when I am ready for a magical night.


There is perhaps a spiritual, emotional, intellectual or psychological aspect to the what/how we dress. What is your personal experience in relation to this outfit? 
I wore this to the New York Viennese Opera Ball in 2011. My “date” was Magic Christian, a professional magician, the M.C. of the evening, and book author from Vienna, whom I met the first time. Despite my formal training in ballroom dance and a few dance competitions under my belt, it was not an easy feat to waltz through Waldorf Astoria’s dance floor on 5.5” heels with double platforms in this blossoming skirt. Magic Christian managed to magically carry me through the floor and I looked, simply, effortless. So whenever I am in this dress, I feel like a dove in the secret pocket of a magician—ready to disappear and take wing at the high point.


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