Meet: Jennifer Prince

Brunei Blogger May Cho interviews Jennifer Prince

"Don't. Follow. Rules. When it comes to fashion. 
Break them
Make your own style. 
Make your own statement. 
Just be comfortable with yourself."

And that's what Jennifer Prince is all about; a sense of peace and comfort within oneself despite rebelling heavily against a set of socially accepted rules. Arms wide open in the pursuit of positivism, she stands firm in the glare of class and sophistication, a rooter for staying true to one's own style.


Jennifer Prince

It's hard to believe that just a little over four years ago, Jennifer was a tomboy, or, as how she'd like to put it, a person who didn't "truly embrace the feminine side." With bodycon dresses from ASOS, jewelry from Swarovski and a trunk full of necklaces and rings, of all different shapes and sizes, colours and types, Jen, as she's fondly known as, is the style embodiment of femininity. 

She tells me over the phone, her Singaporean enunciation audible through her slightly heavier Indian accent, that it was on the Christmas of her 14th birthday that she had an "awakening."

"That was when I really went and became a girl," a stream of words stringing together through the static as she recalls the memory, "I wore really nice heels, nice earrings and that was when it started. And I didn't start with the small earrings," she added, "I just went for the big ones."

Jennifer Prince

For all who knows Jen in real life, she is notorious for her accessory collection. Week after week after week, I would see her in all kinds of different accessories, her necklaces the most pronounced.

"I love accessories, oops," she says sheepishly in response to whether they've grown to be a part of her signature style, a little laughter tinkling at the end, "It's a huge part of how I dress everyday. Even if I have no makeup on, I still put on a bold earring or a ring or something so I don't look bare."

And bare, she does not look. The general preoccupation with accessories is fascinating, I find. A good statement necklace, or a gorgeous pair of bedazzled earrings would certainly jazz up any outfit, but it is the idea that different kinds of accessories worn with the same outfit would instantly transform a look that transcends the style.

Jennifer Prince

"I just accessorize any time so that it doesn't look boring," Jen says, "It doesn't look the same, so it kind of draws people's attention away from the fact that I might be repeating my outfit but at least it's a different accessory every time, so it's not that bad."

It has been to large criticism and, disgustingly, support, the idealistic notion that a fashionable person wears something completely different every time, and through this, it is to a certain extent that pressure has been put on up and growing fashionistas. Jen included.

"There was this period of time where I wore the same striped shirt a LOT and I wore it three times with the same group of friends," she recalls, "They did point it out and they were like, "do you not have any other clothes?""

Jennifer Prince

For Jen, it was the pressure of living in a fashion forward and style-centric society. Born a Singaporean Indian and raised in the Lion City, an urban area famous for enormous shopping malls that house retailer after retailer after retailer, brand after brand after brand, the eventual pressure of keeping up with the trends came.

"It was pretty important for me to have a variety of outfits because people do judge you on that," a truth she shares with me that I'm sure resonates with people all over the world.

We've all come to know the people in our lives that judge us based on everything and anything, especially based on our physical appearance. They storm from puffy, white clouds into a hail of thunder and lightning, roaring at our inferiority, a shaky definition based upon subjective truths of being trendy and being beautiful.

Jennifer Prince

Asked how she deals with this, she responds promptly, "I surround myself with people who bring me up." A simple solution in the long run for the fiesty, unending paranoia that haunts us. 

"I truly believe that people who bring you down or make you feel negative don't have a place in your life and they should be cut out," she says, a tinge of earnest in her voice translating over the static of mobile signals, "There was someone a few years ago I had to cut off, because they just really weren't bringing any good influences in my life. It's a matter between choosing between your happiness or trying to be loyal to the friendship."

On how she stays positive online, Jen shares, "I do find inspiration online, and from different bloggers. There are plus size bloggers that I draw inspiration from," here she babbles a list of names, ranging from Gabi Fresh to Tess Holliday, "There's so many people online. Honestly, it's just a matter of finding the people who you truly resonate with."

Jennifer Prince

While she's all dolled up and looking glam in this set of photos, you'll see Jen reaching for a pair of jeans and cardigan on a normal day, especially jewel toned ones, such as emerald, sapphire or cobalt. This, she justifies with their complementary powers. The timelessness of striped tops has also made their way around to her as she gushes excitedly about them.

"Like, um, I cannot. I just," the pause between each phrase is filled with an electricity, as if surging powerfully from within, "I'm obsessed with stripes. Well not obsessed, but, I do have a special place in my heart for stripes. I feel very comfortable in them, even though there's a fashion rule that says that you shouldn't wear horizontal stripes because it makes you look bigger. Well, don't. follow. rules. when it comes to fashion. BREAK THEM. Make your own style. Make your own statement. Just be comfortable with yourself."

***

And that wraps up part 1 of Style Spotlight. What do you think? It's my first time journalising in this manner and it was so much fun; how do you think I fared? We've got 2 more installments of this mini-series, so do stay tuned for that!

Also, you can contact Jen on Twitter and on Instagram. Be sure to give her some love because she was such a joy to shoot and interview!

PHOTOS BY SHIAN LI CHIAM / EDITTED BY MAY


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