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Hey, I Like Your Style! Inside the colourful wardrobe of Melbourne content creator and DJ, Hana Hong

IMAGE VIA @_YOUNGMADAME_/INSTAGRAM

WORDS BY IZZY WIGHT

“What changed me? I think Melbourne did – the old buildings, cute little shops and graffiti-covered laneways inspired me to be more colourful and experimental with my outfits.”

We know personal style is a journey (I’m looking at you, Tumblr years), so we’ve introduced a new series Hey, I Like Your Style! diving into the fashion psyche of our favourite creatives. We’re talking the good, the bad and the 2007.

While the internet has made our fashion icons feel closer than ever before, even the most effortless of outfits came from a closet with some (well-dressed) skeletons. Clickable product tags, photo archives and lives chronicled in 30-second clips just don’t tell the full story.


For more fashion news, shoots, articles and features, head to our Fashion section.


These are the stories behind the wardrobes, exploring how we develop our own personal style. There’s a brilliance behind the way we choose to express ourselves and at FJ, we know every outfit has a story.

With a penchant for neon palettes and pattern clashing, Hana Hong’s outfits are hard to miss. Originally hailing from South Korea, Hana’s style epiphany came after moving to Melbourne. Retiring her all-black wardrobe and immersing herself in the city’s colourful art scene, this is the story of how her creativity – and wardrobe – truly flourished. This week, she talks about her favourite Melbourne labels, her love of pattern clashing and the coat that changed it all.

Who are you and what do you like to wear?

Hi! My name is Hana Hong and I’m a social media specialist and content creator. I’m based in Melbourne but originally from South Korea. I like to wear colourful and fun outfits – pattern clashing is my jam!

What has your style evolution looked like? Do you feel like you’ve gained confidence in the way you dress?

Believe it or not, I primarily wore black until I moved to Australia. I was really into chic and urban style; my style influences were Hedi Slimane, Karl Lagerfeld and Phoebe Philo. In retrospect, it was probably because Korea is full of skyscrapers and very urban architecture, so modern dressing felt right.

What changed me? I think Melbourne did – the old buildings, cute little shops and graffiti-covered laneways inspired me to be more colourful and experimental with my outfits. Melburnians are also very open-minded and I never feel judged for what I’m wearing. That definitely boosted my confidence.

Personal style is a journey. Have you ever felt like you needed to fit into a particular fashion box?

I definitely felt like I had to fit a particular look when I was in uni. I studied fashion and it was around the time when The Devil Wears Prada premiered – it was all about being skinny, stylish and trendy. Kids at my uni were very judgemental and held everyone to an impossible standard.

Naturally, I felt the pressure and tried every diet you can imagine. It did eventuate in weight loss, but I wasn’t happy or healthy. I was miserable and paranoid. It took me a long time to break my toxic thought pattern and begin to love myself for who I am. The fashion industry is finally making space for body diversity (small steps, but steps nonetheless) and it’s a change I’m very happy to see.

Take us back to those awkward teenage years. Do you have any fashion regrets?

I was a dancer (hip-hop dancer to be specific) so you can imagine the look – military cargo pants, mega-oversized hoodies, Von Dutch caps and velvet Juicy Couture tracksuits. Although the early 2000s are making a comeback… maybe I should bring back the look?

What are the most expensive and least expensive items in your wardrobe?

The most expensive item would be my $700 shoes from By Far and the least expensive would be a $5 tee from a vintage shop.

What is the most meaningful fashion piece you own?

A leopard fur jacket that I purchased in Korea. I got it about eight years ago and wore it every winter with my fedora hat. People started calling me ‘madame’ because of this outfit. That’s how my music event brand Young Madame got started and I feel like my that jacket gave me a new identity.

What’s in your cart at the moment?

There are so many! A cute dress from Ganni, a nice pair of boots from Paloma Wool, a colourful co-ord set from Hosbjerg and almost everything from Lisa Says Gah.

What fashion piece are you saving for right now?

All the items in my cart! It’s a never-ending list. Once I have enough money, I’d love to get a beautiful luxury bag from Bottega – one I can wear for a long time.

What are the wardrobe items you wear on repeat?

Basic items like jeans, a leather jacket, black trousers, white sneakers and basic tees. I have a lot of outrageous items, so it’s easy to look a little OTT if I’m not careful. Basics help to keep the balance!

Who are your favourite local designers?

There are so many! I love Ge.Label, Par Moi, Suku Home, McIntyre Merino, Sunday Social and Goodbyes (not technically a designer but I love the store curation!)

See more of Hana’s killer colourful looks here.

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