Wednesday, November 21, 2012

A Simpler Life: Eva Mok

It's easy to get inspired by Eva Mok. Not only is she a wonderful embodiment of the term "effortlessly chic, the fashion design student grad recently did something that you could consider pretty drastic in our society focused on abundance and excess. Eva donated more than 70% of her clothing with the intention to dedicate herself to a simpler life. I was, to say the least, inspired and had to find out what sparked this Francis of Assisi move, what items she did keep and what in her "professional opinion" should every chic woman have in her closet.
Not Daydreams: Very recently you “dedicated yourself to a simpler life” and donated the majority of your wardrobe. What inspired life change?
Eva Mok: I had so many beautiful pieces in my closet, but I knew I'd never find the occasion to wear them again. I decided it was time to get rid of the clutter and pass my garments on to a reliable charity.
Midway through fashion school, I got really sick. I think it takes a life threatening event for people to realize what's really important. I realized that I couldn't take my Louis to the grave. In the grand scheme of things, fashion won't make me a better or happier person. My version of a simpler life means a shift in focus from fast-paced consumption to more intangible assets like healthy relationships and spirituality. But it doesn't mean that I reject materialism. I shop, but I look for quality garments that can last forever!

Eva on the runway with her swimsuit line

ND: What items did you keep?
EM: I kept most of my black clothing, workout wear, and winter essentials. I also wanted to keep pieces that I received as presents.
ND: Do you find yourself missing anything? Going into you your closet like “ I think I’ll wear this... oh damn, its gone!” (Lol)
The 80/20 rule is a statistic that, when applied to the closet, means 80% of the time, you wear the same 20% of your clothes. I used that rule to purge 80% of my clothes. I'm not missing anything because I kept the 20%.

ND: What 5 items do you think every girl/lady needs to keep or have in her closet?
EM: 1) A relaxed-fit cashmere sweater
I love cashmere because it provides warmth without weight, and it's wicking properties allow it to moderate the body's temperature, so you never overheat. A good cashmere sweater is versatile and luxurious. You can cuddle up in one at home without looking sloppy, but you can also dress it up with heels and look effortlessly fashionable.
2) The Audrey Hepburn cropped pant
This pant is classic. Whether with heels or ballet flats, they're a sophisticated, everyday alternative to leggings or jeans. The trademark and likeness of the slim crop pant by The Gap is actually licensed by Sean Hepburn Ferrer and Luca Dotti. They are my favorite pants in the world - I recommend them to everyone!

Cashmere sweater + Audrey Hepburn cropped pant
sweater: thrift store
pants: The Gap
bag: Ralph Lauren
shoes: Jimmy Choo

3) Something outrageous, sparkly or studded
You need at least one statement piece that will get you the most attention in the room. Being able to pull off something exaggerated, over-the-top and loud shows that you are fun and fearless, and it can look really high fashion too, even if the garment is tacky or over-designed.
top: Jacflash
pant: h&m
belt: Diesel 
heels: Pacific Mall

4) A waist belt
As we know, using a waist belt is one of the easiest ways to pull an outfit together and make it look more polished. It lets you experiment with volume and proportion. It lets you add colour and a focal point.
top: ASOS
belt: thrift
skirt: thift
tights: victoria's secret
jacket: mendocino
bag: Gucci

5) Exquisite undergarments
Invest the time and effort to wear well fitting, well designed intimates. Underthings can be so precious. Every lady knows how special it feels to wear a nice set, whether it's for herself or for someone else... and you never know, you may get hit by a bus.
bra: Urban Outfitters
jacket: Zarapants: 
The Gap

Watch: Betsey Johnson

ND: Its been about a week or so now so.. how does it feel? (Is it clarifying? Cleansing? Simpler?)
EM: I feel lighter. The fact that most of what remains in my closet is black makes it a lot faster for me to get ready in the morning - luckily, black automatically makes you look more put together.
I know I've inspired other girls to do the same, and that's the best feeling for me. Who better to set the example than a stuck up fashion grad? Fashion is so much fun, but it's not an avenue to happiness. Your worth isn't defined by the number of designer items you own, or by how a la mode your clothes are, trust me!-


  1. This is an amazing and inspiring story, and I think I should try this out one day! The tips are helpful, and she still looks stylish and ready for any occasion! Plus, the message is touching. Well done, Eva! And Chiara, kudos for interviewing her, well done, and you have an amazing blog!

    ♥, Khadijat

  2. I guess I did something similar recently, I've just moved overseas so I got rid of a LOT of clothes and accessories before coming over. It makes it more fun to get dressed because your closet has only the things that you really love - nothing that you bought on impulse and now hate, nothing that doesnt fit, nothing waiting to be fixed when you find the time. I love it.

  3. This is an amazing story. I know that I would have separation anxiety if I decided to rid my closet of 80% of its contents. I love that she's proving you don't need to have a huge and expensive closet to dress stylishly and look fashionable!


  4. Congratulations for making it into this week Links a la mode!! Great post!
    ❤ xoxo ❤