Chicago Looks: Tons of Possibilities

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Ting Tifa Zhou ( was showing her work, “My Voice Is Not Being Heard,” at the SAIC MFA 2013 show.

Your video installation translates voice into visual symbols. Inversely, if your clothes could talk, what would they say about you?
I think clothes are the reflection of who I am on that particular day as well as how I feel. I think they could function as a mirror to show the inside out. I tried to honestly match my emotions and mood with these clothes. Be appropriate and comfortable at the same time.

You’re interested in communication. How effectively do you think fashion can communicate an idea?
I think fashion is one of the most effective ways to communicate ideas. There are tons of possibilities in fashion, from color to style, even the scale of the clothes. And all the aspects could create different perspectives of taste and people. But somehow, fashion is also personal and intimate—different people might have different understandings. But the feeling of clothes is intuitively spread out at first glance.

How conscious are you about what you wear?
I am conscious about what I am wearing because I always try to match my mood with what I dress on that day. Sometimes I try to dress up to cheer myself up.

Has studying art changed the way you dress?
I think studying art and being at SAIC definitely had a subtle effect on the way I dress. It feels like everyone has their own style and we hold a fashion show every day, and I am glad I could be part of it.

—Interview and photography by Isa Giallorenzo

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