At the Columbia Festival of the Arts' Grits and Glamour Gala 2014, which kicked off the annual summer arts festival, Jessica Wong, 31, showed off a look that reflected the party's Southern glam theme. But her general style has a story that goes much deeper -- with some of its roots in her hometown of Columbia. "I have a multicultural background and my parents consciously made the choice to live in Columbia, in part because of James Rouse's vision. My father is Chinese-American and my mother is Portuguese-American. I have an older sister, and my twin sister and I are adopted from Korea." The Maryland Mental Health Association interviewer says that although tribal prints are in these days, she goes in another direction to stand out. "I feel my race is a palette and fashion is made to be interesting. As a minority, I choose classic silhouettes with soft materials and bright colors and feel it looks 'edgier' on me." HER STYLE: "I went to private school. So it's pretty classic, but I like to play with patterns to make it more interesting." HER ENSEMBLE: J. Crew black and white print linen sleeveless dress and pearl necklace from 2nd Avenue thrift store. Pearl stud earrings. Shark pink and yellow watch that was a gift. Nude leather Jessica Simpson round-toe pumps and brown leather trimmed black Longchamp bag -- "I love Longchamp" -- from Nordstrom. Ray-Bans vintage aviators ("They're cool and they're classic.") HER DIY FASCINATOR: "I went to 2nd Ave thrift, where I got a cake topper. Then I went to Michael's and Hobby Lobby and used 40 percent [off] coupons for each for the [fabric] corsage, feathers, and other pieces. And, basically, I just made it this morning with glue on a headband." HER LIFE/STYLE PHILOSOPHY: "I have to create things. I pull them apart and create things. I don't have a vision. I just put things together -- like my clothes. I pick things that I like and then I see if it works out."
Photo by Matthew Paul Dagostino, for The Baltimore Sun