Interview: Jinna Yang Of Grease And Glamour About Her Fascination With All Things Fashion

by Barbara Russ · January 31, 2012

Jinna Yang is the girl behind Grease and Glamour, a blog as bi-polar as the city and as ambivalent as fashion. Check out what fascinates her about fashion, where she buys both high and low end styles, and why she likes to look behind the scenes, past the glamour and discover the hidden side of fashion.

When and why did you start your blog?

I started in 2009, during my senior year at college. First, I very simply just uploaded what I was wearing. I was also reading other blogs, like Lookbook.nu. I liked all those amazing girls and guys with their street styles and they inspired me.

Then I got a job in New York City that summer and I came up during Fashion Week, so I snuck into my first fashion show. Ever since, I’ve been documenting the life of a girl from Virginia - that’s where I’m originally from - in New York City: Living on my own, shopping, going to fashion events. At first it was just a way of keeping in touch with my old friends. Then I started tapping into other bloggers’ networks by commenting on them, and the blog has just been growing ever since. The layout changed a lot, too. Now I’ve arrived at the split Grease&Glamour layout, because my style is so multifaceted and I wanted to show the black and white of fashion.

Which blogs do you read?

I admire everyone who puts the time and effort into their blog. My favorites, however, are Nicole Warne from Gary Pepper Vintage; I also love 5 inch and Up, a London based blog. Also, I really like the Man Repeller, because she’s so funky and from New York City. Margaret Zhang of Shine by Three does a great job too. Her photography and style are amazing and she’s super young. I also read Fashiontoast.

So what has changed since you started your blog? I guess you don’t have to sneak into fashion shows anymore, right?

Yes, a lot has changed. Last winter, I ended up sitting front row at some shows. I was ecstatic. When I came to New York I knew nobody. I wanted a job in fashion, but I didn’t get one. So my blog was really about making my own way into the industry and developing my own voice. I love meeting all the different people who work in fashion, and whom I meet due to my blog, because there is a certain connection. Even though we dress, look or talk differently, I feel we share the same passion.

Is fashion superficial for you?

It goes two ways. Fashion is not just about loving clothes. It’s deeper than judging someone based on what they wear. It’s an extension of everything else that I do and a way of expressing myself. Fashion, to me, is about being creative and learning how to put all those different interests of mine together: I love photography, I also enjoy the technical side of blogging, of putting a website together. I get nerdy about that. So, no, for me fashion is not superficial.

What makes New York so special for you?

The juxtaposition of what it represents. In every industry, in fashion, politics, even in sports, there is this “behind the scenes” that isn’t seen. You have the flashing lights and the glamour of it, which is what people get to see. Grease & Glamour is basically about the black and white of things. In New York, for example, you can strut down pot-hole filled concrete as well as marble halls. You can walk through the streets in Manolo Blahniks and then there’s a homeless person right next to you. So it’s so full of contrasts, of grid and grime. People often say about my blog that it’s bi-polar, because sometimes I wear something super-luxurious and then the next shoot will be of me in a $5-skirt that I got at a goodwill, but you can say the same thing about this city.

What are your favorite places in New York?

I live in Jersey City, so I love the view on Manhattan from the edge of the Hudson. Concerning places to eat - I am a total foodie - I love trying new restaurants, especially Thai food. There’s this cute little spot called Qi on 14th between 5th and 6th. It’s cheap and very, very  good.

Where do you shop?

I like Buffalo exchange to pick up vintage pieces and I like Bergdorf’s and Barney’s, of course. H&M is my guilty pleasure. I told you I live in Jersey City, so sometimes I don’t have time to go home and change after work. I always carry a big bag with me, so I can bring clothes and shoes to change into, but if that for whatever reason does not work, I run to H&M and American Apparel. I like low-end and high-end fashion. I don’t really understand middle-end fashion. I also do a lot of online-shopping at net-a-porter, Shopbop and Asos. My latest discovery is an online shop called StyleNanda, which I really love. They have lots of simple things with an edge at decent prices.

Check out Grease and Glamour HERE.