Jane and I used to work with Christina Han back in our magazine days. She was (and still is, obviously!) super smart, chic, and a total beauty pro. So we weren’t surprised at all when she headed out to L.A. to become editorial director of The Violet Files – the editorial pages of the perfectly curated beauty e-commerce site Violet Grey “Cassandra Huysentruyt Grey, our founder, lured me out to the west coast,” Christina told me, “with promises of sun-drenched days and chance encounters with Jack Nicholson (she hasn’t let me down!).”
We photographed Christina in Violet Grey’s very cool offices wearing “vintage” Uniqlo jeans she bought when their first store opened in Manhattan several years ago. They’re dark with wide legs, and she actually owns two pair of the same style – one shorter, one longer to wear with different kinds of shoes. “I was getting a steady paycheck as the beauty assistant at Vogue and felt very adult,” she gave as the reason for her double purchase. Smart; when you find jeans that work for you, buy them in multiples!
That goes for beauty products, too. The team at Violet Grey and their industry insider friends (i.e. hair stylists, makeup artists) test everything out before putting it on the site—and they tell you just how to use it. So, you can feel confident stocking up on new discoveries. It’s a trick that makes life easier and more streamlined, something Christina knew to do even back in her assistant days. Apply it to beauty or denim and it’s a win. Read on for more of Christina’s thoughts. Plus, see if you can spot her adorable pup named Santa (because the little fluffy white guy looks like he came from the North Pole, natch).
Why do you love beauty?
Elements of the beauty world have the ability to change your life. It could be something so simple as a new lipstick shade that makes you feel like you can take on the world (or at least that first date) or a face cream that makes you look like you’re 17 again (Royal Fern— coming soon to VIOLET GREY!). And once you’ve found that colorist who possesses the ability to transform your mousy brown hair into Salma Hayek-esque glory, well, you finally found the meaning of true love.
What do denim and beauty items have in common?
They’re both integral to your wardrobe, no closet nor vanity is complete without your signature pair of jeans or your never-fail beauty product.
If these jeans could talk, what would they say about you?
She needs more junk in her trunk.
What’s the most memorable place the jeans you wore for our shoot have been?
In a split second, if you-blinked-then-you-missed-it moment in The September Issue documentary.
Where else do you wear them?
To the office and places where I’m not technically supposed to be wearing jeans but want to wear jeans without blatantly breaking the rules (e.g. fancy-ish restaurants, serious-ish work-related meetings).
Do you wear denim differently in LA than you did in NYC? How so?
I never wore ripped denim in NYC, it just never felt polished. But here, I’m really starting to embrace the well-placed, holes-in-your-jeans vibe. Bonus factor: They offer great ventilation when temps rise.
What do people say about your jeans?
“Is the “flare look” back?”
Where do you shop for denim?
Anywhere they carry the brands that best highlight my non-existent ass which I now know are Mother, Levi’s, Rag & Bone ad J.Brand.
Why this denim silhouette? And what other styles do you like to wear?
Unlike the rest of my denim wardrobe which consists of skinny legged, waist-hugging types, these flares make my legs breathe a sigh of relief.
Name someone whose jeans or other denim pieces you admire (could be anyone!)
No one can wear denim like Dolly.
Do you remember your first pair of jeans ever? What were they?
Ever? Elastic waist band, dark wash by Osh-Kosh B’gosh.
Any embarrassing denim moments from the past? Like, did you do acid wash? Or super low rise?
I had to wear a uniform until I graduated high school, so jeans were only worn on the weekends. I didn’t give much thought to them (mostly because I had no fashion sense) which means I basically wore Gap dad jeans until my freshman year of college when I finally discovered the importance of fit and style.
If you could have any pair of jeans right now, what would they be?
I used to have this great pair from Rag & Bone that were high-waisted, black and ankle length. I wore them with flats, sneakers, heels. They didn’t have an ounce of stretchy fabric built into them but they magically accentuated my rear, allowing my otherwise non-curvy body type appear ever-so-slightly curvy. However, I wore them to death and the black became more of a faded navy blue (not in a good way) and my at-home re-dye job didn’t go as planned. I wish to the denim gods I could bring them back to life.
What are your top three denim pieces you’ve ever owned, or do own now? why do you love each?
1) Please see above. 2) Uniqlo jeans worn in this shoot. 2.5) The longer version of the same Uniqlo jeans because sometimes I feel more “in charge” when I’m a few inches taller. 3) My newest denim love is from Levi’s Made and Crafted collection. They have an almost perfect, faded light blue wash to them and are cut from the softest, brushed denim. If they weren’t so snug on my butt, I’d wear them to sleep.
How does the perfect pair of jeans make you feel?
That it’s OK to stand in front of the mirror just a little bit longer…
If you had to replace all of your jeans with something else, what would it be?
Pants knitted from Santa’s fur.
Fill in the blank: Without my jeans, I am _________.
Probably in a sweat pant situation.
Fill in the blank: In my jeans, I am _________.
Wondering if I should’ve worn my other jeans.