Wander Uptown (Los Angeles, CA)

"I travel all the time, recording my footprints seems to be a lot more meaningful than recording what I wear."

Elsa Long is a traveler extraordinaire!  It's amazing to me that with her busy lifestyle as a movie producer Elsa still has time to keep a fashion blog, which has changed to more of a travel blog for obvious reasons.... from the time I first encountered her Blog Wander Uptown until now she has traveled to Tibet, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Ensenada (Mexico), Chiangmai (Thailand), Seoul (Korea), Munich (Germany), and Vienna (Austria). 

"I travel for work and for leisure. A lot of times I am allowed to work remotely when a project is at the pre-production stage, during which I tend to travel for inspiration. Sometimes I even live in a city for a couple months to explore more.  Last year I spent the whole Summer in New York.  I am going to spend most of my time in Beijing, Hong Kong and Korea for my next few projects."

It has been a pleasure coordinating this Style Story feature with Elsa.  I posted her story today on July 1st and realized I wasn't featuring a Canadian!!  But in the end I felt like Elsa was such a world traveler that she encompassed the Canadian spirit in diversity! So I'm really happy to post her story today :)

Big thank you to Elsa who among her travels found time to shoot this beautiful set of photos, edit them in Munich and answer her questions to this interview on a train to Vienna!  Thank You Elsa!! xo

You can follow Wander Uptown on the following social media sites:

Pose: @wanderuptown

Instagram: @elxxsal

Lookbook: lookbook.nu/wanderuptown

Photography by: @knot

Can you tell us more about your work?

I am a  movie producer, my current project is an action movie, which will be directed by Yun-Ho Yang, a renowned director in Korea. We are currently at the stage of pre-production and will start shooting in Korea and Hong Kong in December. 

I have also been a writer for ELLE China for 3 years, I write both fashion and feature articles for them.

Where will you be traveling next and where do you consider home?

I am hoping to check off all countries in Asia, on the top of my list is Japan, Cambodia and Vietnam.

I was born and raised in China, moved to the States 10 years ago and have been calling Los Angeles home ever since.

Is there a place you have traveled to that you can’t wait to go back to? Any favorite shopping areas?

New York is definitely the city I always want to go back to for endless inspiration, good food and shopping. For shopping I go to Mercer Street in SOHO for good quality basic pieces from Vince, Alexander Wang, and Helmut Lang etc. I also prefer the Intermix stores in New York more than the ones in LA because New Yorkers adapt to new trends so quick, a lot of in-season items that are out of size can be found on the sale rack, and the competition for petite size is less intense in New York than in LA, perfect for me.  I also always go to Williamsburg to hunt for vintage/second hand goodies. Beacon’s Closet is my go-to store.

What are the different style trends you've seen on your recent travels?

Fashion styles vary tremendously from city to city, they can even vary in different areas within one city.  It has a lot to do with history, pop culture, and personalities besides aesthetics. For example the fashion style in Germany is very androgynous, usually more boyish than girly. A basic T-shirt, leather biker jacket and skinny jeans seem to be the uniform!  While the fashion style in Austria, which is right next to Germany, is very diverse and more international. It is harder to determine what their general style is because people from all over the world bring their own culture and preference to Austria.

I’ve lived in Oslo, Norway for a short time and adopted a Scandinavian minimalistic style, you can never go wrong with this practical and timeless style.  I still love the bohemian, laid-back style of Los Angeles. Both cities have a great impact on my aesthetics. I’d say my personal style is minimalistic with a SoCal twist.

Have you noticed any Fashion trends that you are predicting for Fall?

I noticed on my travels that sport chic and norm-core styles seem to have been universally adopted in this past year, even Korean women who normally stick with a feminine, reserved style are pairing sneakers or Birkenstocks with A-line skirts.  This Fall I am expecting to see two extremely different trends: a mix of prints and monochrome, especially all black.

Is there a season that you love for fashion? Do you have a favorite item that you would pair with the season?

Fall, I love fall. It seems to be the most comfortable and peaceful season in every city.  I pretty much live in a suitcase so I am extremely grateful for basic items that go along with everything. Trench coats are my favorite, because you can wear anything underneath and manage to look very chic once you have one on!

Is there something that you travel with that you could not do without?

Kindle. I spend so much time on the road, delays in flight times and the train is unavoidable.

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In 2013 on your blog you wrote:

“I started this blog hoping to record my footsteps, lifestyle and fashion but somehow detoured towards a 100% fashion blog. It’s time to make a U-turn because beauty lies in so many things other than clothes and shoes, and because my outfits are mostly inspired by things other than runway collections and fashion magazines. I have this thing for underrated spots that are off the tourist radar and hidden in the splendor of a metropolis, which I will be blogging about. Consider this a mission statement.”

How has this mission statement changed your website or outlook on social media over the last two years since you started your blog?

I gained more loyal readers on my blog ever since I made the change.  Travel posts get more hits than outfit posts on my blog. While it is the exact opposite on social media platforms like Instagram, where outfit photos gain a lot more attention than travel photos. It is interesting to find out how blog readers and App users are different.

I saw that you came to Vancouver a few years ago! Anything that stood out to you while you were here?

I was very impressed and touched by how Canadians are easy to approach and genuinely willing to help.  I had small talks with locals everywhere I went. Once they knew I was traveling they gave me recommendations for places to check out without me asking. One of them even wrote a list to me via email! This has never happened to me elsewhere!

...And to that I wish Elsa and everyone a Happy Canada Day!  Whether you are in Canada or not! Thanks so much Elsa for continuing to explore the world and show us your travels in the process! I'm looking forward to many more adventures from you this year! xo

Elsa is wearing...

First Look:

Sarah Mulder Jewelry {Fishbone Necklace, Crescent Moon Necklace, Triangle Quartz Necklace, Awakening Bracelet}

Silk Shirt {Uniqlo}

Jeans {Korean label Stylenanda}

Shoes {Steve Madden}

Second Look:

Sarah Mulder Jewelry {Wrapped Black Quartz Necklace, Mystic Necklace}

Tank Top {Splendid}

Maxi Skirt {Reformation}

Shoes {Zara}

Sarah MulderComment