Fashion Designer Christina Fan’s Favorite Things

STORY TELLER: The woman behind C/FAN likes things that have a story of their own

Christina Fan with her dogs
Fan (wearing her own designs) in the Wicker Park home she shares with Maltese dogs Couscous and Peyton

When Christina Fan launched her clothing line, C/FAN, in 2009, she won attention for her flattering cuts and unique prints. (Since then, C/FAN has been picked up by ten boutiques in the United States and Australia and will be carried in seven more later this year.) Fan, 28, bases each season’s print designs on a single narrative; her upcoming fall collection is inspired by a painting by her uncle, an artist who grew up in China during the Cultural Revolution. “I like things that have a story of their own,” she says.

A love of history (her major at Northwestern) informs her choices at home, too; a Gothic chair and the 1970s beaded dress hanging on the wall in her living room are typical of her eclectic décor. “Their stories tie them together,” she says. See below for her favorite items.

 

 

 

20 Things Christina Fan Loves

Vintage 1970s dress

VINTAGE 1970s DRESS
“Found this gem at Silver Moon [1721 W. North Ave.] last fall, and I hung it in my living room. It’s a gorgeous silk piece with glass beads.”

 

 

August Revolution cocktail

AUGUST REVOLUTION COCKTAIL ($12, Violet Hour, 1520 N. Damen Ave.)
“Lady Grey tea is infused into the gin. So refreshing and slightly dangerous. Lightweights beware.”

 

 

Leather briefcase

LEATHER BRIEFCASE ($1,685, Prada, 30 E. Oak St.)
“I covet this. A classic piece that any guy can pull off—or, even better, any gal. The perfect solution for my laptop-versus-handbag woes.”

 

 

A Gary Garavaglia cello

CELLO
“At 16, my parents let me choose between a new car and a cello. I picked this one made by Gary Garavaglia for its amazing tone and rich red hue.”

 

 

Blacksmith Inn on the Shore

BLACKSMITH INN ON THE SHORE (8152 Hwy. 57, Baileys Harbor, Wis.; theblacksmithinn.com)
“I like to head to Door County for a little R&R. This bed and breakfast has country cottage charm and amazing harbor views.”

 

Photography: (briefcase) Courtesy of Prada; (all others) Anna Knott

 

Bladon Conner art

BLADON CONNER ART ($30 to $120 for smaller-scale pieces, bladonconner.com)
“This beam survived the Chicago fire. Conner added an image of the Metropolitan Correctional Center, combining the city’s past and present architectural heritage.”

 

 

Red and white bally loafers

BALLY LOAFERS
“These belonged to my great-aunt and are a testament to her fearless style. She once wore a canary-yellow pantsuit to meet the crown prince of Japan.”

 

 

Voluspa candle

VOLUSPA CANDLE ($20, Eskell, 1509 N. Milwaukee Ave.)
“I adore the Lichen & Vetiver one, which is a mix of woodsy and musk.”

 

 

Kidrobot figurines

KIDROBOT FIGURINES ($30 to $60 for similar styles, kidrobot.com)
“I purchased them as gifts for my little cousins, then it turned into a mini obsession. Cute and cheeky.”

 

 

A wooden gothic chair

GOTHIC CHAIR
“I got this from a woman whose grandmother was an avid collector of Gothic furniture. It reads like a historical relic without being overwhelming.”

 

Photography: Anna Knott

 

INGRID OLSON ART
“I bought this piece at The School of the Art Institute’s portfolio show. Olson’s elongated representation of the human anatomy gives it a somewhat morbid quality.”

 

 

'Little Birds' by Anais Nin and a 1950s champagne set

LITTLE BIRDS BY ANAÏS NIN
“A guilty pleasure and a groundbreaking erotica book by a female author.”
and
1950s CHAMPAGNE SET
“I scored these at Threads, Etc. (2327 N. Milwaukee Ave.) in Logan Square. I love unique stemware, and these have a sweet iridescence.”

 

 

Vintage provincial headrest from Northern China

VINTAGE PROVINCIAL HEADREST FROM NORTHERN CHINA ($188, Pagoda Red, 1714 N. Damen Ave.)
“These pieces have special meaning to me. They remind me of my paternal grandmother, who grew up in Northern China.”

 

 

Air plants

AIR PLANTS ($3.75–$25, Sprout Home Chicago, 745 N. Damen Ave.)
“I love houseplants, but I don’t have much luck with them. These are easy to care for and add warmth to any room.”

 

 

Frederic Malle perfume

FREDERIC MALLE PERFUME ($225 for 50 ml, fredericmalle.com)
“Every scent by this perfumer is absolutely amazing.”

 

Photography: (headrests) Courtesy of Pagoda Red; (all others) Anna Knott

 

C/FAN silk scarf and Made Her Think chain ring

C/FAN SILK SCARF ($248, City Blue, 1444 N. Wells St.)
“I created this print by mixing acrylics, water, and glass. This print implies geology, cosmology, anatomy, and cellular symmetry.”
and
CHAIN RING BY MADE HER THINK ($276, madeherthink.com)
“I’m obsessed with this ring. It’s dainty, edgy, and easy to wear.”

 

 

The Concentrate by La Mer

THE CONCENTRATE BY LA MER
“My skin can’t get enough of this serum. It’s light enough for daytime, when used sparingly, and it provides enough moisture overnight.”

 

 

'Memento' directed by Christopher Nolan

MEMENTO DIRECTED BY CHRISTOPHER NOLAN
“Hands down, this is my favorite movie. It’s a brilliant story that challenges our concepts of perception. Plus, it was filmed in 25 days. Unreal.”

 

Photography: Anna Knott

Share

Advertisement

Submit your comment

Comments are moderated. We review them in an effort to remove foul language, commercial messages, abuse, and irrelevancies.

Note: To serve its readers better, Chicago has migrated its comments to Disqus, a popular commenting platform. Please feel free to contact us with any feedback.