The runways showed a clear penchant for fishnets this season, but anyone familiar with the #gothiclolita and #pastelgoth tags on early 2010s Tumblr would know that this was a digital subculture original. Fernanda Ly is no stranger to the online gaze. Like most digital natives, she credits her sartorial sixth sense from hours of trawling the virtual subcultures that predate Instagram.
While the 2010s saw fishnets as the hosiery counterpart to creepers, 2021 sees it as statement outerwear. Opt for an embellished one you can throw over anything monochrome for an ensemble that’s appropriate for night-time. For Ly, a soft homage to the Victorian elements of her gothic Lolita phase takes the form of a voluminous bustle-like skirt. For a daytime look, layer a classic fishnet under any dress you’ve deemed too dressy for added interest and edge.
“I used to look at fashion blogs in high school and imagine what it would be like to wear these pieces,” Ly recalls. “But now that’s my job and it’s such an honour.” Now taking to the world of YouTube to share these experiences, Ly has found joy in being on the other side of the camera.
“I like being able to control every aspect and to experience what it’s like to be behind the camera,” she tells us. “That’s what I love about fashion—just seeing how different stylists work, I enjoy understanding what their thought processes are.” With candid GRWMs (Get Ready With Me) on everything from cosplay and bleached hair care to model skincare routines, it’s clear the digital space is second nature to Ly.
She is an avid collector at heart, too—she counts vintage nightwear and Vivienne Westwood’s iconic Clomper as her prized possessions. “I enjoy the fact that you never know what you’re going to find when you’re vintage shopping or thrifting,” Ly shares. “I like knowing that someone’s worn it and loved it, and now they’re passing it along to someone else.”
When asked to describe her personal style in two words, Ly is succinct and honest. “Comfortable and chill,” she says. As a self-professed homebody, Ly admits comfort is high on her priority list, “at least for now”.
Augmented reality experience
Want to see Ly model a look live, right in your own space?
Click on the image below on your iPhone to see Ly come alive in augmented reality.
Photographer: Peter Ash Lee
Fashion: Daniela Paudice
Hair: Adlena for Aveda
Make-up: Maki Ryoke using Chanel
Manicure: Elina Ogawa at Bridge using YSL Beauty
Stylist’s assistant: Alex Picon
Fashion producer: Michael McDowell
Producer: Bo Zhang
Casting director: Christian Meshesha/CM Casting