If you're planning to catch Sin City: A Dame to Kill For, which opens in theaters on Friday, you'll be able to witness Jamie Chung kick ass as female assassin Miho, alongside co-stars Jessica Alba, Rosario Dawson and Joseph Gordon-Levitt. Not only does she put up a good fight on screen, the 31-year-old actress also throws it down with her everyday ensembles.
Even when she's not being dressed by stylists Sammy and Judy — aka The Kids — on the red carpet, Chung still manages to appear polished and camera-ready with her daily outfits. Here, we chat with the street style star about her upcoming jewelry collaboration, recent engagement to actor Bryan Greenberg and her go-to shopping sites for finding stylish pieces.
We're loving these rings you're wearing right now — tell us more.
These rings: I made this ring (pointing to her pinky finger) — it's on a .06 band so it's as dainty as they come without breaking — with the sapphire rose gold. These are actually a part of a new jewelry line that I'm collaborating on. I helped curate the first collection but we're starting to design our own pieces so they'll be available soon — it's for Sachi Jewelry. It's fine jewelry, but affordable. I feel like jewelry is marked up so high. Of course, they're great designers, but our whole thing is, we think that all women should own beautiful jewelry, especially everyday pieces that you don't really take off. These are going to be under $300. Our prices are on par with something that I would feel comfortable with paying. Sachi — in Korean, it means luxury, and in Japanese, it means happiness.
How did you get involved with this collaboration?
Michelle, this woman that I go to designs her own jewelry. I was like, "You need to sell this stuff online" because I wore this diamond pavé triangle necklace and everyone keeps asking me where I got it, and she doesn't really have a store online. So we decided to start one together. We're designing our own little pieces that should be out in eight weeks. We're just going through the first process of production so they'll be available for the holidays.
And of course, your engagement ring is gorgeous. What was your initial reaction when you saw it?
I didn't even look at the ring for the first five minutes. I was kind of shocked as to what was going on. He got down on the knee. I couldn't even look at it because I was crying. And you know how your inner monologue occurs, like, "Oh my God, this is it. This is crazy. One man for the rest of your life. Don't be ridiculous. Of course he's the one." You kind of go through these thoughts. I cried for two minutes, and then he asked, "Do you have an answer?" I was, like, "Yes!" with ugly crying. After he calmed me down, and then walked away to get the champagne, I finally looked at the ring. I was blown away.
You seem to love your accessories. What are you into at the moment?
Right now, it's super gold pieces — whether it's rings or necklaces, ear jackets, ear cuffs. Sunglasses on the regular — I have quite the collection. I have well over 50. I'm an accessories kind of girl, so I'm all about purses, shoes, sunglasses and jewelry.
What are your most prized pieces at the moment?
I have two things: one is my Balenciaga cut-out boots. I had to literally hunt that baby down. I went to Hong Kong, searching everywhere, and finally got my hands on one. And my other thing is a vintage Chanel bag. It's from the '80s and it's got the chain, leather strap, cute little tassle, Chanel logo, quilted. It's my favorite. I found it online.
So, would you say you're more of an online or in-store shopper?
I like in-store, but it's so rare that I actually get to get out [to shop]. In between takes or during my lunch break on-set, I'm usually scouring the Internet — which is a lot more dangerous. The purse I got on Gilt.com — and some other great ones I usually do are Forward by Elyse Walker, Net-a-Porter, and Shopbop for simple things. And I don't know where I've been but I just discovered Reformation. I went crazy — you can easily spend four to five dresses. But in terms of wedding season, it's perfect.
Any thoughts on what you want to do for your wedding?
I think I'm going to design my own bridesmaid dresses. I was really inspired by Molly Sims' bridesmaids where they didn't wear everything matching. That's how I dress on the regular anyway — mix and match different colors. It'll be really cool. Certainly going into the 30s, I feel more confident about my style and what I like, and what looks good on me, personally. I'm not 20 anymore, waiting outside the club.
But your figure is amazing! What do you do to stay in shape?
We have a gym at home but it rarely gets used because I have to physically go to a class to get my ass kicked. So, I'll train with Missy Friedman, she's a pro boxer at Shadow Boxing Club. I'll do pilates at Pilates Platinum, Barry's Boot Camp in West Hollywood, Cycle House, Fly Wheel. I'll run, ballet barre — literally, I have to do a different class. I think the most I spend on are exercise classes. I'm also a member of YogaWorks on Larchmont, which is one of the first yoga houses in Southern California. It's important [to work out], especially with these crazy hours on set. It's really important to treat your body with respect in order to get the energy that it needs.
Who was your style inspiration growing up?
My mom. She was really influenced by movie stars from the '50s and '60s. My mom's classy and she's really tiny. There's old photos of her that remind me of Audrey Hepburn.
Growing up in the Bay Area, what would you say is different between the fashion in S.F. and L.A.?
The fashion up there is, I think, more about comfort and staying warm. It's certainly different now. Growing up, it was all about North Face, jeans, beanies, puffy coats and Nikes. It was super-casual, but it could have just been the age I was in. Going back now, everything's becoming more gentrified like the Mission District. Cuter boutiques are opening up. People dare to dress up, so it's certainly different now.
New York Fashion Week is coming up. Which shows are you excited to check out?
DVF — I was invited to go to their show last year but the timing didn't work out. I feel like Diane von Furstenberg always throws such a great event. It's about the clothes but it's also so much more than that. Rebecca Minkoff is also known to throw a crazy show with a live band performance, and then you walk out with a little skip in your step, feeling totally inspired.
1. Versace sunglasses: "It's their new stud line for fall."
2. Intermix top
3. Engagement ring: "It's designed by Jonathan Arndt, and he did all the country star singers' ring, like Carrie Underwood and Kelly Clarkson. Bryan helped design this with my friend so it was perfect."
5. Stuart Weitzman Nudist sandals: "They're quite the popular shoe. I was just told the Diane Kruger story where they made the heels specifically for her. The heel broke and she was so upset that she couldn't get her hands on another pair, so they just put it in production and can't keep them on the shelves."
6. Katherine Kwei handbag: "She has been doing fringe, crossbody clutches for a while. I feel like fringe is going to be big for fall, and I'm really excited about that."
Jamie Chung was photographed by Sami Drasin at The 101 Coffee Shop, Hollywood, CA