Anyone can get ready and flex for the ’gram, but it takes a special kind of dedication to style yourself in a statement outfit on a moving train. Taylor Wang, a 25-year-old TikTok creator, does just that. Wang, who lives between Beijing and Toronto, has built up a following of over 730,000 followers for his OTT statement style, and his popular videos of him getting ready on the train to work. This isn’t just your typical touch ups: he’ll slip into a sheer, ruffled top and curl his hair while riders pass by (sometimes staring) in the background. “Most of them will just take a look and keep walking,” Wang tells Vogue. “I couldn’t care less if they look. My desire for looking good overshadows the embarrassment. For me, it’s more embarrassing to look ‘normal’ and under-dressed.”
By day, Wang works in human resources, but dressing up in outré ensembles is his full-time second job, thanks to TikTok. “There are three main elements I want to bring to TikTok: Escapism, confidence, and style,” says Wang, who has a penchant for monogrammed Gucci pants and anything green. “I have also received a lot of comments like, ‘you made me feel more confident about myself.’ Honestly, I didn't know I had that kind of power—but that is something I want to keep radiating.”
In addition to his take on the get ready with me format, he’ll often do regular unboxing videos to showcase his latest purchases, which include everything from sheer turtleneck tops to paneled skirts. More recently, he has also been executing at-home photo shoots as well, including these DIY’d photos inspired by Vogue. Below, Wang discusses what’s in his closet, how he’s mastered the art of a quick getting-ready video, and which TikTok of his took the longest to make.
What’s your process for creating TikToks and where do you get ideas?
It really depends on the type of video. For the get ready with me videos, there is no planning—it’s all 100 percent organic. I just put my phone there, use it as a mirror, and record. For more fashion-focused content, I will have a general idea and minimal planning, then improvise everything on the spot. If I over-plan, I will get stuck in my head and forget to have fun, and the footage will feel too forced. Then, I just take my time and be creative and fun during the editing process.
We love your getting-ready TikToks on the train. How have you mastered getting ready on the go?
Practice, practice, practice. After doing my hair and makeup everyday, I know what looks the best on me—something like a uniform. Also, it has just become a routine. I have learned to use the least amount of products to achieve the most effective result. For example, I know I can use my eyebrow pencil for contouring, eyeshadow, and brows at the same time without too much blending to look good. I even can do it while walking around.
How would you describe your style?
I would describe it as casual luxury with a camp influence. I like to pair interesting pieces with basics. I’m often drawn to pieces that have great tailoring, are well made, have great materials and colors that complement me, and have an interesting silhouette or design—and looks expensive!
What does your closet look like?
My closet is a mix of luxury designers, small independent designers from China, and a lot of custom-made cashmere turtlenecks that I designed. I often shop at boutique stores, department stores, SSENSE, and Taobao.com. For some special pieces, I need the help from personal shoppers to get them in different countries that it’s available in.
What's the most special piece in your wardrobe?
It’s a handmade, double-side cashmere coat from Louis Vuitton’s fall 2014 collection by Kim Jones. It was the opening look: It’s navy with burgundy accents. It is special because it’s my first big purchase. I can always count on it: it’s warm, timeless, and chic. I’ll still be able to wear it when I’m 60.
Tell us more about how you took these Vogue-inspired photos, which are amazing.
The photos really are just screenshots I took from the video, which I shot on my phone. I used VSCO filters. I took around 80 takes from different angles to achieve it. I took everything into consideration from my facial expression, poses, and how the plastic wrap flows. It was a lot of effort: I am the director, stylist, hair and makeup artist, model, location scout, and editor. But I have no complaints, I love it all.
How would you say TikTok helps you come up with outfit ideas?
It definitely does. It might sound a bit shallow, but when I see people love my videos and cheer me on, while I’m wearing something out of the ordinary. It gives me positive reinforcement, pushing me to put on something different—something I’ve always wanted to wear, but did not really have the chance to.
What has been your most viral video, and why do you think it went viral?
My most viral video has 20 million views and 6.3 million likes. It’s one of my get-ready videos on the train, with a mint green puff sleeve top. I think it hit all the points of the quality of a viral video: it’s relatable, funny, there’s conflict, a plot twist, and that last quote from Nicki helps, too. It’s a combination of many different factors.
What’s your favorite TikTok of all time? And which one took you the longest?
My favorite video has to be the “How to live like a Gucci model” video. Although Gucci has never sponsored me, I really enjoyed the creative process. The newest “Vogue” DIY photo shoot that I just posted took me the longest. The process took me one hour to set up, 1.5 hours to do the hair and makeup, 2 hours for the shoot, and a few days to edit the photos and video. But I had so much fun during the creative process and love the end result, I look like a prince-slash-villain.