KTOWN Night Market: More Than Korean BBQ


At last weekend’s KTOWN Night Market Halloween Food Fest, Seoul Sausage, season 3 winners of Food Network’s The Great Food Truck Race, curated a special line-up of 13 food trucks known for the quality of their food. And while the street market shut down four blocks in the heart of Los Angeles’ Koreatown, the fare ranged from halal chicken roasted on a vertical rotisserie at Chicken & Rice, oozing grilled cheese at The Grilled Cheese Truck, to Filipino fusion at White Rabbit, and shaved snow by Fluff Ice.


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White Rabbit’s tacos with chicken adobo, pork sisig and pork tocino.


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Mac & grilled cheese.



Of course, there was also no shortage of local restaurant representation (the original Ramen Burger, Taiwanese baos and the perpetually packed Ham Ji Park, renown for its Korean pork ribs, to name a few), as well as plenty of fruit-infused drinks served in reusable Mason jars and reinvented ice cream sandwiches and churros. Street market favorite Wolf & Flock, known for their 100% grass-fed, organic, pasture-raised Australian bone in lamb chops with a yuzu glaze, offered a somewhat pricey but succulent piece of lamb. (Who wants to overeat at one stall anyway? It’s all about getting a taste of everything, right?)


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But in our humble opinion, the standout was The Pho Burger, which was only making its second appearance at a street market. And thank goodness we stopped by. Their juicy, fragrant, crunchy, gooey burger, embellished with all the mint, sprouts, chilies, onions and cilantro you expect in a steaming bowl of pho, but topped with crispy uncooked pho noodles … it was the best thing we ate all day.


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The Pho Burger.


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Video of Talented Japanese Drummer Senri Kawaguchi Goes Viral


This past summer, S. White, a Taiwanese jazz drummer and street performer, stole everyone’s heart with her impressive drumming skills and adorable head-bobbing. Well, it looks like she’s not the only one gaining attention for her drumming!

A video of Senri Kawaguchi playing along to “Jinshin War” by Kawaguchi Chisato has been going viral. Many people claim she is more talented than most professional drummers and she has mastered quite a unique technique. Most impressive of all? Kawaguchi is only 16-years-old.

So how exactly does a teenager get to be so talented? Well apparently Kawaguchi was only 5-years-old when she first picked up drumsticks. By the time she was eight, she was receiving lessons from famed Japanese drummers.

Since then, she’s kept herself quite busy with her passion. She performed with rock band Nokemono before she became a teenager, landed endorsement deals with Yamaha and Zildjian, received awards in the “Rhythm & Drums Magazine” contest, appeared on a number of television shows, released her debut DVD “Horoscope,” and is currently touring with idol group E-Girls.

Check out the viral video for yourself and tell us what you think!

(Source 1, 2)


Top 5 Best Things You Have to Do at Hello Kitty Con


In celebration of Hello Kitty’s 40th anniversary, Japanese company Sanrio is throwing the world’s first ever Hello Kitty Con this weekend, starting today. Yes, there is a plethora of over-the-top cuteness to gawk and squeal at, but before you get overwhelmed, follow my guide below to ensure you get to the best stuff before anyone else.

Oh, and if you’re not one of the lucky ones who managed to your hands on a $20 ticket — they sold out weeks ago — you can still check out the Japanese American National Museum’s special exhibit “Hello! Exploring the Supercute World of Hello Kitty,” going on now through April 2015. And you can get your hands on some exclusive anniversary limited edition cuteness at Target and Sephora.

But if you are going to the convention this weekend, here are my picks for the top five things you have to do at Hello Kitty Con.

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1. Sanrio Signing Booth

As soon as you enter the indoor convention area, turn right and head toward the Super Supermarket. Once you’re in the Supermarket, make another right and head over to the artist signing area. Not only can you get Sanrio artists to personally draw and sign a Sanrio character just for you, but if you’re lucky, you’ll meet Yuko Yamaguchi, Sanrio Tokyo’s Hello Kitty Head Designer, who will be there to personally draw, sign and distribute supercute pictures to her fans. The wait can get as long as two hours, so put in your request fast and then pick up later after perusing the rest of the Supermarket. You can pick up stuff from Sephora, jewelry designer Chan Luu, Beats by Dre, or cute Asian American-owned lifestyle brand Poketo.

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Yuko Yamaguchi.



2. Dream Carnival inside Target Presents: The Adventures of Hello Kitty and Bullseye

This special section inside the Target room (located on the opposite end of the convention from Super Supermarket) lets you play games, win points and redeem for cute prizes ranging from Hello Kitty T-shirts to the Hello Kitty con exclusive Target Bullseye Dog dressed in a removable pink Hello Kitty track suit. The games are easy enough for most kids and you can play them as much as you want, racking up points. Just activate an RIFD card in minutes and play on!

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3. Target’s Floating Photobooth Area

While you’re in the Target room (#HelloKittyCon@Target), head over to the Floating Photobooth. There are three scenarios to choose from — Underwater Exploration, High Flying Fun and Outerspace Odyssey. Just enter your email and pose! You get a cute little gif as a nice souvenir. (Just try to be more creative than we were. That camera shoots super fast!)




4. Nail Art by Masako Kojima

Who is Masako Kojima, you may ask? Only Sanrio Tokyo’s vey own resident nail designer! And she’ll be here to personally do up your nails with some seriously irresistible Hello Kitty custom nail art.

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Can’t get nail art done by Masako Kojima? Cheat a little with these NCLA X Hello Kitty nail wraps.



5. Meet Hello Kitty herself!

She’ll be performing performing daily in a sneak peek of Sanrio’s new live entertainment show Hello Kitty’s Supercute Friendship Festival, but she’ll also be popping up in the Friendship Village so be sure to get your photo snapped with her highness of supercute! (Can’t find her? No worries! Kawaii cuteness abounds and everyone is more than happy to pose with you.)

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And an honorable mention: the 3D printer Makerbot will be printing Hello Kitty figurines, and if you’re lucky, you’ll be able to take one home!


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Makerbot printing a Hello Kitty figurine.



Check out some more of the supercuteness at the convention below:


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Get your first taste of the upcoming Hello Kitty Cafe at the Hello Kitty Cafe Truck — macarons, doughnuts, even bow-shaped water bottles!


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The Main Stage at Friendship Village.


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In fashion more avant garde than supercute, real-life models mingle among mannequins.



Adorable Asian Babies in Halloween Costumes


This Halloween #TBT is quite possibly one of our very favorites! Even if you’re not a big fan of Halloween, you’re sure to be a fan of these cuties who are all dressed up and ready for for trick-or-treating.  


October is in the air. Shops are packed with pumpkin-flavored everything, the cold weather is creeping its way into our nights and stores are stocking up to prepare for the long-awaited holiday. So what does this mean for us? Fun-sized candy bars, fake spiderwebs and (much to our delight) halloween costumes galore.

Last year, we brought you the Adorable Asian Baby Overload. With Halloween tomorrow, we found it only appropriate to bring you the Halloween Costume Edition of Adorable Asian Babies. After all, what can possibly be cuter than an adorable Asian baby? An adorable Asian baby in a costume, of course! Here are some of our favorites. Feel free to show us any cuties that deserve to be on this list.



The baby from Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.
ac 1



The happiest baby monkey you’ll ever find.
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The “Oh, I’m a panda!” baby.
ac 3



The baby who’s clearly a strong, hammer-wielding god.
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The lost baby penguin.
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The cutest baby ewok ever. EVER.
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The baby who can beat you up.
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The very-serious-about-his-cosplay Naruto baby.
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The tiny Totoro.
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The GIANT Totoro.
giant totoro



Baby Kiki and her Delivery Service.



Baby Chun Li…
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…and her twin sister.

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What could be cuter than this little Mario?
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Little Mario and Luigi!
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A baby Cheeseburger that doesn’t seem to know what’s going on.
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A baby lobster that knows exactly what’s going on.
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Lots and lots…
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.. of adorable..
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ac 17



Last, but certainly not least is the baby who doesn’t care what holiday you think it is.
ac 21



(Image source: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14)


GIRLS WHO CODE: Reshma Saujani’s Nonprofit Encourages Girls to Pursue Careers In Engineering and Technology


In Reshma Saujani’s 2011 Ted Talk, she discussed the importance of encouraging more American youth to pursue STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) careers in order to create jobs and re-ignite our economy. Not only are twice as many degrees being earned in business and social science compared to STEM, she also pointed to a startling gender gap, especially in technology fields. While 58 percent of women earn bachelor degrees, only 25 percent of them are in STEM fields, and only 12 percent of computer science graduates are women, down from 37 percent in 1985.

Research has shown that in a poll of fourth graders, two-thirds of both boys and girls claim to like math and science. However, by the time girls graduate high school, only 0.3 percent choose computer science as their college major.

“I think there are subtle things we do to girls that tell them that these fields are not for them,” says Saujani, who provided the voiceover for this summer’s “Inspire Her Mind” campaign, a cultural dialogue ignited by Verizon and MAKERS, a digital platform showcasing stories of trailblazing women from all walks of life. The commercial shows how parents discouraging their daughters from getting their dresses and hands dirty, telling them to be careful around electric tools (while passing them off to their brothers), can really have an effect on girls’ perceptions of what they think they can be.

“It’s not intentional,” Saujani continues. “I was home in Chicago with my two nieces and nephew, and my father called my nephew to come help him fix something, instead of calling my nieces. After he watched the ‘Inspire Her Mind’ ad, he realized he may also be unconsciously not pushing girls toward creating and building things.”

To combat this gender disparity, Saujani created Girls Who Code, a nonprofit that exposes girls to engineering and technology at a young age, with hopes that cultivating these interests early will encourage them to become the next generation of entrepreneurs and innovators. In 2012, Girls Who Code kicked off an eight-week summer program in New York City that taught programming to 20 girls, many from underserved communities. Since then, those girls have been inspired to spread their knowledge and enthusiasm by creating Girls Who Code clubs at their high schools across the country. A year later, the nonprofit had grown to eight programs in five different cities, and they are only getting bigger. The U.S. Department of Labor projects that, by 2020, there will be 1.4 million computer specialist job openings; Girls Who Code aims to provide computer science education and exposure to 1 million young women in the next six years.

“If girls have this skillset, they’re going to build tools and products that are going to make the world a better place,” says Saujani, pointing to her first set of students who built apps that tackled issues like bullying, obesity, cancer and world hunger.

“These girls want to create a product that will make communities better, and having the technological skills and being able to code will be important to solving these problems.”

One former participant of the Twitter Girls Who Code summer immersion program, Ming Horn, started a nonprofit called Khode Up! to teach web development and graphic design to teenage orphans in Cambodia. Though the high school student was inspired after meeting Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg through the program, Saujani believes that “the kids’ biggest role models are each other.”

Though Saujani grew up in a family of engineers in Illinois, she says she was terrified of studying math and science, a regret that gnawed at her all through adulthood. She eventually studied political science at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, earned a master’s of public policy at Harvard and attended Yale Law School. She had discovered a passion for public service and political activism early in life. Her first march was as a 13-year-old youth activist fighting against racial and social injustice, and later, after 9/11, she worked to educate Muslim immigrants in Queens about their legal rights post-Patriot Act.

“It reminded me of what my parents, who came here as refugees from Uganda, went through,” says Saujani. “How your rights can literally be taken away at a moment’s notice if you don’t participate in the political process.

“That showed me how much the South Asian community lacked a voice in politics,” she continues. “In many ways, politics wasn’t encouraged in my family. In Asian families, you’re not supposed to put yourself out there like that. But I’ve always loved it. I’ve always had the desire to serve.”

Eventually, she worked as the deputy public advocate at the Office of the New York City Public Advocate, and in 2010, she was the first South Asian woman in the country to run for U.S. Congress. While she suffered two political defeats — she also ran for New York City Public Advocate in 2013, coming in third in the primary — she’s determined to change public perceptions of what’s possible for a South Asian American woman.

During her time campaigning, Saujani visited many schools and was impressed by their technology. She was also looking for a way to support the economic transformation of New York City, and it was then that the seeds of Girls Who Code were planted.

“After [the Facebook film] The Social Network, more boys think technology is cool, but I don’t think it has had the same effect for girls yet,” says Saujani, who published her first book, Women Who Don’t Wait in Line: Break the Mold, Lead the Way, in 2013. “And that’s what we’re working on. No matter what you want to be, whether it’s a doctor, dancer or artist, technology is a part of who we are.”

Find out more about Girls Who Code at girlswhocode.com.


This story was originally published in our Fall 2014 issue. Get your copy here





Korean Model and Actress Clara Lee Named Second Most Beautiful Woman in The World by “MODE Magazine”


South Korean model and actress Clara Lee was listed as the second most beautiful woman in the world on Oct. 28 by MODE Lifestyle Magazine.

Following American actress/model Tania Marie Caringi, Clara took second place on the magazine’s “100 Most Beautiful Women in the World 2014″ list. Meanwhile, German model Cristina Maria Saracut ranked third.

Aside from the top three, the list included Hollywood actresses Jessica Alba and Scarlett Johansson, Brazilian Victoria’s Secret model Alessandra Ambrosio, South African model Candice Swanepoel and American singer Beyonce.

According to MODE, Clara is the magazine’s first Asian cover model. “[Clara] has a refreshing image and bright personality. Her stellar performances in Korean movies, modeling and acting caught the attention of our U.S. judges, which led to her high ranking on the list,” said a magazine representative.

In response to the impressive title, Clara commented, “I’m grateful that people not only in Korea but also overseas are looking at me prettily with a good heart.  I want to make sure to relay my thanks to my fans both domestic and foreign through this opportunity.”

She also tweeted photos from the magazine.  


The 28-year-old celebrity comes from a unique background. Although she was born in Switzerland and educated in the U.S., she holds British citizenship. She starred in her first movie, Five Senses of Eros, in 2009 and skyrocketed into fame after throwing a ceremonial first pitch in a Korean professional baseball game in form-fitting leggings.

Photo courtesy of NEWSis

Photo courtesy of NEWSis

Clara has also appeared in numerous music videos, such as Jay Park’s “Joah” and Tei’s “Same Pillow.” She currently has more than half a million followers on her Facebook page.

You can view MODE’s “100 Most Beautiful Women in the World 2014″ list here.


This story was originally published in iamkoream.com


New K-Drama Shows Harsh Reality of South Korean Business World


Misaeng, which translates to “incomplete life,” is the first Korean drama to show what it’s like to survive in the real world as a newbie.

Based on a webtoon of the same name, Misaeng was first released on October 17 by Korea’s broadcasting network tvN. The drama shows the harsh reality of 26-year-old Jang Geu-Rae who must face the big corporate world after failing to become a professional  board game player. Jang, who is only a high school graduate, has little to no experience compared to other interns working at the company and constanry struggles to adapt to the environment where no one, including his fellow interns, welcomes him.

Even worse than the bullying, Jang becomes irritated that his own department chief isn’t giving him a chance to learn.


Photo courtesy of http://noonasoverforks.com

The k-drama has gained sympathy from many office workers in Korea as it drew attention to the cold and harsh woes that many face at work. More importantly, people are showing compassion for Jang because they feel that they can relate to his story.

Though there have only been two episodes of Misaeng, many speculate that the k-drama is on the path for success as long as the compelling plots continue. The drama is also gaining many fan because the characters in the show almost perfectly represent the original characters from the webtoon in both appearance and personality.

Misaeng is shown every Friday and Saturday on tvN.

Photo courtesy of http://hallyusg.net/

Photo courtesy of http://hallyusg.net/

Photo courtesy of http://www.clien.n

Photo courtesy of http://www.clien.n


5 Reasons You Should Watch A James Wan Film This Halloween

Don’t know who James Wan is? Well you certainly ought to change that.

Responsible for films such as Insidious, The Conjuring, and the Saw franchise, James Wan has been shaping our nightmares for years now. The 36-year-old Chinese Australian filmmaker is overlooked far more than he should be. Many people know his films and yet they don’t know the man behind them.

At the young age of 11, Wan was already well-aware that he wanted to be a filmmaker. After he received his Bachelor of Arts degree from the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology in Melbourne, he instantly went on to make films with a fellow aspiring filmmaker, Leigh Whannell. The two have collaborated with one another for a handful of films which just so happen to be perfect for Halloween.

We encourage you to sit down with some popcorn, a protective blanket and a James Wan film of your choice. Here’s five reasons why James Wan should be part of you Halloween this year:



1. He understands that given the right setting, a doll can be our worst nightmare.
No seriously, these things are creepy.

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doll 3



2. He understands the power of Audio.

Watch a James Wan film at the theaters and you surely won’t be disappointed with the audio. Many scenes use it very tactfully like this one from Insidious:

And lets not forget the way he manages to make a simple title score terrifying while it’s blasted at you in full volume:



3. Why yes, creatures that pop up at us are frightening. 

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4. He understands that sometimes “less is more.”

Don’t get me wrong. Wan is brilliant at scary images that stay in your head in the worst way possible, but he understands that there needs to be variety.

He can take a little girl pointing at a wall and horrify you. He can allude to a scary flashback without ever showing what happened, but still give you the creeps. Wan understands that sometimes, our own imagination can be much worse than anything he shows.

the counjuring



5. He makes you care about his characters and his storyline.

You may have turned away from the stomach-churning gore in Saw, but you have to admit, the movie got you thinking. He made sure you paid attention and ended up questioning whether or not you would be able to do the same thing. Would you make the same mistakes?


Often times, a horror film flaw is that we simply don’t care about the characters. We’re afraid for death itself, but we don’t actually know too much about the people who are about to die or worse, they take on stereotypical “scary movie” personas. Wan very tastefully avoids this mistake with a simple method: He makes you actually like his characters. You end up hoping for a happy ending and it makes you more invested in the film itself.



So take it from us and make sure Wan is part of your holiday. Happy Halloween everyone!




This story was originally published in 2013 as “Top 5 Ways James Wan Has Mastered Scary Films.” It has been republished just in time for Halloween.  

Olympic Gold Medalist Kristi Yamaguchi Creates Women’s Active Wear Line


The latest endeavor by the Olympic Gold Medal figure skater and Dancing With the Stars winner is Tsa.ya, a women’s active wear line that draws on Yamaguchi’s training as an athlete, life as a mom and passion for childhood literacy. 



One of Kristi Yamaguchi’s favorite aspects of figure skating has always been the costumes. She still loves the iconic black and gold sequined outfit that she was wearing when she won the gold medal at the 1992 Olympics when she was only 20 years old.

“I wasn’t planning to wear it because all year, I had worn a pink dress with short sleeves,” she remembers. “I got superstitious and wanted to wear the pink one again. But I’m glad my mom encouraged me to wear the gold one because it was so much more elegant. The look is so ’90s, and we had costume restrictions back then, so it’s more conservative than what you see now. But I still like it!”

Fashion was an early passion for Yamaguchi. She was not only involved in designing her skating costumes, but post-Olympics, she was the official spokesperson for the apparel fiber company Celanese Acetate’s fashion campaign, where she was able to work with designers including Tadashi, Carolina Herrera and Carmen Marc Valvo. Years later, she slipped back into a number of beautiful, extravagant costumes for her 2008 winning run on the TV reality competition Dancing With the Stars, her favorite being the gold evening gown she wore while dancing the foxtrot with partner Mark Ballas.

When Yamaguchi decided to launch her own product line Tsu.ya in 2012, active wear was a natural choice. She wanted to create fashionable clothing that could transition easily from exercise to everyday life, which was especially important to her as an on-the-go mom.

“I knew there was a way to create fun, trendy active wear that was comfortable,” says Yamaguchi. “To be different, I like to add pieces with ruffles and things to make it more feminine than what typical active wear looks like. I’m designing for a certain demographic that might like our mesh panel on the waistband for extra support, relaxed shapes in certain tops, ruching in areas to flatter the feminine figure.”



Yamaguchi is intimately involved in the design and development of a brand that bears not just her middle name but also the moniker of her grandmother. “It’s a nod to my family and our Japanese heritage,” she explains. “The literal translation is ‘shiny,’ so Tsu.ya encourages women to shine and find the spark of brilliance in all that they do.”

The personal connections don’t stop there. The “Keara” keyhole tee is named after her daughter, and a portion of all Tsu.ya proceeds go to Yamaguchi’s charity, the Always Dream Foundation, which focuses on childhood literacy.

Yamaguchi says she’s excited for the fall 2014 line, which features color-ways in teal, raspberry, heathered grey and, of course, black and white.

“There’s a beautiful, strappy active tank, mesh details, flattering silhouettes, a comfy wrap and a fun moto jacket,” she says. Indeed, the moto jacket, called “Mica,” is all style and all comfort, made of soft French terry and detailed with trendy gunmetal zippers. Other standout pieces include the perfectly slouchy “Lori” capri pant and the “Julia” jacket, a stylish mesh zip-up with extra long sleeves and thumb holes. Check out the entire line at tsuyabrand.com.


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This story was originally published in our Fall 2014 issue. Get your copy here



Highlights From Shanghai Fashion Week


Shanghai, arguably one of the most bustling and fashion-forward cities, just wrapped its 12th Shanghai Fashion Week on October 24th.

The highly-anticipated event showcased a fantastic mix of both local and international brands. We’ve already seen a huge trend in sports luxe clothing, animal print and symmetrical graphics during Milan, Paris and London Fashion week. It’s safe to say that Shanghai is no exception. Not only were these trends all over the runway, they were seen in abundance in the best of street style.

Attendees seemed to lean towards monochromatic black tones as well as loose-fitting cropped pants. As for footwear, a mix of high heels, knee high boots and sneakers (as seen on the Alexander Wang RTW 2015 collection) were spotted.

Here are some of the highlights from the week:



Jade en plus collection. Photo courtesy of REUTERS/Aly Song


The Alberta Ferretti show. Photo courtesy of REUTERS/Aly Song


Monochrome perfection at the Jonny Fu show. Photo courtesy of REUTERS/ Aly Song






Photo courtesy of Dave Tacon.

Here’s a great mix of sports luxe trainers in metallic silver with a stunning floral, detailed red sweater that perfectly balances out the whimsical, full-bodied black skirt.




Photo courtesy of Dave Tacon.

A stunningly sleek, all-black outfit accented only with pop of lip color.



Photo courtesy of Dave Tacon.

Flat shoes, as well as shorts and knee high boots, were a popular combination on the stylish Shanghai streets.