Issue: Fall 2010
Girl Next Door
Former model Shay Mitchell is more than just a pretty face on ABC Family’s new hit series Pretty Little Liars. In her early 20s, the Filipina- Scottish-Irish American actress plays Emily, a redhead Caucasian in the original books on which the series is based. “She doesn’t look anything like me,” says Mitchell. “I think it says a lot. The girl-next-door isn’t just blond-haired and blue-eyed anymore.”
The show, at press time the highest rated among female teens, follows four popular high school girls whose friendship is shattered when the former leader of their clique goes missing. Some compare it to the other popular teen show Gossip Girl, except that Liars “is more of a relatable show,” says Mitchell. “We’re not riding around in jets and carrying $10,000 purses.”
In fact, the show addresses some rather serious issues, like Emily grappling with her growing attraction to another girl. “What I love about this show is that it’s putting it out there, what she’s going through,” says Mitchell. “People need to see what’s going on and, hopefully, it will create dialogue for teens and their parents.”
And it’s not just the bisexuality that makes Liars edgy. Mitchell says that the casting call for the show was full of women of all ethnicities. (Asian Americans Janel Parrish and Nia Peeples also star in the show.) “I’m finding there are so many auditions that I can go to that I’m sure actresses before me couldn’t go to five, 10 years ago,” says Mitchell. “If I feel, looking as I do, that I can be a girl next door, I think that’s a really good thing for Asian American actors.” – Han Cho
Issue: Fall 2010
Radical Reboot: Grace Park
For fanboys at San Diego’s annual Comic-Con, at least one good thing came with the end of Battlestar Galactica: Grace Park can resurface on a reboot of another classic television series, but this time donning not a spacesuit but a bikini. When footage of the new Hawaii Five-O, accompanied by the iconic theme music, was unveiled at the pop culture extravaganza in late July, the volume of whoops and hollers shot up in Room 6BCF of the San Diego Convention Center as the scene of Park emerging from the ocean lit up the screen.
Park captivated viewers as the multifaceted Sharon “Boomer” Valerii on the critically acclaimed sci-fi saga Battlestar. Now for the second time Park is not only remaking an old show but is also upgrading a character, Kono Kalakaua, from male to the fairer sex. “I’m creating a niche for myself,” Park joked to a Comic-Con crowd of several hundred.
What is not a joke is that half of the crime-fighting team on the new Five-O, premiering this fall on CBS, is Asian — Daniel Dae Kim (who’s coming off a much-loved series himself, Lost) breathes new life into the part of Chin Ho Kelly. And while Kono and Chin Ho were relegated to secondary status to McGarrett and Danno in the original, there will be more prominent roles for Park and Kim, said Robert Orci and Alex Kurtzman, the writers behind the last Star Trek feature, who are executive producing and penning scripts for Five-O.
In fact, Park is ready to duke it out with the boys. “Oh, [Kono] can hold her own with the gentlemen,” she said. No doubt in fanboys’ minds, there’s nothing finer than a vision of Park punching out bad guys in a two-piece. — Jimmy Lee
Issue: Fall 2010
Department: My Story
The Giving Tree by Alex Woo
Designer Alex Woo joined forces with actress Christina Applegate to turn personal tragedy into a cure for the second most common cause of cancer death among women.
My mother is someone I always admired. She was the most intelligent person I knew and taught me so much about life. She was also like a sister and best friend to me. We loved shopping and spending time with each other, and she was my continual inspiration. As a working mom, she always taught me to pursue my own dreams and be independent. So when I was in high school, my life was shattered with the news of her diagnosis. A cancerous lump had been found in her breast, and she decided that she would have a mastectomy and have the whole breast removed. After the surgery and rounds of radiation and chemotherapy, we now had to shop for different things — wigs to cover her hair loss, and special bras and swimsuits to help accommodate for her lost breast. Somehow she still made it fun and similar to our past shopping trips. We remained strong because we thought we would get through it all.
Although she had gotten better for some time, her cancer came back and spread to her lymph nodes. She had to stay at the hospital, so my father and I took shifts. I would spend my days with her, and he would spend the nights breaking hospital rules to be at her bedside.
I naively thought she would be checking out of the hospital soon. On one of the days, I got a terrible cold, and my dad told me to stay home and rest. He instead went to the hospital to accompany her. It was that day, at the age of 39, that she passed away. When I was informed of the news, I could not believe it and thought it was a mistake. I burst into tears because I never had a chance to say a proper goodbye and tell her how much she truly meant to me. Deep in my heart I knew my mom knew how much I loved her, but I still wished that I could have told her how much she meant to me and more. I learned from that day on how short and fragile life is, and my mother taught me one final lesson: to enjoy life and live each day to its fullest without any regrets. And always tell the ones you love how much they mean to you. Since that day, my father has taken on double duty as both parent and best
friend, and I became an advocate for breast cancer awareness.
Fast forward to 2008. After receiving her breast cancer diagnosis, award-winning actress Christina Applegate created a foundation called Right Action for Women to educate women about what it means to be at “high risk” for breast cancer and encourage them to talk to their doctors about appropriate screening. Generously providing aid to individuals who were at increased risk for breast cancer and did not have insurance or the financial flexibility to cover the high costs associated with breast screenings, Christina and her foundation brought much more attention to the cause. At the
same time, I had designed my “Open Heart” necklace, which was dedicated to raising funds to benefit breast cancer research. During her treatments, Christina regularly wore my “Open Heart” pendant, so when her new foundation was started, we wanted to design a new piece together — what eventually became the “Tree of Life.” In this design, we wanted to not only signify balance, peace and harmony in the shape of the tree and branches, but also to incorporate the feminine curves of a woman. The seven leaves represent each day of the week, as a reminder to live each day to its fullest.
I also wanted to incorporate Christina’s experiences in dealing with breast cancer. “This piece reminds me so much of the roses I made out of ribbons for my friends and family while in the hospital,” she said. “I am so grateful to Alex for creating such a beautiful piece to benefit Right Action for Women.”
For me, partnering with Christina, who has given inspiration to millions of young women, was an honor. When my mom found a lump in her breast, she was still in her 30s and thought it would go away. But by the time she went to see a doctor, it was too late. Thankfully today, there is not only better technology but much more awareness about the importance of routine breast exams. Early detection is the key and I encourage all women to be vigilant. Life is so precious — always let your loved ones know how much they mean to you.
For more info on Right Action for Women, visit RightActionforWomen.org. Net proceeds from Alex Woo’s “Tree of Life” pendant will help women at high risk for breast cancer get the screenings they need to beat this disease.
… Something red?
Try a red umbrella for a “happily ever after” guarantee. For modern Asian American women, it’s not just about in-laws, invites and ironed table linens. Finding “the one” may not involve magic or voodoo, but according to some traditional Asian superstitions, getting to “I do” just might require more luck than love.
STORY Teena Apeles
PHOTOS Erin Leppo Photography, erinleppo.com
In less than two months, I will be marrying my boyfriend of 10 years. Being that it’s 2010, it seemed like the perfect time: a decade together, a decade into the new millennium, we might as well make it legal. And we always love a good party.
When we discussed the best date for our nuptials, we had one simple requirement: a three-day holiday weekend to make the celebration last as long as possible. We honed in on the Saturday of Labor Day weekend and checked the complimentary calendar from our local councilman. We were thrilled to see that that day, September 4, was the birthday of Los Angeles (the 229th, in case you’re interested). We thought, “We love Los Angeles — that must be our day!” But as things have fallen into place, we found different superstitions and traditions creeping into our planning. Considering my future spouse is a folklorist, it was likely, but considering a very superstitious Filipino mother raised me, it was inevitable. Just last week she bought me a fortunetelling book for brides to add to my wedding preparation anxiety. Thanks, Mom.
The Precautionary Checklist
We have the basic Western superstitions covered, coming about organically rather than intentionally. “Something old” — my tita’s ’50s Filipino party dress — is the precious link to my past, merged with my “something new” modern gown, to signal a step into the future with a fresh outlook. A dear friend’s veil will work beautifully as “something borrowed” — she and her husband just reached their 10-year wedding anniversary so my fiancé welcomed their positive energy. And that hopefully won’t clash with my “something blue” stone ring and turquoise button vintage clutch, which reflect my style and, more importantly (to the groom), symbolize my loyalty and purity. I have taken note of pamahiin, or Filipino superstitions, leading up to our wedding day as well, following some and risking the consequences of messing with others:
* Don’t take the first serving of fish at a meal or you will end up a spinster. (When you’re a middle child, it’s rare to have anything first. I didn’t realize it upped the odds of me getting married. Check.)
* If you marry a person who has a mole beside his or her nose, you will die ahead of that person. (No moles in the nasal vicinity on both fronts. Check.)
* Don’t marry a woman with bags under her eyes; she will end up a widow fast. (I just purchased some miracle eye cream to counter this, though I think my issue is more dark circles; my boyfriend is the one carrying some baggage. Moderate risk.)
* Avoid marrying in the same calendar year as siblings because it’s bad luck. (Check on both fronts.)
* Brides shouldn’t wear pearls at her wedding or she will experience heartache and tears during her married life. (I was never a fan of pearls. Check.)
* Avoid long drives or traveling before your wedding day since altar-bound couples are accident-prone. (We live in Los Angeles; what isn’t a long drive? This is partly why we chose our neighborhood church just blocks from our home and a reception venue that is just over a mile away, which actually can feel like quite a long drive in Saturday traffic. Minor risk.)
At this point, we’re doing pretty well staying on the right side of Filipino wedding superstitions. And by no means are we alone in following what some may dismiss as silly beliefs. Wedding days, as every culture knows, are not the time to test fate or hedge your luck. While Charles and I are so charmed to share our wedding day with the birthday of my birthplace, many cultures turn to the stars, fortunetellers, monks and calendars much more sacred than our free calendar to select theirs. Finding that auspicious day to tie the knot is taken very seriously.
When Numbers and Planets Align
Amanda Ma of Fresh Events, an event management firm in Pasadena, Calif., has years of experience working with couples to orchestrate their dream wedding. She knows all too well the range of unique requests and unusual superstitions that come into play with each job.
“We come across clients that select their dates based on the Chinese calendar, and even the time of day,” she says. Ma quickly goes on to list a number of “Fetching the Bride” activities associated with Chinese tradition, from the luckiest hour to pick up the bride (early in the morning) and the number of oranges a bride’s younger brother has to give the groom (two) before he opens his sister’s door, to the practice of the bride’s father splashing water behind the car “to bless the bride with an everlasting marriage.”
Writer and educator May-lee Chai, author of six books, including Hapa Girl: A Memoir, goes into further detail about how wedding dates are selected. “Some people consult feng shui masters or psychics who can read traditional Chinese calendars to determine the most auspicious date for a wedding based on the birth year, month, day and hour of the bride and groom,” she says. “In general, days with ‘8’ in them are very popular because the word for eight in most Chinese dialects sounds similar to a term for becoming wealthy. Hence, August in general is considered a good month for marriage, and obviously August 8 is a popular date.”
That is an understatement if one considers when three 8s came together two years ago. The number of couples getting married on August 8, 2008, in the city of Beijing alone was reportedly around 9,000, breaking the city’s previous single-day record for weddings by more than double. (An average of 7,000 couples get married each day in the whole United States.)
In Vietnam, many families turn to the stars for guidance, asking astrologers to evaluate the couple’s compatibility and to choose the most favorable day and hour for them to wed. And in Thailand, they traditionally will turn to a monk or a fortuneteller.
For Sudhir Anand’s parents, who are Punjabi, finding the best dates for both their sons to marry “caused them incredible stress in preparing for it,” he says. Marrying on the “wrong day” could mean disaster for the union. “It was important that the ceremony happen on the most auspicious of days, determined by the pundit who would officiate,” Anand explains. “It has to do with how the moon and planets are aligned in relation to the ‘stars’ of both the bride and groom.” Sound familiar?
This past May 16 was one of the most auspicious dates for Indian Hindus to tie the knot because it was believed to be blessed. While 9,000 weddings on 08/08/08 in Beijing sounds like an impressive number, it’s nothing compared to the 50,000 weddings that wedding planners in Mumbai claimed took place there on May 16. These numbers demonstrate just how important a mere date can be to the future of a marriage in certain cultures.
A Guest’s Guide to Gift Giving
Wedding guests also play an important role in securing a prosperous and happy future for the newlyweds. For one, they need to be mindful that their gifts do not threaten the couple’s union. In India, when giving a monetary gift, for instance, numbers that end with the numeral one are considered lucky, while in China and Japan, money should never be given in fours or the number four should not appear in the amount, as it’s bad luck.
Naoko Tano Ingber, who was born and raised in Japan, can easily name a number of gift giving rules she learned growing up:
* You should not give 40,000 yen as a gift because the number 4 reminds you of death.
* You should not give 90,000 yen as a gift because the number 9 reminds you of struggle.
* You should not give any amount of money that can be divided in half except 20,000 yen.
* Never give glass or ceramic dishes as a wedding gift, because they can break the relationship.
* Never give sharp objects as a wedding gift; they can cut the relationship.
When asked how important these are to follow now, Ingber says, “Everyone in Japan takes these very seriously. I am married and all of my Japanese family and friends follow these. If you don’t follow them, it is considered bad manners.”
This last superstition, not giving sharp objects as wedding gifts, appears in other countries as well, including the Philippines, China and Korea, with variations.
“I have heard before where if someone gives you a knife as a gift, you have to give them a dollar just so that it doesn’t cut the relationship,” says Ma.
When Filipino American Angelica Moyes got married, the knife-monetary exchange was slightly different. “We got pennies or some kind of coin from friends who gave us knives for our wedding gift,” she recalls. “It has something to do with preventing a good family relationship or friendship from being cut off.”
From Doomsday to Dream Day
So should I remove that set of knives on our wedding registry to save my marriage from breaking up in the future? Is my marriage doomed because I didn’t consult the planets or a fortuneteller on our wedding date? At this point, I’m not losing sleep over these things. I actually obsess more over whether the reception manager will make sure the table linens are ironed. If not, he will be the unlucky one.
But that’s me. I’m not the Japanese bride Ma tells me about who frantically worked to fold 1,000 origami cranes to have at her wedding for good luck. It’s impressive to hear about the things couples do to bless their union with prosperity. “Of course,” adds Ma, “she did ask her close friend for help.”
Like most brides, I have enough on my to-do list without bringing superstitions into the mix. So I asked Ma what advice she could offer couples as they juggle the rituals, the drama, the guests and everything in between.
“Sometimes couples are flustered due to all the superstitions, but usually once it gets started they get into it and enjoy it,” she assures me. “We always emphasize to every couple, things will happen during your wedding day, let it go. If that uncle is wearing a shirt that you don’t like, don’t be unhappy about it. Enjoy your time at your wedding! It goes by very fast.”
As long as those linens aren’t wrinkled (fingers crossed), this bride will.
– Teena Apeles
Are Superstitions Useful?
Author and educator May-lee Chai sees “superstitions” more as “traditions.” She says, “I think in any society there are always conflicting traditions. They are as useful as any individual wants to make them. Obviously, some can also be oppressive.” Check out this list of dos and don’ts from across Asia and see what you think.
* If you don’t finish eating the rice in your bowl, your future spouse will have a blemish on his/her face for every grain you leave uneaten. (Filipino)
* Avoid washing your hair on a Saturday or you will marry a man difficult to please. (Indonesia)
* Don’t marry a woman with a widow’s peak or you will die early. (Korean)
* Don’t marry at an age ending in “9,” like 29 or 39. (Korean)
* The night before the wedding, have young boys play on the bridal bed to increase your chances of fertility and male heirs. (Chinese)
* Cover the bride with a red umbrella as she leaves her home to ward off evil spirits. (Chinese)
* Rain on a wedding day means prosperity and happiness for the newlyweds … or the couple will have many crybabies. (Filipino)
* If the bride laughs or smiles a lot during the wedding, her first child will be a daughter. (Korean)
* If a bride wants her husband to agree to her every whim, she should step on his foot on the way to the altar. (Filipino)
* If an unmarried woman literally follows the footsteps of the newlyweds, she will marry soon. (Filipino)
* Don’t give your significant other shoes or he will run away from you. (Korean, Filipino)
* Don’t go to any wedding within one month of your own. (Chinese)
* Avoid getting married within 1,000 days of a death in the family. (Chinese)
* Fear the number 4. (Chinese, Japanese, Korean)
* The bride should wear red or gold for good luck. (Chinese)
Q. I’m feeling burned out at work, even though I used to love what I do. I still enjoy it, but I’m feeling my creativity sapped with financial limitations, lack of resources, lack of encouragement. Is it time to get out or is there a way to rejuvenate my passion for my work? — Charred and Confused
Psychotherapist Meme Rhee answers: Your question has identified the three things that you think you need in order to fuel your creativity: money, resources, support. While these are incredibly important, they aren’t necessarily prerequisites for creativity which can thrive on very little. You can look at the success and talents of many artistic individuals who knew just how to feed their passion despite their financial constraints and the obstacles and rejections they faced.
I highly recommend that you return to a learning environment (like an extension class at a university) that can stimulate your thinking and reorient your approach to your work. Creativity needs the right food, and an environment that deepens your relationship to your craft invariably opens your mind and your possibilities.
Q. I Googled “selfish adults” to see if some people I’ve diagnosed as sociopaths would ever evolve into Good Samaritans. However, an article by Berkeley researchers couldn’t have come to me at a better time. The researchers add a twist to Darwinism by claiming that “survival of the fittest” is actually “survival of the kindest.” Do you believe that compassion is what will advance humans to the next level at the workplace? And if so, how do I achieve “kindness” without getting stepped on or passed over at work? — Bamboozled
Psychotherapist Meme Rhee answers: The original use of the term “survival of the fittest” implies “fit enough for reproduction.” In popular culture, however, “survival of the fittest” has become erroneously associated with the Gordon Gekkos of the world who will throw you under the bus with very little compunction.
Is survival of the fittest mutually exclusive of survival of the kindest? I think not. Great leaders are not interested in merely surviving, but rather in fostering an environment in which many can thrive, sustaining the inspiration of many demands collaboration and teamwork and a reasonable sense of fairness in dispensing compensation and rewards.
I would also make the distinction between compassion and “achieving kindness.” One can feel compassion that hopefully would inspire acts of kindness, but kindness as an “achievement,” or for the sake of advancement eventually backfires and exposes a very smarmy, opportunistic schmuck. Aspiring toward an advancement to which you feel entitled has less to do with kindness than it does awareness, empathy, honesty and confidence. Being aware of, and honest about your own strengths and shortcomings can help you be empathic to the limitations and shortcomings of others and empathy goes a long way in creating a responsible and trusting environment, rather than one that fosters blame and paranoia.
If you find yourself struggling with getting stepped on, or passed over at work, I would try to understand where your own personal boundaries fail you. That is, are you working above and beyond the call of duty with no explicit reward on the other end? Or under leaders who rule with intimidation and very little inspiration? In the right environment, gaining the respect of your colleagues and bosses demands at least two things: self-respect and clarity. Be specific about what you want and if what is demanded of you is reasonable and commensurate to the rewards of your role; identify the necessary skills to thrive in the desired position; be rigorously honest with yourself about your level of competence, and your capacity to identify and improve your shortcomings; be judicious about a timeline within which you can achieve your goals; and finally, vocalize your intention to the right people.
Have a dilemma in work, love, family, relationships — anything, really — that’s got you stumped? Email Editor@Audreymagazine.com with “Ask Audrey” on the subject line. We’ll get our experts on it right away! (And you’ll be entered to win a really cool sample closet gift bag!)
We profiled the Seoul-born, self-made professional drift racer Joon Maeng in our Fall 2010 issue, in which we found intriguing his relative lack of concern for crashing into walls. Now we bring you an online exclusive Q&A with the quirky driver.
Audrey Magazine: Besides your crash, what was your worst experience in a car?
Joon Maeng: Last year in Vegas [at a drift meet] I had a tuna sub for lunch and I started vomiting.
AM: In the car?
JM: No, in the back near the restroom. When it was time to drive I put a doggie bag in the pocket of my racing suit. But when I started driving I felt better. Driving for me is comfort. Even though you’re in a suit and it’s hot, and you’re drenched in sweat, all that goes away when you’re in the car. It’s like “ahhhhh, I love every drop of sweat that my body is producing right now.”
AM: Ew. So categorize this feeling of happiness for me. Is it like how you feel after a really good meal?
JM: Ten times better. I’d rather be [driving] than doing anything else.
JM: I always had a dream to be a pro driver. Not specifically drifting, but just to be a pro driver, since I was a little boy growing up in Korea. My family wasn’t well off. All I had was toy cars and my bike, that’s all. When it snowed I used to drift around my bicycle. Then I would not be able to sleep because I would be so excited to ride my bike around in the snow the next day.
JM: I came to the States when I was 9. I’m 28 now. I actually started driving when I was 11 or 12, secretly [laughs].
AM: How did you manage that? Did you ever get caught?
JM: I snuck out [my parents'] car late at night. I didn’t get caught until way later. I got into big trouble for that.
AM: What did your parents do to you?
JM: Not much, they trust me and they know I’m responsible. They just gave me a lecture and said, “Hey, we know you’re a good driver and whatnot, but just wait until you get your license.”
AM: Did your mother have such a lenient response when you told her you wanted to be a professional drifter?
JM: She was like, “Are you crazy?” Korean parents are very against that stuff. Anything to do with racing and working on cars, they don’t want to see that because they see it as suffering. Whenever she saw me working on the car in the garage, working until 5 in the morning, she would be like, “Why are you working on this piece of junk car?” I got frustrated because she’d say things like that. I was already down as it is, even with the three jobs I had I was in debt. I didn’t know how long I’d go.
Eventually she understood, she saw my frustration and how much I wanted it. She really changed and became more supportive. Instead of complaining she would come out say “Oh, here’s some fruit. Eat at least.”
There are all sorts of rules we as kids in Asian families grew up with, like the proper etiquette in front of elders at the dinner table. Our parents would chastise us if we ate before elders or did not use both hands to serve food to them.
After my own parents’ careful instructions, I thought I had been well informed in common table decorum. However, after recently visiting an elder’s house, I learned something new. Though the custom of cutting fruit might seem trivial to us modern day young adults, it ‘s a practice that’s been carried on throughout generations and has significant meaning to the elders being served.
Much like the etiquette surrounding pouring, accepting and even drinking alcohol, cutting fruit in Korean tradition was a social practice that reinforced the underlying social hierarchy of Korean culture. Specifically, the custom of fruit cutting was one way to impart the traditional values of harmony, hospitality and respect.
I, for one, was excited to learn that there were specific methods to cutting fruit, depending on who you were sharing the fruit with. Take, for example, cutting an Asian pear (which are in season now through October).
Besides fruit cutting, there are plenty of other customs in Korean culture that show respect for others and elders, like the way you serve tea or greet one another.
Were there any social graces or table manners that you grew up with or learned recently? Comment below and let us know!
Video & interview from Ink’n'Undies
Take a minute to think about the underwear you have on. Think about all it’s done for you, those endless wash cycles and bean burritos. Very few people will see your underwear (unless you are of the mall-crawling crowd that belts up around the lower thigh, in which case you might be considered an underwear activist here), but for one particular group of people, the challenge goes beyond ‘boxers or briefs.’
When Helen Huang told her friends and relatives about starting a non-profit to provide underwear — just underwear — to the homeless, they mostly laughed. When she bought the idea to homeless shelters, they said please.
“It’s not just what you see,” Huang says regarding homelessness. To people struggling to pick themselves up, getting a bra that fits is just as much a hurdle as having an address to fill in on job applications. Women who escape domestic violence situations often don’t have time to pack their underwear. Then there are the babies. “Can I just talk about the homeless babies?” She pipes up during our interview. “Homeless children need new diapers, and pull-ups to be toilet-trained.”
Any parent can attest to how crucial those are.
So with that, Huang founded Undershare, a 501(c)3 nonprofit that relies exclusively on volunteers and donations to provide underwear to the homeless and distressed. They do drop-offs (simple: they just drop underwear off) at Los Angeles homeless shelters and sent undergarments to Louisiana when Katrina landed. Their latest project also involved underwear, but with flair: a skivvy fashion show fundraiser at the Ecco Lounge. Modeled by the Suicide Girls, a punk-rock-flavored girls club that threw all body shapes, tattoos and piercings on a runway, Ink’n'Undies had drawn a full house before 9pm. Clothes, or underwear rather, were provided by Seven ’til Midnight.
Organizations like hers, Huang says, aren’t solving the problem of homelessness. “We’re lending compassion and dignity.” In the end, she’s just trying to get some money for new undergarments. “And the people who laughed at me at first,” she adds, “they’ve all come and donated underwear.”
I’d like to make the record clear: I have never had a make-over done. No parent, friend, stranger or significant other has drastically altered my ‘look’ since I eschewed mother’s haircuts for the $8 Vietnamese-run barbershop by the mall. Besides the terrible conclusion that I am solely responsible for all this, never having had a make-over has apparently affected me in ways I am just beginning to understand.
Perhaps you too have never been made over. For some, this is a matter of guilt. I understand. I’ve paid for two massages in my lifetime–once in China, once in Vegas–and both times, regardless how much I spent, I always felt undeserving of the attention lavished upon my sometimes naked bum and rest of body. For others, avoiding the make over is due to you being A Man and this being Not Socially Accepted Yet. I sympathize with you, as I am the same way.
Samantha Llanos gets the whole undeserving-feely thing. She was chosen along with two other girls for an LA weekend make-over, courtesy of super-stylist Chriselle. Full disclosure: Chriselle is working with Audrey Magazine on a number of things including our next cover shoot, but to this day has not offered me a make-over.
Last weekend Llanos was plucked from her home in the barren northern-Celtic lands of Boston, Mass., and flown to Los Angeles where she met fellow make-over recipients Alexandra Becker and Sara Warren. The three then went on a two-day tour of sustained attention-receiving, from having their locks combed and pampered by Ree of the Angus M Salon, to makeup by YouTube makeup phenom and Lancome video makeup artist Michelle Phan, personal styling by Chriselle, plus a photoshoot by photographer Karla Ticas to top it off.
“I was just really happy,” reflected Llanos when I caught up with her this week. “I don’t remember being excited about anything, vaguely happy about anything for such a long time now.”
Llanos for the past year and a half has been dealing with the death of a boyfriend. During that time, she describes her life as occupied by just the bare minimum: going through the motions, not doing much else. Now, for the first time in a long while, she’s excited for something like shopping for new clothes. When I spoke with her a work week later, she remained optimistic.
“Seeing the team and seeing [Chriselle and Michelle], I don’t think I’ve ever seen people who were working, and loving what they did so much it didn’t seem like working. It changed my perspective of life in general.”
The make-over couldn’t have hurt either. Note to Chriselle: I think I’m due for mine.
From “Bohemian Rhapsody” to “Eccentric Ladylike” themes littering the fall runways, the new looks for fall combine classic cuts with a bit of fun. Think a mix of summer with dash of fall and that’s the route that a lot of fall trends seem to be taking.
And it’s easier than ever to achieve — just add a few key fall items that are already staples in most women’s closets with your current summer wardrobe. What’s more is that summer clothes are on sale everywhere right now, from the mall to online boutiques. Essentially, you can buy what’s “in” at sale prices, and then work them into your fall wardrobe.
To start off, let’s review some summer trends that’ll work for fall:
Stores from J. Crew to Urban Outfitters showed an explosion of floral prints this summer.
Lightweight, Feminine Blouses
Light, sheer blouses with details like ruffles, ruching, embroidery and lace are hot on the racks everywhere, as well as etailers like ShopBop.com.
Utility Shirt and Jackets
Utility shirts and jackets come in different lengths and colors, and they were key ways to get your military vibe on in your spring and summer looks. Stock up at Gap.
To transition these key summer pieces this fall, wear them with those fall essentials that everyone has: long cardigans, blazers, sleek jackets or coats, and leather boots.
A chunky cardigan, a long blazer or even a fur vest worn over a summer blouse or floral print is an easy fall ensemble.
Additionally, utility shirts accompanied by scarves or leather boots can be a great fall look as well. Whether you’re going for a casual look or something more chic, a utility shirt or jacket can make any outfit look presentable and pulled together.
So get a jump start on fall by checking out your favorite stores for summer sales on the best summer trends.