Street Style With Korean Designer PARKCHOONMOO


Avant garde is meant to stand for an opposition to the norm in terms of both consumer and popular culture, but in a world where out-of-the-box innovation is now pushed as the “it” thing and everything is about being kitschy, I feel using that term isn’t suitable for describing the work of Korean designer Choonmoo Park.

Highly influential around the world, Park is described as being a leader in the avant garde category, but I see her as being conscious about her life experiences and translating them into a wearable collection.  With a background in industrial design studies, you can see how she applies the ideals of her previous education to her clothing. Industrial design rests on the ability to understand the relationships between form, function and products, and how these products are used within certain environments as well as the aesthetic appeal of them.  There’s an analytical approach to how Park designs her clothes.  No one can question the aesthetics and creativity of the line, but look closer and you’ll see the pieces with their complicated appearance actually have a graceful, unrestricted flow and are easy to wear.  Park never forgets the importance of functionality and kinematics.

Some may still prefer to describe her as avant, but I prefer the word experiential.  While based in Seoul, South Korea, Park has fans all over the world, and I found some great street style shots inspired by Choonmoo Park to share with you:

2NE1’s Minzy looks amazing in ParkChoonMoo’s previous fall collection.

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Here’s more designs from the PARKCHOONMOO collections.

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Finally, here’s designer Choonmoo Park.

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ASIA STREET STYLE: Menswear Inspirations


To the annoyance of my husband, I am one of those women who’d rather peruse the men’s section on shopping excursions; it’s not a matter of being anti-frill and fluff, but rather a curiosity to see how menswear styles change compared to the fleeting moments of its gender counterpart.

The persistent availability of tailored trousers with polished shirts and jackets are at the core of a less experimental framework that makes up the majority of men’s fashion. There is significance to the fact that the main components of suiting have been carried through from the 18th century until present-day, a continuum which doesn’t hold true for women’s styles if you ever decide to research historical fashion plates.

This unchanging calibre has made it’s way into inspiring designers for contemporary womenswear; the trend continues well into this year and will likely emerge again during the Spring and Summer 2015 shows that are about to kick off with New York Fashion Week next month.

To end my ongoing preoccupation with history and timeless quality in apparel, here are some of my favorite menswear inspired street looks from Japan and Korea.

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Tokyo Street Style: Midi-skirts


For those of us more timid about trying some of this season’s miniskirt variations, take a cue from these stylish Japanese women and opt for mid-length or midi-skirts. It’s a fairly laid-back trend compared to some of the more highly stylized genres within Japan’s modern street fashion world, but easily accessible in U.S. stores for the upcoming fall. How can we work the midi-skirt into our closet staples? You can find everything from classic A-lines to figure flattering pencil styles with contemporary detailing to amp up your fall wardrobe. Try taking a more fearless stance with bold footwear, interesting color pairing, or unique tops like the following women, whose adventurous nature can be seen in their clothing choices. Though their outfits may not fall into any specific category within Japanese fashion subcultures, it’s personal preference that makes each stand out.


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Looking to add a midi-skirt into your style rotation? Check out these finds below!

ASOS Pleated Midi-Skirt With Mesh Inserts. Available at for $77.

ASOS Pleated Midi-Skirt With Mesh Inserts.
Available at for $77.


In Check Pencil Midi-Skirt Available at for $58.

In Check Pencil Midi-Skirt
Available at for $58.

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Helmut Lang “Max” Asymmetrical Midi-Skirt. Available at for $230.


MSGM Printed Satin Midi Skirt. Available at for $575.

MSGM Printed Satin Midi Skirt.
Available at for $575.




Tokyo Street Style: Fashion Meets Food Courtesy of Rotari Parker


Writing this before breakfast was a terrible idea — my hungry monster keeps getting more upset at the visual deliciousness before me. My love of eating, especially snacks, has gained me the nickname “Snack Attack,” and I won’t deny that I dream of pantries full of crunchy morsels on a regular basis. Now combine this obsession with my daily street style hunts and we reach foodie/fashionista heaven, otherwise known as Japanese accessory line Rotari Parker.

The label has been around for a few years, breathing new life into typical grocery aisle fare, and is still releasing delectable accessories periodically under their “Eat Me” line. These hand-produced marvels are fitting given the eclectic street style of Tokyo, where wearable art garners more appreciation than seasonal fashion movements. I know this story isn’t quite promoting healthy living, but sometimes adorable things are difficult to pass up. That, and I generally take on the “you only live once” approach to eating.

How does Japan wear these sweet and savory finds? By stacking them up because just one won’t do. There’s nothing like being decked out in pretzels and pastries to engage people’s fascination.

And yes, in case you were wondering, this is all real food.

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If you check out Rotari Parker’s Instagram you’ll find their newest designs along with behind-the-scene photos of how they create this yummy invasion of food and fashion. As a warning, it’s best not to look if you are starving at the moment and suffer from “hangriness.”


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Summer Surfing: The New Alexander Wang Cage Installation


When you step into Alexander Wang’s New York Flagship store, you meet “The Cage.” Alone it may seem cold and uninviting, but Wang designed the enclosure to give customers a more stimulating way to view his designs by periodically switching up the artwork collaborations. He found a means to providing a fresh and original store image without having to deal with a complete redesign. In the past, the exhibitions included LED light graphics in fabric patterns, a ’90s pop culture throwback of old televisions and acclaimed florist creations.

This month, the newest installation combines the Haydenshapes Surfboard brand with sculpted sand. It’s a powerful display of creativity and hand-crafted precision developed by both Wang and Haydenshapes founder, Hayden Cox. Come live out the last days of summer with black marbled artwork, a looming wave and, of course, Wang’s must-have handbags and shoes.


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Wang’s black leather Bucket Bag and calfskin Lovisa Pumps ride the sculpted wave.

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A side angle of Wang’s artwork that was digitally printed on the boards.



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A more thorough angle of the cage installation.

For more inspiration from the recent Cage Exhibition, check out the short video filmed for it on Alexander Wang’s Youtube channel:



It’s Not Too Late — We’ve Found the Perfect Summer Sunnies


There is one accessory that is a complete necessity during these summer months: a solid pair of sunglasses to take everywhere. This practical means of protection holds an iconic place in the fashion world from Audrey Hepburn’s Oliver Goldsmith frames in the film Breakfast at Tiffany’s to Ray-Ban’s Wayfarers that have been around for decades. Luxury designers produce lines of collectible and vintage worthy styles, but I’ve found a new favorite: Sunday Somewhere’s recent collaboration with biracial Japanese American fashion blogger Rumi Neely of

These aren’t your typical sunnies. The frames may have a classic shape, but nontraditional materials and interesting color combinations provide a fresh take on the handmade beauties. Neely described it best on her blog: “I really wanted to make the details special, to have them stand out from the average pair, and we did just that with rose gold detailing, an all-leather option and matte metallics.” 

Below is part of the collection currently available at Net-a-porter and Sunday Somewhere. And for more daily fashion inspiration be sure to take a peek at her Fashion Toast photo streams!

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Tokyo D-frame in matte acetate and rose gold-tone metal, at for $400.

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Paris Sunglasses in matte metallic gold, at for $320.

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Paris Sunglasses in leather and snakeskin combination, at for $320.



Of course, we can’t end without some fabulous images of Neely wearing her newest collab.

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Chinese Canadian Jeananne Goossen On Playing a Trauma Doctor on “The Night Shift”


The Night Shift, NBC’s medical drama, just had its season finale last month and was renewed for a second season. The series, starring Chinese Canadian Jeananne Goossen, will return next year. We interviewed Goossen in our Summer 2014 issue about her role as newbie trauma doctor Krista.

Before Jeananne Goossen ever considered becoming an actor, she studied biochemistry in school and wanted to be a doctor. On May 27, her childhood dreams were fulfilled — at least in TV fantasyland — with the premiere of the new NBC medical series The Night Shift, in which she stars as first-year resident and overnight trauma doctor Krista.

The role of ER physician is a good fit for her. “I’m not an extreme adrenaline junkie, but I’m definitely excited by things that make my heart beat faster, like sky- diving, rollercoasters, turbulence and earthquakes,” says Goossen. “Also, I tend to gravitate toward crisis management situations. When sh-t goes down, I tend to jump in the middle of it, so there’s a lot to draw from in my normal life for my character.”

The Night Shift features an ensemble of doctors, some of whom are former military physicians who have had hardcore experiences performing life-saving operations in Afghanistan (and are more comfortable flying by the seat of their pants), and others who are threatened by the risks posed by these uninhibited rule-breakers while working at the San Antonio Medical Center, a more business-oriented but equally top-notch facility.

Krista is a newbie who is confident and fearless in her skill sets — the pilot episode shows her not wincing at all when faced with the prospect of stitching up a patient’s testicles for the first time — and even though it doesn’t explicitly say so in the script, Goossen imagines her character looks up to Topher, a veteran doctor played by Ken Leung (Lost, The Sopranos).



In real life, Goossen calls Leung “one of my favorite people,” but more than that, she feels a natural camaraderie with him, as a Chinese Canadian hapa who has never had the opportunity to work with another actor of Chinese descent on a TV show before.

Goossen’s parents met in Hong Kong when they were young, and they both ended up getting a master’s in East Asian studies and working in academia in Japan. (Her father, Ted Goossen, is a professor who translates for the famed author Haruki Murakami.) This makes Goossen’s background extra layered, as she identifies very strongly with her hybrid Chinese Canadian community in Toronto, yet because she spent years of her childhood in Japan, she also speaks Japanese and was very informed by Japanese culture growing up.

As a result, she feels very much at home with The Night Shift’s cast, who are not only diverse (co-star Daniella Alonso is of Japanese, Peruvian and Puerto Rican descent) but all happen to be the type of people who are interested in and, more importantly, can stomach the graphic tech rehearsals where they try to get the surgical procedures as accurate as they can be, with the help of medical consultants. Goossen loves learning about these wild, thinking-outside-the-box procedures, like in a scene (that unfortunately ended up on the cutting room floor) where Topher shows Krista how to relieve the pressure of liquid in someone’s brain by using a drill that one would normally use for construction. As the show’s eight-episode season unfolds, Goossen is excited for audiences to learn more about Krista, whether she’s dealing with the unexpected ramifications of inevitable trauma tragedies or confessing a secret that surfaces when she’s the only one who can recognize what’s wrong with a patient with mysterious symptoms.



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


Summer Must Read: “Everything I Never Told You” by Celeste Ng


“Lydia is dead. But they don’t know this yet.” And with that first line of Pushcart Prize recipient Celeste Ng’s haunting debut novel, Everything I Never Told You, you know you’re in for the long haul, if for no other reason than to find out how and why. But as you begin to uncover the secrets and pains and misdirected motivations of each member of the mixed-race Lee family trying to fit in in 1970s Ohio, you realize it’s more the redemption of the living that you yearn for: from the patriarch James who can’t seem to escape the outsider status his Chinese face brands on him; to his wife Marilyn, obsessed with an unfulfilled dream and her failure to break out of her own mother’s homemaker mold; to son Nathan, a living reminder to his father, despite his academic successes, of his own social ineptitudes. But perhaps most heartbreaking is the youngest, Hannah, whose very conception lays the groundwork for a dysfunctional dynamic that would culminate in tragedy. Ng writes:

What about Hannah? They set up her nursery in the bedroom in the attic, where things that were not wanted were kept, and even when she got older, now and then each of them would forget, fleetingly, that she existed — as when Marilyn, laying four plates for dinner one night, did not realize her omission until Hannah reached the table. Hannah, as if she understood her place in the cosmos, grew from quiet infant to watchful child: a child fond of nooks and corners, who curled up in closets, behind sofas, under dangling tablecloths, staying out of sight as well as out of mind, to ensure the terrain of the family did not change.



Details Hardcover, $26.96,




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

Asia Street Style: Let Your Clothes Do The Talking With NOVELTY TOPS


Novelty tops continue to be a favorite during the warmer months on Asian street style blogs. I’ve seen everything from childhood favorites like Mickey Mouse to pop art explosions, but ultimately I like reading the cool, edgy phrases that turn up on shirts.  Sometimes people prefer to let their clothes do the talking, and it’s quite fun to browse through a variety of designs and typography. It does appear that simple sans-serif fonts printed against plain backgrounds are favored this season, mimicking the style of quote posts we see all over social media platforms.

Despite what Alexander Wang’s spring/summer 2014 collection would suggest, message tees aren’t a new trend; in fact they’ve been around for decades (Frankie Says Relax, anyone?), but they are constantly being reinvented as mainstream pop and political culture is ever-changing.

Check out some of the novelty tops that caught my eye.



Sporting a message that can be interpreted in multiple ways will keep people thinking.


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Start the day off by sharing some positive notes.


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You, me, Oui!  A play on words and sounds can be fun expressions.

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Want to add some written expressions into your style rotation? Check out these three contemporary designer finds.

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Flam Boy Ant Box Fit Short Sleeve Tee by Zoe Karssen Available at: for $81.

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Happy Bowery Tee by Textile Elizabeth And James Available at: for $92.

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Super Loved Muscle Tee by Current/Elliott Available at: for $108.



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