Meet the Designer: Moon Young Hee

 

 

During Paris Fashion Week Womenswear Spring/Summer 2015, Korean designer Moon Young Hee’s collection turned heads.

Moon Young Hee is known for manifesting Korean ideas in a modern form. This desing technique can be seen in her massive collection which shows an impressive amount of detail, mainly using monochromatic toned designs embedded with various patterns and textures. Her sophisticated design has sought to show the potential of materials being used and maximizes the elegant atmosphere.

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Even at an early age, it seemed Moon was destined for this career. Growing up, while other children played with toys, Moon was taken with needlework. Since then, she followed her dreams of becoming a designer and chose to study French literature in college since costume designing departments did not exist at her school back then.

Moon settled in Paris in 1996 to seek some challenge in a bigger world. What started as a curious adventure turned out to be much more difficult than what she had imagined, but that didn’t stop her from moving forward.

Showing hard work and dedication, she studied day and night at the library located nearby her atelier and studied early 20th century French fashion, which later inspired her to graft her own style using traditional Western designs.

Though Moon is recognized as a prominent designer today, she is known to live a very humble life. Not only does she prepare her lunch box on her own, but she also chooses to wear shoes that have been worn for more than ten years.

It is clear that Moon designs out of love and a passion for the art as opposed to commercial success. For the fashion shows, she dedicates her heart, soul and mind to work together to bring out the best in her collection. Her work demonstrates a pursuit of perfection and keeps an eye on every little detail. Needless to say, this pays off during the catwalk.

 

–STORY BY MICHELLE KIM
Photos courtesy of www.queenafashionstyle.com

 

K-Pop Idols Comment on Jessica’s Departure from Girls’ Generation

 

Earlier this month, we discussed the controversy between SM Entertainment and Jessica, who is no longer part of popular K-pop girl group, Girls’ Generation. For a while, this controversy seemed to be the only thing that K-Pop fans could talk about. Well it appears it wasn’t only the fans who were concerned. Slowly but surely, more and more K-Pop idols began commenting on the ordeal.

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Photo courtesy of http://news.newsway.co.kr

 

 

On October 8th, a Korean MBC talk show program called Radio Star invited four Super Junior members (Siwon, Kangin, Leeteuk, and Eunhyuk) for their feature program.

During the program, the Jessica’s controversy was mentioned and one of the show’s MCs stated, “There’s nothing more to say. Isn’t that the end for Jessica’s [career in Girls’ Generation]?”

Leeteuk defended Jessica by saying, “You think this will be the end.”

Needless to say, this statement began stirring a flurry of questions from fans who wondered what he meant by that. Leeteuk later clarified his statement by saying, “You never know what will happen … life goes on as we resolve problems.”

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Photo courtesy of http://news.naver.com/

 

Meanwhile, Girls’ Generation member Sooyoung directly apologized for Jessica’s exit on SBS’s One Night of TV Entertainment, her regularly hosted weekly talk show.

During the show, Sooyoung commented, “Having to relay this sort of sudden news is simply distressing and I’m sorry. For the sake of everyone who loves and support Girls’ Generation, we will try even harder to show a hard-working Girls’ Generation. Please watch over us. I am sorry.”

As of now, only two Girls’ Generation members, Taeyeon and Sooyoung, have ever commented about Jessica’s departure from Girls’ Generation.

 

–STORY BY MICHELLE KIM 

Feature image courtesy of http://www.spektramedia.com/
Translation courtesy of  http://moonroknews.com/

 


Countdown to the Alexander Wang x H&M Collaboration

 

It’s a glorious moment for all of us when consumers can purchase a high-end brand fashion line at affordable prices. In less than a month, this will be a reality for us. This past April, Chinese-American fashion designer Alexander Wang, known for his downtown-cool style, announced that he is bringing his collection to the Swedish fashion giant H&M.

With only a month left until November 6 when we see Wang’s collections in 250 different H&M stores worldwide and online, the Alexander Wang’s H&M campaign is spilling Instagram teasers that seriously make us even more impatient.

 

Check out the teaser below:

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A glimpse at the #ALEXANDERWANGxHM collection, available 11/06 @hm #getready #AWRemix

View on Instagram


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Based on the campaign’s video, Wang’s personal Instagram, and the first look of the collab collection seen through Rihanna’s Alexander Wang x H&M outfit at NYC, we can get an idea of how the collaboration is expected to appear in stores. Anticipate a lot of “Wang” prints and monochromatic sport-inspired apparels.

If you haven’t done so yet, make sure you mark your calendars for November 6th!

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–STORY BY MICHELLE KIM
(Photo credit 1, 2, 3, 4)

 

 


Steven Yeun On How Korean Parents React To A Career In Acting

 

Steven Yeun recently went on Ellen as a first-time guest to promote the return of The Walking Dead. During his interview, he talked about his parents as well as the blood poisoning injury he received on set.

After Yeun admitted that The Walking Dead was his second audition ever in L.A., Ellen asked the Korean American actor if his parents approved of his decision to pursue acting as a career.

“No, my parents are Korean, and traditionally, that first generation of Korean Americans aren’t too happy with the little curveball that you throw them when you’re a kid,” said Yeun. Although his parents weren’t happy with his decision at first, Yeun told Ellen that they were now proud of him as an actor and would even give him advice about the entertainment industry.

“My dad wanted me to wear a suit everywhere I went,” Yeun said, adding that his father would tell him to wear a suit, even when he would go out to buy oranges. “He’s like, ‘You should get a suit … what if they get you and then you’re not in a suit? Then you look stupid.’”

 

Later in the interview, Yeun talked about how he got blood poisoning after performing a stunt where he falls and lands on his arm. When his arm started to bleed, he wiped off the blood and thought nothing of it until his arm swelled the next morning. As a result, he had to get a steroid shot and an antibiotic shot in the buttocks.

“And the nurse, she said I had a very taut tushy. I’ve been doing squats,” Yeun said.

“What a wonderful compliment,” Ellen responded. “I love when they compliment your butt right before they put a shot inside of you.”

The Walking Dead‘s fifth season will premiere October 12 on AMC.

 

–STORY BY REERA YOO
This story was originally published on iamkoream.com 

 


Concept Korea New York Fashion Week Recap: Beyond Closet

 

 

While cities across the world continue their own Fashion Week occasions, we look forward to what innovative and inspiring designs Seoul Fashion Week will unveil in the coming days. As a precursor to the event, let us take a peek at the Korean brand Beyond Closet by Tae Yong, which recently had a successful showing in New York and will also be present in the lineup for Seoul’s fashion events.

This isn’t your typical menswear, but rather a reinvention and re-envisioning of pre-existing connotations placed on men’s clothing. Taking a mix of past memories from his school era, Tae Yong refers to his collection’s main aspect as “mix-matched styling using items inspired from the school-movie, comics on preppy and classical looks. A stylish boy just hangs around town all the time for nothing, a school bully, a young gentleman from a wealthy family with rebellious feelings inside. The images of these kids are the key look of this season.”

While we personally don’t endorse these schoolboy stereotypes, there is no denying the cinematic quality to the entire collection that makes viewers feel as if each outfit has a story behind it that plays out in one’s imagination. You can see the wealthy boys in tailored jackets of bold, primary colors with collared shirts and ties, and the hint rebellion found in an untucked shirt. Just as easily as the first, you will find Tae Yong’s school bully with splashes of urban chains and print detailing along with a tough demeanor that prefers not to be messed with. Then finally, we meet the stylish guys that are always around town carrying an on-trend clutch accessory and sporting statement patterns that make them stand out against the crowd. They are the ones that make your turn for a second look and wonder where they shop.

Beyond Closet is true reinvention of fashion. Instead of producing the typical ten minute show of models moving up and down the walkway, Tae Yong gave a fluid story. In fact, he gave the ability for viewers to create multiple stories, and to think beyond just seeing people wearing clothes. This is about the memories and school memories (something we all can relate to in one way or another). On a personal note, Beyond Closet was one of the most interesting shows I’ve viewed in a long time because it allowed my imagination to roam free and more importantly, it made me forget that these are models simply showing off superb designs.

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The wealthy ones.

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The ones you don’t push around.

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The stylish ones.

 

 

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Create their backstory.

 

Of course, here is the designer himself.

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Tae Yong

 

–STORY BY MIN A. LEE
All images and information courtesy of Jay Lee of Beyond Closet for Tae Yong & Brand

 

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Hello Kitty Turns 40! Check Out How You Can Celebrate It

 

Hello Kitty is turning the Big 4-0, and like most people hitting a milestone birthday, she’s going all out. Celebs and big-name brands are clamoring for special collaborations — everyone from Major League Baseball and celeb chef Roy Choi to cosmetics giant Sephora and Japanese fine jewelry line Mikimoto.

But it’s not just bling and goodies. The Japanese American National Museum is hosting the first-ever Hello Kitty exhibition, titled “Hello! Exploring the Supercute World Of Hello Kitty,” starting October 11. The first-ever Hello Kitty fan convention, Hello Kitty Con, is kicking off on October 30 at the Geffen Contemporary at MOCA in Los Angeles. And the Line Hotel, Roy Choi’s newest project, will offer a Sean Knibb-designed Hello Kitty suite, complete with Hello Kitty iHome products, toiletries by Sephora and turn-down chocolates from Dylan’s Candy Bar. Needless to say, it’s gonna be a major, supercute party.

And the woman behind the party — well, other than Kitty herself — is president and COO of Sanrio, Inc., Janet Hsu. It seems Hsu was born to be the boss of Hello Kitty — she and the iconic feline share the same birthday. Here, Hsu shares her Sanrio memories and what it’s like to work at what must truly be the happiest place on earth.

 

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Audrey Magazine: What’s your earliest memory of a Sanrio character?
Janet Hsu: My earliest memory of a Sanrio character was of Little Twin Stars, who continue to be my second favorite Sanrio character(s). I remember receiving a Little Twin Stars product as a gift when I was very young. I loved the celestial theme and that Kiki and Lala are twins (just like Hello Kitty). Since I am a twin, I treasured the idea of the two experiencing the world together.

AM: Your offices must be super cool! What’s it like?
JH: The Sanrio offices are filled with the many kawaii items! There is definitely a lot of eye candy, with products showcased in all different sizes, from a wide range of categories, and from different years and decades. Since so many of our employees are die-hard fans themselves, some may possess an “anything Sanrio” hoarding mentality! The Sanrio offices also showcase a great collection of original artwork.

AM: What’s the best thing about working with Sanrio?
JH: The company’s philosophy, the characters and the people. Sanrio has always been about social communication — connecting people and communities, and the “small gift, big smile” philosophy of bringing joy to all. There is so much energy, passion and love for the brands that there is a very strong, unified company mindset.

 

 

AM: If you could be a Sanrio character, who would it be?
JH: I would be Hangyodon. I think it would be fun to be a sea creature — half-human, half-fish. Also, he is very unique looking, and even though he is not as well-known as some of the others, there is something very familiar and friendly about him. He is also really comedic — so I would like to laugh the most I can every day.

AM: Who’s your favorite Sanrio character?
JH: My favorite Sanrio character is Hello Kitty. Ever since I was a little girl, Hello Kitty would bring a smile to my face. She has grown up with me and continues to evolve, to integrate herself into the modern day and current pop culture, yet always stays true to being about pure happiness. Many adults grew up with Hello Kitty and have formed their own relationship with her. She has a comforting effect, and her Zen-like disposition makes her relationship with every person special and unique.

AM: Do you have a dream collaboration for Hello Kitty?
JH: Experiences that connect with fans are key. We have a fan, a junior high student, who created a rocket with Hello Kitty to send up to space. This was very inspiring. So a dream collaboration could be a space experience with Hello Kitty.

 

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

 

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Asian Men As The Romantic Lead: Before John Cho There Was James Shigeta

 

ABC’s new show Selfie premiered last Tuesday, with Korean American actor John Cho starring as Henry (the leading male role) in the new half-hour comedy. The show portrays Eliza Dooley (Karen Gillan) who is obsessed with gaining more “Likes” on social media than actually being liked in real life. She seeks Henry for his help to rebrand herself.

Needless to say, Selfie has become a big deal — especially among the Asian American community — since it is one of the few times that an Asian American male is headlining a Hollywood TV series. Most important of all, it’s one of the few times that an Asian American male is cast as the romantic lead who gets the girl. You can remember our excitement when Steven Yeun achieved that in The Walking Dead.

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Though Cho also starred as a non-leading actor in several other American movies, TV shows, and key roles on several Asian-American independent films, this is his first time being a male lead on a new primetime ABC show, and Cho appears excited to bring something different the media industry.

“It’s certainly a personal revolution for me,” Cho told NBC News. “Asians narratively in shows are insignificant. They’re the cop, or the waitress, or whatever it is. You see them in the background. So to be in this position . . . is a bit of a landmark.”

We certainly can’t wait to see how Cho progresses. And with Elyes Gabel starring in CBS’s Scorpion and Steven Yeun keeping his spot as a fan favorite on The Walking Dead, we’re even more excited to see the slow, but sure progress of Asian American actors in Hollywood.

But before we look at the up-and-coming Asian artists taking over, we have to remember that before John Cho, there was James Shigeta.

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James Shigeta, a third-generation American with Japanese ancestry, is renowned for his main role in Flower Drum Song, a 1961 movie musical. At that time, Shigeta was Hollywood’s first Asian American male to played a romantic leading role.

The Hawaii-born actor later moved to New York where he attended New York University for creative writing. Later, he joined the U.S. Marine Corps to fight during the Korean War.

In 1960, Shigeta received the Golden Globe Award for Most Promising Male Newcomer and in 2005, he received the Visionary Award from East West Players.

Just a few months ago, on July 28, Shigeta passed away in his sleep at the age of 85. Though he has passed, James Shigeta will forever be remembered as a role model and superstar of Asian American history.

 

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–STORY BY MICHELLE KIM

 

Jen Lee’s “Dear Korea” Shows What It’s Like To Live In Korea As A Korean American

 

Residing in a little villa in Gwangju, South Korea, Texan Jen Lee is living the dream of being a comic artist. In 2010, Lee packed her bags in Houston and followed her boyfriend, an English teacher, to the Land of the Morning Calm. It was a unique and exciting opportunity for Lee to move to Gwangju, located some 180 miles south of Seoul. The city is best known for being the birthplace of the modern Korean democratic movement, as well as for its parks, museums and hip urban art scene. “I haven’t moved once since I got here,” says the 27-year-old. “I’ve grown fairly attached to this lovely city.”

As an adolescent, Lee often felt isolated from the Korean community in Texas. Her parents immigrated to the United States a few years before Lee was born. “I never really identified with the Korean side of myself,” she recalls. “That being said, growing up where my cultural background was mostly unknown to everyone around me came with its awkward moments.” So Lee turned to art. “According to my mother, I was drawing before I could form proper sentences,” she says. But it wasn’t until elementary school that she began drawing comics.

The idea for her popular comic strip, “Dear Korea,” stemmed from conversations with fellow expats about the funny and odd moments they’d experienced living in Korea. “I thought it would be interesting to create a comic that highlighted what it was like to live in Korea as a Korean American,” explains Lee. “While people like me are technically expats, I think our perspectives may be a little different from those who grew up with little or no Korean influences in their lives.”

Anyone who has lived on her own or has an interest in Korean culture can relate to Lee’s comics. Indeed, though “Dear Korea” started out as a Web comic, it has since branched out and the strip is now published in various magazines and publications around the country. “From what I can tell, my comics are read by expats from all over the world,” says Lee.

In addition to the opportunities — Lee supports herself with freelance art gigs, radio work and tutoring — living in Korea has given Lee a new perspective on her ancestral homeland. She says she loves the food and the affordable health care. But perhaps the best part of living in Gwangju is finally feeling connected to a community, one filled with a good number of expats: “I honestly don’t know how long I would have lasted here without them.”

For more “Dear Korea,” go to dearkoreacomic.com.

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–STORY BY JULIE CARLSON
This story was originally published in our Fall 2013 issue. Get your copy here

 

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Good News Cat Lovers! Pop-Up Cat Café in Chinatown This Weekend

 

By now, you’ve probably heard of all those pop-up, themed cafés in Japan which (as the name suggests) are temporary and offer special, limited-time-only menu options. If not, then trust me when I say they can get awfully creative. We’ve seen everything from Hello Kitty cafés to Owl cafés, but most popular of all has got to be cat themed cafés. Now if you’re a cat-lover in Los Angeles, you may have been envious of Japan’s cat-friendly cafés. Well, we have good news for you.

Take your keys and drive yourself over to Chinatown for (you guessed it) a pop-up cat café. Yes, this is actually happening, but for a limited time.

31-year-old Carlos Wong was inspired to create his own cat café after living in Tokyo last year, where cat-culture and cat cafés have been gaining wide popularity for several years. In fact, Tokyo is said to have at least 39 cat cafés. So Wong decided that it was about time we have one of these for ourselves and cleverly named it Catfe.

So what exactly is this cat café? It’s a place where visitors can enjoy a nice brewed coffee and all sorts of desserts with the company of cats! And yes, you can pet them as much as you want.

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Though this pop-up cat café is only available until Sunday, October 5, from 4 to 9 p.m., Wong is planning on opening a permanent location in Little Tokyo once it raises $250,000 in funds. For now, the Catfe is free for all visitors, unless you want to make a reservation for $30 that allows you to have priority access to Catfe on the day of your reservation. For those who want more intimate alone time with cats can pay $125.

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Check out Catfe’s website for more information. Catfe is located at Far East Plaza, 727 N. Broadway, Chinatown.

 

–STORY BY MICHELLE KIM

 


2NE1’s Sandara Park Shocked by Her Passport Photo

 

Sandara Park has been a favorite of ours for years. The South Korean idol singer, actress, dancer and model began her career in the Philippines as an actress and is most known as a member of popular K-Pop group 2NE1. While it’s not unusual to see this idol make headlines, like when she met Steven Yeun and when she got a kiss on the cheek from Justin Beiber, Park is currently attracting attention for something we didn’t expect: her passport photo.

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On October 1, Park posted the picture on her Instagram with a caption that translates to “Can’t Nobody Can’t Nobody ~ suddenly got photographed while on stage … the feeling when I later found this photo on my passport … jjangmae [referring to her manager].” Not one to let the shock get to her, she adds that the photo still looks cute.

We definitely agree! The photo brings smiles because it is unusual for someone to have such an abnormal hairstyle in a passport photo, especially since that photo is typically expected to be taken seriously. However, we’re allowing Park to be an exception since she has always been recognized for her bold and extraordinary hairstyles, which she proudly displays in her concerts and daily life.

Let’s take a look at some of Park’s other crazy hairstyles that only she can pull off. Tell us which is your favorite!

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Photo courtesy of http://kpopselca.com

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Photo courtesy of http://k-trendz.tumblr.com


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Photo courtesy of http://k-trendz.tumblr.com

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Photo courtesy of http://www.ttwigo.com

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Photo courtesy of http://blog.ningin.com

 

–STORY BY MICHELLE KIM

 

 

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