Get That Look: Cold Weather Looks à la Our Favorite Style Muses

With temperatures slowly dipping and chill factor slowly increasing, this means we’re busting out our favorite cold weather gear!.  But take note, warm holiday sweater ≠ Cosby sweater (unless you want it to, of course).  In any case, take some cues from some of our favorite Asian and Asian American fashionistas and end the year in style.  Screen Shot 2013-12-02 at 4.20.44 PM1 – Madewell Shirttail Skirt; 2 – Milly Jacquard Plaid Skirt; 3 – Rebecca Taylor Dolman Sleeve Cropped Knit; 4 – Topshop ALPY Velvet Lace Up Boots; 5 – SoleSociety Delancey; 6 – T by Alexander Wang Stretch-Cotton Top; 7 – H&M Long Shirt; 8 – LNA Cotton Flannel

In the past few years, plaid has made its resurgence as a go-to pattern, no longer being reserved for lumberjack and woodsmen. But rather than just wearing the print as a button-up, pull inspiration from the ’90s like style bloggers Jenny Ong, who’s channeling Cher Horowitz with her plaid skirt and sweater combo (avoid looking like a schoolgirl by picking a non-pleated skirt), and Tricia Gosingtian, who adds a bit of punk flair to her feminine outfit with clashing patterns and a plaid wrap-around.

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1 – Topshop Hooded Bomber; 2 – Modekungen Bomber; 3 – Rag & Bone Lily Pullover; 4 – Nasty Gal Back in Action Boyfriend Jeans; 5 – Superga 2750; 6 – MSGM Wool Cape; 7 – Kohl’s Honee Mixed-Media Trench; 8 – Rag & Bone Moto Leggings; 9 – Topshop Milla Lace Up Shoes

Like models Sui He and Shu Pei, play with the idea of volume with your outerwear, especially if it’s in military green (a virtual neutral, if we do say so).  Take a more relaxed look like Sui He and couple a bomber jacket with a boyfriend jean, but keep the look clean and downtown-ready with a knit sweater, sneakers and perfectly coiffed hair.  For a more streamlined look like Shu Pei’s, couple a more fitted jean or legging with a bulky wool coat for balance.

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1 – Topshop Hooded Bomber; 2 – Modekungen Bomber; 3 – Rag & Bone Lily Pullover; 4 – Nasty Gal Back in Action Boyfriend Jeans; 5 – Superga 2750; 6 – MSGM Wool Cape; 7 – Kohl’s Honee Mixed-Media Trench; 8 – Rag & Bone Moto Leggings; 9 – Topshop Milla Lace Up Shoes

As the most practical (and logical) winter wear trend, layering has become standard in chilly temperatures.  Avoid looking and feeling frumpy by picking pieces in different textures, weights, patterns and lengths; for instance, make like model Fei Fei Sun and K-Pop star Nana and couple a light collard shirt with a sweater (the perfect way to keep using that chambray!).  Pair a light, slightly oversized knit (like cashmere — Uniqlo’s is only $20-$30!) with a long cardigan like Fei Fei or if wearing a heavier coat like Nana, a thicker knit.

What will you be wearing this December?

Lorde’s Unexpected Dream Partner For a Music Collab = YG Entertainment’s Lee Hi

After expressing her interest in writing lyrics for a K-Pop song in an interview earlier this year, teenage singer-songwriter Lorde, whose debut album was just named to Rolling Stone’s 50 Best Albums of 2013, has continued to show her love for and rather impressive knowledge of hallyu.  In an interview with Universal Music, Lorde notes that a collaboration between her and YG Entertainment’s Lee Hi is something on her wish list, as she’s a fan of the K-Pop Star-bred songstress.  “I particularly like her,” she notes.

Lorde praised the K-Pop industry for its fresh take on pop music, something she says that she doesn’t see in the West:

“The melodies and songs [in K-Pop] are very interesting. Their melodies are a lot more charming than the Western pop which I grew up listening to. If it is pop music, it should be to that extent.”

She later goes on to demonstrate her (somewhat surprising) K-Pop knowledge, as she mentions being a fan of 2NE1 and wanting dance lessons from Girls’ Generation.

But the prospect of a Lee Hi x Lorde collaboration is definitely something we’re interested in hearing.  With both being 17-year old’s with singing chops that go way beyond their years (it should be noted that both were named to Billboard’s 21 Under 21), we’d love to hear what a duet could sound like.

So if you’re reading, YG and Universal Music — make it happen.  Please.

 

Source: 1, 2 & 3 (For Translation)

Hot Beverage: World’s First Sriracha-Flavored Vodka Launches (Yes, Really)

While an LA judge may have just ordered a Southern California sriracha hot sauce factory to partially halt its operations after complaints from neighbors, it seems like there is a new, and definitely interesting, way for us to get our spice-fix.

In what may be the most genius (or horrifying, however you look at it) alcoholic concoction, Phillips Distilling — the same company that has debuted other flavored vodkas like UV Cake and UV Espresso — has just released UV Sriracha Vodka.  As stated by the company’s press release, the vodka has a blend of “chilis, garlic and vegetables” that “honor(s) the traditional sriracha hot sauce.”

UV recommends putting it in a Bloody Mary or a strawberry margarita and offer recipes on their website.  Of course, you could also take a shot of it straight on like other vodkas or put it on your food like regular sriracha, but we don’t necessarily suggest that.

As unique of a concept as it is, we have to ask, would you take a sip?

Heartwarming Story of the Day: Six-Year Old Donates Piggybank Savings for Haiyan Relief

With his mother in tow, six-year old Shoichi Kondoh headed over to the Philippine Embassy in Tokyo with a determined mind and an open heart.  In an act of great generosity, he was there to personally donate his savings to response efforts in the Philippines in the wake of Typhoon Haiyan.

As stated by the Philippine Embassy, after seeing the extent of the damage on television, the Japanese pre-schooler “did not think twice about giving away his childhood savings (of JPY 5,000 or ~$50).”  With his donation, Soichi became the youngest cash donor at the embassy.  Consul Bryan Dexter Lao was there to receive the enveloped-donation.

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Soichi signs the condolence book at the Philippine Embassy in Tokyo and poses with Consul Bryan Dexter Lao. (Photos courtesy of the Philippine Embassy in Japan)

With damages costing an estimated $15 billion, a rising death toll and hundreds of thousands of people displaced, it is no question that relief and aid are needed.  Soichi’s act of “sincere generosity” is a reminder that every little bit counts.

If you are interested in donating to the continuing relief and rehabilitation efforts in the Philippines, be sure to check out these Ruby Veridiano and Audrey-approved picks.

(Sources: 1, 2)

Most Awesome Birthday Present Ever: Dad Gifts Daughter with Ghibli/Disney/Pixar-inspired Mural

For most parents, figuring out what to give their child as a birthday gift is always a tough call.  Toys are a usual go-to, but what if you want to be a little bit more creative?  One dad has seemed to have found the answer by managing to deliver what could possibly be the most impressive, if not the most incredible, birthday present for his young daughter.

A Reddit user, who goes by the name kordath, recently posted photos of a mural he painted for his 2-year old’s playroom, a surprise gift that was completed while his wife and daughter were away for a few weeks.

Done entirely in basic acrylic paints, the original piece depicts beloved characters from Disney’s The Little Mermaid, Pixar’s Finding Nemo and Studio Ghibli’s Ponyo all happily swimming together underwater over a bed of coral, with the sun’s rays breaking through the water’s surface (challenge: see how many characters you can name!).  The precision and detail that can be seen in the final product is astounding and would amaze anyone, child and adult.

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(Source: 1, 2)

Indian American Waris Ahluwalia Stars in Gap’s Latest Holiday Campaign

San Francisco-based retailer, Gap, has quickly created a positive buzz with its latest campaign. Designer/actor Waris Ahluwalia, arguably one of the most prominent Indian American and Sikh figures in the fashion world (just check his Style.com pages), is one of the campaign’s featured faces.

Just released at the start of the month, the campaign stars a slew of personalities including Ahluwalia (as well as this year’s Unforgettable host, Lisa Ling) and has drawn a number of positive comments for the diversity in its casting.

Seen alongside artist and filmmaker Quentin Jones, Ahluwalia is seen modelling the mega-retailer’s latest holiday fashions — a puffer vest and a button down shirt.  But it’s not just the clothes that have created a buzz.  In an industry that often draws flak and criticism for its lack of diversity, the conscious decision to cast and feature Ahluwalia as one of the faces of a globally-recognized brand is undoubtedly a needed change, a powerful statement on representation and tolerance and a much-needed step forward.

Many fans have been quick to show their support.  On Gap’s Facebook page, the photo featuring Ahluwalia has already garnered over 700+ likes and quite a few positive comments.  A sampling of which is below:

Keenu Hundal Saw this ad in teh (sic) downtown San Francisco store and literally stopped in my tracks. I was so happy to see you all select a Sikh male in your new ad campaign. We need to make the Sikh male image more mainstream in order to educate the general public on who we are, so that ignorace does not breed hate any longer. Thank you, Gap!

Charu Kapoor Deshpande You guys have truly raised the advertising/marketing bar … Bravo for making a statement by setting yourselves apart and recognizing how the world had changed and is changing! Best campaign I have ever seen because you stepped outside the box!! Bravo

 

Suvraj Mandeep Thank you Gap. It’s such a proudest moment to finally see that major designer store has choose Sikh as there Frontwall model who is actually a pure Sikh (the one who wears Turban and has full beard). Truly, a vary proud moment for all the Sikhs. Finally, putting Gap to my top list for shopping this holiday!

 

With such a positive response, we can only hope that this helps mark a new, more diverse, more representative era in the often-exclusionary world of fashion.

 

Wakeskating Stunt on “Eighth Wonder of the World” Sparks Debate

Popular energy-drink brand Red Bull sparked a recent controversy with a video, which features professional wakeskaters Brian Grubb and Dominik Preisner having a riding session on the Philippines’ famed Banaue Rice Terraces.

The video, which already has amassed over 910,000+ views since being published in late October, has been at a center of a heated debate.  The question at hand?  Whether or not the actions of the wakeskaters was a sign of major disrespect.

The 2000-year-old terraces were built and carved into the Cordillera mountain range by the native Ifugao tribes.  Their historical significance to the region and beauty has earned the area the title of “Eighth Wonder of the World” as well as being deemed a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

For many opposed to the stunt, the wakeskaters were treating the site as a personal play area, disregarding its rich history.  Some comments on the video include:

“The simple fact that they needed permission says a lot about how important the place is. Going through all of that simply to ride for 10, 15 meters. Awesome.”

 

“Dislike. This is sad. I hate how they treated and promoted our Rice Terraces. There other good means of promoting this wonder but not like this. Our ancestors build this with such hardwork and for the main purpose of planting rice. NOT for wakeskating! Even though they got their permission and respected the environment. This is not just right.”

 

Supporters, who seem to outnumber the nay-sayers (at least online), are quick to point out that the stunt was performed after permission was granted by not only the Philippine government, but by those still living in the area, a scene which is explicitly shown and stated during the video.  Others note that the video highlights the beauty of the islands, helping to promote tourism.

“It’s okay. They did this activity during off-agricultural season and they asked our elders’ permission and the LGU’s approval. They even performed a ‘baki’, which is a traditional practice for seeking blessings and permission from our dead ancestors when carrying out an event. Also, rest assured that no plants or animals were harmed while the activity was ongoing.”

“Thank you, Redbull for featuring and promoting our country! what an awesome film!”

“sobra lang maka-react ang iba..okey naman ang pagkakagawa..hindi naman disrespecful sa mga katutubo at sa kalikasan..tumutulong pa nga sa pagpromote ng tourism sa bansa natin.. [The others are just over-reacting.  What they're doing/what they did (to make the film) is okay...it's not disrespectul to the native peoples and nature.  They're even helping to promote tourism to our country.]

What are your thoughts?  Let us know in the comments!

Jon M. Chu Directs The World’s Coolest Airline Safety Video EVER

If you’ve ever been on an airplane, you’re probably more than familiar with the standard, federally regulated safety procedures that the stewards and stewardesses explain at the start of every flight (cue hand motions to indicate where the emergency exits are).  It’s customary and expected, but, let’s be honest, it can be a little dry.  Though we fully appreciate and are very grateful for the explanations, sometimes we can zone out.

But Virgin America has changed all of that with this 5-minute clip that is slowly becoming a viral hit.  It’s being promoted as the first domestic pre-flight safety video set to song, and to be completely honest, IT’S AMAZING.

Under the eye of Asian American director Jon M. Chu (Step Up franchise, GI Joe: Retaliation), the video is set in a airplane hanger, with bright lights, a fancy dance routine and the catchiest Motown-esque track — complete with a rap break.  The video will play on Virgin America flights, according to Variety.

Though the video was just released on the 29th, it’s already racked up over 140,000+ hits.  With viewers already loving it, combining entertainment with safety has already “taken off” without a glitch.  Wanna take a peek, just take a look below!  And in their words (and we quote), get ready to “buckle up to get down.”

See It Here: New Image, Film Teaser for Live-Action Version of “Kiki’s Delivery Service”

Though Hayao Miyazaki may be heading into retirement, the Japanese animator’s films, which include much-beloved titles such as Spirited Away and My Neighbor Totoro, have clearly made their way into the hearts of millions (including our own!).

To the delight of many, a still coming from the set of the live-action version (see below) of Kiki’s Delivery Service was released earlier this year, and since then, fans have been waiting anxiously for more information about this new take of the Studio Ghibli favorite.

Kikis Delivery Service live-action first look

Much to our delight, a new image as well as a teaser has been released for the Takashi Shimizu-directed flick.

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The just-released film poster shows Kiki, played by actress (and former figure skater) Fūka Koshiba, smiling widely as  her black cat and best friend, Jiji, is in tow.  With smudges of dirt on her face, Koshiba already seems to embody the character’s precocious, yet lovable personality.  (We just have one qualm with the look though: while we think Koshiba looks absolutely adorable, we have to ask — where’s Kiki’s big red bow?!)

In this quick teaser, we’re placed in the shoes of the young witch-turned-mail courier as she zips through the skies.

One commenter on The Mary Sue translates the teaser:

Leaving on a journey from one’s [her?] hometown
Living in a strange town
Meeting people for the first time
New experiences
“Hope” and “Uncertainty” leaping/rising in one’s heart
A girl’s [or "girls' "] story

 

That famous work is finally made into a live-action movie

 

Witch Delivery Service [majo no takkyûbin]

 

Hi, [nice to meet you], I’m Kiki!

 

You/we can meet her!

 

Cute, no?  But unfortunately, American audiences may have to wait to see the movie.  Because while the film is slated for release in Japan next March, no US release dates have been announced.

Source

The Daily SHAG: Sam Milby

Though he may have gotten his showbiz start on reality TV, Filipino actor-singer Sam Milby has proven that he’s much more than just a pretty face.  The 29-year old, Ohio-raised Milby first caught eyes on the first season the Philippine’s edition of Big Brother back in 2005.  Though he didn’t win the competition, he certainly grabbed the nation’s attention with his charming looks and personality and has kept it ever since.

After signing with ABS-CBN’s Star Magic talent agency, he’s since released a string of hit records (with his stripped-down, guitar-laden sound earning him the nickname “Prince of Romance” and “Rockoustic Heartthrob”) and starred in numerous Philippine blockbuster films and hit dramas, including the recently ended Huwag Ka Lang Mawawala.  His next project is another film entitled The Gifted, where he’ll be reunited with former girlfriend (and Philippine superstar) Anne Curtis — a definite must-see for fans of the Sam-Anne tandem.

While he may be in a real-life love battle to win the heart of it-girl Jessy Mendiola, he certainly has earned his place in our eyes as one of the hottest guys in the industry today and the title of today’s SHAG.  Find out why below!

Check out any of his editorials — he’s mastered the brooding model pose and looks amazing while doing so.

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He knows how to rock a suit…

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…and glasses…

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…and suits while wearing glasses.

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He’s business-savvy, having invested in music an concert ventures and most recently becoming a co-owner of a German restaurant and pub called Prost, located at the Fort Strip in Bonifacio Global City.

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He’s a proud pinoy, doing his part to promote tourism outside of his acting and singing gigs (see left).  But humor aside, he even walked the red carpet at the Cannes Film Festival in a barong, a traditional, embroidered shirt from the Philippines (see right).

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Need we say more?  If so, just take a peek at the pictures below.  Like they say, a picture is worth a thousand words — so we’ll give you two thousand, just because we can.

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(Photo Sources: 1, 2)