Monique Lhuillier has been a household name in bridal gowns since she first launched her company in 1996. With the opening of her New York flagship store in November, the Filipina-French designer has firmly established herself as the leading lady of eveningwear. Lhuillier’s gowns regularly grace the red carpet and, based on the look of her Fall 2013 ready-to-wear line that she debuted last Saturday at New York Fashion Week, this year should be no different.
For Lhuillier, Fall 2013 was all about the contrast from day to night. White, black, green, and gold dominated the designer’s color palate, making for a dramatic appearance. However, this boldness of color was balanced by delicate art deco details. Must-have items from daywear included the feather printed crepe seamed pants with contrast waistband, the black web lace blouse, and the brocade printed crepe cap sleeve gown.
The second half of the show took a page straight out of The Great Gatsby. Embroidery, lace, and fringe strutted down the runway. Lhuillier hit the mark with her black and emerald embroidered tulle long-sleeve illusion gown which perfectly blended sensuality with sophistication. The gold feather lace draped strapless high-low gown with exposed tulle and the black and nude deco embroidered tulle long-sleeve gown were also highlights. However, the outfit that stole the night was Lhuillier’s cigarette lace pants with tulle overlay. With the Oscars just a week away, I hope to see some celebrities donning these on the red carpet.
On September 13, Amsterdam hosted its first ever Vogue Fashion’s Night Out. Fashionistas from across the Netherlands and beyond gathered at De Bijenkorf and P.C. Hooftstraat for cocktails, goodie bags, and of course, shameless shopping.
Amsterdam is known for a number of things, mainly marijuana and prostitution. Little do people know that the city has a bustling design and fashion industry as well. Vogue Nederland launched earlier this year, becoming the nineteenth and newest addition to the brand’s global empire. Editor-in-Chief Karin Swerink inaugurated FNO Amsterdam at De Bijenkorf, the premiere department store of the Netherlands, with Dutch supermodels Ymre Stiekema and Dewi Driegen at her side. The evening kicked off with a fashion show curated by stylist and fashion editor Saskia van Langevelde. Celebrity Dutch designers Bibi van der Velden, JANTAMINIAU, Iris van Herpen, Erik Frenken and Marga Weimans all made guest appearances at De Bijenkorf as well.
The party continued at P.C. Hooftstraat, the “Fifth Avenue” of Amsterdam. Located outside of the city center, shoppers were transported by the latest models of Mercedes Benz and replicas of the iconic yellow New York City taxi. The highlight of the night was a meet and greet with Amsterdam-based designers Viktor & Rolf who posed for photos in a larger-than-life Vogue Magazine backdrop.
And what would FNO be without some freebies? I couldn’t resist getting my make up done at the Dior counter in De Bijenkorf. With a 40 euro purchase, I received free rhinestone false lashes which I received compliments on all night long. I also snagged free Dior eye cream, Boss by Hugo Boss perfume, and a Jimmy Choo compact mirror, not to mention lots of tasty cocktails and hors d’oeuvres. Amsterdam’s debut Fashion’s Night Out closed on a sweet note with a performance by Belgian singing sensation Selah Sue.
As summer winds down, it’s time to update your wardrobe with the newest trends for fall. As strange as it may seem, your shoes are one of the first things others notice about you. Make an impression with these must-have shoes.
Loafers are officially the new flats. However, this doesn’t mean you need to rock Sperry Top-siders to your next dinner party. The new loafer is sleek, elegant, and versatile. Loafers are appropriate for the office and the bar, making them the perfect shoes for a day-to-night outfit. Go for a classic look with this loafer from Christian Louboutin or try a more adventurous variation, like these ones by Elizabeth and James and Alexander Wang.
Erica Kim, a graduate from Parsons, founded the popular clothing brand Lush in 2003. Since then, Lush has provided chic and stylish clothing for young women everywhere. With an average price point of $50, Lush offers high quality garments at an affordable price. Coming off of a stellar Spring/Summer collection, which featured Asian American bloggers Rachel from That’s Chic and Julie from Sincerely Jules, Erica is looking ahead to next season and gives us an exclusive preview of fall fashion.
Leadership Education for Asian Pacifics, Inc. (LEAP) celebrated its 30th anniversary at the Westin Bonaventure Hotel & Suites in Los Angeles on Thursday. Founded in 1982, LEAP is a national, nonprofit organization that aims to advance Asians and Pacific Islanders in all areas of society. Every year, LEAP recognizes select individuals and organizations that have demonstrated leadership in the Asian and Pacific Islander community. This year, JD Hokoyama, Dr. Nguyen Dinh Thang, Maggie Mui, and Hui O Hana Pono were honored.
The evening started off with a VIP reception, hosted by Toyota Financial Services, followed by a silent auction and hors d’oeuvres. In attendance were LEAP’s Board of Directors as well as guests from LEAP’s extensive client list, which includes many leading corporations. After mingling, it was time for dinner and the presentation of awards.
The two individual honorees for the evening were JD Hokoyama and Dr. Nguyen Dinh Thang. Hokoyama is the former president and CEO of LEAP. He recently retired last October after leading LEAP for 30 years. Hokoyama still acts as a leadership consultant in the Asian and Pacific Islander community. Dr. Thang is the Executive Director of Boat People SOS, a Vietnamese American nonprofit organization that focuses on disaster relief in the U.S. and several Asian countries. Dr. Thang has won several other awards, including the Outstanding Citizen Achievement Award from OCA in 2010.
The David R. Barclay Alumni Leadership Award is given to a LEAP alumnae who exemplifies the values of equal opportunity, social justice, diversity and inclusion, integrity and servant leadership. This year’s recipient was Maggie Miu, the Senior Vice President and Regional Director of Diverse Segments at Wells Fargo, who has been with the company for 22 years.
Last but not least, the Community Award was given to Hui o Hana Pono, a nonprofit corporation that aims to improve the lives of Native Hawaiians. Founded by David EK Cooper in 2003, Hui o Hana Pono now consists of five companies – The Hana Group, Hana Industries, HBC Management Services, Haka Incorporated, and Hana Technologies and Systems.
Learn more about LEAP and how you can help here.
Here is jewelry that makes a statement without being gaudy. Designed by Nina Steenwyk, NinaCristinaJewelry offers trendy handmade bracelets. Earrings and necklaces will also be available soon.
While many countries have star athletes, few have star teams. China is a champion-making machine, turning young children into Olympic athletes through extreme training and discipline. Japan, a country still recovering from the earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear disasters that devastated the country a little over a year ago, has also turned out a couple of noteworthy teams as well.
China’s diving team
The Chinese diving team earned the title of “dream team” by winning five gold medals in Sydney and six gold medals in Athens. At Beijing, China hoped for a clean sweep in the diving events and the team almost succeeded. Australia’s Matthew Mitcham snatched the gold medal in the men’s 10 m platform though, and China had to settle for seven golds. While most nations would be ecstatic, “almost” is not good enough for the Chinese. This time around, the Chinese “dream team” is determined to accomplish their goal. At this year’s world championships, they successfully won all eight events. Qiu Bo, currently ranked No. 1 in the world, will be competing in the elusive men’s 10 m platform along with teammate Lin Yue. Currently, all the world No. 1 divers are Chinese. China has won 33 out of the 48 Olympic diving titles offered in the past 28 years. This may just be the year that China will add eight more to that medal count.
China’s men’s gymnastics team
While China’s women’s gymnastics team has a chance for Team gold, they are not the overwhelming favorites. In contrast, the men’s team won Team gold in Beijing by a large margin, scoring the highest on all events except floor. They also won Team gold at the last world championships. China’s gymnastics team is extremely deep and all of the men competing were part of the winning world championship team. However, China does not have room to falter because another team from Asia is right on their heels…
Japan’s men’s gymnastics team
Japan’s men’s gymnastics team settled for the silver medal in Beijing, after winning Team gold in Athens. Japan is back with vengeance and their team may be able to oust China from the top of the podium. The team is lead by Kohei Uchimura, the three-time all-around world champion who will compete on all the apparatuses for the team. Gymnastic siblings Kazuhito and Yusuke Tanaka (sister Rie Tanaka competes on the women’s team) are also part of the men’s team.
Japan’s women’s soccer team
Controversy broke out last week when the women’s soccer team was seated in coach class while the men’s soccer team flew in business class. If seating had been decided by skill rather than sex, the women should have flown in first class. The winners of last year’s World Cup and ranked No. 3 in the world, Japan’s women’s soccer team may be able to upset the United States’ team again. Their star player is Homare Sawa who was voted world player of the year. However, Sawa is not a one-woman show. She has a disciplined team to back her up that includes Aya Miyama, Ayumi Kaihori, and Nahomi Kawasumi.
And more Chinese teams…
Alas, the Chinese method of training, while rigorous and demanding, has been proven to produce champions. In China, athletics is a profession and not a recreation. Children are recruited at the age of ten to begin training for a sport. For many people, especially those from rural areas, becoming an athlete is their best hope for leading a quality life. In addition to diving and gymnastics, expect China to dominate in table tennis, badminton, weightlifting, and shooting. These six sports alone garnered China 38 gold medals in Beijing during the last Olympics.
The GRAMMY Cultural Exchange Program concluded on Friday with an exclusive musical performance by ‘The C.S.C.L.F. – Gucci Timepieces & Jewelry Music Fund Quintet’ along with alumni from the GRAMMY Camp – Jazz Sessions program at the GRAMMY Museum in Los Angeles. The quintet is composed of musicians from the most prestigious music establishments in China. These talented young men and women were sponsored to come to Los Angeles and perform at various venues while taking in the city’s sights.
The ‘Gucci Timepieces & Jewelry Music Fund’ is the result of the philanthropic efforts of Gucci Timepieces & Jewelry in partnership with the China Soong Ching Ling Foundation (C.S.C.L.F.), one of China’s largest charitable organizations. Launched in January 2012, the Fund provides scholarships to students studying at China’s premiere music academies. The best of the best were selected to be part of ‘The C.S.C.L.F. – Gucci Timepieces & Jewelry Music Fund Quintet.’ Participants enjoyed a number of activities in Los Angeles, including Q&A workshops with industry insiders. The select five students concluded their week with a performance at the GRAMMY Museum sponsored by Chong Hing Jewelers. Michael Benavente, managing director of Gucci Timepieces & Jewelry, served as host for the evening. Also in attendance were Neil Portnow, CEO of The Recording Academy and The GRAMMY Foundation, David Sears, the senior director of The GRAMMY Foundation, and Xikui Li, the secretary general of the C.S.C.L.F.
The GRAMMY Band kicked off the evening with a series of funky jazz tunes. Made up of Luke Celenza (piano/keyboard), Gabe Schneider (guitar), Evan Sherman (drums), Dominic Sbrega (acoustic and electric bass) and Patrick Bartley (alto saxophone and flute), these current college students all attended the GRAMMY Camp – Jazz Sessions program when they were in high school. The band members arranged the music themselves and took turns performing stellar solos. After a number of jazz pieces, the group finished off with an interpretation of Maroon 5’s “Moves Like Jagger” that got the whole audience clapping to the beat.
Next up was sixteen-year-old Yi Lie Hao on the piano. Although the switch from jazz to classical music was abrupt, Hao kept the energy up with Ravel’s “Alborada del gracioso.” His hands moved so quickly across the keys that they looked like a blur. The rest of the quintet, consisting of Angi Lv (viola), Fang Liang Ning (violin), Yajing Su (violin), and Yi Chen Yang (violin/cello), joined Hao in performing a couple of songs, including music from the award-winning film La Vie en Rose. The GRAMMY Band took the stage with ‘The C.S.C.L.F. – Gucci Timpeieces & Jewelry Music Fund Quintet’ for a final piece – the overture from Candide, conducted by David Sears.
Afterwards, guests mingled on the beautiful rooftop terrace of the GRAMMY Museum, the sweet sound of the musicians’ songs reverberating long into the night. The evening successfully showcased the talents of China and America’s best musicians. This program is just the beginning of The Recording Academy and The GRAMMY Foundation’s efforts in China. They hope to launch a number of other initiatives in the near future, including a program that will send American musicians to China. Learn more about the ‘Gucci Timepieces & Jewelry Music Fund’ here.
India’s Olympic hopes largely rest on the shoulders of several extremely talented women. These women are not only experts in their field, but they are also trailblazers for women’s athletics in India.
At 30 years old, Krishna Poonia is looking to capture an Olympic gold medal in the discus throw. She broke out onto the international seen in 2006 and entered the Beijing Olympics as a medal contender but failed to make the finals. The mother of a ten-year-old son, Poonia is looking forward to settling down and spending time with her son after these Olympics. However, Poonia admits that her son is one of her most avid fans. Poonia made history by becoming India’s first female athlete to win the discus throw at a major international tournament history when she won gold at the 2010 Commonwealth Games in New Delhi.
With the London Olympics a little over a week away, athletes and fans are gearing up for the most prestigious sporting event in the world. This time around, a number of Asian Americans will be representing the United States in various events.
This Olympics, the U.S. has two Asian American swimmers hitting the pool. Natalie Coughlin (she’s a quarter Filipina) and Nathan Adrian (he’s half Chinese) will be competing in London.