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Hello Audrey readers – meet our latest Audrey Style Gal (and the first from California!) – Chesley Tolentino!
Our latest Audrey Style Gal comes all the way from Toronto – Jessy of The Little Dust Princess!
Meet our first Audrey Style Gal: Shai Chung of Drink on Shoes.
In previous years, Asian models and designers have been been taking large strides. For example, more than ever – we are beginning to see more Asian faces gracing the pages of the world’s top fashion magazines, walking the runways of renowned fashion designers (40% of the models walking were women of Asian descent during New York Fashion Week in February 2012), and featured in international ad campaigns for popular brands. Fashion designers of Asian descent have also been making a name for themselves, such as designer collaborations with national retail chains such as Target, H&M, and Macy’s. Follow our monthly series as we name the best of the best featuring Asians in Fashion.
Rise of South Asian Models: Vogue India‘s highlight on Alyssah Ali, Ashika Pratt, and Jessica Clarke
Photo credit: Asian Models Blog
When Karl Lagerfield made a stunning move to feature nine (yes, NINE) models of South Asian descent in Chanel’s Pre-Fall India-themed collection last year – it was nothing short of amazing. It’s well known that Lagerfield hasn’t featured a racially diverse group of models in his previous shows. Prior to the show, Lakshmi Menon was arguably the most popular model of South Asian descent (from India). But with this move, more South Asian models are fast becoming more popular in the fashion industry. Vogue India takes a strong note of this of course, featuring three fresh faces: Alyssa Ali (Indian-Trinidian-Candian, IMG), Ashika Pratt (Indian descent from New Zealand, Anima Creatives), and Jessica Clarke (Indian-Nigerian, Marilyn) – in this lovely spread (click on the image to see more pictures from the editorial!).
Want to be featured on the audreymagazine.com? Send us your applications to be an Audrey Style Gal! We’ll be featuring a fashionista every week – so here’s your chance to share your style with us (and the world!)!
Send us at least two photos of your best outfits (day, night, no matter!), with descriptions of your outfit. In your email, please also answer these questions:
3. Describe your style – who/what influences your style?
4. What is the most prized possession in your wardrobe?
5. Favorite hotspot/Place You’re Most Likely to Be Seen (and why you like it)?
6. Style tip for Audrey Readers?
7. Optional: Twitter/Blog/Website?
Send your submissions to firstname.lastname@example.org. We’re looking forward to seeing them!
It’s almost the end of March, and as the Cherry Blossoms start blooming, we can start whipping out our Spring/Summer ensembles. If our closets need a little help, this week’s Happenings can help us out in that area, from an Allison Izu release event to the launch of NAMI’s new online store. Additionally, if you are more the book-worm type, feel free to peruse the collections for something to wear on your way to DC’s SAALT leadership event.
Nordstrom Hawaii to host Allison Izu Release Event
When: Saturday, March 24, 2012
Where: Ala Moana Nordstrom 11am – 3pm
Calling all petites! Allison Izu will be holding a release event at the Ala Moana Nordstrom on March 24, Saturday from 11am – 3pm in Hawaii to help customers find the perfect pair of Allison Izu jeans.
Allison Izu is a unique clothing company which designs and creates clothing for petite women, so they can realize their true beauty comes in a “smaller package”!
During the event, customers who buy any pair of Allison Izu jeans will receive a FREE Allison Izu top (assorted styles and sizes, while supplies last). Also, come down to enter a giveaway for a pair of Allison Izu jeans and top (winner to be pulled at the end of the event).
NAMI to Launch New Online Store
What: Full collection for Spring/Summer 2012
At the SXSW Style X fashion portion of the Austin, TX festival, NAMI announced the launch of its new online store to offer the full collection from Spring|Summer wear for 2012.
NAMI is a brand based out of Los Angeles, started by the multi-talented Korean-American designer Sarah Nami Ahn.
Rise Up! SAALT Young Leaders Institute
When: May 6-8; applications due by March 23, 2012
Where: Washington, DC
If you a South Asian American college student who wants to change your campus and community, then considering applying to the Rise Up! SAALT Young Leaders Institute to be held in Washington DC the week of May 6-8.
Rise Up! is a four-day gathering of fellow students who are looking to build better skills and strategies, create change and be more effective leaders in their respective campuses and communities.
THE RAID: REDEMPTION
When: Opens March 23, 2012
Where: NY, LA, DC, SF, and Chicago
The Raid: Redemption is an Indonesian martial arts action film directed by Gareth Evans and starring Iko Uwais. After its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), critics and audience alike hailed the The Raid as one of the best action films in years.
Executive producer and star of the hit NBC series The Office, Mindy Kaling is taking over pop culture with a new blog, a new screenplay, a new TV deal, and her new book Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?.
ISSUE: Winter 2011-12
DEPT: Cover Feature
Photos Diana King
Hair Alex Polillo
Makeup Mylah Morales
Wardrobe stylist Karla Welch
Photo assistant Kevin Kozicki
Location WaterMarke Tower, Los Angeles Calif.
Editor Janice Jann
It’s hard not to be charmed by Mindy Kaling. For starters, the woman is hilarious. Ninety-nine percent of the things she writes, says, directs, and tweets makes you laugh. (Sample tweet: “I will never cheat on you but I may gain 100 pounds which is a different kind of betrayal. #unusual- weddingvows.”)
She’s also whip-smart. In her debut book, Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns), the Ivy League graduate, in her own words, “kind of killed it in college. You know that saying ‘big fish in a small pond?’ At Dartmouth College, I was freakin’ Jaws in a community swimming pool.” (Did we already mention she was hilarious?)
She’s thoughtful. She apologized profusely for constantly rescheduling our interview and called five minutes early so we would be able to chat longer. B.J. Novak, Mindy’s The Office co-exec producer, writer, star and friend, has said this about her: “Mindy has long been considered the best writer on The Office, and every actor on the show thinks she writes for them best. There is the extra little ‘smile’ that infuses her scripts, which is hard to quantify. As a person, she’s incredibly sentimental, more than anyone I’ve ever met, but she’s also incredibly sharp. She’s unabashedly both.”
These admirable traits have propelled Mindy into a force to be reckoned with in Hollywood. At only 32, Mindy has been nominated for an Emmy, published her first book, and sold a screenplay. She is developing a TV show, boasts more than 1.5 million Twitter followers, and relaunched her popular blog, TheConcernsofMindyKaling.com. About her packed schedule, Mindy simply says, “You make time for what you love.”
We chatted with the Indian American entertainer about everything from the audacity of having had a happy childhood to not getting stuck in a box.
Audrey Magazine: So Mindy, since I just finished your book last night and I pretty much know all about you, I guess we’re done with the interview.
Mindy Kaling: [Laughs] I’m glad you walked away feeling that way.
AM: Was it hard for you to crank this book out?
MK: At the beginning, it was very hard. I’m used to [writing scripts]. The book is very dialogue-heavy cause that’s my forte, but it was very daunting ‘cause I was thinking about all the great essayists. But no one has this expectation that I’m going to write this Joan Didion work of art — they want a book with fresh observations that’s funny and personal. That made it easier.
AM: Was it difficult for you to share so much about your personal life in the book?
MK: I’m a pretty open person in general, so I have the privilege of being open because my life isn’t full of tawdry details and wild stories. I can be very opinionated because I don’t have anything to hide. When I talk about my childhood, I had a very fun one. You get this weird problem where it’s like, nobody wants to read about someone with an idyllic childhood with great, responsible, fun parents. But that’s actually not true — people love to hear about that.
AM: That does seem to be going against the trend of what the current hot memoirs are about nowadays.
MK: There are a lot of female writers coming out [where] what’s intrinsic to them is a level of raunchy details, which I’m not all that interested in reading or writing. Hopefully, this book will appeal to people who don’t need that.
AM: You talked about a great childhood with your parents. What’s your relationship with them like now?
MK: When I first moved back to L.A., I was so homesick I would visit my parents once a month. Then I became not so homesick and I would still visit them once a month. My parents are all-stars. I get so much out of our relationship, I’m just taking it for granted.
AM: Would you say you had a fairly untraditional Indian upbringing?
MK: One of the things that made it an untraditional Indian upbringing was that my parents didn’t meet in India — they didn’t have an arranged marriage. Another thing is they don’t speak any common Indian language so the only language they speak with us is English.
What was so great was when my parents were both younger, they had parents who kind of already decided what they were going to be and steered them that way. With my brother and myself, there was none of that. They saw that, at a very young age, I loved acting and writing and they kind of let me do that — not only let me do that but encouraged it a lot. Especially my dad. He was very encouraging of me following that path.
AM: In your book, you talked about a period in your life where you pretty much lived like a starving artist in New York City. How did your parents feel about that?
MK: They were slightly anxious. But in college I had done so much theater that they had seen and loved, and I would show confidence. I don’t know where that came from. I was so confident and I expressed that to my parents. They were like, “Great, she’s so confident about it, why wouldn’t we be?”
AM: Did you always feel like you were destined to become a writer-performer?
MK: As confident as I feel, it takes an almost comically confident person to be able to say that they were destined to be in movies and television. I don’t think I was destined, but I think I am of the personality type where the rejection or odds of something doesn’t scare me. Maybe it was because my mom moved to Africa at 20 by herself, but there’s a certain fearlessness that runs in my family for things where there’s absolutely no reason to believe that it should work out. I get that from my parents.
AM: You got your big break when you wrote the critically acclaimed play, Matt & Ben, spoofing Matt Damon and Ben Affleck. Have you ever met either actor?
MK: I’ve never met Matt nor Ben. They seem like pretty smart, cool guys. We did no research on them when we wrote that play so I have no idea what their personalities are like at all. Our portrayals of them were not based on anything real. It was definitely an absurdist play.
I bet they don’t even really know or remembered that this play existed. They’re both movie directors and famous actors. [Laughs] They just seem like nice guys.
AM: From that play, you got a job at age 24 writing for The Office with creator Greg Daniels. In your book, you write about your quarrels with Greg. Does he know you wrote about that?
MK: I was really scared to show that part to him. I don’t think any grown man wants to be seen fighting with his younger female employee, but I think the fact of the matter is that he doesn’t have a fighting personality, so that he would fight with me is kind of my fault. But it’s fine; we’ve come to an understanding about our volatile relationship. I noticed the people that I fight with the most, I have the longest relationships with.
AM: You two obviously have a great working relationship as you’ve just been promoted to executive producer of The Of- fice this season. Congrats! Do you have more responsibilities now?
MK: Now that the cast has gotten so big, I do feel more responsibility. There’s a thing called “running a room” where you’re in charge of everyone in the writer’s room. I used to be one of those people checking my Blackberry and now I’m one of those people annoyed at the people checking their Blackberry. I became management, which was interesting ‘cause that’s not really my personality.
AM: Speaking of management, you’ve also directed a couple episodes of The Office.
MK: The first time I directed, I couldn’t sleep the night before because I was so terrified. When you’re directing, you’re making more decisions. I had to make more decisions in a day than I had in the previous two months. To the point where you’re like, “Stop asking me questions, people.” You have to be very patient as a director and I’m a very impatient person. But I love directing. You have the final say. No one else can get in the way of that. Especially on a show like The Office where the network largely lets us do what we want to do, directing is fantastic. Especially if I’ve written and directed an episode. I don’t even have to run an idea by the writer — I am the writer. That’s a fully realized medium.
I would love to keep directing. I think it’s really fun and I think I’m good. It’ll be great to do other projects. I’m really inspired by my friends who direct their own stuff, like Lena Dunham (Tiny Furniture). She’s so talented and inspirational. She was the one who encouraged me to direct my own movie.
AM: You’re outspoken about your love of romantic comedies. Are you OK with the fact that they’re not really reflective of real life?
MK: I’m pretty aware that like any movie, there are people who you see that you’re like, “That’s just like me!” I think Judd Apatow did that with his films. People actually said, “Oh, I’m seeing people like me and my life on film.” But I feel like people don’t care. Who would want to go to the movies to see a perfect reflection of themselves? There are parts of the romantic comedies you do want to see, like, what’s the fashion going to be like?
AM: So what would be the ideal role for you?
MK: That’s a good question. There’s an ideal role, and [there’s] the role I’ll most likely get cast as. Everyone’s dream role is to be a part of an ensemble in a movie by the Coen brothers. A small part in something like that. That would be ideal.
AM: In a drama or a comedy?
MK: Right now, I want to continue in comedy ‘cause that’s in my comfort zone.
AM: There’s a lot of flack women in comedy have to take. If they’re funny, they can’t be too girly. If they’re too girly, they’re not funny. Or if they’re too into pop culture, they’re not smart, and vice versa. You’ve managed to get away with professing your love for Beyoncé and shopping, and still come across as smart, funny and someone people can take seriously. What’s your secret?
MK: I think we’re only putting ourselves in boxes if we think we can only be a certain way. I play a character that’s kind of silly and I’m Mindy Kaling who likes to go shopping, and I resent anyone who makes me feel like I can’t do that. We don’t all have to be Supreme Court justices. We don’t have to all play someone that has their sh—t together ‘cause that somehow makes women look better. I’d rather play someone that looks very real to me and have my fans think for themselves. I do get criticized by women who think that because of who I am, I shouldn’t talk about shopping or be an emotional person, and I think, “Why?” Now you’re just putting women in another box where they can only be a certain way. I think that’s too bad.
AM: With all the pop culture space you’re currently taking up right now, would you say you’re having a moment?
MK: [Laughs] I have been more busy — I don’t know if that’s having a moment. I’d like to be busy and stay relevant for the rest of my life. I feel like I have something to say and this is the first time people are listening, but I hope I always have something to say. Like Tom Hanks. He’s been having a moment for, what, 30 years? That’s pretty great.
Wrapping up New York Fashion Week a couple weeks ago, we thought we’d do a round-up of the Asian models that made the most appearance on the runway this season. According to a news report, Asian models walked in more big shows this season than ever before. “It’s just in their DNA. They’re beautiful, so elegant. Beautiful on the runway, beautiful walkers, beautiful body types — it’s a dream to see them in our clothes,” states Mark Badgley of Badgley Mischka. Among the models that have walked the most shows, we have both familiar and new faces. Familiar faces include Liu Wen, Ming Xi, Shu Pei and So Young Kang. For new and upcoming models, we have Lina Zhang, Sung Hee, Sui He, Tian Yi and Xiao Wen.
Once again, Liu Wen is the Asian model to walk the most shows at NYFW – most of them for big names too, such as Alexander Wang, Anna Sui, Diane Von Furstenberg, Carolina Herrera, Tory Burch, Oscar de la Renta, Victoria Beckham, and the list goes on.
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Ever wondered how your favorite stars dressed when they’re not in front of the camera or dolled up for the red carpet? Here we spotted Jamie Chung wearing Topshop’s pleated skirt and studded ballet pumps while she’s out and about in Los Angeles.
This cute, casual outfit is perfect for a sunny day out and is super easy to put together! We compiled some of our favorite pieces to get her look!
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