We’re sad that So You Think You Can Dance contestant Alex Wong got injured and therefore disqualified from the competition. But the show must go on for Soyon An, the two-time Emmy Award winning stylist and costume designer for the show. (She just won her second Emmy in a row!) Not only does she style all the myriad looks for the dancers on the popular reality competition, now in its seventh season, she also just finished designing for Carrie Underwood’s “Play On” tour, styles for Jay Leno’s band on The Tonight Show, and just accepted a position as a fashion editor for Jimon Magazine, an art and fashion magazine published twice yearly.
Audrey Magazine: What do you do as the stylist and costume designer for So You Think You Can Dance?
Soyon An: Every day is a specific day. So for example, yesterday was fittings for Thursday, and also it’s also the day we find out who the dancers are dancing with. And at that point we’re calling choreographers trying to figure out what their concepts are, so that I can start conceptualizing with them what their wardrobes are going to be. So then we go shopping for fabric, and wardrobe and makeup. I have to do full costume designs, and I have 40 costume designs to make by Wednesday.
AM: Do you make all your costumes individually?
SA: About 80 percent of the costumes are made and 20 percent are bought. Most of the time, like the hip-hop routines, we’ll go and buy jeans, but we try not to make them look store bought, so we customize all of them. We tailor the individual pieces.
AM: What was it like to style Alex Wong?
SA: Alex is an incredible dancer, and working with him has been a lot of fun. He has a really great personality and is really easy to work with. I am glad he is as confident as he is on the show, and I think he really killed it in [his hip-hop routine]. And coming on the show as a ballerina, he can move his body and legs in ways that the average person can’t. Working with him and wardrobing him, I’ve had to really create and customize for him. All of his pants have to be constructed and have extra stretch in them, and the way the back is, because with the choreography, he gets big and bulks up.
AM: What elements inspire you and your designs?
SA: Everything, from everyday life, to people that I meet, places that I go, maybe when I’m driving around different neighborhoods. I have a photographic memory, so little bits and pieces of things that I remember will go into my design. I definitely have an edgier look to everything I create. I like to put an element of high fashion into anything that I do. It’s like a combination of high fashion and costume.
AM: Did you get any formal training for design or was this a hobby-turned-passion-turned-job?
SA: I’ve always really been into drawing and art. I used to be an athlete, and I think that may be why I know dancers in terms of their needs. I went to school for fashion design. I initially went into Otis for design and to build my foundation, but after a couple years, because I wanted a faster route, so I went to FIDM. After I did some corporate work in design, I went into TV/film because it felt like more like my scene.
AM: I think it’s amazing that you’re a stylist and doing something very creative. It defies the typical stereotype of an Asian American as a doctor or a lawyer. Do you think your ethnicity gives you an edge over the other stylists?
SA: My parents definitely wanted me to go down that aisle of being a doctor or lawyer and trying to fulfill a career goal. I think for me, personally, with my designs, there is a particular element that makes it my creation; you can tell my hand has touched that design. I don’t know if that has anything to do with being Asian American or the influences that I had growing up. But I think you can tell when a performer has my costume on versus someone else’s creation. And if anything, the way my parents raised me, they’ve helped me be a multitasker. The reason I can be a multitasker is because they put me through so much as a kid.
AM: Any thoughts for anyone pursuing a creative career like yourself?
SA: As Asian Americans, I don’t think we should follow our parents’ definition of success and happiness.
Watch the top 5 dancers compete tonight on So You Think You Can Dance at 8 pm on Fox. The season finale airs August 12.
Designer Joy Han brings her own flair to VAVA’s Tara One Shoulder Dress in Pink. With a flirty ruffle running across the top hem that breaks the horizontal pattern, this dress will make a bold statement whether you wear it out for some casual window shopping or at a club for girl’s night. The bright, saturated colors make it flirty and fresh while the darker colors prevent the dress from looking too young.
In need of a new dress? This is the one.
I remember religiously watching Project Runway with my fashion-forward friend and talking about it the following afternoon during our AP Art History class in high school. (In fact, Anthony, if you are reading this, this is dedicated to you). I’ve unfortunately been out of the loop with reality TV, but will be making time to tune in for the return of fashion divas and divos, Tim Gunn’s famous pursed-finger-tapping-on-lips, and the origin of East Coast fabulousity we call New York.
Project Runway returns to Lifetime on July 29 (that’s tonight!) for season 8!
And this time, PR is featuring 30-year-old Ivy Higa. Originally from Seoul, and later relocated to New York via Hawaii (whew!), Higa has made it as a contestant for this season’s show. With Asian-inspired pieces, the collection she presented during the casting call was a wardrobe full of versatile, Japanese-inspired pieces and even a new print that was inspired by spattered blood. She says her inspirational designers, Issey Miyake and Consuelo Castiglioni, have had a significant impact in her work and is a self-proclaimed scarf, bag and pocket junkie.
She may seem soft-spoken but there’s a fierceness and coolness to her work. So for all you fashion-starved Heidi Klum-ites, be sure to tune in for the season premiere tonight!
Harajuku Lovers always comes up with the cutest stuff. Like this pink “Rainbow Love” tank top. It’s soft and comfortable. The front logo isn’t too flashy, just the right amount of color and boldness to catch your eye. There’s also the tag going down the back, a detail some tank tops don’t have.
If you’re going for a casual look that says you’ve got some steeze, this is more than enough.
I’d like to make the record clear: I have never had a make-over done. No parent, friend, stranger or significant other has drastically altered my ‘look’ since I eschewed mother’s haircuts for the $8 Vietnamese-run barbershop by the mall. Besides the terrible conclusion that I am solely responsible for all this, never having had a make-over has apparently affected me in ways I am just beginning to understand.
Perhaps you too have never been made over. For some, this is a matter of guilt. I understand. I’ve paid for two massages in my lifetime–once in China, once in Vegas–and both times, regardless how much I spent, I always felt undeserving of the attention lavished upon my sometimes naked bum and rest of body. For others, avoiding the make over is due to you being A Man and this being Not Socially Accepted Yet. I sympathize with you, as I am the same way.
Samantha Llanos gets the whole undeserving-feely thing. She was chosen along with two other girls for an LA weekend make-over, courtesy of super-stylist Chriselle. Full disclosure: Chriselle is working with Audrey Magazine on a number of things including our next cover shoot, but to this day has not offered me a make-over.
Last weekend Llanos was plucked from her home in the barren northern-Celtic lands of Boston, Mass., and flown to Los Angeles where she met fellow make-over recipients Alexandra Becker and Sara Warren. The three then went on a two-day tour of sustained attention-receiving, from having their locks combed and pampered by Ree of the Angus M Salon, to makeup by YouTube makeup phenom and Lancome video makeup artist Michelle Phan, personal styling by Chriselle, plus a photoshoot by photographer Karla Ticas to top it off.
“I was just really happy,” reflected Llanos when I caught up with her this week. “I don’t remember being excited about anything, vaguely happy about anything for such a long time now.”
Llanos for the past year and a half has been dealing with the death of a boyfriend. During that time, she describes her life as occupied by just the bare minimum: going through the motions, not doing much else. Now, for the first time in a long while, she’s excited for something like shopping for new clothes. When I spoke with her a work week later, she remained optimistic.
“Seeing the team and seeing [Chriselle and Michelle], I don’t think I’ve ever seen people who were working, and loving what they did so much it didn’t seem like working. It changed my perspective of life in general.”
The make-over couldn’t have hurt either. Note to Chriselle: I think I’m due for mine.
Shorty Clothing breathes new life into the classic pencil skirt with its “Frou Frou” skirt. This piece is far from boring with its beautiful glittering black silk fabric and gathered georgette. Dress it up or dress it down. However you want to wear it, you’re sure to turn heads.
From “Bohemian Rhapsody” to “Eccentric Ladylike” themes littering the fall runways, the new looks for fall combine classic cuts with a bit of fun. Think a mix of summer with dash of fall and that’s the route that a lot of fall trends seem to be taking.
And it’s easier than ever to achieve — just add a few key fall items that are already staples in most women’s closets with your current summer wardrobe. What’s more is that summer clothes are on sale everywhere right now, from the mall to online boutiques. Essentially, you can buy what’s “in” at sale prices, and then work them into your fall wardrobe.
To start off, let’s review some summer trends that’ll work for fall:
Stores from J. Crew to Urban Outfitters showed an explosion of floral prints this summer.
Lightweight, Feminine Blouses
Light, sheer blouses with details like ruffles, ruching, embroidery and lace are hot on the racks everywhere, as well as etailers like ShopBop.com.
Utility Shirt and Jackets
Utility shirts and jackets come in different lengths and colors, and they were key ways to get your military vibe on in your spring and summer looks. Stock up at Gap.
To transition these key summer pieces this fall, wear them with those fall essentials that everyone has: long cardigans, blazers, sleek jackets or coats, and leather boots.
A chunky cardigan, a long blazer or even a fur vest worn over a summer blouse or floral print is an easy fall ensemble.
Additionally, utility shirts accompanied by scarves or leather boots can be a great fall look as well. Whether you’re going for a casual look or something more chic, a utility shirt or jacket can make any outfit look presentable and pulled together.
So get a jump start on fall by checking out your favorite stores for summer sales on the best summer trends.
Things have been bubbly and eventful for African-Korean American R&B singer Amerie: she changed her name, is working on an upcoming album, and is now engaged!
The Name Game: Amerie — or I should say “Ameriie” — has added an extra “I” to her name. Ameriie claims the spelling change is a reflection of positive energy. And here’s a fun fact, she signs her name in both English and Korean when signing autographs!
The Album: Her new album set to be called Cymatika Vol. 1 is currently in the works as a follow up to her previous In Love & War. In a recent interview with Rap-Up, Ameriie has said that her new album will be similar to her album Because I Love It. Moreover she is hoping to take a step into “international” music. Perhaps we’ll see a fusion of Korean pop and her R&B style on her forthcoming tracks.
I do! Or at least … I will: Reported a couple months ago, Ameriie is also engaged. The singer is due to marry her manager fiancé Lenny Nicholson, after accepting his proposal during a romantic holiday in Paris. Confirming the news, Ameriie’s rep wrote via Twitter: “Can u correct the news Amerie just got engaged. She is not getting married (yet), she just got engaged, that’s it.”
Yea. That’s it.
Skinny jeans are a must in any fashionista’s wardrobe. Flying Monkey’s dark denim stretch skinny jeans are no exception. Why pay a fortune on other brands when these jeans are just as good if not better? These jeans are so stretchy, they’ll hug your curves and look amazing. Go ahead and pair them with that silky top of yours for a night at the club or with a men’s wear style button-up for a business casual look. These skinny jeans will definitely not disappoint.
September is the second busiest month for weddings, second only to June. So for those of you planning a gorgeous fall wedding, you’re in luck. Korean American designer Yoo Lee of Saja is having a sale on her stunning bridal gowns we blogged about earlier this year, starting tomorrow!
She’s got plenty of bridesmaid dresses as well, so if you’re in the New York area, head over!