It’s prom and wedding season, so Thank Goodness It’s Free Fridays! We’ve got the hook-up for one very lucky reader!
We are giving away this stunning strapless sweetheart taffeta ruffle dress by eveningwear designer Dalia MacPhee.
Available at Nordstrom and Neiman Marcus, Dalia MacPhee is synonymous with luxe fabrics, quality craftsmanship, one-of-a-kind beading and details, all at affordable price points. Her gowns have been featured on Dancing with the Stars, American Idol, Allure, Cosmopolitan and People.
But it’s not just all glam — Dalia MacPhee has plenty of substance, too. Many Dalia MacPhee gowns, including the one we’re giving away, are vegan, meaning no animals are harmed during the production process (including silk worms!), contributing to a healthier environment for all. And every gown that is sold helps plant a tree at the Tree of Life grove in a decimated area of the Tahoe National Forest (one started by an illegal campfire a few years back).
As if that weren’t enough, a portion of proceeds of the sale of every Dalia MacPhee gown is donated to Women For Women Int., an international organization that assists women victimized in wartorn regions like the Congo and other struggling areas. Dalia’s ultimate vision is to provide aid to a woman in need every time a dress is purchased.
Dalia MacPhee gowns range from $150 to $400 and are sold at Nordstrom and Neiman Marcus locations nationwide. The taffeta ruffle dress retails for $275, but it’s yours for free if you win today’s giveaway. All you have to do is tell us your size (size 2-10 available) and why you HAVE to have this dress. You have until May 5, 11:59 pm.
Nothing says spring like cherry blossoms. And if you’re in the East Coast this weekend, you’re in luck. The Brooklyn Botanic Garden, which has more than 200 Japanese flowering cherry trees — the most diverse array outside Japan — will be holding its annual Sakura Matsuri cherry blossom festival. On May 1 and 2, come out and join tens of thousands as they revel in spring’s most picturesque display.
But it’s not just a botanical wonderland. The festival has evolved into a celebration of the best of both traditional and contemporary Japanese arts and culture — and you know what that means. Cosplay! Short for “costume play,” cosplay has become an integral part of any celebration of Japanese culture. Gawk at lush cherry blossoms and cosplayers alike, all while enjoying dance, martial arts, food, manga, workshops, demonstrations, and guided tours of the Garden’s Japanese-inspired plant collections.
There’s a lot going on in just a weekend, but highlights include:
* Traditional taiko drumming, as well as the more modern COBU, a taiko drum-meets-rhythmic footwork team founded by and featuring members of STOMP!
* Concerts by Brooklyn-based Japanese gypsy rock band Kagero
* Thrilling karate demonstrations and original action drama by Samurai Sword Soul
* One of the more popular events is the Sakura J-Lounge, which has been expanded to feature even more manga, anime, and cosplay culture,
including a “high tea” for the Victorian maidens and boho Bo-Peeps; a para para party with New York’s best anime dancers; and a stunning fashion show that demonstrates how creative cosplay can be.
And of course, there’ll be plenty of traditional Japanese arts and music like ikebana (flower arranging) and Japanese cuisine.
For festival hours, admission and schedule, check out the festival’s official site.
All photos courtesy of Brooklyn Botanic Garden.
Tamae Ishii, the Japanese American designer behind Ishii New York, may have learned the trade in Rome and New York working for Valentino, Calvin Klein and Zac Posen, but she knows what women want. “As a female designer, I always remember which body parts women complain about the most, and try to design and cut the styles to minimize those common problem areas,” she says.
Comfort is fine, but Ishii also knows you’ve got to look good to feel good. So she culls her luxurious fabrics from the finest mills in Europe and Japan, and makes sure to add a dose of heady femininity to all her designs.
And her striped jersey dress with belt doesn’t get much easier. Forgiving, drapey, with heather grey stripes that reference the sports-chic motif seen all over the spring runways. Dress it up with a blazer for the office. Wear it all weekend with boots. It doesn’t get easier.
Yet another easy, breezy dress from Joy Han. The perfect berry hue for spring with touches of ethnic flair. Wear it layered now with a de rigeur utility coat, tights and boots for the urban nomad look. Wear it alone come summer for the easiest throw-on imaginable.
In our Spring issue, I highlighted one of my favorite trends for spring: the techno alien.
It’s what I like to call a hybrid of digitized prints, alien anatomy and tie dye gone awry.
A lot of designers showed variations on the theme, from Proenza Schouler’s surf-inspired looks that had a distinct alien-reptilian bent.
Emilio Pucci’s shine directly referenced the trend, but it’s the abstract, alien pattern that makes it a real contender.
Even the more classic Carolina Herrera got into it, showing a ligamental print on an otherwise ladylike silhouette.
Of course, if you don’t want to beat around the bush, nothing beats Rodarte’s goth alien.
Now, you don’t have to go as extreme as any of the above to get the look. A touch of tie dye gone askew, some slashed cut-outs here or there, or some melting Jolly Rancher-like watercolors will suffice. Try pairing a tie dye tee with an abstract print floral skirt (just make sure the floral print has a similar hue in it for a perfectly clashing-matching look).
Add a space age-worthy shoe, and you’ve got the look down.
For a more subtle reference, pick an accessory with a techno detail, whether it’s a knotted rubber necklace or a bag with spacey detailing.
The ultimate way to get the techno-alien look? Add these leggings. It’ll definitely get you noticed.
What do you think of the techno-alien trend? Are you a fan like I am? Talk to me!
Got your spring wardrobe in gear? No? Let us give you a jump start.
Veronica M. is giving three lucky Audrey readers their choice of any dress from her website. That’s right. You pick the style and the size, and it’s yours!
Designer Veronica Monroy-Ferrer is all about easy cuts that make women of all shapes and sizes look great (and comfortable!). The only daughter of a successful Peruvian seamstress, Monroy-Ferrer learned early on the secrets to designing no-nonsense, affordable clothing for the modern woman balancing career, family and style. She incorporates bold, fun prints with forgiving silhouettes, available online and in her five Veronica M boutiques in Southern California.
Want one? We know you do! Go check out Veronica M’s website and tell us which piece you love and why — you may just be wearing that piece in no time! Start commenting now! You have until April 28, 11:59 pm!
Keep reading to see more Veronica M designs.
*No returns or exchanges allowed. All winners are picked at random.
It seems like just yesterday when we had Audrey Magazine‘s fifth anniversary cover shoot with Vietnamese American model Isabelle. (Scroll down to see the results!)
For the shoot, we used milliner Arturo Rios’ fantastical creations for our birthday suit celebration theme. Our photo editor at the time, Charlize Lin, snapped the amazing shots.
Only a few months later, Charlize got married in a dreamy, crystal forest-themed fantasy. And perhaps she was inspired by our shoot, but for the obligatory Chinese wedding three-outfit change, Charlize donned different headwear worthy of any Sex and the City wedding.
It’s a trend in bridalwear that I wholeheartedly embrace (if I had to do it over …). With more and more wearable, dance-in-it-able, beach-wedding worthy dresses making news, why not let a fantastical head piece take center stage? Any of Arturo Rios’ pieces can be redone in your color of choice.
Shop Arturo Rios now at AudreyShops.
Tiff, a Singaporean-Chinese Parsons grad, is obsessed with woman-children, food, stuffed animals and sticky situations. So when she met like-minded Deb while studying at Parsons School of Design in New York, the two couldn’t help but collaborate. The result is Death by Drone, the darkly whimsical, ironic clothing line.
“Our work is created for the mischievous woman-children of the universe who live in candy thatched huts and enjoy wandering through overgrown forests with a toy scottie,” says Tiff.
Eccentric? In the fashion world, that’s just another word for interesting.
It shows in the designs. Like their “The Birds of Mastyivus” dress. Oh-so ladylike in its construction, but with a kooky bird print that from far away looks like cute little cherries or flowers.
With detailed, gotta-see-it-up-close illustrations hand-printed on their clothing and accessories, Death by Drone merges children’s stories with psychedelic rock for a very grown-up aesthetic.
It’s a lonely email world we live in. Based on my Entourage contacts alone, I probably know hundreds if not thousands of people, mostly New Yorkers, mostly in PR. But do I really know these contacts — dare I say friends — of mine? Nay. I’d only recognize them on the street if they had their email handle in Times New Roman font glued to their forehead.
That’s why the occasions where we do get to know somebody on a level slightly more substantive is pretty noteworthy. Like Troy Sayakumane. We actually only knew him as jewelry designer Tina Tang’s in-house PR person. That is, until he gave us a peek into his inner artistic world.
Troy, it turns out, is co-owner and designer of Whitie Tighties Clothing. It’s a line of unisex tees and — you guessed it — tightie whities which are essentially used as a canvas for the design team’s unconventional artwork. Like a pocket watch shedding feathers. Or walking warheads in 18th century western clothing.
“A lot of our art is subconscious,” says Troy. “The warheads may have something to do with my family’s connection with the war in Southeast Asia and the involvement of westerners.”
Originally from Laos, Troy’s parents brought their five children to Amarillo, Texas, in the 1970s. His partner Vaso is originally from Greece, and it’s her memories of her childhood pet billy goat that inspired their goat print.
Their surrealist art is essentially their world view. “A daydream of a new world,” is what they like to say. Intrigued? Check out more of their art after the jump.
What’s black and white and a must-have to ward off that early spring chill? Design Todays’ print jacket. The abstract print gets you noticed and updates anything in your wardrobe. What’s even cooler is that the fabric is super high tech, treated with a film heat transfer which gives it a shiny look. Perfect for those April showers.