We’ve always been a fan of designer Trina Turk. Known for her sophisticated sportswear and signature prints worthy of any Mad Men set, the designer, who learned how to sew from her Japanese mother, is debuting her spring 2011 swimwear collection as the “Mercedes-Benz Presents” designer at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Swim in Miami Beach on Thursday, July 15.
If you know anything about the Trina Turk aesthetic, you know that she’s always been inspired by the cocktail party and poolside lifestyle of the desert. For her swimwear collection, the designer looked to the Mexican resort city of Acapulco in the 1960s and 1970s, an era known for glamorous getaways by Hollywood’s rich and famous and the international jet set. Expect her signature patterns, unique prints and cool color mixes, embellished with unique gold hardware inspired by Trina’s love of vintage jewelry and architecture.
The California native started her eponymous line in 1995 and from there the company’s grown to stand-alone boutiques in Palm Springs, Los Angeles, Newport Beach, Burlingame, New York and Bal Harbour. In addition to women’s and men’s ready to wear, and now swimwear, Trina Turk offers a hosiery “guest designer” line with Hue, a printed fabric collection for the home with the venerable home furnishings manufacturer Schumacher, and Trina Turk home products, including rugs, pillows and tabletop textiles.
As a “Mercedes-Benz Presents” designer, Trina Turk joins the prestigious ranks of past designers including Asian American Monique Lhuillier, Badgley Mischka, Narciso Rodriguez, Red Carter and CHADO Ralph Rucci.
Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Swim takes place in Miami Beach, Fla., at The Raleigh from July 15-19. Among the many designers who will be presenting their Spring 2011 collections include Crystal Jin, designed by Asian American Crystal Eley, whom we featured in our Summer issue; Mara Hoffman Swim; and True Religion Swimwear.
For more Trina Turk looks from her spring collections, keep reading.
Last week, we introduced you to PaperDoll, the coolest indie band fronted by Asian American It-Girl Teresa Lee Chaisiri. And now we’ve got PaperDoll goodies to give away to our oh-so-lucky readers. (Thanks for the hook-up Teresa!)
Even if you’ve never heard of PaperDoll before, you’re going to fall in love with just one listen. And beyond their sound, the little Kid Robot-meets-Ultraman mascot emblazoned on their debut album Ballad Nerd Pop cover will make you wanna wear these buttons and tees everywhere.
Just comment below — and retweet for an extra entry — and we’ll pick 10 lucky winners to win some CDs, buttons and tees, all courtesy of Teresa herself of PaperDoll. (You must have a U.S. mailing address to win.)
This one is for sibling love. Sisterly sibling love.
From Spreegirl, this “Relaxed Modern” onesie in rose from Spreegirl is not just any old onesie.
It’s one made with mad love and care (and eco-friendly, super soft bamboo fibers too!).
Born in Vietnam, Chinese American Sisters May and Vinh Luong are as tight as two sisters can come. Not only do they share the most intimate details of their lives with one another, they share three intimate apparel lines and have really taken innerwear to the streets. Quite literally.
Inspired by the notion, “It’s not just sleepwear, it’s fashion,” the sisters work together to design and create modern constructions of comfortable and stylish skivvies, rompers, and other intimate apparel that can be worn on the outside.
Anything from nature to exotic environments inspire them to create, and their tight bond and passion for sleep fashion can be seen woven into the softness of the onesie. Sheer, light, and simple in design, this onesie will be perfect for you as you curl up with a movie to have some sister-sister bonding time or as a sisterly gift.
Win a Spreegirl onesie you’ll lounge in all summer. We have three available, one each of size S, M and L. Just comment on this post and tell us what size you need. You can also retweet for an additional entry!
You have till July 14, 11:59 pm to comment. And don’t forget, you must have a U.S. mailing address to win!
Ashley Argota, 17-year-old actress/singer and current cast member of the Nickelodeon hit show True Jackson, VP (she plays the title character’s best friend and secretary, Lulu Johnson), is aware of the fact that not many Asian Americans are fortunate enough to make it big in show business so she does not take her career for granted.
“It means a lot to me to be part of True Jackson,” says Argota. “There aren’t many Asian American girls out there who are famous so to be part of that small group is an honor.”
Argota, who is Filipina American, grew up in Redlands, Calif. “I lived about an hour and half outside of Los Angeles and it was great because we lived in a quiet neighborhood so I didn’t get any of that L.A. craziness,” says Argota with a laugh. “I grew up having nice family dinners with home-cooked food. My dad was a truck driver so he couldn’t always be home, but when he was we always sat down to eat dinner together.”
Despite being part of a tremendously popular show (True Jackson, VP is now in its second season) and having her comedic talents be compared to that of Lucille Ball, Argota has managed to stay humble and levelheaded. She will be attending New York University in the fall to take up nursing. “I’m going to be just like my mommy!” says Argota. “I wanted to go into College of Nursing instead of Performing Arts because I want to do something outside of acting. I’ve been acting for a really long time and that will always be my first career choice. But in case that doesn’t work out in the long run, I want to have something to fall back on.”
Argota, who seems to be a jack-of-all-trades, is also quite the musician and singer. She began taking vocal lessons at the age of 5 and also plays the piano. She has also begun learning how to play the guitar. Her debut CD, Ashley (2008), on New Revolution Records is currently available on iTunes and her song “CD Baby” has received rave reviews. “I’m not signed to a label right now, but I am looking to be signed to a record label soon and hopefully I’ll put out another album soon.”
Argota encourages Asian Americans who hope to make it in television, film or music to never give up. “True Jackson was supposed to be my last audition ever because I had faced so much disappointment. It was always little things as to why I didn’t get roles,” Argota shares. “I was told ‘You’re too short’ and other little things like that, but you just can’t let it get to you and keep you from doing what you really want to do. Just follow your dreams.”
Remember the original Predators starring now-California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger? No? Then you just might like this new Predators, with an updated cast, and a hip, young director, Robert Rodriguez. This time, Adrien Brody is a mercenary who reluctantly leads a group of elite warriors who come to realize they’ve been brought together on an alien planet … as prey. With the notable exception of a disgraced physician, they are all cold-blooded killers — mercenaries, Yakuza, convicts, death squad members — human “predators” that are now being systemically hunted and eliminated by a new breed of alien predators.
Among these killers, played by actors Topher Grace and Laurence Fishburne, is Hanzo, played by Louis Ozawa Changchien. His name may be a mouthful, but Changchien is well on his way to becoming a household name. He played a supporting role in Fair Game starring Naomi Watts and Sean Penn, which premiered at the Cannes Film Festival last month and will be released worldwide this fall. He was also part of the four-person cast of Michael Golamco’s critically acclaimed play Year Zero at NYC’s Second Stage Theatre and hopes that the heartwarming story about young Cambodian Americans can make its way to California.
Here, some things to know about Changchien.
He felt weird growing up
Changchien was born in Queen, N.Y., and grew up on the Upper East Side. “I don’t know what it’s like being one ethnicity. My father speaks Japanese, as well, even though he’s Taiwanese so I grew up speaking Japanese in the home.”
He attended Japanese school on the weekend as a child and found that people were really confused by him. “I think it was because I had a Chinese last name yet I was speaking Japanese and at the same time Mandarin or Taiwanese.”
About being a kid, Changchien says, “I definitely felt a little weird growing up because I didn’t have much contact with my mother’s side of the family until I was 12 years old. I grew up in New York with my Taiwanese grandparents and I remember as a little kid being confused because they seemed so different from my mother (who is Japanese). The food they cooked was so different. It took me a while to realize that ‘Oh, I actually have two cultures as part of my background.’”
After landing a role in a Jello pudding commercial when he was in the first grade, Changchien could have been well on his way to pursuing an acting career, but his parents had other plans.
“My mom and dad didn’t want me to be a professional child actor so I kind of got out of that and got into sports. It wasn’t until I got to college and I was a little confused about what I really wanted to do in college, as a lot of kids are, and I came across an intro to acting class.”
Changchien really enjoyed the class and his teacher encouraged him to audition for some of the school plays. “I tried out and I got cast and that’s how I really started with my acting.
His parents support him being an actor now
Changchien’s parents understood that conditions for child actors were harsh and they wanted to insure that he’d have a normal childhood. “But now they’re really excited! They realize that I can make a living doing this. I think that’s the thing that most Asian parents are worried about. At the end of the day it’s like, Is my kid going to be stable or are they going to be miserable being a broke-ass actor?’
Asian American actors “have to be better”
Changchien advises Asian Americans aspiring to be actors to take the time to be trained. “I think it’s really important to get training. This is going to sound weird, but as an Asian American you almost have to be better, especially if you want to do parts outside of just being an Asian character. I think going to graduate school at Brown really changed me. I spent three years acting every single day. If you can survive that you can survive this business.
He believes that there are more opportunities now than there ever has been in the U.S. for Asian Americans wanting to make it in show business. It’s a really exciting time and there’s a lot to look forward to. I think there’s a lot further to go but I think we’re in a very exciting time right now.
He’s a big fan of the original Predator
“The first Predator movie was kind of iconic to me as a boy growing up. That was an iconic kind of action movie. I didn’t realize the chronology of this because maybe I was too young, but I think that was the movie that really launched Arnold Schwarzenegger as the action hero he became.”
His character is deadly with a sword
Changchien describes his character Hanzo as the silent, but deadly type. “He’s an enforcer from a Yakuza family in Japan. He’s been plopped unbeknownst to him on this alien planet with the rest of the guys. He’s not your teamwork-oriented type of guy. All of them are actually quite individualist, but they end up having to band together under extreme circumstances. Hanzo is a master of the sword and he’s very proficient with a pistol as well.”
Sword master in real life, too
Changchien has been practicing kendo since he was 5 years old. “This was my dream actually to be able to fight with a Japanese sword in a movie. I asked to have my kendo sensei be brought on and they brought him in for two weeks. He helped us choreograph a beautiful fight. I think it’s a really special scene in the movie.”
He became great friends with the cast
“It doesn’t get much better than working with guys like Laurence (Fishburne) and Adrien (Brody). This is my first studio film and I couldn’t imagine working under any better circumstances. Everybody is a good actor in this film. It’s incredible. And that’s unusual in an action film (laughs).”
The film doesn’t boast a large cast and Changchien believes that allowed for everyone to become really close. “During the beginning of filming when we were in Hawaii, we worked everyday on set together, we went to the gym together, and we went out for dinner together. It was fun hearing all the great stories Laurence had to share and Adrien as well because Adrien’s been doing this for a long time.”
On set, he and the cast liked to play practical jokes on each other
“We had a great makeup guy named Rom working on the gentlemen. Ali (Mahershalalhashbaz Ali), who’s an amazing actor, is kind of a deadpan jokester so you don’t always know if he’s joking or not. One day Topher (Grace) shows up on set after taking a walk on the beach. Ali tells him, ‘Topher, you know what? I’d be careful. Rom’s in a really bad mood today. He got into a fight with the costume department and requested his trailer be put down on the beach.’”
Predators will scare you
Changchien says audiences can expect to be awed by the film’s beautiful cinematography along with being scared and thrilled. “There are unbelievable stunts. We had some of the greatest stunt people working on this film doing the most unbelievable stunts. My guy just killed it. He makes me look amazing!”
Changchien also shared that are new predators to fear. “This movie is definitely paying tribute to the original in its movie style. We have very minimal CG in this movie. We have a bunch of guys in the jungle against predators. It’s scary.
Catch Changchien and Predators, out tomorrow, July 9, 2010.
The 33rd Asian American International Film Festival kicks off next week, starting July 15 in New York City, and will be running until July 24. The program consists of 23 feature films from filmmakers around the globe that span a wide variety of genres, from drama and horror to musical and comedy, so there is surely something for everyone.
“This year, the AAIFF10 looks especially forward to bringing several Southeast Asian films to our audience,” states Martha Tien, Program Manager of the AAIFF 2010. “Southeast Asia has such a dynamic cinematic community, but its movies still tend to be underrepresented in most film festivals.”
And now you can go to the festival to watch to your heart’s content ’cause we’re giving away a pair of tickets to the festival for our readers! Keep reading for details.
The July 15 opening night feature film presentation is Manila Skies directed by award-winning filmmaker Raymond Red, who was the first Filipino to have won the Palme d’Or in Cannes for his 2000 short film, Anino. In Manila Skies we follow Raul (Raul Arellano), a struggling day laborer who tries to cobble together some money for a trip back to his childhood home in Romblon, where he hopes to help his ailing father. The film was inspired by true events. Red, a pioneer of contemporary Filipino cinema, will be in attendance after the screening for a special Q+A session.
Watch the trailer here:
Among other films to be screened are Au Revoir Taipei (to be screened as the Centerpiece Presentation on July 17) by second-generation filmmaker Arvin Chen, which was developed from his short film Mei. The Thai horror film Slice directed by Kongkiat Khomsiri is nothing short of frightening and will have horror film fans feeling very pleased. Director Freida Lee Mock will show her documentary Lt. Watada, which follows Lt. Ehren Watada who made headlines a few years back when he refused to deploy to Iraq, claiming it was an illegal war. And check out our review of the Malaysian film Woman on Fire Looks for Water here.
The film fest closing night presentation is the critically acclaimed The People I’ve Slept With directed by Quentin Lee. Angela (Karin Anna Cheung), is a woman with a heightened sexual appetite who suddenly finds herself pregnant with five possible candidates for the father. Check out our review here.
Watch the sexy trailer here:
Aren’t you just dying to watch? You can, and Audrey Magazine is hooking you up with a pair of free tickets. Just comment below by Tuesday, July 13. (We’ll have two more pairs of tickets that you can only win by following our Facebook and Twitter pages, coming later in the week!)
The AAIFF is the first and longest running festival in the U.S. that is devoted to showcasing films created by filmmakers of Asian descent as well as films that explore new constructs of Asian and Asian American cinema. AAIFF 2010 includes selections from both a national and international pool of filmmakers, including works from Taiwan, South Korea, Malaysia, and the Philippines. Screenings will take place at various venues throughout New York including Chelsea Clearview Cinema, the Quad Cinema, and the Museum of Chinese America.
For tickets and a complete listing of films and screening dates, click here.
What does “autumn” mean to you? Maybe back-to-school? Maybe Halloween? Maybe your own Asian American version of Thanksgiving, like Kerala, India’s festival of Onam, Korea’s Chuseok, or Mooncake or Lantern festivals?
Whatever it may be, show us! We want to see what “autumn” means to you, and you just might get your photo into the next issue of Audrey Magazine! (Runner-ups may be featured on AudreyMagazine.com.)
Submit your photos that in some way reflect the Asian American experience as well as the theme of “autumn.” You don’t have to be a pro, so submit your photo by July 19, 2010. To submit, please see instructions below.
We’re looking forward to seeing your work!
Images should be in digital jpeg format, at least 300 dpi resolution and 2400 pixels on the long end. Along with each image, please include your name, location and an explanation of how your image relates to the theme. Only submit photos that you’ve taken yourself. Please do not digitally alter your photos, besides cropping and applying basic tonal adjustments. Send your photos to Derek@audreymagazine.com, maximum three entries per person.
Legal & Releases
By submitting, you are granting Audrey Magazine permission to publish your submitted photos online and/or in print with your photo credit. You must be 18 or older to submit; if you’re under 18, a parent or legal guardian can submit on your behalf. If there are recognizable people in your photograph, you should be prepared to submit a personal release signed by the person, authorizing our publication of the photo (download here).
It’s been forever since I last listened to indie music. Though my taste in music has changed since my young’un days when I blasted The Killers or the next up-and-coming band, I can still appreciate it — the power blast from the lyrics and amazing guitar riffs, especially if it’s catchy enough to push repeat.
Reminiscent of No Doubt’s Gwen Stefani’s vocals supported by a steady stream of drum and bass and everything in between, Chinese-Taiwanese-Thai American vocalist Teresa Lee Chaisiri packs a powerful punch. Her voice soars above the intermingling melodies and the steady pound of the percussion as it heralds lyrics that pull you into the music to create an incredible blend of punk soul.
Rolling Stone said they “embody the defiance and joie de vivre that define rock music,” while MTV World described them as “Harder than The Killers and tighter than Pat Benatar ever was. Pure post‐punk energy with a melodic heart.”
Take a listen to their song “If Nothing Happened” off their debut album Ballad Nerd Pop:
Teresa even sings in Mandarin in their song “Anything At All.”
PaperDoll kicked butt at Kollaboration NY last month (how could they not with a front woman in such a cute, retro get-up?).
Wanna hear them live? Check out their upcoming shows:
Saturday, July 17, 2010, 8 pm
199 Bowery St (at Spring St), New York, NY 10003
August 6 – 7, 2010
Frexh 2010 (Music, Fashion, & Food Festival), Shanghai, China
Childhood is calling. There’s something about the newest makeup products these days that reminds me of elementary school art class. From markers to paint brushes to finger painting, the easiest makeup this summer just requires a little dexterity.
Tokidoki Fantastico Lip Ink
I’m not a lipstick person and I’m certainly not a lip liner person, and that goes double for the hotter months of the year. And yet nothing is worse than hair stuck in lip gloss. Ew.
But the genius that is Tokidoki Fantastico Lip Ink stains your lips with a soft marker tip and feels like you have nothing on (except for that luscious mango scent and the fact that it has moisturizing panthenol so your lips stay hydrated). It goes on sheer and light, allowing you to layer more for a deeper stain. And it lasts. Wow, does it last.
Available at Sephora, $15.
Hard Candy Powder Keg in Dagger
Throw away the brushes and the applicators. Nothing is easier than dab, dab, dabbing with your ring finger.
Case in point. Hard Candy’s Powder Keg Loose Eye Shadow in Dagger is so easy to use, you’re liable to go a little crazy. Spill proof container and applicator deposit just the right amount on your finger, allowing you to dab silky smooth olive green shadow with just a hint of golden sheen on your lid. Dab a little for a sheer sheen. Dab more for a unique, deep smoky eye perfect for summer.
Oh, and the hue looks so good on Asian skin tones.
Available at Walmart, $6.
Sally Hansen Nail Art Pen
I may be great at dabbing (cream eye shadow, lip gloss), but anything requiring precision application (nail polish, eye brow pencil) gets a bit tricky. I have a cousin who always has the prettiest, coolest nails — sometimes with just a swipe of blood red on the tips, sometimes with a unique design on each nail — and she always does it herself.
Sure, it helps if you’re an art major, like she is. But if you’re not, you can always cheat with Sally Hansen’s Nail Art Pen. A fine tip pen lets you draw precise lines and the water-based formula can be corrected with a moist cotton swab without damaging dry nail polish.
Available in eight different shades, and as always, it’s toluene, DBP and formaldehyde free.
Available at most drugstores.
Benefit Confessions of a Concealaholic
I’m not usually fan of makeup palettes and kits, especially the eye-cheek-and-lip kind. Before you know it, little bits of aubergine shadow are embedded in your nude pot gloss, and everything becomes one gritty mess.
Benefit’s concealer kit, on the other hand, is genius because now you have everything you need to touch up those blemishes on the go — even a handy mirror built right in.
With mini sizes of their best selling concealing products including That Gal primer, their hard-core Erase Paste concealer, two shades of concealer (for dark circles versus blemishes), a pink concealer for under eyes, a yellow for everything else, and two double sided brushes that get you covered!
Available at Benefit, $36.
A few months ago, Audrey contributor Janice Jann won First Princess in the 2010 Miss Los Angeles Chinatown. Since then, she’s been blogging about life as a beauty queen — from a real girl perspective. Here, part two of a First Princess’s tales from the inside.
A couple of days ago, I went to the gym and weighed myself on the scale and my jaw dropped to the ground. I had lost 20 pounds in the past six months. Physically, it’s not that big of a difference, is it?
Winning Miss Los Angeles Chinatown 2010 First Princess is not the best reward I received from this whole pageant experience. This body was.
For the past four months, I dragged myself out of bed nearly every single morning and worked out, whether taking ballroom dancing classes, lifting weights or just using the bicycle machines. I moderated what I ate, chomping on carrot sticks like I was Roger Rabbit and turning a blind eye to every burger joint and taco shack. It was not an easy task. I am a girl who loves to eat. If I could choose eternal beauty or the opportunity to enjoy amazing meals every single day of my life, food will win every time. I get giddy over a beautiful piece of steak. I think sharing a meal with someone is one of the most worthwhile ways of bonding and communion. I take pictures of food, for goodness sakes! So yea, it’s safe to say I like food a lot.
And I am not naturally skinny. While it is true that I am skinnier than most, I am by no means a lithe size 0 with a six pack (maybe of beer …). I worked hard to get to this size. There is no secret magic shortcut to staying thin. You pretty much have to love yourself and your body enough to want to eat healthy and work out.
Taking care of your body the right way will not only give you a satisfactory physical appearance, it will make you feel better all around. I’m more alert, more awake because I don’t weigh myself down with sweets and fatty foods. I don’t break out as much. I go (you know, go) easily and on a regular basis. Endorphins flow through my veins, making me happier and smilier. I’m more flexible and quicker on my feet (still as klumsy as ever, though). I find that taking classes greatly boosts my motivation towards working out. It is really hard to slack off when you have all these middle-aged housewives puffing away, sweating bullets.
Now that the pageant is over, my top priority is keeping myself in shape. It does get kind of hard when I have weekly banquets to go to, where seven-course Chinese meals await, but I just also remember to keep my portions in check and remember that if I eat too much today, tomorrow is always a fresh new day.