Singapore and The British Council’s Digital Fashion Week

 

Digital Fashion Week?  Yes, you read it correctly.  In a movement to adjust to the quick paced digital age and the social media platforms that make this world more connected than ever before, DFW Creative of Singapore, in collaboration with the British Council, launched Digital Fashion Week which brings together local designers of Singapore and Bangkok and notable icons within the industry such as Guo Pei, Naomi Campbell and Patricia Field.

Since its establishment in 2012, DFW Creative has allowed viewers all over the world to view presented collections, press releases and behind-the-scenes interviews online without the need to hold an exclusive event ticket.  Though there are options to visit the shows in Asia, those of us that aren’t able to travel so readily can now easily watch all the runway excitement from home. 

Featuring international, mainstream guest designers combines a bit of the world stage with the ever-growing local fashion community.  This year’s theme is “European Exchange” with showcases from Cristiano Burani and Fyodor Golan, along with a list of celebrity attendees to help promote the growing media outlet.  As times continue to change at rapid speeds, DFW Creative has found a way to bring Asian designers to the forefront using the world wide web as their catalyst.

Though their presentations for spring and summer 2015 have just ended, they can easily be viewed here.  Check out the video gallery for the entire event’s coverage as well as an easily navigable image gallery.  Below are a few of their featured designers and imagery from the shows.

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DEPRESSION By Andrew Loh And Kenny Lim

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PAULINE.NING

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MASH-UP By Daniela Monasterios-Tan, Nathanael Ng, And Shaf Amis-aabudin

 

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In Good Company’s Capsule 5 Show

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YouYou S/S 2015 Show

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Max.Tan S/S 2015 Show

Taking a philanthropic approach to fashion, DFW Creative worked closely with their featured designers to create a tee campaign which works to raise awareness for AIDS and the organization Action for AIDS Singapore.

The designs are to be sold online here with proceeds going to Action for AIDS Singapore.

Here are some behind-the-scene images for Digital Fashion Week Singapore’s Fashion Fights AIDS, along with a quick peek at the tees to be offered for sale:

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All Images Courtesy Of DigitalFashionWeek.com
Feature Image: Carmen Dell’Orefice Closing For Max.Tan Courtesy Of Digital Fashion Week And Viilevent Photography

 

 

The Ultimate Throwback: Childhood Photos of Your Favorite Asian Celebs

 

In honor of #TBT, we decided to resurface the precious baby pictures of some of our most beloved Asian celebs. 


Remember that awkward pre-teen stage? No matter how many times you try to forget that horrid chapter of your life, the mental images are probably burned into your memory. Well we have some good news. Everyone goes through strange childhood stage. Everyone. That includes some of your most favorite Asian celebrities!

So if you still feel like you’re going through an awkward phase, check out the photos below. Some of the most gorgeous Asian celebs had their facepalm moments too. There’s still hope for all of us!


 

1. Steven Yeun

Then:

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Now:
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2. Sandra Oh

Then:
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Now:
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3. Brenda Song 

Then:
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Now:
A|X Armani Exchange & ELLE Host A Night Of Disco Glam

 



4. Vanessa Hudgens 

Then:
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Now:
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5. Bruno Mars 

Then:
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Now:
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6. Kristen Kreuk

Then:
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Now:
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7. Mindy Kaling

Then:
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8. Jackie Chan

Then:
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Now:
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9. Daniel Henney

Then:
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Now:
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10. Jenna Ushkowitz

Then:
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Now:
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Video of the Day: Incredible Wushu Martial Arts Performance

 

A video of two women performing in the 10th World Wushu Championships in Toronto, Canada, was uploaded onto YouTube 5 years ago. But it wasn’t until this past week that the video began getting the sort of attention it deserves.

The unbelievable video has resurfaced online and has been making its way into viral fame. The two female performers put on an intricately choreographed battle performance inspired by traditional Chinese martial arts, otherwise known as Wushu.

Find out what all the big fuss is about below.

 

Want to see more incredible Wushu? Lucky for you, this wasn’t the first martial arts video to ever go viral. This past summer, 7-year-old Mahiro-chan proved that despite her smal stature, she was just as capable of kicking butt with her martial arts.

 

Of course, if all of this is too rough for you, you can always choose to watch these two cuties. Sure, they may not be as intense as the martial artists in the previous videos, but they definitely reached viral fame. After all, who doesn’t love cute, Asian babies?

 

5 Asian Authors Who Should Be Taught in Every High School

Hamlet. Gatsby. Odysseus.

If you’ve grown up in the American education system, these are all names that you’re probably very familiar with. After all, we spent our high school years  learning about characters and authors of European, American, and Greek roots. And while we are forever thankful for Morison, Twain and Fitzgerald, there are times when we wish there was more variety to what our minds soaked up during those pivotal four years of education.

For instance, for every 5 books read, there is an Asian writer who has a story of civil unrest, assimilation, modernity, or sacrifice that would only benefit a literature syllabus. Keep reading to discover 5 Asian writers who should be taught in every high school.

 


 

1. Haruki Murakami

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John Updike described Japanese author Haruki Murakami’s Kafka on the Shore as a “real page-turner, as well as an insistently metaphysical mind-bender.”

Murakami should be taught in school because he is accessible (in the sense that his mention of shamanism and classical music don’t feel foreign to the average reader), he’s funny, and he explores themes such as family versus independence and society versus solitude in a way that makes it easy to think about, write about, and talk about.

 


 

2. Jhumpa Lahiri

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Indian-American author Juhmpa Lahiri wrote her first short story collection, The Interpreter of Maladies, in 2000 and it won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction.

Lahiri should be taught in school because her language is “plain” but powerful. She navigates fields such as immigration (a topic important to all students in schools, not just students who are children of immigrants) and immigrant psychology.

 


 

3. Gish Jen

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In Gish Jen’s Mona in the Promised Land, Mona Chang moves with her newly prosperous family to Scarshill, New York in 1968, where the Chinese have become “the new Jews.” She attends temple “rap” sessions and falls in love (with a nice Jewish boy who lives in a tepee).

Jen should be introduced in school because her fiction is not what a high school student would expect to read, and yet it’s what one would relate to the most. Mona is charming, sassy, organized. This is not a quiet novel whose wisdom surfaces after much discussion (though that’s rewarding in its own right). It is, however, authentic in the experience it presents.

 

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4. Aravind Adiga

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The White Tiger won the Man Booker Prize in 2008, and is a sharp look at India’s class struggle.

Adiga should be taught in school because he has a dark humor that introduces the way money, class, education, and corruption is viewed after a culture has been colonized. The voice of the underclass is captured not in emotional images of disturbing occurrences, but in someone trying to be something they’re not, and succeeding.

 


 

5. Kazuo Ishiguro

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Kazuo Ishiguro’s The Remains of the Day also won the Man Book Prize, and speaks to the post-World War I era.

Ishiguro should be taught in school because he examines three things that are so outrightly spelled out in pre-university education: dignity, memory, and perspective. He does not write in a way that glorifies the three, but speaks of the sharp parts of it: how dignity lets things go unnoticed and how memory and perspective can determine everything.

Steven Yeun and Sandara Park Team Up For Hilarious Mini Web Series

 

We never thought we’d see The Walking Dead‘s Steven Yeun and 2NE1’s Sandara Park — two of our favorites — collaborating together. So you can imagine our excitement when we discovered that the two were acting as a couple for the BeFUNNY mini web series, “What’s Eating Steven Yeun?” Was there squealing and jumping for joy involved? Possibly.

BeFUNNY studios works to bring together Asian American celebrities from Hollywood and Asian celebrities from all over Asia. In our opinion, they couldn’t have picked a better duo. After all, Yeun has openly discussed the lack of roles available for Asian Americans and how he’s bent on changing that.

“People ask, ‘So, how are the roles now? You must be getting so many.’ And it’s like, I don’t know if you know, but I’m Asian still,” Yeun told TheWrap during an interview in July. “It’s not a complaint, that’s just how it is now. I think that if I had not been Asian, I probably would have a whole plethora of roles, at least to audition for, but it’s just not what has been written.”

 

 

Rather than sit and sulk about the circumstances, Yeun decided to do something about it by writing and producing his own projects which will offer better roles to Asian actors. Yeun is working on an adaptation of Kang Chol-Hwan’s memoir The Aquariums of Pyongyang, which focuses on life inside of a North Korean concentration camp, as well as some cartoons and comedies like this mini web series.

“What’s Eating Steven Yeun?”  follows Yeun as he decides to leave his career in America to enter the next chapter in his life and become a South Korean idol. The hilarious web series shows that this transition may not be as easy as Yeun expected.

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Check out all three episodes below!

 

Episode 1
Episode 2
Episode 3

 

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A Hello Kitty Cafe is Finally Coming to California

 

Calling all Hello Kitty fans in California! We have even more good news for you. The 40th anniversary of our most beloved Sanrio character brought us the Hello Kitty exhibit in the Japanese American National Museum, the Hello Kitty Hungry Hunt and even the very first Hello Kitty Convention. Well, it looks like the celebrating is far from over.

During the Hello Kitty con, a pink food truck not only brought adorable donuts and macarons, it also brought exciting news: A Hello Kitty Cafe is finally coming to California!

Aside from it’s expected opening in 2015, not much is known about the upcoming Hello Kitty cafe. Although the website it still rather mysterious, it links to an Instagram showing a number of Hello Kitty themed food and the pink food truck.

Check them out below. They’re sure to leave you at the edge of your seat in excitement!

 

My Korean Husband: Exploring Interracial Relationships

 

Complete with a YouTube channel, a comic series and blog posts, the website My Korean Husband, run by married couple Nichola and Hugh, documents the cultural differences and exploration of Korean and Australian culture. The site’s “About Us” page goes into further detail about the two:

We are a married couple and we first met in Sydney, Australia. Nichola is an Australian woman and Hugh (Mr Gwon) is a Korean man. Nichola grew up in rural Australia, while Hugh grew up in rural South Korea. Growing up in very different cultures means there are many challenges to face, but there are also very many rewards.

 

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https://www.facebook.com/MyKoreanHusband

 

The blog originally started as a creative space for Nichola’s comics to explore a wide range of issues. In the comics, the couple is portrayed as a bickering, but affectionate couple who explore Korean culture together. The adorable comics focus on everything from lack of oven mitts to the difference between Korean and Australian food.

 

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Photo courtesy of http://www.mykoreanhusband.com/

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Photo courtesy of http://www.mykoreanhusband.com/

 

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Photo courtesy of http://www.mykoreanhusband.com/

 

And in regards to communication, Nichola says, “I think all couples, even those that speak the same native language, can have this problem. We just tend to more aware of it. We are patient with each other, and don’t jump to conclusions and we ask for clarification before reacting to something. While we don’t speak the same native language, we speak the same language emotionally so we rarely have problems with communication.”

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http://www.mykoreanhusband.com/aboutus/

“We’re comparing and contrasting our lives as cartoonists, English teachers, fathers and husbands,” the couple told the Korea Herald in 2013. “We’re also going to bring in guest cartoonists with connections to Korea and Japan and maybe try to open a dialogue between a few Korean and Japanese cartoonists.”

Dating someone of a different culture may be difficult at times, but as this couple proves, it has a handful of rewards along the way.

 

All photos courtesy of mykoreanhusband.com

 

 

Sephora Accused of Being Racist Against Asians

 

Recently, Sephora held a big 20% off sale for their “VIB” customers who spent over $350 during the year. Unfortunately, many of those top-tier customers faced technical difficulties — their accounts were shut down or their ability to place orders were restricted with absolutely no reason given. This certainly caused quite the alarm for loyal customers who wanted to partake in the sale, but this was nothing compared to the shocking theory behind these blocked customers: Sephora is being accused of blocking their Asian customers.

Allegedly, the customers banned from the sale were those who have e-mail addresses based in China, or those who have Chinese/Asian surnames. Styleite caught just a few of the thousands of Chinese Americans waiting for an explanation from Sephora.

 

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If these allegations are true, you may be wondering why Sephora would use geographic and ethnic profiling. Many have theorized that such a move was done to prevent international bulk buyers and re-sellers. However, we can all agree that it’s impossible to actually tell which customers want to re-sell their products and which ones simply enjoy Sephora products. As expected, many Sephora users are outraged.

“Long-time Sephora customer here,” one reddit user wrote. “I moved to Taiwan a few years ago, but really wanted some Sephora goodness. I sent an order to my (western last name) friend and had her re-ship the package to me, I had no issues with the order. Recently tried to make another order and send it to my brother (Chinese last name) who lives in Miami to bring back to me on his next trip home. My order was canceled and when I asked, they gave me the same TOS bullshit. When I asked which part of the TOS they were talking about, I was ignored.”

Sephora eventually released a statement admitting their concern over reselling products.

Message for Clients

Sephora is dedicated to providing an exciting and reliable shopping experience and we sincerely apologize to our loyal clients who were impacted by the website crash that occurred yesterday.

Our website is incredibly robust and designed to withstand a tremendous amount of volume. What caused the disruption yesterday was a high level of bulk buys and automated accounts for reselling purposes from North America and multiple countries outside the US. The technical difficulties that impacted the site are actively being addressed and our desktop US website is now functioning normally. We are actively working to restore our Canadian, mobile website, and international shipping where applicable. There has been no impact on the security and privacy of our clients’ data.

The reality is that in taking steps to restore website functionality, some of our loyal North American and international clients got temporarily blocked. We understand how frustrating it is and are deeply sorry for the disruption to your shopping experience.

However, in some instances we have, indeed, de-activated accounts due to reselling — a pervasive issue throughout the industry and the world. As part of our ongoing commitment to protecting our clients and our brands, we have identified certain entities who take advantage of promotional opportunities to purchase products in large volume on our website and re-sell them through other channels. After careful consideration, we have deactivated these accounts in order to optimize product availability for the majority of our clients, as well as ensure that consumers are not subject to increased prices or products that are not being handled or stored properly.

As expected, many outraged customers are pledging never to shop there again. What do you think?

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Asian Street Style: Interview With Joshua K. Lau, Founder Of Retail Giant YesStyle.com

 

We love Asian street trends, beauty styles and brands, but there was a point in time where accessibility was difficult.  While Asian dramas were circulating online through various sites and engaging a new international audience, fans craved to have tangible products versus online downloads and streaming.  YesAsia was founded in 1998 when Joshua K. Lau and Priscilla Chu addressed the growing need of consumers interested in Asian entertainment goods along with the neologistic Hallyu wave that was flowing across Asia in the late 1990s.

As interest surged, so did the fascination with Asian clothing styles and brands being seen in that entertainment world.  As online retail reached new heights in the 2000s, YesAsia, again at the forefront, breached the barrier to Asian street fashion by launching YesStyle in 2006.  Those coveted looks could suddenly be easily searched and bought through the e-commerce giant.

From financial analyst to founder and CEO, Stanford University graduate Joshua K. Lau shares with us a bit of the history regarding the expansion into Asian fashion with YesStyle and future aspirations for this sector of his company.

 

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YesStyle At The KTOWN Night Market In Los Angeles

 

Audrey Magazine: As the world’s largest online retailer for Asian fashion, what compelled or inspired you to create YesStyle?
Joshua K. Lau: We found that many people were interested in and eager to try out Asian fashion, and we’re always looking for ways to serve our customers. We thought that we could provide reliable service and a large selection of quality products to fill this need. We now carry fashion from South Korea, Japan, Hong Kong and Taiwan, and recently have begun carrying fashion from China.

AM: When did you first find an interest in fashion, particularly street wear and street styles, and e-commerce platforms?  
JKL: Our business started in 1998 as YesAsia.com, which sells Asian entertainment products online, so we’re familiar with e-commerce operations. Then in 2006, I noticed that my wife, Priscilla (who’s also a co-founder of the company), was buying clothing online. After that, we decided to launch YesStyle.com.

AM: What motivates you to keep building your company?
JKL: I love to see our ideas realized. On a daily basis, we come up with and implement new ideas to serve our customers and improve our business. It’s fun to watch it happen.

AM: Since the establishment of YesStyle.com in 2006, can you share with our readers some of the challenges that have emerged over the years and some of your favorite accomplishments?
JKL: It’s been a challenge for us to remain competitive while also making quality a priority, and I’m proud that we’ve been able to maintain that balance. We’ve seen competitors offer fashion at very low prices but with sub-standard quality, and we think it’s necessary to avoid that path.

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AM: What do you feel are some of the pros and cons that social media advances have presented since the beginning of YesStyle?
JKL: Social media can help us tremendously. If we serve our customers well and they’re happy with YesStyle, they’ll tell their friends using social media. It’s happening much faster than a few years ago, so we make it a priority to ensure every customer is satisfied with the products and services from YesStyle. In the end, we hope that they’ll pass their good experience with YesStyle on to their friends. 

AM: What are your goals for the future of YesStyle, and how do you see your company changing in the next few years?
JKL: We’re always working to improve customer experience with YesStyle. For example, we recently launched a YesStyle App for mobile devices and will update it regularly. We’re also expanding our selection with Korean beauty items and lifestyle products. We want to become the place where people can find the most fashionable products from Asia without actually travelling there.

AM: Finally, when you do find time to relax, what are some of your favorite things to do?
JKL: I like spending time with my 7 year-old son. We play soccer and badminton, and also go hiking together.

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YesStyle Sponsors The “aka DAN” Documentary World Premiere With Wong Fu Productions

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Looks Available At YesStyle.com

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Looks Available At YesStyle.com

 

All Images Courtesy Of YesStyle
Feature Image – Founder/CEO, Joshua K. Lau (Middle)

 

 

6 Must-See Foreign Films (That Will Make You Forget You Need Subtitles)

 

1. Like Father, Like Son (2013)

Two very different families discover that their sons were switched at birth. Will the parents choose their biological son or the son they raised?

Why you’ll love it:
The film is sprinkled with subtleties and beautiful cinematography. It’s a quiet film in that the implications of each action are intentional. There are many moments which capture the heartbreak and most importantly, the irreplaceable feeling of being a parent and feeling like a family.

 


 

2. The Lunchbox (2013)

A middle-class housewife begins an unexpected friendship when the lunchbox she packs for her husband is mistakenly delivered to a stranger.

Why you’ll love it:
You’ll love the contrast between the humor and loneliness found in this film. The little confessions that are exchanged between absolute strangers remind us that people are capable of admitting the truth to those we’ve never met. The film is mixed with the striking shots of India’s middle class life.

 


 

3. Eat, Drink, Man, Woman (1994)

A film centered around the large and traditional meals that a widowed father cooks for his daughters. All the while, they must learn to navigate through relationships, pregnancy, tradition and family. 

Why you’ll love it:
You won’t get over the visually stunning shots of food. The film is so sensual, it can even use the crackling of fish to juxtapose sex. Food is a common theme throughout the film, but audiences uncover a much deeper story behind it all.

 

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4. 3 Idiots (2009)

Two friends embark on a journey of finding their friend through bets, wedding crashing, and the line between curiosity and conformity.
Why you’ll love it:
You can’t help but fall in love with the musical numbers. This film certainly inspires audiences to craft their own individuality. There are comical moments, a love story and an emphasis on friendship, but the real feat is way the film feels like a lifetime tipped on its belly to show you the vulnerable parts.

 


 

5. In the Mood for Love (2000)

A married secretary strikes a cordial friendship with her neighbor, a married newspaper editor.
Why you’ll love it:
This is a period drama that paints itself melancholy, and twists in delight through social status and surprises. The film follows the lives of two lonely individuals both trying to cope with their circumstances.

 


 

6. Oldboy (2003)

A man is released from a prison cell with no recollection of what has happened, and embarks on the mission to find out why he was locked up and where his family is.
Why you’ll love it:
You’ll love the film’s eccentricity. The beginning was difficult to follow, but that made the ending all the more cathartic. The storyline transcends plot and takes you into an experience, and the crazy begins to feel less crazy.