Lee Hyori’s Behind-The-Scenes Photos of Her DIY Wedding on New Lifestyle Blog

 

Gathering greens from her homemade garden at her quaint, new home on Jeju Island, South Korea, former Fin.K.L leader Lee Hyori has come a long way from her glamoured-up K-pop star days. On her new blog, she sheds her sexy pop star image and reveals what’s underneath — her organic, vegetarian lifestyle, her undeniable love for animals, and her insight on what it’s like to be a new housewife, as told by text and photographs.

“It’s been a long time since my friends from Seoul have come down [to Jeju],” she wrote in Korean, in her most recent blog post. According to Korea Times, the name of her blog, “so-gil-daek”, refers to her home in Sogil-li, Jeju Island. The site, which went live on May 29th, has already amassed more than 8 million views as of Thursday.

Scrolling through 20-some pages of her Naver blog reveals photos of her friends wandering the woods, her latest embroidery ventures, her adorable dogs (and her imaginary conversations with them) and what’s on her dinner plate, all accompanied by short and sweet blurbs about her day. There’s nothing glamorous about it. She’s almost — dare I say it? — one of us.

Surprisingly, Hyori has received some backlash from critics who say that she is making a fuss, using her fame to glamorize her “simple” life — a life that many ordinary people lead. Characteristic of her rather humble and honest demeanor that is apparent throughout her blog posts, Hyori responded to this criticism in her blog post titled, “Irony.”

“I am famous, but I want to live a quiet life,” she wrote. “I am living quietly, but I don’t want to be forgotten. I’m simple but rich, and I’m rich but nothing is really different. I confess to my ironic life.”

Don’t worry, Hyori — we’re all for it. Even without her fame and popularity, her blog holds its own. Imbued with an overall artsy, bohemian, hipster-esque aesthetic, her photos tell the story not of Hyori, the K-pop Queen, but a down-to-earth human being who just loves adventure with her husband, friends and dogs. She shares her life in simple and candid terms.

Speaking of her husband, here’s what you’ve been waiting for (unless you just skipped to the photos, because I wouldn’t blame you): the adorably adorable wedding photos of Hyori and Lee Sang-Soon! The two talented musicians tied the knot last September in a very private, intimate wedding at their home on Jeju Island, and Hyori recently uploaded exclusive behind-the-scene photos on her blog early July. The whole affair gave off strong vibes of DIY decorations and accessories — from floral crowns to homemade backdrops — that just may inspire your own bohemian, outdoor wedding.

 

wedding1

wedding2

wedding5

wedding6

wedding7

 

wedding8

wedding9

wedding10

wedding 11

wedding 12

LeeHyoriWeddingFeature

 

The caption under this last photograph reads: “When night fell, we were all exhausted. Everything that I was worried about fell away, and after drinking beer, my body just collapsed. ‘How will I live from now on, on this foreign ground bearing my husband’s name?’ I thought to myself, and my heart felt heavy. Then I saw a small light flying around a nearby bush. It was a firefly. It felt like it was the first time I saw a firefly since childhood, and it seemed like the firefly was dancing, flying in between and around us and shining its light all over the place. If I believe that the firefly was telling me that it will all be OK and that I will do a great job, would that be too sentimental? But I looked at the scenery around me, and I realized that there was nothing more that I could ask for. Then, my heart seemed to feel a little lighter.”

Damn. Leave it to Hyori to be beautiful, down-to-earth and poetic all at the same time.

All photos courtesy of Lee Hyori’s blog.

 

Kara Birkenstock Dishes On ’90s Icons and Britney Songs

 

We were lucky enough to get the chance to talk to Kara Birkenstock, the beautiful host of Lifestyle Network’s Style Bites, a show that brings the very best of every girl’s BFFs: fashion and food. Still want to learn more about the Thai-Filipino American model, actress and host? We got the scoop below.

 

Who is your fashion inspiration?
Niki Taylor (first supermodel in the ’90s) and Jennifer Lopez. Jennifer Lopez is just amazing. Her body is amazing and she can rock anything and pull it off. Her main fashion accessory is her confidence.

What is your go-to karaoke song?
Oh gosh, this is embarrassing. “I Will Survive”comes to mind, but I have sung “Oops I Did it Again.”

Favorite celeb of all time?
Brad Pitt. There’s the obvious physical features, but I’ve always enjoyed following his career and he’s always giving back. He turned from a cute actor to an inspiring, powerful role model.

Favorite part of your day?
Probably the end when I’m done with a long day of work and coming back to my little retreat. Getting home to my family, making dinner and sitting down with a yummy meal.

Hidden talent?
Rhythmic gymnastics. I could probably pull that out if I had to. Ha!

Habit you need to break?
I need to be better at following up with friends. Life gets in the way and we all get really busy, so I need to be better at staying in touch with my dear friends.

 

 

Word or phrase you say too much?
Gorgeous or gorg.

Your guilty pleasure?
CARBS. Fried rice and noodles are my big guilty pleasures.

Your pet peeve?
When people don’t say thank you. In cars when you let them pass or on elevators when you hold the door open. You know, ungrateful people.

Greatest Fear?
I actually try not be scared of things. I try to live my life that way. If I’m scared or hesitant about something, I usually jump off the cliff and do it since life’s too short not to.

Your job in another life?
I hate to respond this way, but I feel like if I was in another life, I would know I was destined to do something like this — being in front of the camera or producing or creating fun content. I’ve always wanted to do this. If I died and was born again tomorrow, I think I’d still want to do this.

What’s cool about being Asian?
What’s not cool!?

 

Be sure to read our story on Kara Birkenstock’s show here. For more Kara, don’t forget to watch her latest episode of Style Bites which airs daily with new episodes premiering weekly on the Lifestyle Network. For more information, click here.

 

Asia Street Style: Do Summer Like These Bangkok Stylesetters

 

If there’s anyone who knows how to stay chic during the sweltering months of summer, it’s Bangkokians. In a crowded city where public transportation is the norm, dressing in Bangkok requires equal parts practicality (walkable shoes are a must) and style. Prepping for my trip there last February (where it was already in the 80s and humid), I — used to air conditioned cars and high heels on a daily basis — fretted over how to look chic while staying cool. These stylesetters could have taught me a thing or two then. Let’s take a few style lessons from them now (and just in time for L.A.’s heat wave).

 

1. Something graphic and short is always cool — make sure you add a sun-blocking hat. Bonus points for studded oxfords (again — all that walking!) and an oversized handled clutch.

 

Screen Shot 2014-07-22 at 9.13.23 AM copy Screen Shot 2014-07-22 at 9.13.23 AMScreen Shot 2014-07-22 at 9.13.25 AM

 

2. Wear something mesh — it lets the breeze in while still keeping you somewhat covered up. Wedge heel sneakers keep you comfortable while still giving you a bit of height.

 

Screen Shot 2014-07-22 at 9.14.35 AM

 

3. A simple oversized tee and a mini are instantly chic-ified with a multi-chain necklace, a pastel oversized bag and the coolest strappy platform sandals ever. (Again, adds height, still walkable.) And how adorable are her metallic mint green toes? That color alone is enough to keep you cool.

 

Screen Shot 2014-07-22 at 9.17.07 AM Screen Shot 2014-07-22 at 9.17.09 AM

 

4. If you have to commute to work, this look is perfect: a sleeveless jacket worn over a crop top for the perfect peek of midriff. Yes, the heels are high, but the platform make it doable.

 

Screen Shot 2014-07-22 at 9.12.56 AM copyScreen Shot 2014-07-22 at 9.12.56 AM

 

5. If you’re a bit more of a fashion risk taker, try a mesh skirt in a pop of yellow worn under a long sports-inspired tank. Triple platform Converse balance the girly skirt and metallic crossbody.

 

Screen Shot 2014-07-22 at 9.16.35 AM

 

6. When you’re wearing a print dress with a look-at-me clutch, normcore sneakers are not only OK, they’re almost required.

 

Screen Shot 2014-07-22 at 9.16.07 AM

 

7. And when all else fails, keep the clothes simple and let your accessories do the talking.

 

Screen Shot 2014-07-22 at 9.17.38 AM  Screen Shot 2014-07-22 at 9.19.56 AM   Screen Shot 2014-07-22 at 9.20.12 AM

 

Source

Fashion Blogger Ivy Xu Shows You How To Style the Origami Skirt

 

A couple weeks back, we brought you the new fashion trend of the summer — origami skirts. They are the perfect choice of clothing for days when you’re sick of wearing shorts and want to look a little bit more dressed up.

But like any other fashion trend, sometimes we hit a bump when we find cute pieces, but don’t necessarily know what exactly to wear with them. Luckily for us, we found Vancouver-based Ivy Xu that has mastered the art of wearing the origami skirt, and it turns out there are plenty of ways to style it. You can also follow her at her blog here.

 

Here are some of our favorites:

1. Pair it with a boxy top in a geometric print and, of course, some heels to make the look more polished.

 

skirt

 

 

2. Pair it with a casual tee for days when you’re running errands.

 

skirt2

 

 

3. A fedora, an embroidered vest and a slouchy white tee lends a music festival feel.

 

skirt3

 

4. Going to a party? Dress it up with a fancy necklace and a cropped sweater.

 

skirt4

5.  Nothing says badass like a snapback with big bold metallic letters, along with a chic black leather jacket and chunky heels to pull it all together.

 

badass

 

Rise of Anti-Rape Clothing in India Receives Criticism

 

India has seen an influx of “anti-rape clothing” over recent years. Although this has created quite some controversy, people across the country are desperately trying to create anything that could hinder unwanted advances.

“The harassment of the girl in Delhi was the turning point for all to realize that we need to take a step against this menace,” 21-year-old Manisha Mohan, who co-created an anti-rape bra, told Vetunotech, referring to the infamous New Delhi gang rape in 2012, where a 23-year-old student was brutally raped, tortured and killed on a public bus. Since then, there have been a number of efforts to create strict measures against rape. New anti-rape laws have been passed by the Indian government, including the death penalty for repeat offenders.

 

 

Despite these efforts, rape continues to be a horrifying reality to many Indian women. Earlier this year, a 20-year-old woman was gang raped by 13 men in her rural village as punishment for having a relationship with a man from a different community. In another incident, 10 men were arrested for gang raping a 21-year-old woman. Even more shocking, a 7-year-old girl was raped and hanged.

But relying on politicians and government officials have often been fruitless. One police official compared rape to gambling and said if you can’t prevent it, you enjoy it. Later, a female politician claimed rape occurs when women act and dress inappropriately. Needless to say, many citizens felt like they needed to take measures into their own hands.

This is why three Indian engineering students created the anti-rape bra called SHE (Society Harnessing Equipment). According to NBC News, the bra “delivers a strong electric shock to potential rapists and attackers, and also has the ability to send an alert text message to the wearer’s friends and family.” There are also college students from the city of Varanasi who have created a line of anti-rape jeans. According to Daily Mail, the jeans “contain an electronic tracker that will send a distress signal to the nearest police station when pressed.” And this doesn’t even cover the anti-rape wrist watches and jackets.

 

Screen Shot 2014-07-24 at 4.48.39 PM

Anti-rape watch. Photo courtesy of http://ibnlive.in.com/

 

Anti-rape jeans.

Anti-rape jeans.

 

Obviously, anti-rape clothing was created with nothing but good intentions, however, many are questioning whether or not it would actually work.

“In India, most of the rapes happen within the family,” said Indian journalist Sonia Faleiro. “It happens behind the closed door. These people aren’t going to stop what they are doing because of a piece of clothing.” Furthermore, Faleiro pointed out that girls still live in fear and anti-rape clothing is just a bandaid to the big issue.

Faleiro certainly brings up good points. This issue won’t be solved with bandaid solutions alone, and women shouldn’t have to live in fear or wear outrageous clothing. Women and victims are not responsible for rape and they should not be the only ones taking measures to prevent it.

However, I still believe it is a step in creating change and most importantly, it has people talking about an issue that needs to be discussed. On certain occasions, these devices let women feel safe and give men the message that a lack of consent is not OK.

Tell us what you think.

 

Why This Chinese Artist Recreated Noah’s Ark in China

 

Ninety-nine stuffed animals recently sailed into the Huangpu River in Shanghai, China, on a little fishing boat. But no worries — though the scene may have shared a resemblance to Noah’s Ark from the Bible, it isn’t some type of apocalyptic warning. In fact, it was to raise awareness of a major ongoing issue in China.

By now, you’ve probably heard an infinite number of horror stories depicting China’s terrible water pollution situation, including the one where some 16,000 dead pigs were dumped and found in the same Huangpu River last year. Why is this especially a major issue? The Huangpu River supplies the city with some of its drinking water. Having grown up in Shanghai myself, I nearly went into cardiac arrest when word broke out.

Sadly, even with all the media attention, not a lot has actually been done to relieve the problem. This is where New York-based Cai Guo-Qiang stepped in with his art piece, titled “Ninth Wave”, to promote his cause of putting an end to water pollution.

 

art

Photo courtesy of Shanghaiist

 

 

noa2

Photo courtesy of Shanghaiist

 

Cai produced each and every single one of the 99 animals, along with the boat in his hometown of Fujian, China. According to the Wall Street Journal, Cai explained the concept behind the mini ark: “The creatures are depicted as near death — as though seasick from the currents of our times.” As for why he chose 99 animals, he reportedly said that it is a number that symbolizes “infiniteness” in China. 

 

Viral Video Alert: UN Creates Bollywood Music Video Promoting LGBT Rights

 

After watching only a few seconds of this music video, we encounter dancing, singing, vibrant colors and, of course, romance. Yup, this can only mean one thing: Bollywood.

Who doesn’t love good Bollywood? In fact, this music video, produced by the United Nations’ Free & Equal Campaign, has already picked up more than 2 million views since being uploaded onto YouTube a few months ago.

“The Welcome” begins with a family preparing for a wedding. “Today, Sir is coming with his special friend,” one relative says in excitement as he puts up decorations. After much suspense, the groom-to-be finally arrives, but is met with stunned expressions from his relatives as his “special friend” turns out to be a man as well. The two join hands and wait for the verdict from a stern-faced grandmother.

Bollywood star Celina Jaitly intervenes and sings about a “new look” and a “new attitude” which accepts all forms of love.

After her initial hesitation, the grandmother decides to welcome the two men with a smile and they get their Bollywood happy ending after all — complete with dancing, music and a smile on every face.

 

 

As you may have already guessed, the video was created to promote LGBT rights. Specifically, this video is in response to India’s Supreme Court decision on December 2013, which reenacted Section 377 of India’s Penal Code, which states, “Whoever voluntarily has carnal intercourse against the order of nature with any man, woman or animal shall be punished with imprisonment for life, or with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to ten years, and shall also be liable to fine.”

The decision was opposed by many human rights activists, including the United Nations who chose to express their opinion in this delightful music video.

Popular actress, model and beauty queen Jaitly is not the only Bollywood celebrity to openly fight for LGBT rights. Just a few months ago, the beautiful Sonam Kapoor argued that India’s legal stance on homosexuality does not align with their cultural stance.

“We’ve regressed instead of progressing,” Kapoor said while discussing the possibility of homosexuality on the big screen. “I think movies can influence the way people think sometimes and if we do start making love stories, or we start making movies about people who are amazing human beings, people who have done something in life, people who are inspirational who aren’t necessarily only straight, I think people will start appreciating them more.”

Although this music video is not on the big screen, it’s certainly a step towards an accepting future.

 

Asia Street Style: Overalls Are Back! Why They’re a Fashion Favorite and How You Can Rock Them

 

What started out as practical workwear for agricultural and industrial careers has been revived this summer, but as a new fashion statement. Yes, I’m talking about overalls. I know some people cringe at the thought of buying a pair, but it deserves some attention.

Celebrities have been spotted all over Los Angeles and New York stepping out in their favorite denim one-pieces, and designers have taken a stab at reinventing them for the runway. Simple tanks seem to be the favored companions in the United States, so we took to the streets of Seoul to find out how trendsetters are working this interesting comeback in Korea. While the overalls remain a common factor, individual personalities and styles shine through. Who knew something quite simple could be worn in so many ways?

Check out some favorites below to find inspiration for working a pair into your own wardrobe.


Go for urban cool with a skinny leg or vintage chic with wide legged denim:

 

Photo Courtesy of iamalexfinch.com

Photo Courtesy of iamalexfinch.com

Mix denim cut-offs and floral prints for summer:

 

oa 2

Photo Courtesy of iamalexfinch.com

 

Pair head accessories like hats and scarves with overalls (and don’t forget to roll them up for the ultimate in casual chic):

 

oa 3

Photos Courtesy of sol-sol-street.tumblr.com

 

For a bit of edge, rock a colorful pair with a black fedora and a blingy fanny pack casually slung like a crossbody.

 

oa 4

Photo Courtesy of instagram.com/streetper

 


 

Excited to try out this current street trend? We found some options from light to dark, patterned to classic, and priced right for some summer retail therapy.

 

oa 5
An extremely light wash plays down the boldness of the cobra print on this shorts option. RES Denim’s Corn Kids Overalls features adjustable straps, button closures and patch pockets. Available at: www.revolveclothing.com for $106.

 

 

oa 6
Paige Denim’s Sierra Overall in Vintage Black offers a sleek and slimming tailored cut that provides comfort, while keeping to their expected feminine silhouettes that the brand is famous for. Available at: www.paigeusa.com for $279.

 

 

oa 7
Want a true throwback? Check out Current/Elliott’s The Ranch Hand Overall in Bedford. With a dark wash and ability to roll the hems, this classic version is perfect for mixing with printed tops and summer’s ubiquitous Birkenstocks. Available at: www.currentelliott.com for $348.

 

Story by Min A. Lee.

 

 

Son of Esteemed Hong Kong Chef Who Died On Flight MH17 Says, “My Parents Are Watching From Heaven”

 

Last Thursday morning, hundreds of people everywhere went into mourning, as news broke of the disastrous Malaysia flight MH17 that went down in Ukraine. Some 298 innocent lives were taken, among them well-respected AIDS activists, scientists and engineers.

Among the people who lost family members on the flight is Kevin Fan, who lost his 60-year-old Hong Kong-born father, Fan Shun Po, Malaysian mother, Jenny Loh Yan-hwa, and his grandmother, Tan Siew Po. According to Shanghaiist, Fan had been accompanying his wife and mother-in-law back to Malaysia when tragedy struck.

 

family

Fan Shun Po, far right, with his family.

 

Fan, who friends knew as a great father and husband, was also a celebrated chef in Rotterdam, owner of his own Asian restaurant called Asian Glories. The restaurant ranks among the top 10 best restaurants in Rotterdam. Pang Tai, one of Fan’s longtime friends of 30 years, told reporters that Fan and his wife had worked really hard in building a name for themselves in the restaurant industry. Fan had immigrated to the Netherlands and opened the restaurant just shortly after becoming a Netherlands citizen, while his wife worked as a waitress at another local restaurant at the time.

 

 

restaurant

Asian Glories restaurant in Rotterdam, Netherlands

 

Despite having experienced somewhat of a bumpy road before achieving success at Asian Glories, Fan, say friends and family, was extremely involved in philanthropy work. Fan and his wife would regularly volunteer at the Buddhist Compassion Relief Tzu Chi Foundation in the Netherlands, an organization that was dedicated to helping the poor.

His involvement in charity work didn’t just end there. In 2011, Fan volunteered to go to Japan on a mission to help with the earthquake disaster relief. He also worked on a donation campaign for an 8-year-old cancer patient to raise money for his treatment. In fact, Fan donated 20,000 euros (26,916 USD) of his own money to the campaign.

 

8 year old

The 8-year-old cancer patient Fan raised money for.

 

Now a talented chef himself, Kevin Fan is determined to continue his parents’ legacy at Asian Glories, despite the recent loss. According to South China Morning Post, he posted on the Asian Glories Facebook page, “As my mom Jenny always said, ‘We can get through anything; it is the feelings that we cannot get over’,” he wrote. “If you can manage yourself, everything will pass. I will carry on this lesson throughout my life.”

In dedication to his parents, Kevin also wrote on the page, “Jenny and Popo have lived their life to the fullest, a life in which they have worked hard to build up something that has made me proud. … I know that my parents are watching upon us from heaven. So let us be strong and face this with a smile.”

 

chef

flowers2

 

Viral Video Alert: Tiny Floating Asian Babies

Radio Station STAR FM 93.9 uploaded a video onto their official Facebook earlier this month and it already has 170,000 shares and even more likes. What could possibly captivate people this much? Adorable Asian babies, of course!

In this video, a pair of chubby-cheeked babies are relaxing in a small tub using baby neck floats. It’s quite a sight if you’ve never seen this odd little contraption. The device is used to not only keep the baby afloat, it also encourages good exercise and allows babies to explore their body movements.

 

The cuteness of these babies in their tiny donut floaties have left many squealing in delight, but that’s not all. The adorable video has been met with an alarming amount of criticism from those who are unfamiliar with the device.

Many have voiced concern and even anger. They have called the parents “stupid” for leaving the babies with a device that looks “uncomfortable and dangerous.” Admittedly, as cute as they were, a part of me couldn’t help but worry for the comfort of these babies as well.

Thankfully, many Asian netizens have pointed out that baby neck floats have been around in Asia for years. In fact, an American company named Otteroo, sells the device and goes into detail about its comfort and  safety. According to the official site, this device helps satisfy mental curiosity, encourages water familiarity and helps physical development and coordination.

 

Have you tried a baby neck float on your child? If so, tell us your experience!