Sooo … in my frantic and very pathetic effort to quickly move out of my apartment back East, I accidentally threw a big box of my stuff out. And being me, of course I threw out the box with my camera, iPod, three pairs of heels, and a number of other valuables. I also lost a clutch and a purse … or two.
If I were you, I’d hop on either of these bags before I get on ‘em. Made by Samantha Thavasa and valued at $295 each, nabbing one of these bad boys is the cherry on top to start your banana sundae weekend.
Korean American Jennifer Park is a friend to every girl looking for more than the usual fast fashion labels, but who still needs to be budget-friendly. Cue her line Funktional, which offers high-quality clothing at affordable prices. But beware — the line isn’t for wallflowers. Just look at some of Park’s favorite designers: Ann Demeulemeester, who favors deconstruction with intricate detailing, and Japanese designer Junya Watanabe, known for his innovative collections. Or her biggest celebrity client Rihanna, who was spotted wearing Funktional’s black “Cage” dress in 2009.
That year Park debuted Funktional with (you guessed it) functionality as the key, yet “far from basic,” she assures. Park’s inspirations come from the past, present and future, and her fashion-forward thinking shines through with each collection. Funktional’s selling point isn’t just the thrifty price line; it’s also wearable despite the futuristic elements.
The inspiring documentary Dressed showcases a deeper side to the often shallow world of fashion. The movie is a compelling story of a young Asian American fashion designer, Nary Manivong, who defied the odds of a broken childhood and homelessness to reach his ultimate dream, a show of his collection during New York Fashion Week. Check out the trailer after the jump.
Etsy.com has become one of my favorite sites over the years, as I scour for the cute, the vintage and the unique. New shops pop up like daisies and it can be tiresome keeping track of my favorite stores.
But Jewel Numkki’s sweet line of dresses, tops, skirts and cardigans, all embellished with whimsical appliques and handmade touches, is hard to forget.
Designer Cecilia Lee started Jewel Numkki (pronounced jool-nuhm-kki) as a hobby, and it’s blown up into a bona fide small business for her. After graduating from the University of Hawaii in Fashion Design and Merchandising, Lee worked on another clothing line before moving to California. She continued to receive requests for custom-made dresses and tops from former clients, so she decided to start her own line through Etsy.
So what does Jewel Numkki mean? “I wanted my clothing line to have a name that was youthful, fun and expressive,” says the Korean American, so she anglicized the Korean word for “jump rope.” “It gets people to ask me what it means and I can teach them a Korean word at the same time,” she adds.
To give you a head start on your spring wardrobe this week, we’re giving away a Jewel Numkki gem: a purple “YoYo Garden” dress that retails for $88 and fits any size between XS and M.
Tweet or Facebook your favorite Audreymagazine.com post and comment below with a link to your tweet/FB post (be sure to @audreymagazine it so we can see it). You have until February 2, 11:59 pm to comment, and must have a U.S. mailing address to be eligible for the giveaway. Happy Friday!
I remember when sample sales were a rare, coveted event. Designers would set out runway samples and alert only a select, elite few to come peruse their wares at ridiculously low prices. The designers themselves would even be present, giving advice on how you can take in the back or sneaking out special merchandise for you. (I still have the slim-cut stone trench with sequin trimmed belt that Phillip Lim, during his pre-3.1 days, brought out for me at his warehouse during a Development — his former label — sample sale a half a dozen years back. Sigh.)
Nowadays, sample sales are aplenty, but who has time to trek out to some out-of-the-way warehouse to pick through stuff that, well, has been picked through? Thank goodness for online discounters and sample sales — it can make a slow work day quite productive.
Modnique is one such sample sale trove. The retailer of designer merchandise at highly discounted prices save its members up to 85 percent off well-known brands such as Valentino, Miss Sixty, Covet, Lalique, Gucci, Fendi and more. Everything sold on Modnique (read: Modern meets Unique) is guaranteed to be 100 percent brand new and authentic.
The catch? You only have anywhere from 36 to 72 hours to nab sale items of specific brands, and it’s only available to its members. (But membership is free, so why wouldn’t you join?)
Try it out! To get you started, Modnique and Audrey Magazine are giving away a pair of Fendi sunglasses to one lucky reader. It’s the Fendi FS474M, length 5.5 inches, made in Italy (of course), and retails for $275.
1. Go through Audrey Magazine’s winter 2010-11 issue and tell us your favorite part of the magazine and why.
2. If you don’t have a copy of our winter issue (what?!?), then tell us your favorite story at AudreyMagazine.com and tell us why.
3. Do this via comment to this post by Wednesday, January 19, 2011, 11:59 pm. Don’t forget, you must have a U.S. mailing address to win.
For those who are still tuning in with Project Runway, I am sure you would agree that this season is filled with tension between the designers. But what makes this season exciting (at least for us!) is not only the drama but also the fact that there are two Asian-American contestants who both seem to be strong contenders.
It was definitely disappointing to see Korean contestant Ivy Higa eliminated from PR just three weeks ago. Fortunately, Andy South from Hawaii still remained in the competition, so Asian-inspired pieces continue to be represented on the runway. Surely he’s had his ups and downs, but who could ever forget the winning dress he made for the party store challenge, or the avant-garde look for the L’Oreal Paris make-up challenge?
In this week’s episode, South stayed true to himself and his point of view as a designer is really shining through. It was a little nerve-wrecking when his fellow contestant, Gretchen Jones, stated his design ‘looks like the mistress you’d pay a high, high price for to have her spank you.’ He even played off the joke and said he translated his inspiration to ‘the head waitress at this tea house who does happy endings.’ But he managed to ‘make it work’ (in Tim Gunn’s words) at the end and made a little black dress with lines that really flatter a woman’s body. I was ecstatic when Heidi told him he was going to create a collection. However, he is among four who were given the opportunity, but only three can show at New York Fashion Week. As much as I love South’s edgy warrior-woman looks, I’m hoping he’ll surprise us with something new in his collection! The judges are waiting for him to design something different as well. It’s been a while (since Chloe Dao in season two) that an Asian-American landed in the top three of Project Runway. Go Andy!
Don’t forget to catch the next episode (Finale Part 1) on Thursday, October 21 at 9pm on Lifetime!
Getting geared up for summer? We here at Audrey are trying to give you all the help you need. Keep an eye out for our upcoming Thank Goodness It’s Free Fridays giveaways. We’ve got all sorts of summer goodies lined up for you.
Meanwhile, catch a deal on this TLé strapless maxi dress. Can’t you just picture it on a beachside resort? Made with featherweight chiffon and lined in georgette, the dress’s ombre sunset hues will make anyone look tan. It’s a great beach cover-up that you can then wear to dinner with some ethnic earrings and jangling bangles.
And if you think you can’t pull off a maxi dress because you’re not statuesque, don’t worry. Vietnamese American designer TLé specifically makes clothes for shorter women.
Buy it now at our one-day only, guaranteed low price at AudreyShops.
If cold hands means warm heart, what do cold legs mean?
We here in SoCal are relatively lucky during these winter months. I mean, Old Man Winter’s got a serious beef with the East coast and mid-West this year apparently (40 below??? What does that even mean?).
And while we’re not anywhere near those kind of igloo-worthy temps, these past couple weeks have been a bit chillier than usual. (Yes, we actually had to pull out the gloves in L.A., and I don’t mean the be-studded cropped leather driving glove kind.)
Now, you have to understand. We’re Angelenos. The slightest raindrop or temps that don’t start with the number 7 and above throw us into a frenzy. We can’t drive in the rain. And we certainly don’t know how to deal with really cold weather like we’ve had these past couple weeks.
Fellow Angeleno Jennifer Kim thoroughly empathizes. That’s why she came up with Plush, a line of leggings lined with fleece, but without any of the added bulk.
In our Fall 2009 issue, we reported that the indie line Graey finally expanded its collection of must-have lace tops and leggings (way before leggings became de rigeur) to include drool-worthy, colorblocked dresses. Here, we pick the brain behind the genius collection, Janet Kim, for some styling tips.
Janet Kim and her brother.
Audrey Magazine: How’d you come up with the name Graey?
Janet Kim: I wanted a name that was distinctive yet free of associations — something neutral. It took a while to come up with the name.
AM: What inspires your designs?
JK: I strive to create beautiful garments. The craft of fashion inspires me.
AM: What’s an average day like and how does that affect your fashion choices?
JK: When you run your own business there is no average day. Sometimes I spend a large part of my day at home, doing emails, designing, making patterns, etc. But often I’m running around meeting with buyers or editors, visiting factories or boutiques, or running errands.
Music is a big part of my life — lately I’ve been playing violin at a lot of shows with friends who are in bands or doing solo stuff. I generally dress for comfort when I work since it sucks to have to run up and down subway steps in uncomfortable shoes or clothes. When I play shows, I tend to dress up a little.
AM: How would you describe your personal style?
JK: When I’m working from home or don’t have any important meetings, I generally dress more casually — jeans and a tee or tank and a cardigan or jacket because I always feel so cold when they jack up the A/C indoors. When I go out and I have time, I like to play around with my wardrobe choices. Sometimes I wear pieces from my own line, other times I wear thrift store finds or pieces from other independent designers.
AM: What are your favorite pieces in your wardrobe?
JK: I have a bustier I made while in school in Paris that I love — it is made of this sparkly gold Swarovski fabric that I dress down with a pair of jeans. I also love wearing lace leggings (see above) from my own line. I have a few different pairs — they are leggings with lace cutouts. They add a punch to simple dresses, tunics or tops.
AM: How do you wear your own designs?
JK: I usually play with ideas that I come up with my friend Diana Huang, who helps me style shoots. We don’t do anything too crazy, but we’ll find cool tights or accessories to add some punch to the pieces. Usually it’s stuff I find on the cheap at a place like Strawberry, and costume jewelry. I am a pretty low-maintenance girl so I try to avoid getting into situations where I’ll be uncomfortable or susceptible to wardrobe malfunctions. I also try to buy a few cool pairs of shoes each season to spice things up.
AM: What will your next fashion purchase for fall be?
JK: I’ve been meaning to buy wedges. I have these awesome wide-legged jeans that look great with heels, which I generally don’t wear too often because I’m fairly tall and they can be uncomfortable. Anyway, I was never a huge fan of wedges, but the other day I saw a girl with a cute pair.
AM: Bags, shoes or jewelry?
JK: Probably shoes. I tend to carry the same couple of bags all the time, and I usually don’t stray too much from the standard pieces of jewelry I wear all the time. With jewelry I’m drawn to big clunky pieces but I end up taking them off after a while because they are so heavy. However, there are always different styles of shoes I’d like to try.
AM: Any fashion secrets that you rely on to look good?
JK: When I see something on someone else that I like, I’m never shy about asking them where she got it, even a total stranger on the street! It’s important to also be aware of what looks good on your figure. I’m fairly curvy, so I’ve found that fitted pieces are more flattering on me, generally. It takes experimentation to find the right combination of clothes and accessories, and I’m always looking on the street and in magazines for new ideas. Confidence is a big part of it — even if you are mimicking a look, it’s important to really own it, or you’ll just look dressed up rather than dressed well.
Shop it at www.GraeyNY.com.
Photos courtesy of Graey.