Fall 2014 Fashion Trend: You Don’t Have To Be Superman To Wear A Cape

 

During Fall and Winter, fashion is all about layers, luxe coats and cozy vibes. It’s the seasons that naturally allow for a richer, more luxurious way of dressing.

Each year, we see a new coat trend walk down the runway. Last year, it was all about over sized coats and bomber jackets, but this season’s hottest trend is something completely different: the cape. This fashion trend has had its moment before, but this fall the cape is back with a vengeance. It was seen on the runway with Valentino Ralph Lauren, Saint Lauren and The Row amongst others.

The cape has always been incredibly chic and this season it’s made even more glamorous as designers such as Daks and Ellie Saab have taken the cape to longer lengths, adding even more glamour. Others such as Ralph Lauren have added more volume at the back whilst keeping the front tailored. On the high street, we’ve seen a new twist with the blazer cape and a slimmer silhouette.

Paired with jeans, layered over a sweater, or draped over an evening dress, it instantly gives an updated look to any outfit.

It’s not just the designer collections that are embracing the cape. Models and fashion bloggers alike take the look straight off the runway and have made it their own from the high-street version, to the customizable cape-like Burbery Propsum poncho.

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Photo credit: www.milkcocoa.co.kr

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Photo Credit: www.milkcocoa.co.kr

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(Tokyo Street fashion) Photo Credit: Stacy Fan

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Photo Credit: www.wendyslookbook.com

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Photo Credit: www.wendyslookbook.com

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Photo Credit : www.wendyslookbook.com

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Photo Credit: http://www.stylebylynsee.com

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Burberry monogrammed Poncho. Photo Credit: www.fashionfoiegras.com

 

 

–STORY BY STACY FAN

 

The Perfect Fall/Winter Hair: Nelson J Salon’s BRONDE

 

Fall is here and winter is just around the corner. For many of you, that means sweater weather, boots and warm colors. But for those of you who are tired of dark and gloomy and are looking for a pop of color in your look, we suggest you use your hair.

Nelson Chan, the owner of Nelson J Salon, has brought together a number of looks perfect for the Fall/Winter season. Trust me when I say these are not your average cold weather hair colors. These hairstyles are sure to turn heads, while maintaining the warm feeling associated with the seasons. My favorite? Bronde.

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Bronde is a darker take on a blonde look first made popular by Victoria Secret supermodel, Giselle Bundchen.

“With a medium to dark base, boomerang-shaped blonde slices are scattered strategically around the eyes, cheekbones and neckline to add a bit of drama to what might otherwise be a basic brown. Placement is key, and the effect is more abstract than one which merely mimics nature. For instance, Chan does not place blonde highlights on the top of the head or parting, where in real life sunlight would fall and lighten locks. “Bronde” is an elegant, witty reimagining of how a worldly brunette might experience a last flicker of lingering summer as the seasons shift to darker days ahead.”

Clearly, Bronde strives to show the dark, warm colors of fall and winter with a lasting reminder of summer. The effect is a gorgeous Fall/Winter hairstyle that stands out brilliantly in comparison to the dark shades that are sure to pop up this season.

Upon first glance, I fell in love with this look. Would it truly look as good in person? I went to go find out for myself.

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A VISIT TO NELSON J SALON

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Before shot of my hair

You may think you know good customer service, but you truly haven’t experienced anything unless you’ve stepped inside Nelson J Salon in Beverly Hills.

I was a little apprehensive about the idea of walking out of a salon with giant chunks of blond in my hair, but a after few minutes of looking around, all apprehension disappeared. Everyone clearly knew what they were doing and more importantly, they were determined to do a good job.

I was greeted at the door by a friendly receptionist who gave me a tour of the salon which not only only offers hair service, they also do nails and makeup. After a greeting from all of the staff members and offers of refreshment, I finally met the famed Nelson Chan.

“Back in Hong Kong, I was just a shampoo boy having fun,” Chan reflected as he began working on my hair. He laughed and added, “My first hair cut took my three hours. I didn’t even finish.”

Well he has certainly come a long way since his days in Hong Kong. His salon has become one of the leading salons in Los Angeles. His work is so sought after that he is often summoned to celebrity homes and movie sets. His client list includes the likes of Lady Gaga, Paula Abdul, Devon Aoki, Christina Applegate, Sarah Michelle Geller and Maggie Q.

“We mainly have celebrities, professionals and house wives.” Chan added before he showed me, step by step, what he was going to do with my hair.

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In fact, there wasn’t a single moment during the entire visit where I wasn’t informed exactly what was going on. I was constantly asked if I was comfortable enough and it was obvious that the staff paid very close attention to every customer no matter how many there were. Chan confirmed that his staff members are thoroughly trained and are even taught new and updated techniques throughout their time working for him.

As the dye was washed off my hair by a staff member (who had the hands of an angel!), I noticed a customer in the middle of a deep conversation with her manicurist. It’s easy to see how this could happen– the staff made the environment extremely comfortable and welcoming to all the customers.

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By the time Chan was blow drying and curling my hair, any bit of apprehension was completely replaced with excitement. I had just witnessed 3 other girls walk out of the salon with giant smiles and I was confident that I would soon join them.

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Before and After.

Before and After.

Just as I had expected, my hair came out beautiful and has been eye catching enough to be a fashion accessory all on its own. The prices in Nelson J Salon can run a bit high, but it’s clear that you’re paying for an experience and for people who genuinely care . Best of all, you’re surrounded by people who sincerely seem to enjoy their work.

Ready to try out this perfect Fall/Winter hair for yourself? Check out the official website and schedule your appointment today.

 

 

Feature image courtesy of Nelson J Salon. 

 

Can Modern Acupuncture Really Turn Back The Clock?

 

Having grown up with a physician father, antibiotics, not acupuncture, was more our family’s treatment of choice. But as people increasingly look to the East for health and lifestyle choices — from yoga to Buddhism to Ayurveda — I’ll admit to a growing curiosity about acupuncture, something friends and family swear by to alleviate all manner of problems.

So I paid a visit to Dr. John J. Kim, a licensed acupuncturist and former head of the California Acupuncture Board. His clinic, Re Nu Mi Wellness Center in Redondo Beach, Calif., is a spa-like office redolent of fragrant herbs and relaxing music. In addition to acupuncture, the Center offers cupping, Qigong and meditation classes, and herbal medicine specially created on-site.

A consultation with Kim involves analyses both scientific and holistic. A special weight analysis machine, brought over specially from Korea, reveals not just weight and BMI but fat percentages in various parts of the body, muscle mass, and intra- and extracellular water composition. A tongue and pulse analysis reveals the state of your Qi, the body’s fundamental energy, and which of the five key organs are in need of help. From there, Kim takes it one step further —he asks about your relationships. Because for Kim, he’s not just there to alleviate physical pain or to turn back the clock a dozen years, as he does in his cutting-edge Advanced Regeneration Therapy Facial Sculpting — he’s there to give you a “mind lift,” and thereby a “life lift.” Like the Center’s mission statement says, “The goal of our treatments is to enhance each person’s physical and emotional well-being in order to improve and maintain harmony with our inner and outer world.”

As much a therapist as an Eastern medicine practitioner, Kim believes that emotional healing is part and parcel to any physical treatment, whether you’re looking for weight loss, help with insomnia, a facelift or stress management. Yes, his holistic facelift works by stimulating lymphatic drainage and manipulating trapezoidal muscles to lift and create a more pleasing facial symmetry. (He’s even working on incorporating a platelet-rich plasma gel into the procedure to boost results.) But for Kim, the key is: “Have you ever asked yourself, ‘Am I beautiful?’ How can you present yourself as beautiful to others if you don’t even know it?” Indeed, we could all use a bit more of that type of healing.

 

 

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For more information on Re Nu Mi Wellness Center, go to renumi.com.
This story was originally published in our Fall 2014 issue. Get your copy here

 

 

Hello Kitty Turns 40! Check Out How You Can Celebrate It

 

Hello Kitty is turning the Big 4-0, and like most people hitting a milestone birthday, she’s going all out. Celebs and big-name brands are clamoring for special collaborations — everyone from Major League Baseball and celeb chef Roy Choi to cosmetics giant Sephora and Japanese fine jewelry line Mikimoto.

But it’s not just bling and goodies. The Japanese American National Museum is hosting the first-ever Hello Kitty exhibition, titled “Hello! Exploring the Supercute World Of Hello Kitty,” starting October 11. The first-ever Hello Kitty fan convention, Hello Kitty Con, is kicking off on October 30 at the Geffen Contemporary at MOCA in Los Angeles. And the Line Hotel, Roy Choi’s newest project, will offer a Sean Knibb-designed Hello Kitty suite, complete with Hello Kitty iHome products, toiletries by Sephora and turn-down chocolates from Dylan’s Candy Bar. Needless to say, it’s gonna be a major, supercute party.

And the woman behind the party — well, other than Kitty herself — is president and COO of Sanrio, Inc., Janet Hsu. It seems Hsu was born to be the boss of Hello Kitty — she and the iconic feline share the same birthday. Here, Hsu shares her Sanrio memories and what it’s like to work at what must truly be the happiest place on earth.

 

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Audrey Magazine: What’s your earliest memory of a Sanrio character?
Janet Hsu: My earliest memory of a Sanrio character was of Little Twin Stars, who continue to be my second favorite Sanrio character(s). I remember receiving a Little Twin Stars product as a gift when I was very young. I loved the celestial theme and that Kiki and Lala are twins (just like Hello Kitty). Since I am a twin, I treasured the idea of the two experiencing the world together.

AM: Your offices must be super cool! What’s it like?
JH: The Sanrio offices are filled with the many kawaii items! There is definitely a lot of eye candy, with products showcased in all different sizes, from a wide range of categories, and from different years and decades. Since so many of our employees are die-hard fans themselves, some may possess an “anything Sanrio” hoarding mentality! The Sanrio offices also showcase a great collection of original artwork.

AM: What’s the best thing about working with Sanrio?
JH: The company’s philosophy, the characters and the people. Sanrio has always been about social communication — connecting people and communities, and the “small gift, big smile” philosophy of bringing joy to all. There is so much energy, passion and love for the brands that there is a very strong, unified company mindset.

AM: If you could be a Sanrio character, who would it be?
JH: I would be Hangyodon. I think it would be fun to be a sea creature — half-human, half-fish. Also, he is very unique looking, and even though he is not as well-known as some of the others, there is something very familiar and friendly about him. He is also really comedic — so I would like to laugh the most I can every day.

AM: Who’s your favorite Sanrio character?
JH: My favorite Sanrio character is Hello Kitty. Ever since I was a little girl, Hello Kitty would bring a smile to my face. She has grown up with me and continues to evolve, to integrate herself into the modern day and current pop culture, yet always stays true to being about pure happiness. Many adults grew up with Hello Kitty and have formed their own relationship with her. She has a comforting effect, and her Zen-like disposition makes her relationship with every person special and unique.

AM: Do you have a dream collaboration for Hello Kitty?
JH: Experiences that connect with fans are key. We have a fan, a junior high student, who created a rocket with Hello Kitty to send up to space. This was very inspiring. So a dream collaboration could be a space experience with Hello Kitty.

 

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This story was originally published in our Fall 2014 issue. Get your copy here

 

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Move Over Pumpkin Latte, Japan’s Fall Favorite Are Fried Maple Leaves

 

October is here and you know what that means! It’s time to get your costume ready for Halloween, pull out that oversized sweater (except in California, where it seems we have to wait just a little longer for the weather to catch up and realize it’s autumn) and of course, indulge in pumpkin-flavored everything.

Japan on the other hand, seems to prefer something else instead of pumpkin spice lattes, pumpkin pie, pumpkin beer and pumpkin donuts. Their favorite treat during the fall is something many of us never even dreamed of consuming: maple leaves.

Of course we love maple leaves, but usually we enjoy them for aesthetic purposes. We enjoy their crunch as we step on them, we enjoy raking them together in a giant pile to be jumped on and we even enjoy them as decorations. We certainly never thought of frying them as a snack.

The leaf snacks are called “momiji” or “momiji tempura” and the leaves are often found and fried in Minoh City, Osaka, Japan. Not surprising, the city is known for their Japanese maple trees.

The leaves used for these snacks aren’t simply plucked off the ground and thrown into a fryer. They are usually preserved in salt barrels for an entire year before being fried in a sweet batter until they are crisp. Apparently, the leaves themselves don’t actually taste like anything, so the flavor heavily depends on the batter.

Admittedly, we’re intrigued and we’d love to get our hands on these adorable snacks. Check them out for yourself below.

 

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(Photo credit: 1, 2, 3)

 

Jen Lee’s “Dear Korea” Shows What It’s Like To Live In Korea As A Korean American

 

Residing in a little villa in Gwangju, South Korea, Texan Jen Lee is living the dream of being a comic artist. In 2010, Lee packed her bags in Houston and followed her boyfriend, an English teacher, to the Land of the Morning Calm. It was a unique and exciting opportunity for Lee to move to Gwangju, located some 180 miles south of Seoul. The city is best known for being the birthplace of the modern Korean democratic movement, as well as for its parks, museums and hip urban art scene. “I haven’t moved once since I got here,” says the 27-year-old. “I’ve grown fairly attached to this lovely city.”

As an adolescent, Lee often felt isolated from the Korean community in Texas. Her parents immigrated to the United States a few years before Lee was born. “I never really identified with the Korean side of myself,” she recalls. “That being said, growing up where my cultural background was mostly unknown to everyone around me came with its awkward moments.” So Lee turned to art. “According to my mother, I was drawing before I could form proper sentences,” she says. But it wasn’t until elementary school that she began drawing comics.

The idea for her popular comic strip, “Dear Korea,” stemmed from conversations with fellow expats about the funny and odd moments they’d experienced living in Korea. “I thought it would be interesting to create a comic that highlighted what it was like to live in Korea as a Korean American,” explains Lee. “While people like me are technically expats, I think our perspectives may be a little different from those who grew up with little or no Korean influences in their lives.”

Anyone who has lived on her own or has an interest in Korean culture can relate to Lee’s comics. Indeed, though “Dear Korea” started out as a Web comic, it has since branched out and the strip is now published in various magazines and publications around the country. “From what I can tell, my comics are read by expats from all over the world,” says Lee.

In addition to the opportunities — Lee supports herself with freelance art gigs, radio work and tutoring — living in Korea has given Lee a new perspective on her ancestral homeland. She says she loves the food and the affordable health care. But perhaps the best part of living in Gwangju is finally feeling connected to a community, one filled with a good number of expats: “I honestly don’t know how long I would have lasted here without them.”

For more “Dear Korea,” go to dearkoreacomic.com.

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–STORY BY JULIE CARLSON
This story was originally published in our Fall 2013 issue. Get your copy here

 

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Asia Street Style: Korea’s Fall Trends

 

Fall is settling into Korea and what’s currently trending in Seoul is becoming more evident on street style blogs. Holding on to summer a little more, skirts and dresses continue to pop up in the mix, but now paired with long sleeves and thicker fabrics. Even though it tends to stay decently warm year-round here in Southern California, shorter lengths and warmer tops are perfect for the approaching winter months. Still enamored with sporty, urban styles, you’ll see lots of sneakers and American streetwear brands being worn by South Koreans. They always show a significant amount of diversity within a single trend, which is great for all the individual personalities that exist when it comes to wardrobe preferences.

Check out the more sportier take on this fall’s early trend. Take a cue from these young women and amp up your skirts and dresses with graphic prints, a cool bomber jacket or a great pair of sneakers. The best part? You’ll still look effortlessly stylish, but remain comfortable the entire day.

Photos Courtesy of Sinsuji.tumblr.com and Imtedlike.com

Images Courtesy of Sinsuji.tumblr.com and Imtedlike.com

Image Courtesy of Sinsuji.tumblr.com

Image Courtesy of Sinsuji.tumblr.com

Image Courtesy of Iamalexfinch.net

Image Courtesy of Iamalexfinch.net

 

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Not into the sporty trend? We’ve got you covered with a splash of feminine floral prints and a clean, minimalist option to inspire those that prefer more simple styling.

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Image Courtesy of Instagram.com/streetper

Instagram.com/Imtedlike

Instagram.com/Imtedlike

 

–STORY BY MIN A. LEE

 

 

 

Top 6 Fragrances Worn by Your Favorite Celebrities

 

Fragrance is a strong factor in defining one’s personality, and it can get a little tricky and overwhelming to choose the right scent. We created a list of your favorite celebs along with their favorite scent for the fall season. Hopefully this will guide you in deciding your own signature scent this fall!

 


 

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Vanessa Hudgens
The all-time fresh and stylish Vanessa Hudgens revealed her favorite scent: Aquolina Pink Sugar. Just like the lovely Hudgens we all know, the fragrance balances out the sweet caramel and vanilla scent with a stack of womanly sexiness.

 


 

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Mindy Kaling
Mindy Kaling’s go-to fragrance is Stella McCartney Stella Eau de Parfum because it was the fragrance her mother wore. After applying the fragrance, wait a few minutes; you never know the actual scent of the fragrance until a few minutes later. In just a few minutes, the sharp and metallic scent converts to roses with a hint of spice.

 


 

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Nicole Scherzinger
Why not find two separate signature scents you can wear during the day and night? During the day, Nicole Scherzinger likes to release a positive and softer side through Viktor & Rolf’s Flowerbomb. Don’t worry– despite the name, it’s actually not that flowery. It’s more of a sugary scent with a hint of flowers which helps intensify the entire scent. In the evening, Nicole unleashes her wild side through Thierry Mugler’s Alien that will remind you of the sultry and intriguing Nicole you’ve always seen from the Pussycat Dolls.

 


 

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Hwang, Jung-Eum
The K-drama Endless Love superstar Jung-Eum Hwang is known to wear the English Pear & Freesia Colonge by Jo Malone, which is the perfect essence for autumn. For those in love with soapy, crisp and fresh scents, this fragrance will keep you satisfied all season long.

 


 

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Lee, Hae-Young
Who would’ve ever imagined she’s in her early 40s? Known for her unique and refined sense of style, Lee Hae-Young is one inspiring figure for woman in South Korea. On her Instagram, Lee Hae-Young revealed how much she’s in love with the elegant and gender-neutral Chai Robert Piguet.

 

 

–STORY BY MICHELLE KIM

Fashion Blogger Aimee Song’s Top 5 Summer-To-Fall Looks

 

The glitz and glamour within the fashion industry could not exist without designer pieces, catwalk shows, editor-in-chief of Vogue Anna Wintour and of course, Aimee Song. The Los Angeles-based blogger and interior designer has taken a huge part in inspiring millions of women worldwide with her voguish, laid-back looks.

Lately, she’s been showing off some perfect outfits for the odd days in between summer and fall. If you’re struggling to find outfits to match the confusing weather, we’re here to help! Check out Amiee Song’s Top 5 Summer-To-Fall Looks below:

 


 

1) Sweater Over A Button-Down Shirt

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It’s not the first time the sweater over a button-down shirt has been the biggest way to style for fall season, but this time, Song brought a unique twist to the trend during the New York Fashion Week. Long pieces do not always work for women of different heights, but this exceptional triple-layered grey ensemble is totally on point with flawless proportions.

 


 

2) Bold Outfit + Delicate Heels

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Song’s style is all about feeling confident in her comfy looks. The monochrome wrapped outfit creates a subtle look that resembles a romper and strangely, a tuxedo. Just when the outfit was about to get too black, Song finishes her outfit with olive green strappy heels and gold details, which creates an even more unique impression.

 


 

3) Kimono-Inspired Top

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It seems as if designers are continually being inspired by Japanese culture as seen on the kimono belts by BCBG Max Azria Spring 2015 Collection during the New York Fashion Week. Song takes the cultural aesthetics into a different level by wearing a blue bow-like, kimono inspired, top with a darker shade of blue, high-waisted shorts that screams perfection.

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4) Feminine Top + Slouchy Pants

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Who would have ever imaged pleat on pleat would look so formfitting? The combination of the baby blue pleated crop top and black slouchy trousers balance out the feminine sexiness and professionalism, making it easier for all the ladies who are en route to after-work drinks.

 


 

5) Basic Top + Midi Skirt

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One of the most essential basics in every girls’ wardrobe is a white T-shirt, but this basic necessity has never seemed this elegant until Song rocked it during the New York Fashion Week with a full light pink midi skirt. The combo of the shirt, designed by Aimee and her sister, Dani Song, with the fancy bottom simply makes a basic shirt not so basic after all.

 

 

— STORY BY MICHELLE KIM
All photos courtesy of songofstyle.com 

Fall Street Style: Asia’s All About Casual Crewnecks

 

Summer is slowly withdrawing its balmy qualities for the cool, crisp days of our colder months. Much to our delight, this means a new wardrobe rotation begins!

For some simply bringing back their favorite fall items is satisfying, for others it means new retail therapy sessions—out with the old, in with the new.  If you do decide to revamp your closet staples, take a peek at this early fall tendency for Seoul city dwellers with all its variations: the casual crewneck sweatshirt.

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The crewneck originated as an American football sporting garment in the 1930s, and now it has been diversified plenty of times with urban streetwear brands.   While some opt for a more fitted size, you can go oversized and layer away as the temperatures continue to drop into winter.  While heat makes it difficult to look fresh in the heavier fabricated sporty trends, it’s September so those who love to embrace the runway’s more workable options can break them out.

Graphic print sweatshirts are popping up all over Seoul’s streets.

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Photo Courtesy Of Iamalexfinch.net

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Photo Courtesy Of Seoul-Style.tumblr.com

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Photo Courtesy of Sol-sol-street.tumblr.com

 

Others go for the more solid, classic look.

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Photo Courtesy of Instagram.com/Streetper

Can’t get enough?  Check out these fall and winter 2014 collection crewnecks from a few contemporary womenswear designers and brands.

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Rag & Bone New York’s graphic chainstitch sweatshirt in grey heather. Available at: www.rag-bone.com for $325

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The Agi Mixed-Media Sweater in cement marl and silver from All Saints. Available at us.allsaints.com for $250.

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Helmut Lang’s more unconventional Waft Sweatshirt in black. Available at www.helmutlang.com for $275.

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Alexander Wang’s Paisley Pullover with contrasting sheer cutouts. Available at www.alexanderwang.com for $595.

 

 

–STORY BY MIN A. LEE