Indian Rape-Themed Fashion Photo Shoot Sparks Major Controversy

 

Let the record show that here at Audrey, we have no problem with creative editorial fashion shoots that showcase photographers and designers who think outside the box. We do however, have a major issue with offensive photo shoots that depict the scenes of a real-life gang rape incident that occurred in New Delhi, India, in 2012, where a 23-year-old woman was brutally raped, tortured and murdered on board a bus home.

This pretty much goes without saying, but it’s just an incredibly insensitive idea to have a rape-themed photo shoot in a country where 93 women are raped every single day. In fact, rape happens so frequently there that Indian women have created anti-rape clothing to protect themselves. Clearly, this is still very much an ongoing problem that has yet to be resolved.

Mumbai-based photographer Raj Shetye, the man responsible for the controversial photos series titled “The Wrong Turn,” claims that the photo shoot was not an act of glamorizing the “Nirbhaya” case  (Hindi word for “fearless,” a nickname given to the 23-year-old victim to protect her identity), but rather as a way to raise awareness for the safety of women in India.

“The message I would like to give is that it doesn’t matter who the girl is,” Shetye defended himself in an interview with Buzzfeed. “It doesn’t depend on which class she belonged in — it can happen to anyone.”

 

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I don’t know if you see what I see, but those photos seem to be an exact, literal representation of glamorizing a truly horrific event.

What do you think? Are you as outraged as we are?

Photos courtesy of Refinery29.

Move Over Harajuku Girl! The Kurogyaru Is the Latest Look Out of Japan

 

Ganguro is one of Tokyo’s most distinct fashion subcultures, which started in the mid-1990s and is well known for some key characteristics: dark tans, bleached hair and dramatic white makeup. Contrary to what some might think, the style originally came about in opposition of the traditional Japanese beauty standard of fair skin, dark hair and a fairly simple makeup look. In order to rebel against this singular idea of beauty, Ganguro decided to express themselves with an extreme style so as to make their message loud and clear that there are other ways to be beautiful. Though the Ganguro look had mostly faded away by the 2000s, a succeeding subculture, Kurogyaru (literal translation: black gals), is keeping the spirit alive and Black Diamond is at the forefront spreading the fashion style all over the world. We caught up with Black Diamond recently and got the scoop directly from them.

 

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Audrey Magazine: What inspired you to form the group, Black Diamond?

Black Diamond: We are all just a bunch of girls who love the Kurogyaru style. Our current manager originally wanted to publish a special edition magazine featuring Kurogyaru fashion, so he tried to bring people together which is how we got involved. Over time, we became a group and now we have more than 150 members in Japan.

AM: Although Ganguro is a trend from the mid-’90s, what made you want to revive it and get into the Kurogyaru style?

BD: As a group, our goal is to spread the Kurogyaru style. Ganguro has completely faded out and now Kurogyaru is a newer evolution of that subculture. We noticed that there aren’t many people dressing in this way, so we want to inspire people to enjoy Kurogyaru.

AM: What is the difference between Ganguro and Kurogyaru style?

BD: Ganguro is also known for the tanned skin, but other than that, we would say the styles are completely different. Ganguro makeup tends to be like heavy and white makeup around the eyes, but Kurogyaru is a lot more colorful. We have a more modern way of doing our makeup and hair, as well as clothing style.

 

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AM: What are your thoughts on the traditional Asian beauty standard of porcelain skin?

BD: We think that there’s nothing wrong with liking pale skin. We just happen to prefer darker skin and we hope people can see the beauty in that, too.

AM: So from your perspective, what is beauty?

BD: Beauty is … flashiness? Flashy hair, flashy clothes, flashy makeup, flashy nails? [Laughs] Beauty is dark skin and flashiness.

AM: How do you accomplish your daily look? How long does it take?

BD: Well, for makeup, we do it everyday obviously. [Laughs] Our outfits depend on our moods and the weather. Like today, Harutama (the one with blue hair) and Rise (the one with pink hair) coordinated together and did their hair like the popular Japanese characters Kiki and Lala [Little Twin Stars]. It really depends on each person, but on average, it takes us about one to two hours to get ready everyday.

AM: What is a must-have Kurogyaru item?

BD: A tanning bed. [Laughs] False eyelashes? Actually if we don’t have everything, the look just isn’t right. Every item is a must-have. [Laughs]

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AM: Black Diamond not only has members in Japan but overseas as well. How has your group grown internationally?

BD: The Internet. People saw and heard about us from the Internet and many people wanted to join our group from their home countries, so we have many subgroups in different regions of Japan and also in various parts of the world.

AM: Can you tell us about your ongoing or upcoming projects?

BD: We are working on starting our own clothing line. One of our greatest motivations is that there are many foreigners who are into Kurogyaru style and they cannot easily get the clothes or the right sizes, so we want to make our line more accessible for Kurogyaru fans internationally.

Kurogyaru are also known for their “para para” style of dancing. Check it out here:

 

 

For more information on Black Diamond, you can check out their Facebook page here.
–Story and photos by Mai Nguyen.

Nine Months and Fabulous: Glamorous Pregnancy Photos of Rihanna’s Stylist Nini Nguyen

“It’s not what you wear, but how you wear it.”

That’s Nini Nguyen’s philosophy. With over ten years in the fashion industry, Nini Nguyen has made a name for herself as a model, a high-profile stylist and a designer, working as a fashion consultant for companies the likes of Banana Republic, Neiman Marcus, Oscar de la Renta and Barneys New York. Her on-point style even caught the eye of Queen Riri, who personally contacted Nguyen through Instagram over a year ago, and ever since then, the two have become a power couple in the fashion industry. Just look at them rock it.

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Now, several years down the road, Nguyen is still chanting that same mantra–but in a different context. About some nine months ago, the fashionista became pregnant with her first child, which she excitedly gushed about on her popular style blog. Ever since then, she’s been sharing beautiful photo after photo of her growing baby bump. Her new, updated motto (or so we’d like to think): “So what if I’m pregnant? I’m going to make it look fabulous!”

Here’s a chronicle of Nguyen’s glamorous, intimate, and inspiring pregnancy.

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Best wishes to Nini, her husband Loc, and their newborn baby Sage!

 

Photos courtesy of ninistyle.net and @ninistyle on Instagram

 

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.

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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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.

 

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4 Ways To Rock the Crop Top This Summer, Courtesy of Camille Co

 

Yes, I know. The comeback crop top fad this summer is no new news. Day after day, I’ve seen the tops continuously hit the racks at all my favorite clothing stores. If you’re anything like me though — someone who leans toward the “fluffy” side of the Asian figure spectrum — it can be a little daunting to try the midriff-flaunting look.

As it turns out, Filipino fashion blogger and Spanish fashion brand’s Mango’s newest “It” Girl Camille Co, is the ultimate answer to my question on how to pull off the crop top look, without concurrently destroying my self-esteem. On her lookbook page, as well as her own fashion blog titled Camille Tries to Blog, Camille shows us a variety of different ways we can rock the look in a more chic way.

Here are some of her outfits we love:

1. Pair a basic crop top with high-waisted shorts with a fun print, and throw a leather jacket in a bold color on top, for an edgier look.

 

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2. Pair the crop top with a mini skirt, and a loose blazer for a night out.

 

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3. If you’re going somewhere fancy, wear a strapless crop top with a high-waisted skirt and of course the essential pumps.

 

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4. A crop T-shirt works well with a high-waisted pencil skirt; pair it with slip-on sneakers for a casual look.

 

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You can also follow Camille on Weibo here.

Get To Know “Gary Pepper Girl” Nicole Warne, the First Blogger To Sign With IMG Talent

 

Model? Stylist? Entrepreneur? Check, check and check. Sydney, Australia-based Nicole Warne of the fashion blog Gary Pepper Girl is a fashion triple threat. And while all bloggers dream of being discovered in one way or another, Warne is well on her way to achieving that dream.

Not only does Warne have a natural eye for clothes, she was also the first blogger to walk the runway at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Australia 2012. Still not impressed? Warne is also the first blogger ever to sign with IMG’s Talent division, one of the, if not the, largest talent management agency in the world. Yes, she is signed to the same management agency as Miranda Kerr!

Warne is a Korean-Japanese adoptee who was adopted by Australian parents at the age of 3 months and started as an intern at both Grazia and Harpers Bazaar Australia, before moving on to work with brands like Louis Vuitton and Zara (to name a few). She was even the face of the spring/summer 2013 campaign for shopping mall chain Westfield Australia.

 

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Check out her blog where Warne not only sells an array of colorful vintage-inspired pieces, she also posts the most amazing photos of her crazy-chic outfits in some of the most beautiful places in the world.

 

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Karl Lagerfeld Courts Asian Celebs at Chanel Haute Couture Fall/Winter 2014-15 Show

 

Want more proof that Asia’s influence is rising in the fashion world? Check out the front row at Chanel Haute Couture show on July 8.

 

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Front Row (L-R) Mario Testino, Vogue EIC Anna Wintour, Baz Luhrmann, his wife Catherine Martin, CL, a guest, Jung Ryeo-won and Kwai Lun-Mei.

 

Yup, that’s K-pop star CL just a few seats away from the fashion queen, Vogue EIC Anna Wintour. Also in the front row is Korean Australian actress Jung Ryeo-won, Taiwanese actress Kwai Lun-Mei and Vogue China editor in chief, Angelica Cheung.

 

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Korean Australian actress Jung Ryeo-won, Taiwanese actress Kwai Lun-Mei and Vogue China editor in chief, Angelica Cheung.

 

Chanel has always made an effort to reach out to its Asian clientele. Past show guests have included Japanese actress Rinko Kikuchi, Chinese Brit Alexis Chung and Princess Sirivannavari Nariratana of Thailand. This time, CL even got a photo op with the designer himself.  

 

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CL with designer Karl Lagerfeld.

 

How To Style a Structured Handbag, Courtesy of Ready Two Wear Blogger Mallory

 

Think a structured handbag is too stuffy for summer? Think again. Check out fashion blogger Mallory’s vintage Louis Vuitton bag.

One of two bloggers on the fashion blog Ready Two Wear, Mallory is one lucky girl who received this vintage piece from her boyfriend’s mom. Mallory pairs the purse with both casual and dressy pieces, making the bag an easy transition from day to night.

 

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Don’t be afraid of its structured design — wear it casually as a crossbody (don’t worry that the strap is short — that’s the point!), or tuck away the strap and wear it as a boxy clutch. It’s the perfect work bag, but also adds some chic to a casual look, too.

Aren’t lucky enough to have a generous mother of a boyfriend? Though this Louis Vuitton is no longer sold in stores, opt for a similar look with these structured handbags from Forever21.

 

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1. Modernist Boxy Crossbody: $24.80

2. Faux Leather Crossbody Satchel: $24.80

3. Subtle Thing Crossbody: $13

4. Classic Structured Crossbody: $19.80

5. Sophisticate Structured Crossbody: $16.80

Breaking The Asian Myth: Why Asians CAN Wear Yellow

We’re no stranger to Asian myths — they’ve been thrown at us our entire lives. They’re ridiculous over-generalizations about Asians that assume we’re all exactly alike. Some Asian myths are dangerous, like the idea that Asians don’t get fat or don’t get breast cancer — both of these hinder our community from taking necessary health precautions. Other Asian myths are much less harmful (unless you count the dangers of all the eye-rolling it causes us), like the belief that all Asians have the same kind of hair.

Well, we’re here to add another eye-roll myth to the list: Asians shouldn’t wear yellow.

I was shocked to discover just how many Asian women were told that they shouldn’t wear yellow because it clashes with Asian skin. I don’t know about you, but when I look in the mirror, I certainly don’t think my skin shows signs of jaundice. It may have a yellow undertone, but all sorts of ethnicities have yellow undertones, so why are we forbidden from wearing yellow?

As it turns out, there’s no valid reason for the myth at all. One-time fashion dictators simply thought it made us look sallow and was not flattering on our skin tone. (It’s the same thinking behind why redheads should not wear red or pink.)

Yes, now is the time to sigh. But who can blame these color-blind fashionistas of the past. After all, this video from the ’80s highlights just how early we’re taught that Asian=Yellow.

The reality? No, Asians are not literally yellow. We simply have to blame a German professor from the 19th century who came up with the five color typology for humans that categorized Asians under the term “yellow.”

Luckily for us, this means that we can wear yellow without disappearing into our clothes. And as it turns out, we do a damn good job of it, too. Don’t believe me? Check out the following Asian celebs rocking yellow outfits. You’ll be sure to include this color in your wardrobe after you get a load of them.

Chinese actress Li Bingbing at the Shanghai International Film Festival

Chinese actress Li Bingbing at the Shanghai International Film Festival

Olivia Munn at this year's Met Gala

Olivia Munn at this year’s Met Gala

 

Actress Jamie Chung

Actress Jamie Chung

 

Actress Mindy Kaling

Actress Mindy Kaling

Japanese Model Kiko Mizuhara

Japanese Model Kiko Mizuhara

 

Brenda Song at Nickelodeon's Kids Choice Awards 2009

Brenda Song at Nickelodeon’s Kids Choice Awards 2009

Sandra Oh on the cover of Audrey Magazine Summer 2014

Sandra Oh on the cover of Audrey Magazine Summer 2014

Get That Look For Less: Model Kiko Mizuhara

We love Japanese model Kiko Mizuhara! Mizuhara was seen wearing a look from Chanel’s spring/summer 2014 collection during Paris Fashion Week F/W 2014. Not everyone can afford a Chanel outfit, (Mizuhara’s top and shorts equal a whopping $4,850!), but we can at least derive some inspiration from Mizuhara’s look. Check out our picks to achieve this look for less!

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Mizuhara in Chanel, left, and model Xiao Wen Ju in the look at Chanel’s spring 2014 runway show.

ON MIZUHARA:

1. Chanel Knitted Cotton Pullover, $2,250

2. Chanel Gauze Tweed Shorts, $2,600


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OUR LOOK FOR LESS:

1. Nasty Gal Balls Out Choker, $25

2. M.A.C Twig Lipstick, $16

3. Lafayette 148 New York Square Stone Age Bracelet, $98, Saks Fifth Avenue

4. Steve Madden “Mash” boots, $90

5. Aritzia Babaton Jarrod Sweater, $57.50

6. Topshop Crepe Fringe Shorts, $76

7. GUESS Cropped Lace Bralette, $17