Tokyo Street Style: Fashion Meets Food Courtesy of Rotari Parker

 

Writing this before breakfast was a terrible idea — my hungry monster keeps getting more upset at the visual deliciousness before me. My love of eating, especially snacks, has gained me the nickname “Snack Attack,” and I won’t deny that I dream of pantries full of crunchy morsels on a regular basis. Now combine this obsession with my daily street style hunts and we reach foodie/fashionista heaven, otherwise known as Japanese accessory line Rotari Parker.

The label has been around for a few years, breathing new life into typical grocery aisle fare, and is still releasing delectable accessories periodically under their “Eat Me” line. These hand-produced marvels are fitting given the eclectic street style of Tokyo, where wearable art garners more appreciation than seasonal fashion movements. I know this story isn’t quite promoting healthy living, but sometimes adorable things are difficult to pass up. That, and I generally take on the “you only live once” approach to eating.

How does Japan wear these sweet and savory finds? By stacking them up because just one won’t do. There’s nothing like being decked out in pretzels and pastries to engage people’s fascination.

And yes, in case you were wondering, this is all real food.

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Photo Courtesy of Tokyofaces.com

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Photo Courtesy of Tokyostreetsnap.com

 

 

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Photo Courtesy of hpfrance.com

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If you check out Rotari Parker’s Instagram you’ll find their newest designs along with behind-the-scene photos of how they create this yummy invasion of food and fashion. As a warning, it’s best not to look if you are starving at the moment and suffer from “hangriness.”

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Photos Courtesy of Instagram.com/rotariparker

 

 

— STORY BY MIN A. LEE

 

 

Indian Acid Attack Victims Come Together For An Incredibly Inspiring Photo Shoot

 

Most of us can barely fathom what many innocent Indian women have had to suffer as victims of rape in a country where it happens so frequently that it has become the second most dangerous place to live in for women.

Another issue in India, one much less commonly addressed, is the approximately 1,000 women who are attacked with acid every year. In most cases, while the victims of the attacks do not die, they are forced to live with the memories of the attack, along with the disfiguring scars, for the rest of their lives. As cruel and inhumane as the heinous crime is, however, there are unfortunately no specific laws against acid attacks within the Indian judicial system.

Twenty-two-year-old Rupa is one of these victims. In 2008, Rupa’s stepmother and four men attacked her with acid while she was sleeping. The resulting scars were so extensive it became a hindrance when she tried to apply for jobs. Of course, she was discouraged at first, but she didn’t let her scars get to her. In fact, she joined the charity campaign group Stop Acid Attacks and has been working with other survivors of acid attack the last few years.

And she didn’t just stop there. Rupa, who has always had a lifelong dream of designing clothes, recently launched her own clothing line called Rupa Designs. With the help of Indian photographer Rahul Saharan, Rupa even modeled the clothes from the line in a gorgeous photo shoot, along with four of her friends — Rita, Sonam, Laxmi and Chanchal — all of whom are also acid attack survivors.

 

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Saharan, who shot the photos of the women for free, has stated that these photos are “a tribute to all the brave women across the globe who have gone through this gruesome torture.” He is now working on a photo exhibition, the proceeds from which will go to help survivors.

I have been associated with Chhaon (meeting house for suvivors) for the last two-and-a-half years, but this is the first time I feel like I’ve put my skills to good use to help these lovely girls,” he said in an interview. “I feel blessed to have got this exclusive opportunity.”

Photos courtesy of New York Daily News.

 

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