Much More Than Cosplay: Minju Kim Offers a Manga-Inspired Collection for H&M

Though the Isabel Marant for H&M Lookbook has been making waves these past few days, we must admit that another collection has caught our attention.

This fall, South Korean designer Minju Kim will have the honor of having her sartorial creations in H&M stores, after winning H&M’s 2013 Design Award back in January.

The 27-year-old Kim, who studied design at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp, Belgium (whose alumni include Ann Demeulemeester and Martin Margiela), wowed a prestigious panel of judges with her “Dear my friend” collection, which was influenced by Japanese manga artist Junjie Ito.

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With eclectic shapes, a playful use of color and impressive use of texture, the designs speak to Kim’s distinct vision and fun personality. On the runway, the clothes may seem a bit extreme, but when translated for the masses, they become nothing short of stand-out amongst anything you’ll see in stores this fall.

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“Creating this collection with H&M has been an amazing experience,” says Kim. “My designs are about turning characters into outfits, and it’s exciting to think that these characters will soon be worn by people around the world.”

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The collection, made up of nine pieces and two accessories, is set for release on October 17 at select H&M stores in the U.S., UK, Sweden, Denmark, Japan, South Korea, Italy, France, the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany and online. It will also be available at Opening Ceremony in New York, Los Angeles and London, marking the first time that H&M clothing will be sold at Opening Ceremony.

Asians in Fashion | Miss A’s Suzy for Elle Korea September 2013

This 18-year-old Korean singer and actress gives us a taste of her modeling skills.

Bae Su Ji, more commonly known by her stagename Suzy, is most recognized for her role as Go Hye-mi in the popular drama series Dream High alongside Taecyeon, Eunjung, Wooyoung, IU and Kim Soo-Hyun.

Suzy is also known for her roles as Jang Ma Ri in Big, Yang Seo Yeon in  Architecture 101, and Dam Yeo Wool in Gu Family Book.

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In 2010, Suzy debuted with Korean girl group miss A. Adding on to her already impressive resume, Suzy has done her time as a tv host and is nicknamed “CF Queen” due to her success with endorsements.

Clearly, this is one talented young lady and quite a beauty as well. In this Elle Korea September 2013 photoshoot, Suzy shows a mastery of her poses and an amazing ability to make color pop. Check out the photos below:

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New York Fashion Week: Less Than 10% Asian Models

With New York Fashion Week behind us, Jezebel decided to conduct a study on the diversity of the models, or lack thereof, who walked down the runway at New York Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2014.

In previous years, people have commented on the lack of representation of models of color. In fact, the Fall/Winter 2013 collections were subject to heavy criticism due to an alarming number of companies — Araks, Assembly, Belstaff, Calvin Klein, Elizabeth & James, Gregory Parkinson, J Brand, Jenni Kayne, Juicy Couture, Louise Goldin, Lyn Devon, Threeasfour, and Whit — 13 in all, that featured only white models.

So naturally, we were eager to see what would happen this past Fashion Week. Companies had to try and remedy this diversity gap, right? And there were nearly 5,000 looks. That’s plenty of opportunity for models of color to take on the runway.

The results? Almost 80 percent of those 5,000 looks were modeled by white women, a number that has pretty much remained static since 2008.

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This is not to say that all designers completely ignored the criticism of previous years. Anna Sui, Pamella Roland, Jeremy Scott, Dennis Basso, Vivienne Tam, KaufmanFranco, Rachel Comey, Alice + Olivia, Ohne Titel, Tracy Reese, Thom Brown, Diane von Furstenberg and Zac Posen are on the list of designers who featured at least 30 percent models of color. While this number may still seem rather low, it is unfortunately the best we’ve got.

Many of the designers who were critiqued for having no models of color tried to remedy this by adding three to five non-white models. (We know. We’re rolling our eyes, too.)

Some designers tried to trick the crowd and give the illusion of a more diverse set of models. While this season seemed to be more diverse, the same models of color were being booked and were simply walking the runway multiple times.

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From left: Liu Wen at Jason Wu; Ji Hye Park at Nicole Miller; Tian Yi at Monique Lhuillier; Yumi Lambert at Y-3.

The Asian models above prove this. Tian Yi walked 15, Yumi Lambert was seen in at least 13 and Ji Hye Park and Liu Wen walked 12 shows. Rather than book a variety of models of color, companies relied on the same faces.

Somali supermodel Iman Abdulmajid was part of the crowd watching this season’s New York Fashion Week and noticed the lack of diversity on the runway.

“I’ve always said runways and photos are important to shape our young girls,” Abdulmajid said in an interview last week. “To see models of color on the runway is important to the self-esteem of our young girls. To see otherwise makes them feel like they can be in or out.”

We can only cross our fingers that those in power in the fashion industry also begin to understand the importance of diversity on the runways.

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Asians in Fashion | Jeon Ji Hyun for Vogue Korea, September 2013

South Korean actress, Jeon Ji Hyun, is best known for her role as “The Girl” in My Sassy Girl. Since the release of the romantic comedy in 2001, My Sassy Girl has maintained its rank as one of the highest grossing Korean comedies of all time.

While Jeon Ji Hyun is definitely worthy of her popularity as “The Girl”, she should clearly be known for her fashion sense as well. Posing for Vogue Korea,  Jeon Ji Hyun is captivating with her classy looks and just the right pop of color.

Check out more of her looks below:

 

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Asians in Fashion | Model Amber Chia Stays Glam with Asian Grandmothers in Esquire Malaysia

Every once in a while, I appreciate the quirky fashion editorials from the magazine world. This recent editorial featuring Amber Chia and three lovely older ladies brought out a chuckle in me because it brought a whole new meaning to the term – Girls’ Night Out. Snacking on some late night munchies? Mahjong? Amber Chia being the designated driver for the entire night? My kind of fun.

Check out the rest of the editorial below!

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Asians in Fashion | EXO-K for Ivy Club Autumn 2013

With the rise of EXO’s popularity, we can confidently say that  Ivy Club made quite a good decision to have the boys model and endorse their Autumn 2013 look.

Already strong in their “school-boy” concept, EXO looks even more adorable in this fashion line. September is near and “back to school” is here. In case you’re not excited for the new school year, check out EXO-K sporting Ivy League’s Autumn 2013 Schoolboy look. Trust us, its sure to brighten up your day.

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Check out more of their looks here.

Fall ’13 Fashion Extra | Chatting with Stylist Sima Kumar about Kristin Kreuk’s Cover Shoot

BUY THE FALL ’13 ISSUE WITH KRISTIN HERE!

Sima Kumar, on why it’s fun to dress Kristin: We’re both yoga junkies, and that’s part of what makes her fun to dress. She has an organic sense of her body, so she can carry off so many different looks and really be a chameleon.

When she was just about to turn 30, we talked about how interesting it’d be to change up the proportions of her style. She’s so fit and thin, so it’s easy to put her in tight clothes, especially since she comes out of the CW and is so pretty. But people have noticed that I’ve started draping her in looser things with different proportions in a way that’s more interesting and brave.

I always look at [fashion] as an opportunity for other people to see [Kristin] in a way that’s different than the way she’s marketed for her shows. You get so stereotyped when you’re on a series, [for example,] as the girl who’s always crying or heartbroken, so it’s just another opportunity for us to shake it up. It’s a playful way to express parts of her that the public doesn’t usually get to see. And she likes the intellectual process I go through styling, in order to try and create a story.

 

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Sima Kumar: I’ve styled so many musicians, so this look was inspired by rock ‘n roll. There’s the furry vest with long slip dress underneath, which has kind of an off-duty model/rock star girlfriend vibe. I think she pulled it off really well.

 

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Sima Kumar: This is more of a fun, bohemian look. I know she’d never wear this in real life, but I pulled it for the shoot because it photographs beautifully. We’re mixing prints, and this outfit shows her love of travel and other cultures.

 

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Sima Kumar: This look is inspired by Devo. [laughs] It’s almost like one of those ’80s videos.

 

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Sima Kumar: This look was more about the different textures: the jeans are metallic, the sweater is cashmere, and the blue necklace is handmade by an amazing designer, Elke Hechler. They’re made of Austrian hand-blown glass beads that are woven and knit together.. It’s a very basic outfit — a comfy sweater, jeans, and necklace — but it shows her bumpy side, her soft side, and her shiny side. The multiple layers of her personality.

 

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Sima Kumar: This was a hot outfit; she had ankle boots, leather shorts, a T-shirt, and a chain nail vest that’s designed by Alana K’akia. So this look is about how we’re always protecting ourselves. Our armor is very complex and intricate, but she’s exposing it. And the dog belongs to Dexter [Quinto, the photographer]!

 

For Sima’s blog post about what it takes to put together a shoot, check out New Culture Revolution.

 

 

 

Countdown to KCON 2013 | Fashion Post: What to wear for the big weekend!

KCON 2013 is just around the corner, and the question that has risen for most (if not all) attendees is this: “WHAT AM I GOING TO WEAR?!”  With thousands of fellow hallyu fans and not to mention a notable handful of idols in attendance this year, the pressure is on to find that perfect outfit.  Stuck on what to wear this year?  No fear!  We’ve broken down KPOP fan fashion into three rough categories, based on what we’ve observed (and worn) from our own time in the hallyu scene.  Take a look at what may suit you!

 

The Style Mavens

Admittedly, you’re a K-Pop fan.  You have your favorite artists, biases/ideal types and OTPs (one true pair for those who may not be familiar), but the visual cues of your fandom memberships are subtle.  You choose to set off your fashion-forward outfits with K-Pop accessories, ranging from phone cases to rings to necklaces, phone cases or even those cute socks with your favorite idol’s face on them (hidden by your sneakers, of course).  Though you love your idols just as much as the next person, you’re fine with showing your love through small displays.

So something like this…

Worn with something like this…

(From L to R: G-Dragon “One of a Kind” necklace, EXO ring, Teen Top rings)

Shameless Stans

You’re equally as devoted to making a fashion statement as you are about showing off your KPOP loyalties.  Whether a shirt emblazoned with Dynamic Duo’s faces, a GD snapback a la “Bad Boy,” or a pair of Teen Top socks (with appropriate shoes), you’re not afraid to show others where your loyalties lie.  And as popular fashion-blogger Tricia Gosingtian shows, the “fangirl/fanboy” look can be much more than just wearing a t-shirt and jeans — but regardless of sartorial tendencies, you’re a clear KPOP fan.

Tricia’s take on KPOP fan fashion:

(Clearly, Trica’s a GD/Big Bang stan.)

Besides Tricia’s GD-inspired tops (which we’re absolutely in love with), here’s some other things that you can pick up for your outfit, picked especially for KCON:

(K)osplayers

You’re a fan who is wholly committed to the cause…of KPOP.  You’ve done your extensive research and everything from your hair, makeup and clothes is a carbon copy of your favorite idol.  Whether it’s donning the same Joyrich/Chrome Hearts/Stussy/HBA/(insert cool streetwear brand here) T-Shirts and jerseys, colorful clothes, or homemade costume ala your favorite music video, you are a perfect double take for your favorite oppa, unnie or dongsaeng.  With a deluge of KPOP online shops making it ridiculously easy to know what clothes your favorite idols are wearing, it’s easier than ever to become an idol, or at least, look like one.

Some great (k)osplays from online:

But hands down, one of our personal favorites — little Big Bang!

So now that you’ve seen the different styles, what will you be wearing at KCON this year?

Asians in Fashion | Carine Roitfeld’s “Singular Beauties” for “Harper’s Bazaar” September 2013

Carine Roitfeld, former editor-in-chief of Vogue Paris and current editor-in-chief of CR Fashion Book, has developed quite a successful reputation. To add on to her list of stunning work is her new feature in Harper’s Bazaar September issue. “Singular Beauties” is said to be “an homage to the diversity of women” and thankfully our community has recognition within this diverse group of women.

Screen Shot 2013-08-08 at 12.11.32 PMChina Machado (left)
The first Eurasian supermodel (and Bazaar fashion editor from 1962 to 1972), still breaking barriers at age 83.”

Soo Joo Park (right)
Modeling’s blonde Asian, reinventing her look at age 27.”

 

 

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A lithe beauty at five foot nine.”

 

 

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Chiharu Okunugi
A Japanese beauty with poetic presence.”

Watch the behind-the-scenes footage below and check out the entire feature here.

 

Asians in Fashion | Lee Min Ho: Winter Photoshoot

When you think about what kind of clothes would look good on SHAG (Smoking Hot Asian Guy) Lee Min-ho, you’d probably think of something like a nice pair of swim trunks. You know, just enough clothing to show off those gorgeous abs. You probably wouldn’t think of him in a big snow jacket nearly completely covered up.

But you’re wrong. Completely wrong.

Proving to us that he can look stunning in just about everything, the South Korean actor posed for an Autumn/Winter French outdoor clothing brand photoshoot. Needless to say, Lee Min-ho looks amazing as always.

Be on the look out for his upcoming drama, Heirs, alongside actress Park Shin Hye.

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(source)