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.”

 

 

Screen Shot 2013-08-08 at 12.14.12 PMXiao Wen Ju (left)
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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Get This Anime Look | Fashion Inspired by Hayao Miyazaki Films

Scores of anime fans gathered over the July 4th weekend for the Los Angeles Anime Expo, none more enthusiastically than cosplayers in detailed home-made costumes. And Comic Con, the nation’s largest comic and animation convention, wrapped up this weekend in San Diego.

Outside of conventions, however, it’s not so easy to emulate your favorite characters in everyday life. It is a very special workplace that allows cat ears, for example, on the job. To pay homage when you’re, say, buying milk as opposed to camping out for a panel, requires subtlety.

I thought I’d take a stab at it. And where better to start than the most critically acclaimed and popular animated films of the past two decades? Yes, I’m talking about Hayao Miyazaki’s Studio Ghibli films, which aside from being visually breathtaking, consistently rest on the shoulders of strong female protagonists.

Here are some Studio Ghibli-inspired outfits to keep the anime love going every day.

 

Kiki’s Delivery Service

Kiki OutfitKiki is a thirteen-year-old witch leaving home for the first time to seek her fortune in the port city of Koriko. Her signature black dress rivals Holly Golightly’s, though Kiki’s is far from little. Sporting long sleeves and a generous cut, it billows behind her in the air. Add a belt for a figure-hugging silhouette.

The outfit makes good use of red accents that pop against the black backdrop of the dress. With the help of a floppy red bow and dainty ballet flats, standard bag lady uniform is transformed into the look of an ambitious and independent young witch.

As us ordinary folk can’t exactly walk around followed constantly by a cat (though there are those lucky few), hint at Jiji, Kiki’s black cat and best friend, with a cat-shaped ring. Throw some nautical earrings into the mix as a nod to Kiki’s fondness for Koriko.

As for the broom, well that’s up to you. I hear the Firebolt is quite good.

 

Howl’s Moving Castle

Sophie OutfitSophie is a quiet and unassuming hatter. When she is turned into an old woman by the Witch of the Waste, she stows away aboard the moving castle of the enigmatic wizard, Howl, in order to remove her curse.

While Sophie may not be the most stylish among the heroines here, it is her cleverness and strength that saves Howl from his fate, bringing peace to their land and restoring her youth. Furthermore, she’s done what eludes most women, rocking the same outfit in both her youth and old age.

Start with a cornflower blue dress detailed with ruffles or neatly-lined buttons. A relaxed denim dress also does the trick. A pair of solid brown boots anchors the outfit, saying to the world, “My dress might border on frumpy, but I can still kick ass.” Which, now that I think of it, is essentially a theme of the film.

An orange gemstone is reminiscent of Calcifer, the flame that powers the castle and that only Sophie can tame. Bird silhouette earrings evoke the dark secret at the heart of Sophie’s story.

In the movie, Sophie wears both a red hair bow and a straw hat. If you find the combination a bit overwhelming in real life, you can tie a braid together with a red bow or top it all off with a straw hat in the style of your choice. A boater sets you apart from the fedora-loving masses. Okay, any hat stands out these days, even if it was mass-produced in a factory and not by Sophie’s loving hand.

This is America – even a hat of humblest beginnings can come to be part of an extraordinary outfit. Dream big, guys.

 

Howl OutfitMetrosexual is a good adjective for Howl, a wizard caught in the midst of an epic war, but his life does depend on keeping up appearances as he evades the draft with the help of his moving castle and a series of false identities.

Howl’s wardrobe staples are slim black pants and a relaxed white blouse, upon which he vainly piles layers of jewelry. Evidently he has never taken Coco Chanel’s advice. His jewelry is an eclectic mix of pretty trinkets and meaningful pieces like the ruby ring connecting him to Calcifer. Purists can find jewelry that match his piece for piece. You can also put together a unique collection of personal pieces and those that just bring out your inner magpie.

This is a perfect transitional look for fall. Howl’s patchwork pink and blue jacket is difficult to find in the wild, so substitute with a peacoat in similar shades. As the days get chillier, a frayed black scarf adds another layer of warmth while referencing Howl’s fowl alter ego. In warmer weather, a feathered hairpiece does the same trick. Keep shoes simple with black ankle boots.

This outfit also works for Halloween, if you’re eyeing trick-or-treating as a kaleidoscope.

 

Spirited Away

Chihiro OutfitChihiro is a ten-year-old girl who moves into a new neighborhood and finds herself in a surreal world of spirits and monsters, including the witch, Yubaba, who turns her parents into pigs. Although all the neon in her look may be daunting, consider it an upgrade from your outfits when you were ten.

A relaxed ombre lime top gives a nod to the ombre trend and Chihiro’s colorblock green t-shirt. Fight the heat with some heat of your own in the form of hot pink shorts. Tie your hair into a high ponytail and wind a dragon bracelet around your wrist in honor of Haku, the river spirit that befriends Chihiro.

Finally, slip on a pair of yellow sneakers so you’re prepared in case you need to race against time to save your parents from being pigs. For some especially angry thirteen-year-olds, that’s every day.

 

Princess Mononoke

San OutfitMononoke being a Japanese term for a spirit or monster, the heroine of this film is actually a girl named San who fights on the side of the forest and its supernatural guardians against rampant resource consumption by humans in the Iron Town.

In the sweltering summer heat, ditch the fur cape and hat for a cool, streamlined look. San layers a white tank over a black slip dress. You can do the same, or find a colorblock black and white top to pair with a black skater skirt.

To evoke the necklace of teeth that keeps San’s cape around her shoulders, add a shark tooth necklace. Grab one of the beachy hemp ones you inevitably collected in middle school or go classy with gold. Any necklace with a triangular pendant will do, really.

A pair of white pendant earrings brings attention to your face. The gold trim on this pair works with the gold of the necklace to pull the outfit together. Add a smear of lipstick as red as San’s face paint as the finishing touch.

It’s a minimalistic approach to Princess Mononoke, with the elements of her look pared down to the very basics, but her fierce strength still shines through. And whether you spend your days in a tree to prevent it from being chopped down or just own a recycling bin, I’m sure you’ll agree that minimalism keeps resource consumption low, which is totally in line with San’s passion for the forest.

Although if you’re currently residing in a tree, this might not be the most practical thing to wear.

 

My Neighbor Totoro

Mei OutfitSatsuki and Mei are sisters who move into an old house with their father to be closer to their hospitalized mother. While Satsuki attends school, Mei’s curiosity leads to the discovery of Totoro, a big friendly creature living in the giant tree just behind their new home.

Mei does all her adventuring in a casual pink sleeveless dress, which she layers with a white blouse. For an updated look, replace the puff sleeves with long ones. Mei is a girl who ascribes to function before form, and she’s all set with bright yellow accents that contrast with the pink and white of her ensemble. While traipsing around the village on Totoro-related missions, Mei keeps her feet comfortable in yellow mary janes. Her yellow satchel frees up her arms pick up the mysterious acorns she finds and holds them for safekeeping.

A few pieces of jewelry reference Mei’s first meeting with Totoro: acorn earrings like the ones she finds in a trail leading to Totoro’s hiding place, and a leaf-shaped necklace that could have been plucked off Totoro’s massive tree itself. Finally, sweep black nail polish onto your fingertips and see if you can convince anyone that you were catching soot spirits like the ones running rampant in Satsuki and Mei’s new house.

 

Of course, these are only a selection of Ghibli characters (or anime characters, for that matter). So tell us, what are some of your two-dimensional style icons?

Get the Look for Back to School | Asian Models Edition

Sure, it may be the middle of summer, but in less time than you might realize, school will be back in session.  Though the thought of hitting the textbooks and late-night study sessions can be a bit of a downer, some back-to-school shopping may lift your spirits.  For this upcoming school year, ditch the college co-ed uniform of leggings and a t-shirt and take some cues from some our favorite models’ off-duty style.

 

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The first Asian winner of Ford’s prestigious Supermodel of the World contest shows off an easy, but put together look in her basic shift dress. Pair one with a low-rise, cut-out ankle boot — comfort and style in one! As for your books, a tote is a great alternative to the traditional backpack — and we love this polka-dot shopper from Target (inspired by Hyoni’s shopping bag!)!
(1 – James Perse, Woven Shift Dress; 2 – Emma Louise London, Feather Ombre Shift; 3 – See by Chloe, ; 4 – Ecote, Cut Out Lace-up Ankle Boot; 5 – Merona, Dot Tote Bag)

 

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Channel this Vogue Nippon cover girl’s cool, but quirky Parisian chic by pairing a simple skater skirt with a striped tee and a top-handle purse with lots of personality. But while we love Kiko’s ankle-strap heels for night, they’re clearly not campus-friendly; when heading for your classes, throw on a pair of sneakers in a bright, neon color for a fun burst of color.
(1 – T by Alexander Wang, Linen Stripe Tee; 2 – Topshop, Black Seamed Skater Skirt; 3 – Marc by Marc Jacobs, Too Hot to Handle Tote; 4 – Zara, Combined Sandal with Stiletto Heel ; 5 – Superga, Classic Cotu Sneaker)

 

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Take on the monochrome look like Park Ji Hye and pair an eye-catching blouse with a pair of well-fitted jeans and classic ankle boots. A navy blue messenger bag is the perfect complement to this black and white get-up (and the perfect carry-all).
(1 – Bonne Chance Collections, “The New Girl Blouse”; 2 – Zara Combined Blouse; 3 – Forever 21 Striped Georgette Shirt; 4 – Cambridge Satchel; 5 – Topshop Angeles, “Western Boots”)

 

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Another simple, but stylish piece to have is the romper or playsuit. Take cues from this Filipina model and find one that nips in at the waist. Worn with classic sneakers and with easy hair and makeup, it’s a no-fail, frill-free look.
1 – LOVE; 2 – Rag & Bone; 3 – Topshop; 4 – Keds; 5 – Aldo
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One of the stars of this year’s Fall/Winter Chanel campaign, Soo Joo shows us how to wear statement jacket. Make sure the rest of your outfit is neutral, so when the jacket is draped over your shoulders, it draws just the right amount of attention.
1 – Dorothy Perkins; 2 – Puma x Hussein Chalayan; 3 – Suno; 4 – H&M; 5 – Zara; 6 – Carven; 7 – Lanvin

 

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We’re in love with this simple, yet fashion-forward outfit from Liu Wen. Pair a structured skirt (or in this case, a skort — yes, shorts that look like a skirt) with a loose-fitting boyfriend tee. As for your footwear, while the Lancome model opts for leather ankle boots, we love the idea of a heavy sole leather sandal as a comfortable way to add edge to the outfit.
(1 – Monki Lerima Top; 2 – Zara Culotte Wrap Mini; 3 – Zara Two-tone Bowling Bag; 4 – Zara Mini Office City Bag; 5 – Topshop Fran Heavy Sole)

 

Top 5 Peter Adrian Summer Looks

Summertime is here and that means some of our favorite fashion bloggers have been sharing their summer looks. By “favorite”, we mean Peter Adrian Sudarso and by “summer looks”, we mean outfits that are so hot we can hardly contain ourselves.

Since its Friday, we’ve decided to lighten up your day and bring some Peter Adrian to you. Here are our Top 5 Peter Adrian Summer Looks:|

1) FADED COLORS
Although many people claim that vibrant colors are in this summer, Peter Adrian shows that subtle and faded colors can work in your favor as well. Don’t be afraid to dive into lighter colors this season.

pa faded 1 pa faded 2 pa faded 3

2) THE UNBUTTONED SHIRT
If you thought this was out of style, think again! The unbuttoned shirt comes off as a complete tease to us, but it turns out we don’t mind that at all.

PA shirt 1

PA shirt 2

PA shirt 3

PA shirt 4

3) TANKS AND BEANIES
I know you may be thinking that beanies are a bit too hot for summer, but Sudarso proves that it may be just the thing to compliment your outfit. And let’s be honest, tanks are always a good thing.

PA tank 1

PA tank 2

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4) THE BEACH LOOK
Tanks also work well to achieve the beach look. Technically speaking, this outfit doesn’t actually require much, but the simplicity goes a long way.

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5) THE V-NECK
Apparently, the V-neck is a male equivalent of a little back dress. Its essential and simple, but you can’t go wrong with it.

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Check out more of Peter Adrian Sudarso’s looks here.

Asians in Fashion | Zhang Jiani for A Summer Fashion Shoot

Chinese Actress and Model Zhang Jiani recently took some breath-taking fashion photos just in time for Summer. Her most recent work includes her role as Meng Jin Zhen in Gong 3 and her role as Su Su in the drama Jing Zhong Yue Fei. Clearly, she is just as good a model as she is an actress. Check out her complete control of vibrant patterns and colors in the fashion photos below.

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Summer Footwear No-No’s

We live in an age where bold is in, eccentric is cute, and mixing patterns is hip. We’re accepting of a lot of new trends and it almost seem like the more weird a fad may be, the more “cool” it is.

But there’s a limit. There is definitely a limit. If this summer has taught me anything so far, its that some things will simply not work.

Here’s a list of our top five SUMMER FOOTWEAR NO-NO’S:

 

wellrox1) Toe-Separating Sandals

Macy’s has released a new line of footwear called Wellrox. If you are somehow unable to notice whats so horrible about these, we’re gonna go ahead and point it out for you- these are toe-separating sandals. Macy’s claims that this line is “unusual in the cutest way”, but we’re pretty sure they misused the word cute. They’ve released about 8 style (trust us, the picture above is about as good as it gets) and these sandals will cost you anything from $50-$100. Nice efforts, Wellrox.


crocs

 

2) Original Crocs

Despite the number of jokes and people who openly oppose crocs, the shoe is still (for some unknown reason)  alive and going strong. In an effort to appeal to a larger crowd, crocs has released a number of new styles which are admittedly much more fashionable. So if you still want to comfort of crocs, please go purchase the latest ones and ditch these buckets.


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3) UGGs in the Summer

Are we saying that UGGs are unfashionable? Absolutely not. Pair it with some leggings and an oversized sweater and you’re all set for the winter time. But these things are definitely a no-no for the summer. People will often pair UGGs with shorts or a skirt leaving the rest of us confused about whether or not their hot or cold. If its 90 degrees out, trust us, you probably don’t want your feet to be that warm.

 

vogue sandals

4) These Furry, Jeweled Things

Ranking number four on Vogue’s “The Ugly-Pretty Sandal: Ten Takes on Summer’s Must-Have Shoe” list, are these things. Lined with fur perfect for hot summer weather and bedazzled in so many jewels that its blinding, you would think these were made as some sort of joke. It has to be right? Nope, unfortunately they’re not. In fact, these Celine sandals will cost you $3,950.

 

socks with sandals5) Socks and Sandals

Speaking of Vogue, it appears as if they’re trying very hard to make socks and sandals work. No Vogue, this will not happen. Just as Regina George made it clear that “fetch” will never happen, this duo will not go well with one another.

Asians in Fashion | G-Dragon for Vogue Korea

To celebrate their 17th anniversary, Vogue Korea is releasing three versions of their latest issue, which will be available this August. On the cover is none other than Big Bang’s leader, the ever-stylish G-Dragon. The “One of a Kind” singer-rapper-songwriter shows off three very different sides of himself in each cover, appearing alongside top Korean models Soo Joo, Sunghee Kim and Jihye Park.

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More than Just a “Belle”: Hellz Bellz and BOTB’s Lanie Barcena

It’s hard to talk about women’s streetwear without talking about the LA-based Hellz Bellz and its sister brand, BOTB (short for Belle of the Brawl).  The unapologetically in-your-face, naturally cool labels are the brainchildren of Lanie Barcena, a Pilipina American designer.  Also known as “misslawn,” Barcena gave us a sneak into her life and her daily grind.

What was it like starting Hellz Bellz?
Starting Hellz Bellz started pretty organically. I didn’t go into it thinking or even hoping it would turn into a full on business. I was young, super creative and busting in the seams to simply design product that I loved… to put it simply, Hellz Bellz started out as a hobbie and from an honest place, which is why I truly believe it became successful.

Hellz Bellz is a brand known for being bold, strong and dynamic. Who/what inspires you as a designer?
I’m inspired by music ranging from hip hop to punk to ska to even classical and jazz. Music is always the soundtrack to every collection. In addition to music, I’m heavily inspired by cultures I’ve either encountered, studied or have been immersed in. All which is very broad BUT I tend to pick out elements that I relate tor gravitate toward, and it’s usually the anti / aggressive / strong yet empowering elements that catch my eye.

Describe the quintessential Hellz Bellz woman.
She’s a fashion forward, street savy, non-apologetic boss who sticks to her guns and gives fellas a run for their money. She has a voice and isn’t afraid to use it, using it to inspire, motivate and empower… and did I mention she’s sexy as fuck both inside and out?!

Hellz1

What is it like being a female in the male-dominated streetwear industry?
There was a time when it was a bit daunting but now it’s not even something that I think about. However, it is pretty nice to know that I can hold my own amongst all these guys.

What has been the most memorable moment of your fashion career so far?
There isn’t one moment in particular. This whole rollercoaster ride that I’ve been on since 2005 has been memorable. Seriously, it’s been the best and worst time of my life all at the same time BUT I wouldn’t trade it for anything else in the world.

But ok, if you were to twist my wrist and make me choose one… I’d say the night of my Hellz Bellz x Vans release party in NY a few years ago. It was such a monumental moment being able to finally release a project I had worked so diligently on for over a year with a company I so greatly admired to not only fashion editors, bloggers and celebs BUT also to people that I’ve looked up to forevvvver. That was really an amazing night and milestone in my fashion career.

What can we expect to see Hellz Bellz in the coming years?
Hopefully bigger and better things.

Describe yourself in ten words or less.
Creative. Controlling. Petite. Passionate. Silly. Loyal. Short Tempered. Loving. Ridiculous.

Name your style icons.
Vivienne Westwood.
Gwen Stefani.
Bianca Jagger.

Favorite piece(s) that you’ve designed:
Belle of the Brawl Stadium Jacket
Vans x Hellz shoes (all of them)
Mata Hari x Hellz Bellz Speedy Satchel Bag
Black Scale x BOTB Stadium Jacket (coming soon)

Life motto or words you live by:
If you don’t grind, you’ll fall behind.

Life does not get better by chance, it gets better by change.

(Photo credit:Grant Yoshino)