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.

(source 1, 2)

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!

Amber Chia - Esquire Malaysia, August 2013 - 2

Amber Chia - Esquire Malaysia, August 2013 - 3

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.

 

Kristin Kreuk by Dexter Quinto3

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.

 

Kristin Kreuk by Dexter Quinto4

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.

 

Kristin Kreuk by Dexter Quinto1

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.

 

Kristin Kreuk by Dexter Quinto5

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.”

 

 

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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(source)

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)