6 Ways to Fashion a Sarong the Polynesian Way


Summer is almost here, which means it’s beach time! And what better beach attire than a sarong? It’s easy, breathable and makes for a great coverup. The only real downside to a sarong is if you’re at a loss when it comes to fashioning these beautiful pieces of cloth. Don’t worry, you’re not alone. Best of all, we’re here to help! Let’s take a lesson from our island girls about how to manipulate these sarongs, or pareo, for any occasion

Let’s first rewind and talk about the evolution of this fabric, which has grown to be a Polynesian closet staple. If you take a look at the history of the pareo, specifically the clothing of Tahiti (French Polynesia), you’ll notice that their garments were traditionally made of ti leaf, banana leaf, lauhala leaf, coconut fiber, inner wild hibiscus bark, ulu (breadfruit) bark and inner paper mulberry bark.  The fibers fabricated from these plants were then made into long pieces of cloth called tapas, which adorned intricate designs woven into them (as seen below).


Tapa Cloth. Photo courtesy of wikipedia.org

What do tapas have to do with pareos, you ask? Well, back in the 1700s, European explorers arrived on the islands where they introduced textiles, industrial advances and Christianity to the natives. Along with the Christian missionaries’ push to “civilize” the Tahitians, cotton clothing replaced the tapa. The cotton fabric was higher in quality, easier to work with and more durable than the traditional tapa cloth. Prior to contact with Western ideals, women often went topless during the regular course of the day. As Western influence entered the Tahitian society as well as other South Pacific islands, the women gradually adapted the pareo to mimic western women’s wear.


Photo courtesy of kealopiko.com

Eventually, the tapa became obsolete when Tahitian women began to adapt and modify the Western style of dress to suit their island lifestyles. From bark and leaves to cotton fabric dyed with iconic Polynesian floral designs, we now see a plethora of modern day pareos billowing all over beaches everywhere. 

Now, let’s take some pointers from Cherrelle Chan–the designer of Mareko Creations–as she shows us an array of ways to fashion a pareo beyond simply tying them around your hips. With one pareo, you can go from casual to date night, and you can even style them for cocktail parties! Watch below to learn to fashion a pareo like a “PolyDolly” as Chan calls her island girls:



Keep Cool In White: Jamie Chung’s Top 5 Summer Looks


The heat of summer is slowly waning for those living in actual seasons, but for us residing in Southern California, the sun is still shining (and beating down on us with sickeningly hot rays). So while East Coasters can begin to plan enviously adorable outfits for sweater weather, Los Angelenos can still, rest assured, wear crop tops and flirty skirts until December rolls around. So here are five summer looks in the crispest color on the rainbow, and actress Jamie Chung shows us how to rock it.


1. White, from head to toe.




Jamie Chung’s style is always on point, and her look at the Marc Jacob’s Daisy Dream Fragrance event in New York City was no exception. Chung looked sweet and chic as ever in an all-white ensemble that simply radiated summer. Gracing Jamie’s slender body from head to toe, the outfit boasted a mix of patterns and styles that the Korean American actress pulled off effortlessly. While the high-waisted, criss cross-patterned pants billowed loosely around her legs, Chung showed off some skin — and some physique — with a pure white bustier. She completed the look a summer must-have, ban.do’s adorable Twist Scarf in Black + White Polka Dot, for a perfect, flirty vibe.




2. A pale palette.




Chung looks super chic with another white ensemble in this gorgeous pale dress that floats just below the knee. She drapes the dress with a light pink vest to give the outfit more structure.


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3. Mix and match.




White seems to shine brighter on Jamie Chung, and it’s the best color to keep cool in the summer heat. Wear a simple white top to complement a great, eye-catching skirt, and don’t hesitate to mix styles that seem to clash. The purse’s fringe gives this look more texture and a completely trendy vibe.




4. It’s all in the details.




This outfit proves that a simple white tee and jeans can go a long way with the right details. The burst of turquoise and the red accents pop even more vibrantly against a plain palette of white and blue.


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5. Whiteout.




This is another great example of letting those colors shine against an all-white ensemble. Just don’t sit on a dirty chair!




[Photos courtesy of WhatTheChung.com]



It’s Not Too Late — We’ve Found the Perfect Summer Sunnies


There is one accessory that is a complete necessity during these summer months: a solid pair of sunglasses to take everywhere. This practical means of protection holds an iconic place in the fashion world from Audrey Hepburn’s Oliver Goldsmith frames in the film Breakfast at Tiffany’s to Ray-Ban’s Wayfarers that have been around for decades. Luxury designers produce lines of collectible and vintage worthy styles, but I’ve found a new favorite: Sunday Somewhere’s recent collaboration with biracial Japanese American fashion blogger Rumi Neely of Fashiontoast.com.

These aren’t your typical sunnies. The frames may have a classic shape, but nontraditional materials and interesting color combinations provide a fresh take on the handmade beauties. Neely described it best on her blog: “I really wanted to make the details special, to have them stand out from the average pair, and we did just that with rose gold detailing, an all-leather option and matte metallics.” 

Below is part of the collection currently available at Net-a-porter and Sunday Somewhere. And for more daily fashion inspiration be sure to take a peek at her Fashion Toast photo streams!

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Tokyo D-frame in matte acetate and rose gold-tone metal, at net-a-porter.com for $400.

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Paris Sunglasses in matte metallic gold, at sundaysomewhere.com for $320.

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Paris Sunglasses in leather and snakeskin combination, at sundaysomewhere.com for $320.



Of course, we can’t end without some fabulous images of Neely wearing her newest collab.

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Photos Courtesy of fashiontoast.com.


Summer Must Read: “Everything I Never Told You” by Celeste Ng


“Lydia is dead. But they don’t know this yet.” And with that first line of Pushcart Prize recipient Celeste Ng’s haunting debut novel, Everything I Never Told You, you know you’re in for the long haul, if for no other reason than to find out how and why. But as you begin to uncover the secrets and pains and misdirected motivations of each member of the mixed-race Lee family trying to fit in in 1970s Ohio, you realize it’s more the redemption of the living that you yearn for: from the patriarch James who can’t seem to escape the outsider status his Chinese face brands on him; to his wife Marilyn, obsessed with an unfulfilled dream and her failure to break out of her own mother’s homemaker mold; to son Nathan, a living reminder to his father, despite his academic successes, of his own social ineptitudes. But perhaps most heartbreaking is the youngest, Hannah, whose very conception lays the groundwork for a dysfunctional dynamic that would culminate in tragedy. Ng writes:

What about Hannah? They set up her nursery in the bedroom in the attic, where things that were not wanted were kept, and even when she got older, now and then each of them would forget, fleetingly, that she existed — as when Marilyn, laying four plates for dinner one night, did not realize her omission until Hannah reached the table. Hannah, as if she understood her place in the cosmos, grew from quiet infant to watchful child: a child fond of nooks and corners, who curled up in closets, behind sofas, under dangling tablecloths, staying out of sight as well as out of mind, to ensure the terrain of the family did not change.



Details Hardcover, $26.96, penguin.com.




This story was originally published in our Summer 2014 issue. Get your copy here

Song of Style’s Aimee Song Shows You How Celebs Vacay In Ibiza


It seems like every high-profile celebrity scheduled a sweet vacay to Ibiza this summer (Kimye, Bieber and Lohan, to name a few), and we weren’t invited (cry). But it’s OK — as long as we can live vicariously through the plethora of Ibiza-hashtagged photos littering Instagram and E! News, we’ll manage.

One of our favorite fashion bloggers who joined in the Ibiza festivities this summer was the lovely face behind Song Of Style — Aimee Song. Pronounced “aw-mee” according to her Instagram, Aimee lived it up on the star-studded Ibiza beaches with her sister and friends, and lucky for us, the popular Korean American fashion blogger documented her trip through an endless stream of enviable photos. As summer is winding down and fall is, well, falling right around the corner, we thought it’d be nice to daydream about cocktails on the beach and adorable bikini attire with a little help from Song of Style before sweater weather sets in.

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songofstyleibiza8Photo credit: @songofstyle on Instagram and songofstyle.com



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.




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





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




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




You can also follow Camille on Weibo here.

Leather In Summer Weather? This Fashion Blogger Shows You How

If you love the spunky and impossibly adorable fashion vlogger, Jenn Im (whose summer casual outfits can be found here), then you’ll love her equally fashionable, yet more edgy insta-sister, Eugenie Grey–because after all, opposites do attract. The chic pair has been spotted gleefully piggybacking each other and hanging out occasionally on Instagram, and just being two totally awesome Korean American trendsetters. I mean, just look how cute they are.

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More famously known by her Instagram handle feralcreature, Eugenie Grey often channels a rock-and-roll persona that acts almost like an alter ego to Jenn Im’s sweet charm–but let’s be honest, we all want to be a little bad ass from time to time. So here’s how to be unapologetically “sex, drugs, and rock-and-roll” in the summer heat with the 5 top rocker-chic looks by feralcreature. Start practicing your mean muggin’ face.



1) Keeping it Bare
Put away those high-wasted shorts and expose your midriff. The zip-up cropped turtle neck paired with the black leather duo of the jacket and boots give the outfit that bad-ass edge, but revealing the midriff graces the ensemble with an overall soft and cool look.



2) Hang Loose
Let it flow by wearing loosely fit tanks and bottoms. The silhouette of the joggers gives the outfit a relaxed, summery vibe, but the leathery, “snake” effect will keep it on the edge. And don’t put away those beanies just because it’s summer–they give the perfect finish for a street-style look.



3) Black and Gold
All black and gold, and that’s that.

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4) Add Some Color
If you need a little splash of something-something in an overall one-tone outfit, then throw a bright flannel around your waist to liven it up and wear lipstick to match.



5) Laced
You don’t have to lose your edge when you put on a dress. Simultaneously gritty yet elegant, this lacey, see-through dress channels vampire-goth vibes, but it will still keep you cool in the summer heat.

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Grey, who is based in Los Angeles, is an active fashion blogger, model, and style icon in the Instagram realm. She has been featured in online fashion sites the likes of Vogue Italia, Nasty Gal, and Wasteland, as well as in print magazines, including Nylon Japan, Clin D’Oeil, Disfunkshion Magazine, and Kode Magazine.

(Photo credit: @feralcreature on Instagram and feralcreature.com)

Nothing To Wear? Dress Like Actress Park Min-young With Easy Summer Stripes


We all have those days where we feel too lazy to put together our most fashion forward, effort-full (as opposed effortless) outfit. For those days, try going minimalist (or Parisian! Or nautical!) with something in a black and white stripe. The ultimate “neutral” (wear it with anything) and a chameleon of style (depending on how you wear it, it can look punk rock or French-cool or sailor chic), black and white stripes is the easiest way to turn a simple #OOTD, normcore looks into a fab ensemble.

Korean actress Park Min-young’s outfit below is so simple (it’s a baggy top and a skirt) and yet she looks chic and put together.

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Korean actress Park Min-young at the airport in Hawaii.


Stripes and leggings? This may be your easiest summer look yet.


Stripes with trousers and funky flats look instantly put together, even when the stripes are slouchy.


Pair with a circle skirt for a Parisian vibe, or dress up an all black outfit with a pop of stripes — you’re ready for work!


Dress Like Korean Actress Jeon Ji-hyun With Round Sunglasses

Take a cue from the fashiongentsia at Seoul Fashion Week — wear round sunglasses! Actress Jeon Ji-hyun solidified this must-have look when she wore House of Holland’s Cagefighter sunglasses in the international K-drama hit, My Love From the Stars, this past spring.

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Chic attendees at Seoul Fashion Week F/W 2014 this past March.

This blast from the past accessory has made a come back from the ’70s. Whether it’s a beach day, a shopping outing or just a drive to work, these sunglasses add a touch of vintage to your outfit and protect your eyes from that blinding summer sun! Popularized by John Lennon and later, Ozzy Osborne, round sunnies are part hippie, part modern, and all trés chic for summer. Go with some classic round sunnies that are heavily tinted or try a modern take with the gold rimmed designs. Whichever pair you choose to wear this summer, these sunnies will make you feel hip and free-spirited.


The Do’s & Don’ts of This Summer’s Bralet Fashion Trend

Story by Jeline Abutin. 

Underwear as outerwear has made a scene in the fashion world. Watch out Audrey readers. The bralet fashion trend is definitely taking over this summer!

This trend may seem unusual, but who said that fashion follows the norm?

Below are some tips below on some things to keep in mind when trying this out-there trend! Don’t forget to find a bralet that fits your body perfectly, no one wants any mishaps.

1). Counter the skin tight nature of the bralet with a flowy maxi skirt! Wearing a top that is both cropped and fitted to the body can be daunting. Adding a loose maxi skirt adds balance to the outfit!
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2). Not feeling a skirt? Add a loose factor to your bralet outfit with a long cardigan or kimono cover up!
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3). Want to flaunt your bralet? Try pairing it with a pencil skirt. Remember not too tight!
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4). Going for a more polished look with your bralet? Pair your bralet with a structured blazer.
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