Vivienne Tam kicked off her Fall/Winter 2013 show on Sunday, February 10 at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week with a homage to President Barack Obama. Inspired by Pop Art and the punk movement, Tam sent down her first model on the runway in black wool pleated skirt and a black leather long-sleeved jacket with an image of Obama looking cool in shades – an outfit that perfectly combined Tam’s inspirations.
The punk movement was well-represented throughout the show – from the models’ sleek up-dos and bold dark lip color to the inclusion of plaid patterns on jackets and dresses that recall the British punk movement that brought the subculture to the forefront in the 70s. Tam made sure her heritage was also a highlight on the show as several pieces were emblazoned with Mao Zedong’s writings but of course, in graffiti prints – keeping up with the punk and pop art inspirations. Leave it to Tam to bring together Eastern and Western influences served in an edgy, cool collection.
You may have heard of famous street photographer/bloggers Scott Schuman (The Sartorialist), Asian American Tommy Ton of Jak & Jil, but here’s a name to keep an eye out for in 2011: Bonae L’amour. The Vietnamese American photographer, originally from New Orleans and now based in New York City, says he photographs “souls and spirits, not simply people.” He is an advocate for diversity in fashion and the media.
Here, some of Bonae’s shots of Asian models off duty.
One of the season’s more popular models, Ming Xi — she of the famous ears — made her debut at New York Fashion Week spring 2011, after a successful run in Europe. “She was enthusiastic,” says Bonae. He shot her here after Jason Wu’s spring 2011 show.
One of the few Asian Americans on the catwalk, Bonnie Chen walked for Vivenne Tam as well as Erin Fetherston, Marchesa and Thuy. The Chinese American (she splits her time between New York, Hong Kong and Beijing) graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with a degree in psychology. The former rhythmic gymnastic national champion kicked off her modeling career as a finalist in the Elite Model Look competition when she was 16.
“Liu Wen said she was very honored and thanked me when I congratulated her on Estee Lauder,” says Bonae. Both Liu and fellow Marilyn NY Agency model Constance Jablonski landed contracts with Estee Lauder last year. The good friends worked together previously on a ck Calvin Klein SS 2010 campaign. Here, they pose before Fashion’s Night Out: The Show.
Chinese model Ping Hue Cheung made her debut last year and walked Matthew Williamson, Ports 1961 and Halston, among others, for spring. She most recently appeared in a fashion editorial for Teen Vogue.
Korean model Hyoni Kang is still going strong since winning the Ford Supermodel of the World contest in 2008. She most recently appeared in a Marie Claire editorial. Here, she shows us how to do military modern.
“It was the Korean newcomer’s first NY fashion week,” says Bonae of Korean model So Young Kang. “She was very excited!” Kang made her debut at the Chanel fall couture show in Paris last year.
First runner-up in the Ford Supermodel of the World contest in 2010, Filipina model Charlene Almarvez shows off her fun-loving personality during Spring 2011 Fashion Week, where she walked for Nanette Lepore and Diane von Furstenberg.
Selina Khan is from French Guyana and is of Indian, Vietnamese, Arabic and Creole descent. She’s walked and modeled for Ralph Lauren and Gap.
Hot Asian model of the moment Liu Wen, looking quite pleased after Vera Wang’s SS 2011 show, her 20th anniversary show.
Japanese model Tao Okamoto and Ming Xi after the Academy of Art University SS 2011 show.
And last but definitely not least, the stunning Shu Pei Qin in a getup that has everyone gawking.