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Wednesday, February 13, 2019

#NYFW Studio 189 from Rosario Dawson

Today we are taking a trip to Africa. Studio 189 Fall 2019 was one of my favorite presentations on several fronts. First, I was reunited with two immensely talented ex co-workers who now work on this brand. Jennifer Chun is amazing designer who know doubt was responsible for the best looks you see here. Ngaa Bedell, now relocated to Ghana, worked her magic from across the world and back in NYC to make sure it looked good.
Founder actress Rosario Dawson established Studio 189 as a sustainable fashion label celebrating the craftsmanship of African communities and the art of indigo dying. The silhouettes were incredibly chic and modern,  showcasing the updated expressions of local patterns beautifully.
The model casting was equally beautiful and diverse. The presentation incorporated dance and lots of team members excited to talk about their work.
Congratulations to everyone who worked on the Studio 189 fall 2019 collection. What a triumph!

All photos by Mariana Leung

Blogger Love: Refreshing Seasonal Style

Hello! It has been awhile since I shared a collection of Links à la Mode by Independent Fashion Bloggers. This week, my fellow bloggers are sharing their tips for refreshing their closets for the season:
SPONSOR: Shopbop
Golden Goose, LANA JEWELRY, Cleobella Bags, Palm, Colovos, Brandon Blackwood, Casual Dresses, Slingback Shoes, Cross Body Bags, Men's Reigning Champ

#NYFW PONY x Harbin Lunar Near Year on the Runway

Happy Lunar New Year! PONY brand and Harbin beer brought an epic collaboration to NYFW Saturday night. I was feeling low not being able to spend Chinese New Year with my family, but these guys brought the celebration to life in a modern way. The fashion show started with a fantastic performance of an electropop rock band that incorporated traditional Chinese instruments like the pipa. This was performed in a mashup with a Chinese opera singer in full costume and makeup. 
The clothing collection itself was a stylish mix of metallic puffer jackets, lots of plaid, skirts or pants with fashion forward silhouettes. The key colors were red, yellow, silver, black and grey.
A calligraphy artist painted a giant scroll down the middle of the runway as the models walked around him. A DJ wore a traditional opera mask to spin the soundtrack.
The show ended with a dance-off between contemporary urban street dancers and traditional acrobatic lion dancers.
The brief after party included a pop star performance and Harbin beer, a German town in China with breweries dating back over 100 years.
Gung Hay Fat Choy!


Sunday, February 10, 2019

#NYFW Jiri Kalfar Fall 2019

jiri kalfar nyfw
jiri kalfar 2019
I love the pretty ones. People's Revolution debuted Czech designer Jiri Kalfar's Fall 2019 collection to NY Fashion Week. It was a beautiful, but cutting edge collection with lots of crystal embroidered laces and luxurious velvets paired with sexy modern prints, satin skinny jeans, and funky stripes.
I would totally wear anything from this collection. I love a bit of posh mixed with contemporary street style silhouettes. I love the hair pieces and hats that acted as an updated version of a tiara for the socialite on the go.
Kalfar's muse was Tatyana, the ingenue heroine of Russian novel Eugine Onegin. Tatyana in this story is passionate, accustomed to finer things, initially naive, romantic, but grows to be headstrong and loyal. I can see the women wearing this collection embodying the modern version of that.
The designer was flanked by supermodels Paulina Porizkova (who once played my designer boss on an episode of Bull), and Alina Baikova who came out to model and support Kalfar's debut.
Congratulation on your NYFW debut Jiri Kalfar!
Photos by Mariana Leung


Thursday, February 7, 2019

#NYFWM Grungy Gentlemen Fall 2019

fw19 grungy gentlemen
grungy gentlemen nyfw
Grungy Gentlemen is still all about the six stripes for Fall 2019. I find this menswear collection kind of brilliant. It is not because it is radically fashion forward or luxurious. It is because of young designer Jace Lipstein runs the collection like a textbook marketing exercise. His signature six stripes are presented in every location, print, applique, what have you so that it looks fresh on every look for detail so simplistic. The stripes look sporty, so it appeals to many of his celebrity athlete following, also earning him licenses for major sports teams right from the start.

I remember when I studied intellectual property in law class, there was a classic case study of how you cannot use 2 or 4 stripes in your designs or Adidas will sue your ass, but 5 stripes were ok. It looks like Lipstein was also savvy to this case and added one more stripe.

The name Grungy Gentlemen is the ideal, trendy, contrasting name to pair two sides of appealing personas. Casual but refined, rustic but cosmopolitan, rough, but elegant. Any word except hipster right? The model casting also reflects the image. Models of all heights, body shapes, ages and ethnicities graced the runway, (hosted by nightclub pool hall Slate NY). The majority of models had very current beards. I am not cool enough to know who all of the athletes and music celebs were in attendance or modeling, but hello there rapper Dave East and NFL player Jesse Palmer. I will observe that they all looked good and made the Grungy Gentlemen look their own.

You could call this a street style brand, but the jackets, sweaters and overall styling take that up a notch. You could call this a great lesson in how to execute a modern menswear label, for those who want to be schooled. The Grungy Gentlemen here know how to strut.
Photos by Mariana Leung

Links à la Mode by Independent Fashion Bloggers
SPONSOR: Shopbop
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Monday, January 7, 2019

2019 Golden Globes Red Carpet - Crazy Chic Asians!

asians golden globes
Yesssss Queens! As an Asian-American fashion fan and occasional (background) actress, the 2019 Golden Globes Awards was a glorious parade of achievement and style. I cried when Crazy Rich Asians were released and were ready to squee again when the beautiful cast came down the red carpet. The fact that this wasn't a first time walk for many of these artists was also gratifying. One of my favorite models of the 1990s, Gemma Chan, was stunning in the voluminous blue Valentino gown. Badass Michelle Yeoh wore green to symbolize life and prosperity, but really, I think it was so she could wear that epic emerald ring from the movie on the carpet (which was from her personal collection!)
Constance Wu, previously nominated for television role in Fresh Off the Boat, wore Asian-American designer Vera Wang for her first nomination for the leading role in a film. Family matriarch Lisa Lu wore traditional embroidered garb, looking regal and glowing. Nico Santos, the stylish relative of the clan, looked dapper.
sandra oh globes
Now for the big winners! Sandra Oh hosted and won as the first Asian to be nominated for leading actress in a drama series since 1974. She killed the red carpet in a sculptural Versace gown. As ground-breaking as this was, this was not her first Golden Globe, she previously won the trophy for her work on TV's Grey's Anatomy. Darren Criss won for his role in The Assassination of Gianni Versace but wore a Dior Suit with Asian-motif cherry blossoms.
A bit of trivia about me: I auditioned for the same role as Sandra Oh wayyyy back in 1993 in what would be her Canadian star-making role in the Diary of Evelyn Lau. If I had any bit of talent at the time, that could be me on the red carpet... NOT. Hahaha. Clearly, the talented, more deserving person won the role, and I ended up in fashion.
Congratulations to all of the amazing, beautiful, talented, inspiring, crazy chic Asians out on the 2019 Golden Globes tonight!
Photos from Daniele Venturelli, Frazer Harrison, Todd Williamson
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