You are currently browsing posts tagged with Asian Fashion Designers

Product Lust: The Phillip Lim/OCA Tee

May 13th, 2010 | 4 comments | Posted by Diana

We learned from Angry Asian Man that fashion “It” boy Phillip Lim has teamed up with esteemed non-profit organization OCA to create an exclusive tee for Nordstrom just in time for Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month. Sales will benefit OCA’s youth programs, and by golly, doesn’t that shirt have a beautiful drape at the neck?

I know some of you are all gonna get aaaaaallll up in my grill for recommending you buy an $85 tee, but think of the kids! They’re little and Asian American, which means they’re the cutest small people you’d ever want to meet! Surely they deserve a few extra bucks. And just to say it again, look at that drape at the neck!!!

Buy the tee here.

[via Angry Asian Man]
[OCA - Official Site]
[Nordstrom: APAHM]

Happy Birthday, P!

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Did Aretha’s Inauguration Hat Have More Diva Attitude Than The Queen of Soul Herself?

May 12th, 2010 | 5 comments | Posted by Jen

Luke Song, the hatmaker who designed Aretha Franklin’s infamous Inauguration Day hat, is suing several firms he’d previously done business with who’ve copied and sold the hat without his permission. In the federal lawsuit he filed last week, Song alleged:

Moza’s hat worn by Aretha Franklin (hereinafter the “Original Inauguration Hat”) gained instantaneous fame and notoriety, attracting much more media attention than even Aretha Franklin’s performance itself. The Original Inauguration Hat has generated, and continues to generate, worldwide attention. In fact, following President Obama’s inauguration, Luke Song and Moza were featured in prominent newspapers such as The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and Los Angeles Times (Exh. D) The Original Inaugural Hat had immediately become such a cultural icon that it was soon parodied by entertainers such as Ellen DeGeneres because of its lavish and ornate design was so distinctive.

Wonder what Aretha thinks about The Hat upstaging her performance. What do you think? Continue reading Did Aretha’s Inauguration Hat Have More Diva Attitude Than The Queen of Soul Herself?

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BABEWATCH: Designer Prabal Gurung

May 11th, 2010 | 5 comments | Posted by Jen

Name: Prabal Gurung

Hails from: Kathmandu, Nepal

Resides in: The East Village, NYC

Occupation: Fashion Designer

Why He’s a Babe: Nepalese women’s designer Prabal Gurung (pronounced “Prah-bull Grr-rung”) makes beautiful dresses for a living. And despite having only launched his eponymous line in 2009, he’s already becoming a household name, due in large part to several recent public appearances by Michelle Obama rocking his handiwork. What we love about Prabal is how he talks about The Woman He Designs For, whom he describes as someone who “dresses for herself” (check!), who’s “aware of the world around her” (we hope!), and who’s never vulgar (er, two out of three ain’t bad?). We also love the way he talks, in the most buttery of accents that’s a melange of all the places the designer’s ever lived: New York, Melbourne, London, New Delhi, Kathmandu, and Singapore. Which is fitting for someone who’s quickly developing a far-reaching influence. After a recent trip home to Nepal, Gurung began to understand the global impact of dressing someone like FLOTUS:

You know, to me, it’s just a dress, but when I went home I realized it was so much bigger than that. Being stopped on the street by people thanking me for being a positive representative of Nepal–it was overwhelming.

Just a dress? We think not

[photo via Just Jared]

[Prabal Gurung official website]
[HuffPo: Prabal Gurung On Dressing Michelle Obama: To Me It's Just A Dress, But People Thanked Me On The Street]

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November 30th, 2009 | 0 comments | Posted by Diana

Name: Patrick Li

Age: 41

Occupation: Art Director, Graphic Designer, Creative Director and Principal of the branding firm Li, Inc.

Patrick Li, Packaging Your Sartorial Experience

Patrick Li, Packaging Your Sartorial Experience

Known for: Integrating the inscrutable design aesthetic of your favorite amazian fashion designers (from Alexander Wang to Philip Lim to Jason Wu) into the strangely-important little pieces–like label tags and gift boxes.

The NYTimes did a fascinating profile of Li over the weekend, in which he is depicted as both a design and communication genius. In the article, Rodarte co-designer Kate Mulleavy explains Li’s gift: “I would describe Patrick’s work as like distilling something to the purest form”–likely why the boldest and most complex of the fashion world flock to him when trying to determine their season’s essence.

We fancy ourselves a bit complex… now, all we have to do is see if he’ll redesign the DISGRASIAN logo in exchange for both of our first-born. And maybe a nice bottle of scotch.

[NYT: The Graphic Designer Patrick Li Translates Fashion From Silk To Paper]


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BABEWATCH: "Model to Watch" Tao Okamoto

September 1st, 2009 | 0 comments | Posted by Jen

Name: Tao Okamoto

Age: 22

Hails from: Tokyo

Occupation: Model

Why She’s a Babe: It’s the bowl cut. No, seriously. Before Tao got her new ‘do this winter, she was just another pretty face. But now, she’s designer Phillip Lim’s muse–Lim loved her hair so much, he made all of the other models walking in his Fall 2009 show wear matching wigs–and she’s been named to NY Mag’s “Top Ten Models to Watch” for New York Fashion Week. She was also the first Asian model to walk for Miu Miu this winter since 2007 (lame, considering Hong Kong is Miu Miu’s single-largest market).

They may get a bad rap, but bowl cuts on women are sexy. I got one when I was 18, and not only was it liberating–like a 90′s version of burning my bra–but it actually got me more attention from men, much to my surprise. Like smart, cool men whose idea of beauty wasn’t limited to the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue and the Victoria’s Secret catalog. Bowl cuts have also been traditionally associated with hard times, and since we’re still in the thick of this nasty recession, there may be no other look that’s more now.

Dare you to bust out those scissors.

[NY Mag: Top Ten Models to Watch]


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No, Baby! [Project Runway Spoiler Alert]

August 28th, 2009 | 0 comments | Posted by Diana

Somehow, as if to prove my endurance, I trudged through last night’s criminally dull second episode of Project Runway‘s 6th season. This was mostly to see if there was anyone in the group with enough talent to give a damn about–for their ability, that is, not just their meth addiction or nude caftan design.

Frankly, I held high hopes for Malvin Vien, a cerebral designer that wistfully handles fashion with the free-associative approach of a philosopher or person on shrooms. Sure, his first Runway piece was an exoskeleton-inspired frock for a red carpet, but an ability to commit to an actual concept can sometimes be a good thing. He was worth further investigation.

The challenge in episode two was to design a chic look for pregnant Rebecca Romijn (her twins are now nearly a year old, by the way–a well-known fact that casts a dated feel over the much-delayed production). The safe designers went for draping, the bold designers created short-shorts and unforgiving jumpsuits, and Malvin…

…built an outfit around the concept of a “Mother Hen.”

Because that’s exactly the image a woman with leaking boobs, adult acne, swollen hands and feet, constipation, and a 40-pound basketball sitting on her belly wants to conjure up while trying to feel beautiful and chic. Please, somebody tell Malvin, one should know women if they are to design for them. Otherwise, they’ll be the second person to hear “auf Wiedersehen” chirped out of Heidi Klum’s perky little mouth.

I’m not sure what’s worse, though. Malvin’s poor decision-making, or the whole shoddy cast of this bedraggled season of Runway. I’ll have to assess a few more mediocre looks to decide.

[Project Runway Season 6 - Official]


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The CFDA Fashion Awards and the Case of Mistasian Identity

June 16th, 2009 | 0 comments | Posted by Jen

The CFDA Fashion Awards took place last night in New York, and there were Asians all up in the joint. (Have you ever wondered what it is about our people and fashion design?) Doo-Ri Chung, Peter Som, and Phillip Lim were in attendance. Alexander Wang took home the Swarovski Award for Womenswear–given each year to an up-and-coming designer–after beating out Thakoon Panichgul and Jason Wu.

Michelle Obama was given a special tribute award for supporting American designers, which was an indirect nod to Thakoon and Jason Wu, whose profiles were elevated significantly after the First Lady wore their designs at two major events during the election (the last night of the DNC and the Inaugural Ball, respectively). Jason Wu was also at Monday night’s CFDA’s. Here he is with awards presenter Diane Kruger, in his design:

And again with Jack White:

Hey! That’s not Jason Wu! (That’s another little Asian person, Anna Sui, who received a lifetime achievement award.)

But the similarities are striking, we have to admit.


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Taylor Momsen Single White Females Herself

April 2nd, 2009 | 0 comments | Posted by Jen

Is it still considered narcissism if you’re obsessed with yourself, only not your real self exactly but the one you play on TV? This is the question I find myself asking when I think about 15 year-old Taylor Momsen, who plays Jenny Humphrey on Gossip Girl. In the mere year-and-a-half in which we’ve known her, she’s gone through as many changes as her character, a normal development for a teenager, I suppose, except for the fact that she’s gone through the EXACT SAME changes as her character. Is that weird? I think it’s weird.


Jenny Humphrey begins her freshman year at Constance Billiard as a pretty (if a bit generic), young, fresh-faced nobody. Taylor Momsen begins the freshman season of Gossip Girl as a pretty (if a bit generic), young, fresh-faced nobody.

Jenny Humphrey reinvents herself sophomore year with a Joan Jett haircut, an haute street-urchin style, and makeup that makes her look as though she’s been punched in both eyes, and the fashion world suddenly stands up and takes notice. Taylor Momsen reinvents herself sophomore season with the same haircut, the same style, and the same black-eye makeup, and the fashion world suddenly stands up and takes notice.

Career Changes
Jenny Humphrey drops out of school and becomes a designer. Taylor Momsen drops out of the show (okay, for hiatus) and becomes a designer (with a little or maybe a lot of help from real designer Jen Kao).

She could start by sewing up those jeans

What’s next for Jenny-slash-Taylor-slash-same diff? I worry that if the show has Jenny go dark again–as she did for a New York minute when she ran away from home–Taylor is going to go all Jodi Sweetin on us. Be careful with this fragile, impressionable psyche, Gossip Girl! Life imitating art can be as deadly as a throat infection.


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Jason Wu Puts Fur Collection in Cold Storage

February 4th, 2009 | 0 comments | Posted by Jen

After announcing only a few weeks ago that he was designing a “significant fur collection,” Jason Wu, who created Michelle Obama’s inauguration ball dress, is now saying that the line is on hold fur now while he focuses on ready-to-wear, i.e. Sorta-Real People Clothes.

TRANSLASIAN: Global warming is real! Luxury is out! And I really don’t want a tofu pie in my cute little face!

Glad you finally took stock of the world around you, kid.

Thanks, Jasmine!

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Jason Wu Is Fur-real Real

January 23rd, 2009 | 0 comments | Posted by Jen

Jason Wu, the 26 year-old designer who created Michelle Obama’s inauguration ball gown, told the Fashion Week Daily last week that he is currently working on a “significant fur collection, and the message will be all about luxury.”

Honey, have you picked up a newspaper lately? (Of course you haven’t. They’re all going out of business.) But haven’t you heard of those pesky little nuisances called “global warming” and “the global financial crisis” that are signaling the end of the world as we know it?

Listen. I love a fur as much as the next animal-murderer. But since you’re suddenly all that, you might want to think before you blab to the press. And though people say wackjob animal activism is on the wane, I would hate for you to get a tofu pie to that sweet, sweet face of yours.

Thanks, Jasmine!

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Michelle Obama’s Inaugurasian Ballgown–Wuhoo!!!

January 21st, 2009 | 0 comments | Posted by Jen

As many of you have heard by now, First Lady Michelle Obama’s inauguration ballgown was designed by Jason Wu, a 26 year-old born in Taiwan, trained at Parsons, and based in New York. Welcome to the Smithsonian, dude!

The ivory-colored, one-shoulder dress looked bridal, and I mean that in the best way. Because Barack and Michelle are embarking on a new journey together, as they were when they got married. The gown also conjured this fantasy that we had all been invited to their wedding, that we were not only witnesses to this extraordinary event that had taken place, we were also their friends, which, let’s face it, is what we Obama supporters have believed all along anyway.

Thanks, Neal!

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I Swoon for Thakoon

January 5th, 2009 | 0 comments | Posted by Jen

Ladies and cross-dressing gents!

Thakoon for Target is here! Wheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!! (Some of you may recall that Thakoon Panichgul designed the dress Michelle Obama wore on the last night of the DNC.)

His line for Target has been out for about a week now, and the vultures have already absconded with the pretty $40 dresses (like the batik number I’m wearing at left, don’t hate…I’ll let you borrow). But there are lots of cute skirts and bikinis left, and nothing’s over $50, so hop to it.

My apologies for posing by the bamboo–I know it’s horribly cliche but it was the easiest place to take the snap. Next time, I’ll try to scoot a panda in the shot to perfect the ching-chongery of it all.

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