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My Spirit Animal Shows Up At NYFW: Designer Alexander Wang’s Niece, Aila

September 14th, 2012 | 5 comments | Posted by Jen

I generally do not like excessively well-dressed children. Clarification: I generally do not like the parents of excessively well-dressed children, specifically their inability to keep their desperate aspirational spooge from spilling over onto their offspring in such an obvious way.

Don’t get me wrong. I like excessively well-dressed people. Grown-ups who have had a say in the matter of what they’re wearing (and have actually paid for what they’re wearing, too). And I do like cute kids’ clothes, I really do, and I don’t think a kid has to dress like Sesame Street just vomited on them, but when the way a child dresses starts to veer into “chic” or “cool” or what fashion people call “style,” I’m out. (Same goes for rock t-shirts on babies. Stop it with the Metallica and Beastie Boys and David Bowie shirts, all of you.)

So imagine my surprise when I saw pictures of designer Alexander Wang’s niece, Aila Wang, at this year’s New York Fashion Week, and found myself wondering if this 4 year-old wasn’t some kind of sartorial chosen one? Or, at the very least, my spirit animal:

Maybe it’s because she’s Asian and a total muffin, regardless of what she’s wearing. Maybe it’s because I want her entire outfit head-to-toe (Nike Free Runs with a python dress designed by her uncle?! Genius.) I don’t know. I’m so confused right now.

[via Buzzfeed]

[ElleUK.com: Was Liberty Ross or little Aila Wang the woman of the Alexander Wang show?]

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Katy Perry At The AMAs: If It’s Asian, It Must Be Geisha

November 22nd, 2011 | 14 comments | Posted by Jen

Katy Perry wore a gown printed with East Asian calligraphy to Sunday’s American Music Awards, which garnered her all kinds of comparisons to a “geisha.” HuffPo and Celebuzz called her look “geisha-inspired,” the SF Chronicle called it “glam geisha,” My Fashion Life put their thang down, flipped it and reversed it to “geisha glam,” and another site said the dress was in the style of “Memoirs of a Geisha.”

Ever see a geisha with her boobs pushed up under her chin? Didn't think so

Only problem is, the Vivienne Westwood-designed gown Perry wore has nothing to do with geishas, and was actually “inspired” by a Chinese flower painting. The calligraphy on the dress Perry wore is Chinese, not Japanese. The dress is from Westwood’s Spring 2012 Gold Label collection, which drew from “Chinese calligraphy, Mao jackets, Berber dress, and 17th century corsets as influences.”

This isn’t the first time Katy Perry wore something Asian-looking that writers lazily labeled “geisha.” Back in August, Perry attended the VMAs carrying a parasol, dressed in an Atelier Versace cheongsam mini, which was also dubbed “geisha-inspired.” The cheongsam, however, is Chinese. Perry’s look was lifted directly from 1920′s-30′s Shanghai, a look immortalized later in the 20th century by home decor posters printed from vintage Chinese ads:

Continue reading Katy Perry At The AMAs: If It’s Asian, It Must Be Geisha

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DISGRASIAN OF THE WEAK! Forever 21 And Its “Oriental Girl” Necklace

November 4th, 2011 | 6 comments | Posted by Jen

Forever 21 committed another “Allergic to Algebra”-type gaffe this week when fashion bloggers discovered the Korean American-owned company was selling an “Oriental Girl” necklace.

For anyone hoping to buy an Oriental Girl on the cheap–only one dolla fifty!–you should know that the item has been pulled, or it’s “out of stock,” as the Forever 21 website now states.

When the Forever 21 “Allergic to Algebra” shirt came out, I had to wonder what kind of Asians would sell such a dumbed-down, regressive and ultimately cynical product to the masses. Continue reading DISGRASIAN OF THE WEAK! Forever 21 And Its “Oriental Girl” Necklace

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DISGRASIAN OF THE WEAK! Eye-Taping Is So Candy-Ass

September 9th, 2011 | 5 comments | Posted by Jen

Last week, a YouTube video surfaced of former plus-size model Crystal Renn–no stranger to controversy vis-à-vis physical transformation–taping her eyes back in what appeared to be an attempt to look Asian during a Vogue Nippon photo shoot.

While Refinery 29 wondered if eye-taping wasn’t akin to blackface, a disturbing phenomenon that’s reared its ugly head in recent photo shoots, Renn tried to clear things up this week in an interview with Jezebel, maintaining that eye-taping is a model trick frequently used to achieve a “straight brow” (as opposed to an Asian eye):

No one told me at the shoot to tape. It is something that I often do to add to the look of the character if I feel that the look makes sense, and often I suggest it. I have very heavy brows, and they’re more curved than straight, and sometimes when you’re doing a character it might require more of a straight brow. Which sounds like such a small detail, but it can completely transform the face. Lots of actresses do this, models do this — I don’t know how willing models usually are to do it, or if other people suggest it, but I am willing, and I even bring [tape] it in my own kit.

Even though Renn seems sincere, since eye-taping was employed for so many years as a way to make white actors look Asian–in the place of actually hiring Asians–I’m not sure it can ever escape its racist connotations. In fact, in the same interview with Renn, Jezebel points out that eye-taping isn’t even a thing of the past.

So what’s a would-be eye-taper to do?

What Asians have been doing for decades to achieve a, ahem, “curved brow.”

Yes, I mean eyelid surgery, but reverse-engineered:

Crystal Renn + Liu Wen = CRYSTAL WENN

Extreme, sure. Though people will be too awed by the commitment this sort of body modificasian requires to ever think it’s racist. And it may be expensive, but think of the money one could save over a lifetime on tape!

Or, you know, Vogue Nippon could just hire an Asian model with a naturally “straight brow” the next time and avoid this sticky situation altogether.

[Refinery 29: Is Taping Your Eyes To Look Asian The New Blackface?]
[Jezebel: Crystal Renn Wasn’t Trying To ‘Look Asian’ In That Eye Tape Shoot]

Special thanks to Helen for creating “Crystal Wenn”!

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J’Adore No More: Dior Fires Galliano For Anti-Semitic, Racist Remarks

March 1st, 2011 | 1 comment | Posted by Jen

And in other news about People Who Are Not Charlie Sheen Saying Crazy Things That Piss Off Their Employers, Dior has fired John Galliano as its head designer after a video surfaced Monday of Galliano telling a group of French and Italian women–whom he presumed were Jewish–that he loved Hitler and that their ancestors would have been “fucking gassed.”

Galliano’s firing came on the heels of his suspension from the fashion house last week over a similar but separate incident in the same Paris bar where the video was taken, in which he allegedly insulted French couple Geraldine Bloch and Philippe Virgiti, telling Bloch she had a “dirty Jewish face” and Virgiti, who’s of Asian descent, that he was a “fucking Asian bastard” before threatening to kill him. Bloch and Virgiti eventually called police to the bar, where Galliano, who was inebriated, was arrested.

(Neither Bloch nor the women Galliano addresses in the video are, in fact, Jewish.)

Inglourious Asian Basterds: Dior's heavily-criticized Shanghai Dreams ad campaign from 2010

What’s interesting about all this is how the fashion world circled the wagons around Continue reading J’Adore No More: Dior Fires Galliano For Anti-Semitic, Racist Remarks

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Intern Jasmine’s Links of the Daysian

September 15th, 2010 | 1 comment | Posted by jasmine

This commercial for Nissan’s electric car (and former BABEWATCH), the LEAF, is strange and affecting. Effective. [HuffPo]

Cathy Horyn of The New York Times wrote that designer Alexander Wang “is not a great designer” when reviewing his spring/summer 2011 collection. That is so wrong!  [NYT]

Gay Asian and Pacific Islander Men of New York has been hearing reports of the queer API community being kept out of certain clubs in New York City. If this bullshit has happened to you, report it to GAPIMNY online. [GAPIMNY]

Party people! Hyphen Magazine‘s release party for issue #21, The New Legacy issue, is this Friday night at Mighty in San Francisco. [Hyphen]

Asian-American students continue to outperform other SAT test takers, the only group to see gains in scores since last year. So does the A in “SAT” stand for “Amazian”? [WSJ]

Thanks, Jason!

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DISGRASIAN’s Summer Reading: Luxirare

August 3rd, 2010 | 5 comments | Posted by Jen

We’ll be away from our desks the month of August, carrying on with the non-bloggy aspects of our lives, watching mindless movie blockbusters, and indulging in summery drinks made with generous pours of bourbon. During this month, we’ll be linking each day to a different website that we ♥. Hopefully you’ll discover something delightful and new while we’re gone. If not, you are a serious Captain Crankypants and are probably in dire need of a summery drink made with a generous pour of bourbon.

‘Til September, lovelies.

Ji in one of her designs

Luxirare is frequently named a “Top Style” blog, but to call it merely a fashion blog would be a disservice. Because unlike other style blogs, Luxirare devotes about as many posts to food as it does to fashion. (Check out this one about salt-curing toro for breakfast.  Um, yum.) The brainchild of Ji, a Parsons grad who never shows her face in her gorgeous close-up photos, Luxirare may be the only blog to boast both a “manifesto” and an online shop stocked with a mix of Ji’s designs and some vintage.

[Luxirare]

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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]

Source
Happy Birthday, P!

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BABEWATCH: Christina, American Apparel Model

May 4th, 2010 | 15 comments | Posted by Diana

I know very little about Christina, a new American Apparel model that seems to be the only one using her eyes and angles (rather than her nipples) to sell the company’s body-conscious cotton. I don’t even know for sure if she’s Asian, or part Asian, but golly I hope so because…

I. AM. IN. LOVE. WITH. HER.

And come to think of it, I need a denim pencil skirt.

[American Apparel: Models Gallery - Christina]

Source

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AMAZIAN OF THE WEEK! Patrick Li

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]

Source

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Announcing… The WINNER Of The AMAZIAN JR. BABY PHOTO CONTEST!

October 12th, 2009 | 0 comments | Posted by Diana


UPSHOT TO HOSTING A PHOTO CONTEST FOR CUTE AMAZIAN BABY PICTURES: Your ploy to collect the world’s awesomest picture gallery of cutie patooties totally works, and you realize that (phew!) your readers not only have great taste in blogs/baby clothes, but also have pretty damn good genetics. You marvel at how much better you feel knowing that your audience is even more attractive than you thought. You totally (and selfishly) feel encouraged, convinced that your own future children will be adorable. You smile a lot. You sigh a LOT. You say “awwwwwwwwwwohmygoodnessbabiesbabiesbabies!!!” over and over and over again with giggles of glee.

DOWNSIDE TO HOSTING A PHOTO CONTEST FOR CUTE AMAZIAN BABY PICTURES: You realize that every photo you receive is the cutest photo you’ve ever seen. You realize that choosing between them is more difficult than picking an outfit for the first day of sixth grade. You spend many sleepless nights, tossing and turning, trying to decide which makes your heart skip more, Lily’s eyelashes or Kaiya’s Cheeks or Idris’s brows or Hero’s frown or Oscar’s bear ear hoodie. You decide to focus on photo composition and things like lighting/focus, but realize you don’t know jack about that stuff. You give up and lean on a psychic for help.

But through the ups and downs, we’ve enjoyed every single frickin’ minute of our very first AMAZIAN JR. BABY PHOTO CONTEST. SO LET’S GET TO THE GOOD PART!

The grand prize winner, who will receive a $50 Gift Certificate to Kumquat, is…

Sophia, 18 months

SOPHIA!!! Okay, there are her marshmallow cheeks, dark and soft curls,and the fact that she’s a “trouble maker”–all set against a sweet floral background. But what do we really love about this photo? Sophia’s BABY GROUCHFACE! The world’s a pretty tough place, and it’s hard to look adorable when there’s so much to be cranky about (Trust us; we, uh know), but she does it so well. OH, SO WELL.

Congratulasians to Sophia and her parents! We can’t wait to see you rocking your new Kumquat garb!

But wait, there’s more.

What y’all didn’t know is that our first runner-up will be receiving a $25 Gift Certificate to Kumquat as well! Woohoo!!!

And the first runner-up photo is:

Penelope, 3 years

PENELOPE. She’s going to hate us in 10 years when she’s a teenager that is awkward and gangly and growing in all the wrong places and grouchy about everything–particularly photos of herself in the baby bath–but we just can’t help it. We LOVE her shampoo-hawk, and the expression on her beautiful face! Now let’s dress this clean little one in some dandy duds!

Guys, we couldn’t be more serious–we struggled so much to choose between all of these too-cute photos, especially when each little face made our wombs do a cheer. They’re simply too good to keep to ourselves, so we’re sharing all of the submissions with you (click to play)! ENJOY!!!

And to all of those parents out there, we highly recommend outfitting your little ones in Kumquat all day, every day. All of your cute photos will be EVEN CUTER, as if that’s even possible!!!

[DISGRASIAN™: The AMAZIAN JR. BABY PHOTO CONTEST]
[Kumquat - Official Site]

Thank you thank you thank you, Angelyn and Jasmine! And thank you to all of those who submitted photos!!!

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That Socks

September 23rd, 2009 | 0 comments | Posted by Diana


When our buddy Dave sent us these Hokusai-print socks (pictured above) via Fashionably Geek, I got crazy excited.

Immediately, I was like, “I want In the Hollow of a wave off the coast of Kanagawa on my tootsies!” Why? FRACTALS! Perfect fractal geometry as presented in art, right on my feet! Who wouldn’t want that (mathletes, c’mon, you’re with me here)??

Then I took a closer look at the landscape. That’s not the coast of Kanagawa.

Then a closer look at the waves. Those aren’t fractals.

So hunh. They’re just doodley Hokusai-print socks.

I guess that’s still cool.

Just not as cool.

Or not cool at all. Totally fract up.

[Fashionably Geek: My Socks Told Me Where To Go]

Source
Thanks, Dave!

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