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Let’s Get Non-Rowdy

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


We’re not surprised that writer Cintra Wilson, shopping for the NY Times Style section last week, felt out of place during her visit to Derek Lam‘s flagship house of luxe on Crosby Street in NYC’s SoHo. After all, let’s be honest. Few would.

But we’ve been struggling for days to figure out why Wilson, while characterizing Lam’s high-cotton world (and rather resentfully so), also took this sideways potshot at his “Eastern” demographic:


“Mr. Lam’s flagship is his version of that genteel world where the rich are still as spoiled and sheltered as they ever were; his customer is a precious orchid, lovingly tended and exhibited under his enormous acrylic bell.

This recipe for femininity looks, to me, as if it is aimed toward a stereotypical Hong Kong billionaire’s wife. The clothes evoke a demure, under-control, decidedly non-rowdy (read: non-Western) type of woman who appreciates her role as an ornament of great value, and sits prettily and quietly in Gulfstream jets.”

Funnily enough, Jen and I are actually quite familiar with a Hong Kong billionaire woman or two. And let me tell y’all, those bitchez iz crazay! They’re not demure, nor under-control, nor “decidedly non-rowdy” (gosh, the more I think about it, the more Wilson’s description seems fitting of Kate Gosselin).

…So does that make them, um, Western?

[NY Times: Critical Shopper - Luxury in a Bell Jar]

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Thanks, Livia!

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The Harapuku Girls

December 13th, 2007 | 0 comments | Posted by Jen


Not too long ago, Diana wrote about an HP ad featuring Gwen Stefani that is interactive and offers consumers the chance to make their own Harajuku Girl “entourage.”

[sounds of vomiting in my mouth]

“her Harajuku Girls”?

[more sounds of vomiting in my mouth]

Anyhoo, we’ve become so bored with Gwen that we couldn’t muster the energy to try this thing out until we started noticing the friggin’ ad everywhere. Like today, when I was fiddle-faddling around on MySpace and it was right there next to all of their pornish videos. Then our friend Liz wrote us and reminded us of how gross the concept is, so I decided WTF, I’ll go make some Ornamentals just to show y’all how yuckers it is.

Much to my surprise, however, I created something awesome. Allow me to introduce to you…MY Harapuku Girls!


Their names are Hate, Devil, Cacophony, and Pasty.

Now if only they were real, they could follow me around everywhere in matching outfits without saying a word and be, like, my cool exotic posse. Maybe I would start a clothing line “celebrating” them and their culture by putting their images on t-shirts and keychains. And then everyone would be all, “Who are those blonde chicks with Jen? They are faaaaaaaaaabulous. What are their names? Oh, who cares, I can’t tell them apart anyway. But those bitches are fierce. They make Jen seem so edgy. I want me some!”

I know, I know…it’s a completely batshit and implausible fantasy, right? Right?

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have a date with a bottle of Listerine.

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A R(ec)ant of Sorts

September 28th, 2007 | 0 comments | Posted by Jen
Don’t you wish your girlfriend was brown like me? Don’t you wish your girlfriend was exotique like me?


I’m pissed at myself. Yesterday, our New York correspondentasian Greenie sent me Jonah Weiner’s excellent excellent disgracial breakdown for Slate of The Darjeeling Limited, “Unbearable Whiteness”, and I thought, fuck, I wish I had written this.

The Darjeeling Limited, Anderson’s latest movie, showcases an obnoxious element of Anderson that is rarely discussed: the clumsy, discomfiting way he stages interactions between white protagonists—typically upper-class elites—and nonwhite foils—typically working class and poor.

…Anderson generally likes to decorate his margins with nonwhite, virtually mute characters: Pelé in Life Aquatic, a Brazilian who sits in a crow’s-nest and sings David Bowie songs in Portuguese; Mr. Sherman in Royal Tenenbaums, a black accountant who wears bow ties, falls into holes, and meekly endures Gene Hackman’s racist jabs—he calls him “Coltrane” and “old black buck,” which Anderson plays for laughs; Mr. Littlejeans in Rushmore, the Indian groundskeeper who occasionally mumbles comical malapropisms…Taken together, they form a fleet of quasi-caricatures and walking punch lines, meant to import a whimsical, ambient multiculturalism into the films.

Bravo, Weiner. You had the balls to say what I wanted to when our Darjeeling Limited ON THE BOBA RZULTS came in but didn’t, because I wanted to buy into the hipster, whimsical, ambient, indie-feel-goodness of it all and be part of the zeitgeist instead of being an angry bitch.

But fuck that. I am an angry bitch. And I hate hipsters. And what I should have said is that Asians aren’t background. We’re not sidekicks and we sure as shit ain’t mute. We will not serve as your local color or flavor cuz you got none. We’re sick of being your “foils” so that you can seem hipper, hotter, and more worldly. And we’ll cut your dick off if you call us exotic.

Angelica Huston and her Rajasthani Girls


Click here to read Jonah Weiner’s “Unbearable Whiteness” on Slate.

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Zaharajuku

June 22nd, 2007 | 0 comments | Posted by Jen

There’s nothing quite like being a kid and getting a free ride from Pops, like Zahara “The Forgotten One” Jolie-Pitt is doing here with Dad Brad.

Even I can say that this is totally adorabl–

Wait. What is THAT on Zahara’s shirt?

Fashion Buzz correctly identified the tee as part of Gwen Stefani’s Harajuku Lovers collection for kids, which inspired me to write a letter to Zaharajuku Jolie-Pitt. Usually the object of our epistolary campaigns are a bit older, but I have a feeling Z will get where I’m coming from, even if she needs the nanny to read this to her.

Dear Zahara,

You are such a cutie-patootie. And I know you’re mostly a pawn in your parents’ aspirational game–which translates into punk haircuts, baby-sized hipster clothing, and funny faces you make for the cameras–but do you think it would be cool if I walked around in a t-shirt with a black baby on it? Just cuz, like, to paraphrase Gwen, I have respect for your culture? Such deep respect that I would like to wear you as decoration?

I have you pegged as the rational one of the brood, mostly because you seem to be ignored a lot of the time and that’s usually how smart people develop their gifts. Look out, Ivy League! Which is why you should be the one to give your parents a good talkin’ to about their, um, how do I put it…insufferability? You may also want to remind them that they have two Asian children. Finally, giving them a timeout from their relentless, self-mythologizing “cool-ness” would be a really smart move.

Free the Harajuku Girls Even From Baby Tees,
Jen

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