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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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BABEWATCH: Forever 21′s Linda and Esther Chang

April 6th, 2010 | 14 comments | Posted by Jen

Names: Linda Chang and Esther Chang

Ages: 28 and 23

Occupations: Forever 21′s marketing and visuals department heads, respectively

Linda and Esther Chang are the daughters of Don and Jin Sook Chang, the Korean American founders of one of our favorite places on Earth, Forever 21. (Where else can you get a cute, fashion-forward $12 dress, we ask you? A $12 dress!) Like the company’s wares, the Chang sisters are young, fresh, and adorbs. They were recently profiled by the LA Times’ Booth Moore, where we learned the following:

  • They’re best friends.
  • They’re both Ivy League-educated.
  • They work for the family business, which opened its first store in 1984 and, by the end of that year, had grown its sales from $35,000 to $700,000.
  • They go to church with their parents on Sunday.

We tend to hate on people like this–i.e. people who please their Hardass Asian Parents all the time rather than disappoint–but with the Chang sisters, we just can’t. Their devotion to their family and the family business is just so earnest (older sis Linda says things like, “I love it when people come out of our stores being so happy”). And the girls themselves are just too cute.

Then, of course, it all goes back to the fact that the Chang sisters represent the $12 dress. The $12 dress!

[LA Times: Meet Forever 21’s stylish sisters]

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Fear of a Yellow Planet

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

The folks over at Gizmodo recently discovered, with the help of Google Suggest, that there seem to be an unusual amount of folks searching the Web for the subject: “I am extremely terrified of Chinese people.”

Curious, right? Fortunately, our friend Phil over at Angry Asian Man did a bit of debunking homework, digging up the most likely source for the popular search: an article entitled “I Am Extremely Terrified of Chinese People” on the satirical site Christwire.

Still, before I knew about the article, I wondered, are Chinese people actually so scary? Moreover, could I possibly be scared of Chinese people? Well, I told myself, Jen is the Chinese person I know best. But despite her sharp tongue and freaky-brilliant mind, she’s the most fun, kind, genuine, warm, generous, honest, caring person I know. What’s so terrifying about that? I can’t possibly fear Chinese people!

Jen also has–and I’m sure I’ve talked about this before–one of the most exquisite closets I’ve ever walked into, and she is eager to loan me a frock faster than a person can check out a library book (See? Very not-scary). She never asks for anything in return, and I always watch over the dresses as if they were my own child.

But (here is where my mind wanders) y’know what, if something were ever to happen–like an ungodly splash of wine, a drycleaning mishap, or somebody’s cigarette ash on my sleeve…

OH GOD. I. WOULD BE. SO INCREDIBLY TERRIFIED. OF ONE. VERY SPECIFIC. CHINESE PERSON. AND HER. VERY ANGRY. ANGRY. EYES.

So yeah, um, I guess it’s possible.

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Thanks, Abe and Phil!

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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.

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Thanks, Neal!

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ROCK OF ASIAN: Little

May 7th, 2008 | 0 comments | Posted by Diana

Our friend Wing Builder sent us this gorge video from French popstress Little. And we don’t love her a little, we love her a lot! We want to know her: chew bubble gum, dance and listen to Brigitte Bardot records, lounge in Eames chairs, throw sock parties, shop at our favorite boutique with her–anything!

But for now, if this is as close as we can get… We’ll take it!

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Thanks, Wing!

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AMAZIAN OF THE WEEK! Jessica Yu

October 1st, 2007 | 0 comments | Posted by Diana


Name: Jessica Yu

Occupation: Film director, writer, producer, and editor

Known for: A variety of documentary, scripted film, and television credits (most recently, her much-acclaimed Asian sports comedy Ping Pong Playa), the super-combo of beauty and brains, reprzentin’ for Yale alumni, and the memorable poke she made during the Oscar acceptance speech for her 1996 short film Breathing Lessons: The Life and Work of Mark O’ Brien–”You know you’ve entered into new territory when you realize your dress costs more than your film.”

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Congratulasians

July 26th, 2007 | 0 comments | Posted by Jen

…to designers Phillip Lim of 3.1 Phillip Lim and Koi Suwannagate of Koi for garnering CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund Award nominasians.

Watch Douglas Keeve’s Seamless to see how this award can dramatically change a young designer’s fortunes.

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When Worlds Collide: Debra Messing And Phillip Lim

July 20th, 2007 | 0 comments | Posted by Jen
Debra Messing and designer Phillip Lim at the opening of Lim’s store on Mercer St. in New York

Phillip: Hi Deb! Thanks for coming to my store opening! Do you want some champagne?

Debra: Yes! I would love some! I’m so excited to be here! I just got nominated for an Emmy! I’m baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaack!!!

Phillip: Congratulasians, Deb. Good for you.

Debra: I know! Isn’t it?!? I mean, of course I already have one Emmy, and that’s enough, because most people don’t even get the chance to have THAT, and that is so precious. Do you have an Emmy?

Phillip: Uh, no Debra. I’m a fashion designer.

Debra: Kidding! Har har! I’m baaaaaaaaaaack!!! They love me! They really love me! This is so great! Maybe I’ll get free clothes again! And land the cover of Vogue!

Phillip: Debra, darling. That dress of mine that you’re wearing was free.

Debra: I know! And thank you! You are a wonderful friend! But I had to buy this turban-thingy on my own! Do you think it makes me look thinner?! I think it makes my face look two pounds thinner! What do you think?!? Tell me!!!

Phillip: Well, that’s why I designed this flounce on the front of the dress. It disguises one’s imperfections. Not that you have any.

Debra: OMG. You think I’m fat?! You do, don’t you?! You think I look fat?! OMG. Do you have something else I can wear?! Oh my god, is Anna Wintour here?!? Give me a new dress RIGHT NOW or I’ll bite your dick off!!!

Phillip: Whoa. Debra. Chillax. Let’s find you something else to wear. We’ll make it all better.

Debra: Damn straight you will!!! Because I’m Debra Messing, and I’m baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaack!!!

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All I Really Need to Do Is Find…A …Brand …New …Gender

July 9th, 2007 | 0 comments | Posted by Diana

I’m so pleased to find out that Kimora has found love again!!!

Oh wait. That’s not Kimora!!! That’s Dead or Alive’s Pete Burns (the blushing bride), tying the knot with the Michael Simpson (the man he cheated on his wife of 25 years with).

Hot!

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On Marrying Well

March 23rd, 2007 | 0 comments | Posted by Jen

Photographed at an event for Olivier Theyskens in New York is social-lite Helen Lee Schifter with her troll sugardaddy husband:


Uh, remind me, who are you again? And how did you buy your way in why are you always in Vogue?

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