My Trip to Fashion Week — Yuna Yang

yuna-yang-stage

I keep getting closer. Last year, as a Michael Kors intern, I worked at Market Week for their Fall 2016 collection. This season, I was invited to Yuna Yang as a blogger. So last Saturday afternoon, I put on my coat and boots, crunched through the snow, and took the 30-minute train ride into Manhattan, cold and excited.

The show was at the Gotham Comedy Club in Chelsea, so guests sat at tables for two partitioned along the wall. I was pleased because I could hang my coat on a chair and place my purse on a table, two things you can’t do with the traditional rows of benches. I could also get to know my table-mate, who, as it happens, went to NYU like me! As the guests poured in, I noticed colorful faux-fur jackets, lace-up booties, and box clutches.

yuna-yang-arrival

Guests arrive and take their seats. 

yuna-yang-audience

Two guests before the show. 

Every Yuna Yang collection has a name, and this season was called “Lights in the Shadow”. I appreciate this about Yuna Yang because attending the show felt like seeing a performance, like a play or a dance recital. The collection was inspired by the people’s protests against American president Donald Trump, especially the Women’s March, and South Korean president Park Geun-hye, who was impeached last December. The show notes said, “Yuna Yang’s F/W17 collection pays homage to people who hold on to hope and belief in shadowed times.”

The models included Marina Albino, Phillipa Steele, Nastya Choo, Rachel Thomas, Alyona Subbotina, Liga Liepina, Val Debeuf, Jini Lee, Akua Williams, and Lisa Tomaschewsky.

Here are some of the looks:

FLOWER BOMBER PRINT

yuna-yang-flower-bomber-print-dress     yuna-yang-flower-bomber-pajama-with-yy-signature-beaded-camisole

WATERFALL PRINT

yuna-yang-yy-signature-beaded-camisole-with-waterfall-skirt    yuna-yang-waterfall-leather-trench-coat-with-flower-bomber-jeans

AUSTRIAN LACE

yuna-yang-yy-signature-austrian-lace-dress    yuna-yang-yy-signature-austrian-lace-trench-coat-with-lace-pants

LIGHTING CANDLE PRINT

yuna-yang-lighting-candle-print-dress   yuna-yang-twinkle-sweatshirt-with-lightning-candle-print-skirt    yuna-yang-lighting-candle-print-tunic-with-sky-blue-fur-coat

yuna-yang-lighting-candle-print-trenchcoat-with-twinkle-long-sweatshirt   yuna-yang-lighting-candle-print-trench-coat-with-twinkle-sweatshirt-and-wide-pants

AND MORE

yuna-yang-royal-purple-overcoat-with-twinkle-sweatshirt-2   yuna-yang-grey-shadow-leather-trench-coat-with-twinkle-slip-dress-2

yuna-yang-burgundy-slip-dress-3   yuna-yang-burgundy-slip-dress

My favorite look of all was the closing look, the burgundy slip dress. The collection was bright and full of energy, with gold, yellow, orange, lavender, green, and sky blue. Velvet dresses, sweatshirts, and skirts provided the durability one needs to get through fall and winter.

yuna-yang-row
yuna-yang-me-2

Me before the show started. D-Face leather dress. Hue cross-hatch leggings. Merona boots. Vintage dragonfly necklace. 

As this was my first time attending Fashion Week, I was so excited to see up close that which I have looked at from afar for the past decade (yes, since I was in middle school). When I was 12, I wrote a story about an island of witches who wore only haute couture, every day, at every occasion. After seeing the beautiful Yuna Yang outfits, I was left wishing that everyone out on the street  looked as put-together as runway models. That may not be the case, but this week Manhattan came pretty close.

yuna-yang

Yuna Yang is from Seoul. Before starting her own brand, she thoroughly learned her craft; she earned a degree in Fine Arts from Ewha Women’s University, a degree in Design from Instituto Marangoni, and a degree in Womenswear Design from Central Saint Martins. She also gained valuable work experience, working with Alviero Martini in Milan and Ann-Sofie Beck and Clements Ribeiro in London. She debuted her New York based line, Yuna Yang, at NYFW Fall 2010, and has shown every season since. She has also dressed many a celebrity: Carrie Underwood, Jessica Loundes, Danai Gurira, Darby Stanchfield, Nicole Murphy, Dascha Polanco, Maye Musk, and Irene Kim to name a few!

yuna-yang-carrie-underwood

Carrie Underwood in the music video for “See You Again”

yuna-yang-nicole-murphy    yuna-yang-irene-kim

Nicole Murphy; Irene Kim

yuna-yang-jessica-lowndes   yuna-yang-danai-gurira

Jessica Loundes; Danai Gurira

yuna-yang-darby-stanchfield   yuna-yang-maye-musk

Darby Stanchfield; Maye Musk 

2016 MTV Video Music Awards - Arrivals

NEW YORK, NY – AUGUST 28: Actress Dascha Polanco attends the 2016 MTV Video Music Awards at Madison Square Garden on August 28, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images)

Yuna Yang can be found at Foravi in Manhattan; Cami in Roslyn, NY; Deborah Gilbert Smith in Millburn, NJ; Joe Brand in Laredo, TX; Joe Brand in McAllen, TX; A&A in Taipei; La Scala in Taipei; Art to Wear in Taipei; Shin Kong Mitsukoshi in Taipei; Avenuel in Seoul; Galleria in Seoul; Lotte in Busan, South Korea; Isetan in Tokyo; and Arabian Apparel in Riyadh.

yuna-yang-hats

Yuna Yang hats and headbands at Isetan. 

Past concepts: The New Woman, No Borders, The 100% Perfect Girl, Hunting Without Guns, The Butterfly Mother, 1920s Shapes Meet Modern Art, Che Bella, Civil Twilight, Bright Lights Big City, My Black Wedding Dress

TBT — Senior Year

rules-of-etiquette

Emily, Kalpana, and me. Rules of Etiquette jumpsuit. Jessica Simpson pumps. Apt. 9 belt. Photo by Travis W. Keyes

I cannot believe that almost a year has passed since I graduated. Here I am with my friends Emily and Kalpana at an event for the Epson Digital Couture Project. It was a Tuesday night, at 5:30 or 6:30, when I received a text from Kalpana asking if I would like to go to a party she had been invited to. I love surprises, so I said yes right away. The party was at a huge industrial space in the Meatpacking District, walking distance from my dorm. Kalpana introduced me to her friend Emily, whom she had met through modeling. It was a great night, and we have all had fun together since.

That jumpsuit is one I had looked at day after day in the Savvy department when I worked at Nordstrom, and finally bought when it dropped to half price. What drew me to it was that while it’s attention-grabbing with a bold tribal pattern, the fit is relaxed and extremely comfortable. It’s like a onesie that you can do more than sleep in. I also love the duality of the print with its colors reversed — seeing two versions of the same lines reminds me of looking at a photo and its negative. I placed a belt between the two sections to accentuate this and paired it with matching pumps.

When I look back at my past, it feels a bit charmed. It’s funny, how one can go through the present without seeing the good, and go through the past without seeing the bad.

 

 

 

The Best Models Have Bangs

bangs

I became enamored with the look of full bangs when I was 14. I was reading InStyle March 2007 when I saw this Chloe ad campaign:

chloe-2007

I didn’t have the guts to get bangs myself until I was 17. But six years later, I still haven’t gone back.

blissful-style-topshop

Bangs, as thick as they come. Topshop headband. 

So when another girl has full bangs, I notice right away. And looking through the spring shows, I kept seeing two models with bangs, over and over again.

fernanda-ly-headshotmarjan-jonkman-headshot

Australian model Fernanda Ly and Dutch model Marjan Jonkman were everywhere this past Fashion Month: 20 and 42 shows, to be exact. While Ly sticks with her full pink bang glory, Jonkman shows how versatile this hairstyle can be: sweeping them to the side, parting them in the middle, teasing them up, and slicking them back…much as I’m inclined to do on a hot day.

Courrèges RTW Spring 2017

Courrèges RTW Spring 2017

 

Credits: 

Bangs over eyes = thegloss.com

Chloe ad = heycrazy.wordpress.com

Fernanda Ly headshot = davidwangphoto.tumblr.com

Marjan Jonkman headshot = jamiebakerbackstage.tumblr.com

Fernanda Ly in Dolce & Gabbana = fashiongonerogue.com

All other photos = wwd.com 

 

This Is What a Full-Length Charlotte Olympia Runway Show Looks Like

Charlotte Olympia RTW Spring 2017Charlotte Olympia RTW Spring 2017

Charlotte Olympia has been one of my favorite brands for years. I first discovered them in 2012, in the “Dream On” spread of “First Look” in Elle‘s September issue (which I still have on my shelf). This was a time in my life when high fashion was more magical than real, when thinking about the future felt more a matter of fantasy than practicality, and a purple satin platform with two cut-outs at the toes for eyes and a perfectly placed sequin teardrop captured my imagination. (Similar here.)

Since then, Charlotte Olympia has only become more whimsical, and way more wild. It is unusual for a brand with shoes and handbags but no ready-to-wear to stage a runway show at Fashion Week. But these shoes and handbags justify the fanfare. The collection is tropical, with ripe fruits, palm fronds, bamboo, parrots, and a music record (because why the heck not). The models wore plain monochrome whites and creams to better show off the accessories, until the end, when they wore fruit. It was the most fabulous way I can think of to introduce a spring collection.

Charlotte Olympia RTW Spring 2017

Charlotte Olympia RTW Spring 2017

Take a closer look…

Charlotte Olympia RTW Spring 2017

Charlotte Olympia RTW Spring 2017

And look, what did I tell you?

Charlotte Olympia RTW Spring 2017

Charlotte Olympia RTW Spring 2017

 

Credits:

“Charlotte Olympia RTW Spring 2017” by Nina Jones. WWD. 19 September 2016.

My Fashion Week Favorites

My favorite look from each and every show at New York Fashion Week! Hover over the images to see the brands.

 

 

NYFW “Feline Fashion Lounge” Celebrates Cats

hot-to-adopt-kitty-pops

Kitty pops. (www.instagram.com/katiecassidy)

Cats have it made. They get to stay up all night and sleep all day. The Aristocats said that everybody wants to be a cat. Grumpy Cat got her own movie and consequently earned a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Twitter has started celebrating #Caturday every single week. Everything is awesome for cats…right?

hot-to-adopt-kizu

Kizu the kitty. (www.instagram.com/katiecassidy)

Unfortunately this is not the case. Every year, 1.2 million dogs and 1.4 million cats are euthanized because they were not adopted soon enough. That’s 200,000 more cats than dogs. According to a survey, 27 percent of people looking for a new pet say they would not consider a cat.

hot-to-adopt-katie-cassidy

Kizu and her human, Katie Cassidy. (www.instagram.com/katiecassidy)

What, exactly, is their problem? According to a survey by Pet Smart Charities, 43 percent of pet owners would describe a cat owner as “weird or quirky”, and 49 percent of pet owners believe in the “crazy cat lady” stereotype. Just to reiterate how stupid this is…a Crazy Cat Lady is an unmarried woman, especially an elderly woman who has never married, who lives alone with at least three cats. She probably has never married because she is unattractive, has an odd personality, and has no sense of style. Her house will smell like cat litter and be covered in cat hair.

hot-to-adopt-kitten

Katie Cassidy with a Hot to Adopt t-shirt and a cat. (www.facebook.com/OfficialKatieCassidy)

My chief issue with this stereotype is that pets are supposed to make people less lonely. There are plenty of singletons out there who get a dog for the same reason a “cat lady” gets a cat. I think the root of the problem is that, since cats are lower-maintenance than dogs (usually smaller, know how to take a walk by themselves), a given household would be able to support a greater quantity of cats than dogs. And the quantity thing freaks people out. Of course, the average number of cats in a cat household is only 2.1, versus 1.6 for dogs in a dog household. And again, two cats might be easier to take care of than one dog. The cat lady stereotype might sound silly, but it has a terrible consequence for the little kitties who don’t get adopted.

hot-to-adopt-poster

A poster for the Hot to Adopt Feline Fashion Lounge. (Fresh Step)

hot-to-adopt-making-cats-cool-again

 Cat-eye sunglasses, a cat-ear headband, and a cat-faced clutch. (www.instagram.com/katiecassidy)

Fashion Week to the rescue! Actress, blogger, and cat owner Katie Cassidy partnered with Fresh Step litter to host the Hot to Adopt Feline Fashion Lounge. Held at the Lori Bookstein Fine Art Gallery in Chelsea, the feline lounge was open to the public and free to attend, provided that everyone registered and RSVPed. There was a runway show “for the modern cat lady”, with looks that celebrated cats’ huge artistic and sartorial influence. Said Cassidy, “From cat eye glasses and leopard prints to kitten heels and cat-faced flats, feline-inspired fashions have infiltrated runways for many years.” Guests could leave with a Hot to Adopt t-shirt. And a cat, of course. The Humane Society of New York, Zani’s Furry Friends, and The Little Shelter all brought sweet little kitty-bits who were ready to be adopted.

hot-to-adopt-with-a-litter-box hot-to-adopt-katie-cassidy-and-erin-cebula

Katie Cassidy with a cat who can’t wait to get adopted. Erin Cebula and Katie in their best cat ears. (www.instagram.com/katiecassidy) 

My view on this is that if a cat is not adopted it should be released into the wild. In Turkey it is less conventional to consider the cat a companion animal, so you see cats out on the street the way you see pigeons in New York. Not everybody wants a new pet. Pets are loving and rewarding, but they are a lot of work. That said, if someone is in the market for a new pet, they should give cats and dogs the same level of consideration.

black-cat-lulu luna-blue-steel-2

Lulu the kitty. Luna the kitty. Divided leopard-print coat. 

I have had 9 cats in my life: Scampi, McGonagall, Salud, Lulu, Double Tuft, Kit Kat, Scarlet, Princess, and Luna. (Don’t worry, not all at the same time.) Even I didn’t know that this was a problem. I had blissfully assumed, along with most others I’m sure, that everything was fine in the world of cats. That’s why it is so important to spread awareness of this issue through campaigns and events, and Fashion Week is the perfect place to do it.

See Also: 

Greenwood, Jennifer. “Study Reveals Public Opinions About Cats and Cat People.” Pet Smart Charities. 19 May 2015. http://www.petsmartcharities.org/blog/study-reveals-public-opinions-about-cats-and-cat-people

“Pet Statistics.” American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. http://www.aspca.org/animal-homelessness/shelter-intake-and-surrender/pet-statistics

“U.S. Pet Ownership Statistics.” American Veterinary Medical Foundation. http://www.avma.org/KB/Resources/Statistics/Pages/Market-research-statistics-US-pet-ownership.aspx

My Trip to Tommy Pier

tommy-hilfiger

Two days after the Tommy Hilfiger Fashion Week show, Tommy Pier was open to the public. Located at the South Street Seaport in downtown Manhattan, Tommy Pier was a carnival first and a pop-up shop second. Upon stepping onto the dock and squinting in the bright sunlight, it actually took awhile to find the clothes. But you knew they were there. Having to look for them made it more exciting.

tommy-hilfiger-2

As a neighborhood carnival, Tommy Pier matched its peers in every way. There were rides, there were games, there were fries, there were donuts, there were temporary tattoos, there were photo booths, and there were long lines of people twisting and overlapping in every direction.

Rides: the Tornado, a Ferris wheel, and another spinning ride (not pictured). 

Gigi’s Boxing Club, est. 2016. 

What are carnivals without prizes? I think I found Nemo…and his extended family.

The quintessential yummy, unhealthy food. 

A temporary tattoo parlor. The line for the nail salon.

The atmosphere was excited and a little surprised. “Do we have to pay to get in?” I heard one girl say. No, we did not. People slowly approached the games and food stands, as if they wanted to first make sure it was okay. After all, it’s rare to see a premium brand present itself in such an irreverent and accessible way. Yet once a few people stepped up to the booths, everyone else followed.

More food! Including lobster rolls, one of my favorites.

Nails by Valley and Hilfiger Records.

I found a little wooden house midway down the pier with a Tommy x Gigi sign and a rope chandelier. Inside the collection was neatly displayed, apparel on hanging rods and accessories, underwear, and perfume on shelves. The cash register was in the center so shoppers could walk in a full circle. This was useful because the little shop was packed. Tommy Pier opened at noon that day, I arrived at around 1:00, and already the displays were sparse. There were three sales associates wearing matching navy blue Tommy Pier t-shirts. Though there was little room to walk, the customers treated the merchandise with more respect than you would see at a typical crowded retail store. Customers picked their things up. Customers re-folded. Customers hung their hangers back on the racks. (I worked in clothing retail for five years. I notice these things.)

Inside the pop-up shop.

A band jacket and sailor’s cap from the collection. 

In addition to this shop, there was an identical little shop on the other side of the pier, as well as a Tommy Vintage Shop. This shop was smaller than the others and offered sweatshirts, jerseys, and other sporty logo apparel.

tommy-hilfiger-23

At the far right corner of the pier was a little nook with three wooden benches painted like the American flag. People took selfies and pictures of their friends, asked strangers to take their picture, or simply sat down to rest in the heat, which had to be over 90 degrees. It was also the perfect place to look out at the other piers, the East River, Brooklyn, the helicopters in the sky, and the commanding buildings of the Financial District.

20160910_132542

Taking a break from the mayhem. Vintage star and moon earrings. Heart pendant from my mother. Chain from AJ’s Jewelry.

My sweet little purse on the American flag bench. If you look closely, it has anchors on the buttons. Vintage purse. Eton ring watch. 

20160910_125848

The boating lifestyle that inspires the Tommy Hilfiger brand.

At one point a large commercial boat called the Zephyr docked at the pier, its passengers disembarked, and the crowd briefly doubled in size. A little “fashion week” isn’t about to disrupt business as usual!

20160910_133231

In front of an artifact of Pier 16 itself. Forever 21 peplum top. Tyte jeans. Foster Grant sunglasses. 

20160910_132619

Paloma shoes with what could very well be life preservers.

20160910_135913

A statue on a cobblestone street in the Seaport district. 

To give some context, here are the best looks from the actual fashion show:

(Antonio de Moraes Barros Filho/FilmMagic)

(Antonio de Moraes Barros Filho/FilmMagic)

tommy-24

Anna Wintour attends the seaport extravaganza. (Getty Images)

Doutzen Kroes, Martha Hunt, and Taylor Swift check out the carnival. (Getty Images)

It was fun, and I was really happy I went. It felt good to see so many people enjoy the new Tommy Hilfiger collection. Premium, contemporary, and luxury brands worry about “overexposure”, when their brand is worn by so many people that it isn’t special anymore. This does happen. This happens with discounts and outlet stores, and certainly with counterfeit merchandise. But I do not think this will happen with public events like Tommy Pier. A brand can always decide its exclusivity with its price points. If anything, I think wider awareness of a brand by all people will confer even more recognition and prestige to those who buy and wear the clothes.

I think it’s important for the fashion industry to cater to consumers and stage fun events like this. There is a misconception out there that clothing, shoes, handbags, jewelry, and accessories are just “things”. The term “experience economy” has been used to describe the shift of consumer spending to experiences over things. Yet spectacles like Tommy Pier prove that not every consumer good falls neatly into one side of the binary. Fashion has always been about more than just things; it is beautiful images, it is icons, it is the spirit of a brand, it is the excitement of shopping, and it determines much of the way we present ourselves when we embark on any other kind of experience. Tommy Pier presents the possibility of finding new fashion, knowing its back story, and living in it — not just putting it in your closet.

tommy-10

As seen from above! (blog.thestorefront.com)