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.
Guests arrive and take their seats.
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.”
Here are some of the looks:
FLOWER BOMBER PRINT
LIGHTING CANDLE PRINT
My favorite look of all was the closing look, the burgundy slip dress. The collection was bright and full of energy, with hues like gold, ocher, tangerine, periwinkle, mint, and cerulean. Velvet dresses, sweatshirts, and skirts provided the durability one needs to get through fall and winter.
Me before the show started. D-Face leather dress and vintage dragonfly necklace from Bloom Marin.
Since this was my first time attending Fashion Week, I was so excited to see up close that which I had only looked at from afar for the past decade (yes, since I was in middle school). When I was 12, I worked on a book 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 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. Meanwhile, she also gained valuable work experience at Alviero Martini in Milan and both 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!
Carrie Underwood in the music video for “See You Again”, which enjoyed 42.8 million views
Nicole Mitchell Murphy at the premiere of Water for Elephants; Irene Kim, aka Ireneisgood
Jessica Lowndes; Danai Gurira at the premiere of 42
Darby Stanchfield; Maye Musk at the Met Gala
Yuna Yang can be found at their website; Foravi in Manhattan; Cami in Roslyn, New York; Deborah Gilbert Smith in Millburn, New Jersey; Joe Brand in Laredo and McAllen, Texas; A&A, La Scala, Art to Wear, and Shin Kōng Mitsukoshi in Táipěi; Avenuel and Galleria in Seoul; Lotte in Busan, South Korea; Isetan in Tōkyō; and Arabian Apparel in Riyādh.
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
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.
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.
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 Heights and Cobble Hill, the helicopters in the sky, and the commanding buildings of the Financial District.
My sweet little purse on the American flag bench. If you look closely, it has anchors on the buttons. Vintage purse and Eton ring watch from Bloom Marin.
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!
Paloma shoes with what could very well be life preservers.
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)
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 don’t 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.
As seen from above! (blog.thestorefront.com)
Today is the day my parents and younger sister said farewell to their Christmas tree. My parents work all day and my sister is a full-time student, so naturally the tree was decorated on December 24. That’s why, though Christmas came and went, my family wanted to hold on to this tree for as long as they could. Today I post to commemorate its beauty and spirit.
The Christmas colors are red and green, and between the two I prefer red. Red velvet makes me think of bows, gifts, wreaths, and holiday parties; in deep burgundy, a velvet top errs on the more sophisticated party side. This top, which was my mother’s, can be tricky to wear. At first it comes across as formal, but its dramatic wrap shape exposes the midriff. My solution is to wear it with a high-waisted skirt, short or long. This flouncy floral skirt continues where the shirt’s volume left off, creating a bell shape.
Brette Connolly hat. Tarina Tarantino ring.
My favorite part of the outfit is the hat because I made it myself. When I was 15 I saw a chic selection of newsboy hats for the winter at Nordstrom, and instead of buying one I decided to sew one. Herringbone tends to have a serious look to it, especially on a traditionally masculine shape. To counter this effect, I chose a pink fabric. I have always loved Barbie dolls, but these days I play with Barbie jewelry. I think of Barbie as a renaissance woman who got everything done and bought everything she wanted, and always looked put together doing it.
I don’t think one can ever be too old to wear snowman earrings. I bought these last year for Ugly Sweater Day at Nordstrom. Of course the plan was to buy a Christmas sweater, but I couldn’t seem to find any. Instead, I opted for accessories: snowman earrings, a reindeer antlers headband, a bracelet watch with Christmas charms, festive brooches, and crazy Santa Claus glasses. The headband and glasses are long gone, but these earrings are cute enough to wear annually.
Burgundy shoes tie the outfit together. Ankle boots stay on easier, but the bold cutouts bridge the gap between boot and pump.
MORE VELVET TOPS
MORE FLORAL SKIRTS
MORE BURGUNDY HEELS
MORE NEWSBOY HATS
MORE INFINITY SCARVES