Tag Archive for Hers

Silver Lining

3My Seoul Fashion Week Day 4 outfit part 1… that many people liked… including the lady looking down from above.

15This pinstriped vest/dress and mesh top are from KAAL E.SUKTAE’s Spring/Summer ’14 collection.

4Paired with Kiok‘s eccentrically cut pleated skirt, an unusual but intriguing silhouette was created.

2Soon after my hair became fuchsia/purple, I proceeded to find a way to get my hands on anything that’s purple, hence the grand entrance of this Partsparts clutch.

6On another note, I had my share of ups and downs with accessories and jewelries which didn’t last all that long… (2-3 years? lol) and what this experimentation has taught me is quite enlightening- that I’m not all that much of an accessories person, with an exception of things that are worn on the head, face, and feet. Anything that dangles over the fingers, wrists, or neck while I try to get important work done (i.e. washing my hands after running to the restroom which happens way too often than I would like) has no business with me; however, a properly working watch in a brilliant design is a necessity.

8As much as I try to escape from it, my eczema won’t leave me alone, especially when important events roll around. Now that fashion week is over, it’s disappeared, like, almost completely. Thanks. ;T

9 10This vest… is what happens when topnotch tailoring and exquisite construction meet.

11 13 14KAAL E.SUKTAE vest & Mesh top, Pleated maxi skirt by KIOK, Partsparts Neoprene clutch, Celine sunglasses, Jeffrey Campbell wedges

Life is a Colorful Journey

1Since our collaboration last season, I’ve become a huge fan of PartspARTs which is led by a renowned fashion designer, Imseonoc who is involved in prestigious design projects on a national level such as the Olympic performance costumes and dance festivals. 

2She is one of the few designers in Korea who is deeply involved in textile research and development, as well as showing a great interest in environmental effects of fashion design and manufacturing; therefore, fabrics used in her designs which are mostly neoprene, are a result of many years of hard work developed from scratch while minimizing waste to protect the environment. I mean, when you think about it, this is a huge deal- a typical designer is already busy spending most of her/his time thinking of design-related things, including next season’s concept and such… so when fabric development is a big part of the design process, you can imagine how much more work is added to their already cramped schedule.

3The reason I mention this yet again is because neoprene is (surprisingly.. I mean, who would’ve thought?!) all the rage right now in Seoul- when I wore it last October, I was pretty much the only one rocking it, which explains why my outfit received so much media attention.

4But the more important thing here is that the type of neoprene fabric Imseonoc uses- is a different kind, which you can easily tell by touching the fabric, and observing the stitching and details both inside and out.

5Her material may not be as thick as the others you see in the more accessible shops but are just as effective in keeping you warm while not wrinkling as much. It’s soft but not prone to lint build-up.

6 In short, they are luxurious neoprene, and she was among the first in the world to specialize in this material that may one day entirely replace the naturally-sourced fabrics that we wear today without a second thought.

7 While it may seem unapproachable at first, once experienced, trust me, you will not want to take it off- but do keep in mind that not all neoprene are created equal- my advice is, if you are going to do it, go with the best.

8I can never get enough of her collection- you’d be surprised to see what she’s able to come up with using only one material: dress, pants, trench coat, maxi dress, you name it. They belong in one of those fancy design shops inside an art museum, I can proudly say- MOMA, are you reading?

9It actually took hours to pick out this outfit, mainly due to trying to come up with the coolest color combination that wouldn’t make me look like I was trying too hard while still being fun; effortless chic is the rule to live by when it comes to getting dressed every morning.

10Striped cropped top, Violet top layered underneath, Orange striped trousers, Black coat, and Green bag by PartspARTs by Imseonoc, Violet pumps by BCBG, Blue reflective “Frieda” sunglasses by Illesteva, Watch by Qclocktwo by Biegert & Funk

Post December

2I’ve had this thing for palazzo trousers for a while now- and seeing the wide pants trend coming back has only made my obsession grow exponentially, hence the outfit.3The pleated details and the hints of silver is what make this outfit less predictable… and the black trench coat with houndstooth print was an attempt to counterbalance excessive “dressiness” and femininity that’s going on (you know how I feel about this).4

Cutout details in this top is a continuation of designer Bahk Sohyan of Post December’s Maehwa series, which could be seen in the skirt I wore to last Seoul Fashion Week.

1 10The way these pants moves is extraordinary; it makes them look like a maxi skirt from afar… or creates an illusion of floating, even.9 8 7 6 15 14and my hair- I’ve been getting a lot of questions about it- only one color was used as far as I understand, but as it washes off, I’m seeing shades of pink and/or purple. This Japanese manicure coloring product that my stylist uses has proven to be a life-changer; it allows you to have fun without damaging your hair further (I did go through the bleaching process twice which kind of did some serious damage..). And what’s even more awesome is that the fading process is quite an enjoyable one- every day is different: this was a few days after I had it done so it’s still quite bright but as you will notice, the color becomes more pastel every time it’s washed, as if you are adding an Instagram filter to it… Early Bird, shall we.

13Pleated Palazzo Trousers, White mesh top with silver cutout details, Leather belt, & Black trench coat with houndstooth print by Post December

Silver cutout ankle boots: Lita by Jeffrey Campbell

Silver clutch by Calvin Klein

Sunglasses by Celine

Androgyny

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When you thought you had enough of fashion week, here we are in Seoul ready to show the world the best of what Korea has to offer. Tokyo may have been on the radar for sometime now, but let me tell you, Seoul is quickly becoming “the place” for inspiration among the fashion circle.

With the opening of Dongdaemun Design Plaza which now serves as the artistic landmark of Korea, Seoul Fashion Week begins today with a higher expectation than usual thanks to the venue that makes the area looks like it’s just been invaded by the extraterristrial creatures of sort. Credit goes to Pritzker and Stirling prize winning world renowned architect Dame Zaha Hadid who is known for her futuristic works that embrace powerful curves, multiple perspective points and fragmented geometry. (Photos to come, ideally- IF we get a chance to photograph the venue- I mean, we all know Fashion Week = Chaos)

3Meanwhile, meet the new ‘do- not sure what to call this color, I started really trusting my hair stylist and he just lets his dream become a reality. Quite a creative genius he is; just wish hair wasn’t such a fragile thing… I’ve started seeing signs… signs of it grumbling and screaming in pain. Nevertheless, enjoying every moment of it while I can because after all, it is something that grows back, thankfully. hew.4Today’s being the first day of Fashion Week which kicked off with a few Menswear shows, thought it would be fun to do a version of androgynous look complete with actual Menswear pieces.  51H&M Menswear vest, Club Monaco Menswear button-down shirt, JKOO motorcycle jacket from their Fall/Winter 2014 collection, Faux leather pants by Work Custom Jeans, White sandals by CRES. E DIM, Celine sunglasses, Chanel 2.55 Reissue.

Love a lot, Laugh often.

9What each believes a life consists of may vary, however if there is one constant in the equation, it would have to be decisions, both small and big.
10While I am a believer of providence, I also believe that we are given freewill for the very reason that we may pick and choose for what we’ve been gifted with, that which is life. Such can be defined as decisions, and according to our selections, we are either rewarded or penalized (or disciplined, as I’d like to refer to it). Funny thing is, there comes a time when you start realizing that even the ones that seemed “bad” at the time may turn out to be a good one once we “decide” to stay positive. What that means is, happiness is something that one chooses, not one that is freely given. We have a choice to feel a certain way, even sadness, if you think about it hard enough (or shall I say analyze..heh). 4See, it’s like this: there are people who are almost always optimistic about everything whereas ones who are always pessimistic. Years ago, I believed that such was a predetermined trait or personality that could not be corrected no matter how hard you tried, but it turns out, once you decide to be positive, you will eventually become so, as long as you are patient enough, because after all, changing who you are obviously isn’t the easiest task.

11So today, shall we choose to focus on the positives instead of the bad? Or, even the bad isn’t so bad after all. Think about it, it could’ve been worse.1215While there will always be people who are better looking, wealthier, more successful, more intelligent, or just all around better than us, remember that there are also those who are much less fortunate than us. Our job as citizens of the world is to take care of our given resources as well as to help those who are in need. When we stop comparing ourselves to those who seem to have it all in a mundane sense and start caring for those who are waiting for help, just maybe, we may find true happiness that we search so hard for-16

because after all, happiness is, one of the many decisions we make on a daily basis.817Wearing:

Yes I’m French dress, Style Nanda sweatshirt, Mango shirt, Jeffrey Campbell heels, Bally bag, Celine shades, Nars Pure Matte Lipstick in Mascate

If nothing ever changed, there’d be no butterflies.

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I must admit, as with many of you, biggest concern that I had when I decided to color my hair was how much of a restriction it would create in regards to selecting a wardrobe, especially when it came to color selections.

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Surprisingly though, I was relieved to soon realize that freedom still existed even when my hair became purple. As you have seen, I’ve worn tan, blue, green, black, burgundy, and now orange. I wasn’t an art student for long enough to master the color wheel nor the Pantone color schemes but fortunately, these outfits somehow seemed to work. This change was a huge one for me at least, which required a bit more than a skilled hair stylist… it was an attempt at boldly stepping out of my comfort zone, and my way of showing the world that regret should be feared more than failure. I promise to be more courageous and decisive in the coming year for a future that is brighter and (even) more exciting.

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Now this skirt is one amazing piece both aesthetically and functionally, its double layer design allows for active movement while the soft wool material keeps you warm.

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The rich reddish orange hue of the cropped jacket in over-sized fit is perfect for those days when you are seeking change, something fresh to replace the same old black jacket that you’ve been mindlessly reaching out to on cooler days.

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As the year comes to a close, I’m profoundly thankful for all the amazing people I’ve met this year including all the talented, hard working fashion designers, photographers, models and such.

(above with model Sora Choi, winner of Korea’s Next Top Model Cycle 3)

1With Fashion Designer Jae Keun Hwang, winner of Project Runway Korea All Stars. Read our interview with the designer here.

3Wishing everyone a warm and stylish 2014 filled with love, dream, and happiness. Thank you, both new and existing readers, for sticking with us and we hope to be able to continue to provide you with informative and entertaining content in the coming year.

Jacket & Skirt by JKOO, Shoes by Jeffrey Campbell, Sunglasses by Quay Eyewear, Bag by Chanel

Black on Black: an Experiment

 

1Contrary to popular belief, black on black styling really isn’t the easiest way out, as there are numerous elements that need to be considered such as fabric, material, color, details and layering tactics: how suitable they are and how well all the pieces get along with each other; yet probably the most important component of all is ensuring that every layering piece is truly black, not faded black, not dark gray, but solid black when seen under the sunlight. This process is one that which many of us often unfortunately fail to put into practice as it isn’t all that often that we have time to double check ourselves in the sunlight (not to mention having access to it) when we are almost always running late; however this step is one that should never be neglected when dressing in black because this may be the only chance for us to make sure that the outfit doesn’t look (As much as we all dread hearing it, truth be told)… cheap. Yes, I said it.. but calm down… I’m one of those guilty ones who likes to simply opt to ignore when I wear something black that cost me no more than my groceries… but it’s about time that I face the truth and let the fashion police punish me so that I’m never, ever caught wearing a black outfit that really isn’t black after all. Let the word ‘cheap’ be gone from my life- Something to keep in mind even when vintage shopping, or shopping for low cost items (think Forever21 type). On that note, speaking from experience, considering what the piece would look like after a wash is probably a good idea too, especially if it’s cotton.4As for layering, I believe it’s best to have a connecting element in each piece so that the transition to another piece is kept smooth- as for this particular outfit, such was the leather details in the coat and the skirt that acted as a link between the two. Also important was despite exuding polar opposite qualities, ensuring the pieces worked well together while each looking solid black even under the sun.7Fortunately, it turned out to be a success, as the coat was made with luxurious wool and the skirt with silk. Interestingly enough, toughest part of it all was choosing the right pair of shoes that would tie all these small and big lements together, and thankfully, when I came across these brocade boots in my shoe closet, I knew they were it. They were perfect in that they had both rich dark velvet and solid black leather with a sheen just enough to match the leather details in the coat and the skirt.2Credit for finishing touches attributed to Justin the photographer- it definitely was not a bad idea to pair the black pieces with a white shirt and a bow tie though I was skeptical at first (was initially thinking of going all black). It gives the look a break or a breather, so to say.
8and this clutch… I must have mentioned it before but for those new, it’s from a trip to Milan a few years ago, it was the only thing I bought at this outlet that was hidden somewhere in the rural part of the area that took us forever to find where I literally had to fight the crowd to grab it… and even after doing so, I had to think over and over again to evaluate its worth… Besides its striking beauty, it is a Pucci after all… and although I honestly don’t even remember how much I paid for it anymore, it was quite an investment on my part… Still, to this day, I wonder whether I would have been better off purchasing that rare cropped turquoise fur jacket instead but from a moral point of view, it was probably the right thing to do…6 5  Hope you all had a wonderful Christmas. Mine was cold and quiet with lots of food and a perfect cup of latte. Happy days.3Silk pleated maxi skirt with attached leather belt/peplum details by CRES. E DIM., White button down bodysuit by Miss Sixty, Bow tie borrowed from Justin the Photographer, Wool coat with leather details by CRES. E DIM., Crocodile embossed suede & fringe clutch by Emilio Pucci, Jacquard boot by Jeffrey Campbell.

‘Tis the season to layer

 

6One of the most popular and credible qualities that make colder seasons a fashionista’s favorite (including those of us who consider fashion kind of important) is that it allows dressing in layers by providing us with more tools to work with, hence more fun to be had thanks to endless outfit possibilities, options, and variations.4It’s amazing how much of a difference layering makes in an outfit, not only the look itself but the vibe and all…2Layering not only offers additional dressing pleasure but serves a functional purpose, trust me, all those layers do keep you warm.1When this scarlet red jacket found its way into my closet, immediate reaction was to wear it as a layering piece due to its unique texture, length, and lace trim details; however it wasn’t quite clear how the complete look would play out as it wasn’t the easiest piece to work with in terms of mix/match and accessorizing.3Fortunately, this dress came to my rescue, one that flew all the way from LA with me this past summer thanks to the lovely designer Eva Franco. Funny thing is that I purposely got it in two size smaller than my usual to keep it short and tight- so while it may look a bit different from the original fit and a bit uncomfortable than originally intended, I do like how it makes my legs look longer than they actually are- after all, it it’s too comfortable, it is no longer fashion, right?5  While the stripe craze may have died down a bit, there really is no substitute for this particular combination, it’s hard to explain but it’s undeniable that red looks best when paired with black and white stripes or polka dots. An added bonus is that my strange hair color somehow blended in just fine as well, in a very unexpectedly sophisticated way.7I guess what I really wanted to say is that the colder weather naturally stimulates creative senses…Well.. only when it’s bearable though, not like today when it snowed more than a few inches with outside temperature currently at 0 Celsius. Eek… It’s a miracle that I’m able to move my fingers right now to type, and no, that’s not an exaggeration. 8Seoul Fashion Week Day 4 Outfit as seen on Buro24/7 wearing: Jeffrey Campbell Draco Boots, Yuna Yang Scarlet Red Jacket, Eva Franco Audrey Dress, Ted Baker military coat, Calvin Klein clutch, Ray Ban aviators, and Justin’s old beret

Take it or Leave it

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4While dressing for fashion show is generally a tricky task, many would agree that it also presents an opportunity for us to have most fun.

62That is because such event is where being yourself is appreciated rather than condemned, where dressing solely for yourself or to express yourself is respected rather than mocked which turns out to be an especially rare opportunity here in Korea where dressing  for others aka ‘to please others’ is unfortunately a norm: girls like to dress in ways that make them more ‘attractive’ to men- think girly dresses in soft hues with feminine details, lots of them.85

Ironically, there are a good number of folks in Korea who are fashion forward, early adopters who often set trends not only in Korea but all around the world, not to mention all the amazing fashion designers who are at the forefront of the fashion scene; however contrary to popular belief, such species are actually hard to run into on a normal day even on Garosugil, which is what makes Seoul Fashion Week a must-see, must-go event of all if you are curious what this secretive camaraderie is up to, or want to connect and be part of the movement (that is, to encourage fellow Koreans to be more confident of themselves- to wear what they want, to use fashion as a communicative tool to express who they are, where they are in life, and what they want to say.).3Hence it only seemed appropriate to show up in what made me feel good, something my mom would be happy to see me in. ;) 7Yes, it’s a miracle that I didn’t fall over.

15  So fortunate to have had these heels on the shoe rack, who would’ve guessed that they would go so well with this 20-something year old jacket in the same print that I’ve had for a while now?10 Mom-approved (literally).

39 Well-balanced use of leather, just enough to give the dress an edge, is what makes this CRES.E DIM. dress even more irresistible. 12Burgundy asymmetrical dress with leather details by CRES. E DIM., Mom’s cropped leopard print jacket by a Korean brand, Jeffrey Campbell heels, Cheap Monday shades, Amrita Singh bangles, Chanel 2.55 Reissue

Pastel Dreams

“Don’t be afraid of being different. Be afraid of being the same as everyone else.”

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Neoprene is not the most popular fabric when it comes to dressing; however when done right, it really makes an impact. It’s like that weird kid who was outcast in high school because he was “different” who suddenly became cool in college for the same reason: his unique character and style that had once put him in misery.4Who knew so many variations were possible using just one fabric that is nothing but ordinary? Who would’ve thought how exciting things can get with neoprene? If fashion is where creativity meets functionality, these PartspARTs pieces are a testament to that.

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Oh, and my hair… yeah. Never got to explain what happened.. although I’m pretty sure that I did mention at least a few times about upcoming changes…. So on that fateful day in October, was it… I decided to just go with it despite numerous risks (as in getting my scalp burned from multiple bleaching processes, not getting the color expected especially with my roots and the tips being in completely opposite hue and condition, etc) But I decided to place trust in my talented stylist and voila, a new and improved Karen was born. I’ve received so many compliments since I can’t even keep up… This is going to sound ridiculous but I can’t even remember the days when my hair was “normal” anymore. While it took some time to get used to it (I did wear a cap to the gym for the first full week after all), it’s probably one of the most exciting things I’ve done to/for myself so far… definitely tops that day when I got my first smart phone… or got a hybrid vehicle… (well… actually… maybe not the Prius one, but certainly close).

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Seoul Fashion Week Day 2 Outfit as seen on Refinery29 wearing: Jacket, layered shirts, pants, and bags by PartspARTs by Imseonoc, Quilted velvet flats by Jeffrey Campbell, Shades by Quay Eyewear Australia

Hair by Hae Jin Lee at By Jin in Kondae: 서울 광진구 화양동 94-82