At first glance, Yang’s designs look particularly feminine, but look twice, and you’ll see that it’s so much more than that: there’s something modern, artistic, strong and even empowering in them that makes it not just another “pretty” womenswear collection but an exceptional one at that. In congruence with the theme, her spring offering has proven to be “dreamy” indeed, which was emphasized with a use of variety of sometimes contrasting materials such as taffeta, silk and denim magically weaved into pieces that are romantic and classic provided by the positive energy of the post-World War II era and the exhilarating cultural phenomena of the 40′s such as the swing dance and women’s liberation movement. While she had us sit on the edge of our seats anticipating for the next look every time a model walked out, there was a constant that could be felt throughout the show: freedom. Yang may have worked around a rather often visited theme, but what really made it a unique, fresh collection is the “freedom” she allowed herself to explore and embrace which was another element of inspiration behind the offering.
There are clothes that make you feel better than you feel, more glamorous than you are, more powerful than you ever have been- those that make you feel stronger and empowered.One that which makes us want to go out and conquer the world- and that is when you know she’s a keeper. This blue dress is one of those that not only makes me feel like a princess but a woman of class and glamour- especially favored are the lace sleeves which drop perfectly at the center of my hands. The delicate details of the vibrant blue lace accentuates femininity while the elastic underlayer adds a fun casual flair. The dress served me well throughout the first day of New York Fashion Week while being perfect for attending Yuna Yang‘s F/W ’15 runway show as a guest (coverage coming soon). Her dresses always have a way of making me feel like a woman, a beautiful one at that. <3 On the other hand, it was nice being back in New York. It always is, but this time around, I found a piece of me that never left the city. I guess whoever said ‘Once a New Yorker is always a New Yorker,’ was right…which is quite unexpected coming from a person who vowed to never look back when she left him so many years ago. What have you done to me, New York?We shall reunite… one day. Until then… Blue lace dress by Yuna Yang (F/W 2014 collection), Clutch & Tote by Jinny J, Aloyna sneakers, Scarf by Hermes, Chanel Rouge Allure in 99 Pirate
I was going through binders and notebooks of sort from back in the days when I came across a composition book that was used for a journal writing assignment in college. Now that I read it over, I realize it was a form of blogging at a time when social media was just beginning to happen as I knew there was an audience for it, although only one: my English professor. I cracked up so hard reading through it as some of the entries are so silly I don’t even know what to make of them. It goes something like this (My comments in Italics):
“My sister and I went to Soho today to pick out a backpack for school. Well, my backpack. We promised each other that we would not go into other stores except for the one where I was planning to buy my bag. First of all, we have more than enough clothes to open a clothing store. Secondly, it’s about time that I save money to pay off my credit card debt. Gosh. It has been stressing the hell out of me lately. I just can’t handle living on debt anymore. So I have decided to cut down on shopping for a few months and pay it off before I die of stress. Yes, I’m trying to fight myself to have more control over my finances but it’s not that easy. Well, I guess it wasn’t so bad until I saw a really cute pair of Diesel pants at my favorite shop, Atrium. I wasn’t planning to buy them, seriously…” September 2001
Well, first of all, when you are on a tight budget PLUS a debt, you just stop buying things all together until it’s been paid off. Secondly, why do you need a backpack when you already own a gazillion handbags of all kinds? But more than anything, why are you even walking into Atrium? I mean, the place is known as a denim lover’s dream, and the products they carry are mostly designer and considered super expensive for a 20-year old, after all. For girls like you, there’s H&M, Forever21, you know the drill (although I’m not sure whether they existed back then). If you are curious how the story ended, apparently, I found these cute jeans on sale for $69 which was originally priced at $130 and just HAD to pick them up because I somehow miraculously came across a cute backpack for cheaper than expected. So it all balanced out, whatever.
“My eyes are so puffy and tired I can barely keep them open. I look like crap and I’m so late for work. I’m on the train going to New Jersey. Since I had no class last night, I went to the gym with my sister. There, my sister got me angry but I didn’t say anything until we got home because I didn’t want to humiliate either of us. So I started yelling at her: how she has an attitude problem and how she embarrasses me in public. She talked back in a way I could not tolerate that I ended up telling her to leave my apartment… I threw her stuff at the door and told her that I didn’t want to put up with her anymore…
It had been a while since I had hit her… and before I knew it, she hit me back… and it became this huge fight that we hadn’t had for a really long time. I now have scratches on my arm, although I don’t remember exactly what happened.. but I think I pulled her hair…” September 2001
Sorry, I was a bad sister..?
“I don’t know what it is. I’m so addicted to sweets. I don’t like candies but I love chocolate and ice cream so much. I can finish an entire pint of ice cream in an hour. I can finish a bag of fun-sized Twix in a day eventhough I know that it’ll make me sick later on. I’m going to die of Diabetes.” October 2001
Oh my gosh, I don’t even know where to start with this one. I mean, you don’t even get diabetes by eating too much sweets- end of the story.
“I sometimes think to myself, ‘So, what is life? Since I only live once, should I not enjoy it to the fullest? Why am I torturing myself with all this stress when I should be doing more exciting things with my life?’
I’ve been contemplating the true meaning of life a lot lately. I feel like I’ve been trapped inside a bird cage. When people used to warn me how hard it will be to work and attend school full time, I tried to ignore them even when they told me that I would have no social life and no time to do anything for fun. I’ve now been living this life for about three months now. While I’m proud of myself, I’m worried how much longer I will be able to continue doing this, because honestly, I’m dying already, getting sick every two weeks or so. I sometimes can’t even find time to eat. It’s just amazing how things have been keeping me so busy these days. And when I finally get to have some time to myself, I’m either doing homework or chatting online (what?!??! hahha). Maybe I should take a break and go away for a little while… I shouldn’t be stretching myself too thin… It really makes me think again- what is life? Is my ultimate goal in life to make so much money? Would wealth really make me happy?” October 2001
Fortunately, there seems to have been more profound days requiring a bit more brain activity:
“I’m slowly discovering more about myself. Ever since I’ve gone back to school, I’ve realized how much not of a school-person I am (come again? I guess I meant I didn’t like school… but I ended up doing two more years of schooling AFTER getting my college degree, so never say never, guys). I mean, I admit that I like my English class out of all the classes I’m taking right now. I’ve discovered that I actually enjoy writing and applying my analytical skills to writing assignments. I really had no idea that I actually did like to write. When I first started college a few years ago, I thought I’d do really bad in English so I had put it aside until now. It’s funny because I thought I was more of a math person when I’m on a verge of failing Calculus at the moment…” November 2001
Well, this was totally enlightening: not all Asians are good at math.
“I’m assuming everyone is writing about the same topic today.
It was about 8:45AM, I was on a New Jersey bound bus crossing the George Washington Bridge. I was running a little late, and as a result, couldn’t find a seat on the bus. So here I was, breathless from running, hoping to be able to make it to work on time.
When we were crossing the bridge, the bus driver pointed at this tall building in lower Manhattan which was caught on fire and burning with grey and black smoke coming out of it. At first, I thought there was some type of explosion in the building and didn’t care much. But as I took a look at the scene more carefully, I started seeing a huge hole in the middle of the building. I wondered what had happened, but then didn’t really think that it would turn into a national tragedy. As soon as I got into my office, I turned on the TV and was able to find out what really had happened to the building, and that it was the World Trade Center. And the news started getting worse. I was shocked by the fact that the explosion was not the reason of the fire but that a highjacked plane had crashed into the building. As I was finding out more information on this horrible event, another plane crashed into the other part of the building. How horrifying the scene was… all I could say was, “Oh. My. God.”
About 20 minutes after the incident, both of the buildings collapsed. It was as if I was watching one of those movies. I just could not believe my eyes. These buildings were one of the tallest and most heavily occupied buildings in NYC. They definitely had a significant presence in the city and it was the central nerve of the financial district.
Markets closed and there were no more trades. People were horrified and shocked. Roughly thousands of people are either still trapped inside the rumbles or have died. This is truly a sad and scary day for New York City…” September 11, 2001
My heart sank as I was reading about the event again not only because I can still clearly remember every little detail that happened that day, but because the entire nation of Korea is still mourning and hurting from what happened a few weeks ago. As I was reading my journal entry from the fateful day, I’m once again reminded how thankful I should be for every day that is given, everything that have been provided, and every single person that I have met and have formed a relationship with, as there is no way for me to know what will happen not just next month or next year, but tomorrow, or even the next minute. How much less of a procrastinator I should be, should I remember this truth on a daily basis. This is the exact reason why we need to strive to be better people every day in every possible way- and it begins with being nicer and kinder than we feel…
“No, I haven’t been lazy. I just can’t seem to be able to organize my life lately. I’m having a hard time keeping track of all the things that I have to do. I guess you can say that I’m going through a severe case of depression (but what the heck do you know about depression?!?! lol). Nothing exciting happens in my life anymore (umm… you are only 20..?). Guys bore me and parties suck. No more words need to be said. It must be depressing for the reader too (umm… you mean your one and only reader? Mr. King, are you here?) when the only thing a writer insists on writing about is how depressed and stressed she is. I wish there was a way to get a diploma without having to take these ridiculous amounts of courses (Try graduate school?). It only wears me down. I learn more at work (yeah, right). I personally think that school work is just not relevant to work (see if you feel the same way five years later). I don’t care what others say, that’s me. I’m just so fed up. I’m thinking about transferring to NYU to enroll in their evening courses in communication technology with an emphasis on online marketing (I don’t know why but this sounds so ridiculous now that ten years have passed. What did they teach in that program anyway, How to make friends on My Space?). It sounds like a lot of fun to me. I’ll be attending their prospective students session in December. I just hope they will help me find financial assistance (Um… if you had stopped buying all those things you didn’t need, while living in a $1500/month studio in Manhattan, maybe you could have paid for your own tuition? I mean, after all, why switch schools when you don’t even value college education in first place? What is wrong with me? Oh, I forgot, I had a severe case of “I’m young, naive and materialistic” disease.).” November 2011
“I had a photo shoot yesterday. It wasn’t anything big, I just did a favor for someone I knew. The guy who works at my optometrist’s office (what?! so random) asked me if I can model for his friend’s portfolio. I told him that I had done a few before so it wouldn’t be a big deal. Eventhough I didn’t get paid for it, it was a good experience and I had fun doing it.” October 2001
Was that entertaining enough for you? It sure was for me. I know I was one naive girl but what truly appalls me is to realize how determined I was to succeed in life without even having a thorough understanding of the true meaning of “success” at the time- it’s almost scary to imagine what would have happened if I had stayed in New York and got everything I wanted in life. While I’m thankful for my experience in the big city, what happened after I moved back home in California is what really helped me shape who I am today, that which humbled me and helped me realize the true meaning of success and happiness. Perhaps we can get to this side of the story in a future post… but I can assure you that it was during these times that I finally learned about the purpose of life, which was the biggest unanswered question I had ever come across, one that used to keep me up every night back in college days.
Lace button up blouse and dress by Yuna Yang, Pearl bracelet from a tiny accessory shop in Sam-Cheong-Dong, Seoul, Sling back snake skin sandals by Massimo Dogana, and a favorite past issue of Harper’s Bazaar
There are those who create to make this world a better place by contributing in a tangible way; then there are those who do so in an intangible form, such as artists who offer thought-provoking creations that inspire and educate.
As many of us are aware, fashion is where both meet, as it produces works that are not only aesthetically inspiring yet wearable, while contributing to the world economy by creating jobs for millions. Funny though, I only realized the latter while watching the movie “The Devil Wears Prada,” when Miranda Priestly gets mad at Andrea for being unable to differentiate between two belts that practically look the same- now, I’m not a movie fan, I can rarely keep my eyes open for the entire duration of a typical movie unless it’s a certain genre, say romantic comedy or based on a true story… but this one I only remember because I watched it twice… and of course, I could barely remember anything from the first time I watched it. Anyhow, so in contrast to what many believe, fashion actually isn’t just for the special clique who buy expensive things and wear extravagant fur while constantly chatting about what’s hot and not, but it exists for every one of us, whether we are into it or not. We are all affected by it in a way or another, sometimes subconsciously or even completely unknowingly. I mean, we can all easily locate an acquaintance who works in the industry, right? If anything, who doesn’t get dressed every morning, or every night to go to bed? Surprise, yes- fashion exists EVERYWHERE.
On that note, as someone who’s attended numerous fashion shows, while all are somewhat amusing and few inspiring, there are those that leave an imprint in your head. It’s the collection that keeps coming back no matter how many shows you see afterward, no matter how many images you come across on the internet. Somehow, you just know when you come across the pieces where you saw it, when you saw it, and who the designer is. Yuna Yang is one of them: despite the show’s being held at an offsite venue that was a few blocks away from Lincoln Center, her F/W ’14 collection is one to not only remember, but to pay special attention to, because it’s nothing like what I had seen, or have seen… Okay, it’s not the Comme des Garcons-kind-of-”different” we are talking about here; C’mon- is it even possible to get to that level for anyone besides Rei Kawakubo herself? But yeah, Yuna Yang’s stuff is different in a refreshing way, they are artistic, well-thought-out, inspirational, yet totally wearable for even the not-so-fashion-forward. Is that even possible, you ask. According to Yang, it is.
Using Miao culture in southwest China as an inspiration, Yang transforms their folk customs and traditions into wearable art by incorporating key characteristics of the culture in which every creature both animate and inanimate are alive and spiritual while maintaining her specialty: To craft couture-quality gowns that embrace modernism, using delicate lace and beads.
If you are like me, the “Miao Culture” theme, or more specifically “Butterfly Mother” is not the easiest idea to grasp, as attempting to instantly understand a culture that’s been around for hundreds of years is honestly impossible, and secondly, to understand it well enough to interpret and explain it in your own way which in this case is wearable form takes time. I guess what helped me most in my attempt is the part in which everything in life is noted as “alive” including mountains, rivers, trees, and the rest of traditionally lifeless objects.
What surprised many of Yuna Yang’s fans is her decision to incorporate casual elements into the collection, which is quite a departure from her previous collections, especially Spring/Summer which was predominantly high-end evening dresses featuring French lace possibly reserved for special occasions. While the reaction is understandable and somewhat expected, what is a designer when she’s unable to explore and have fun? Personally, I believe as long as the designer’s signature element remains in the collection and is recognizable, she should have the freedom to reach out and discover new realms… After all, it is a designer’s job to present new ideas, which is only possible by traveling the unknown.
All in all, this was an exotic collection that was unforgettable; it was nothing like anything I’ve seen, including the subsequent ones that happened (Yuna Yang was held on the first day of NYFW). While some of the pieces are not for the fainthearted, there are ones that qualify as daily wear such as the Neoprene hoodies and sweatshirts with lace details and embellishments. If anything, this collection proved that Yuna is where she is because she isn’t afraid to take risks and try different things- but then again, with such impressive background and skill set, she’s allowed to be adventurous. Major respect to those who stay true to themselves and do their thing no matter what- yes, the ones who make the “real” difference in the world.
Learn more about Yuna Yang.
We were invited to New York based Korean designer Yuna Yang’s party in Sinsa this past week to celebrate the launch of her new collection at Han Style in collaboration with jewelry designer, Cindy Yoon.
Yuna, known for her exceptional skills in harmoniously balancing traditional couture with a modern perspective, her Yuna Yang collection can be best described as high-end ‘Young Couture’ targeting women who seek elegance and beauty that is long-lived. These are pieces that you buy as a special gift for yourself, to be worn for the rest of your life on those special days. In that sense, Yuna is all about creating pieces that take you places, just as her journey as a fashion designer was perfected through her experience in three different continents: she was educated in Korea, Italy, and England.
On that note, each design is considered an art piece with a story, inspired by different cultures and people she’s met along the way.
Not that Yuna’s collection is already fantastic enough, this collection is a collaborative effort with Cindy Yoon, known better as a singer and actress, who also happens to be a talented stylist and a jewelry designer. Apparently, Yuna was the one who approached her first after seeing her piece, asking if she would design some jewelry to be given to guests at one of her shows. When that went well, Yuna suggested that they collaborate for New York Collection, and just like that, “I” became “We” and this collection is not only a reflection of hard work but a beginning of something new and wonderful for both Yuna Yang and Cindy Yoon.
It’s always so much fun trying on clothes. Oh, the perks of being a girl. Wearing Yuna Yang silk skirt.
Actress Jeon Hye-bin (who, by the way, was absolutely breathtakingly gorgeous) and her fan boys.
It’s all in the details!
Had no idea but this top & skirt combo happened to be the same outfit actress Byun Jung-Soo wore to actress Lee Bo-Young’s wedding a few weeks ago. Click here for photo.
I felt so pretty in them!
My childhood idol, actress Hwang Shin-Hye, who now follows me on Instagram! Omg. You have no idea how excited I was when I saw her ID pop up on my feed. She’s so sweet as opposed to her rather “cold” image she’s known for (due to the roles she usually plays in dramas, not her fault!)… I’m now even bigger of a fan… and trust me, she does not age! She just doesn’t, period.
Gold Silk Tulle Dress as worn by actress Han Chae Young paired with Cindy Yoon pearl necklace.
Cindy’s beautiful handmade jewelry pieces consisting of pearl, metal, and stone to reflect Yuna Yang’s ’1920′s shape meets modern art’ concept.
In Yuna Yang plaid pants as worn by Kendall Jenner in Seventeen magazine.
Amid celebrities (there were actually Lee Bo-Young and Oh Yoon-Ah at the party as well, who kindly refused to be photographed- bummer), there was one woman who singularly stood out… a make up artist who dresses in vintage Comme des Garcons… Kind of never imagined such person would exist… I don’t know, it’s just a super rare combination. Amazing style, absolutely amazing.
Check out Yuna Yang x Cindy Yoon Collection at
Seoul Gangnam-gu, Sinsa-dong 645-26 2F