Wednesday, June 24, 2015

"Oh! Let's Get Lost"

Playing: Daydreamer - Bipolar Sunshine
Reading: Tender is the Night by F. Scott Fitzgerald
After seeing so much of the Costume Institute on Hamish Bowle's Instagram, I couldn't hep but want to see it for myself. However, I never got the chance during any of my family jaunts to New York. Consequently, it was one of the first places I checked out when I started at NYU. At the time, it was their "Death Becomes Her" exhibit, which chronicled mourning clothing. Interesting but not what I expected at all. Half a dozen Met trips later, I made a point of seeing the "China:Through the Looking Glass" exhibit before heading back to SoCal. It was amazing how the Met set up labyrinthine pathways that took you from traditional homes to mirrored hallways all showcasing Chinese influence on Western design. Overall, I enjoyed the exhibit and the chance to see so many pieces from John Galliano, Tom Ford, and Jean Paul Gaultier. Even though the exhibit did include pieces from other brands like Valentino and Rodarte, I would have liked to see more from other designers other than the three previously mentioned.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

"A moment you'll never remember..."

Reading: The Buried Giant by Kazuo Ishiguro

Since I'm done with my first year at NYU and no longer have a proper excuse for neglecting the blog, I thought I'd write something up quickly. 

Have you ever found that you become ten times more productive/adventurous when you know time is running out? Well, that's what happened to me when I realized that I only had a month left before heading back to SoCal. My last month consisted of running off to finally try the famous afternoon tea at the Plaza and exploring more of Central Park (I went three times!). I also managed a visit to the David Zwirner Gallery to check out my favorite artist's, Yayoi Kusama's, "Obliteration Room" and a stop at Chanel's "No. 5 in a New Light" exhibit.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Met Gala: China Through the Looking Glass

Playing: Tongues-Joywave
Reading: Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been? by Joyce Carol Oates
When I first heard the theme for this year's Met Gala, "China: Through the Looking Glass," I cringed a bit. As an Asian-American, I was worried that fashion's biggest event would make a mockery of Chinese culture because let's face it - it's a fine line between celebrating a foreign culture and being racist. I was afraid that Chinese fashion would be shown in costume-y and cheesy ways that would make it hard for Asians to feel genuine pride in their culture.
However, to my surprise, many attendees actually came in tasteful attire that hinted to the Chinese theme without being obnoxious. My personal favorite was Anna Ewers' outfit because it was chic even outside of the Asian context of the night. I loved how her kanzashi-esque hair piece served as subtle reminder of the night's theme without coming off cheesy. Rita Ora's Tom Ford dress also impressed me in the way that its structural shoulders reminded me of a qipao yet it was still a dress that could be worn to any function.
While there were plenty of classy renditions of Chinese dresses like Zhang Ziyi's Caroline Herrera gown and Bee Shaffer's sakura print Alexander McQueen, there were still enough gowns to leave me feeling slightly offended, as if the Chinese theme of the night was taken as an opportunity to put on some sort of a costume. Model Karolina Kurkova's Tommy Hilfiger mini-dress left me feeling especially offended because of its cheesy interpretation of Chinese clothing. Don't you feel like it's too cliche to just show up in a red satin dress with some gold brocade and call it Chinese? It just felt like something you would find in a touristy Chinatown gift shop.
Arguably, Rihanna's dress is just as costume-y as Kurkova's. However, there are two big differences in my mind why Rihanna's outfit was acceptable and why Kurkova's wasn't. First of all, Rihanna is known for her avant-garde taste in fashion, so I saw her dress as more of an appreciation of a work of art rather than a costume. Second of all, Rihanna's dress is from a Chinese designer, Guo Pei. Who am I to argue over the "correct" representation of Chinese culture with another Chinese person?
With that distinction in mind, I couldn't help but wonder, why not just take the easy route for this year's Met Gala and wear a dress from an Asian designer? Isn't that the easiest (and least offensive) way to pay homage to Asian culture?  It's not like you would have to go as extreme as Guo Pei's cape or anything, since there are plenty of luxurious and chic Asian designers to choose from like: Richard Chai, Prabal Gurung, Derek Lam, Philip Lim, Anna Sui, Alexander Wang, Vera Wang, and Jason Wu. I just felt like considering how many amazing Asian designers there are, it was disappointing to see so few Asian brands represented at the gala, considering the theme.

Photo Sources- 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

Saturday, March 28, 2015

spring break photo diary

Playing: Hurricane-MisterWives
Reading: Tortilla Flat by John Steinbeck (Amazing book!)
Instead of heading back home over spring break, I took a trip along the East Coast with a group of friends, stopping off at Washington D.C., Baltimore, and Philadelphia. Unfortunately, I was sick for most of Washington D.C. and Baltimore. However, I really enjoyed Philadelphia. It wasn't my first time there as I've been there twice before, but I had just forgotten how beautiful Philadelphia can be. On the second day we were there, we visited the Philadelphia Art Museum and walked along the Schuylkill River Trail and wow, it was beyond stunning. The classical style of the Fairmount Water Works and museum buildings contrasted with the modern skyline is just a beautiful sight to see. Baltimore has a more subtle sense of beauty and wonderment than Philly has. Its landmarks and tourist spots aren't as well known and obvious in terms of importance to American history, but it was rare jewels like the American Visionary Art Museum that made me enjoy my time there. The AVAM felt like a collection of relics from my childhood, represented by glittering objects and animated folk art.

Picture: 1-DC War Memorial, 2-Fort McHenry, 3-AVAM, 4-Fairmount Water Works, 5-Honeygrow, 6-Meeting Kazuo Ishiguro at the Free Library, 7-Philadelphia City Hall