Waiting.

Waiting.

IMG_20160119_002122 (1)

You’re cruel. You know I hate waiting. And you also know that, although I loathe it, I’d still wait a million years for you.

Hopeful.

Hopeful.

IMG_4053.JPG

She was hopeful; hopeful that she might someday be different. Maybe this wasn’t all. There’s probably more to life than grey slabs and repetition. Maybe one day she’d find that she could be more than her past. But then again, maybe not.

IMG_4047

IMG_4046

This is the type of atrocity that is happening here in my country.

As you can see by the title, today’s post is a rant.

*First of all, I’d like to clarify that I am ranting on this not because I am unpatriotic but because the very fact that things like this are happening in my vicinity shocks me and sends shudders down my spine, especially as a female human being. I thought I lived in a fairly mature, civilized place. Also, I’d like to point out that trying to cover up radical problems like this from the ‘rest of the global community’ is never the solution. (I mean, the only distinguishable reason why the court decision that I’m about to talk about was flipped over eventually was because other people were outraged and showed concern.)*

Let me take you through what happened.

 

A) WHAT HAPPENED?

It was reported in November that a male third-year medical school student of Chosun University’s school of medicine brutally beat up his girlfriend(media referred to her by her surname but revealing any part of the identity of the victim is ridiculous so I’ll call her the ‘girlfriend’) because apparently she ‘answered the phone insincerely’ when he called late at night.

 

B) HOW BRUTALLY?

The male student was so angry that his girlfriend showed an ‘insincere’ attitude for calling late at night that he went to her house at 3 a.m. He kicked and strangled her. He spat in her face and slapped her face over 200 times. He uttered “It feels great knowing that I can finally kill you.” He locked her up and beat her continuously for over four and a half hours. The girlfriend was left with two broken ribs, among other injuries on her body including her face.

C) **”SO DID SHE CLEARLY SHOW RESISTANCE? COZ, U KNOW, IF SHE DIDN’T THEN OBVIOUSLY SHE WAS ASKING FOR IT.” –> This was a court decision made in Korea-that ‘since the woman didn’t resist actively(whatever that’s supposed to mean), the man that forced his genitals inside of hers is innocent and did not commit rape’. Seriously. (And yes, this really was a real court case in Korea.) (I really hope I don’t need to explain WHY I am outraged about it but I will if I feel the need to in another post)**

Anyways, back to this case. The girlfriend was able to record the incident(THANK GOD, in a court like this!- otherwise…I’d bet 100,000 won that the court would’ve asked her something along the lines of ‘oh but did you resist against him properly?’ or ‘did you trigger his anger?’)  and was also able to report to the police at sunrise, after the male student-criminal-boyfriend had fallen asleep.

 

D) AND THEN WHAT HAPPENED TO THE GUY?

Oh, trust me this is the fun part of the story. (sarcasm duh)

Although prosecution handed him over to the court, demanding two years of imprisonment, in the first trial it was ruled that “SINCE IT WOULD CAUSE HIM TO BE EXPELLED FROM MEDICAL SCHOOL AND WOULD DISCOURAGE HIS DREAM OF BECOMING A DOCTOR, LET’S JUST GIVE HIM PROBATION AND A FINE!” by the Gwangju District Court.

After an uprising of fury from netizens, Chosun University declared that it would ‘try to minimize the harm done to the victim’ but it is unclear how exactly the university dealt with the criminal-male.

Also, apparently a ministry official from the Korean Ministry of Education said, “Disciplinary action of students depends on each school’s rules,” and “As the university decided to punish him, the ministry will not take additional measures, but we’ll look into whether they properly applied their rules.”

Forgodssake.

Later a screenshot of the criminal-male-student’s friends’ Kakaotalk was revealed. It showed that his friends were calling the victim ‘deserving’ and a ‘bitch'(cannot directly translate swearwords but I tried) and were criticizing her for ‘taking his life down’.

 

E) SO WHAT HAPPENED TO THE GIRL

The ‘girlfriend’ experienced a severe anxiety disorder(obviously) and asked her school(she was a classmate of the ‘boyfriend’) to readjust her class schedule so that she wouldn’t have to encounter the guy in class. But the school said that they would not interfere with their ‘personal relationship’ and denied her request.

*Ring a bell? Ahem-ahem, Columbia? #carrythatweight *

 

F) MY FINAL THOUGHTS

This court case is one that makes me feel that my society is one that promotes a man’s ‘dreams and aspirations’ more than the vicious violence that occurs to a woman, that upholds the job of ‘being a doctor’ as something so holy that even criminal violence cannot taint it, that silently agrees to violence when “she deserved it”.

No one ever deserves violence. Especially not your girlfriend, your boyfriend, someone you claim to ‘love’.

However, this case is also one that gave me hope that I still have the power to fight back against primitive, barbaric court rulings with my everlasting team-internet folks. Most people were outraged at the court ruling and reading the furious comments of these people reminded me that I am not alone in this urge to change what is wrong. : )

 

Interview with YG KPlus model Eun-suh Cho!

She’s from the hottest model agency in Korea, YG KPlus, she’s on the latest issue of Marie Claire, and she’s only 17. I was able to reach her through fellow YG K-Plus model Jae-young Oh (thank you!).

Us both being students with school coming up the next week, our situation didn’t lead us to a face-to-face meet-up, but fortunately I still got the opportunity to have a chat with her online.

instagram.com/pine_a.pple/

image (1)

K: Hi Eun-suh! I think I’ve seen you a couple times in brand lookbooks/catalogues! What type of work have you done so far since your debut?

E: Yeah, I’ve been in lookbooks and catalogues for fashion brands and I’ve also done a runway show!

K: Cool. From what age have you been modeling, and were you parents supportive at first? When and how were you admitted(?) into your current agency, YG KPlus?

E: I started modeling at YG KPlus this March, and my parents have always been extremely supportive of my budding career. I attended YG KPlus’s model academy and got into the agency as an actual working model on the last day of the academy program by passing an audition.

K; Is there a special experience or event that made you decide that modeling is the thing for you?

E: In 9th grade, I coincidentally came across a photo of the model Won-joong Kim(김원중). It made me realize how cool modeling can be and inspired me to become one myself. Ever since, I’ve been interested in the fashion world.

11792103_1613864492222614_8034425458882769539_o

…Well, he is called ‘God-Won-joong’ for a reason.

K: Right now you’re in the 10th grade, right? I imagine it must be hard to balance school and your modeling career. How do you do it? What’s the hardest thing about being a model and a high school student at the same time?

E: To be honest, I’ve basically given up on my studies, haha. I live in Chungju, which is quite far away from Seoul, so it’s hard to commute to and from modeling work. Also, since I’m a student it’s tiring to have to take all the steps to get official paperwork done to skip school to model on weekdays.

K: That’s understandable, I guess. When you have work in Seoul, do you go alone?

E: Yes.

K: Wow that does sound hard-although I’m definitely not a model, as a high school student living far away from school I think I get an idea of how annoying it must be… so what do your friends say about you being a model? They’re probably pretty envious, right?

E: They’re really interested in my career and they are envious, actually, because I already have a set path/dream, and that’s not common for most kids my age.

image (3)

K: Have you ever received negative comments or prejudices as a model?

E: No, never! Everyone around me was super supportive.

K: So how does this whole model agency stuff work? Seriously, there are teenagers that would kill to have a spot at a huge management company like YG KPlus. Tell us all what the modeling agency life is like! Is it worth it? In what way exactly does an agency like YG KPlus help you and your career?

E: Ever since becoming a YG KPlus model, I’ve definitely been able to access a wider variety of modeling opportunities and photoshoots etc than before.

K: How often do you visit the YG KPlus building? When you’re there do you get to see other YG models like Sung-kyung Lee(이성경) or Joo-hyuk Nam(남주혁)?

E: I live in Chungju, so I only go to my agency when I have time during my modeling work trips to Seoul. So far I’ve never seen Sung-kyung Lee or Joo-hyuk Nam there.

K: Are you allowed to freely say no to work that your agency makes you do?

E: I’ve never said no before.

K: What does ‘being a model’ mean to you?

E: Well, I just think it’s the thing I’m going to be doing in the future.

K: Then what type of modeling do you want to do in the future? Do you have a role model model (no pun intended)?

E: Yes, Won-joong Kim! Right now I’m hoping to walk at least one runway at Seoul Fashion Week.

image

K: Lots of models are turning to other things like acting or singing, especially since modeling isn’t something you can do your whole life. Are you planning on doing that too, later on?

E: I am open to the option. I might try out other things later after lots of preparation.

K: It’s a well known fact that the modeling industry is packed with intense competition –have you experienced extreme competition against other models in your agency or against other agencies?

E: I just think, ‘what am I doing?’ when I see other 17-year-olds actively working as successful models and it makes me realize I should work harder.

K: In your opinion, what’s the most important factor to becoming a successful model?

E: I’m not yet in the place to dish out advice since I’m still learning myself, but I personally think a model’s ‘image’ is the most important thing.

K: So what’s your image?

E: Hmmmm….. Lively/cute? Lol I don’t know.

11218921_1621248188150911_5035471030968271736_n

K: What’s your strength, as a model in the industry?

E: My physical endurance.

K: Do you exercise and/or go on diets for your modeling?

E: I don’t diet normally but I do go on short-term diets before photoshoots. For exercise I just go to the gym.

K: Last question! What do you think the strengths/weaknesses of the current Korean fashion industry are, and what differences are there between the Korean fashion scene and the abroad?

E: Haha… I’ve never really thought about that before.

11875187_1615396355402761_1043373287529915185_o

Good luck to Eun-suh : )

I sneaked backstage at a fashion show!

11880215_1137847006245467_1086667157_n

Ever felt the urge to break into the backstage of a fashion show and see what on earth goes on behind that runway? Well, worry no more-I’ve done it for you. And I didn’t get caught.

Behind the scenes; behind the spotlight

As some of you already know, for the past few months, I’ve been working for Korea Style Week, which is the more accessible, B2B(buyer-to-buyer) version of Seoul Fashion Week. This season’s Style Week took place in COEX(in Gangnam, Seoul) a few days ago, and I was invited(obviously, I worked for them). I’ve been to Korea Style Week a few times before, once two years ago having to sneak out during class to see the Korean designer Ko Tae yong (see post by young Konni about it here). I’ve evolved a lot since then, since I no longer have to sneak around to go to fashion events lest people should mock (everyone close to me now is very supportive of my fashion career). BUT on Sunday, I had the chance to feel that tingling feeling of secretly tiptoeing around to get a more intimate glimpse into fashion. I sneaked backstage during the Korea Style Week runway show!

I figured if I got caught I could pull out the ‘I worked for the Korea Style Week blog!’ card, although I think even so I wasn’t supposed to actually go backstage during the fashion shows.

IMG_4733

(this was the entrance.)

Okay, deep breath, I tell myself. This is going to be a fun adventure! I’ll just keep exploring until I get kicked out. After all, no one in the fashion world succeeds by following the rules, if there even are any, right? The moment I entered, I just saw a bunch of makeup artists lounging around with their phones, looking pretty bored. I walked past them, nodding and smiling as if to say ‘yeah, I’m just one of you guys, keep working, don’t mind me!’ (They stared for a while, probably because judging from my shortness and chubbiness they made out that I wasn’t one of the models, but I didn’t look chic enough to be one of the designers, so who was I? But they turned back to their phones.)

IMG_4693

(backstage. succeeded in entering without looking too weird.)

The first thing I noticed backstage was the models. Oh what beautiful, unrealistic creatures models are.

No matter how lovely, unique, or bursting with personality a model is, there’s one collective aura that they all share in common, and that’s the aura of intimidation. Even though it’s not the first time I’ve talked to a real live one(yes, the nuance IS that they’re a different species) I can’t help but give away my nervousness in the subtle tremor of my voice or my awkward smile as I ask for them to pose for a photo. Physical traits do certainly influence human interaction, I think, as I bend my knees, tilting my head to eye those long limbs through an old Canon Rebel.

IMG_4645

(models running around in heels, backstage. pretty artistic shot, no?)

IMG_4691 IMG_4692

(It was scary to even ask them to pose; they were all at least 20cms taller than me in those heels)

IMG_4652

(a model making sure she’s ready to get on stage. I wonder how it would feel to look in the mirror when you’re a model. I wonder if they look at themselves and take their bodies apart, criticizing themselves for their physical flaws like most of us do.)

IMG_4653

IMG_4647

Overall it was pretty hectic; after all, the main objective here is to GET THE MODELS ON STAGE, ON TIME, LOOKING FLAWLESS. No one really payed much attention to me because they were all busy doing their own thing, playing their part to keep the show running. It’s not as glamorous a process as I thought it would be.

IMG_4703

(the runway seems a lot more accessible and familiar from this perspective. Just a few stairs and you’re on the magical fashion pedestal.)

When the models are all lined up and the show starts to heat up, it gets quieter backstage because everyone’s so focused on monitoring the show. The director was constantly running to and fro, waving a bunch of papers with the show schedule and details around. She had a pretty intense look on her face, and she was busy talking to each person about precisely what they were supposed to do at exactly what time.

But of course, none of this frenzy is reflected on the actual runway. All we usually get to see is the models calmly doing the catwalk, looking like they’ve got their stuff together.

IMG_4668

(The outfits were colorful and totally weird, but I like weird.)

IMG_4674

IMG_4654

(and then there are the people that have to sit and take care of all the digital stuff, lighting, sound, photography etc.)

IMG_4737

After getting a few shots of the models and the people that do all the digital, techno-work (bless those people! no one ever seems to notice them but they work so hard to put important parts of the fashion show together), I wandered around to observe everything else.

A box filled with ‘밥버거'(rice burgers; a pretty popular snack/meal here in Korea. They’re literally burgers with rice instead of bread.) at the entrance raised my eyebrows; I thought models didn’t eat fatty foods, especially during show season. But then a scene from The September Issue where a pin-thin model cheekily looks at the camera during a shoot and eats pie(pie! The ultimate carb-filled, gluten-loaded, evil food! I’m being sarcastic.) comes to mind, reminding me that we’re all human and should all be let off the hook to eat whatever we want sometimes. (And I enjoyed that thought as I munched on my Burger King burger after the show. I have an unhealthy relationship with their long chicken burger.)

I was trying to get a shot of the rice burgers to show you guys when I was interrupted by something much more intriguing-A BACKSTAGE MODEL FIGHT! Well, okay, it wasn’t a fight, it was just a conflict. But I was still excited. I witnessed a model surrounded by girls, shouting to another model across the corridor about something related to the sequence that they were supposed to do on the runway. The atmosphere turned from hectic and lively to serious-mode, and I heard some of the staff trying to figure out what to do with the runway sequence. “We can’t have the lights turn off without the model on stage!”, I remember the stage director saying. I’d imagined model fights to be much more physical or loud, but from my experience(of sitting around on the big black electric sound boxes(amplifiers?) for an hour or so-yeah, I know, such a foundation to judge) conflicts backstage were more…civilized.

IMG_4696

IMG_4640

Amid the messy stacks of clothes and hangers and personal belongings of staff members, there was another large group of humans, other than models, that intimidated me. The designers. These were the people that I was actually dying to talk to, rather than the models. I love talking to people about their creative process and inspiration for their craft; believe me, talking to someone about their art really reveals a lot about a person’s life values and perspectives. However, as busy as they were, they looked so immersed in the show, making sure their creations were properly represented to the public eye, that I just couldn’t get myself to pop their ‘bubble’ of concentration. What I did get to to, though, was ask a designer for a photo and exchange blog addresses! Hopefully I’ll get to properly have a separate conversation with her soon.

IMG_4713

(designers dress fabulously, obviously.)

As thrilling and exciting being backstage a fashion show is, sneaking around gets exhausting after a while. I went out to enjoy the many exhibitions by brands.

IMG_4724

A brand called LUVX seemed to be the main show here. They had a giant, weird booth in the middle of the whole exhibition hall and are actually pretty well-known among younger Koreans, considering the fact that I’ve seen their designs before, and I’m usually the last person to know about new hot Korean brands that idols are seen wearing.

IMG_4630

Walking around on my favorite dirty old pair of Skechers, I saw some designs (and people) that I really liked.

IMG_4726

(She caught my eye because she was tan, unlike most Korean fashion-conscious people these days (everyone here dotes on the classic pale Asian face), and because she had mint-blue highlights on the hair beneath her ears.

“So you’re here all day?”

“Yeah, you can take shifts but I don’t have a partner here so I’ve taken care of this booth each day, all day.”

“Isn’t it hard?”

“It’s doable. But don’t take pictures too close up; I haven’t got any makeup on.”)

IMG_4723

IMG_4721

IMG_4725

IMG_4716

IMG_4745

IMG_4683

IMG_4707

IMG_4715

IMG_4680

(I have no idea what ‘IRONY PORN’ means and, honestly, I really don’t want to find out)

IMG_4734

(model off duty!)

Overall, last Sunday was a glorious day filled with fun, thrill, and awe…which left me with sore feet and utter exhaustion (I’m usually a total insomniac but I fell straight asleep after coming home from Korea Style week), but that’s okay because it was a meaningful experience, both in terms of my fashion career and my life as a whole.

11874075_1138008322896002_1187526102_n

And speaking of my fashion career, I’ve started working on my eBay partnership this week!

Wouldn’t be possible without you readers. I love you!

Working for Korea Style Week and my eBay partnership

10888381_721818904628623_3718836632285451336_n

(Korea Style Week started today! I’m excited to go and meet Kim Na-young this weekend…)

I slyly added ‘working for Korea Style Week’ to my profile, but I never really got the chance to explain the whole experience to you guys, so I decided –since it’s all hot and stuffy and my air conditioner is broken (ugh) and so my brain is incapable of coming up with new ideas for blog projects at the moment– I’d take this chance to talk about the stuff I’m doing while running this blog and what opportunities I’m faced with at the moment. I feel like, as readers, you guys have the right to know what’s happening.

I’m working as an editor (part of the ‘supporters’ program) for Korea Style Week, which is the biggest fashion fair in Korea. Numerous fashion brands get together and show off their latest collections through runway shows and exhibitions, and well-known fashion designers, models, and celebrities are invited to talk about their work and interact with the public (Kim Na-young is coming this time so I’m super excited!). But now it sounds like I’m advertising so I’ll shut up. It’s basically a few days of Korean fashionistas gathering to celebrate fashion that’s actually accessible, not arrogantly exclusive.

I’m the youngest one on the Korea Style Week team, so I was nervous at first but I’m actually having a great time! I write posts for the official Korea Style Week blog(in Korean-I’m told that my Korean writing is extremely awkward…maybe it’s because I’m so used to writing about fashion in English?), I promote participating brands online, I go to the hottest(both figuratively and literally-I WAS SWEATING LIKE A DONKEY) places in Gangnam(obviously you’ve heard of Gangnam…style) with other editors/photographers to get street style shots, and I translate press releases, newsletters, and business proposals. The translating is way harder than I expected. It turns out I can be fluent in Korean and English respectively but I’m still slow at switching from one to the other. I enjoyed the whole experience though and I feel like it’ll help me in the future.

I’ve also just become an eBay affiliate! I’m excited about this too because ePN(eBay Partnership Network) is one of the biggest programs for bloggers out there so this is definitely going to be the start of a whole line of new experiences. So much to work on this summer! : )

Interview with the editor of Pictorial Project: How she created the biggest fashion project of Korea

My 6 centimeter heels pounding on the hot pavement of the thriving Apgujeong neighborhood in Gangnam with its upbeat music blasting out of clothing stores on every block, I frantically adjusted my tattered plaid blouse and military-style jacket, cursing as I tried to wipe a smudge of Nesquik chocolate milk off my tights. I remember muttering “Oh **** Konni stop being so unprofessional,” every two minutes as I ran into a small path packed with indie clothing stores and Korean makeup shops and finally got to Coffee Arco, where I was supposed to meet Dahee Jung, the editor of the Korean fashion magazine Pictorial Project. (For those of you that don’t know, Pictorial Project is Korea’s biggest independent fashion photography project magazine.)

Having taken two crazy taxi rides to get there straight after class, my once neatly-combed hair was looking like a mound of garden weed and I could feel my makeup clinging off my sweat(gross, I know. Note to self-please, please bring a mirror to next interview meeting). Anyhow, I had gotten there, and as I took a deep breath and scanned the vintage-style cafe for the slim, dressed-in-black, mysterious-looking, twenty-something Pictorial Project magazine editor I had met back at the 5th Korea Style Week, I saw her in the corner, reading the latest issue of Avenue magazine with a cold latte in hand.

10333239_525566260903088_8369432535539139571_o

Absolutely stunning.

In her 4th year of university, she’s already the editor of a fashion magazine.

Unlike me, Dahee ‘unni’(a Korean term used when a girl refers to an older girl) was calm and poised, and I thought, “That’s how I wanna be when I go to university”-chic, independent, and open to new talent and new ideas(in this case, myself, as a young fashion blogger in the Korean fashion scene). Clumsily taking out my papers and voice recorder, I smiled nervously and started to ask Dahee unni about Pictorial Project and her fashion career journey.

“I knew I loved fashion, but I was skeptical of whether I had any real talent, so I made Pictorial Project to test my limits.”

PP was born in 2013 on Facebook! Dahee unni got together with about 40 people on Facebook who were interested in her personnel recruit post. Hearing this, I obviously had to ask-HOW? Unni, how did you get 40 people to work for your project when you were completely new to the industry? To this she replied, “Although we have an overflow of fashion projects right now, at the time there weren’t many project group businesses in the fashion field to begin with, so we had a fresher approach. I thought, ‘There must be other people out there with dreams similar to mine who are looking for that certain confirmation to carry on.’ ” What I found interesting about Pictorial Project as a magazine is that it didn’t actually start out as a magazine! Yup, that’s right-it wasn’t supposed to be a magazine, but rather a collection of photos that Dahee unni and her team of friends had worked on. Literally, a ‘Pictorial’ ‘Project’.

“And then we started to get offers from bookstores like Kyobo(the biggest bookstore line in Korea) that wanted to sell our stuff,”

10934059_431243537030377_4811415156153090973_n

1913281_422191544602243_2306461853172000148_o

Volume 4 of Pictorial Project recently got completely sold out in bookstores in Korea, and now Pictorial Project is on a two-month renewal in order to provide their readers with even more artistic goodness. When I asked about it, Dahee unni calmly explained that ever since the start of Pictorial Project, so many other project-based fashion groups have been on the rise, and all of them have started converging toward the same theme and the same goal. After the 2-moth renewal period, Pictorial Project will be back with Volume 5, and there will be more copies for a wider range of readers(D:”My original targeted reader base was people already working in the field, but most of our actual sales are made by high school or university students who are pursuing a future in the fashion industry.”), and start being distributed as a web-zine too. However, the original overall style of the magazine will not be changing any time soon, says Dahee unni- “Pictorial Project doesn’t really have one main style. We’re just a mix of a bunch of things from different designers and photographers, and as a team we’re all about respecting everyone’s individuality. I think it’s what makes us unique!”

KakaoTalk_Photo_2015-03-16-20-43-2710863776_440740529414011_34717059100503930_o

“FASHION X ART: We care about artistic sensitivity, more than anything.

“We focus on blending fashion and art together, rather than just showing readers what the latest trend is and what they should wear this season. I guess you could say we literally are more of a pictorial than an actual fully-functioning magazine. Also, we don’t usually work with brands or designers that are already super-famous. We work mainly with independent designers that are new to the fashion scene, to give them a platform to showcase their work.”

10842059_440740512747346_8133614425988289955_o (2)

‘What if a vegetarian works at the butcher’s?’

“I try to create fresh, original images based on the most random, craziest ideas. For example, one day I might wake up and think, ‘What if a vegetarian works at the butcher’s?’ and voila, there’s my next photoshoot. But then again I must admit that you can never truly create images that people have never ever seen before; different images go round and round and we see similar things again and again like with trends. It’s just a new individual perspective on the image.”

KakaoTalk_Photo_2015-02-20-19-38-36

Dahee unni at work

“Passion pay”

a Korean term to describe receiving little or no pay for one’s work;

a term recently increasingly used to describe the Korean fashion industry

“I used to get a few people here and there being worried for my future, questioning how I was going to make money with just fashion. The fashion industry is infamous for being tough; lots of people start off at the bottom of the ladder and get paid measly amounts of money. ‘Passion pay’ in Korea was also recently a huge issue… but I don’t think anyone around me really was totally against me working in the fashion industry. Everyone that knows me knows I’m an energetic, active person who likes to roam around and work.”

Near the end of our interview, we shared a lot of ideas about the Korean fashion industry (since we’re both a part of it). I couldn’t help but nod enthusiastically, once again realizing the importance of having a clear outlook on the fashion industry to be successful in it. She said, I think the Korean fashion industry is the most interesting in the world. We’re so extremely sensitive to the latest trends and what other people are wearing, so people tend to consume fashion extremely fast, even though we’re not even one of the 5 major global fashion districts. The problem here is that when people consume fast, they’re also quick to throw clothes away. So many people buy cheap clothes from indie brands or street stores and get rid of them when they go out of style. No one seems to wear anything for a long time, like people used to do in the past.”

10155775_401648593323205_2570408053516644413_n 10700235_394775287343869_2703985192112173680_o

“You mean magazines like Vogue, Cosmo, Elle, and W?”

Dahee unni sipped the last of her iced latte, smiling with her eyes, as I asked her about her views on mainstream magazines. I was genuinely curious of what someone who ran an artistic, individuality-based magazine would think of magazines that are targeted toward a more ‘popular’ and trend-based audience. Dahee unni was surprisingly very positive about all types of magazines, and I listened in awe, thinking ‘that’s how I want to be when I grow up’.

ME: “The fashion industry, especially the magazine sector, is under fire for promoting unrealistic body images and lookism standards, and I sometimes have friends that look down on fashion magazines because of their ‘lack of quality content’. What’s your stance on the whole issue?”

DAHEE UNNI: “You mean magazines like Vogue, Cosmopolitan, Elle, and W? I used to buy them and read through them when I was a kid and it would be really confusing. I would read a column in Vogue and be like, ‘the parade of a facade of luxury based on the latest trend which is… err what?’ And then I’d pick up a Cosmo and it would have so many different articles about different topics from celebrity gossip to a sophisticated piece on traditional Chanel eyeliner on the Paris runway and I’d never know what to read. But my thoughts changed completely after becoming an editor of a magazine myself. I began to understand fashion magazines properly. I think that while Vogue tends to stick to a certain concept or theme, Cosmopolitan also has it’s own style and it’s own story to tell. Every magazine shows what they can express best, and sometimes that just happens to be in line with modern beauty standards or the latest trends. And plus, there are lots of types of magazines… If you’re still young and need to read Vogue Girl but you’re reading Avenue, then you’re not really going to get much out of it. Similarly, if you want to see alternative artsy styles, you don’t look for it in Cosmopolitan.”

ME: “Hmm. That’s actually a really interesting point of view. So you don’t think there are any drawbacks with current..mainstream magazines?”

DAHEE UNNI: “Well, as a person who reads about five different magazines every month, I think there’s definitely a situation where each magazine is failing to be unique. Magazines that are more commercial tend to all have similar content, like what the latest trends are, how to get the guy/girl, what the latest beauty tips and tricks are, etc. I reckon it’s because magazines nowadays are desperate to fill up quantity, to make it sell.”

10468114_403478793140185_1237762392905346159_n

10247406_403478796473518_2024864888978092768_n

The Pictorial Project team working on a photoshoot

“You’re doing it wrong, you’re going to fail,”

To wrap up the interview, I asked Dahee unni for a bit of personal advice on how to make in the fashion world.

ME: “Since I go to a foreign language high school, some around me are surprised when I tell them I’m going to be a fashion magazine editor because it’s an uncommon dream for someone in my situation. Some people even tell me not to pursue fashion! What should I do?”

DAHEE UNNI: “I think that times have changed A LOT since the last generation. People used to have to follow the ‘regular’ route to success, and if they worked hard enough, everything would work out fine. But that’s really not the case anymore. We’re in an era where success isn’t determined by the amount of effort you put into following the traditional path to success; it just simply cannot be determined. There are too many variables in today’s society. The line between professionals and non-professionals is unclear, and talent is everywhere. For example, to become a fashion magazine editor, you used to have to start from the bottom of the fashion industry, doing basic labor, and become an assistant, and then if any slots were open for writers you’d work hard again to become a writer, and ultimately an editor. But I didn’t do that-I just did my own thing, even though people would often tell me, ‘you’re doing it wrong, you’re going to fail.’ I think that in today’s world, you need to do what you love because it’s not going to work any other way. If you do something you don’t truly love, you’re going to be beaten by the people who are in that field of work because they really love it and are competent. Plus, I’d personally say ‘do what you love, and money will come naturally.’ ”

10933986_432021090285955_4539712462142440681_n (1)

10952064_431197480368316_1464716555527057864_o

Back to the start: I first met Pictorial Project at the 5th Korea Style Week.

They had a partnership with Korea Style Week and their own booth.

Thank you to Pictorial Project and Dahee unni : )

I just got new sunglasses from Warby Parker!

It’s getting warmer, guys! And we all know that when it’s the spring/summer season, you’re tired, sweaty, and definitely not bothered to pick out an Anna-Wintour-approved ensemble, sunglasses are a MUST. Not only do they protect your eyes from those harmful UV rays(ugh!), they are also the best all-time fashion item. Ever. Whatever you’re wearing, whether it’s full-on classy or an i-just-got-out-of-bed jumble of old clothes, sunglasses will complement your look. Although in Korea wearing shades can sometimes be seen as ‘huh-sae‘, which is Korean for bluff or pretentiousness, no one can deny the fact that a pair of shades does make you look better than, well, however you looked without them. (Apparently this is scientifically proven-‘ooh’: psychologically, sunglasses add a layer of mystery to a person and therefore makes them look attractive because they’re covering the most important human body part of emotional communication-the eyes.)

So today I want to share with you the hottest, latest sunglasses collection that I found on the wonderful land of the internet, by the famous American eyewear brand Warby Parker! It’s called the Daydream Collection, which I think is the perfect name for a sunglasses line since when you’re wearing sunglasses you can daydream all you want and no one will ever know. If anyone’s looking for a bit of a mysterious-and-dreamy, high-fashion, or simply fun look, congratulations! You’re looking in the right place.

WP_Daydream_Collection_Couple

THE WARBY PARKER DAYDREAM COLLECTION

Available online from March 17 – which is today! Go get them glasses, guys : D

WP_Daydream_Collection_Topper_Crystal WP_Daydream_Collection_Abel_BurntLemonTortoise

Oh and just when you thought it couldn’t get any better-it turns out that not only do they have the best sunglasses for this season, they’re also an extremely respectable, trustworthy, me-approved(if my opinion means anything to you, that is, haha) brand. Their motto is to sell glasses at affordable prices-to everyone! Whenever you buy a pair, you’ll also be helping a nonprofit to work to give more people proper, affordable eyecare.

Every idea starts with a problem. Ours was simple: glasses are too expensive. We were students when one of us lost his glasses on a backpacking trip. The cost of replacing them was so high that he spent the first semester of grad school without them, squinting and complaining. (We don’t recommend this.) The rest of us had similar experiences, and we were amazed at how hard it was to find a pair of great frames that didn’t leave our wallets bare. Where were the options?

It turns out there was a simple explanation. The eyewear industry is dominated by a single company that has been able to keep prices artificially high while reaping huge profits from consumers who have no other options.

We started Warby Parker to create an alternative.

-Warby Parker

Sounds like something from a presidential speech, but nope, it’s just your favorite always-accessible(in LA, NYC, Boston, etc. and online) eyewear store.

What I especially love about their new Daydream Collection is not only the fact that they’re totally affordable, but also that they’re simple and chic AND they seem to draw attention at the same time. The collection is based on the most basic color tones and would go well with any outfit, but they’re definitely not boring, if you know what I mean.

4205

If I had a boyfriend, I’d buy these for him. They’re called Topper Striped Beach, and do they look dapper or do they look dapper?

6211

Now these I’d buy for myself. Actually Imma get them right now. I am in love with these- they’re called Piper Petal Tortoise, and the color tone is just the right shade of a transparent pink-ish color with a chic petal design. They’re not too rectangular, which adds a retro sentiment. I would wear these sunglasses with an A-lined sleeveless minidress and simple heels. And sport a Taylor-Swift-style red lip, too.

20997-WP_Daydream_Collection-Piper-Petal-Tortoise_Topdown

Since I have severely damaged eyes from staring at laptop screens my whole life and sensitive skin, I especially feel the need to try to protect myself from the sun(seriously, my whole morning beauty routine is almost entirely dedicated to ensuring I’ll be UV-free for the rest of the day), so I’m the kind of person that’d do anything to keep away from those rays- sunscreen 24/7, hats, and of course, sunglasses. I have a feeling I’ll be wearing them an awful lot this season since I just bought not one, not two, but three pairs of Warby Parkers online(I got Abel Jet Black, Topper Crystal, and Piper Petal Tortoise -you can find them all here).

15669992817_7ea61341bc_o

Meeee! Shades to cover up those dark circles ; )

A friend says I look like Michael Jackson in that pic.

Here’s a huge thank you shout-out to Warby Parker! : )

Intimate Conversations

Honestly, my life feels so stagnant and dull right now. It’s the same routine over and over, and I really just cannot stand monotony. No big projects, no big events, just day after day of overly peaceful, mere existence to the point where it almost hurts. Seriously, not doing anything hurts. But not having anything major on my hands does have one single advantage-it brings out the little things I otherwise wouldn’t have noticed if I’d been busy. Here are some unretouched, raw photos I took of my sister today and raw, fairly intimate conversations I’ve had over the past week.

IMG_4125

(while ice skating together last Wednesday)

Me, carefully tiptoeing and clutching onto the railing for dear life: Aren’t you scared that you might fall over?

Sister, laughing, whizzing past: Well of course I might fall over! But then how are you gonna do anything?

IMG_4064

My mother, on me:

“She’s a free spirit.”

(Quick shout out to my mum: Mum I know you read my blog, my ‘I’m a coward’ post was on your phone yesterday)

IMG_4129

A teenage dream’s so hard to beat
Every time she walks down the street
Another girl in the neighbourhood
Wish she was mine, she looks so good

-Teenage Kicks by The Undertones-

This song is my ringtone right now. Makes me wanna just drop everything and dance and not pick up the phone.

IMG_4091

Dad: I can’t believe you might be married in only ten years’ time! Time flies.

Me: I’m never getting married.

IMG_4099

The best thing about this outfit on my sister is the plaid. I love plaid. Whenever I see someone walking down the street wearing plaid, it’s like, damn we would be so good together we would be soulmates.

IMG_4146

Me, to my crush: So when are we gonna meet up again?

Crush: Um, I dunno. (and then proceeds to not reply for days)

(#yesIknowmylifeissad #whoswithme)

IMG_4154

Best friend: But I think YOU need to stop pretending too. It shows in your facial expressions and the way you talk. Stop trying to act all emo and tough.

Me: I guess it’s my self defense mechanism. I hate feeling vulnerable. I try to put up a strong front.

IMG_4157

Me: Did you know that I have dimples, when I laugh?

S.O.: Did you know that I have dimples?

IMG_4090

Me, to myself: Stop worrying. Get up and do something.

Talking to Korean fashion people in a cafe: An honest look inside the newly arising fashion scene

I take a few deep breaths and inhale the sugary warmth of the two-story Gangnam Pascucci cafe. Pulse throbbing in my ear, heartbeat racing through me, I sit in front of four models, two stylists, and a photographer. In my head I’m repeating my all-time mantra(which has never worked but I still do it anyways); keep cool, keepcool, keepcool oh forgodssakekeepcool! I have never really been a cool-looking, laid back person (type A humans I feel ya), and the situation of having these seven gorgeous, successful human beings before me, within two meters of my vicinity, is making my cheeks flush a deeper, embarrassing shade of vermillion-crimson.

And hey, no judging – being a fashion blogger doesn’t mean I don’t still get overexcited and nervous whenever I meet awesome, influential (and not to mention- major heartthrob material) people! Plus, these people aren’t your average fashionistas, they’re the new bomb of Korean fashion, and they’re already impressing people all over the country with their independent photoshoots, individual styles, and penetrating insights on the industry.

10869733_1061061863908967_3228128754169782440_o

Meet the emerging heroes of the Korean fashion scene, the popular Korean fashion group, Alexandergrupe. Continue reading