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 : )

The story of how I fell asleep and missed my interview with Pixie Lott

Hey readers,

I feel like, because it’s hard to find an avid fashion blogger my age in Korea, lots of people tend to think I must be an incredibly amazing blogger. The thing is, whether I’m interviewing America’s Next Top Model models, hosting collaboration projects, or talking to magazine editors, I slip up a lot. And I mean A LOT.

For example, the other day I was supposed to be interviewing Pixie Lott, but I FELL ASLEEP AND MISSED IT.

Yep, you read that correctly. I just literally could not attend the online webinar BECAUSE I WAS FRIGGIN SLEEPING. IN MY BED. And this is THE PIXIE LOTT we’re talking ’bout here.

So here’s what happened. Recently I found a blogger community newsletter in my heap of emails. There was a link to attend the online Q&A session with Pixie Lott, hosted by the brand Magnitone. Of course, being a Pixie Lott fan, I applied. As I waited in anxiety and anticipation, I received an email informing me that I’d made it; that I’d been chosen to participate in the exclusive live webinar session with Pixie Lott. At that point I could practically imagine the looks of utter shock and admiration on people’s faces when they found out about it. Tingling with excitement, I posted this on facebook.

pixie

And people were in awe, as I’d expected.

io

I was too busy basking in the glory of being the first person among my friends to be able to exclusively interview someone as famous as Pixie Lott, that at first I did not realize that the Q&A session was in three hours. I was probably the last person put on the list.

I honestly freaked out when I read the words ‘Reminder: the exclusive Q&A session with Pixie Lott is in three hours(4AM)!’ in my business inbox. I’d been studying at school until 10PM that day, I was tired, I needed a shower and a nice few hours of sound sleep. A short internal conflict occurred in my head-should I stay up until 4AM and talk to Pixie Lott, or should I just forget it and get some sleep? After a split second, I decided that the former would definitely have to happen, because, who knows, this could be my big break, right? You never know in the blogging world.

So I drank my coffee, washed my face, and sat at my desk to prepare myself for the painful three hours of cruel, wearisome waiting in anticipation and irritation from severe sleep deprivation that were to come. I did everything to keep myself awake. After all, I couldn’t let my readers(you guys) down, and my friends were counting on me to nail this Q&A session and tell them all about it.

AND THEN guess what I did. I got a little drowsy, so I thought, ‘just 5 minutes…yes…I’ll just close my eyes for just, just…5 minutes’, and then I WENT TO MY BED. Now there’s one thing you need to know about my bed-it’s the coziest, softest, most sleep-inducing patch of space on planet Earth. It’s truly a fine bed. And as I lay down, I kept telling myself, ‘Everything will be fine… I’m sure I’ll get up before 4…’ BUT NO.

NO, NO, NO. JUST. NO. I DID NOT get up before 4. In fact I did not get up at all until the clock struck 7:10 AM. I opened my eyes, got straight up, stared at the clock, rubbed my eyes, then stared some more. The clock definitely said 7:10. I panicked for a while, even thinking, ‘well..well…maybe the webinar isn’t over! Maybe I’ll still get to talk to Pixie…’ But I regained my logical thinking skills, muttered some bad language about how I was such an idiot(WHICH I WAS), and went back to bed, because, you know, maybe it was just a big bad dream(which it wasn’t).

And that’s my story of how I almost, just almost, interviewed Pixie Lott. My friends were totally bummed when I told them, of course. My mother just laughed at me. I was mad at myself for a while but then, oh well.

This post was supposed to be about my almost-happened interview with Pixie Lott, but since it didn’t happen, here’s my reflection on the whole situation.

Thinking back now, firstly, I’m beginning to realize it’s not that big of a deal. #YOLO. Just kidding. That hashtag is overused. But seriously though, take that in for a moment-You Only Live Once. If I only live once, I wanna make mistakes, especially while I’m still young. I’m only human. There’s no point dwelling on the past and getting angry all over again. It’s a waste of precious time. Secondly, while I do need to forgive myself and move on, I also need to learn from my mistakes. Me missing the interview chance was totally my fault. I cannot blame anyone else for it since it was just the result of me being an idiot. Blogging and tackling school work all at once is turning out to be harder than I thought, and I do struggle. However, since I made the conscious choice to continue on with my blogging career, I need to start being more responsible for it. I need to improve my time management, primarily.

I also need to focus on the essence of my blogging. I always told myself that I didn’t want to be the type of fashion blogger that just posts photos of Chanel and Givenchy, accepting unhealthy fashion ideals and passing selling them on to the public as if those standards are the ultimate rules of fashion, conforming to trends without critical thinking. However, these days I often find myself thirsty for opportunities with famous, popular people that might give me my ‘big break’. It’s ridiculous, I know. I need to focus on my writing; my posts, which express my true colours and insights, and stop floating above my conscience, swimming on the edge of glamour and undeserved fame. This is my confession and promise to you guys that from now on I’ll remind myself each day of why I’m staying up this late(or NOT staying up, in the case of how my Pixie Lott interview went down, haha) and take myself to the beginning whenever I feel like I’m becoming too obsessed with the shallow glittery stuff. Because I believe I can make a positive change and contribute to the development of self-expression.

I love you guys. Thank you.

Interview with Lenox Tillman from America’s Next Top Model!

Hey readers,

I’ve picked up a new habit of doing, not saying. As the Tyra Banks(a major role model of mine) once said, “Don’t make excuses, make improvements.” Which is why, as I was watching America’s Next Top Model(ANTM) last week, I thought, “What’s stopping me from getting closer to pursuing my lifelong dream in fashion?” All the contestants on ANTM seemed to be making their way through rubble to achieve their dreams(heck, they walk down buildings and pose mid-air and walk practically naked down a runway full of strangers just to prove they’ve got what it takes). ANTM is a perfect embodiment of the bittersweet glory of reaching out toward a dream in fashion. The ANTM theme tune goes, ‘Wanna be on top?’ And this time I immediately think, “Hell yeah?!” And what did I do next? Reach out to ANTM, of course.

lenox

(Tyra Banks and Lenox Tillman)

So here I am, a week later, with an interview with the smart, talented, and beautiful 19 year old Lenox Tillman from ANTM Cycle 21(the current cycle that’s currently airing). She’s one of the most talented contestants on the show right now, and it’s unbelievable that she started out as just a sweet, quiet small-town girl. Now she’s just rockin’ the whole competition with her amazing photos. We talked about what it’s like to be on ANTM(obviously!), working with Tyra Banks(gosh I can’t even), modelling in front of the judges, hardships, and some personal stuff.

You can watch Lenox and the other remaining ANTM contestants on the CW. Wonder who will win…(http://www.cwtv.com/shows/americas-next-top-model/)

Now without further ado, here’s my exclusive interview with Lenox! Enjoy! : )

TM2103_79_LEN

Keep up with Lenox! (FACEBOOK/INSTAGRAM/TWITTER)

1. Tell us a bit about your childhood. What were you like at school?

I was a pretty shy but active kid. I played softball all of my childhood and was almost always outside if I wasn’t sleeping. In school, I would tend to be the quiet and weird kid to everyone and I definitely wasn’t the most confident. I usually was just drawing and kept close to my small group of close friends.

Haha, I can definitely relate to this.

2. What/who inspired you to run for ANTM at first? 

I always said I would try out for the show once I was 18 because I was such a huge fan of it, but once I actually turned 18 I felt like it was unrealistic to think I could get on! It was actually my mom who saw an ad for a casting call and talked me into going and trying. So I guess my mom was the one who inspired me!

3. Have you watched the episodes released so far? The other contestants talked on screen about how they thought that your ultimate weakness was your lack of self-confidence. How do you feel about that?

Yes, I have seen all of the episodes. I love watching it just like I did with all of the other cycles but me being on it now makes it even cooler, I have to admit. Haha! As for the lack of self-confidence comments, I wasn’t surprised by that when I heard them. I think they’re right, and while I think I’ve come a long way with being okay in who I am, I still am super tough on myself. This competition definitely brought that out in me, too.

You’re only two years older than me but you’re so much wiser! 

TM2107_08_LEN

4. What was trying to model when you had to act “sexy” like?

It was awkward since I had a giant crowd of people watching, but I did my best and tried to laugh at myself throughout it since I wanted to be a good sport. I’m working on it!

5. What’s going through your mind when you’re modeling in front of the camera? Is it nerve-racking or does it make you more confident? Have you gotten used to it?

When I first started modeling I was absolutely terrified during shoots because everything was so foreign to me. I have gotten so much better since then, though. I now tend to just be constantly brainstorming from the moment I walk on set to the moment I walk off. I am much more comfortable with it and just try my best to see it as an art experiment that photographer, makeup artist, stylist, and I are doing together.

TM2106_51_LEN

6. What’s the hardest thing you’ve ever done?

Eat an onion.

7. Who’s your ultimate role model?

In my modeling career? Lindsey Wixson. In overall life? I have so many; I would say Jill Bolte Taylor, Stevie Nicks, and Florence Welch if I had to narrow it down.

8. Tell us something no one (referring to the general public) knows about you.

Hmmmm, I can lick my elbow! It is said to be impossible but I can do it!

Cool!

 

9. What are your plans for the future?

I plan on growing up and working hard at whatever I am doing, mostly. Hopefully, I can continue modeling and enjoy all of its adventures for as long as I can. One day I hope to own my own avian rehabilitation center or sanctuary, too. That would be amazing.

TM2108_23_LEN

(Lenox with Cory from Cycle 20!)

10. If, in the future, your child wanted to become a model and follow in your footsteps, would you tell her/him to go for it?

I want my kids to do whatever makes them happy. If modeling is what makes them happy then I will gladly encourage and support them.

That was such a flawless response, haha.

11. Are you a feminist?

Yeah, duh. Equality between men and women is awesome. Men are cool and women are cool, that is obvious.

12. What’s it like to stand in front of the ANTM judges at panel? What was is like to work with Tyra Banks?

It is terrifying! All of your hard work from that week is about to pay off or be thrown in your face and there’s absolutely nothing you can do about it. As for Tyra, she is a great business woman and I really enjoyed getting to see that behind the scenes. I hope I can learn to juggle that well- haha!

tumblr_mr6mdshj5R1st9riqo1_400

Lenox is just amazing. Inside and out.

I’ll be back soon with more : )

Here’s a huge thank you to ANTM’s publicity manager Ellen who helped me reach out to Lenox, and of course thank you to Lenox herself for giving such thoughtful answers(and being awesome).

The friend that looks amazing in her soccer uniform and sneakers

Hey readers,

The time has finally come for me to show you guys the photos I’ve been taking with the new camera that my friend Jen lent me.

I took loads of photos of my friend Jiyeon. She has a unique look, an interesting sense of style, and an easygoing attitude, so she makes the perfect model to work with. The sunlight was just perfect when we were taking these photos.

So this is what we managed to create after about two hours of light bickering and fooling around with the camera(which was a Canon DSLR, by the way).

IMG_2887 (1)

The one above is my personal favorite. It was hard to get the right angle though.

IMG_2860 (1) IMG_2859 (1) IMG_3035

“Why are they always telling me to sit?”

IMG_3058 (1)IMG_2861 (1) IMG_2863 (2)IMG_2858 (1)IMG_2865 (2) IMG_2850 (1)

I love photos of natural, honest moments, like the one above.

IMG_2889 (1)

Thanks : ) Don’t forget to leave a comment!

Why I cried watching the Chanel fashion show

Hey readers,

Being involved in fashion often brings me back to feminism, which leads me to fashion again, which takes me to feminism. Especially in today’s social scene, at this point, I think fashion and feminism are two things that cannot be conceptually or historically detached from one another. Which is why Chanel’s Ready-To-Wear Spring/Summer Paris 2015 show is attracting speculation and sparking controversy directed toward the center of the fashion industry, obviously, themselves. (The) Karl Lagerfeld, who designs the iconic Chanel pieces (and who is quite the fashion icon himself), staged an interesting feminism protest march in this season’s show. Watch it below:

The show was held in the Grand Palais, which Karl transformed into “Boulevard Chanel”, to set the show in a background resembling a European-style traditional sort of street. The clothes-I couldn’t find anything special about the clothes themselves, they were exactly, stereotypically what one would expect from a typical Chanel collection (except maybe more tweed). How the clothes changed throughout the show, however, is definitely something to take note of while watching the show, in regard of the message at the end of the show. What’s interesting though is that I’ve read plenty of reviews on the show(hello Refinery29 and Jezebel, both of which clearly weren’t buying the whole faux-protest theme, and The Cut, which seemed pretty neutral, and Fashionista and StyleList Canada, both of which praised Karl’s feminism festivity, and The Closet Feminist, which didn’t seem to keen on the idea but raised some interesting questions), and all of these reviews mainly hover on the slogans(which is understandable since I must admit some of them were TACKY) but none of them even mention or elaborate in detail on how the clothes developed and changed as the show went on. It’s funny because I actually thought the transformation of the Chanel pieces as the show progressed was one of the key factors to fully understanding the show itself and the story that Karl was trying to tell through this season’s show. At the beginning of the show, the models(all of which are women, except for one) are dressed in colorful tweed(SO, SO MUCH TWEED) and radiant ensembles of flowery, dotty patterns, reminding viewers of the 60s/70s.

chanel-spring-2015-paris-fashion-week-georgia-may-jagger

(Georgia May Jagger)

chanel-spring-2015-paris-fashion-week-Saskia-de-Brauw

(Saskia De Brauw)

This changes, however, when at around 4:06, the music becomes more uptight and so do the models’ walking formation and the clothes. The flowery long boots and fluffy clothes are nowhere to be seen, and lines of models looking more fierce and modernized with boxy shorts and blouses and shiny, chunky gold belts start parading down the city-themed runway, and instantly I’m feeling like I just stepped into a new era of women’s fashion and am witnessing the evolution of women’s style. And then at 9:18, this jumpy crowd of women wearing the colorful fashions of the first half of the show are literally jumping down the runway, overwhelming me with all these hand-written slogan signs, many of them representing feminism. The feminist slogans helped me to reach the understanding that the contrasting 60s/70s –> modern clothing style transition in the show was a part of expressing feminism throughout the ages. It was a pleasant twist to the whole show.

Women’s clothes have defined and shaped feminism, and I’m guessing that that’s what Karl was trying to portray through the transition in clothes (and obviously through the slightly tacky slogans, too). While I do agree with Refinery29 to some extent that the slogans were pretty ironically insignificant and, again, tacky, I still think the whole feminist movement reenactment was meaningful, in both the name of fashion AND feminism. Chanel is receiving A LOT of criticism from people saying that the whole feminism thing was shallow and thoughtless, merely a trend, but I on the other hand loved it! Feminism is a concept that still needs to be embraced by many more around the world and the fact that a global, central, influential fashion brand like Chanel is marking the recent revival of feminist spirit just goes to show that fashion is still doing what it’s excelled at all this time-bringing us back to feminism.

vivlji (1)

I teared up watching the ending of the show. I don’t think the slogans have to be oh-so-philosophically-deep or sophisticated. After all, it’s a display of suppressed feminist emotions and years and years of unfairness set in the 60s/70s of second-wave feminism. (I interpreted it as a reenactment, since the clothes the “activists” were wearing were those from the earlier parts of the show, and-as I explained above-I viewed the whole show as a sort of timeline for women and feminism and fashion.) In that sense Karl and Chanel succeeded in expressing what feminism feels like and what it meant for those women standing up front at those brave protests in the past. I don’t think it was shallow or materialistic at all; it was a powerful, iconic reminder of how we’re where we are at the moment, and of the decades-centuries of injustice and pain that so many women had to face. It was more than just a “runway stunt”, as many online fashion magazines are describing it. It was Karl Lagerfeld putting the final seal on the recent feminism issues all over SNS through a historically meaningful expressive medium-fashion. It was this controversial, exciting blend of feminism and fashion that inspired a certain strength and pride in being a woman that brought me to tears. (And not even the Titanic made me cry, so this probably means something. : )

다운로드

Also, since I’m openly rooting for this show, I can’t help but rebut respond to some quotes from other sites…

“You don’t need to be a CNN buff to get it: Between the unrest in the Middle East, police violence in Ferguson, this week’s uprisings in Hong Kong, and New York’s recent, massive march for climate change, there are plenty of issues worth protesting. But, when Karl Lagerfeld staged a “feminist protest” earlier today for Chanel’s Paris runway show, it felt, well, a bit twisted.” 

-Refinery29

I don’t know what Refinery29 is getting at here. Why on earth would the selection of feminism as a theme make you feel “twisted”? Sure, there are definitely a lot of other serious issues going on on our planet, and I think feminism is always and has always been one of them, online AND offline. Is feminism an issue NOT “worth protesting” anymore?

“…waving signs emblazoned with rather tepid political slogans like “Free Freedom” (whatever that means)…”

-Refinery29

I think “Free Freedom” means that feminism is a type of freedom that has been locked up for so long and still hasn’t been fully freed, so Karl is making an ironic pun. Freedom is supposed to be free and natural, but feminism has not been in many places for such a long time.

“…this season presents protest as pure product, the irony of which we suspect Karl is both aware, and presides over with a provocative, Warholian glee.”

-Refinery29

I disagree, Refinery29. You’re looking at the issue while holding an irrational grudge. What part of the closing act gives off the notion of “protest as pure product”…? (Well obviously except the fact that it’s a fashion show, although even that’s not that much of a rational conclusion to jump to either.) Of course we all know that Chanel is a company, which means it’s seeking to earn profit from selling clothes. But that doesn’t make it negative! If anything, Chanel should be praised for doing/representing something meaningful in the process. Fashion is one of the most effective ways to spread a message, and THAT’S what Karl knows.

“The messages are all very confused, and confusing, which gives the impression that Lagerfeld’s notion towards woman empowerment was merely gestural, or that he was responding to what he perceives as a trend, something that was written about while he was designing this.”

-Jezebel

Like I stated waaay above in this post, I don’t think feminist slogans should have to include some sort of deep metaphor or whatever for it to be meaningful. People experience feminism and sexual injustice in many different forms and therefore it is expressed in many different methods of literary expression. Also, just a thought, but wouldn’t it seem more “gestural” or “trend”-like for Karl to implement totally cliché terms used in describing feminist emotions? Just sayin’.

“Also: why is his feminist vision SO F**KING WHITE?!”

-Jezebel

Urrrmmm… I honestly do not know how to perfectly respond to this because there are just so many things that are wrong about this statement. All I can say at this point is, well, I’m pretty, very, really sure Karl didn’t deliberately place mostly Caucasian models on the runway to send the message that feminism is for a certain race…? I mean…I’m sure the people at Chanel weren’t like, “We need more ‘white’ models here! We need a higher ‘white’ ratio!”, right…? If they were, then that changes everything, but I’m pretty sure that wasn’t how it went…

Comment or Like this post by clicking the title of this post, then scrolling down. The Like button and Comment box are both at the bottom of the post. I love reading you guys’ feedback, whether it’s positive or negative, so don’t hesitate to leave an honest comment! : )

Image Credits:

http://fashionolic.blogspot.kr/2014/10/chanel-spring-2015-paris-fashion-week.html

http://www.ebuzznew.com/models-take-chanels-paris-protests-beyond-the-runway

http://www.fashionblender.com.au/

Korea Style Week, Celety, meeting the most famous fashion designers in Korea, and how I found out I can’t be a model

Hey readers,

I’ve never been pressured to write a post before, but tonight I am. Not in a bad way though. The pressure comes from my own enlightened desire to write something worthy of describing the awesomeness of the 4th Korea Style Week and all the things I learned and all the wonderful people I met through the experience.

IMG_2667IMG_2699

I honestly have so much I want to share about Korea Style Week this year that, despite my years of blogging experience, I don’t know where to start. The experience was overwhelming in such a lovely way that makes me feel all tingly just thinking about it right now.

 

BRANDS, BRANDS, BRANDS //MODERN SNAPBACKS AND CLASSIC JEWELRY

This year’s KSW was THE essence of my fashion blogging career(if you can call it a career). I feel that the most distinct feature and exclusive merit of buyer-to-buyer brand fairs like this is the diversity of brands. All the brands are willing to engage with the public and are very willing to communicate, which is something I truly appreciated as a fashion blogger at the event. Almost all the brand representatives I talked to were amiable and open to questions about the brand’s style in general, which made it easy for me to do interviews and gather resources.

Since it was a buyer-to-buyer fair, I inevitably anticipated that there would be limits on the creativity/originality of brands’ products but I was pleasantly surprised to see that in depth, every brand had their own ideals/motives and each held a sort of pride about their brand name, which I loved.

IMG_2711 IMG_2713

Walking around the maze of brand booths, I could not take my eyes off all the clothes just beckoning for me to come buy them but interestingly for me the two exquisite hidden gems that I discovered this year in KSW were snapbacks and custom jewelry. This is amusing to me because I hardly ever wear snapbacks or pay much attention to my jewelry(hipsters leave angry comments now). It seems to me that hats or accessories have always been side-dishes to the main menu of my actual clothes, which, I now realize, is a very inappropriate attitude(since snapbacks are just the epitome of modern, youthful, hip culture).

 

HATER SNAPBACKS (http://hatersnapback.com/)

The most popular snapbacks at KSW were definitely those from the brand ‘HATer SNAPBACK’, and I could see why. Their snapbacks had a definite structure(unlike those other flimsy caps that you get from brands that don’t specialize in snapbacks) and a unique, appealing style. Their snapbacks seem like a whole new world of snapbacks. They succeeded in creating their own pedestal in the market of snapbacks.

IMG_2643 IMG_2637 IMG_2641

Each snapback has the famous upside-down-triangle brand logo in gold and the same structure. The only variants among all these snapbacks are the colors and patterns. It gives a sense of altered continuity. The snapbacks look great as one big collection and look equally as swag-filled separately, too.

IMG_2644 IMG_2646 IMG_2642

I would pick out one personal favorite if I could, but right now I’m hovering between the pink fluorescent one above and the tie-dye colored, leather printed one below.

IMG_2649IMG_2638 IMG_2639IMG_2708 IMG_2651Looking at these snapbacks makes me realize the importance of creating a distinct, consistent brand style. The certain image that you have of a brand can really decide whether you buy or not, and something that all successful brands have is a proper understanding of that fact. Sounds simple, but hard to put into action.


CELETY 

This is a brand I now personally feel extremely attached to. I approached the brand representative with the usual “Hi, I’m a fashion blogger and I want to feature your brand..” and she said, “Are you sure you’re a fashion blogger?”(I will still never know whether she was joking or not) Slightly offended, I replied, “I’ll show you my blog!” She smiled coolly and said, “I’m kidding.” At the time I was taken aback by her straightforwardness and humorous nature but I soon came to adore her relentless honesty. After talking about my blog and showing her my work, she was happy to collaborate.

IMG_2664

 

Jewelry is something I’ve never really experimented with. Personally, interacting with a jewelry brand was like pioneering in a whole new field. And it turns out I’m a jewelry geek.

1405959389224

500404381

 

Intrigued by their painfully beautiful summer collection, I couldn’t have been more eager to work with Celety. I actually got the chance to interview the brand rep. of Celety(her name in Korean is 임그린), and it was honestly one of the most meaningful conversations I’ve had as a blogger.

 

ME: What’s the most important thing in running a brand business?

REP: Uniqueness is great, but individual sensitivity is definitely crucial. I draw my inspiration and sensitivity from old pop, and therefore I don’t deviate too much from the classics. I just add my own color and structure.

ME: What’s the difference between clothing trends and accessory trends?

REP: Jewelry doesn’t really have cyclic trends. It’s been 8 years since I’ve been doing this work and I just reinterpret the classic styles of the past.

Brand Designer/Stylist: Accessories don’t trend on their own. They go with clothing trends.

ME: So accessories aren’t treated as a whole separate market; they walk alongside clothing fashion.

Brand Designer/Stylist: Yeah.

REP: I wouldn’t say ‘accessories’. Rather, use the word ‘custom jewelry’.

ME: Right. Custom jewelry. I have another thing I wanna know. When you design your own jewelry for your brand, I assume that a certain disparity must exist between your own personal style and the style that your consumers want from you. How do you deal with that?

REP: Yes, of course, there definitely is that gap between what you want and what your customers want. I basically just try to ease prevailing current trends into my own designs. It’s actually one of the reasons why I attend fashion fairs like this-to make our jewelry better known among the public and to find the line between my personal visions and public desires.

ME: Hmm. That makes sense.

REP: It’s really all about reinterpretation. I keep my analogue sensitivity but reinterpret it accordingly every time, just like brands like Ralph Lauren-I truly respect Ralph Lauren- or Yves Saint Laurent do with their fashion. They always have a sort of consistent structure, sensitivity, and sense of color but they manage to make their collections different every time. Our brand name, Celety, means celebration+party, and I got the idea from the song ‘Celebration’ by a band called Kool and the Gang. You should look them up.

ME: Sure.

FBF-12-30-11

(‘Celebration’ by Kool and the Gang)

 

I learned a lot from the short 8-minute conversation that we had. It made me think of jewelry from a new perspective. Not just as an ‘accessory’ but as an actual part of the whole fashion scene. Later, the Celety brand rep. told me that she likes plain white tees with a simple eyeliner and a high bun, because they’re easier to coordinate jewelry with. This made me look at fashion from a whole new point of view. Fashion isn’t just about the clothes you wear. It’s about how you wear them and what you wear them with. And it’s also about perspective. In an industry where objectivity is almost nothing but a myth and sales are based on interaction through common style, every sector of the industry has a strikingly unique point of view towards fashion and towards other sectors. Albeit modern youthful fashion labels focus on studs, statement tees, and bright floral shorts, jewelry brands like Celety appreciate a clean cut look more, because apparently a simple, plain look is more convenient when styling and matching jewelry.

-1169842234IMG_2659IMG_2658IMG_2660IMG_2661

 

IMG_20140720_195308

(The brand rep. gave me this necklace as a gift. I picked it out myself because of the ethnic feel and the combination of colors. I still cannot get over how stunning the necklace looks and how much it means to me. It’s an embodiment of all the sleepless, blogging-filled nights that have led up to this moment.)

IMG_20140720_170406

(Yay I’m wearing the necklace!)

I know that Celety will forever have a special place in my heart and my career. The brand rep. said she would invite me to future brand store openings and all that jazz, so, looking bright here!

GETTING TO MEET THE MOST FAMOUS FASHION DESIGNERS IN KOREA//THE RUNWAY

This was a huge part of KSW for me since, well, obviously, it’s not every day that you get to meet the role model of your whole career. Watching the runway shows at KSW and seeing Ko Tae Yong(고태용) and Hwang Jae Keun(황재근) was something that I never thought I’d be doing at this stage of my life and being there and witnessing their presence before my eyes was so inspiring in itself.

I learned a lot from listening to them talk.

Ko Tae Yong, who recently had his own show in New York Fashion Week just this year, designs for Reebok and his own brand, Beyond Closet. I watched him intently. His shades were reflecting light, and they shimmered because he kept adjusting them incessantly. He was also fiddling with his fringe a lot as he spoke. His choice of garments to the event was simpler than I had expected. He looked carefree yet down to designing business in loose black trousers and a loose shirt to go with.

10383893_497326340411215_1539846886076542643_n

 

Ko Tae Yong’s words about how a fearless spirit is imperative in becoming a fashion designer really channeled my attitude towards being head-first and non-stop rather than over-thinking every single situation and being too careful to take risks. During his interview, he calmly stated that the most important difference between designer clothes and clothes sold at 4900 won is that designer clothes are sold at a much higher price because they have a sense of identity, unlike clothes that are mass produced in a factory. It cleared things up a little for me and I learned not to view the high-fashion designer brand world with my usual negativity and slight cockiness, since although the high-fashion world may be clouded by stereotypes of unlimited wealth and useless hubris, there is definitely a reason why those classic brands are still a huge success in the industry, and there’s a lot to learn from them.

 

Hwang Jae Keun is the ultimate champion of Project Runway Korea. That means he’s a renowned, experienced designer(Whoo, shocker). He gave styling tips and answered questions from the audience, and although I didn’t get to directly ask him anything due to time management issues, I did learn a thing or two about the concept of fashion.

10549919_735874103138961_68110181_a

 

I realize now that I’ve been so selfish about fashion and art. I always had that selfish ‘i-don’t-want-your-influence-because-fashion-should-be-personal-and-genuine’ type of mindset when it came to styling or designing, but Hwang Jae Keun’s talk on what fashion meant was an eye-opening turning point. He said that fashion was ‘communication‘, because not only does a fashion designer have to express his individual identity but he also must excel in creating a common ground in which to bond with his consumers. I remember an internet article I read about Lana Del Rey saying that she doesn’t like it when people listen to and reinterpret her music because she makes her music solely for herself. At the time I was sympathetic of what she said to a certain extent, but I’m slowly leaning away from that point of view to the less-stubborn side.

IMG_2696IMG_2700IMG_2685

 

The runway shows were a delight.

 

HOW I FOUND OUT I CAN’T MODEL

Now, I’m usually the one behind the camera, taking pictures of other people (or heavenly items that I find once in a while in the back of my wardrobe), and I gotta confess that although taking the photos is great because I get to direct everything and create my own little work of art, sometimes, once in a while, I do want to be the girl standing in front of the camera, basking in the glorious spotlight of that camera beam. It’s probably not just me(I hope.), I bet a lot of girls and guys have flipped through W magazine or Vogue thinking, ‘Oh man, I gotta do that someday’. So since I was at KSW with my lil’ sis, I decided to switch roles for a change!

IMG_2750

“Like this?”

“No no, put your chin down a little more, and SMIZE. You know what Tyra Banks told you on ANTM.”

IMG_2753

“Ohhh okay like THIS!”

“Ehh.. move your head back a little.”

IMG_2754

“What, you mean like THIS??”

“Gurrlll you ain’t ever gonna be a model. Stop that this instant people are watching”

IMG_2770

“OHMYGEERRRRRD”

IMG_2755

Okay, this last pic is the least monstrous one out of all of them. This will have to do.

 

IMG_2636

(This is how it’s supposed to be done.)

All my sleepless nights of watching America’s Next Top Model and I still can’t take a good photo. Well that makes me feel professional.

LAST THOUGHTS…

Upon concluding this exclusive, one-of-a-kind, fashion-filled post, I’d like to give a huge internet hug to my readers(whether they want it or not) and I’d like to say thank you to everyone that’s supported me and brought me here. Although I still consider myself a beginner, I must say that I’ve come further in this than I expected myself to be at this time of my life and I’m grateful of the fact that I can still find the positive, pure energy in me to continue on with this passion of mine. I’m having the time of my life here, and I guess I can only try hard and hope things just keep on escalating.

To comment on or Like this post, just click on the title, then scroll down to the bottom of the post. You’ll see the like button and comment box!

What it takes to be a model

Hey readers,

You know when we see a hot girl/guy and gush about her/him to our friend sitting next to us, whispering, “She/He should so totally be a model!” What thought runs through our mind at that exact moment? What makes us decide, in that moment, that a pretty, skinny, tall, handsome person ‘should be a model’? Is it because we truly, innately believe that attractiveness must be promoted and shown to the public? Or is it our unconscious, submerged in the shallow puddle of a standardized, lookism society?

mugshot_11529737

(The mugshot of Jeremy Meeks, the ‘#sexyfelon’)

Above is THE controversial mugshot photo that people are going crazy over. For those of you that haven’t yet heard what the fuss is all about, here’s the story: Jeremy Meeks, a former gangbanger and convict of a number of other charges(grand theft, felon possession of a firearm, and more in the past), recently shot to fame after his mugshot(image above), which was posted on a police Facebook page, attracted the attention of social media. At the time, the photo had over 100,000 likes(which means it has even more now). Meeks is currently still behind bars, but women all over the world are raising money and supporting his bail for the one reason that he is HOT. He has also landed a modelling contract with Blaze Modelz, a modelling agency based in L.A. Tom Ford has also signed a contract with the felon for him to appear at court wearing a Tom Ford suit and tie.

The disturbing thing about this story is the extent to which people judge based on looks. It’s sickening to think that one would actively donate money(which could have been used to help buy food for people living in poverty) to get someone out of jail-not because they logically think that he is innocent-but just because he is attractive.

However, what’s even more disturbing is the fact that modelling agencies and high-fashion brands are approaching him, offering him modelling contracts. Well obviously it is a well known fact that most models are ‘attractive’ according to social standards, but this whole craze makes me question the essence of being a fashion model. Is modelling solely about fame and good looks?

cycle-20-contestans-americas-next-top-model-35250867-1017-940

I really enjoyed watching Season(Cycle)20 of the famous TV show America’s Next Top Model, and although most of the contestants tend to be physically attractive, I remember that at the end of the day the final judgement was made based not on looks but on true talent, ‘talent’ being possessing the traits/skills(spontaneity and creative response to unexpected situations, posture, confidence, understanding of one’s own physical features, passion for fashion, etc.) that are required to be a good model. This is one of the reasons why I enjoyed the show. But apparently in the real fashion world people can just get hired as a model(despite the fact that a whole nation-worthy number of people are in line, working their butts off to become a model) for looking good and taking a good mugshot.

Can a single mugshot really ooze ‘fashion model potential’? Is being ‘hot’ a direct ticket to a new career in the path of high-fashion?

Here’s another example of someone becoming a model after becoming internet-famous for their looks.

Axelle-Despiegelaere_590_590_90

(Axelle Despiegelaere, the Belgian girl who landed a L’Oreal cosmetic modelling contract for standing in the crowd and looking pretty at the World Cup)

She filmed a hair tutorial, then had that modelling contract in her hands until it was snatched away because of a photo of her posing with a gun and a dead animal that she killed on a hunting trip. With the photo she wrote the caption, ‘Hunting is not a matter of life or death. It’s much more than that..this was about 1 year ago…ready to hunt americans today haha : P ‘ Fans were outraged and L’Oreal announced that her contract was ‘completed’.

What I’m trying to say through this story is, is an attractive photo and internet fame all that it takes to become a model? Of course, companies seek profit by hiring trending figures to represent their brand, but what does this mean to the meaning and definition of being a model? Is a model just a pretty face?

The ‘digital age’ was brought upon us many conveniences but at the same time also took away and degraded some of our values, one of them being the genuine artistic essence of modelling(which, for a healthy society, should be anything but just looks and fame). Because of this, we’re experiencing an era where young women are starving themselves to get perfectly flat stomachs and a gap between their thighs, where boys exercise just to get those ripped abs that they see on TV commercials. We’re experiencing an era where being yourself and looking different from the social norm is unacceptable, because we’re forced to standardize looks and fall into the trap of lookism that we’re making for ourselves.

To comment or like this post, just click the title of this post, then scroll down. You’ll see the comment box and like button at the bottom of the post.

Summer fashion photoshoot!

Hey readers,

I hope you’re all having a great day : )

Today I went to the Han River(Seoul’s major river, the fourth longest on the Korean peninsula) with family and took some great photos of how my sister wore her outfit. It was a beautiful sunny day so the pics really turned out better than I’d imagined. The background is filled with bright natural colors which makes the shots look vibrant and energetic. She’s wearing a grey shirt with holes all over it(yay grunge!). It has a lip/American flag design printed on the front. The shorts she’s wearing are stonewashed and are a light shade of blue. They’re ripped and the pockets are showing, to create a more grunge-y, vintage effect. The shoes are red high-top ‘SK8-Hi’s from Vans-I tried to find the exact color of ‘SK8-Hi’s on the Vans website, but I think they only have this exact model in Vans Korea, so if you’re in the US, click here(WOMEN / MEN) to see other ‘SK8-Hi’s with different colors(they’re all very unique and colorful!). Oh and of course-rectangular shades are crucial to her chic look!


CAM00379CAM00384CAM00345CAM00369 CAM00346CAM00337
CAM00372

CAM00344

To comment or like this post, just click on the title of this post, then scroll down. You’ll see the Like button and Comment box at the bottom of the post. I love reading your comments, so go ahead and tell me what you thought of this post. Have an amazing day, guys!

My sister: Aspiring Model! (Fashion Blast #4)

Hey readers!

My sister and I are usually constantly arguing with each other, whether it’s about my sister taking my clothes without my permission or me using her phone to google ‘Tyler Blackburn’ and drool over how hot he is surf the internet without wifi(oops?!). But one thing that always brings us back together and makes us both happy is her modelling for my blog, especially since one of her life goals is to become a model. I love taking photos, and she loves being in them.

Today I’m going to show you guys some photos of my sis that I took over the past few days. She can be super annoying sometimes, but I must admit I have to respect her sense of style.

Look #1. In these photos, she’s wearing a plain white y-shirt, a navy-colored tie, grey skirt-leggings, bright blue socks, and to complete the otherwise boring look, she put on a yellow padded sleeveless jacket. I love how the yellow jacket and blue socks make the outfit look quirky.

IMG_20140221_143452

 

IMG_20140221_143412

 

IMG_20140221_143508

IMG_20140221_143919IMG_20140221_144515

 

Green Converses make anything look better : D

 

Look #2. This outfit is easy to put together, but makes a statement when worn. My sister is wearing a black t-shirt, a brown leather jacket with a grey hood thing(?) attached on the inside, black skinny jeans, and navy-colored canvas shoes.

 

IMG_20140227_120808

 

The thing I love about this leather jacket is the zipper! It’s not in the middle but on the left side, which makes the outfit more fun.

 

IMG_20140227_120136

 

IMG_20140227_120057

 

 

Look #3. CAPS. I don’t really wear hats because I don’t like the way they fit awkwardly on my head(maybe it’s because of how my head is shaped?), but my sister loves them and in my opinion they look good on her. She loves hip-hop styled hats with flat fronts(the ones you can find in the brand, New Era Caps).

 

IMG_20140227_113604

 

Colorful flowery hats were a hit in Korea this season.

 

IMG_20140227_113654

 

IMG_20140227_113736

 

 

I hope you enjoyed this post! Don’t forget to comment, like, and follow this blog- to comment or like, just click on the title of this post, then scroll down. You’ll see the Like button and Comment box and the end of the post.

If you want to read more posts like this/thought this post was horrendous, be sure to drop a comment on this post and tell me : D

 

New York Fashion Week, and everything in between.

Hi readers! : D (I remember about a year ago, when I didn’t have any readers to say hi to at the beginning of my posts.. Thank You to all of you that have made it here with me.)

If you Google “Fashion”, you’ll probably get a whole stream of news articles talking about New York Fashion Week, which is currently the biggest ongoing event in the fashion world right now. It runs from Feb. 6th~Feb.13th in a place called Lincoln Center in NYC. (Click here to watch live streaming of NYFW.)

I actually did Google “Fashion” about five minutes ago and did find myself browsing through a long list of fashion-related articles telling me all about NYFW and which designers were showing tonight, etc etc. While reading the articles, I thought “Why not do my own article/post about NYFW but make it more interesting and Konni-Kim-Designs-ish?” So that’s exactly what I’m gonna do. I thought that since all of you can easily find professional, informative articles and gossip about what the hottest designs are in NYFW, and who attended, and what they were wearing to the event etc, I should tell you guys about what I read in between the lines of those fashion articles. How I see it as a 17 year old high school student wanting to be a part of the fashion buzz.

Here we go.

#1. First off, MODELS.

When you watch videos of the shows in Fashion Week, you can’t help but notice how gorgeous and stern and god-like the models look. They all have spotless, clear faces and stick-skinny limbs and every single one of them is incredibly tall. Why? I kept thinking, “Why?” Why are these the standards for being a fashion model?

Today I asked my best friend if she would model for Konni Kim Designs, because I wanted to do a post about Korean high school students’ fashion. She refused, saying something along the lines of “Find someone else. I don’t think my body is fit to be a model. The clothes won’t look pretty on me.” So I said “But my blog is about real fashion. Actual style in real life. It doesn’t have to be pretty. Anyone could be a model for my blog. Seriously, anyone. You don’t have to be slim or look like Barbara Palvin.” It was a meaningful conversation. At least, to me it was.

kate-moss-by-mert-alas-and-marcus-piggott-for-playboy-2875565

(image above: famous model Kate Moss)

The reality of the situation is that society does consider a slender, tall figure as “model-like”. Some people say that it’s the body type that accentuates the clothes the best, and that’s why models should be that way, but I disagree. Real fashion isn’t about making the clothes look as pretty as possible, it’s about expressing something. The feeling of looking at a short, plump person wearing a dress is obviously different to the feeling of seeing a tall, skinny person wearing it-but who says the latter is better? The shorter, plumper person can make a certain statement that the taller person would never be able to make. I’d like to clarify that I’m not against tall, slim models. I’m against the social norm that models must be tall and slim. There shouldn’t be a must for models.

Abercrombie-and-Fitch-101-Models-in-Paris-7

(image above: shirtless Abercrombie&Fitch models in Paris.)

#2. Performances

Since #1 almost turned into a rant, here’s a bit of sunshine from me. I absolutely love the performances in fashion shows. It’s a great way to mix styles and enhance the designer’s message/expression to the public. Sometimes just having models walk around in heels isn’t enough to express what the new collection is all about. Performances show that fashion isn’t just about making nice clothes. In a way, it’s everything. It’s the feeling you get when you see a new dress. It can be the shock you experience when you see Marilyn Manson for the first time. It can be the soft coziness of your favorite fluffy sweater. Performances help you feel those things at a fashion show.

Victoria’s Secret is a lingerie&sleepwear fashion brand that’s famous for its creative shows with great performances. Performances from the hottest stars make their lingerie seem more fun and dynamic, rather than serious and dull.

taylor-swift-fall-out-boy-vs13-640x480

(image above: Taylor Swift performing ‘I Knew You Were Trouble’ at a Victoria’s Secret show.)

#3. Fashion X Art

Another thing I love about fashion shows these days is how I can see that art is seeping into fashion. When I interviewed Vinita Mohan, a fellow fashion blogger, she inspired me by saying that “fashion is art that you wear” and I really agree with her. (Check out the interview here.)

The prestigious high-fashion brand Prada has recently become known for doing this. For example, six artists(Mesa from Spain, El Mac from the United States, Gabriel Specter from Canada, Stinkfish from Colombia, and Jeanne Detallante and Pierre Mornet from France) created murals of women’s faces for the backdrop of a show and for the ready-to-wear pieces.

Prada-SpringSummer-2014-Campaign-by-Steven-Meisel

(image above: Prada’s Spring/Summer 2014 campaign, with the murals of women’s faces by six different artists)

#4. Exclusiveness (brace yourselves for another rant)

I really dislike how fashion shows have their “seating hierarchy”. Another thing I dislike even more is the exclusiveness of the fashion show itself, especially in Fashion Week. It’s not like a sports game, where anyone can just buy themselves a ticket. Most of the time you have to be specially invited, and only people related to the fashion industry or people who can benefit the brands are invited. For someone who strongly believes in real life fashion that can be applied to the general public, I don’t understand why we can’t all go and see the most prestigious designers’ latest designs. It’s a really big flaw of the fashion world-that it’s so tightly knit together so that “normal people” feel intimidated and excluded. Fashion should stop pretending to be something it isn’t. Come on Fashion, we all know that you’re just like the rest of us.

Thanks for reading : D

Don’t forget to follow, like, and comment! (Click the title of this post and scroll down to find the Like button and Comment box.)

Image Credits/References:

www.mtv.com.au, modxchange.wordpress.com, bemagazine.me

http://www.blouinartinfo.com/news/story/998165/10-best-fashion-and-art-mashups-of-2013