I don’t know how to take photos but I tried.

Enjoy my photos with the lyrics of Thomston‘s songs. (Look him up on Soundcloud I swear he’s amazing.)
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Stepping right in to find out we were blind

Our vision was drowned by a burning sky

Caught in the daze you wore it so well

The hotter it got the less that I felt

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You’re holding it in, you say you’re okay

And I believe you

Feeling like we’re at the equator, I see you

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Dysfunctional in every way,

we drive all night and sleep all day,

Caught up in the conflict,

puts me on edge but I like the feeling

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I’m coming up don’t worry now

I’m too young to worry ’bout

Burning out

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But I need you

It’s hard to make you not forget that we need you

After all this time, I’m starting to see you

Convince me that you’re fine

Please

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Am I a pain in your side?

Puts me on edge but I like the feeling,

Cause you’re the pain in mine,

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I can see your collarbones and baby I’m scared

Never thought I’d be so unprepared.

All of the photos were taken by myself. I tried to capture moments that stood out to me or gave me certain emotions.

And trust me- listen to Thomston!

#: photography, moments, beauty, fashion, Thomston.

The images above are property of Konni Kim.

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.

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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,”

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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!”

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“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.”

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‘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.”

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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.”

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“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.”

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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.’ ”

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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 : )

What to wear to the baseball game

I don’t usually wear hats. Don’t get me wrong-I absolutely LOVE hats(woolly hats, snapbacks, hats with tassels, fedoras, hats hats hats) and I even used to wear a different hat every day of the week back in primary school. But as I grew,  I started to hear “Ohmagherd that makes your face look super huge.” substantially more than “Awww little child look at you in that adorable hat!” which eventually discouraged me from continuing on with my hat craze. But seriously though, I can’t even deny it because it’s true. #sad #ithoughtpubertywassupposedtomakeyoumoreattractive #butiguessnot

To me, hats are like the ex boyfriend that you’re still secretly attached to. I have so many yet I can’t take them out and show them off because I look and consequently feel horrible with them on my head. Hats, I mean.

But today I’m gonna bring back my old hatty self for a while to create my very own MLB(Major League Baseball) hat outfit for the amazing sporty brand, Fanatics! I’ve just created my own MLB baseball-themed ensemble with an MLB hat from the leading sportswear brand Fanatics and some other cute casual numbers from other stores.

Check out some of Fanatic’s awesome sporty hats (They also have stylish hats for NBA, NFL, NHL, college sports, and more!) : MLB hats

This is the MLB hat that I picked out from their website.

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(Here’s the link, if you wanna get the awesome hat: Fanatics MLB Hats)

It’s a New York Yankees Snowflake Trapper knit hat. I personally love the color scheme of the hat because it’s very toned-down yet unique at the same time because of the fur. The snowflake design makes the hat more attractive. I swear this hat would make anyone look cute. Even me!

I put the hat together with a mens’ American Apparel raglan baseball-style tee, ripped pale boyfriend jeans from any local thrift shop, and some unique ASOS ankle boots. Now I’m not really a huge baseball fan(I’m still figuring out how a ‘home run’ works) but I am sure with this outfit, the baseball won’t be the only thing that’ll be chased after at the game. (That was a lame pun, I know.)

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(Find this raglan shirt here: American Apparel)

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(Boyfriend jeans! You can find them at almost any common brand. Try Forever21, Asos, H&M, or even better-the thrift shop on your street! I found this cute pic here: wheretoget.it)

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(These cuties are from: ASOS)

Although I am totally hopeless at baseball and at watching baseball(Huh? Why are they throwing the ball at that guy? What? Huh? What? -Me watching baseball on TV) and although I’m definitely not the sporty type of person who’s always rooting for their fav football team, there is one thing I’ll always be rooting for and that’s baseball-themed fashion. Baseball jackets in particular have actually become a huge permanent fashion item for even non-sporty food lovers like myself. It’s interesting how one item of clothing can penetrate the two fields of sports and fashion, even though both fields are perceived as almost completely unrelated to each other.

So this was my MBL fashion challenge! Thank you to all my readers for your support ❤

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.

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

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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.

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(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! : )

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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! 

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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.

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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.

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(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!

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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).

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

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“Why are they always telling me to sit?”

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

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

What we think ‘being an artist’ means

Hey readers,

When I hear the word ‘artist’, I imagine a free spirit; I visualize long, straggly hair, a pair of shades nonchalantly placed slightly tilted above the nose, a cigarette(or even better, cigar) between the quivering, chapped lips, with a paint-splattered ripped white shirt(or no shirt), and ripped faded old jeans, and to finish off, probably a pair of black Doc Martens(or at least something that looks like Doc Martens).

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(And it would probably look somewhat similar to this.)

I’ve realized that this is my way of absorbing what ‘being an artist’ means from popular culture: movies, novels, television, and online. The idea of being an artist seems more romantic now than it ever has before. Take the recent box office hit Begin Again, for example. The protagonists are drunk, broke, considered unimportant by mainstream society, yet somehow manage to overlook these realistic obstacles and strive toward an artistic, emotional, sentimental value, which portrays them them as true artists. (“Maybe music should be FREE,” Mark Ruffalo says to his music industry business partner/boss in Begin Again.)

Judging from how a huge portion of society defines ‘being an artist’, it seems sooo, so different from being a banker or a stock investor or a teacher. It seems like a job that’s so aloof from the majority of other jobs out there. Maybe it’s because most artists aren’t in it for the money or the profit or even popularity, but rather for the meanings of things. They often hold a contrasting perspective on life itself, and know(or at least act like they know) to appreciate even the subtle things, from emotions or moments to the feeling you get when you step outside on a rainy day to the randomness of the birthmark on the back of your left ankle(see? that sounds artistic, haha). We expect artists to not be money-driven, because we think that art is supposed to be pure and crazy and unrealistic. It’s almost magical in itself. In fact, I bet being an artist is way more romantic than Tinder(obviously).

Now, my humble, personal opinion is that I disagree with how being an artist is branded because it creates some unfair stereotypes for artists. And although I’m constantly tempted to lock myself in my room with my paintbrushes and 4B pencils and respond to my mother’s “Keonha you gotta study!” with “Mum. I’m an artist. Artists don’t fret over such profane matters. I need time to drink my black coffee and think my artistic thoughts(and no, I’m not daydreaming. Artists don’t daydream. We do creative thinking).”, I try to dismiss the thoughts by reminding myself of the essence of art(which I believe to be genuineness) and scold myself for falling into the somewhat shallow trap of the commercially painted ‘popular’ image of ‘the artist’.

But then again, at the end of the day, none of us really have/will ever have a complete answer to the mysterious, fabulous question of what being an artist means to us as humans. All we can do is write blog posts like this and express what goes on in our heads and try to scrape at the surface of the great holy truths of art. After writing this post, I STILL don’t have a straightforward answer to what being an artist actually means, but one thing I do know is that what I love most about being an artist(alright, alright-self proclaimed artist) is the freedom. You’re socially allowed to be totally nuts and display your true weird self for everyone to see. This is great news for me and all the other slightly crazy different humans out there, since we’re usually in love with spontaneity and sudden outbursts of randomness. Isn’t that how life’s supposed to be lived-free, natural, and fun? : )

Image Credits: http://favim.com/image/179077/

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.

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(Georgia May Jagger)

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(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.

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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. : )

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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/

How to not deal with emotions

Hey readers,

I feel like I’ve been abusing this blog too much by going on and on about my personal life and all its nitty gritty details! Am I being too selfish? Here’s one last personal post for this summer before I get to work and fill you guys in on all the fashion stuff.

I thought writing about personal things would be the hardest, since, from my experience, no one’s really good at voluntarily and truthfully exposing themselves to the rest of the world. It usually takes lots of time, memories, and shared secrets for people to pluck up the courage to simply show themselves to each other. It’s a ridiculous human trait now that I put it this way, but it’s also understandable, since as a species we humans are so good at picking each other apart for who we really are. In this sense, it’s quite natural for me to be afraid (or at least nervous) of putting myself out here, writing myself down, on the internet(which is infamous for bringing out the inner brutality in people-hello haters?). But contrary to my original thoughts and popular belief, I actually feel most comfortable when I’m sitting here alone with my old broken laptop with a mug of iced latte, telling hundreds of people I’ve never met before about my personal inner self. I think it’s interesting. Don’t you?

I think it’s easier for me to be honest here than to most people I know in real life because we(you, reading this, and I, writing this) don’t have any strings attached. As humans we actually are capable of being genuine and caring about each other without calculating profit(shocker, I know). We just never get the chance to do so because our society is built upon structure and class pyramids and all this give-and-take. It gets to my head sometimes. I mean, a lot. That’s why I’m very proud of myself for creating a little haven on the internet here where we can all just chill together and be who we are and not be judged or discriminated or used. All I ask of you is to be genuine and honest.

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(It’s a shame that I try to cover the camera lens all the time when people try to take photos of me. Maybe I just haven’t fully accepted myself yet?)

Speaking of honesty, a personal thing I want to share with you here in my personal haven called my blog today is that recently I’m realizing that I haven’t been a very honest person, in terms of emotions. To myself and consequently to other people, too. In the past I thought I was amazing at the art of self-expression. After all, I’m a (self-labeled) artist, writer, blogger, and photographer. Back in London, my favorite class was drama-when I was a child I wanted to become an actress. I was the epitome of self-expression; the queen of expressing human emotions. Or so I thought. Until yesterday.

I was always good at coming up with expressive, unique ideas that no one else in the class could think of. But I know now that that does not make me good at ‘self-expression’. Expression through art and real honest emotional expression are two different concepts. I could convey certain emotions through my literary skills or art skills or acting skills, but (especially as I grew older) I lacked the ability to communicate what I myself was feeling in real situations in my life. As I hit puberty and matured, I absorbed the ideals of profit and give-and-take that my competitive surroundings(hello, private prep school) were feeding me, and my inability of honest emotional interaction got worse and worse and hardened inside me, becoming a solid characteristic trait of mine. And not only did the inability stick, but in my mind I also started to form prejudices against emotions themselves. I thought emotions made people weak, and that the stronger people were the ones that knew how to not let petty things like compassion or ‘feelings’ affect their lives and their paths to success. I idolized logic and cold-blooded-ness. My face lost its aptitude to move its muscles to transmit what was going on inside my emotional chamber. In middle school people(friends, ex-boyfriends, teachers) would often tell me I should smile more and stop looking so devoid of emotion all the time. In high school(which I’m still attending), when doing “What type of person are you” quizzes on Buzzfeed with my friends, my friends shout out “emotionless!” on the “How do your friends describe you” question. Even then, I smirked silently inside as I gave myself a pat on the back for succeeding in concealing my vulnerability-my emotions. And all the romantic relationships I’ve had probably don’t qualify as romantic relationships since there is no romance in faking, saying things I don’t mean, and being a user. (I hope my ex(es) are not reading this.) “I don’t believe in love.” I would state, proudly.

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Up until a few days ago, my whole 17 years of ego and self-esteem were built on my pride in my absolute devotion to logic and complete disregard of childish emotions, and my belief that that made me tough and gave me an advantage in life. What I didn’t realize was that hiding and ignoring my emotions did not make me a stronger person. I was blinded by my obsession over rationality and accurate calculations, and my bias on human emotions. Whenever I could feel my feelings seeping up from the barren asphalt of my mind, I would try my best to squish them back under the surface and coat another layer of asphalt on top of the crack from where they had seeped out. What I didn’t know was that burying the emotions alive wouldn’t kill them. Ignoring the emotions would get them out of the way for a while, but the emotions would still be there inside me under the layer of asphalt, bubbling and boiling and knocking on the surface to get out. I was basically just planting volcanoes in my mind and heart. And those volcanoes erupted yesterday.

All the anger, sadness, and vulnerability I had bottled up inside me finally got the best of me. They had been eating at me little by little from the inside, and yesterday they erupted like there was no tomorrow. Something inside me exploded. I cried and laughed and felt more numb than ever all at the same time, and my mind, which was only used to pushing emotions out of the way, wasn’t trained to handle emotions, so I panicked. I was in a terrible state. I acted out by being rash and not thinking(a total opposite to my usual habits of over-thinking everything) and doing something very stupid. Luckily, my friends helped me out and stopped anything too big from happening.

So here I sit in this cozy chair in a cafe that I usually go to on my street, after the storm. I now finally see how ironically irrational I was actually being.

I remember I once asked my best friend, “Are emotions important?” And he said, “Yes.”

“Why?” I demanded. “They just make you vulnerable.”

To this he said, “They’re what make you human.”

I now understand what he meant. Emotions aren’t childish. Trying to ignore them is. And ignoring them comes with terrible consequences. Everyone has them(unless you’re a psycho/sociopath… in which case you should go see a doctor right now). Even I have always had them. Thinking back now, I’ve actually experienced many deep emotions(I think I actually probably have a pretty high EQ). I just refused to acknowledge them as a part of me.

Now that I’m removing the veil of prejudice and clouded thinking before my eyes, I can see that me trying to appear emotionless was only a manifestation of my insecurities. I didn’t know how to deal with my insecurities and my own vulnerability and was afraid of them, so my mind reacted to the fear of showing my weak spots by just not showing anything. I was a coward. I thought it made me strong but it made me weak and almost killed me inside. Now I’m going to practice exercising my emotions in a more healthy way; practice being human.

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Like this post and leave a comment! (Click on the title of this post, and scroll down. You’ll see the like button and comment box at the bottom of the post.)

Image Credits: http://theladyawkward.blogspot.kr/2014/03/evil-cold-hearted-ice-queen.html, http://www.pinterest.com/pin/329748003936339933/

Bon voyage, everyone!

Hey readers,

I don’t really get to travel a lot because being a high school student in Korea takes up so much time and energy(Gahh I’m not kidding-I have lots of friends that only get 3 hours of sleep every night even though it’s the summer holidays right now), but sometimes I do find the space to just get away for a while and relax. A week ago I went on a family trip to the seaside! There’s this island called Jebudo on the west coast of Korea. We stayed there for just two days but I had an alright time, writing stuff, reading Shakespeare(okay to be honest the reading part was pretty boring), taking long walks along the shore, and barbecuing!

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(No kidding. I was reading Shakespeare in Jebudo.)

Aside from the stay at the island, one thing I noticed during the length of the whole trip was that for some reason I enjoyed the journey of getting to Jebudo more than actually being there. It occurred to me that this wasn’t the first time. Thinking back on most of my past trips, I had always anticipated and loved the journey to the destination more than the destination itself. (But don’t get me wrong- I don’t mean that I don’t appreciate the experience of mingling with people and chilling out at vacation spots. I just tend to enjoy it less. If that makes any sense.)

To be honest I think it’s partly because the ride there gives me some time to breathe; some ‘vacant’ time. It’s a time when I’ve got nothing planned and can rightfully waste time without feeling guilty-since there’s nothing planned which means it’s basically blank time, right?(Okay writing this is making me feel guilty… I guess being good at self-rationalization has its drawbacks!) Seriously, it’s one of the best feelings ever to just sit in the car/plane/train/whatever and look out at all the buildings and people and fields and cows(I really did see some cows on a field. No kidding.), imagining what their lives must be like. Although, life as a building is probably pretty boring. I love the moments of simply listening to good music, eating snacks, and writing about whatever comes to mind, like there’s no tomorrow. Usually I always have to think about my schedule and plans and all the things I have to do, and that gets to my head sometimes.

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(Journey to the top of the mountain…in my favorite comfy oversized knitted sweater.)

However, ultimately I think it’s because, when I’m going on a voyage, I like the feeling of knowing that the immediate future is unpredictable and may hold unlimited fun and happiness, even more than the sensation of the actual ‘having fun’ part that happens at the destination of the journey. In my daily life I spend way too much time worrying or being paranoid about my future-“Will I get this done on time?” “Will my teacher scold me for this?” “What if I screw up on this test again?”-that, upon hearing the phrase ‘the future’, I seem to unconsciously light a fire of paranoia inside my mind, and the fire catches on and I start worrying about everything related to what I was originally worrying about. So when I have something to look forward to, it’s great to have that tingling feeling of positive anticipation about the future for a change.

Is this ultimately a good thing or a bad thing? I really don’t know. But I do know that, in a certain aspect, it can be a positive trait, if I interpret it in the right way! Unfortunately, I often observe that many people forget to enjoy the ride to a certain destination, whether it’s your dream job/school, fighting an illness, or even making a peanut butter sandwich(yeah, enjoy your sandwich-making, people). People are so focused on their destination that they don’t think to enjoy the journey of getting there. “Oh I’ve got that test next month? I guess I’ll just sit and memorize everything meaninglessly and lifelessly until I know enough to just get an A. And then I’ll empty all the information out so that I can start memorizing for the next test. Even though I hate studying. God I hate studying.” Honestly. I swear some people think like this(and it’s annoying…). I mean, I understand that goals are made for achieving. But Dorothy wouldn’t have met the wizard of Oz without spending all that time making weird friends and getting into trouble with those witches! One way or another, Dorothy had to follow the yellow brick road to get to Oz. It was up to her to either enjoy the road or to whine the whole way there.

Let’s enjoy the journey together! Let’s imagine a bright future and dream big, so big that it scares us just thinking about it. And let’s work hard but enjoy all the little things along the road. I’ll be there for you : )

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(I am the statue of liberty and I shall make you feel better-from my debate trip to NY)

Let me know about YOUR journey by leaving a comment(click the title of the post first, then scroll down to the bottom of the post- you’ll see the comment box and like button) or reaching out to me at konnikim@gmail.com. Actually, it doesn’t even have to be about your journey, it can be anything and I guarantee you I shall respond to everything, sooner or later. I haven’t been able to respond quickly to comments lately so sorry! But now I can! : D

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(“What? You wanna talk? Gurrl I am listenin’.)