Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Holidays!



Warm holiday wishes, everyone!  Hope you all have been keeping dry...I've been trying to here in sunny stormy California!  Thankfully the sunshine has returned.  As you might be able to tell in the picture above, the attendees of D&G's Turin Winter Olympics-inspired show of Fall 2006 experienced a bit of (artificial) snowy weather.  Lovely to find some Christmas spirit on a February, right?  Not for the guests wearing black under that snowfall!  As kitschy as the show was, the models, including Gemma Ward and Tatyana Usova, looked quite cute in their outfits!

With the season's positive vibes, I would really like to thank you all for your readership.  To know that people are still reading and commenting my posts REALLY means a lot to me!  I've been juggling multiple priorities and unexpected domestic duties (living off campus calls for much experimentation in the kitchen!) so it's been really hard for me to update my blog.  But please know that I'm ALWAYS keeping Rags to Reverie in consideration, whether I am throwing together an outfit or passing by a shopping center. There are so many things I'm excited to share, so I hope you'll continue visiting my blog for the rest of 2010 as well as 2011!  Unexpectedly, I've been updating my Tumblr a lot so head over there if you need an eye candy or music fix, but be warned of my lolcat speech and unabashed tendencies to fangirl!

I also hope that John and Yoko's Happy Xmas (War Is Over!) video in the right column didn't bring you down too much, though it does make a point that war only causes more pain and conflict.  To lift your spirits up (hopefully at least a bit!), here's an updated rendition of the Saturday Night Live holiday original, I Wish It Was Christmas Today, as performed by Julian Casablancas, The Roots, and SNL alums Horatio Sanz and Jimmy Fallon.  I've never found SNL amusing but this is probably one of my favorite songs to listen to in December!  Enjoy!



Illustration made by me with images from style.com

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Grace-ing Glossies


Meet Grace Gao (高国芝), hailing from China's Jiang Su province*.  Grace may remind you of Sun Fei Fei but those piercing eyes make her unique amongst fellow Chinese models.  Grace is relatively new to the industry, just starting as a model last year*, but she's already making it big, appearing in every issue of Numéro China thus far and just recently signing with Viva Paris*.  Can't say she's at the same level of Modeldom as Du Juan or Liu Wen, but Grace is bound to get there someday!  Let's hope she walks the Fall 2011 runways!


Looking mysterious in monochrome for Mei Yuan Gui's "Less is More" editorial featured in Numéro China #1.





Trying to hide from the spotlight in the Beauty section of Numéro China #2, shot by Tiziano Magni.




I just LOVE this editorial.  Those textures and the colors of the braids, dimly lit like that...IT'S JUST PERFECT.  From "Snow White", shot by Mei Yuan Gui for Numéro China #3.







This editorial, entitled "Heiress", totally reminds me of that amazing, artsy editorial from the June 2008 issue of Vogue China, which I actually bought. Shot by Mei Yuan Gui for Numéro China #2.












Yes, she smokes.  SAD FACE.

*Facts are according to tFS forum posts.
Images: tentalicious and Faith Akiyama of tFS

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Like I Mean It



I can't sit or stand still for my picture to be taken, even if it's in a studio, where, you know, I'm supposed to pose for photos.  I'll either have to stick out my tongue or hold up a peace sign as a way to appear natural around the photographer and whoever happens to be nearby.  Probably means that I wouldn't make a good model.  Then again, perhaps the people who have photographed me are just not very good at making their subjects feel comfortable!  I'll stick to that reason, just to make myself feel better.  I somehow managed to pull a serious face for the photograph below, maybe because it was my younger cousin who was taking my picture.  My friend and I were held an amateur photoshoot in her neighborhood's private lot, which is pretty much a quiet hillside that overlooks the city.  Thorns and thistles were aplenty and the season's super early sunset provided us some ethereal lighting and annoying shadows.  Forget ethereal lighting, I just want the sun to stay out longer.  Shorter days mean less outdoor playtime.


Scarf, Jacket, Shirts, Gifts bought in China.  Jeans, J Brand.  Shoes, Doc Martens.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Celebrating Vogue China



I've been told that I look "rich" because of the clothes I wear, which is REALLY a strange thing to hear since I strove so hard to break out of the cheap kids clothing that my mom bought me in middle school.  What will really make me look like a spoilt, rich kid is this iPad I have floating around my house.  Yes, a 32 GB iPad.  I swear, my family is still low income.  My uncle, who has the best luck, won this grand prize at a company raffle.  Since then, he's been letting the youngin's in the family play around with it.

Recently, I added Vogue China's Fifth Anniversary image album to the iPad and it's absolutely gorgeous!  Vogue China is one of my favorite fashion magazines in the world and it's amazing that it's distributed in the country my mother grew up in.  High fashion was pretty much nonexistent in China during the Cultural Revolution and now, beauty ads plague the nation!  The world's most dedicated fashion clients are Chinese!  The first issue of Vogue China sold out!  It's a strange shift, and I'm not ready to say whether it's good or bad.  I will say that this app is definitely worth looking through and it's free if you have an iPad (search "Vogue五周年" on iTunes).  But if not, here's a video preview of what the app looks like:



I start flipping through the images pretty quickly towards the end so feel free to pause and jump through the video.  Can you believe that Vogue China almost never reprints spreads?  Can't say the same about Vogue Australia!  There's a gallery of all the Vogue China covers and some short biographies of Chinese models, including Du Juan, Liu Wen, Shu Pei Qin, Emma Pei, Fei Fei Sun, and way more.  Glad my cousin can translate for me!  I really need to start working on my Chinese again.

Congrats, Vogue China, for five years of groundbreaking style!

To my lovely readers, I can't finish this post on a Black Friday without leaving you with some deals!:

1. Beyond the Rack - $5 shipping for the entire day + 5 sales every 5 hours
2. Threadless - $10 tees sale!
3. Gilt Groupe - Designer Final Sale + Free shipping on orders of $50 or more
4. Poketo - Free shipping on orders of $50 or more + 75% off at Los Angeles warehouse sale on Dec. 4
5. Editor's Closet - Up to 82% off clothing, shoes, and accessories from Azzedine Alaia, Bulgari, Chloé, Valentino, Yves Saint Laurent, and more
6. The Outnet - Free worldwide shipping
7. ideeli - Multiple sales featuring Bill Blass, Calvin Klein, Dolce & Gabbana, Emilio Pucci, and more
8. Borders Bookstores - Free coffee or latte (TODAY ONLY!)

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Punk'd, Halloween edition



So what happened to October?  It was Halloween before I even knew it!  I kept telling my friends that I wasn't doing anything for Halloween weekend other than writing a paper, but I did attend a productive little get-together at a nearby lake on Sunday.  Don't think I've ever mentioned this before, but Halloween is my least favorite holiday.  I don't enjoy having the living daylights scared out of me and I needn't mention how these teenage trick-or-treaters smashed my jack-o-lantern when I was 10 because my mom shut the door on them when we didn't have the candy ready yet.  Oddly, I've been dressing up for every Halloween since I was a kid and I think I only ever skipped my 6th grade Halloween (I was that traumatized by the event).  Every other year, I have a bad costume moment and last year was one of them.  I mean, is it that easy to mistake a Beatle as a business person?  Should've gotten a wig. This year, per my roomie's suggestion, I went as my psuedo-alter ego...a punk!


Jacket, Valerie Stevens Petite. Shirt, Yellow Rage. Necklace, Skullcandy. Lanyard (not that it matters), LACMA NexGen. Belt (which you can't really see), Borrowed from roomie. Necklace as bracelet, Brighton. Chain bracelet, Gift from Aunt. Green bag, Free gift with Teen Vogue subscription. Blue bag, The Sak. Shorts, Mom's vintage from China. Tights, American Apparel. Shoes, Doc Martens.

One picture featuring my face is really enough.  Do you know how embarrassing it is to pose for a picture while 10+ people raise their eyebrows at you??  I don't know how you fashion bloggers do these outfit posts!  I love how my costume turned out but my friends didn't get it at first glance.  Not that I really care!  Despite the stiffness of the jacket and the fact that my shoes still hurt my feet, it was liberating to dress up like this!  No wonder I do this every year!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Trying On Clothes I'll Never Have (Again)



A few weeks back I stopped by a certain discount department store for the first time.  My roomie's entire closet practically came from there and since I've always wanted to check out this store, I agreed to take us there (I have a car now, by the way -- I KNOW IT'S, A MIRACLE).  Of course, whenever I'm at a place overflowing with designer goods, I scour the racks just to find stuff to try on.  So with a mere $20 bill in my wallet, I go through all that Jason Wu, Phillip Lim, Dolce and Gabbana, Celine, and Fendi in my sights.  The discounts predictably didn't meet the standards for someone who doesn't like to spend more than $25 on jeans.  But that doesn't mean I can't try the stuff on!  Side note, did you know that some stores actually charge an admission price?  You can't even go inside the store without paying a fee.  Ridiculous.  I'm wearing a Jil Sander blazer (with matching pants that you can't see) in that photo up there.  Obviously the blazer wasn't the right fit for me but I thought it would go well with my Beatles shirt.  Because John Lennon wore a white suit for the Abbey Road album cover.  Clever, right?!



These pretty pearls were from a Dries Van Noten bolero, which was totally not a size 4.  Or was it a 34?  Either way, that photo of me in Dries will never see the day of light.  I tried on more than what you see here but most of that looked too embarrassingly frumpy on me.  So this is all you'll see for now (until the next "shopping trip")!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Stella Loves Aussies



Wait, Fashion Week ENDED?  Kidding -- I knew that already.  I don't think I've even looked at most of the NYFW collections yet but I've entered to that time of the year (slash school term) when I realize that my "intense" studying, AKA hours of daydreaming, does little good for my social life me.  Anyway, did you know that Stella McCartney has designed a second collection for Target Australia?  Yet American Target hasn't managed to get a hold of just ONE collaboration with her.  Big downside to this collection: the prices are still quite high, definitely not within American Target's price range.  BUT STILL!  You can get Stella McCartney pieces for less than $200!  Don't mind the "for Target" label printed on the tag! The following pieces will be sold in select Target stores in Australia starting October 29.



Hey look, it's another Stella.  That would be supermodel Stella Tennant wearing these looks. Sorry, Stella, but I'm going to have to crop your head out for the next few looks (darn Australian Target doesn't have proper full body images).





You know me...I love all things lace!  And Stella does a stellar job (get it?) with lace.





I love this outfit!  Looks better on the left.



The accessories.  Mehhhh...

So what have I learned from all this?  My family should've settled in Australia instead of America.

Image source: Target Australia

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

My Fashion's DAY Out


Hooray, outfit!  Glasses, Coach. Jacket, Macy's $1 sample. Shirt, Two Rabbits screenprints on American Apparel. Belt, Vintage Guess. Jeans, American Apparel. Shoes, Doc Martens. Bag, Levi's.

Just when you thought all the talk about Fashion's Night Out was over, I decide to write this post!  As mentioned before, I planned on going to Fashion's Night Out in San Francisco and...I went!  I didn't buy anything.  But I was there!  There was very little commotion and unluckily for me, stores closed right at 8:30 PM.  No Saks DJ set?  Fine.  My friends, who were more intent on purchasing items that night, popped into stores with lower-priced clothing.  Gap, H&M, Forever 21 *shudders*, and finally, Macy's.  We stayed in Macy's until it closing (past 9:30PM).  I was DEAD tired and everything below my hip was sore the next morning.  Still, Fashion's Night Out was a good way to explore all the shops at Union Square.  I sort of had to contain myself as my friends and I zipped past all the shiny window displays.


Modeling/styling/designing competition?




Gerhard Richter's 256 Colors (1974).  My sleeve is extremely distracting.

September 10 was a LONG day for me so I'll backtrack a little more.  My friend/hostess and I explored all four floors of the San Francisco Museum of Art, which might be my new favorite California art museum.  Yes, the admission price is outrageous compared to that of LACMA's but there's no ban on photography!  So I made the most of my $18 (forgot my student ID at home) and took pictures of pretty much every work that tickled my fancy.


Smiling in front of another Gerhard Richter work.  I'd like him to paint my room.


Last rewind -- my first stop of the day was UC Berkeley to visit my cousins.  Such an eclectic student population!  And pretty much everything you'll ever need in life is within walking distance from campus, including food (restaurants on every block), clothing (American Apparel, Urban Outfitters), and music (Amoeba, Rasputin).  Speaking of music, the UC Berkeley area is an AMAZING place to visit for all music lovers.  Vinyl records, CDs and DVDs are aplenty but there's also this place on the bottom floor of Bear Basics (independent college merch store...cheaper than the Cal bookstore) called T-Shirt Orgy!  You can buy official T-shirts from every band/artist you could legitimately call "amazing".  Here's the dealbreaker: T-shirt Orgy only stocks men's sizes.  NOT FAIR.  But in retrospect, I really should've just spent $20 on that men's large Plastic Ono Band shirt.


By the way, follow my Fashion Weekers Twitter list to get the scoop on London Fashion Week!  I'm constantly adding Twit folk to my list, as well as trimming the fat off (goodbye, fake model tweets).

Monday, September 13, 2010

New Shoes Turned Old


Starting point: Los Angeles International Airport

I've been breaking in my relatively new Doc Martens quite nicely during my holiday (in which I rarely have time to sit down).  Take a look at my shoes' Bay Area journey in short montage form and see how they've transformed to (slightly) more wearable shoes.


At UC Berkeley. My shoes feel hip enough to walk the campus but not quite smart enough.


On the BART


At the Exploratorium

And at the end of each day, I realize that those Doc Martens comfort insoles really are necessary. P.S. My birthday's next week.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Alive in SF!



Sorry sorry sorry, I know I said I would be updating the blog but I've been so busy dashing from Oakland to Berkeley to San Francisco then back to Oakland!  Oh, the places you go with quality public transportation and enough change.  My verdict on the Bay Area so far: it's amazing!  You know what might be even more amazing than the Bay Area?  The fact that I haven't been keeping up with New York Fashion Week at all.  But you totally can, with the help of my Fashion Weekers Twitter list!  Follow and check up on the list to get multiple insiders' perspectives of what's been showing on the runway.

I won't get into details about my trip just yet, mainly because it's late and I haven't gotten much sleep in the past few days, but I PROMISE I'll return with stories to tell!

Why yes, that's my face up there!  Apparently I wore my glasses too long.  I'm in front of a Cy Twombly piece at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA).

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Plan Your Fashion's Night Out NOW!



I can't believe I've put off talking about Fashion's Night Out until NOW because the epic event is just days away!  It's kind of amazing how this fashion phenomenon has expanded to 16 countries and more than 100 cities in America.  Sounds like a big deal.  Even Los Angeles has set up an official Fashion's Night Out page on the city website, and just from looking at that list of participating LA stores, I feel a bit overwhelmed.  It's all good fun but simplicity is enough for me!  Coincidentally, I'll be at San Francisco's smaller Fashion's Night Out, which should still be quite the affair despite not reaching the proportions of LA's or NYC's events.



It's kind of funny yet devilishly clever that most stores aren't hosting sales during Fashion's Night Out.  Rather, it's a way of getting people to see shopping as a fun activity, not an inconvenient one.  At your nearest Fashion's Night Out, probably in some kind of urban environment, you'll find freebies galore and enough celebs to make you feel faint.  Of all the events taking place in New York City, I would most want to attend Karen Elson's gig at the Balenciaga store.  Here you'll be able to buy her latest LP and if you're as fearless as I am, you'd go up to her and ask her to autograph that newly bought album!  Cindy Sherman's Untitled (Balenciaga) exhibit, which features her multiple Balenciaga-donning personas, will also be making its U.S. debut at the store.  Seriously, this is the best event in NYC -- fashion, music, and art lovers will all get a treat!  But I'm on the wrong coast.

Also, if you're at the Big Apple for Fashion Week, Mintbox has some exclusive offers for you.  Sip on cocktails, model for a professional photographer, and enjoy a 30% discount at Vivienne Tam.  Then trot over to a Paige Denim store for a free gift with every purchase and a 20% discount (works in LA and Las Vegas stores, too)!  All you have to do is RSVP to these events here.



It's easy to be jealous of you East Coasters but California will be poppin' on the 10th.  As if LA isn't congested enough on Friday nights!  However, the Beverly Center is offering FREE parking!  Or you can bus to shop-filled neighborhoods at no cost!  Take my word--free parking is a BIG deal!  This is the city that banks on home-grown traffic but on Friday, you have an incentive to get out and have fun!  Had I decided to stay in SoCal all summer and venture to shop on this Friday, I'd definitely stop by Chanel for a free manicure.  I go stupid for trendy nail colors.  And since this is LA, food trucks will line up all over the city for you fashion AND food lovers.  Lastly, you'll find a ferris wheel on Rodeo Drive.  Yes, that Rodeo Drive.  Just show a proof of purchase to get a lovely view of the evening mayhem.



Back to reality -- I'm going to be in SF this FNO and I know I'll be heading to Saks Fifth Avenue to have an artist transform me into a fashion sketch!  Hopefully I won't need to purchase anything.  By the way, if you live in or have toured the San Francisco area, are there any spots you'd recommend for me to visit?  I haven't been in NorCal probably since middle school so I'm super excited to walk San Francisco without a tour guide giving me a 5 AM wake-up call and pushing me out of the hotel to enjoy the city before going back into the bus a couple of hours later (this is seriously what happens).  I'll have internet access while I'm on holiday so I'll be sure to blog about my Bay Area exploits!

And for those who feel like they can't get in on the Fashion's Night Out fun in their area, fear not!  On Thursday, September 9, LuisaViaRoma will host a Fun Fast Flash sale, slashing See by Chloé prices by 50%!   Threadless is also having a $9 tee sale going on right now!  Hurry hurry!

Images: BeautyIsDiverse.com, Hint Mag, Los Angeles Times website, earthtoandrea via Flickr

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Audrey Magazine


The good folks at Audrey Magazine kindly sent me their Fall 2010 issue featuring my photo submission!  And to my surprise, the picture is the sole image on the issue's last page.  *Blush*  But that's not why you should pick up this magazine.  Here's my story about how I found Audrey...



Whenever I'm home, I drop by the library to pick up a DVD and sometimes a book to flip through.  I always pass by the magazine racks to see if there's an issue that's even mildly intriguing.  Of all the covers I saw, the one that caught my attention featured a model probably no taller than 5'3".  But that's not all...she was Asian!  You'll almost NEVER find an American magazine featuring an Asian on the cover!  I pick up this glossy, which turned out to be Audrey Magazine.



Since then I've scoured the library's magazine racks at least once a month for a chance to peruse the pages of the latest Audrey.  I've even had to ask for it by name since my library constantly buries Audrey issues under Art in America and other glossies that start with "A".  People of all ethnicities can enjoy this Asian American lifestyle magazine, as you'll find plenty of fashion in these pages. But what sets this magazine apart from the rest is that almost every face you'll see in Audrey is an Asian American one.  Lots of Asian models and plenty of up-and-coming Asian/American designers and artists.



This magazine is SERIOUSLY what I needed because as you may not know, I'm quite frustrated by the media's unwillingness to put a people of color in the spotlight.  Ethnic Studies Lucy can go on and on about what makes Audrey awesome.  The only thing that Audrey could do to make me love them anymore is to feature more diverse models and actors, not just those who have Anglo facial features or European/South American blood. But I know that the lack of diversity is mostly a problem of the fashion and entertainment industries' and Audrey is doing an exceptional job of showcasing Asian American figures.