Janelle Monae’s Many Moons

•06/03/2009 • Leave a Comment
Janelle Monae is making her way into American households with terrible Christmas commercials for Gap and singing for Coke campaigns. However, Monae claims her true identity is that of Cindi Mayweather, a fugitive android accused of falling in love with a human. Which in her time and manufacturer’s planet is illegal. I shit you not.
So, why am I blogging about this ? Well, because she has been compared to Rachael from Bladrunner and many reviewers have compared her themes to Bladerunner as well. The clothing is not so great, but just her concept is enough for be to be interested to see if good fashion will follow. Plus, who could not love this album cover:  
Don’t take this too seriously, it is just the theme of her album to which the “Many Moons” single belongs. The concept of the video is quite remarkable, but not as well executed as it could have been. The song itself is a cross between Outkast “Hey Ya!,” Billy Joel “We Didn’t Start the Fire,” and SWV “I’m So Into You” all to the Sesame Street count to 12 intermission song. Yes, one of King Diddy’s best.  The video is an equestrian dressed android auction taking place in a nightclub setting with an evil corporation bidding against vampires.  The end involves brides and horses or something. 

Black Magic Beauty

•05/18/2009 • Leave a Comment


Black Magic BeautyTeen Vogue, April 2009

I’ll admit, I love reading Teen Vogue, because it is like big girl Vogue without all of the articles on Botox and pretentiousness. I became hooked on it when I was a designer in the Juniors market and had to keep up with what the kiddies were into. American magazines are my favorite for pulling tears because it is nice to see American’s adapting to fashion trends that might be slightly dark or unique. I try to make it a point to find take-aways like this layout, which may not be that different to us, but possibly very different to the average mall teen, especially since it is being shown in April instead of October.

Pixel Prints

•05/14/2009 • Leave a Comment

Pixel PrintsElle Magazine

April 2009

The forcasting sites have been noting a futuristic theme coming up almost every season.  The runways are showing it and yet the public is still not responding.  Hopefully soon, after seeing enough of it, they will be ready to party in silly future fashions like it’s 1997 again.

Hwang Jin-Yi: My Designs

•05/13/2009 • 3 Comments

I completed eight garments total for this collection.  I am a sucker for anything dip-dyed or gauze, so I had to work with both here.  As you can see, not all of the garments are traditional, but take inspiration from Korean culture and some Chinese culture as well. 

The above is my version of a cute Korean style prom dress, which was inspired by Goong (Palace: Princess Hours) .

The hair was fun as well.   I just made two large braids out of yaky loose hair (about 3 bags per braid), then wrapped the braid around the models head and pinned it with bobby pins.  Easy, fun, and did not take that long at all.  The traditional kisaeng styles were done in a similar manner or a full wig was worn.

There is boning in the upper bodice to hold the heavy dress up.  The skirts on all of these garments are comprised of more than five layers of  fabrics.   I have never worked in brown before, but I loved this vinyl fabric and the way that the mahogany wood plaque matches perfectly.

The above coordinating garment is actually my favorite of all.  It is the most sophisticated with the most details and has the best fit. 

I figured that I should try a pantsuit version as a variation.  This one actually fits quite well and laces all the way down the back.  There is red contrast stitching on the bodice and a traditional coat.  Notice the large plaque or propaganda.  As you saw from the movie and show postings that the more pieces of ornaments hanging from your hanbok, the more popular you are.

Interested in seeing more photos?  Check out the photostream.

Hwang Jin-Yi, Part 2

•05/12/2009 • Leave a Comment

In my opinion, the Hwang Jin-Yi movie was not as entertaining as the miniseries drama.  However, the fashions were more to my taste because they were a lot darker and the entire feel of the movie was gloomy.   Anyways, I am not here to write a movie review but talk about how the fashions inspired my eight piece collection that was shown at Convergence 14 in Tampa. 


The above image goes to show how important the release of the movie was to South Korea, it made the cover of Korean Vogue.   

My favorite portions of the garment are the chima, which is a full long skirt that wraps around the body and ties at the top multiple times.  The top wrapping portion of the chima is meant to flatten the breasts and hold securely.  I decided to make a mock version of the top portion that is just a short bodice that laces up in the back for the same flattening effect.  The jeoguri is the short jacket portion of the hanbock, which is an entirely seperate garment with many components.  Just like a kimono, the jeoguri has a replaceable paper collar.  I made some of the jeoguri with traditional collars,  different variations of mandarin collars, and some outfits with no matching jackets at all.  The most fascinating part of the traditional garments, is that sometimes the kisaeng will wear an umbrella type hat, then cover that hat with lace or a veil.  I have only seen this twice, and there is not much information about the hats in my research, so I hope to work more with them in the future.  My favorite is the black umbrella hat below covered in black lace.


If you are interested in watching any of these shows or movies, but cannot find them to rent.  I recommend watching them on Mysoju.com, the movie or the miniseries.

Hwang Jin-Yi, Part 1

•04/16/2009 • Leave a Comment

Hwang Jin-Yi, the Korean fashion icon, was a famous kisaeng (gisaeng) during the Joseon (Chosun) Dynasty. This is often the dynasty that you will hear of the most in Korean history because of the fashion, food, music, literature, and rulers of the time.  When Jin-Yi became a popular kiseang her name was changed to Myeongwol and she attracted quite a following of suitors, some even said to be in the royal family and politicians. She was known for her outgoing personality, lack of fear, and that she found men humorous and used them for her entertainment rather than fearing them. There are numorous plays, operas, a movie, and a TV show based on her life. All of them including beautiful women wearing ornate and layered hanboks and dancing gracefully to traditional music.
This will become a series of entries cover my entire inspiration from Hwang Jin-Yi, starting with the KBS mini series.


Note all of the adornments, such as layered wigs with hair decorations.  As well as the silk fabrics and varying weaving and dying techniques used.  I find the tassles and hanging ornaments very interesting as well.  Many of the tassles were made with natural fibers, precious stones, and were often dip-dyed.  The authentic tassles were not something that I would be able to acheive.  I even shopped in Manhattan for authentic replicas and was not able to find anything close. 


The larger amount of hanging tassles and knotwork decorations the better.  The basket or umbrella hats are amazing, especially when covered in black lace, shown in the movie in my next post.  There was also skirt bundling with rope for everyday walking, which created a nautral bustle effect that was adorable and effortless.

Reem Alasadi’s Beautiful Agony

•04/02/2009 • Leave a Comment

Reem Alasadi was raised in London and worked for one of the most prestigious vintage boutiques of Notting Hill.  Finally she went out on her own, using recycled fabrics to construct her amazing couture pieces.  There has been some controversy saying that she was just restyling vintage pieces rather than creating new designs from scratch.  Her website goes into detail explaining that she used to do this while starting out, but now she does construct all her pieces from scratch sometimes using vintage trims.  She is a self taught designer that turned down an education at St. Martins, and was quickly noticed by top London fashion houses for her freelance work.


My favorite collection would have to be “Beautiful Agony” using lace findings, feathers, doll heads and tea dying to create disturbing and shredded pieces with tons of detail.  The last image is her temporary market stall at the trendy Laforet Harajuku.