edie campbell in vogue paris

Hey y’all,

I just wanted to share a few photos from this amazing Vogue Paris editorial featuring Edie Campbell. This totally encapsulates what I’m going for in my look right now, and I’m a huge Edie fan. (Is it weird that I kind of want her haircut, too?)

[image source]



capsule wardrobe #2: signature outfit

Hello dear reader! Against all odds, I am BACK with part TWO of my capsule wardrobe series! Le gasp!

In Part One I created moodboards and got a general sense of what my style and aesthetic are. In this part I waded into the deep and murky world of signature outfits. The signature outfit is the nucleus around which the capsule wardrobe orbits. Sorry, I’m in pretentious metaphor mode–in simpler terms, it’s the one outfit that you wear the most, that you reach for everyday, that makes up the core of your wardrobe.

I took a few different elements into consideration, as outlined on Into Mind in her post on developing a signature look. Firstly, what am I practically going to be doing in this outfit, if this is indeed what I’m planning on wearing most days? Well, right now I’m riding the unemployment train, but generally I work in TV/film production which entails long hours and lots of physical activity. I also like to keep my options open in my daily life–what if I suddenly want to dance, or break out a jump kick? Basically comfort is key. Other considerations taken into account were weather (I’m finally spending a winter in sunny California, yay!) and what kinds of outfits suit me.

Then I broke it down by the key components that Into Mind outlines: proportion, colour, accessories, hair + make-up, and details, which I’m now going to go into one by one, complete with illustrations!

1.) Proportion

Behold, the wonders of my own, personal SIGNATURE OUTFIT! When I looked at my moodboards and thought about what I currently wear day to day, this seemed like the most basic iteration of my entire look. At first glance a mini-skirt may not seem very practical or comfortable, but throw on a pair of bike shorts under that baby and suddenly you can do anything!

The proportion I’m going for here is a) defined waist, b) short hem and c) loooong legs–aka generally 1960s-esque. Like I mentioned in my previous post, the 60s are my favorite decade in fashion, in addition to being a particularly flattering time for my body type.

The fun thing about this outfit is that there are so many different ways to wear it. You can throw a blazer or a trusty oxford-and-sweater combo into the mix and suddenly you’re good to go in cooler weather:

Or you can mix it up with patterns and colors to create a more mod/schoolgirl/punk feeling (which are all things I strive to appear to be):

I also created a couple of secondary outfits that are generally the same proportion: long, lean silhouette; short hems (created by the long, baggy sweaters). Even though I’ve always loved the idea of uniforms, in my everyday life I’m definitely one for variation, so I want to have a couple of standbys that still work with my proportions.

2.) Color

These are the colors I always find myself drawn to these days, which generally seem to be very nautical. I also think they fit into the punk/schoolgirl/mod theme very well, and mix and match with each other perfectly.

3.) Accessories

Ah, my Achilles Heel. I am such a sucker for accessories. It is by far the most bloated part of my wardrobe. I don’t wear too much jewelry, usually just earrings and rings, so I like jewelry that’s low key but also shows off my personality. I love the safety pin-inspired jewelry on this board because it suggests punk details while maintaining a ladylike daintiness.

I have always had a mad love affair with hosiery. When I was in high school I had the craziest collection of socks and tights which often tipped slightly over the line into tacky. Now I’m a little more subdued, but I still love me a good patterned sock. (You can’t see it above, but the striped sock also has an embroidered gold zipper on it. Again with the dainty punkiness!) Knee socks and tights are also a key part of my wardrobe.

With bags, I like a clean line made in shiny, perfect leather, and lately I’ve been finding myself particularly drawn to leather backpacks. Up until now I’ve had a pretty beat-up Fjallraven backpack which I adore, but has also seen better days. Maybe the leather backpack is just the more practical, mature older sister. I always need room in my bag for a notebook, and now my iPad, in case a creative mood strikes.

I think most of the accessories on this board reflect my love for menswear, but my one girly obsession is BOWS. BOWS BOWS BOWS. I love ‘em. When I worked for American Apparel, I had an assortment of hair bows in every color. I only just retired them a couple of years ago, finally deeming them too immature for my grown-up lifestyle. (Sob.) However, they don’t have to be exiled forever, and I love this bow-tie that adds a little flair and, dare I say it, schoolgirliness to any outfit. I actually own the patent leather belt with the bow, and I have to say it was a particularly great investment. It adds a nice touch of detail to any outfit. Just ties the whole room together.

And finally THE HAT. With my newly shorn hair I’ve been getting way more into hats, and when looking through my moodboards I found this style popping up quite a bit. Apparently it’s called a Greek fisherman’s hat–who knew! I always got a British military vibe from it. Anyway, I want it. I WANT IT BAD. I just know it’s going to be the perfect topper to any fall/winter outfit (which is quickly approaching, folks!).

4.) Hair + make-up

Lately I’ve been rocking short hair cuts, and right now it’s basically in a pixie. Which means I can go crazy with make-up! As you can see in this moodboard, I favor a strong eye and neutral lip–again, very sixties! My daily make-up routine consists of cat-eye liquid eyeliner, the slightest bit of illuminator, and a dash of lipstick. I love playing with make-up, so I don’t like to lock myself into anything, but overall my everyday look is something like what you see above. Except less cool.

5.) DETAILS!
I often look at details more on a case-by-case basis, so it’s hard to determine based on my theoretical signature outfit without seeing something in front of me. Maybe this has more to do with proportions, but I basically like to balance my outfits–perhaps juxtaposition is the word I’m looking for? I don’t want to tip into looking like a punk/schoolgirl parody, but at the same time I also don’t want to be boring. Whatever maintains a bit of interest is alright with me. If the whole thing is getting too frilly, add a menswear belt. Too plain? Add some patterned socks. Too masculine? BAM, drop a bow on it. And even though I’m not too much of a Coco Chanel fan (NAZIS) I do ascribe to her timeless advice to take an accessory off before leaving the house. I tend to over-accessorize so this keeps me from looking too ridiculous.

So, that’s it! Signature outfits! Will I rigidly stick to this and wear it everyday? Eh, probably not. Still, it’s been immensely helpful to just think about what kinds of outfits and proportions work for me. All of this has set me on the path to stocking my wardrobe with pieces I’ll be able to wear and combine more seamlessly. Up next is wardrobe structure, eep! See you then!



london town!

Hello friends!

For a long time I’ve been interested in trying to do a webseries on YouTube. Specifically, a webseries where the story is entirely told in straight-to-camera vlogs (short for “video blogs”). I love The Lizzie Bennet Diaries, a modern retelling of Pride and Prejudice where Lizzie Bennet is a communications major creating vlogs for her thesis. The series is so much fun, and you definitely need to check it out ASAP if you’re a) a fan of Jane Austen or b) a fan of good things. What I found most inspiring is how they created a world and multi-layered story just through 3-5 minute diary videos. It’s so simple, yet they did so much with the format. For ages I’ve wanted to do something similar, and now I finally have! And it’s called London Town.

I came up with the idea whilst being super jealous of my sister’s semester abroad in London this past summer and simultaneously reminiscing about my own time studying abroad there. It was the fall of 2009. I was a shy, lonely person, desperately unhappy at a college where I felt fatally ~*~misunderstood~*~. I decided I needed something fabulous and new, so without telling anyone I applied to study in London, in Mile End specifically, because I loved this Pulp song, like, a lot. (Nevermind that it makes Mile End sound like a shithole stuck in a dump located in someone’s butthole.)

Going in, I had a lot of worries. What if I didn’t make any friends? What if, despite my lifelong Anglophilia, I didn’t like London? What if I really was just a boring, lame person? Luckily, all of these worries proved unfounded, and I had the most amazing three months of my life. Here’s a picture that sums up my time in London pretty well:

For a long time I’ve been wanting to write something about the experience, but I couldn’t figure out the right way to approach it. Coupled with the seeming impossibility of ever having enough money to try to go back to/shoot in England in the near future, I put the idea aside. UNTIL! One day I was walking home and thinking about London and The Lizzie Bennet Diaries and I was like OH CRAP! This is how I can do it! Suddenly all of the stars aligned, and I could suddenly see how I could kill multiple creative birds with one stone.

So I did it. And you can watch it above. This is just the pilot, but I’m planning to write and shoot the series when I’m back in LA and in the same area as the lovely actress, Samantha Wyllis. However, since that’s a bit of a ways in the future, I thought I’d share this now. Just so you know I’m not dead, and I’m still making stuff, and whatnot.



capsule wardrobe #1: personal style

There are a lot of big changes happening in my life right now (quitting my long-term job, moving across the country, !!!) so in order to distract myself and feel some measure of control over my life I’m obsessing over the idea of creating a CAPSULE WARDROBE. I first started thinking about it when I came across the blog Un-Fancy, a super cute, unpretentious fashion blog all about creating and wearing your very own capsule wardrobe.

What is a capsule wardrobe, you might ask? Caroline from Un-Fancy defines it as “a mini wardrobe made up of really versatile pieces that you totally LOVE to wear.” Basically, you cull all of the crap you don’t use out of your life, and stick with less stuff, but stuff that you actually need. I’ve been especially mulling over the idea of making more with less now that I have to sift through all of the junk I’ve accumulated over the past 3.5 years of my life in NYC and figure out what I actually want to bring back with me to LA. Maybe it’s the commitment-phobe in me, but I like the idea of being able to pack up at a moments notice and take off to wherever I need to go.

There are a few things that particularly appeal to me about the capsule wardrobe:

1) It’s anti-consumerist, and fights the idea of quantity over quality. In the era of (buzzword-alert!) FAST FASHION we’ve grown so accustomed to buying cheap crap we don’t need just because we can, because we feel like there’s some void within us that we can fill with piles and piles of STUFF. Committing to a capsule wardrobe forces you to carefully consider your shopping choices, and reduces the probability of buying something you don’t have any use for.

2) It’s been scientifically proven (somewhere, don’t ask me to look it up) that having too many choices can make you less happy, and this has definitely proven true for me in terms of my wardrobe. For a long time I’ve bought things that stick out to me in the moment, but don’t actually integrate into my wardrobe very well. Every morning I open my closet and am faced with so many PATTERNS and COLORS and different designs and aesthetics and it honestly stresses me out. I’ve noticed that I’m much happier when I travel and am forced to bring a smaller amount of versatile clothing from which I can create multiple outfits.

3) Because my closet is so schizophrenic, I feel like it doesn’t really represent who I am as a person. As a creative (ugh) I like to think of my clothes as another way to express myself, so it actually feels like cognitive dissonance when I wear an outfit that doesn’t feel like ME. (First world problems much?)

So, being super obsessive and whatnot, I’ve been agonizing over how to create a capsule wardrobe for myself. Through Un-Fancy I found a link to an amazingly detailed and organized instructional website called Into Mind which is basically a wet dream for OCD detail-oriented people like me. This beautifully designed site lays out the roadmap to the perfect capsule wardrobe through Six Pillars of Wardrobe Building:

1) Define your personal style
2) Develop a signature look
3) Wardrobe structure
4) Creating outfits
5) Wardrobe organization
6) Streamline your beauty routine

I’ve decided to use these pillars as a rough guide to my own personal journey through the world of capsule wardrobes. However, I’m also determined NOT to go crazy (so hard!) and get too caught up in the details and nitty gritty of everything (SERIOUSLY SO HARD!!!). I’ve noticed that one of the cardinal rules many capsuling peeps follow is to have a specific number of pieces in their wardrobe. For Un-Fancy it’s 37, for Into Mind it’s somewhere between 30-40. Knowing myself, this restriction will literally drive me insane and I will get all caught up in this one specific thing and neglect the larger idea of the capsule wardrobe, which is to ONLY HAVE CLOTHES THAT YOU ACTUALLY WEAR. So yes. I’m electing to ignore that.

BACK TO THE PILLARS, I’m devoting one blog post per pillar (or more, like I said, I’m keepin’ this loose) so I’m starting with PERSONAL STYLE! This step is the easiest and most fun for me, because I’m addicted to Pinterest and already have a good sense of what my aesthetic is. As recommended by both Into Mind and Un-Fancy, I started with a mood board of outfits I can personally see wearing, then broke it down to find patterns. Being an analytical person, this was both fun and terrifying because I take things wayyy too seriously and gleaned way too many patterns and such from my mood boards, which I have collected here as a handy reference for both you and me!

NUMBER ONE: SIMPLE RETRO MINI SILHOUETTE

It’s no secret that the sixties are my favorite era for pretty much everything, but mostly for fashion. I love the short hems, the A-line mini-skirts, the color-blocking, the bold shapes, the tights down to the mid-high heel…I also know that these silhouettes work well for me, being a Twiggy-sized person. I think this moodboard represents the basic silhouette I’m going for: clean lines, short hem with long legs.

NUMBER TWO: MONOCHROME PATTERN MIXING

A twist on my basic silhouette. Another thing I love about the sixties are the bold patterns, especially in black and white. I love stripes, checks, houndstooth… Also, when the patterns are monochrome, you can mix them together without it looking too crazy, and god knows I love me some pattern-mixing.

NUMBER THREE: PUNK SCHOOLGIRL

Another variation on the basic silhouette: schoolgirl style and/or punk style. I’ve always loved the idea of a uniform, so school uniforms have always appealed to me. I also love the patterns involved — plaid, argyle — as well as the fun accessories — satchels, berets, knee-high socks. I also love punk-inspired looks, adding some edge to what could be cloying sweetness with the schoolgirl look. Hosiery and make-up are key here — rip up some fishnet stockings, smudge some black eyeliner around your eyes, and you’re good to go.

NUMBER FOUR: MENSWEAR & TROUSERS

The previous boards are all based around skirts; this is my trouser board. With trousers I favor a good menswear look, especially in layering a white collared shirt with a crewneck sweater (also very schoolgirl) with a very masculine coat and menswear shoes (oxfords, Chelsea boots, monk shoes). This can go either with skinny jeans (a perennial favorite) or looser trousers. For a more casual look, pair a baggy sweater or sweatshirt with skinny jeans, or do a casual plain shirt with some oversized Levi’s. None of these looks are particularly feminine — I do favor androgyny.

NUMBER FIVE: LONG MINIMAL LINES

I think of this as my post-punk board; very dark and minimalist and looooong. I’ve found myself drawn to midi-skirts yet somehow I DON’T OWN ONE. I clearly like pairing them with long, loose sweaters, creating one long continuous line down the body. I also like the long, clean minimal look with trousers — keep everyone one color to, again, create the long line from your head to toe. Make sure everything is dark in order to maximize goth-ness.

NUMBER SIX: GIRLY STUFF

But it isn’t all so dark and gloomy! I do enjoy a feminine edge, mostly through mixing light-colored textures. It’s not over the top girly, it just adds a bit of softness.

To sum up my six insanely detailed boards: I like juxtaposition, not making anything too hard or too soft. I like an androgynous edge, but mixed with some feminine details. I don’t want to go too twee with the sixties-inspired looks, which is where the punk and post-punk details come in. I also like juxtaposition in my proportions: short skirts with long legs and color-blocking, baggy shirts with skinny pants, long but slim, etc. So while this all may seem a bit wide-ranging, I can see the connecting throughlines and patterns through all six moodboards.

Up next is the signature look–I can already see it coming together just from this first little exercise. Stay tuned for more in THE ADVENTURES OF THE CAPSULE WARDROBE!



on howard ashman

Lately the film “Waking Sleeping Beauty” has been a huge inspiration. To me, there may be no medium that blends talent, hard work, dedication, and skill like animation does; it’s an art form that I admire immensely. Of course, Disney movies were a big part of my childhood, and I had even more respect for the films because my dad is an animator and taught me about the enormous amount of work and art goes into creating something like a Disney animated feature film. “Waking Sleeping Beauty” explores the Second Renaissance (Little Mermaid through Lion King) of Disney animation, and although all of the tales of CEO squabbling and posturing are fascinating, what’s most interesting (and inspiring) to me is seeing the process of a group of talented individuals who come together and create some amazing pieces of art. Watching films like this one make me want to go on and create something amazing myself.

This goes without saying, but possibly the most indelible aspect of the Disney films of the period are the songs. Who can think of Little Mermaid without “Part of My World” or “Under the Sea,” or Beauty and the Beast without “Be My Guest” and “Beauty and the Beast”? Whenever I hear these songs, I’m immediately taken back to my childhood, and to these magical stories that were also able to evoke incredible human emotion. I’d always been aware that these songs had to be written by someone, but was woefully ignorant of who that might be until I watched this movie. Thankfully, “Waking Sleeping Beauty” introduces us to the songwriting duo Alan Menken and Howard Ashman, and Ashman in particular is amazing to get to know.

In an interview with the director Don Hahn, Hahn mentions that he was surprised that Roy Disney actually compared Ashman to the untouchable Walt Disney, but he could see how Ashman had that same effect that Walt did in galvanizing the studio to greater creative heights. In the clips where we get to see Ashman in action, his intensity and fierce intelligence and distinct point of view are all apparent. He was ostensibly brought onto these projects as a lyricist, but he was instrumental in making The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast and Aladdin into the classics they’re known as today. The people I most admire and who most inspire me are those who are incredibly talented and work incredibly hard and have unique viewpoints, so it’s really no surprise that watching and learning about Howard Ashman has had a real effect on me. However, learning about him is also bittersweet because of his untimely death due to complications from AIDS. It’s difficult to put into words how tragic his passing is — especially because I didn’t know him personally (obviously) and I don’t want to cheapen his death by making it all about ME — but it’s just very sad to know that this vibrant personality, who clearly had so much more to give, who was so bright and talented and at the top of his game, is gone from this world forever. He’s the kind of person who brings to mind the word “irreplaceable.”



a scene in between

Do you ever get the feeling that you belong in a different time? I finally bought A Scene In Between, because I knew that this book was basically made for me–and guess what! It was! It features all of my favorite bands, all of my favorite kinds of fashion…it’s really the holy grail. I feel like I’ve finally found my place in this world, but unfortunately this place only existed twenty years ago in the UK…

It ties into my growing fascination with twee and underground movements. I’ve been listening to twee and reading this old essay about twee on Pitchfork and thinking about what it means to have an underground movement. In a time when technology is supposed to make it oh-so-easy to connect to the people around you, I often feel isolated and impotent. There are so many voices out there, shouting and making noise, that it’s hard to make your own noise heard. I wonder whether it’s worth trying to make some kind of mark on the world, whether anything can actually change. I don’t know much about world events; I only know enough to constantly feel an impending sense of doom.

What does this have to do with twee? I’m not really sure. I just keep thinking about underground music movements of the past. I’ve been reading this book Lipstick Traces, and so far it’s been a lot about the Sex Pistols and what they meant for culture at the time. It was so shocking and revolutionary in the 70s for a bunch of snotty kids to yell curse words at authority figures, and I thought about how such a thing would barely make a ripple these days, in a culture where anything goes. Of course freedom of expression is a good thing, but how can one be an individual when everyone is an individual? I don’t know if I’m making any sense.

I like handmade things, and creating my own world, and the small and personal, which is what I like about twee. I do think that in the consumerist, big-corporation, international world we live in, there’s a value in thinking local and small. But we can’t think too small, right, otherwise we lose a sense of the bigger picture, and the bigger picture is important. You have to have some knowledge of the larger context of your actions. But this leads me in the same contradictory circle over and over—so to make a bigger change, you have to think smaller? Or do you have to make smaller changes that ultimately add up to something bigger? And where does your own personal happiness factor in? At what cost do we make a revolutionary change?

However, what I like about twee and the movement explored in A Scene In Between is that these aren’t people who came from means and had the luxury to wile their hours away making music and zines and what-not…they had day jobs, and the music and zines were their entry into a world that they would otherwise be excluded from. The music isn’t polished and made with high quality equipment; it was recorded with rudimentary materials in someone’s bedroom. The zines are cheaply made and xeroxed–which isn’t to say that they weren’t made with care. These misfits saw that the mainstream world wouldn’t accept them, so they created their own world.

But I digress…this book has introduced me to The Pastels, and they. are. perfect. I can’t stop listening to them, and their songs are stuck in my head constantly. I also might be a tiny bit in love with Stephen Pastel, but don’t tell anyone.





punk marie antoinette



THE DIRE STATE OF MOVIES


idk a picture of me directing my latest short film is that narcissistic IDK

Okay, so maybe the title is a liiiiittle hyperbolic, but I’ve been reading a lot about how this summer’s blockbuster season has been a bit of a bummer. (Summer. Bummer. IT RHYMES!) And it’s true–I barely went to the theaters this summer, and when I did, it was for films like Frances Ha, Upstream Color and Blue Jasmine, not any tentpole blockbusters. I’ve had my own thoughts about why movies have become particularly terrible, but I hesitated to write something about it because critics all over the internet have written approximately ten million think-pieces concerning this very subject. However, very few people have addressed what I see as the biggest problem in movies: the lack of any original, non-white-or-male voices in the film industry.

Recently I’ve found myself growing increasingly disinterested in discussion about upcoming directors and upcoming projects because I realize that none of the decisions Hollywood makes are made with me, a half-Asian young woman, in mind. Now, to be fair, I also realize that movies these days largely aren’t made for Americans at all–they’re made to appeal to international audiences who have little interest in “American” stories. In the interest of mass appeal, movies have been growing broader, and less specifically “American,” so as not to alienate international audiences. But let’s be real: movies have never been made with women in mind. (I know this isn’t really a HOLY SHIT MIND BLOWING statement to make.) When I look at blogs like Hollywood Boys Club, I’m again smacked in the face by the knowledge that TV shows and movies aren’t made for women, and they’re definitely not made by women. Even major movie studios who make “four quadrant” movies are largely ignoring two quadrants, younger and older women, because they believe that women will go to male-oriented movies, while men won’t go to female-oriented movies.

Is this an erroneous assumption to make? Eh, probably not, but it’s not because male-oriented movies are inherently better than their female counterparts; it’s because of a larger overriding sexism that exists in our society that says “girl” things are silly and frivolous and bad while male things are serious and dramatic and real. (For example, let’s look at people’s extreme hatred of Zooey Deschanel for being “girly,” nevermind her obvious success and talent, and the hard work it must have taken for her to get to this point. She has bangs and wears dresses, ergo, she can’t be taken seriously!) And people, especially studios looking to make a lot of money, are afraid to challenge the status-quo, because what if they bet on the wrong horse (aka women and/or minorities) and lose?

This kind of safe, backward thinking has resulted in a homogenous slate of movies. Several people have commented on how unoriginal and uninteresting blockbusters this past summer have been, but many people are missing what is, to me, the obvious. When I read this article at AV Club about whether movies are really doomed I was confused and frustrated by what the author was trying to say. Am I supposed to be comforted by the fact that established, successful directors have enough money to do whatever they want? I don’t care about established directors! They’re the problem! We need new voices, and specifically, we need new voices that aren’t white or straight or male. Movies have fallen into the pit they’ve fallen into because we recycle the same directors and writers over and over rather than getting people with new, original ideas and perspectives. But studios will never break that cycle because they don’t want to take a chance. They don’t want quality, they don’t want new voices–all they see is $$$.

That’s why it’s up to people like me, like us (I’m being optimistic and assuming that you, dear reader, agree with me) to make the change that we want to see, to force major studios and the world at large to notice us and realize that we can’t be ignored. It would be easy for us to collectively shrug and say it doesn’t matter–why do we need to infiltrate the studio system? Why does the mainstream matter? It matters because until the world views women and minorities as “mainstream,” we’ll be viewed as the “other,” as people whose opinions don’t matter, whose interests don’t matter, whose perspectives don’t matter. I’m tired of being shunted to the side, of being ignored, because I exist, and no matter how much mainstream media tries to tell me that they don’t want me, I’m going to force them to recognize that I am here.



grumpy girl #2

This time wearing Red Valentino.



grumpy girl


click to enlarge

Whenever I draw, even when it’s just for fun, I often think of who this character is beyond this drawing. This girl’s name is Aiko, and she’s half-Japanese, half-French living in Paris. She’s always really grumpy and pretty nihilistic and basically hates everything, even though she lives a posh life, goes to a fancy school, eats at fancy restaurants, etc. She just doesn’t feel like she belongs in this sort of life, but doesn’t have any idea as to an alternative. I feel like I might possibly make a comic about her at some point. HA, who am I kidding, I’m way too lazy to do something like that.

(p.s. she’s wearing this jacket and this skirt, both from Orla Kiely.)