Thursday, January 13, 2011

Happy [FEATURE: EMM KUO] 2011

First of all, I want to say a very belated HAPPY NEW YEAR to everyone. I know I've been slacking on the postings given that it's the holidays and I know its no excuse. I find it harder to motivate myself when I'm back home. Anyway, hopefully everyone out there is still reading as I have so many things to share with you.

So you're probably all wondering where those two beautiful lookbook photos are from. Here's the story: At the end of 2010, I discovered a new and upcoming designer who I have absolutely fallen in love, with her sleek designs, quality in materials and innovative textures. Her products have launched in the Fall of 2010 and these accessories are a piece of art within themselves. I had an amazing opportunity to interview her before the new years with regards to her line and the inspiration behind these sophisticated pieces. 

Where are you from originally? Where do you live now?
I was born in Taipei, but grew up between Hawaii, New York and Hong Kong. But I’ve also lived in London and Shanghai. For the past few years I’ve been predominantly based in NYC and Hong Kong.

How did you get into designing?
While obtaining my BA at NYU I interned for Yigal Azrouel and LVMH. It was then that I was sure fashion was the right path for me. After working in fashion marketing, I went to Parsons School of Design for a graduate program in fashion design.

Where do you draw your inspiration from? How do you organize this inspiration? 
I’m an avid traveler, and my friends call me a “freespirited jetsetter”, which I think is pretty funny but definitely holds a lot of truth. My travels have been a huge source of inspiration for me. I especially love visiting other cities and countries and seeing all the different personal styles people all over the world have. I’ve actually named each style of bag after a street I’ve lived on or have visited.

I love that you mix textures a lot, do you think this philosophy only applies to accessories/handbags or can it be carried to your entire wardrobe? 
I’ve always loved to mix and match, and this philosophy not only applies to how I design my accessories, but how I like to dress and also how I like to decorate my home as well. I think mixing colors and textures and different prints together allows the design to have more depth and it makes any design more interesting.

Who are your favorite designers (currently)? 
I absolutely love Givenchy and I think Riccardo Tisci is a genius. His clothes and accessories are romantic and feminine, but they still have a sense of edge and are somewhat sexy without being overtly so. I also really like Isabel Marant and Phillip Lim 3.1 for everyday. As far as accessories, I’m obsessed with Chrissie Morris shoes as well as Nicholas Kirkwood, and it would be my dream to one day do collaboration with either of them.

Do you have any advice for aspiring designers who want to get their foot in the door? 
Fashion is a really competitive industry and it can be really tough, that’s why it’s so important to truly love what you do. You have to be really persistent. I was always told It’s the last mile that separates the winners from the losers. Which is completely true, but I’ve also realized that the last mile never ends! So yes, persistence is a must for any aspiring designer.

Can you design a Pink and Olive version one day? :)
Absolutely! I think collaborations are always fun.

Last but not least, where can we purchase these beautiful pieces?
We are currently stocked at this great boutique in the west village in NYC called A Man And A Woman and come spring we will be in Intermix throughout the US.

Monday, December 20, 2010

chestnuts roasting on an open fire

Please don't let the title deceive you, this is not exactly the most festive post but more of a "see you later" and "I miss you" to one of my dearest friend here in college. As all of you following me may know by now, the girl up there is not me. That's my beautiful friend Catherine Nakajima who will be studying abroad next semester in Copenhagen. Given that I'm graduating next semester, I won't be seeing this little one for awhile. 

As a result of this upcoming travesty, we took a much needed break at the newly opened Bliss Spa (opened in June 2010) at the W Hotel here in Boston. The massages overall were mediocre, nothing worth raving about but the best part was the 'lounge' that I had so looked forward too since my visit to the Bliss Spa in New York. The 'lounge' is a little room that you have access to right before the session filled with all the good things in life - mini brownies, sesame crackers, tea (ginger pear whattt?), lemons, freshly sliced cucumbers and cheese, I guess (for all who don't know already, I'm not a big fan of cheese, at all). We probably spent a little too much time there as you can see we resulted in having a full on photo shoot with green apples, but nonetheless a relaxing and quiet time for the both of us. I decided to pull my camera out the minute she put on this amazing red tube dress was scored vintage in London. It was just so simple, I had to do it. Do these photos remind anyone else of Snow White, or is it just me? 

I will definitely be posting more soon, I have many upcoming features so stay tuned! It's just that finals have only just wrapped and I'm still wallowing in my newfound freedom now that my life doesn't involve staying up till 6am, sleeping 4 hours and continuing the same routine for a whole entire week. My flight back home with the boyfriend is in 6 hours and clearly I am still not getting rest so ta daaaaaaaa, a new post! 

Sunday, December 12, 2010

oh can’t you see what our love has done, what it's doing to me

photos by David Mok
(7 For All Mankind studded jeans, Michael Stars sweater, Zara booties, Topshop chain necklace)

I apologize for the sudden laziness on posts. I've been swamped with finals and internship hunting since thanksgiving and haven't even had much time to breathe. Good news is that I am officially an Internista! for Modernista!, a creative and communications agency here in Boston. Words can't even describe my excitement when I first got my offer, I've been dreaming of working at this company for forever and when I went to their office the other day for my interview, it confirmed that completely. Loft-like setting, sans cubicles, individual unique desk lamps, electric guitars hung across chairs, exactly what I needed. 

These photos were taken way before our NYC trip. I figured that I wouldn't be able to look (or even attempt to look) effortless in this weather so we decided to take it inside instead. Also managed to pick up a few strange objects along the way including a Wilson basketball (courtesy of the boyfriend) and a shisha pipe (hookah?). People always ask me if its weird having my picture taken and I have to say that it does take some getting used to but as long as you're comfortable with the person who's taking the photo, the pictures will reflect that.

I love these jeans because they go well with any kind of occasion, there's always a way to dress them up or down. They come with a good story, as does most of all worthy clothing items. First of all, I absolutely love them. They're studded around the top but not in a tacky way. I purchased them almost exactly a year ago when I flew back home for winter break. Also the time that Cathay Pacific Airlines conveniently decided that it would be whimsical to leave my two suitcases here in America for just a couple of days, no big deal. I had to run to every story in town to stock up on my wardrobe until the safe arrival of my luggage and these were the only pair of jeans that I bought, meaning they are incredibly versatile and can be worn with almost anything ...

Bonus for the day (since I've been skimping on the posts)
U2 'Window in the Skies'
(created by Modernista! in 2006 - amazing right?)

Monday, December 6, 2010


Blackberry Bold 9700: Must have. I have tried reverting to the iPhone twice but to no such avail. Upon purchasing the new iPhone 4, I had to sell it two weeks later again just so I could get my hands on a blackberry again. BBM > Whatsapp. Sorry folks.
Moleskin Daily Planner: I got one with the soft leather cover which makes for easier transportation and it's definitely lighter on the shoulders. I try to keep all my engagements in the planner but sometimes life gets too hectic and I rely on my memory instead.
Macbook: Apple certainly did good on this one. After using a Mac, I don't think I could ever switch back to a Windows PC. Besides, I would have to reorientate my fingers into using CTRL options again, so not investing my money, time and effort.
Burt's Bees Lipbalm: Gotta try it to love it, I'm sure most of you already have. I prefer the original one though, the tinted pomegranate gets a bit too messy for my liking.
Eclipse Mints: So dumb as I was, I thought that Eclipse were non-existent in America and hence I lugged a million cases of them (aka overweight suitcase) back to Boston. I was wrong, available in almost every drugstore and supermarket. Fail. 
Bottega Veneta Wallet: My mom and I are big fans of the brand, the leather is incredibly soft and the simplicity of the woven pattern just keeps us going back for more. We have also recently coerced the father into joining the fan club which means more goodies to come!
Scarf (usually in a nude, muted color): Much needed layering item, especially in late fall-winter where weather in New England is often sporadic and unpredictable, never know when you're going to need it! I usually bring out a neutral color because it's versatile and easy to match. However, when feeling a bit more adventurous, I like to go for my leopard print one
Sabon Hand Cream in Carrot: This is a must-have staple in every girl's kit. I did a post on Sabon in my previous blog but I will reiterate that this company makes the best lotions + body scrubs. I have been a fan since my 'gor' (aka brother) David took me to their Soho store when I went to visit the city one weekend last year. We had the most enjoyable time there washing our hands in their big ceramic sink. Walked out with what seemed like a new pair of hands. Truly incredible. If you don't know about this brand already, you're missing out. BIG TIME. 

What's in your bag?

Saturday, December 4, 2010

i want to wake up in that city that never sleeps

Megabus ride where our driver did not know the way to NewYork (or english for that matter) and my boyfriend had to quarter-back it all the way into the city, Asian-style thanksgiving with a 28lb roast pig, youtube videos (ktown hotties suggested by Sunny Yung), lots of Asian pears, Disney Scene-It, mahjong, foodparc, overpriced soju, running into everyone in ktown, poptart world, charmin' bathroom stalls (?????), olive garden, mediocre breadsticks, little girls getting arrested at f21, the frick collection, tea at the peninsula, sake bombing and the name game with three David's (yeah, it was quite a game), Henri Bendel, Soho sulking, faux-fur jacket purchasing, sushi of gari 46, west side story and having dimsum with kal penn (kumar from H&K), MISSING OUR BUS BACK TO BOSTON

Hope everyone had a great thanksgiving too! 
Tweet/comment if you have questions about the photos @NikkiWQC