Goodbye 2012 & OOTD: Red (and) Velvet

Hello and happy New Year's Eve!

How has everyone's holiday been so far? Hope it has been fantastic, whether you're with family or hanging out with friends!

I'm spending my last day of the year quietly at home with the family, and I've finally gotten settled in back at home in Northern California after a huge room clean out and box unpacking. It's been an odd adjustment going from city life back to suburban living, but one good thing is that it's nice to finally be settled in one place. But even though life has been keeping me busy and away from the blog, just because the blog's been empty, it doesn't mean the shopping bug in me has taken a break! So I'm hoping to be bringing in more posts in the new year on thrifting, fashion finds, and even some more serious discussions about fashion/beauty (like this last post about Asian Beauty). But before I get into all of that, I wanted to squeeze in one last outfit of the day before the year ends.

Army jacket - Goodwill
Huntington sweater  - Lucky Brand
Flag heart tank - Brandy Melville
High rise legging - Levi's
Hugh in "Cherry Red Velvet Blossom" - Dr. Marten's
Black satchel - Ecote (from Urban Outfitters)

Quick Update - I'm Moving!

Hi everyone! Apologies for my lack of updates in the last few weeks, I've been swamped by work and school.

Work has been ridiculous - I work in retail anyone who's had the misfortune of working in retail will understand my problems - the last few weeks in November were insane, and I was pushing 30 hour weeks. But payroll has been tight since then and my hours have been hovering around 8 hours of work a week. In regards to school, the semester is starting to wind down, but finals are kicking my butt right now! I'm a full-time student taking five courses at the moment. Luckily, I've gotten some term papers and finals out of the way already, and for the most part it's just the last few tests that need to be taken before I can officially let my brain go into hibernation for the next four weeks until winter session begins on January 7th -__-

Oddly enough, the thing I'm most stressed about at the end of every day about is school or work. It's the fact that I'm moving back to California from New York the day after I finish my last final! I love New York City to death; it's my heart and soul. But when it comes right down to it, financially, it just doesn't make sense for me to be living in such an expensive city and paying out-of-state tuition for an education that is not worth the amount I'm having to pay. I've been mostly okay with the idea of moving home - ultimately, it was my own choice. But as my flight home gets closer, the idea that I'm moving out of NYC has become more real than ever...such a depressing thing to think about every day. Plus, I have to pack an entire year and a half of my life into cardboard boxes....then lug them all the way to the airport - not as easy as it seems, both physically and emotionally. But hey, I'm still young, I'll get through this hurdle, which in the grand scheme of things, is a small one.

But for now, wish me luck and thanks for putting up with my pathetic sob story, heh. Hope everybody has been doing better than I have been, and let's cross our fingers that I'll be able to at least do another OOTD or some beauty/pop-culture post before the end of the year! Let me know if y'all have any ideas of what you'd like to hear from me!

Saddle Up for Riding Boots

* Discount Updates: ShoeMint - MEMSHM50 for 50% off your first order on regular price shoes, or $40 off boots! Asos - ACE25 for 25% off full price items until 1 a.m. PST Friday. Bloomingdale's - HOLIDAYFF friends and family sale 20% off until Nov 12.

Giselle Bundchen for Harper's Bazaar

One of the best things about life in the Northeast is that there are essentially three possible boot seasons in a year. And like most women, I love boots to death! They've become such a huge part of my wardrobe since my move from the West, and I'd be reluctant to ever have to give them up for anything. My boot collection has been largely skewed in favor of the relaxed, casual look of brown boots (probably the summery Californian in me talking), but I've since come around to black boots and really like the sleekness they bring to an outfit.

Uniqlo's New Online Store

Hi everyone! It's been pretty crazy lately. I've been keeping busy with school midterms and starting a job. On top of that, Hurricane Sandy, as most of you may know, wreaked havoc in the East Coast this past week. While I got lucky, lots of others in are suffering in the aftermath. To everyone that's been affected by the Frankenstorm that was Sandy, best of luck, wishing you all well on the road to recovery. Now, onto the actual post...

Uniqlo is like the younger, more stylish and chic out-of-towner cousin of GAP. While for the longest time, GAP has been iconic as a casual wear retailer, as of late, they've been in a slump and sales have been in a downward trend. Their previous attempt to update their image with a new logo hasn't worked either (and rightfully so, that design was awful). So this is where Uniqlo comes in. The Japanese brand is equally affordable as GAP, if not cheaper. And it definitely has a very sharp, casual cool vibe, and their campaigns just look smart. Heck, they ARE smart, because last year when they opened two new stores in Manhattan, they had a ton of guerilla advertising throughout subway stations and on buses in the city. A ton of those ads featured various artists/actors/etc. that really promoted the concept that Uniqlo's style can work for just about anybody.

Gong Yoo & Lee Min-jung for Mind Bridge

Gong Yoo and Lee Min-jung, co-stars of the soul-swap Korean drama, Big, have been the spokepeople for the brand Mind Bridge for a couple seasons now. While the cute hijinks and their onscreen chemistry was wonderful in Big, alas, it was not enough to save that train wreck of a story. Sometimes, even all the pretty in the world just isn't enough to save an impending doom. But luckily, in the case of photo shoots, all you basically need is the pretty!

Dr. Martens Fever

As of late, I've been having a growing obsession with Dr. Martens. Originally designed in the 1940's to be no more than just a comfortable shoe, Docs soon became a symbol of youth rebellion and are now considered synonymous with with youth subculture. In today's fashion, shoes are not only popular here in the West, but it's very popular among East Asians as well.

I'll be honest, there used to be something about these shoes that rubbed me the wrong way. Maybe it's the clunky look or maybe it's the fact that these are reminiscent of that cringe-inducing heavy metal/gothic style from back in the day. Regardless, my opinion was totally reversed when I saw these pastel 1460 boots a while ago. And now I can't get them off my mind!

Outfit of the Day - Casual Sunday Brunch

Headband (below) - American Apparel
Cream Poncho - Girl's Monday
Ankle skinny jeans - Levi's
Boots - Blowfish (from DSW)
'Le Pliage' medium shoulder tote - Longchamp

Anna Dello Russo for H&M

Collaborations are one of my favorite things about the fashion industry. These sort of projects really allow some designers to design lines that they wouldn't normally be able to put into their regular lines.

But despite my love for fashion collaborations, the release of Anna Dello Russo's collection for H&M totally went over my head! Sure, I might have heard about it long ago and probably saw an email or two from the H&M newsletter about it, but I wasn't all that interested anyways.

It wasn't until a shopping trip last week that I saw the line being sold at the 59th and Lex store. I never expected them to carry it, because they didn't carry the Marni collaboration when it was released this past spring. But lo and behold, there was the display when I went in!

A Look at Son Ga-in's "Bloom" MV

Son Ga-in's latest solo project, "Talk About S" hit airwaves this past week, and by now I think it's safe to assume that we can always trust the members of Korean pop girl group Brown Eyed Girls (which Ga-in is a part of), to push conventional boundaries and bring something new to the table. Both musically and fashion-wise, that is.

The music video for the title track, 'Bloom' is very fresh and youthful, perfectly suited for the upbeat song about women experiencing love in their 20's. I'm definitely digging the female sexual empowerment thing going on, but what I'm more interested in talking about is her outfits in the video - what worked and what didn't.

Making Fashion Affordable: Student Discounts

Let's face it, being a student basically equates to the perpetual state of being broke. Even if you're working part-time, it's unlikely you have a steady source of income. Sure, you have your parents' money, but you can't always go crazy with that debit card because at the same time, your parents are the ones covering your tuition. And you need to take care of your stomach, no? For the broke fashionista, it's the eternal dilemma between eating or shopping. Choosing between lunch this week or that pair of shoes you've been eyeing for so long. Can't have both, can you?

Luckily, sometimes you can.

Sometimes, flashing your school ID at stores can score you a pretty decent discount. While it won't entirely solve the food/shopping dilemma, it can definitely help reduce the dent in your wallet on those days that you really need to fill that retail craving.

The Denim Connection

Girl's Generation's Tiffany modeling Levis's for W Magazine.

I'll be the first to confess - among all the denim retailers out there, ranging from JBrand to True Religion to Forever 21, I can't deny that I still love me some good ol' Levi's.

Ironically, I used to abhor wearing jeans. My defense was always that they were "so unnatural." Yes, I was that girl who always wore leggings, yoga pants, or track pants to high school...not a proud moment in my life, to be honest. But today, my huge denim collection has proved me a changed person.

Perhaps it was brainwashing of denim history and terminology from the time I spent working at Levi's as a sales associate. Or maybe it's because of the fairly affordable prices they sell at for good quality (thank you, associate discount!). It's probably a mix of both. But whatever the cause is, I've been left a Levi's fan and denim hoarder for life.

Trend Report: Collars

Lee Min-jung in Korean drama, Big

I've always had a soft spot for preppy, classy fashion. So when one of my favorite style icons, Alexa Chung, brought back the clean and simple look of peter pan collars this past season, I jumped onto that bandwagon pretty quick. It was a nice change from the crop tops that we've been so used to seeing.

Collared blouses have always been a staple for office professionals, but I think this was the year that they've really come into its own in terms of everyday fashion.

Inaugural Post

So this is me, taking a stab at a blogging. If the headline didn't give it away, yes I love all things related to pop culture, fashion, and everything else in between. And if that thing is related to Asia, well, that's just the cherry on top!

I had always been exposed to Asian culture in the more traditional sense since my childhood and always had a fondness for it from my early years up until my teens. Believe me, I have memories of the oldest 90's dramas and there's something stashed in my bookcase, which I believe is the debut F4 CD.

But for a few years in my adolescence, I had begun writing off culture and fashion of Asian youth as shallow, insipid and simply too trendy. It took a while for me to come to the realization that I wasn't truly appreciating the culture for what it was.

And as it turned out, I was the one being superficial. Because who was I, someone who secretly hoards gossip tabloids and follows news about the Kardashian sisters, to complain about the lifestyle of others?

Thus, from a renewed desire to understand the wonders and oddities of Asian culture and fashion of my generation, this blog was created as an outlet for my discussion of it.

I'm always open to different opinions and ideas, so feel free to tell me what you think about something, regardless if it's the same opinion as mine or not. Hope you enjoy and come along for the ride!