Thursday, July 30, 2009

Asian Designers Making Waves in Today's World of Contemporary Fashion.

Thinking about my far-in-the-future "fashion career" and being contiously reminded on how hard it is for anyone to make a name for themselves in this industry, I found my inspirations.  Being a minority and an American in the Euro-centric fashion world, the struggle is much harder, some might even see it as a disadvantage, but lately, I am noticing a phenominon.  There are a number of successful and talented Asian designers poping up, and making their waves in today's fashion world.  They are getting a lot of publicities and press, which is very encouraging.  More than ever, I believe that as long as the artistic integrity is there, race, ethnicity and cultural backgroud is absolutely irrelevant.  
Alexander Wang. A Chinese-American native of California, Wang has cornered the market on sexy, chic styles with a decidedly urban attitude. Think form-fitting dresses with cut-out shoulders, leather leggings paired with long, draped vests, and flowing mini-skirts with bike-short-length leggings underneath. The Alexander Wang girl may not have washed her hair in a few days, but she is still unstoppable in her draped silk mini toughened up with a leather motorcycle vest.
At the tender age of 25, he has already been recognized for his contributions to fashion with two Vogue/CFDA awards.His philosophy is looking at everyday clothing (read: jeans and t-shirts) as equally stylish, edgy, and full of impact as evening wear.

Doo. Ri. Doo-Ri Chung – another CFDA winner – once said in a Vogue article that although she does "have my little flights of fantasy, I don't do ridiculous." And, as inventive as her jersey dresses are, they never do step over that line into "What?"
Her fall collection is bold (shiny silver draped minidress somehow manages to look like liquid on the model), but wearable. It is ladylike and feminine, but quietly sexy. Imagine a pretty one-shoulder cocktail dress where ruffle dips from one shoulder down across the other, gently hugging it in. That one small detail adds a sexiness to an otherwise sweet dress.Like some other fashion greats like Diane Von Furstenberg, her clothing line manages to always look fresh and of-the-moment while still being accessible to women of many different ages and styles.
Derek Lam. Sophisticated ladies look no further. Derek Lam's your guy. The CFDA Award winner's line of classic shapes is all about sophistication. Fashion Week Daily has said Lam's work touches on "femininity that is grown up and very self-aware. It is competent, not an ingénue, intelligent but not overly intellectual, more emotional. The collection has a modern point of view, but always looks to the past." And indeed it does. You could easily imagine a modern-day Greta Garbo in his looks, which are never throwback or costume-y, but have the bewitching and sensual aura of old-world glamour.
Phillip Lim. In four short years, Phillip Lim's line, 3.1 Phillip Lim, has made its way into 400 boutiques in 45 countries around the world. The Chinese-American designer has been graced with numerous awards and accolades -- both critically and commercially. This year, he introduces men's and children's lines to go along with his eco-friendly line, Go Green Go.
His clothing is simple, but always has personal detailing, such as hand-stitching and homemade accents, that add dimension to each piece. The style of the line is luxurious and feminine – without the fuss. Prior to 3.1, Lim spent 22 seasons as creative director of the Development clothing line.
Thakoon. We all know by now the dress Michelle Obama wore at the closing night of the U.S. Democratic Party convention – the ladylike, scoop-neck dress with that bold red-and-black print. It was put-together and classic enough for the future first lady, but still had enough drama to make a statement of its own.
The dress's creator, Thakoon Panichgul, moved from Thailand to Nebraska at age 11. After graduating with a degree in business, he decided to pursue a long-dormant love of fashion. Within months of launching his line in 2004, his looks – which manage to be sophisticated and fun – graced the much-coveted editorial pages of Vogue, Elle and W. Thakoon's modern, minimalist aesthetic has been a celebrity favorite, worn by Natalie Portman, Demi Moore and Sarah Jessica Parker.
Panichgul also has lent his creativity to a limited-edition Target line and, most recently, collaborated with Giuseppe Zanotti on a shoe line. For Fall 2009, he will launch a capsule collection called Thakoon Addition. "I am interested in newer projects that are not rigid or necessarily a part of the standard fashion system," he said during a May 8, 2009 JC Report Q&A, New Fashion Empire Builders, Part 2: Thakoon.
Jason Wu. Who can forget that one-shoulder silk organza gown Michelle Obama wore to the Presidential Inaugural Ball? That one dress catapulted 26-year-old Wu's career into orbit. With more big-time editors front-row-and-center at his fall show in Bryant Park, Wu delivered what he's is now known for – pretty and polished.

Peter Som. Som made his debut at Bryant Park back in 2001 and since has been heralded as one of "the leaders of a new generation of American designers…reinterpreting the tradition of Great American Sportswear for a new generation." Cathy Horyn of the New York Times identified Peter as "one of the best young designers working today." Som's collections have been included in editorial features in major fashion publications, including Vogue, W, Elle, Harper's Bazaar and InStyle.
From July 2007 to October 2008 Peter Som served as Creative Director of women's wear for Bill Blass. During his tenure at the legendary design house Peter's collections received enormous praise from both press and retailers alike.
In conclusion, we need more Asian FEMALE designers! 

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