Thursday, November 26, 2009

Dream big with a bigger heart

Even though I go to school in New York City, I have great respect for Silicon Valley in California. After all, I grew up here -- here, where Steve Jobs could quite possibly be your neighbor (if you live in Silicon Valley) and cascading golden hills push against venture capitalist firms.

For all the differences between New York City and Silicon Valley (fashion sense, for one), they share one common characteristic: the fast pace of life -- there is always something new to discover, something important to do, something to tend to.

During my past three months at Columbia University so far, I've realized that I don't want to be another fashionista behind the desk forever. I've discovered my love of both social media and print journalism -- and I've discovered that I love entrepreneurial endeavors and feeling the blood course through my veins during late nights in the library, as evidenced by Hoot. I love making change. I love working with people with the same passion and drive and insatiable thirst for curiosity.

So, next summer -- I'm getting away from New York City. What will I be doing? I will be interning for a top fashion publication in Beijing or Shanghai, working with a Chinese language tutor to improve my language skills, and visiting Tibet.

I am going to get away from New York City and Silicon Valley for a moment because I want to see what else is out there. I have some ridiculous dreams, of which I shall briefly elaborate on for your entertainment purposes (ha!):
  • I want to become editor-in-chief of a top fashion magazine. If I want to shape the mindsets of millions of women, magazines are the way to go -- and I will always believe that. I will never forget the impact that opening up my first copy of W left on me. I will always love print journalism and publishing and fashion, and I don't think I can do without it.
  • I want to found my own company, combining the top entrepreneurial and technological innovators of Silicon Valley to the most creative minds in the fashion and publishing industry of New York City (and the rest of the world, in fact!). The world is changing at a rapid pace, and I will keep up. I will do it.
  • I want to publish a book. Writing is still one of my top passions and possibly the only way I can ever clear my thoughts at the end of the day. "You have interesting life experiences -- the rest of America isn't like you," said one of my friends. I don't know if this is true, but I am determined to eventually squeeze out what life has smashed into me.
  • I want to win a Putlizer Prize, like fashion journalist Robin Givhan. And very few journalists ever do win this honor, but I do want to be the best reporter that I can be -- and prove that fashion is newsworthy, fashion is important, and fashion is interesting.
  • I want to find a cause in this world that makes my heart wrench in passion -- and do something about it. I want something that will change me -- and in return, compel me to change the world.
The young ones are the most idealistic and zealous ones -- and why not? The world does not expect any less of us.

Miss Couturable

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Give a Hoot

I have been at Columbia University for exactly three months, and I am finally flying home to California tomorrow for Thanksgiving break. It is approaching midnight, but I am currently working on a project that began as a spur-of-the-moment idea during New Student Orientation Week in August -- and grew into a passion.

I'm starting a campus fashion magazine with one of my very good friends here at Columbia.

I met her during New Student Orientation Week. It was an innocuous introduction -- we both liked each other's clothes, simple enough. However, walking back to campus from Broadway one day, we realized that Columbia University did not have a fashion magazine. "Let's start a fashion magazine!" she said with an infectious twinkle in her eye. And that was that.
Three months later, we are Hoot magazine -- Hoot because Alma Mater, the mother soul statue of our university, has an owl hidden underneath her skirt. Hoot because we give a hoot about fashion and creativity within the Columbia University community. Hoot because it sounds like haute.

Within the past three months, we've expanded to a talented team of different but equally fashion-obsessed students, from a society debutante to a civil engineer to a writer for one of the top accessory blogs. Together, we've worked for everything from ELLE to Seventeen to Missoni to Tom Ford -- and I am incredibly proud to be friends and coworkers with such a dedicated and talented team.

We just launched our blog,, today -- and we're currently looking for advertisers to fund our publication and coordinating the production of our first issue, to be published in early February 2010.

We've done some ridiculous things, from making finger sandwiches together at 10:00am in the morning to getting in trouble with the Department of Public Safety. While I may be going home tomorrow, much of my break is going to be spent working on making Hoot a success.

Here's to New York City, serendipitous discoveries and endeavors with new close friends, fashion, and taking risks!

Miss Couturable

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Daul Kim, you were a doll

A couple minutes ago, I learned from numerous Tweets on Twitter that 20-year-old South Korean model, Daul Kim, had been found dead in her Paris apartment this morning, reportedly from suicide.

I've always been especially attached to Daul Kim -- not only because she is an Asian model and one of the few girls that Asian girls can relate to in this industry, but also because she wrote a brutally raw and occasionally spastic blog called I LIKE TO FORK MYSELF that I have been following for months. I admire a girl who admits, "shel silverstein... you kinda fucked me up in a beautiful way."

Why do the best die young? Rest in peace, Miss Daul Kim.

Miss Couturable

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Sheer joy

(Photo Credit -- Rue La La and
Winter is approaching in New York City, but I seem to be surrounding myself in sheer fabrics instead of heavy woolens -- highly impractical and certain to make me susceptible to the cold. I recently purchased a pair of Wolford "Voile" leggings and a Hanii Y blazer with organza sleeves, and I'm obsessing over the juxtaposition of lingerie materials and classic black pieces.

I'm wearing a lot of black and white lately, but it would be too simple to say that black and white are the "easy way out" when it comes to dressing in the morning. Spicing up a monochrome outfit by replacing the opacity with sheerness requires balancing skin with fabric -- subtleties that I am determined to master.

In any case, sheer fabrics in their flouncy glory remind me of fairy tale princesses -- and I don't see anything wrong with whimsical touches to classic pieces.

Miss Couturable