Daily Archives: September 11, 2008

Top Pop Group – Asian American edition

Year after year, supergroups like *NSync, the Backstreet Boys, the Pussycat Dolls, Danity Kane and the Jonas Brothers carve their place in pop music history. They sing. They dance. They entertain. They inspire. Now, the search is on to find the next big pop sensation.

After an extensive nationwide search, nine amazing groups hit the stage to compete for a $100,000 prize and the coveted title of MTV’s Top Pop Group. With everyone’s host, Mario Lopez, at the helm, the competition is fierce!

Each week, the hopefuls are coached by megastars and supergroups who try to help them perfect their singing, dancing and overall performance skills. Then, the groups perform live in front of a panel of celebrity judges — rapper Taboo, singer Michelle Williams and choreographer Brian Friedman — knowing that one wrong move or off-key note could cause their dreams to come crashing down.

But it’s not just the judges that get a say in who stays and who goes. You can vote for your favorite pop group! After tallying the votes, one group is eliminated each week. In the end, the last group standing is crowned MTV’s Top Pop Group!

Who has what it takes to steal the spotlight and become the next big thing? You’re about to find out. We took a look through the groups to find the Asian American singers. Here’s the results:

Jazmin

Nadia, Felicia, Celia and Daria Khong are four sexy but sweet Chinese American sisters from Los Angeles who have it all.

3 Daze

Sultry Chelsea Emata moved to the United States from the Philippines when she was 10. After attending a performing arts high school, she moved to Los Angeles to pursue singing and acting.

Ju-Tuan (Pronounced zha–tawn)

Samoeun Cheng, who was born in a refugee camp in Thailand, had to endure unspeakable poverty while growing up. Thankfully, his family eventually fled to the United States, where Samoeun not only discovered his passion for music but also three lifelong friends.

Mosaic

Part of Las Vegas acappella group Mosaic, Troy Dolendo sings bottom half and percussion, but he can also throw down some mean b-boy beats!

Top Pop Group – ‘The Casting Special’

Business Week’s Most Powerful People in Fashion – Asian edition

We found Business Week’s Most Powerful People in Fashion. They highlight 10 fashion innovators who are out to change the world. (They profiled two people in one, so technically 11 people.) About half the people on the list are Asian. Take a look at the list below.

Phillip Lim

High-profile designer Lim uses all-organic cotton and sustainable silk to make the gowns and coats in his Go Green Go label, bringing eco-chic to consumers and showing that high fashion can be earth-friendly, too.

Yeohlee Teng

Teng pushes the boundaries of fashion design by using high-performance materials—such as cotton blends that resist spills—in her hip, elegant clothes. But Teng doesn’t use these fabrics as a gimmick; she uses the materials as inspiration for the shapes and styles of the garments, putting function before form.

Issey Miyake and Dai Fujiwara

The cutting-edge Japanese designers continue to experiment with a proprietary software-driven design process that weaves entire pieces of clothing with no sewing necessary. Although not yet mainstream, their “A-POC” (an acronym for “A Piece of Clothing”) process could conceivably transform garment manufacturing.

Vivienne Tam

Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) enlisted Tam as a high-fashion partner this year. The company asked the New York-based designer to help develop a small notebook computer aimed at women. Tam didn’t just pretty it up with exterior graphics; she also designed interface elements. In New York, she sent models down the runway holding the computer as a clutch bag.

Vivienne Tam talks backstage at 2009 New York Fashion Week

Designer Anna Sui at Fashion Week Spring 2009 Collection

Anna Sui’s collections take you on a creative journey that is unparalleled in the world of fashion. Mixing vintage styles with her current cultural obsessions, she effortlessly makes hip and exuberant original clothes. Whether Anna’s inspiration is Victorian cowboys, Warhol superstars or Finnish textile prints, her depth of cultural knowledge is always apparent. “When I’m interested in something, I want to know everything about it,” she says, “I need to know what’s behind it all. I really enjoy that process.” Anna’s constant search for new ideas and challenges keeps her ahead of her times. She’s a true trendsetter to whom stylists and editors look for direction. The boundless energy and creative ingenuity of her runway presentations always make her shows a high point of New York Fashion Week.

The career of Anna Sui is a classic American success story. “You have to focus on your dreams, even if they go beyond common sense. How could this young girl from the suburbs of Detroit become a success in New York? It was always that dream,” she says. Today Anna Sui has 32 boutiques in five countries and her collection is sold in 300 stores in over 30 countries. Anna still has the same love of fashion that she did when she was a little girl. At age four, she decided that she would become a designer and started to make her own clothes. She mixed a very serious approach to learning her craft with eccentric ideas, such as vowing to not to wear the same outfit twice in one year. “I was completely obsessed,” she says, “I don’t know how my parents put up with me.” Before the end of her senior high school year, she was accepted to Parsons School of Design in New York. After two years at Parsons, Anna styled with friend Steven Meisel and designed for several sportswear companies before launching her first collection in 1980.

Anna Sui’s business continued to grow throughout the 1980s, and in 1991 she premiered her first runway show. The following year she opened her first flagship store on Greene Street in Soho. The boutique’s vibrant mix of black Victorian furniture, purple walls, papier mache dollyheads and rock n’ roll posters closely reflects Anna Sui’s personal decorating style and has been the model for all of her shops. The late 1990s was a time of significant growth for Anna Sui; she embarked upon a hugely successful expansion in the Far East, where she quickly established a huge cult following. She also launched cosmetics, fragrance, shoe and accessory licenses. Her devotion to detail is apparent in every one of her products, which are all intimately connected to her world. Her iconic make-up packaging and fragrance bottle design have even become collectors’ items.

Anna Sui is known for her commitment to the things that move her. Her devotion to rock and roll makes her clothes perfect for a rock and roll superstar, and her runway soundtrack is one of the most anticipated each season. Her love for shopping has made her an authority on the best shopping in every city, and her passion for interior design created a visually stunning NYC apartment. Following her own inspiration, Anna Sui continues to inspire. She is living her dream.

Runway highlights from Anna Sui at Fashion Week in New York, Spring 2009.

Anna Sui Collection at New York Fashion Week – Full runway video

Hole in the Wall

The latest craze for TV execs are the importing of Japanese games shows. Over the summer, we had Wipeout and I survived a Japanese Game show. Now with Hole in the Wall will appear on Fox.

During each episode, two teams of three compete against each other in multiple rounds of play, facing various barrier walls with weird and wacky cut-out shapes speeding toward them. Each team must contort their bodies either individually or in unison to fit through the wall or be swept away into a pool below. As players struggle to strike a pose, points – and dignity – can be easily lost with a simple miscalculation. As the rounds progress and the pace heats up, mind over matter, quick thinking, coordination, agility and clever teamwork play a crucial role as each team strives to maneuver through walls literally closing in on them. The winning team will win $25,000 and the chance to compete against the dreaded “Blind Wall” for an additional $100,000.

Let us know what you think of this Japanese game show craze.

Hole in the Wall – Episode 1

Hole in the Wall – Jump

Designer Phillip Lim at Fashion Week Spring 2009 Collection

Phillip Lim debuted his eponymous collection, 3.1 phillip lim, in the fall
of 2005 to instant success, both critically and commercially. Now entering its
third year, the line is available in over 250 boutiques and department stores
nationwide, and represented in 26 countries worldwide. An inaugural presentation of the fall/winter collection kicked off New York Fashion Week with glowing reviews. Widespread recognition and declaration of Lim’s talent quickly followed. In January 2006, Fashion Group International awarded Lim first place in the Women’s Designer ‘Rising Star’ category. Then following in July, the Council of Fashion Designers of America and Vogue magazine nominated Lim as a finalist for the prestigious 2006 Fashion Fund Award. Now 2007 is proving to be a year of even deeper significance. Spring saw the introduction of menswear, and the first free standing 3.1 phillip lim store opened in July on Mercer Street in New York City.

The store, which carries the men’s, women’s, and accessories collection, establishes a foundation for plans of retail expansion both domestically and abroad. 2007 has also marked Lim being honored with the CFDA Swarovski Award for emerging talent in women’s wear, his recognition as a finalist for the Fashion Design Award of Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum, and his second nomination as a finalist for the Council of Fashion Designers of America/Vogue Fashion Fund Award. This year will also bring the launch of 3.1 phillip lim kid’s wear and an eyewear collection, produced by the European luxury eyewear company, MODO.

As for his background, one might say, fashion found Lim. While studying finance at California State University of Long Beach, it became evident that Lim was sitting in the wrong classroom. A switch in majors led to an internship at Katayone Adeli, which led to a full time job as design assistant. Lim parted ways with Katayone Adeli after assisting her for over a year and a half. Soon after he met his future partners, and quickly became co-founder and head designer of the label Development. After four years at Development, Lim, 31, departed to launch his most personal collection to date with business partner and friend, Wen Zhou, also 31. This meant switching coasts to New York, where he now works and resides.

3.l phillip lim’s raison d’etre is making beautiful clothes with added touches of madness, striving towards the imperfection. The result is a creation of individual looks that are unexpected, unplanned, but completely relevant.

Accordingly, Lim says, “3.1 is about clothes that refine instead of define. A refinement that’s a bit classic in attitude, but imparts a sense of individual style, without looking or feeling forced. Confident, unidentifiable, chic, and most of all effortless.”

For Lim, the design process begins by absorbing shapes, colors, and textures from his surroundings and personal experiences and mixing them with luxurious fabrics and thoughtful nuances. The fabrics include tissue weight cashmeres, laundered cottons, washed silks and brushed wools. Additional richness and life is added to the 3.1 aesthetic through a complete range of accessories, including shoes, boots, belts, bags and seasonal signature accessories. Understated, cool, and polished, Lim continues to redefine the rules of fashion.

Runway highlights from 3.1 Phillip Lim at Fashion Week in New York, Spring 2009

Phillip Lim Collection at New York Fashion Week – Full runway video

Country Singer Tomi Fujiyama returns to the US after 40 years

Tomi Fujiyama’s amazing career and tale, which spans two hemispheres and half a century, is being made into a feature length documentary film, MADE IN JAPAN, with narration by actor Elijah Wood. The seventy-year-old musician will hold her first American concert in over four decades on September 11, 2008, at Pianos on the Lower East Side, New York City. Opening acts include the popular bluegrass band All Night Cookin’ at 8PM and the indie/alt country rock band The Musical Outfits at 9PM. Tomi Fujiyama will take the stage at 10PM. The performance will be recorded and included in the upcoming film. Fujiyama is to perform additional dates in Las Vegas and while nothing has been set in stone, Tomi is traveling to Nashville to fulfill her American Dream and cap a legendary 50-year career by playing one final time on the Grand Ole Opry stage.

In 1951, the beginning of her long career, Fujiyama was twelve years old and couldn’t speak a word of English. At that age, she switched from performing traditional Japanese songs for small Japanese audiences to singing Country/ Western for American listeners. In the years following, the talented musician recorded 21 singles and 5 albums with Columbia Records. One recorded in Nashville with Country legend Bill Anderson sold more than 50,000 copies and led to much American press and to performances on the American television programs, “The Les Crane Show” and “The Danny Thomas Show”. Tomi was 21 years old when she was discovered at The Mint Hotel in Las Vegas where she had a backbreaking 4-shows-a-night, 7 days a week contract.

In 1964, Tomi Fujiyama was asked to perform at The Grand Ole Opry’s 39th Birthday Extravaganza in Nashville,TN. She took the stage after Johnny Cash and received the only standing ovation of the 5-hour show. Less than one year later she was forced to return to her native Japan to fulfill contractual obligations with Columbia records and to care for ailing parents.

After returning home to Japan in 1965, Tomi continued to play the U.S.O. throughout the 1980′s. This included going on U.S.O tours of Vietnam and South East Asia during the Vietnam War. Still going strong in the 1990′s, her management company Columbia Records produced a “Best Of” album in 1992, and in 1996 she recorded “Lonely Together” in Nashville. Fujiyama returned to Nashville in 2003 to record her first album in 30 years: “Gold”.

Today Fujiyama continues to perform in clubs and venues all over Japan where her passion for music and her lust for life continue to move and inspire. She has dreamt of returning to the Opry again one day and that day is approaching soon. That is after all her one goal in life!



Tomi Fujiyama “Your Cheatin’ Heart”

Made in Japan Trailer about Japanese Country singer Tomi Fujiyama