Saturday, February 11, 2017

La Guarida, Havana

Allegedly the best "paladar" (privately-owned restaurant, as opposed to state-run) in Havana - La Guarida. Located on an ordinary run-down street in Central Havana, La Guarida goes almost unnoticed, but once you step in and go up the massive staircase, the majestic old colonial building will impress everyone. 
As the building itself and its high ceilings, rooftop, and balconies are just picturesque, it is not surprising that one of the Cuba's internationally acclaimed movie Fresa y chocolate (Strawberry and Chocolate, 1994) was shot in there, in addition to many fashion editorials. 

Friday, February 3, 2017

Havana Day One

The first night was all about getting used to the craziness and hectic pace of Havana, and tasting local mojitos and cigars. 

Hotel Sevilla Havana

The hotel was located very close to elegant Prado promenade that was perfect for people-(and car)watching. Although, all those exquisite 50's American cars are nice to look at, the pollution they create is incredible. At some streets it was actually hard to breathe and I had to cover my eyes from all the exhaust and dust. 

Exploring residential buildings in Central Havana, most of them didn't have windows or doors 

salsa night at Hotel Inglaterra

“My mojito in La Bodeguita, my daiquiri in La Floridita,” wrote Ernest Hemingway of his infamous drinking exploits in Havana.
 We stumbled upon La Bodeguita in Old Havana by chance so trying mojitos there was a must. Of course, as one may guess, it was very touristic and they were a bit stingy with rum, but the atmosphere and live music was great nevertheless. 

The street in front of La Bodeguita del Medio was excellent for meeting with locals and other tourists. Most locals take money from you for taking photos or for asking help, but this guy was just happy to chat and show his National Geographic cover shot he was very proud of. 

Monday, January 30, 2017

Three days in Havana, Cuba

United States recently opened its borders to Cuba, and Havana is definitely becoming a popular tourist destination for Americans soon. However, technically it is still illegal to travel there as a tourist from US, you have to fall under one of 12 legal reasons (e.g. education, journalism) to go. Even though I am not a US citizen, the same rules apply if I depart from here.

 Having had another week until my Spring semester at Fashion Institute of Technology begins, I decided to go and check out this controversial and exotic country before the first Starbucks pops up there.

It is hard to fall in love with a city where where poverty in evident on every corner, the pavements (or the lack of thereof) are covered in debris, bottled water is not always available in stores, toilet paper is a luxury item, no credit cards are accepted, and WiFi is still a privilege to be paid for per hour (after standing in a long line to buy a wifi card).

Restaurants in Havana often run out of certain food items or coffee machines might be broken for weeks but then again, there are always unlimited supply of rum and cigars, and never ending live music and salsa. What's not to love!?

More detailed posts coming soon, meanwhile check out instagram for photos. 
Anyone planning to travel to Cuba soon?, let me know you have any questions or need recommendations.

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

home for holiday's uniform

Tiger's Eye Quartz bangle and ring from Ming Yu Wang
sweatshirt J.W. Anderson

Monday, October 17, 2016

Glossier: The Supers

I finally made my first order with Glossier to see what's that hype all about! If your not familiar, it's a relatively new skin care and cosmetics brands created 2 years ago by Emily Weiss, the founder of popular beauty site

That New York based brands really stands out in the midst of hundreds of beauty companies.They just get it all right - marketing, social media, visuals, positive message with a dose of humor, product design and packaging. That being said, the products arrived in a pink box, wrapped in pink bubble wrap and with cute complimentary stickers. 

And what's not to love about their slogan:
Skin First.
Makeup Second.
Smile Always.

I decided to try out their The Supers -  a set of 3 skin serums for different skin needs. I always been frustrated with buying products that are divided just by skin types, because it feels different every day.

  Super Glow for a dull face after an all-nighter, Super Pure to fight with breakouts and Super Bounce for that dry and tight skin after a long flight or a night out. 
After two weeks of using, I am really happy with the purchase! Not implying that they're absolutely irreplaceable but still  a nice addition to the skin care routine. My situation with breakouts is definitely a lot better now and all the super dry chapped areas have disappeared.  

Monday, October 10, 2016

Fall looks

Story I shot for Gioia magazine in Milan back in July

photographer: Laurence Ellis

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Inside The Oculus

New World Trade Center mall + transportation hub finally reopened 15 years after 9/11

The "Oculus" (eye in Latin) is designed by internationally acclaimed architect Santiago Calatrava. Besides the design, it feels like just another shopping mall, reminded me a lot those in Seoul. 

Monday, September 26, 2016

New York: Harlem

Yesterday I visited my former New York apartment in Financial District and realized how much I like my new neighborhood in Harlem more! There's so much more life, authenticity, laughter, music and dance over here! People are sure struggling to make the ends meet but they do it with a smile on their faces. 

fried chicken is a major thing here

names of products are often written in Spanish only

the place called Food Universe! The cheapest food I've seen in New York so far

how good job this lady is doing with matching the fence 

Saturday, September 24, 2016

New York update 1

Oh my, how time flies when you are busy. I just finished the 4th week in school and it only gets busier and busier. And it's not even mid-terms nor finals week yet. I usually spend about 12 hours at school, staying at open studio to work on my jewelry or at library until it closes at midnight. It is not unusual to also go to school on weekends and work on my assignments due Monday. The library, in fact, is amazing and I don't really mind spending time there. They have amazing technology labs and every single art and fashion book you could possibly imagine. 
Although FIT is regarded as a fashion school, it is part of New York State regulated SUNY colleges implying that I'm also required to obtain a wide base of general education. For example now I'm taking English Composition, Intro to Science and Fashion Marketing classes in addition to those related to jewelry design. It is actually a nice change for very labour-intensive design and fabrication classes.
I am learning a lot and especially about the sides of jewelry design I hadn't thought about before. Drawing class is basically all about drafting and technical drawing, none of which I have previous experience in. Gemology aka science of gemstones feels a lot like physics and chemistry class (both of which were my least favorite subjects in high school). The whole program is very hands on and focused on technical training to have us ready to start working in the industry as soon as we graduate. 

The toughest part is finding balance between school, leisure and social life (and when am I supposed to go to laundromat and shop for groceries??). There are so many exhibitions in town right now I wanna see but I guess I have to put them off for a now until I have more time However, I did an effort and went to see Manus X Machina at MET Museum on its last day of showing. Definitely worth it! 

Meanwhile my iPhone got stolen (hey it's New York) so I lost most of my photos taken here.. and actually all my photos taken since January 2016 (tell me more about importance of back-ups...)  However, I managed to save a few..

on MET rooftop overlooking Central Park / Chrysler Building, my favourite art deco building in NY

 at The MET Anna Wintour's Costume Institute
Manus X MachinaFashion in The Age of Technology explores how fashion designers are reconciling the handmade and the machine-made in the creation of haute couture and avant-garde ready-to-wear.

Noa Raviv 3D printed dresses

left: Christopher Kane / right: Dior in the 50's

Saturday, September 3, 2016

Ming Yu Wang Fall 2016

Had a pleasure shooting a look book for New York based jewelry brand Ming Yu Wang. Love-love-love!
 Shot in Woodstock, NY, in an amazing house surrounded by fairy-tale forest

photographer: Jacqueline Di Milia
fashion director: Gerald Ding