Latest News

  • Who would’ve pegged the Dutchess of Cambridge to be a sneakerhead — well not exactly — but she does love a particular pair of Superga trainers, and the internet is loving it!

    Whether it’s on the cover of British GQ, shopping, or attending London Marathon, Kate seems to be wearing cute white sneakers everywhere she goes.

    And as we’ve reported before the “Kate Effect” is real, and if she likes your brand it will sell like hotcakes.

    Case in point: a Nordstrom reviewer writes: ” Kate Middleton-approved…I’ve been searching for the perfect walking shoe for an upcoming trip to Europe…I can say they are equally comfortable and stylish.”

    1496319863-gettyimages-670246252-1496269423Photo Credit: AFP/Getty Images

    According to Daily Mail, the Superga 2750 Cotu Classic trainers were first spotted on Kate in October 2016.  The same exact shoes have also been spotted on celebs like Alexa Chung, Karlie Kloss and Emma Watson — however it’s Kate who has made the biggest impact on the Italian footwear.

    ‘Superga has seen the sales figures for this style double since Kate has been stepping out wearing them repeatedly,’ says a rep. The their sales have DOUBLED, increasing 100% thanks to the princess.

    And don’t worry. Despite the sharp jump in sales, the sneakers are available.

    ‘As they are Superga’s most popular style it’s practically impossible to sell out completely as they have plenty of stock of this particular white trainer.’

    Happy shopping!

    Screen Shot 2017-06-01 at 9.14.36 AM

    Photo Credit: Bloomingdales

  • Dumbfoundead1

    Courtesy of FilmRise

    The Asian-American experience in popular culture has been an interesting and sometimes troubling one. Where other minorities have made great, often vocal, strides in advancing their place in the pop culture firmament—music, movies, TV, comic books—Asians have not always been as successful. Bad Rap, directed by Salima Koroma and produced by Jaeki Cho, is an enlightening look at the careers of four Asian-American rappers—Dumbfoundead (Jonathan Park), Awkwafina (Nora Lum), Rekstizzy (David Lee) and Lyricks (Richard Lee)—as they struggle with prejudice and their own cultural expectations in a genre created and dominated by African-American artists. (Of course, white artists don’t exactly command the field either, but Eminem is shown as the obvious example of major success.)

    The film opens with scenes of Dumbfoundead–the best known and longest performing of the four—onstage in front of an excited crowd, as the others praise his talent and 2011 song “Are We There Yet?,” which specifically addressed the experience of his Korean immigrant family. He interviews that he hates being called “an Asian rapper,” yet admits to also embracing that identity. Ultimately though, “I’m American,” he says, a sentiment that is echoed by others throughout the film.

    Courtesy of FilmRise

    Bad Rap delves into hip hop history, starting with 1980s West Coast Filipino rappers who were heroes in the Asian community around the time that NWA and Ice Cube first became popular. We hear from rap pioneer MC Jin, who appeared at age 19 on BET’s “Freestyle Friday” battle rap competition and was subsequently signed to Ruff Rider Records (the first Asian American rapper to be signed to a major label), only to see his career stall.

    Various industry figures weigh in on the place of Asians in hip hop, including Snoop Dogg’s manager Ted Chung, journalist Oliver Wang, and Chinese-American rapper Decipher, who notes, “They want you to be that karate-kickin’, civic strivin’, SAT-takin’ dude. And a lot of us aren’t like that.” We watch the irrepressible Rekstizzy arguing strenuously for making a video (“God Bless America”) that includes squirting condiments on women’s twerking backsides. His manager (Cho, who also produced this film) is against it, with good reason.

    Of the film’s four featured artists, Dumbfoundead seems the most frustrated, having been at it the longest. A veteran of L.A.’s battle rap scene, he also has the most street cred. Citing Awkwafina, who has drawn a hipster following with drily ironic songs like “My Vag,” he asserts that female Asian rappers are more marketable than men, while she argues that it’s just as hard for non-sexualized female. We watch her perform for an adoring crowd, with Dumbfoundead, Rekstizzy and Lyricks all cheering her on. There’s clearly a lot of support and mutual admiration among this group.

    Courtesy of FilmRise

    Courtesy of FilmRise

    Both Dumbfoundead and Lyricks are close to their mothers, who are featured in the film. We visit Lyricks, considered the best technical rapper of them all, as he works in his parents’ dry cleaning business. An eloquent speaker and performer, he talks about his upbringing in a deeply Christian household and the ongoing struggle between his faith and his career.

    In 2015, after years away from the battle scene, Dumbfoundead decides to take part in a major Toronto competition, hosted by Drake, who happens to be a big fan. At the press conference for the event, journalists think nothing of asking the Asian rapper outrageously racist questions in weak attempts to be humorous. Battle raps are notoriously no-holds barred, and Dumbfoundead’s sparring partner, the popular Conceited, trots out every stereotype in the book (from slanted eyes to Jackie Chan), while his fans cheer. Dumbfoundead acquits himself nicely (though he himself resorts to digs about Conceited’s short stature). With his nimble, inventive lines, it’s clear he hasn’t lost any of his edge.

    The film then jumps ahead two years and checks in with each of the four; all still rapping and hoping to make their mark. As Rekstizzy puts it, “We need that champion.” Bad Rap is an engaging film that leaves us hoping that one of these artists—or at least someone—does finally make it to that exalted place.

    Bad Rap premieres on all major VOD platforms on Tuesday, May 23.

    Marina Zogbi

  • Bucket List confession: It’s been a dream of mine for quite sometime to attend the Costume Institute’s Met Gala. Colloquially and affectionately referred to as “fashion’s biggest night out,” the Costume Institute’s Met Gala is PEAK celebration of iconic style.

    And as we all know by now, this year’s Met Gala was a spectacular showcase of quasi-wearable, avant-garde fashion, honoring the Costume Institute’s latest exhibition on Rei Kawakubo and her label Comme des Garçons.

    And unlike past Met Gala events this hullabaloo was loaded with an incredible mix of celebrities smoking in a bathroom and meme-inducing sculptural looks that are still keeping the internet in a frenzy.

    But if you still haven’t visited the 2017 Costume Institute exhibition on Rei Kawakubo and her label Comme des Garçons you are missing out on a treat.

    Here are three things you need to know about this incredible showcase.

    960x0-3

    Rei Kawakubo/Comme des Garçons: Art Of The In-Between at The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

    Photo by Jemal

    #1 This showcase makes history 

    Aptly named Rei Kawakubo/Comme des Garçons: Art of the In-Between, the exhibition highlights the reclusive designer’s wide array of left-of-center, hyper-modern, sculptural constructions — retracing almost 40 years of clothing. And this is first exhibition since 1983 Yves Saint Laurent show that celebrates a living artist.

    #2 The show is weird and wonderful

    Fashion Unfiltered founder and CDG collector Katherine Zarrella tells Forbes: “I thought the setup was brilliant—very CDG in the way it made no suggestions. Instead, it invites the viewer to come inside and experience the garments for herself.”

    5REI1-superJumboAgaton Strom for The New York Times

    960x0

    Rei Kawakubo/Comme des Garçons: Art Of The In-Between at The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

    Photo by Jemal

    960x0-1

    Rei Kawakubo/Comme des Garçons: Art Of The In-Between at The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

    Photo by Jemal

    Selections from CDG’s Body Meets Dress 1997 collection pays homage to the ‘lumps and bumps’ of a human body  — even the ones that might sprout from the wrong places. Featuring dresses, skirts and jackets, made with vibrant, stretch gingham checks, stuffed with large goose-down-filled protuberances. It’s oddly beautiful.

    5REIJP3-master675-1

    Agaton Strom for The New York Times

    960x0-2

     

     

     

  • Milton Kam, Courtesy of Thier Productions Inc.

    Milton Kam, Courtesy of Thier Productions Inc.

    Tomorrow Ever After is Israeli-American filmmaker Ela Thier’s second full-length feature (the first, 2012’s Foreign Letters, was inspired by her own immigration story). This smart, entertaining indie, about a historian from the year 2592 who is accidentally transported back to present-day New York City, mixes comedy and science fiction to tell a story that resonates deeply in these unsettled times. Unlike many time-travel movies, in which the future is a post-apocalyptic dystopia, Tomorrow Ever After features a protagonist, Shaina (played wryly by Thier herself), who comes from a much better era than the period known as The Great Despair (that’s us, folks!). She’s initially shocked by everything here, from litter to our isolation from each other. Through her eyes, we see ourselves and it’s not a pretty picture.

    We first see Shaina wandering the streets, wearing a long dress and pants ensemble that’s vaguely high-tech, but not enough to stand out in modern-day New York. She gapes at everything from heavy bike chains to cigarette butts and discarded fast-food cups. Spotting fellow humans at an outdoor café, she runs over and hugs one guy, happily introducing herself and asking what year it is. Of course he’s freaked out and she is repeatedly rebuffed when she hugs other strangers, asking for their help. Shaina tries to contact home on her “Implement,” a cool device that morphs from a small card into a tablet, and reports her shocking findings (“I’m looking at plastic and I’m not in a museum,” “Hugs are perceived as acts of aggression”). Accosted by a nervous mugger (Nabil Vinas), she agrees to accompany him to an ATM (whatever that is) and lets him use her card, which somehow works. “It’s for money!” she realizes with delight, having studied this outmoded concept of currency.

    Milton Kam, Courtesy of Thier Productions Inc.

    Milton Kam, Courtesy of Thier Productions Inc.

    Milton the mugger, thinking that Shaina is a veritable jackpot (as well as a crackpot), reluctantly allows her to tag along home, but things get complicated with his suspicious girlfriend Imani (Ebbe Bassey), so he unloads her on a schizophrenic friend. The latter is the only one who both enjoys her hugs and believes her tale of a physics lab accident and resulting 600-year time trip. The rest of the film details Shaina’s misadventures as she tries to find a team of 21st-century physicists who might be able to repair her broken Implement, allowing her to return home. We also see the effect she has on Milton’s life and on others she comes in contact with.

    Though the theme of stranded time-traveler struggling to get home amid a hostile and disbelieving populace is familiar, Tomorrow Ever After offers a charmingly unique take. Its sharp yet whimsical tone is clearly the work of a singular mindset, namely Thier, who both wrote and directed the film, in addition to embodying its heroine. There are a few mildly disturbing scenes (Shaina manhandled in a bar and at Bellevue Hospital), but the film is generally good-natured and open-hearted.

    Milton Kam, Courtesy of Thier Productions Inc.

    Milton Kam, Courtesy of Thier Productions Inc.

    It’s fun watching Shaina discover and observe things she’s only ever read about: a laptop computer, drunkenness, advertising. It’s also illuminating to see her recoil from old-fangled things like packaged food, noting that it makes people sick (the average life span in 2592 is 160). Her observations, while humorous, serve to remind us yet again of how much we suffer both physically and psychically  in this data- and market-driven age. The film ends on an upbeat note, as dismay over the plight of 21st-century humanity gives way to the realization that things do get better. Tomorrow Ever After seems like a wish for the future of humankind, one that we can all share no matter how unlikely it may be.

    Tomorrow Ever After opens on Friday, May 5, at Cinema Village, 22 East 12th St., Manhattan.

    Marina Zogbi