SYDNEY STYLE


photography Jedd Cooney

I met some great people while I was in Sydney last month and I was fortunate enough to spend an afternoon shooting with one. Jedd's shot for Oyster and Desillusion, some of my favorite magazines. Lots of great work coming out of Australia. I'm no model, but thanks for makin me look semi cleaned up Jedd! Check out his site here and follow him on Instagram here

And thank you Acne, Bassike, and Supply Store for letting me style my dream looks!

SEOUL HOLIDAY

Even though this is an insanely busy time at work, I had to make the trek to see my dad who is currently in Korea, the Asia home base of his retirement world tour. My brother, aunt, and uncle coming just made it a complete Christmas miracle (even though we technically missed Christmas on the plane). As soon as we landed, first stop sullung-tang!
The view from our hotel room right before it started dumping snow. I might have had an incrementally better time had it not felt like a million razors cutting my skin from the cold air. I felt like a misplaced lizard looking for patches of sunlight. On to Gyeongbokgung Palace for some sightseeing and #bricksquatting.

Got to visit the new National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art. Lots of things that I was not supposed to take pictures of *ahem*. But totally allowed to take photos of Do Ho Suh's Home Within Home Within Home Within Home Within Home. If you ever get a chance to see any of his work, you should go (run!) because it's really breathtaking and makes you feel so small in the best way.

My favorite part of Korea is always the eating. And not just eating famous food, but off-the-beaten-path food. My best friend in Korea took us to this place that we never in novemdecillion years would've found on our own. It was basically a grandma's house where she served us the freshest organic food in what I assume was her living room. This was definitely my favorite meal of the entire trip.

And sometimes when you don't have a savvy best friend, you might just try your luck with a friendly cab driver. We were looking for ganjang gejang and he dropped us off at this place that did not disappoint! Apologies to the ladies working there - my dad's highlight in life is bragging about his children. We just nod bashfully and stuff our faces.

15 layer #ootd wut wut

Korea is the land of advanced pastries if you didn't know. This is the most generic bakery chain. I said GENERIC.

...pause for mirror selfie...

My dad took us to one of the first bakeries in Seoul, Tae Guk Dang, which was established in 1946. While this is not the original location, they've kept everything as it was in the 60s. All the breads and packaging and interior, it's all like a time warp. But no need to update when you have the classic butter bread (full disclosure: I took a bite of that heavenly gluten pillow) (will not disclose after details).

Then over to To Sok Chon to squeeze in one last sam gye tang before the year is up.

New coat alert! Thanks D.Efect!

This is a real thing. I repeat, a...real...thing. That people eat. By paying money. A "burger" at KFC called the Maxx, which is 2 fried chicken breasts (in lieu of buns) with a hash brown, bacon, ketchup, and cheese in the center.

I was about to be proud of myself for having practiced such restraint. That is, until the last day my best friend took us wandering to some shops. Discovered my now favorite shop, Ecru. It's the flagship Undercover store in Seoul, as well as a multi brand boutique carrying Acne, D.Efect, Neighborhood, Zucca and basically all the brands that are enough for me not to have to go anywhere else. These trousers were, shockingly, my only purchase of the entire trip. Not even a silly keychain! or character socks! or faux fur lined leggings ( <---everywhere font="">! 

BFF

Last meal of 2013 - tuna sashimi complete with gold flakes. I'm fancy huh?

And then I fought the grandma in me (she let me win this once) and trekked it to a party (gasp!) to see my 360 Sounds buddies. Don't worry, I left as soon as the clock struck midnight. If I don't get home in time I turn into a pumpkin age appropriate socializing woman. AND WE WOULDN'T WANT THAT.

And the official Korean first meal of the new year - dduk guk

I'm not much for making new year's resolutions. I just always hope my loved ones are healthy and happy and that's good enough for me. Cheers to another year down friends! Thanks for sticking with me along this weird internet ride. Wishing you all the best in 2014.

GRATHIAS BARTHELONA

So...the secret reason I went to Barcelona recently was to shoot for Zara's Spring PEOPLE! campaign. It was a really intense short trip, but so exciting. Now that the campaign is up, I can finally share with you some of my own photos from Barcelona. Which I will now and forever call Barthelona.
1 // view outside my hotel window, Barcelona is such a beautiful city
2 // dinner the first night after a day of fittings; with Giulia, Pernille and Phil
3 // my exhaustion best represented by Anne's face
4 // shooting by the water
5 // "b" for Barthelona
6 // overcast but still such a nice day
7 // so many things to take in
8 // Phil and Giulia
9 // need to go back for some Hot & Crusty
10 // scheming how to sneak this look home
11 // wardrobe

SXSW

DAY 1
vintage Sepultura tee // vintage Wrangler denim shirt // Ksubi jeans // Timberland boots // Issey Miyake Pleats Please bag

DAY 2
Balenciaga muscle tee // vintage flannel // Ksubi jeans // Sigerson Morrison boots

DAY 3
Zara top // vintage flannel // Ksubi jeans // Timberland boots // Céline bag
top, middle photo by Bobby // bottom photo by Koo

I've been here at SXSW in Austin, TX for work since Wednesday. Somehow I've managed to be in bed 11pm every night despite all heckling and cajoling from coworkers. The days have been hot and the nights have been dark, not the best conditions for picture-taking. But thank god I'm traveling with photographers or at least running into them on the street. Here's what I'm wearing in case you're wondering. I'm a super light packer, so you'll notice yes I'm wearing repeats (that's what Febreeze is for). And thanks to the people who've said hello, sorry for the awkwardness, I'm shy.

EUROPE PHOTO DIARY 3

The final leg of the trip, Stockholm! Basically everything you imagine about everyone being blonde-haired blue-eyed supermodels? All of it TRUE. Even the basic normal 7-11 cashier guy is a supermodel. I was all but ready to pack up my bags and move there if it weren't for the inevitability of developing self esteem issues and a sure case of body dysmorphic disorder. I think I put in my two weeks notice on the 2nd to the last day there so I still have a few days left to change my mind.


The first night we arrived we had no idea where to go so the hotel clerk recommended an Italian restaurant just around the corner. It was an interesting system where upon entrance each person got a card to swipe for every item they ordered. You would line up to get pasta or salads or pizzas made fresh to order. Afterwards you would check out with your card to pay your bill.

I got the bolognese and it was the most delicious pasta I've ever had. Seriously that good. If you're ever in Stockholm I highly recommend Vapiano. They also have east coast locations in the US.


Walking past the National Library of Sweden on the way back to the hotel. The snow was such a welcome contrast from sunny California.



Breakfast every morning. Meatballs for breakfast should be a thing. A daily essential kind of thing.



I don't really understand Swedish sandwiches, but what's to understand as long as it's good right? It was basically a charcuterie spread except instead of putting it on a plate, they decided to stuff it in bread.

Bread that happened to be the size of my head. Side-by-side size reference to iPhone. iPhone photo reference to my head. DO YOU GET THE SIZE NOW?







Went to the Fotografiska Museum to check out an Anton Corbijn exhibit. Giant head at the entrance.






Pantone Warm Gray 8 #designerlingo


We had lunch at Nytorget Urban Deli in the above neighborhood of SoFo. The whole area is hip and has great shops and is a bit more mellow than the congested city center. My hypothetical move would be somewhere around that park. It totally has nothing to do with Alexander Skarsgård living in that area. Whose name is apparently pronounced like Scotch Guard. See? I'm practically Swedish already.

EUROPE PHOTO DIARY 2

I've had a pretty poor track record with chronicling my travels on the blog, usually because in the end I don't want to share too much about my personal life. Traveling to me is such a personal, intimate experience that's difficult to summarize by slapping some photos on the internet and calling it a day. Or am I just making another grandiose excuse for laziness? Well this trip was a little different since it was for work so I'm making more of an effort. Plus, I find myself living vicariously through others' travel photos when I'm stuck at the office. Kick your feet up in the cubicle and enjoy (or be annoyed by) (it's all perspective people!) part dos...Berlin.

This leg of our journey was primarily to attend tradeshows. The first was Bread & Butter at this historic (now non-functioning) airport. I won't get into the details, but Germany is a country rich in history and everywhere there is a story to be told.


Heading from one side of Berlin to the other, to catch the Bright tradeshow.


Held in the old Stasi Headquarters building. The registration area had all these etched portraits in the floor...

Tradeshows get pretty seen-one-seen-em-all, but this one had an interesting mini golf room. It was like an interactive art installation. You can watch a video about it here...

Sick of this outfit yet? I know I was. This time with Ann Demeulemeester boots...
Photobucket

The next day exploring Berlin retail. Three words come to mind - rain, hypothermia, and graffiti.


My friend performed at the Platoon in Seoul so I was super excited to spot one in Berlin.


I think by this time we had had some form of meat and potatoes for every single meal for days, so my digestive tract was in dire need of a break. All I kept thinking about was Jamba Juice. We chanced upon this Korean restaurant and I damn near cried. If you're ever in Berlin, check it out! Yam Yam...

Unintentional stylin. Rain was coming from every which direction and my beanie just wasn't cutting it, so I had to make an emergency headwear purchase. Looking at this photo I like how the Kelly Wearstler scarf adds a little contrast. I'm generally not a stylish traveler, mostly plain black outfits. One good thing about face-freezing-off weather though, it does just that. It literally freezes your makeup to your face. No matter how much rain got misted into my face or how much breath vapor dampened my face under my scarf, I would come home to the hotel at night and it would all be there exactly as I left in the morning. This would never happen in California.


The one touristy thing we got to do was visit Checkpoint Charlie, the remnants of a main crossing point from East Berlin into West Berlin where the wall used to be.



Like I said, lots of history.

EUROPE PHOTO DIARY 1


Not much to share from Amsterdam... The first leg of my Europe work trip. My coworkers had the brilliant idea to bike everywhere since we only had a day to visit all the spots on our research course. I imagined leisurely cycling along canals smelling tulips and smiling fondly at windmills, to which I eagerly agreed. But between avoiding getting T-boned from every direction by trains, vans, pedestrians, other bikers (simultaneously), Dutch mothers laughing at me, and trying not to get my tires stuck in the dense web of tram tracks, all the while squinting through horizontal rain, reality was just...too...much.

I was uploading the photos I took and realized they were all of buildings. Big buildings, old buildings, cute buildings, solemn buildings, just lots of buildings. Maybe because they were the greatest contrast from California's stucco landscape? Anyhow, I didn't want to bog you down with them so I'll privately enjoy my building fetish. I did have great Dutch BBQ though. Steaks on laps, I approve.

ANTI FREEZE


here // here // here

Feverishly looking for some warm (read: practical) outerwear options for my upcoming work trip to Europe. I don't know how much cold my fragile Southern California body can take. As someone who shivers just standing in shade even in the dead of an Indian summer, compounded with my layering claustrophobia, it is imperative that I find a jacket that keeps me warm without needing to bundle on additional layers and doesn't make my shoulders feel like I'm training for Strongman. North Face jacket I want thee not. (unless you, you're ok)

My packing goal is as follows: one coat, one pair of pants, one pair of boots, three cashmere sweaters, socks and chonies, toiletries, etc. you know the drill. Too ambitious for a 7 day trip? Basically I'd be wearing the pants, boots, a sweater, and the coat, with the rest of the stripped down essentials in one corner of my luggage...my very large luggage...with ample room to bring back all the spoils of stimulating Europe's economy.

SOLVANG


3.1 Phillip lim jacket // H&M dress // Versace sunglasses // Balenciaga boots // Givenchy bag

The great thing about California is that there are all these little pockets of visual variances just a few hours drive away. I chalk it up to the weather being friendly and attracting all kinds of cultures who set up shop here. Solvang is one of my favorite random spots in this great state that never fails to make me feel like a kid again. It's kind of like a Danish Disneyland for adults. Grab a pretzel, look at some porcelain tchotchkes, and be back home in time for dinner. Perfect for a quick holiday trip.

Side note: that last photo was taken with an iPhone. Kinda nice if I do say so myself. As bad as I can get at blogging regularly, I kind of rule at updating my Instagram. Sad for my personal life, but good for you guys if you need a quick peak here and there. I'm @stopitrightnow, duh.

Also, HOLY SHIT I'M WEARING A DRESS. Take it in, I know.

NUMBER 11


Zara coat and cashmere shirt // vintage leather pants // UNIF shoes // Givenchy bag // Versace sunglasses

I can see how people get addicted to betting on races. Keeneland was so much fun. I imagine Christmas would be really beautiful in Kentucky. Or anywhere else besides California for that matter. Surfing Santas just don't cut it.


It was the first time I had ever taken the 101 freeway up to the Bay and it really was worth it. The drive was so scenic and I was oohing and aahing practically the entire way up. I've made many a mental note to check out the Madonna Inn, but I'd never had a reason to go up this way before, so this time we finally made a quick stop to peak around and try to pick up a pie to take to my brother.
I think we went at the best time because all the Christmas decorations were up so it was extra crazy in there. Visual overload for sure.
I tried to make Pixelman take a picture of the mens bathroom - because it's famous, not because I'm a perv - but a dude was crapping so he got skiddish and ran out. All the more reason to come back.This room is CraaaaaaaaaaaazytownUSA. An entire dining room dedicated to the color Pepto-Bismol.
Just a little more to go........almost there....
Nightmare?
Woke up to beautiful weather and started off the day with my favorite Morning Buns from La Farine bakery. The Peets Coffee across the street was giving away free drinks and you had the option of donating to their favorite charity, that was nice. I don't think my leopard pants blended very well with this part of town though. I may have been the only one not wearing North Face polar fleece.
Headed into the city to wait for my baby cousin (who is actually a full grown adult) to get off work...Not The Bridge that Pixelman wanted to see, so we'll have to save the morbid sightseeing for next time.
Ended up at a bar that smelled like a gym locker. Very few places were open so we ended up stumbling into Thai Noodle House on Haight for our Christmas Eve dinner. It's awesome when you end up somewhere by default and it's actually really delicious. Present(wow, I actually wrote that, how Asian of me)Pleasant surprise.
We are the Boot People.

Christmas was the mellowest day of all. Woke up late and leisurely headed over to another cousin's place where he cooked us the most party-in-your-stomach pot roast ever. We ate ourselves silly while watching an old Japanese movie about farting kids and an old school Hong Kong Kung Fu movie. It was inevitable that all of us would end up asleep with our mouths open; it's in our blood. I tend to wear this color combo a lot, but it just so happened it was Christmas Day. Extra point for inadvertent holiday color matching!
We got back to the house and instead of resting and allowing the roast to settle into one more layer of fatty torso insulation, we ended up obsessing over this Gyroball. There's a trick to getting it started, but for some reason neither Pixelman nor I could get it to spin. What started off as a simple ho-hum nothing, turned into the frickin Olympics of Ego and Patience. My brother came downstairs at some point because we were getting so riled up and, of course, gets it going in a few seconds. Then because we had put so much effort into getting the stupid thing started, we just couldn't let it stop...so we took turns keeping it spinning, even though our arms were about to fall off, looking at each other tired and defeated.

We wanted to jam back home so we jumped on the 5. On our last trip it was raining like Armageddon styles, so we were too busy trying not to die to enjoy the scenery. On this day, it was so clear and beautiful. Just try to tell me happy cows don't come from here...

I have the uncanny ability to hold my pee even though I have the most geriatric bladder for someone my age. This isn't really a skill so much as a mental glitch that results in frequent UTIs. There are times when I won't get up even once during the entire work day. I could pee so long I could sing you November Rain, including hummed instrumentals, without stopping once. For some reason on the drive back home I subconsciously held my pee until the last hour and a half, at which point I mentally challenged myself to try to hold it the entire rest of the way. Once we got near Magic Mountain, I was in cold sweats and already rehearsing how I would explain to Pixelman's mom why there was a yellow spot in her car, so when I saw a Marie Callenders near the exit, I couldn't stand it anymore and we pulled off. It was actually the perfect opportunity to get out of the traffic for a minute, release 85% of the water in my body and get some of my favorite cornbread. A Frisco Burger and Chili Patty Melt later we were back on the road and on our way home. There's no place like it. (except when you have a mountain of laundry)

THE END!

went to SF this past weekend. note to self: poll readers for cool spots before traveling. stayed at Hotel Union Square. excellent location, not so excellent sized room. petite queen. emphasis on petite.


awkward diner bathroom hallway pose? F21 leopard coat that completely squelched my misery over the lost APC leopard coat from way back. yohji docs were a dream in the rainy weather and 48 hours of downtown walking.


Thrasher/Neckface dude.


Sketchiness at its non-classiest. Can't get enough of my Ann Sofie Back leather jacket.


which makes a little cameo in the below photo. why hello there. oh and hello beer in hotel room.


Doritos in bed.


Thank you pixel man ♥