Page 1


Fashion Forward ISSUE November 2010







They’re Back, and READY TO ROCK!


Saint Marks Place Where to Eat, What To Do

かわいい 귀여운 かわいいFASHION 귀여운 STREET かわいい 귀여운


영화 フィルム 영화 フィルム 영화 フィル ム 영화 フィルム 영화 フィルム 영화 フィ ルム 영화 フィルム 영화 フィルム 영화 フィルム 영화 フィルム 영화 フィルム



いただきます 2

 잘 먹겠습니다



or the first issue of KOJA magazine, I decided celebrate this occasion by focus on Fashion. Like most of you dear readers, I am a fashion aficionado, as well as a JPOP/K-POP fan. In this issue, you will witness great singers who also excel in the Fashion field. These artists truly express their creativity not only through lyrics, but also their clothes. Furthermore, you will be able to take a look at 2 Japanese students who were on a visit in the Big Apple, and caught my eye because of their trendy style. I will also give you a preview of the new IT trend for your nails, as we all know, you have to be Fresh head to toe (including nails)! For our ZOOM-IN section, which focuses on hot spots to discover, I invite you to go to Saint Marks Place, in the Lower East Side area of Manhattan. On the menu: awesome restaurants which will satisfy your hungry bells, and your taste buds. Also, to your enjoyment, we have interviewed upcoming American-Korean fashion designer Victorya Hong, who was a participant in Season 4 of Project Runway. You will be able to see what it's like to have worked alongside fashion guru Tim Gunn. Finally, I hope you are ready for KOJA magazine, because I have concocted such a powerful issue which will fill your need to J-POP/K-POP culture until you drop!



かわいい 귀여운 STかわいい REET FAS귀여운 HION かわいい 귀여운


heck out these two students’ outfit from Saitama, Japan! They were happily strolling down Saint Mark’s Place; and when I saw them, I had to take a picture! Their style is so laissez-faire, and minimalist, yet ethnic and totally sophisticated. They were so eye-candy that I had to say Kawaii! This top bun shows both sophisitcation and relaxation

This scarf and layering combo is the perfect attire for visiting NYC

This ethnic satchel bag is just too Kawaii to be true! Military-inspired fatigues are the must have items to channel you inner minimalism. Clarks boat shoes are confortable, relax, yet preppy. 3-in-1 style, how convenient!


The way she parted her hair and curly the front is just delightful!

This giant plastic chain necklace gives a playful and fun touch to her all black outfit! The vintage satchel completes her outfit perfectly well. Even if she is wearing all black clothes, she sure doesn’t look like Wednesday Adams!

These mocassins are the perfect shoes when walking around NYC all day!


Sweet Lolita

Let’s Cosplay Lolita

Japanese girl channeling her inner Rikky


t wasn't long ago that Comic Con San Diego, N.Y.C. and E3 enabled people to dress as their favorite characters. Then came Halloween, where almost everyone rushed to the costume store to buy an outfit resembling their favorite hero, and have the opportunity, for one night, to become a superhero or badass villain. On a normal day we, average Joes, dress as conformed to societal standards. But some people dare to defy such normality by dressing all year long as their favorite anime, video game, or cartoon characters. Such bizarre trend is called CosPlay (which is the abbreviation of Costume Play). I am sure you know what I am referring to. You know, the one person, who dresses up as one of the Naruto characters way after Halloween. Well, while you might think this person is quite a geek, and may be obsessing with video gaming and mangas a little bit too much; let me tell you that this person is not alone. Thousands of people across the world, especially in Japan, embrace this trend with dedication and fervency. It is a known fact that Japanese fashion is the epicenter of fashion extremes. It is not uncommon to see a person dressed as Snoop Dogg on the sidewalk; and across the street, a woman channeling her inner Geisha with the full traditional costume, hair and makeup. So when people dress as fictional characters such as Rikku from Final Fantasy, or Bulma from Sailor Moon; again, there's nothing weird about that. Cosplayers in Japan refer to themselves as reiyÄ which means "layer". Cosplaying enables them to show a part of their personality, just like Shrek explained how orgers are like onions, they have many layers to be pealed. Also, in the ranks of cosplayers, you will find the animegao or "dollers" which are male players dressed as mascot female characters (male players beware when ap-


proach a female looking cosplaying with a mask and armor, . This brings us to crossplaying, which enables players to dress as both male or female characters, regardless of their gender. Even if most of us do not have the possibility to go to the Harajuku district of Tokyo to witness such fashion extravagance, you might think that such trend would never reach the continental U.S., think again! Signs of CosPlay epidemic have been reported across the country all year long. The first sign of such pandemic is: dressing up with a very expensive costume, to look identical to a video game character not only for Halloween, but also during pre and post Halloween parties. The second sign is attending all Comic Con days in both San Diego and N.Y.C dressed as all the different characters from Star Wars. From that point, it is downhill from there. But if you think you would only see such trends in the Japantown or Chinatown areas of your city, you are wrong. I have personally witnessed schoolgirls dressed as video game characters in the streets of Brooklyn Heights. I am sure you have also been attacked by zombies, especially if you live in San Francisco, London, or N.Y.C (I personally got attacked on Astor Place a couple of days before Halloween this year). So when you Blackthey Canary,are Wonder Woman, Batman, and Robin at Comic Con see zombies roaming the streets,


Classic Lolita, Hime Lolita, and Gothic Lolita

Lolita clothing store in Harajuku district, Tokyo

you know that it is a true pandemic. Now that you understand the concept of Cosplaying, let me tell you about a fashion trend that fascinates me much: lolita styles. You might wonder why I am suddenly jumping from one subject to another; well it is a Fashion issue, right? The reason why I am explaining to you, dear readers, about CosPlay, is because I would like to share with you my interest about one of CosPlay's offsprings: Lolitas. When speaking of lolitas, I am not referring to Vladimir Nabokov's nymphet, but the actual fashion trend. This style first appeared in 1980's in Tokyo, and quickly spread across the country. The typical lolita attire includes dresses with dropped shoulders, pagoda sleeves, crinoline-like skirt, bodice, and lots of bows and embroidery. This style is an adaptation of Victorian style mixed with Rococo costumes. The name "lolita" (ロリータファッション , Rorīta fasshon) comes from the fact that this costumes reminds viewers of little girls from the early 1900's. This fashion, though influenced by manga and anime characters, is divided according to different looks: Classic (Victorian costumes); Gothic or ゴ スロリ gosu rori (quite self-explanatory); Sweet or 甘ロリ ama rori (using pastel colors in contrast to the Classic Lolita); Wa or 和ロリ wa rori (incorporates traditional Japanese outfits to the Lolita look); Princess or 姫 hime (mimicking European aristocratic looks); and even Prince or Ōjisama 王子様 for your gentlemen to escort your Princess. Today, this trend is so popular in Japana that you can actually go to speciality stores such as Pink House, Milk and Angelic Pretty in the Harajuku district of Tokyo and buy Lolita outfits and accessories. Even during Tokyo's Fashion Week, it is not uncommon for Lolita designers such as EGL (Elegant Gothic Lolita) to show-


case their collection. What is so striking about this look is the different alternatives one can choose, without differing from the Lolita crowd. In fact, Lolitas love to celebrate fashion through portraying different historical eras and fashion trends. I am sure that sooner or later, mainstream Western designers will start incorporating Lolita looks to their "uniquely creative" collections. Although you might never catch me looking like one of Queen Victoria' s courtesans, I have to admit that I admire this trend, and the poeple who dare wear it. I don't know about you, but for next year's Halloween, you might see me partying in the Big City dressed as a zombie Lolita, or a kick-ass Lara Croft. In the meantime, I will sit back and admire the more adventurous ones who dare dress up as their favorite characters on a regular day basis; or go back to playing video games and watching my favorite animes! EGL Fashion Show



The modern day Geisha is a strong, sensual, and seductive woman who hasn’t forgotten about her sensitivity and her roots.

Photographed by Katherine Levene Styled by Nala Randrianarison

Hair and Make Up by Model

Nala Randrianarison

Shion Muramatsu

Clothes and Jewelry

Model’s own




or your delight and enjoyment, dear KOJA readers, we had the opportunity to interview New-York based Korean designer and Project Runway Season 4 alumni, Victorya Hong. Born in Seoul, Hong moved to the U.S. at a young age, where she spent her early years in Virginia. Even in childhood, Hong found herself sketching and discussing design projects with her mother. Upon graduating from the University of Chicago, she moved to Paris. After six years in Europe working as a journalist, she decided to go back to the U.S. to pursue her dream of becoming a fashion designer. In New York, Hong obtained an associate degree from Parsons. She worked for several major fashion design companies before finally launching her own line called “na-•be”. Her line showcases contemporary womenswear, and the word “nabe” means butterfly in Korean. Hong says that she chose this word because it was the perfect label for her line, as designing is such a transformative process for her. In 2007, she was cast in Season 4 of Project Runway. Though she was eliminated from the show, Hong was still able to showcase her line at the IMG Mercedez Benz NY Fashion Week in February 2008, and went to guest star in the Korean version of Project Runway the same year. Thank you very much for taking the time to answer a few questions for our Fashion Sense readers. Unlike many designers in the U.S., you have the advantage of having a relative who knows about this industry & gives you advice since you were a child. Does your mother still give advice to this day about your line, or any other fashion projects? My mother is probably one of the most talented women I know. When I was little, she could cook a gourmet meal, keep our home impeccable, and still found time to make a lot of our clothes. She has an innate sense of design and can cut a dress without a pattern. But she’s entirely self-taught and has never worked in the fashion industry. I would say that I’m still very lucky to have someone like her in my life, and I do constantly seek her advice on just about everything, but especially fashion. Being of Korean descent, would you say Korean fashion influences your line? I’m asked that question a lot. There is no doubt that my designs are a product of who I am, and of course my Korean heritage makes up a good part of my identity. But fashion in Korea is so cosmopolitan that it’d be hard to distinguish between the way a girl is dressed in Seoul to a girl in New York. You have guest starred in the premiere episode of Project Runway Korea. How was your experience on being a feature appearance rather than a contestant this time around? What were the major differences you noticed between the American version and the Korean version of Project Runway? I was so honored when I was asked to participate in PR Korea. I had no idea at the time that the show was so popular there, and I never really thought about the role of Asians in the public eye, until I found myself playing out that role. Koreans, like so many other Asians, are so proud of their heritage, so I think it meant a lot for them to see someone of Korean heritage appearing on a nationally broadcast show in the US. So, to go over and be a part of the Korean version of PR was exciting and humbling at the same time. I had nothing but respect for the designers on the Korean version, especially after seeing the level of talent. Overall, I’d say that the level of skill and creativity that I saw in Korea could easily compete head-to-head with any US season. There were a couple of designers whose work really impressed me from the start. Are you familiar with K-pop? What are your thoughts on these groups’ fashion? (Would you ever be interested in collaborating with some of these groups, like Jeremy Scott did with 2ne1 and Wonder Girls?) Unfortunately, I don’t really know too much about current Korean pop culture. What I have seen, though, is pretty amazing, and if the opportunity ever presented itself, I would love to be a part of it in some way.



New York is such an eclectic yet cutthroat environment for the fashion industry. Was there anytime during your career here when you had any major doubts about your ability to succeed? Did Project Runway help you get exposure for your line? I wouldn’t describe the fashion scene here as cutthroat. It’s tough, sure. But any creative field is tough because there is just so much competition. At the same time, it’s that competition that can drive you to be and do your best. As for doubting my abilities, sure, I think everyone doubts him or herself now and then. That’s only a natural part of the process. And then you pick yourself up and go out and do what it takes to make yourself better and hopefully, succeed. You have mentioned in a previous interview that you had never entertained the idea of participating in Project Runway. Why did you change your mind? I am probably one of the very few people I know who has absolutely no interest in being famous. My goal has always been to be a good designer, which is more or less tantamount to being a successful designer. So I had never considered PR before, because of the obvious trappings of television. But after making the calculations from a purely business perspective, I realized the exposure could be extremely useful to launching my own line. Once you were selected to participate in the show, how did you prepare for the different challenges? It’s pretty impossible to crash prepare for something like PR, because the show really tests the culmination of your skills as a designer and technician. But I would say that a designer always needs to be informed. Fashion is really such an interdisciplinary field. Knowing about the latest trends, designs, and pop culture references, is crucial to good design. But knowing how to draft a pant or sleeve pattern doesn’t hurt either. I read in an article that you were fond of Nicholas Ghesquiere, Alber Elbaz, and Marc Jacobs. What traits of their designs, or fashion characteristics are you drawn to? For me, a good designer is someone who really has his finger on the pulse of our times, and can look to see where that pulse will jump in the next six months to a year. Each of those three designers has that ability, but in different ways. I would add Riccardo Tisci to that list after his last show. His collection for Givenchy really made me think. Really good design isn’t something I admit to understanding immediately, but that’s the kind of work that pushes the envelope. Do you have any future projects of working overseas, such as expending your line or maybe collaborating with other foreign designers? How difficult is it to work outside of New York, with other fashion designers? For the past couple of years, I’ve been speaking to several foreign companies about possible collaborations. Admittedly, there are always logistical and even cultural problems to contend with, but nonetheless, I would still love to dip my toe abroad. Finally, do you have any fashion-must have tips for our readers? Maybe it’s a sign of the times, but I would say quality over quantity. Investing in a few really great pieces can carry you over for seasons to come, rather than picking up a wardrobe of trendy expendables. I’m also pretty keen on accessories. I never leave home without at least a bangle bracelet and a couple of rings.



Y T U A E B & H T L A E H



inger/Rapper Kid Sister first introduced 3D Nail Art back in 2008 in her song Pro Nails. When we were still proudly showing our French manicure or “traditional� nail colors, she was already sporting gems and other artsy patterns on them. Soon after, other celebrities such as Lady Gaga, Fergie, Rihanna, and even Katy Perry followed her footsteps by adorning their nails with all sorts of accessories and designs. If you thought you were fashionforward because you had MINX nails, think again. 3D Nail Art, accompanied with Calgel nail treatment, is the new IT fashion trend.

SAKURA NAIL & SPA If you do not want to pay too much to get artful nail work done (plane ticket to Japan+ manicure), you can simple go to Sakura Nail and Spa, which will provide you with the same awesome results as if you actually want to Japan or Korea to get your nails done. Manicure prices range from $12 to $30, but offer spa quality treatment for your soft hands. Also, you can choose to have flat art, 3d art, and even Swarovski Rhinestone put on your nails, to turn your hands into a piece of art. KOJA

UPPER EAST SIDE Location 1709 Second Avenue LOWER EAST SIDE Location 35 East First Avenue



They are top selling artists, but they are also known for the impeccable fashion sense. Designers want them, while fans want to be like them.

G-Dragon PROFESSION: Singer, Rapper, Songwriter WHY WE LOVE HIS STYLE: GD is a trend-setter, and an avant-guardist fashionista. No wonder he is the first Korean to be endorsed by Louis Vuitton. NAME:

Mademoiselle Yulia PROFESSION: DJ WHY WE LOVE HER STYLE: Always sporting neon hair and extravagant outfits, the queen of Japanese Electro ‘s signature look Never fails to impress us. To the Japanese and Korean public, Mademoiselle Yulia is the maven of street fashion, and many designers are starting to notice. NAME:

Mika Nakashima PROFESSION: Singer WHY WE LOVE HER STYLE: Mika is the fresh face of J-pop. Her style is kawaii, sexy, and feminie to the foolest. Everyone of her red carpets appearances is always anticipated by those who work in the Fashion industry. Also her beautiful face is always coveted by many beauty companies. NAME:

CL PROFESSION: Singer, Rapper, Sonwriter WHY WE LOVE HER STYLE: The 2NE1 leader is a fashion icon, known for her boldness and bad-assness. She is never scared to push the boundaries of Fashion; no wonder why Jeremy Scott uses her as his muse. NAME:



G Entertainment’s first ladies are back with their very first full lenght album. After a couple months spend in London, and the U.S. where they worked with notable artists such as Will.I.Am; 2NE1 came back to Korea with a new album, and a new

look. The album greatly showcases the personality of the 4 members; from fierce track like Can’t Nobody, to more mellow songs such as You & I. Despite the fact that a lot of auto-tune has been used throughout the album, Bom, Dara, CL, and Minzy demonstrate such vocal talent in songs like It Hurts. FInally, to accompany their new album, the girls went thought a complete make-over to differentiate their personality even more than when they first started. CL now dons a platinum blonde hair, while Bom sports a fire red one, Minzy went jet black with occasional hair extensions, and Dara decided on lightening up hers. It is safe to say that 2NE1’s comeback album has established them into multi-talented artists, and when cannot wait to hear more from them on our side of the world this time.







영화 フィルム 영화 フィルム 영화 フィル ム 영화 フィルム 영화 フィルム 영화 フィ ルム 영화 フィルム 영화 フィルム 영화 フィルム 영화 フィルム 영화 フィルム




Kiyoshi Kurosawa (2008)

he maestro of Japanese ghost horror went in a completely different direction this time with this family drama, and we loved it! The movie focuses on a family which slowly desintegrates after the patriarch loses his job. Older son wants nothing to do with his family, younger son cannot relate with his familly, while Mother is completely ignored by the family. All these no-so-typical family issues happen under the watchful eye of a deceiving father, whose pride will lead him into a life of hustle. Kurosawa did a wonderful job displaying the struggle of a family unit, and how each member needs to cope one way or another, in order for the family to survive.



Bong Joon-ho (2009)

orean film prodigee delivered again with this wonderful movie about motherhood. The movie is centered around a single mother looking after a feeble-minded adult son. When her offspring is taken to jail for the murder of a young school girl, the mother will go to the ends of the Earth to prove her son’s innocence, and solve this heinous crime Kim Hye-ja ‘s performance is trully magnificent, and we wouldn’t be surprise if she gets recognitions for her role as a dedicated, over-protective mother.




SAINT MARK’S PLACE This always-animated street hosts many Asian restaurants, clothing stores, head shops, and other 24-hour stores; which make Saint Mark’s Place the ultimate area for the young and restless to hang out, party, eat and drink!


13 St. Mark’s Pl (between 3rd Ave & Astor Pl)



iding in the basement level of a building on the popular Saint Marks Place, the Spot is the ultimate dessert bar in the area. It is the type of place where you can relax and have an amazing Thai Tea/Cafe for less than $3 (cheaper and better than Starbucks)! You can also try some of their amazing cupcakes, or a more elaborate dessert such as the Coconut Crema or the White Miso Semifreaddo (my favorites). Also, for the ultimate dessert experience, I suggest you invite some of your friends to a $50 dessert sampler, served in the form of tapas. The Spot will forever transform your ideology of a perfect dessert!

9 Saint Mark’s Place (between 3rd Ave & Astor Pl)


am not certain if this restaurant is an authentic Korean restaurant, but by judging with the amount of Koreans who frequent this place, I would better it is. Not being familiar with this type of cuisine, I decided to try a bit of everything, accompanied by a glass of delicious Korean plum wine. I recommend the Bi Bim Bop (for the less adventurous), which has rice, veggies, kimchi (fermented cabbage), and your choice of meat; either in a bowl, or iron cast. Boka / Bon Chon definitely opened my appetite for more Korean food.

GO Japanese Restaurant

30 Saint Mark’s Place (between 3rd Ave & Astor Pl)



his restaurant is my personal favorite Japanese restaurant in the area. The overall ambiance is very chilled and relax, and the crowd is unpretentious at all. One thumb up! The food is amazing, the rolls are great, and the sushi/sashimi are even better. Two thumbs up! The best part has to be the great portion of soba soups, which are big enough to fill your starving bellies. And to make your restaurant experience complete, I suggest you accompany your food with a cold Saporo beer, or your choice of sake from their extensive list. Kampai! KOJA


잘 먹겠습니다

MISOSHIRU 味噌汁, (Miso soup)


ack to basics with this popular Japanese traditional soup, which is quite easy to make, and wiwarm you up during the upcoming winter!


ngredients: •3 cups dashi soup stock or bonito fish stock •1 block tofu •3-4 tbsps miso paste •1/4 cup chopped green onion


irection •Put dashi soup stock in a pan and bring to a boil. •Cut tofu into small cubes and add them to the soup. •Simmer the tofu for a few minutes on low heat. •Scoop out some soup stock from the pan and dissolve miso in it. •Gradually return the miso mixture in the soup. •Stir the soup gently. •Stop the heat and add chopped green onion.



KOJA Magazine

2488 France Avenue, NY 10001


-prototype- KOJA (KoreaJapan) is a culture/lifestyle/music/fashion magazine about trends in Korea and Japan, for Western viewers. (I do no...

Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you