Paris Paris Paris

A beautiful city that will truly inspire you. I'm not sure if its the history, the design or just the Parisian air but it's quite the romantic city. Paris makes you want to fall in love or at least be in love. It's also the capital of fashion, I don't know all the reasons but I like to believe it's because it's always been classic & chic. 

This was my first time working with a team in Paris and I had an amazing time shooting this Fashion story. 

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Top & pants: Drome 
Mini Bag & Gloves: Azzedine Alaia 
Hat: Laulhere 

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This Lou De Betoly dress was stunning. I need this for my next party or just to lounge around in at my house.

A stunning dress or a gown can make you feel glamorous and beautiful but there's just something about a power suit that really makes me feel amazing. Maybe it's because I don't find myself in this type of look very often but this was my favorite look from the entire shoot! Who says a girl can't rock a mans style? 

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Oversized jacket: Sadak
Beret: Azzedine Alaia
Earrings: Lanvin

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Total look: Off-white
Earrings: Louis Vuitton

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Absolutely in LOVE with the dress & bag combo from Off-White. Straight off the runway, fire. 

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Top & Pants: Drome
Mini Bag & Gloves: Azzedine Alaia
Hat: Laulhere

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Total Look: Azzedine Alaia

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Total Look: Off-white

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Dress & belt: Azzedine Alaia
Hat: Laulhere

It must be the Parisian Style and team but this is my favorite Fashion Shoot & Video we have shot up to date! Would you agree? 

Give it up for the phenomenal team! 

Photographer: Florian https://www.instagram.com/floriansaez
Sylist: Sarah https://www.instagram.com/sarahcazeneuvestylist
Make up artist: Cyril https://www.instagram.com/cyrillaine
Hair Stylist: Oliver https://www.instagram.com/hairbyolivierlebrun
Hair Assistant: Michael https://www.instagram.com/spraythanh
Video: Eunice https://www.instagram.com/eunibugg
 

Dreaming Vintage

The weekends seem to be shorter and shorter. It's already Monday and I feel like time is slipping through my fingers. Can you believe we're already half way through the year?  

These days I feel like I'm definitely doing a lot of waiting. Waiting for good news or the right phone call. The business of  acting  is really the waiting game, before you book the job and even when you book the job. There's a fairly common phrase that I find to be very true in this line of work --  We're paid to wait, we throw the acting in for free.  Luckily, this year has been pretty consistent with work, just not the show I want to "live on" or the film that really excites me. So the waiting continues.

These days I feel like I'm definitely doing a lot of waiting. Waiting for good news or the right phone call. The business of acting is really the waiting game, before you book the job and even when you book the job. There's a fairly common phrase that I find to be very true in this line of work -- We're paid to wait, we throw the acting in for free. Luckily, this year has been pretty consistent with work, just not the show I want to "live on" or the film that really excites me. So the waiting continues.

Despite my somber face, I was having a  lot  of fun at this shoot. I love vintage trinkets and vintage clothes, I feel like they're not just things, vintage pieces have a story. 

Despite my somber face, I was having a lot of fun at this shoot. I love vintage trinkets and vintage clothes, I feel like they're not just things, vintage pieces have a story. 

I wonder what pieces from 2017 will end up being vintage to those in the future? Who knew "mom jeans" from the 90's would make such a strong comeback. I personally love them. I was never a fan of the ultra low waisted jeans. 

I wonder what pieces from 2017 will end up being vintage to those in the future? Who knew "mom jeans" from the 90's would make such a strong comeback. I personally love them. I was never a fan of the ultra low waisted jeans. 

Here I am dreaming, as usual, about food. The other day I was going to lunch - very excited - and as my friend and I were walking in I was already planning out what we should eat for dinner. He pointed out how weird that was of me, I guess I've always thought that was normal. You guys don't do that? I'm pretty sure the most exciting thing for me every morning is - what am I going to eat today?!

Here I am dreaming, as usual, about food. The other day I was going to lunch - very excited - and as my friend and I were walking in I was already planning out what we should eat for dinner. He pointed out how weird that was of me, I guess I've always thought that was normal. You guys don't do that? I'm pretty sure the most exciting thing for me every morning is - what am I going to eat today?!

I'll be sharing more photos from this shoot but incase you missed it, here's the behind the scenes shot by my lovely friend Eunice Lee.

Photographer: Kaitlyn Mikayla
Stylists: Ryan & Mandi of Hill People
Hair: Goldy Ilowitz
Makeup: Michelle Singh

Gold & Glossy

Here's a sneak peek at a shoot I did with Felix Mack. We did a quick 3 look shoot and this was one of the looks. Glossy gold eyes & glossy lips. I look a little different but I love these! I love trying new looks and transforming for photo shoots. It's like becoming a new person.

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Someone recently asked me - how do you model? I don't know if I can answer that because I'm not really a model. But when I get my photo taken, I always think about connecting with the photographer. The way dancers connect and are in tune with each others movements. I also try to think of a mood or a feeling and emulate it. Like a chameleon. If the clothes are fun and colorful I generally vibe off that feeling and the energy is high and exciting. If the make up and wardrobe is moody then I'll think mysterious or bad ass. We're all working together to either bring a character to life or to capture the true essence of an individual. 

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It's fun to be able to tell a story through the photographs. I definitely think the shots Felix took of me tell a story. What do you think? What do you think this girls story is? 

More coming soon! 

Photography by Felix Mack
Make up by Illyne Michel 

 

Instagram life vs Real life

I flew into Syracuse yesterday for my talk today. The city welcomed me with wind & snow so I stayed in the hotel last night. Figured I'd grab some wine at the hotel bar and ended up with a pretty funny encounter.

I was in my typical attire - hoodie, sweats and no make up. Traveling with my assistant so we were keeping it low key.

It was a fairly quiet hotel bar. No more than 4 guests. Most the evening was just us and the bartender.

Towards the end of the night, the bartender asked if I was Arden Cho, his boss had texted him asking to confirm because she had suspicions it was me. I laughed, said yes, then of course we started chatting about work, life, etc. Later one of the other customers chimed in because he was surprised he had found me on instagram.

Wow it's so cool you can have a disguise in real life vs instagram. You look so different. I laughed and said, yes, I don't have my face on. I guess I never considered it a disguise because this is my norm, but it's funny to see the other perspective. I often hear things like - wow, you're SO short in real life or you look SO different. It definitely makes me a bit uneasy and insecure but I realize it's also a perspective. Maybe it's a gift that I look different in different environments and scenarios. But I know I usually feel like I'm invisible - which is probably what you wouldn't expect to hear from me. 

I guess sometimes I don't even realize how far instagram is from the reality. I use it mostly as my highlight reel or sharing my work. Also sharing moments from my life that I think are instagram worthy. I guess it definitely is no longer a reality. I'm not trying to be fake or hide who I am but I feel like I can't share everything or post too much because of the "instagram asthetic". I guess that's why I started this blog. I can be more authentic here. I feel safer on this platform and less judged. My instagram page isn't even aesthetically pleasing, I try to be because it's part of my job but I honestly have no clue how some people make their pages look so perfect. 

I also don't share certain parts of my life, like some of my close friends and their families or loved ones if they're not comfortable with the exposure. Not everyone signs up for this lifestlye or lack of privacy.

Anyways, this made me think instagram is really misleading, social media is also so deceiving. I fall victim to scrolling through and seeing other pages, feeling envious, jealous and sad. But then I know my page might have to same result for others. Which isn't my intent at all. Most of my posts are images from photoshoots where I have a team of people making me look way better than I do in real life.

Instagram is like a live photo album or a memory book of my work. It's not the reality. So I hope you can take it for what it is. If it's affected you negatively, I'm sorry. It's something I hope I can look back at when I'm 60 and tell my kids - mom used to be kind of cool.

All Photography by Luke Rieke
Make Up & Hair by Sara Tagaloa
Wardrobe Styling by Katie Qian
Assisted by Eunice Lee

It's never too late to learn

When I was younger I felt like I knew so much but the older I get I feel like I don't know anything at all. No matter how much you know, there is an infinite amount of things that you don't know.

"The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing." - Socrates. 

I'm always trying to stay in tune with what's happening around the world but it's hard to believe everything you hear these days. The media creates news that is often faulty or biased. The information we receive is so curated and everyone is trying to be first with whatever story may be viral.

Can I see what's out there, what is actually happening in this world? How can we really know from behind our computer screens? 

I envy those who can just drop everything and travel the world. Learning and absorbing all the different cultures.  

If I could rewind back to college and do it again there are so many things I would change. When I was in school I was in such a hurry to graduate and become an adult. I wish someone told me back then to slow down. 

I wish I could go back to the time when my only responsibilities were to go to class and to learn. It's such a privilege to be able to learn and get an education. I think a lot of people take that for granted, I know I did. 

Luckily it's never too late to learn, it just gets a little busier as we get older. I try to learn something new every day. I'm still discovering my voice and learning how to sing as I shared a few weeks ago. 

Search for answers, seek the truth. You can't learn anything if you think you already know. If you open your mind and realize that you may be wrong or mistaken, you might be ready to learn.

All Photography by Luke Rieke
Make Up & Hair by Sara Tagaloa
Wardrobe Styling by Katie Qian
Assisted by Eunice Lee

New York

One of my favorite experiences during Fashion Week last year was shooting with Leonardo Corredor. It took me so far out of my comfort zone. But I loved it. I never got to share all of the photos so I figured I'd do that here.

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This was hands down my favorite images from the shoot. I'm not quite sure why but it makes me feel like a painting and I'm honored to feel like my image became art. 

My dreams of being tall come true in photoshoots with long gowns and killer heels. But thank you Leo, this photo gives me life. 

I rarely shoot anything like this. I think it's because I feel vulnerable & naked. Or just plain awkward. But I'm happy we did it, I love how it turned out and I think I'll look back at it many years from now and be happy that I was comfortable enough to take this photo, despite the tiny body suit and snow falling on me in the -0 degree weather. Yes, it was snowing while I took this photo and yes, I was standing outside on the busy streets of New York. Half naked. I got quite a number of funny looks. 

This is probably my second favorite photo of the batch. I love it because it makes me feel so sexy and I rarely feel sexy. I also love the hair naturally falling in my face. I don't know why but I really love hair in the face. I almost wish I always had hair in my face like Violet from The Incredibles. 

I really fear taking photos straight on like this. But when you have a good glam team it sure does build the confidence. Thank you Jonathan for making my face look like this. This photo also freaked me out a bit because people kept commenting that I looked like TOP from Big Bang, I wasn't sure if that was an insult or a compliement. But I'll choose to take it as a compliment. Maybe we can play siblings one day. 

Photography - Leonardo Corredor | Make up - Jonathan Wu | Nails - Sooah | Hair - Kat Koncept | Styling - Allan Troy

Beauty & the Beast

Seems like a lot of people watched Beauty & the Beast this past weekend. I'm planning on watching it this week, I don't really like going to the theaters opening weekend because it's so packed and hectic. I'll go opening weekend if it's a film I really want to help support and make sure they get the best opening weekend stats. But my favorite time to go to the movies is mid-week matinee. It's less crowded & cheaper! 

I covered one of my favorite songs from the movie with my friends Daniel Jang & Jason Chen

I always wanted to be Belle, Little Mermaid, Mulan or Jasmine. I remember when I was little I wanted to be Belle for Halloween but my parents wouldn't buy me the dress. Our family didn't really celebrate Halloween or think it was necessary to buy a costume so I was only allowed to wear what I had at home. A Taekwondo uniform, my ballerina leotard & tutu or a Hanbok (traditional Korean dress) were my options. I basically rotated these three outfits every year for trick-or-treating. I wonder if it's an Asian thing? 

Hope you enjoy our cover video. My only regret is not wearing that perfect yellow gown for this video. Although, if I did, I might have been a bit overdressed. One day, I want to wear that Belle gown! 

Of course a video isn't complete without taking some photos. Thanks Robby! A lot of people asked me on instagram where my outfit was from. The top is from this little boutique on Melrose called Timeless and the pants are from this online site called Le Box Blanc

I LOVE these pants because they make me feel so tall and I'm a fan of the wide leg. I find ultra tight white pants to be unflattering on 90% of body types. I'll wear form fitted white jeans from time to time but really tight white skinnies can be hard to pull off. I feel it accentuates my thighs and that's not really my favorite body part. So don't feel bad if every time you pull on a pair of white skinnies and look in the mirror you cringe. I feel you girl, I feel you. Plus it probably looks much better than you think. We are our own worst critics.

I really like the cut of this top but it's a little big for me. Medium was the only size left at the store so I went ahead and bought it. Impulse buy. Looking at photos I do think it would have been better if it was the right size. But I don't hate it. I love the wide over the shoulder collar and long wide sleeves. 

This photo below was taken by Jason, he snapped a few while Robby was shooting. This was basically a 3 minute photoshoot. 

This last one was taken through a screen door, not bad not bad Mr Chen. 

Do we always want what we don't have? 

I shot with Luke Rieke last week, an incredibly talented photographer from the East Coast. We worked with Sara Tagaloa & Katie Qian both talented and sweet women. I shared a couple of the photos on my instagram with a caption mentioning how excited I was about these shots because of my "fake" freckles. But I was shocked to see how many of my freckled friends commented that I was crazy for wanting freckles. Or saying that they hated their freckles. I feel like freckles bring so much character to a face. I have a few moles, or "spots" on my face and when I was young my dad used to joke and say an ant walked around my face and pooped everywhere. I thought they were weird until he said that. Then I felt like it was special, he made something I was insecure about into a funny story. So whenever someone would point them out, I'd proudly say "an ant pooped all over my face" and we'd laugh together.

People often define beauty as symmetry and maybe freckles are not thought to be beautiful because they're not symmetrical or in any order. But what I've noticed is when photographers photoshop them out or make up artists cover them up, my face looks naked. I hate it. They're a part of my face and they're a part of me. I guess I don't find perfection to be beautiful. I honestly think perfection is boring. A crooked smile has so much depth. Every wrinkle has a memory. Every scar has a story.

Freckles are beautiful, unique and can never be replicated. I've had them painted on for two shoots and I find myself asking more and more "can we do freckles"? It might even be a trend, I hear people are getting them tattooed onto their faces these days. But I guess this just comes to show how much the grass is greener on the other side. I have straight hair so I want curly hair. I'm short so I want to be tall. My tall girl friends want to be short. I have double eyelids but I want monolids. While my friends with monolids get surgery for double eye lids. Do we always want what we don't have? 

I know I'm guilty of it. I guess that's why I love acting so much. Stepping into someone else's shoes and living a different life for a day, a moment or a series. My favorite part of photoshoots is transforming into someone else or being the character I don't have the confidence to be in real life. Or even something as terrifying as stripping away the layers and being vulnerable. 

I think I find realness to be the most beautiful. But it's hard. Especially with the pressure to be perfect. Honestly when I look at these images, my first initial thought is I look ugly. Disclaimer: I asked Sara (the make up artist) if we could go with this look, I wanted this no lashes, no liner and I think she did an amazing job. But I love false lashes and lash extensions, they make me feel beautiful and I used to not be able to leave the house without eyeliner but this year I've gone months without. I'm trying to love myself without all the glitz and glam. At least for this season. Don't get me wrong, I think it's great to get dolled up and feel beautiful but I also think it's important to be able to look at yourself as who you are and love that face underneath all the make up.