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Inside Christine Nielsen’s Unhurried World of “Twisted Couture”

Fashion

Get to know her brand, Hyun Mi Nielsen

“I always loved the idea that girls can be a gang of punks,” Christine Nielsen, founder of the brand Hyun Mi Nielsen, says.

Hyun Mi Nielsen presented at Paris Haute Couture Week for the second time this summer, demonstrating her version of "twisted couture." With feminine details like ruffles juxtaposed with more masculine, utilitarian items (think: oversized ruffles sewn in the back of a tweed trench coat), Hyun Mi Nielsen’s collection feels like it could outfit a super-cool tomboy in Doc Martens headed to a ball—or a rooftop party on the Lower East Side of Manhattan. 

With asymmetrical dresses in hues of yellows and oranges paired with baseball caps and wedged heels with an edge, Nielsen is designing couture that leans toward wearable daywear. Other standout pieces include a knee-length, full-skirted dress made with patchwork denim and a suit blazer with slits that reveal nipple caps. 

“I would like the women to wear my clothes to be strong, independent, and able to move around easily. What does everyone wear every day? Jeans and trousers—that’s why I thought it was relevant to include them. The woman of today is mobile. She has a career, she juggles many things, but, at the same time, she is beautiful and decorative,” Nielsen says. 

Nielsen’s edgy take on couture reveals something about her past: Before starting her own brand last year, she was the womenswear studio director at Alexander McQueen. Though she mostly worked under McQueen’s successor, Sarah Burton, she refers to the late designer as her greatest influence and praises Burton for being an important teacher. “Alexander McQueen is my greatest inspiration. He touched a lot of people, and he definitely made his own mark in fashion. I [also] learned so much from Sarah. Her dedication [has inspired] my own approach in design and my method of working,” Nielsen says. 

Her accomplished career path has also taken her to Balenciaga, where she worked alongside Alexander Wang as the womenswear studio director, as well as Givenchy and Burberry. 

Nielsen’s personal history also adds texture to her story, and perhaps even her professional approach. Though the Korean-born adoptee was raised in Denmark, she wonders, “I don’t know if you can say that my [disciplined] work ethic is ‘Korean,’ but when I went to Korea, I saw they are such hard workers. When you go there, it feels like a strong, crazy country on the move. However, I feel very much that I’m not Korean when I am in Korea. That’s such a complete contrast when I’m completely Korean to look at, but I do feel Danish in everything: my aesthetic, my taste in materials, my sense of quality,” she shares. 

It’s safe to say that her design philosophy is Danish in nature. Denmark, a leader in sustainable fashion, also influences Nielsen’s commitment to creating a fair and ethical business. “Sustainability is the future of fashion—I believe it’s very important to buy locally. I use European materials. I also think that sustainability is about the hands that the garments pass through. It’s very important to me to produce in Italy and in France because I know that people have a good life: They have a pension, they get paid extra if they work weekends. It’s an ethical way of working. It’s important to know that the people in the production chain are empowered, that I am supporting a system that makes sure workers have a good life,” Nielsen says. 

In an industry that moves in a state of constant immediacy and speed, Nielsen instead aspires to be rooted in strong storytelling, craftsmanship, and honest materials, inviting us into her unhurried world. With a nod to '50s couture (also known as its Golden Age), Nina Simone, Jean-Paul Gaultier’s pointy-boob corset made infamous by Madonna, folk costumes, and the romance of a Scandinavian summer, Nielsen invites us to sit and stay awhile, tracing the common thread among all her influences. 

When asked how she wants her designs to be remembered, she says, “I hope it’s a mixture of wearability, poetry, romance, and empowerment. I design for the active woman, that’s why I choose to have simple dresses and decorative coats. But fashion should also be about dreams and aspirations… I design for me, but also for the love of romance.” 

Screenshot via Youtube

While the song should serve as a reminder to your exes

Just a day after dropping new single "Nunya," featuring Dom Kennedy, Kehlani has released the winter-wonderland visuals to go along with. The singer, NYLON November cover star, and mother-to-be rocks some of the best winter 'fits I've seen in a while, including a glorious puffer jacket that could double as a down comforter that I absolutely need in my life right now.

Kehlani is clearly living her best life up in some snow-filled forest hideaway, vibing on the beach at sunset and sipping on something bubbly as she coolly reminds nosy exes that who she's with is "nunya business." There's not much of a story line (unlike her recent "Nights Like This" video); the main takeaway is that Kehlani is busy dancing through a forest, missing no one and chilling amongst people who are clearly not the subjects of the song.

Kehlani is only two short months away from bringing baby Adeya into the world, who she thanked for helping her get through the video process. "Shot that 7 months pregnant in da snow..." Kehlani wrote on Twitter, adding, "thank u baby for da motivation, mommy was FROZE."

Even from the womb, Adeya has been hustling hard alongside her momma. Twitter user @ODtheMC pointed out that this is already her second music video appearance, and she's not even been born.

Get some mulled wine ready and escape into Kehlani's winter getaway, below. Stay tuned for her forthcoming mixtape, While We Wait, out on February 22.

Kehlani - Nunya (feat. Dom Kennedy) [Official Music Video] www.youtube.com

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Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez / Getty Images.

As in Black Panther Political Party leader

It's been a running joke that the Black parents/grandparents of millennials were really confused about all of the Black Panther hoopla ahead of its 2018 release. Many of them were anticipating a movie about members of the Black Panther Political Party and didn't know who the hell T'Challa was. Well, those people are about to have their moment, and we're about to have another one.

Variety is reporting that Fred Hampton, the Black Panther leader at the center of the upcoming biopic Jesus Was My Homeboy, could be played by none other than Daniel Kaluuya. Apparently, he is in negotiations for the role. And he's not the only Black Panther alum in the mix. The Warner Bros. project is being produced by Black Panther director, Ryan Coogler. The same article reports that the forever swoon-worthy Lakeith Stanfield—who appeared with Kaluuya in Jordan Peele's Get Out—is also in negotiations, to play William O'Neal, an FBI informant who infiltrated the Black Panther Party.

Coogler and Charles King are putting together a dream cast to tell a difficult story. Hampton was killed by the Chicago Police Department, while his pregnant girlfriend lay next to him, thanks in part to information they received from O'Neal. Whenever it's out, I strongly recommend having Black Panther queued up as a palate cleanser.

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