New York Press

FEBRUARY 8, 2005 | ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT 

Burn It Up: Breakout Asian-American Designers in Fashion

In America’s fashion capital, we see designers that are gay and straight, male and female, veterans and newbies, but minorities often lack representation.

Enter Burn It Up, the Asia Society’s spotlight on emerging Asian-American designers. Established participants include hat-maker Eugenia Kim; clothing designers Mary Ping and Siri Kuptamethee; newbie accessories designer Chrishabana; and designer-turned-artist Susan Cianciolo. Despite the vast array of talent, the two most likely to gain recognition this season will be Jean Yu and Tammy Tiranasar.

Tiranasar’s necklaces are sure to grace the pages of glossies and indies alike, as they combine two of the hottest themes this season: big and ethnic. Her abstract bead and wax necklaces, almost completely flat, are so striking they’re sure to draw you in for a closer look.

Yu’s designs are not as unique, but her modern, clean style is novel; her transparent, bare designs ethereal and dark. Imagine the clean lines of Armani and simplicity of Prada through the eyes of an ultra-modernist. Her undergarment collection resurrects the angelic waif through pale pinks and skin tones. The last item reveals the bad girl waiting to break out: a silk wireless bra and matching panties in hot pink, with tomato-red garter straps hanging down, useless but wild.

Asia Society, 725 Park Ave. (70th St.); 212-288-6400; 6:30; $15, $7 st.

—Andrea Toochin