Monthly Archives: April 2011

What The The Hell Is “Hip Hop” Fashion? – Battlefest Live 360, San Mateo

Some of you might be asking yourself right now “What the shit?! I thought this was a fashion blog? Why
the hell are you covering hip-hop events?! Ranier, you goddamn sellout!”

Ummm, yeaaa…. about that.

I‘ve actually been attending Battlefest for many many years. How many many? This many: IX. But in
all my years at Battlefest, I’ve never taken the time to observe the outfits and styles of the “hip-hop
community.” I mean, what the hell is hip-hop fashion anyways? To kick-start this blog, I present to you:
Urban Terminator.

“I need your tank tops, your high tops, and your sunglasses….”

Urban Terminator, watch out! It’s… uhhhh…..what’s that guy’s name again? OH YEA! It’s: Mumm-Ra!

Damn homie, someone dun blew up yo hair!

That reminds me: one of the things that I noticed about hip-hop style is that, when it comes to outfits, most
of these kids wear pretty normal stuff. Nothing too crazy, or too creative. That’s on a entire outfit, but the
real creativity is seen on their accessories and color choices.

Herro ^-^

No, Mom, it’s not what you think! I’m just looking at uhhh…..uhhhh… it’s FASHION! YEA! It’s this new
eco-friendly collection from the designer named…uhhh…LEO PARD! Yea, that’s it!”

Immaturity aside, I thought this group really went for the jugular. Instead of creating crazy costumes,
they just put all the ladies in matching outfits, but different bras. Truth be told, I actually liked some of
the prints on the bras.

Ya see? This is what I like to see. It’s simple, it works on her, and it just looks

And the winner for best dressed dance group goes toooo…….. Funksters!

But of course. I mean, they are based in San Francisco, so it’s almost a given
that they’d be stylish. And now, for the winner of best dressed couple….


The way I see it, if you’re gonna color your hair, ya might as well go all out – like this chick.  Doesn’t her hair
remind you of a dreamsicle? It’s so cool! What do you think, Mr. Boyfriend?… Mr. Boyfriend?

Apparently, Mr. Boyfriend was not impressed. But hey! No worries! Now that
they’re on my blog, they’ll be famous! Awww, aren’t they just the cutest
little urban-hip-hop-fashionable-yet-kinda-famous couple? Come on guys,
group hug! ^0^

To be honest, I was a bit disappointed with the show. Not the show itself (which is always amazing), but rather,
the styles. The problem is that, when it comes to being fashionable, you sometimes run the risk of being

So what will it be? Wear the ugly sweats that are easy to move around in, or rock the vintage jeans that
suffocate your man bits? Hopefully next year gets better (fashionably), but sometimes, ya gotta
understand what you’re there for: dancing –  not fashion. Until next time, dear Battlefest.

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Filed under Details, Men, Paparazzi Style, Scenes From, Special, Spring, Women

The Mysterious Hijab: De Anza College, Cupertino

There’s something amazingly beautiful about a Hijab. It’s not just the print and fabric that makes a Hijab
gorgeous, but rather, the mystery behind it. What is her hair really like? Is it dark and curly? Long and
blonde? Or maybe she has a wicked bright blue mohawk? Who knows?! It’s interesting just thinking about it.
It also makes you wonder “is the Hijab hiding more than just her hair”?

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Filed under Paparazzi Style, Spring, Women

Business As Usual: At The San Francisco State University Fashion Show

Okay, I’ll be 100% honest with you: This fashion show was not the best I’ve seen. In other words, some of
the clothes were actually, kinda sorta, maybe, under certain circumstances, a bit on the uglier side of
things. But I mean hey! Everyone is a winner, right?! *cricket-cricket*

So, with that in mind, here are some of the looks/details that I DID like; although, there were definitely
outfits that I liked but didn’t get a chance to photograph.

I wonder what this guy is thinking: “What is thy purpose in life!?”

Ahhh! Watch out! It’s a dementor! It’s an evil, soul sucking– oh wait, nvm ^-^

This outfit was actually one of my favorites. It wasn’t the most technical outfit, nor was it the most creative,
but it was definitely among the most wearable. Because in the end, no matter how much you love that
Chanel Couture collection, there’s no way in hell you’re gonna wear it to the supermarket – unless you’re
Lady Gaga.

OH SNAP! IT’S THE HAMBURGLAR! Hahahaha! Okay, Ranier, focus! Stop monkeying around! :o)

“This outfit-suh is like-uh SOOO comfortable-suh!”

Holy crap! Isn’t that the guy from Dancing With The Stars, Tony Dovolani?! Please, Tony! Do a move
for us! Wow us with your dancing abilities! Aside from this guy being one stylish mofo, he actually
approached me because he wanted a shot of my outfit for his blog. You sir, have impeccable taste!

As always, this Mr. Hector lookin stylish, as if  he owns the damn place. Although I must admit: I’m a bit
surprised he isn’t wearing one of those unique bow ties that he usually wears…

Overall, the show was pretty cool. I can’t really cap on it too much because in all honesty, I can’t even knit
myself a damn tube sock. However, from an analytic perspective, there were definitely good pieces, and
bad ones. Not only that, but I’m actually attending San Francisco State in the fall, so GO SFSU!

Lesson of the day: This girl has really cute hair.

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Filed under Details, Fashion Shows, In-Crowd, Men, Models, Scenes From, Spring, Women

Don’t Stand So Close To Me: De Anza College, Cupertino

I gotta tell ya: I’m seriously starting to like this lens. Even though this well hung 70 – 300mm looks like a
giant sex toy, it sure makes for some interesting photos. Before, I was all about getting up-close and
personal with my subjects – close enough to touch them. But now, I can do that from a stalkerly safe
distance! PEEPING RULES!

The weird thing is that, from a distance, the styles that I used to object to are suddenly appearing as
interesting and cute. This outfit, for example, is just another “Asian girl wearing something cutesy from
Forever 21 and what-not”, but when you’re THIS close… it’s actually quite bearable. Heck, it’s even a
half decent outfit!

Details, my man, details!

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Harray Poh-tah! – De Anza College, Cupertino

The sweater and hat totally remind me of Harry Potter. I can hear it now… “HARRAY! HARRAY!”And in
my crazy imagination, I can visualize this dude riding his bike, then flying away as if it were his
urban broomstick.

This just goes to show you: no matter how shitty a clothing brand may be (in this case, American Eagle), there’s always someone out
there who can (and will) do it justice.

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“What Asian Are You?” – De Anza College, Cupertino

If you’re like 75% of the population, you too enjoy people watching. However, to say that you enjoy people
watching is like saying you enjoy music – it’s too general of a statement. The question to ask is “What are you
looking for when you people watch?”

For me, one of the games that I enjoy playing while people watching is a game called “What Asian Are You?”
So, ladies and gentleman: what Asian is this girl? I’m guessing Korean. Any takers?

Speaking of Koreans: Why do they (and pretty much all Asian International Students) always rock the
sickest outfits at school? They’re always wearing these really unique, one-of-a-kind pieces. “ASIANS, Y U NO

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The Way You Move: De Anza College, Cupertino

Fashion isn’t all about shapes and trends. Sometimes, it can be a certain color, or a combination of colors.
But for me, I find that movement has a great affect as well. Movement can breathe life into an outfit and
often times, it makes a piece or two feel alive.

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Filed under Details, Paparazzi Style, Women

Safari Weather: De Anza College, Cupertino

It’s about time, eh?

Seriously dude, what the hell is up with this weather? First it’s rainy, sunny, light showers, then scorching hot.
Weather man, get yo shit straight! On a positive note: the students at De Anza seem to be stepping up their
stylistic game! Hooray for spending more time planning outfits rather than studying! I mean jeez…
education is sooo overrated ;)

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Filed under Details, Paparazzi Style, Spring, Women

En Vogue (HD Video): The Fashion Video You Didn’t See

This post – the very one that you are reading right now – shouldn’t even exist. As a matter of fact, I’m still
debating about whether or not to hit the publish button. The truth is: sometimes, the work you put it in
doesn’t live up to your expectations. You wanted pearls and gold? Well too bad – you’ve got a handful of rocks.

However, I decided to post the video because I WANT you to see my screw ups. I WANT you to see that
I’ve messed up, and that I’m trying to improve. I WANT to look back at this and think “Good job, idiot –
now make another video, but do it 400 times better!”

While Driving To The Fashion Event, “En Vogue…”

As I was driving to the San Francisco Auditorium, a van made an (illegal) right turn while I was going forward.
Just then, I smashed onto the breaks, and BAM!… Nothing happened to my car, but why did my car made a
thud? As I look down, I see that my camera has smacked against the dashboard. Frantic to see if my equipment
was okay, I noticed that the body had remained untouched (hooray for my 7D!) but the lens was completely
(for lack of a better term) f*cked.

So there you go. I had an hour and a half till showtime, and the only lens I brought was completely busted.
What next? Oh, no biggie! Just walk 3 miles to the nearest camera store and rent a new lens! So off I went,
came back, sweaty as hell, and I still managed to get some pretty good shots.

But it didn’t come as a surprise that, although my borrowed lens was nice (50mm 1.4), it did not feel right. I
wasn’t used to using it, which is why there is a significant amount of camera shake. But alas, here is the video:

**Don’t forget to watch it in HD (720p)!**

You see… I wasn’t planning on posting the video because personally, I found a lot of screw ups in the
editing and shooting of the video. I mean, it’s still a good video, but it’s definitely “C” quality work. And as all
of you know, an Asian can NOT have a C!

In the end, what really pushed me to not post this video was not myself, but actually, the people around me.
Sometimes, no matter how much work you put into things, the people you work for just won’t appreciate it.
They’re the types that value quantity over quality, and in the end, you’re just another brick in their one toned

But no worries! I have bigger and better things to come. Till then, happy shooting :)


Filed under Fashion Shows, Rants, Scenes From, Videos, Winter/Fall, Women

Downtown With Necia Whitmore: My Super Awesome Make-Up Artist

Many Moons Ago, On The Set Of My First Shoot

Necia: Hey Ranier
Ranier: Yes?
Necia: I’m updating my website and I was wondering if you could do some
headshots for me.
Me: Sure!

And that my friends, was pretty much the entire conversation. There really
wasn’t any convincing left because honestly, I love doing shoots. But from the
description, it seemed as if Necia wanted regular headshots. Hell, I was even
concerned that she wanted such regularity that they were borderline mugshots.

But as always, I had to put my spin on it.

One of the things that I loved about this shoot was how organic it came about.
Sure, there was some posing involved but it never came to the point where I
was monopolizing her entire body movements, telling her which pinky to
stick up. I just spewed out general directions, and she churned out greatness.

The wonderful thing about portraits is that, if done right, you can see an
entire landscape of who your subject is. You can pin-point certain emotions,
certain expressions, and various tones of their personality, all hidden
underneath. What are they like? Are they heart-broken? Madly in love?
Or are they simply a young, fragile soul, still blossoming at every corner?

What’s impressive was that, as we were shooting in downtown San Francisco,
we couldn’t go ten minutes without someone throwing compliments at her,
left and right. From “You look gorgeous, by the way” to “DAYUM, work IT!”
But hey! I can’t blame em! She did indeed work it – and she looks so elegant
and refined. She possesses the kind of beauty that only comes from classic
stars: Rita Hayworth, Julie London, and Billie Holiday. She has a look that
makes you say “Now that is a Woman.”

Hailing from New York, Necia started doing make-up out of pure interest.
As one job lead to the next, she managed to work on T.V shows, fashion
runways, and just about every kind of production you can think of.

Wanting a change in scenery, she moved to San Francisco in the hopes of
finding new business. Unfortunately, the fashion biz in San Francisco ain’t
as boomin as New York. But no worries! She’s a very talented woman who
we will see much more of in the near future. But if you can’t wait, feel free
to contact her for business by visiting her website yourself ;)

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Filed under Featured Fashionista, Photoshoots, Special, Spring, Women