One of Vogue's models to watch, this year, is TAO OKAMOTO. The first time I saw her, she had opened up the show for 3.1 Phillip Lim fall line up (as pictured headlining STYLE.com's fall09 archive window):

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While the Biba eyes were sure to get me, (which I actually love, btw... but that's another entry) I could not help but notice quickly that many of the girls that were sent down the catwalk had a certain similarity to them that I don't think was reviewed by vogue. The vintage 60s reference look was obvious. However, I kept asking myself "why are the girls all so pale-faced... monochromatic in the face? It's a strange ashen-pink tint in makeup...? Why do some of the popular white models have darker, sometimes black hair?"
Theirs looks all echoed the style of the mysterious Asian who opened the show- who, I realized, I had never seen, before. Perhaps it is my own wishing, but I know the Beatles' hair wasn't black- only in the black and white pictures the girls' may have gotten their ashen visage from. Be it a reference to Okamoto or a reference to something else, I'm just not use to popular Caucasian models looking so close to the original look of a new, Asian model.
As first out, Okamoto presented a standard to the viewer- a standard of what to expect from the rest of the piece, a theme that would follow through out the line... everything is compared to the first of a set of anything. Hence, the chronological order of appearance already had me thinking that she was the original look to be followed by a cycle of more, similar looks.
Is it too bold to say that perhaps Tao Okamoto had partly inspired the hair and make up of the rest of her colleagues?... Perhaps she had just opened the show because she fit the already given image, so well.
I don't know what it is, for sure, of course. What I know is that growing up I had had my chance at pursuing acting -which was at one point, a dream- but the Entertainment business has little but stereotypical roles open for a Filipina who could look either Hispanic or Asian. I had had my short stint in modeling, which was more viable since ads that are more widespread tend to want a larger demographic shown in their spreads. Is it bad to feel strangely excited that all these non-Asians were walking the catwalk in a look that may have been inspired by an Asian? That's so different to me... I'm used being an Asian that likes looks to coincidentally a majority of White women for fashion cues.

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Either way, Tao Okamoto is rising in the Fashion world. She has just snagged a Ralph Lauren ad campaign and has already walked many a show for wonderful designers in her signature short hair cut. I wish her so much luck! Her soft features radiate a classic Asian beauty.

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