Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Something to Choo on

This coming November, I can imagine the throngs of wild women who'll line up outside the H&M stores in HKG and Tokyo for these:



When I first read about this collaboration, I thought "this is a recipe for trouble." It reminded me of that Anya Hindmarch "I'm not a plastic bag" scenario in HKG when people were lining up 2 days before the actual launch. Since H&M mass produces, I won't expect a situation as crazy as that. But I will expect the same kind of crowd that Ate Bullet and I encountered last year when we were in HKG for the Comme de Garcons-H&M collection.

And given how nice the shoes are in the collection, it's easy to imagine the panic that will ensue once their stores open and ladies start getting (or grabbing) these.



Question is: Shall I find myself in HKG in November and experience deja vu? Or Maybe I should just ask my friends in Europe to buy Jimmy Choo's instead of braving the usually-crazy-crowd in Asia. That's another thought I would definitely chew on.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Neutral Territory

Seems like I'm entering a khaki phase. And I say this judging by the pieces that have caught my eye recently.




Whilst these skirts come from the same color family, they're each very distinct - which is the reason they appealed to me a lot. This first one is a skirt that falls a bit above the knee. It's got a tulip feel to it, but it isn't too exaggerated and will still flatter the wearer - regardless of height and body type. True to my thematic nature, I got a camel colored belt to put a bit of color.



Here's one that is actually an "old" skirt. It's been on the rack of Crossings for quite some time, but it was only recently that I realized that - as DVF would say - "there's a lot of good design in that." The front is structured: cummerbund-style waist, some folds to give it volume - things that'll make it attractive as it comes towards you.



After the wearer passes you by, you'll see some details at the back as well. There's a big ribbon, which adds to its feminity, and there's an extra strip of fabric where the slit is. Clever!



Finally, this Calvin Klein skirt that was at the haunt. It's pleated, albeit quite randomly, and that gives it interesting volume. For added detail, it has a black gross grain ribbon, which is a nice touch. Overall, this skirt is so Audrey Hepburn. All you need is a black turtleneck and flats, and you're chic to go.



There were a lot more khaki skirts floating around in the market, but these three would definitely top the list. And on the subject of tops, skirts like these just beg for a simple and detailed top. It's quite difficult to describe, but I'll know it when I see it.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Vintage TV

Over merienda, my friends and I started talking about "the good 'ole TV shows" of the 80s. One conclusion we reached -- they don't make 'em like they used to. Back then when there weren't too many special effects and visual trickery, you really have to rely on a great story and a wonderful narrative.

Among the shows I miss watching are Sigmund and the Seamonsters:



Isis, who's obviously patterned after Diana Prince and Wonder Woman. Dig the look.



And Shazam!



I wish there was a cable channel that showed re-runs of great shows all day long. If there was one, I'd probably just spend the entire day at home watching these shows. After all, they don't make 'em like they used to.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

The devil is back

Thanks to Mark and his iPod, I was able to watch "The Devil Wears Prada" again. And again. And again.

The more I watch it, the more I find the performances of Meryll Streep and Stanley Tucci brilliant! The scene where Nigel tells Andie about his move to James Holt's company - when he loses it momentarily and shrieks in delight - phenomenal! And Miranda was stunning in the whole film.

And of course, the dialogues. It's the way advertising should be written - crisp, clever and straight to the point.

Watching this film again makes me want to buy the original DVD, if only to catch deleted scenes, like this.



"That's all."

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Long live Levi's!

I am SO GLAD I bought this pair of Levi's Red Tab jeans last week. They're so comfortable, the fit is perfect, and they feel so broken in, I could wear them forever! At least my Abercrombie and Energie jeans can take a rest.



And if you take into consideration the fact that I've been wearing them non-stop since I bought them, "forever" might not be too far fetched. Hope these jeans live long enough for that.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Sassy!

This week was a good one at "The Haunt." There were a lot of new arrivals, a number of unbelievable finds, including these 2 beauties.





I've read about Sass and Bide a number of times already, and how Australians swear by this brand. Since my travels haven't brought me to Oz, and they aren't available in HKG, I haven't really seen this brand - and its products - up close. Now that I have, I understand why Aussies swear by these jeans.

The fabric, the fit, the composition of the denim - they're all designed to flatter. While examining these jeans, I knew that they'd make the wearer look and feel taller, slimmer and sassier. Too bad they don't make denim for men, I'm sure they'd do a great job with that. (But the Levi's jeans I bought recently makes up for that.)

This is the second denim brand from Australia that I'm into. The first one was Industrie, which Rustans used to carry but now discontinued. With all the new foreign brands coming in to Manila, maybe a Sass and Bide store is in the offing. Now that - and H&M of course - would be worth waiting for.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

I can Lee

Thanks to a dream I had last night, I suddenly had a renewed interest on Coco Lee. She was one of the big Asian singing stars in the early 2000s, and got a lot of exposure in America for singing songs from the movie "Runaway Bride" and one from "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon." But I remember her from this really fun and easy-to-follow pop ditty.



When I was in HKG two weeks ago, I saw a magazine with her on the cover. If I knew I'd have this Coco phase, I would've gotten it.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Schwiiiing...

Wednesday already? Where did the rest of the week go? At the rate these days are swinging by, the next thing we know, it'll be Christmas!

Monday, July 13, 2009

The funniest movie scene of all time after time!

I've seen a lot of comedy films and no scene is as knee-slapping-big-guffawing-genuinely-hilarious as this scene. It's from my favorite comedy film of all time, "Romy and Michelle's High School Reunion."



Even though I've seen this scene a gazillion times, I still laugh out loud every time I view it. The choreography, the music, the absurdity -- all these contribute to why this segment is hilarious. But more than that, it's the earnest-ness of the performance of Lisa, Mira and Allan that made this scene a winner.

Really, I'll continue to adore this scene even if time after time after time passes by.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Shopping under Surveillance

On my way to get a ride home, I passed through (the new, improved, and surprisingly nice) Ali Mall, and eventually dropped by the Plains & Prints branch there. The branch manager (who usually attends to me when I'm there) had a short and interesting conversation:

BM: Hi sir. Ito po yung new arrivals namin.
ME: Thanks. (starts looking around)
BM: Ang tagal niyo na ding hindi nadaan dito, sir.
ME: Yeah. Medyo busy kasi with work.
BM: Malapit ba sa Gateway ang office niyo? Kasi madalas daw kayo nakakadaan sa branch namin doon. Nandoon nga daw kayo kahapon, eh.

Gosh! I suddenly felt like Cubao was one huge "Big Brother house" and everyone's under surveillance. Hahaha.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Once on this Island

Presenting the song that's been playing in my head the past few days.



Oh yeah. I'll rely on this song. Uh-uh-uh-uh.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Thinking Thematic

It was the first thing that Sir Conrad taught me when he took me under his wing as a copywriter trainee.

"Think Thematic."

That meant always looking at the big picture. If it was an advertising idea, the idea itself should be big enough so it could be translated to all forms of media: TV, radio, print, BTL. If it's an idea for a promo, it should be thematic and fit in with the overall concept of the brand and product. And so on and so forth.

My other Creative Directors taught me the same thing but called it different names. Sir Conrad called it "thematic." Lola O called it "an idea with legs." Even if people call it different things, I'd still call the concept "brilliant."

That lesson continues to be one of the most valuable things someone has taught me about advertising. But it's also a lesson that I've taken with me outside of advertising.

Now, it's customary for me to think thematic. Like whenever I'd organize a wedding, the first thing I'd think of is the theme or the big idea. The test whether it is a big idea is if it can be translated to an invitation, centerpiece, the apparel, and the cake. Same thing with birthday parties. And Christmas parties.

Heck, I've even integrated the "Thematic way" into shopping. The reason I take time to shop sometimes (attention Mark) is that I always think of the big idea. Whenever I see one article, my mind immediately tries to figure out what goes with it. Like whenever I see a trouser-cut jean at Mango, automatically, I'd think of two tops that should go with it. (One to dress it up, another to dress it down.) Plus, my mind starts to visualize shoes, a belt and accessories with it. Plus, there's the thought of pairing that new thing with stuff my sisters already have.

Actually, that's the reason why I always end up buying a number of things at once. There should always be a "theme" around the outfit. Sometimes I even get very, very particular that I already have the style, color - sometimes even the print - in mind whenever I see an item. That's when the perfectionist in me comes out. Even if I have to spend hours and go through different malls finding that item, I would.

Even this blog had a theme when it was created. Things that confuse me. And life as one big confusion.

Gosh. I can go on with this for hours. I never thought that advertising has such a profound impact on my life.

I'm glad that I stumbled into this industry.

Monday, July 06, 2009

Sometimes it's good to be a worm.

Rarely do I shop during the first day of a sale. The only time I do that is when it's a one-day sale, or when it's Plains and Prints going on sale. (You can't dilly-dally on a Plains and Prints sale.) The reasons are simple. One, prices of sale items freefall during the final days of a sale, and two, there are usually enough stocks to go around, so there's really no need to rush.

Last week, I received an invite to the Private sale of the RSS group. That meant Topman, Topshop and Dorothy Perkins at prices that will make people teary-eyed. Eventhough I had an invite, the thought of going didn't really cross my mind. But when Dorothy Perkins was beside the bank where my transaction was to be made, "what the heck," was the thought that crossed my mind.

Admittedly, there were a lot of things that caught my eye. Among them were a series of belted tunics. "Series" because they were of the same fabric, the same family of jewel tones, and same elastic patent belts. After checking out the price, I nearly dropped the merchandise. Cheap and cheerful, as Princess Shashie would say. There was a watercolor-print dress - even more cheap and cheerful. And a rubber-looking denim from Topshop.

There were still a number of these items on the rack, so conventional wisdom would say: just come back for it after a few days. This was wisdom I'd often follow, and the next scene would've been me putting the items down and walking away.

But since I was there anyway, and since I was there anyway, I decided not to wait until the last day and purchase them on the spot. Happy camper smile and the usual spring-in-my-step followed soon after.

Today, Dorothy Perkins was once again along the way. Swung by to check out the sale racks, and voila! All the jewel colored tunics were gone. No more watercolor print dresses. Jeans were likewise a thing of the past. The racks and racks of clothes were wiped out in a matter of days.

Thank goodness I listened to "unconventional wisdom" this weekend. I would've missed out on a lot of good stuff if I did.

Sunday, July 05, 2009

It still racks!



Mark and I had lunch at Racks today, and as I told him, it's the first time I'm eating at Racks after 5 years or so.

And I must say, it's still as gooooooooood as it was years ago. The Hickory Smoked Chicken is still flavorful and the meat practically falls off the bone when you slice it. The barbecue sauce is still perfect - a bit sweet and savory, with that pronounced smokey flavor. Paired with corn bread, mashed potato, baked beans and some of Mark's mac and cheese, it was the perfect lunch.

After this, i'm sure i'll be Rack-ing some more.

Saturday, July 04, 2009

You've got a point(er)

This was bound to happen.

After discovering "The Oinker Sisters" over the net, it immediately reminded me of the real singing trio these characters were based on: "The Pointer Sisters."

They were like "Destiny's Child" of the 80s. Sassy singers with wicked moves. They churned out hit after hit after hit. And yes, you couldn't go to a party or a disco without hearing their songs. Their popularity reached Manila shores, and I'm sure everyone remembers these songs:

"I'm so excited." Embarrassing as it may sound, we danced to this song at some party somewhere. (It was probably one of those family reunions in Bicol.)



As the title aptly encouraged everyone, "Jump" made everyone rise from their seats and jump.



Finally, my favorite Pointer Sisters song, "Neutron Dance." I like how it's pop with a bit of electronica like Herbie Hancock.



Looking at videos like these really drive a point. They don't make artists and music like these anymore.

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Quote for the day

While browsing at Bayo, I saw this graceful old lady go inside the dressing room with a bunch of clothes on her arms. After a few minutes, she steps out of the dressing room and calls out to the sales girl:

LADY: "Miss, meron ba kayong mas malaking size ng blouse na 'to. Mukha kasi akong Santa Patron ng mga suman."

Yes, that quote made my day.

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Walk this way...

All my friends know that I'm a huge Sesame Street fan. And each time they play the Sesame Street DVD at home for Javier, it automatically transports me back to my childhood back in Tomas Morato.

I've lost count of how many favorite Sesame Street songs I have. Among them are Bert's "Doin' the pigeon", "How do you get from here to there","Some/None" which features Guy Smiley, the "Grover & George" song, and of course, the "Walk" song by - get this - The Oinker Sisters.



It also has an all-star cast. Try and spot Rosie O' Donnel, Marissa Tomei, John Goodman, Kevin Kline, and Cheech from Cheech and Chong.

While looking for the video on youtube, I discovered that there was a new version of the song, also performed by a trio of girls. They're no other than...

Destiny's Child!



Looks like this walk has gone a long way. And no matter how many times I walk... walk... I don't think I'll ever get tired of it.