Monday, November 30, 2009

Runway Wrap-up

The past few seasons, different designers have been mixing prints and incorporating them into collections. Gone is the old fashion philosophy that you can only mix prints with solids. Now, designers and their respective labels have been embracing the print-on-print philosophy. And some fashion houses have even turned it into their signature style.

Etro is one such house.

Known for their penchant for mixing bold, kaleidoscopic patterns, Etro's designers - Kean and Veronica - have broken a lot of rules and came up with clever and visually stimulating fashion. While I was still in HKG, I'd enjoy passing through Lane Crawford to see the Etro racks and displays and enjoy the visual feast.

And this inspired me to come up with this year's Christmas wrapping theme: "Print on Print."

I've been eyeing this pretty black damask wrapper but wasn't sure if I'd buy it because it felt plain. In fact, I asked about it three times, but never got around to buying it. But on a routine trip to Carolina's, I saw a roll of black and white plaid ribbon, and that sparked the idea for this year's theme.

The colors are from the same family so they play off each other nicely. And since the intensity of the prints vary, it blends well and isn't such an eyeful.

After wrapping the first gift, I'm very pleased with the results. I'm just trying to figure out whether is should keep all gifts in the black and white color range or if I should try and do the same concept in purple. Whichever execution I decide to pursue, at least I've got the concept down pat.

And that's a wrap.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

A Slim's chance

Yesterday, they opened the Slim's exhibit at the National Museum of the Filipino people. For the longest time, Slim's was just a name on a school that I'd see every so often. Later on, I found out that "Slim's" is the shortened version of the founder's name, "Salvacion Lim-Higgins."

She was one of the foremost female designers of her time, and she dressed up all the A-listers in old Manila. This included first ladies, actresses, diplomats, and society's creme de la creme. Slim's was an adventurer who traveled to Paris alone to watch fashion shows - this was during that era when women weren't allowed to travel without their chaperones. Indeed, she was very unconventional and daring.

And her sense of daring reflected on the clothes she created. Each one was masterfully created, beautifully crafted, and went beyond the norm of that era. Just like this terno which had origami details and a deliciously unusual silhouette.

I've always told myself that should they have an exhibit of her work, I'd definitely drop by and watch it. Looks like I now have that chance.

Monday, November 23, 2009

The magic kingdom in the middle kingdom

After so many years of speculation, it's now confirmed that Disneyland will build and operate a new theme park in Shanghai.

Yup, Mickey Mouse's magic kingdom is rooting itself in the middle kingdom that is China. It's supposed to be bigger and grander compared to Hong Kong Disneyland. And given the abundance of cheap labor and entertainment in China, I'm sure it's going to be a spectacle.

The good news for me is, there's another Disneyland to look forward to. I've had the fortunate experience of seeing all the Disney theme parks (woot, woot!), so now it's time to set my sights on this new attraction.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Nothing to Choos

It turns out that I had my dates mixed up. The Jimmy Choo for H&M collection launched in HKG a few weeks earlier than expected.

Judging from the posters, it was launched November 14. And it doesn't come as a shock that most of the stocks have been wiped out. There was nothing left in the Central store, while at the Silvercord center branch, they had half a rack consisting of a fugly plastic clutch, some ok dresses like the fully beaded one, and this pair of shoes that was the last pair and sat on the shelf all by its lonesome self.

Judging by what I saw, the collection wasn't that spectacular. Even this shoe wasn't that great since the material was blah. And if this is the same quality for all other products they sold, then I guess it's nothing to feel bad about.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Cool Nicole

Coolness! My favorite model from this cycle is America's Next Top Model!

Nicole came in as the dorky, weird girl who didn't even react when Tyra called her in the top 14. She consistently took great pictures but they always find her attitude a bit cold and aloof. This worried me since that was their same comment about my favorite cycle 10 model - Lauren - and she was eliminated mid-season.

Thankfully, Nicole was able to step out of her cool and collected cocoon and she warmed up a bit. Although in the final judging, Nigel still mentioned that she continues to be detached, and somewhat of a dork.

But just as Nicole said in her post-win interview: "I'm a dork. And I'm America's Next Top Model!" Now that's a cool (and dorky) thing to say.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

You are nothing but a second-rate, trying hard...


The moment I saw the poster version of this ad at the LRT station, I knew it looked very, very, VEEEEERRRRRY familiar. And true enough, I found out why the ad triggered something in my mind. It's because of this:

Being in the advertising business for more than a decade, I know that there are times when creative people are "inspired" by other ads they see. Other times, they use pegs that they find from other sources, and use that as a basis for a certain pose, look, etc.

But my gosh! This one is just plain copying! I'm not sure if it was the client who dictated that they use that ad as basis, or if the agency just ran out of ideas. Look at the ads side by side, and it's easy to see my point.

The hair part, the styling, the colorization, even the positioning of the hands - there wasn't any original thought infused into the material. They didn't even make an effort to divert from the "peg" by one bit.

Oh well, so much for creativity.

But honestly, I don't know which bothers me more. The fact that a creative directly copied an ad from an already published material, or the fact that they desecrated Britney by using Angelica to mimic her.

I think it's the latter.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Boyle-ing point

Whoa! Do my eyes deceive me? Is this really Susan Boyle?

Looks like they're making her packaging as beautiful as her voice. And if this is the result, they really did a splendid job.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Two good to be true

America's Next Top Model is down to its last few episodes, and last two models. And for the first time, I'm actually rooting for both girls.

First there's Nicole. She's the quirky, nonchalant and geeky girl who shocked everyone in the first episode by revealing that her nickname when she was a kid was "bloody eyeball." The reason being, well, she had a bloody eyeball.

Second is Laura. The country girl complete with the country drawl. Throughout the competition, she was so unassuming and un-model like, but after 12 episodes, she's turned into - as Tyra would put it - someone so high fashion.

Two beautiful ladies stand in front of me, but only one can become America's Next Top Petite Model.

Who will it be?

We will see.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

America in Asia

It's been a few weeks since my quick trip to Guam, and I always forget to write about it. Maybe the reason why is the fact that I was just there overnight, and that the entire thing was a blur. It felt like Manila-zoom-airport-zoom-hotel-zoom-office-zoom-GPO-zoom-airport-zoom-Manila.

As the magazine in the Continental Airlines flight put it, Guam is "America in Asia." After staying there for a day, I'd say it's a pretty accurate assessment. Part of me felt like I was in the US, and part of me felt like I was just in Subic.

Architecturally, it looked a lot like the Subic and Clark airbases. Wide roads, low houses, the tropical trees, and of course, the beaches. Part of Guam also reminded me of suburban California - Hayward, to be exact. While I was eating at McDonald's in Agana, I felt like Auntie Aning's house was just a few minutes away.

Guam, as my colleagues tell me, is a very small island. And this was confirmed by the fact that we were actually able to go around the island in a few hours. While I was looking at the map of Guam, I realized i've seen it from tip to tip.

But of course, staying in a small island has its perks. Like the view.

My hotel had a great view of the sea. Note that it wasn't just any sea, but the Philippine Sea.

The feel of the hotel was very Shangri-La Mactan Island. Complete with the white building and the on going construction.

The highlight of this short trip was being able to indulge in "American consumerism." I was able to eat at Denny's - which is my favorite Diner. Then there was the late night run at K-Mart, where I was able to buy these goodies.

Ah yes, happiness is Twinkies, Ho-hos and Pop Tarts.

For tourists, no visit to Guam is complete without dropping by Guam Premiere Outlets. Since I was a tourist, I just HAD to drop by. After all, it's where two of my favorite stores are located.

Like I told my colleagues, I'll make sure that my next visit to Guam will be longer. That should give me more time to eat at the other fast food joints, visit more malls, order more breakfast platters at Denny's, and do some more BCBG shopping. Things that I usually do when I'm in the U.S.

It's just that now, the "U.S." is just 3 hours away.

Monday, November 09, 2009

Fun Flashback

While searching for references on youtube, I stumbled upon this MTV from the 70s.

This video is Da Bomb! Although it was from the 70s, it's a video that this generation can listen to and have fun with. And why do I think it's a fabulous MTV? Let me count the reasons:

1. It's VST! They're one of the coolest bands that the Philippines ever had. They came in during the "Manila sound" era, and they've got the sound right down pat.

2. "Tayo'y Magsayawan" is one of my favorite VST songs. Alongside it is "Sumayaw, Sumunod" and "Rock, Baby, Rock." These are videoke staples whenever we go out for a mean videoke session with friends.

3. The video is SOOOOO 70s. The saturated colors, the fashions, the aviator shades, and of course - the hair! Also, the police were still wearing the old PC (Philippine Constabulary) uniforms. All these elements added together equals = groovy!

4. It's full of campy cliches. The people dancing in the street, the dancing groom with the irritated bride, and my favorite - the stern looking nun who ends up tapping her feet to the beat. These are the scenes real MTVs are made of. Hahaha.

5. And my topmost reason, it was shot a few steps away from our office. While watching it, I noticed Pioneer House and Corinthian Plaza - two buildings along Paseo de Roxas that are still standing upto now. While I walked to Greenbelt 1 to buy lunch, I couldn't help but look at that spot and think: "A few decades back, VST and a host of fun and campy dancers were shooting a video right here."

Maybe the VST can do a remake of the video, and shoot it like they did in the 70s. That would be A LOT of fun.

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Three cheers!

In our clan, November is one of the "birthday-est" months of the year.* There are 3 birthday celebrators - my nephew Kevin, myself, and Ate Bullet. And since Kevin and I celebrate our birthdays a day apart, our celebrations usually overlap. Like what happened this year.

Since it's Kevin's 18th birthday, he's legally allowed to drink. So Ate Bullet and Raymond brought out the vodka, wine, and some other alcoholic beverage for everyone to enjoy. And judging by how everyone was hamming it up in front of the camera, there was a lot of enjoyment going around.

(Yes, the man in the Jabbawockeez mask is my Dad! He's our resident funny guy.)

The day after Kevin's birthday was my birthday, and we celebrated with a family dinner in Makati. It was a bigger group since Kuya Marv, Mark, my sister-in-law, and nieces were there as well. We had a nice dinner at Masas, then meandered around Greenbelt after. I think Mark now knows where the shopping gene came from as Dad was weaving in and out of stores the entire time.

Two days of birthdays is definitely something to be cheerful about. And there's one more November birthday to look forward to!

* December is the other "birthday-est" month with 3 celebrators as well - Mom, Dad and Ate Lissa.

Thursday, November 05, 2009


The past month or so, I've found myself addicted to Rebisco Wheat Crackers.

I actually tried it out by accident. I thought I picked up a pack of Skyflakes at the supermarket, but when I got to the cash register, it turned out to be a pack of Rebisco. Not wanting to go back to the far away aisle, I ended up buying it. And it was such a great decision.

The taste is savory and not too overpowering. The wheat bits leave a nice texture in the mouth. Plus, it makes you feel full rather than feel stuffed. And, as Paula's script says: "It's big in taste and big in benefits."

How can you not enjoy a cracker like that.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Cool Kids

After their recent collaboration with Vena Cava and Alexander Wang, Gap is back with another capsule collection. And this time, it's with Stella McCartney! But before everyone gets excited, this capsule collection is exclusively for Gap Kids. (Maybe there's an adult line in the making...)

The pieces are simply adorable. They have a fashion edge, but still tailor fit to little boys and girls. It's not trying hard to make kids look like little Stellas. It just takes elements of trends, and transform them into kid friendly clothing. Take for instance this Leopard print tunic. Animal print shirts are big in the U.S. now, and they found a way to make it more adorable by using knit fabric.

But my favorite of the lot is the band jacket that this baby is wearing. It's SO Sgt. Pepper meets Michael Jackson. The design and ornamentation are chic, but it doesn't look too grown up. I can see Javier wearing this ensemble.

I wonder if they'll make this collection available here in Manila. If they do, I'll be the first in line.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009


Britney's got a new video! And it's her latest single from her soon to be released greatest hits collection (which I'll no doubt buy). This song, entitled "3" debuted at No. 1 in the billboard charts, giving Britney another record breaking musical feat.

The song is catchy, the video is just ok. (Coming from concept driven vids like "Circus", "Radar" and "If U Seek Amy", this one looks very straightforward.) It's a purely dance video, and it reminds me of early videos from Janet Jackson and Paula Abdul.

That notwithstanding, I think Britney looks phenomenal in the video, especially in her opening sequence where she looks glowing.

Because it's such a monster hit, I'm sure she'll be singing this on the next leg of her concert tour. And yes, I'm still hoping that she brings "Circus" to Japan so I'll get another chance to catch her tremendously successful concert.

Monday, November 02, 2009

The Blair Bitch Project

Blair Waldorf is one of the reasons why Gossip Girl is such a hit. In fact, I ADORE Blair (And I'm not just saying that because I technically work for her. Harhar.)

She's a very polarizing character. Some people hate her for being such a bitch, while some people love her for that innate feisty-ness and those memorable lines. (My recent favorite was a line that Blair told Lily Bass: "Where did you learn to give pep talks? Guantanamo Bay?")

The great thing about Blair is that she blurs the line between villain and victim. When she's being bad, you can't help but hate her. But when she's being pounced on, you immediately feel sorry for her. And when Season 3 started, she's been pounced on again and again and again. Sometimes I just want to go inside the screen and give her a big hug.

And speaking of bitchy Blairs, I'm reminded of my other favorite bad girl Blair - Blair Warner from "Facts of Life." Well, she wasn't exactly evil, but compared to her goody two shoe friends, she's the baddest of the bunch.

Hmmm... now that I'm thinking about it, "Facts of Life" and "Gossip Girl" had a lot in common. They were set in private schools, there were cliques, they both had resident tomboy-ish hotties, and, of course, the presence of Blair.

The scriptwriters of Gossip Girl should bring back the old Blair soon. I'm beginning to miss her. While they're at it, can they do something about Chuck's signature scowl? It's beginning to look tired.