Monday, October 31, 2011

YSL for less

One of the most iconic fashion pieces of this century was the Mondrian dress created by Yves Saint Laurent in the 1960s. It represented the mod spirit of that decade, but rendered it in a classic shift. The material was also very classic, made of blocks of wool jersey.

This dress has been around for 50 years, and the look is still current today as it was back in the 60s.

The original dress must be worth a fortune now. After all, it's archived at the Met Museum.

Now if you want the same essence of the dress without the super high price tag, then you should hang around Plains and Prints this November and December and watch out for this dress to drop.

Visually, I think it's a very good homage to YSL's Mondrian Dress. I'm sure the material isn't as luxurious, but if it's visual impact you're looking for, this dress is good enough.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Scary, but true.

Heard mass at 13th Avenue today, and the priest's homily made the congregation both laugh and think. He recalled that a few days ago, he ran into a group of kids doing the usual trick or treat at Ali Mall. Most of the kids were dressed up as little devils, and these little devils would snarl and scare the passers by, including the priest.

He said:

"Kapag Halloween, ang hilig-hilig natin bihisan ang mga bata bilang demonyo at diablo. Gustung-gusto natin at cute na cute tayong gawin silang maliliit na demonyo. Tapos, pag sinagot tayo, pag sinuway tayo, pag nagpapakita na ng masamang asal, iiyak-iyak tayo. Tatanungin natin, bakit ganyan ang anak ko?

Aba, huwag kang magulat kung hindi magandang asal ang pinapakita ng anak niyo. Eh kayo mismo, kayo mismo, ginagawa niyo silang maliit na demonyo."

Father hit the nail on the head. What he said was true.

Scary, but true.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Come on, Brogue...

You'd think that after 2 years, the trend would've faded away. But judging by the number of new styles coming out every month, it looks like the brogue trend is showing no signs of fashion fatigue. In fact, each time a new incarnation comes out, it becomes more and more interesting.

Take for example these three pairs that I chanced upon at the strongholds of fast fashion - SM Department Store and Landmark. They're pairs that give the classic oxfords a feminine twist.

This pair pretty much adheres to the look of brogues, but renders it in bright blue patent leather. Plus, it makes the edge pointy to soften the look.

Color is always a perfect way to breathe new life to a trend. And this two-tone pair balances the masculine and feminine elements by blending blush and navy.

Florals are often seen as too saccharine. But if you render it in gray, and anchor it with gray leather, you have a girly-edgy pair that will look great with jeans, khaki, and even a nice, flowy dress.

These little details are good come ons and make brogues even more appealing. And if they come out with more interesting details such as these, I wouldn't be surprised if this trend stays around for 2 more years.

Friday, October 28, 2011

FMM: In the swing of things

There was a "Hits of the 80s" CD at home, and while I was looking at the playlist, I saw this song that I liked a lot but haven't heard in a long time. It's a song that everyone wants to slow-swing to, and it's such a retrolicious song by Odyssey.

Today's homage to Friday Magic Madness is "Native New Yorker."

There's something about this song that just transports me back to the 80s. It might be the beat. Or the instrumentation. Or the synths. Or it can be the voice of the singers. Or it can be all these things combined.

Just gotta love the 80s!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Double Whammy!

After the "non-elimination" episode 2 weeks ago, Ms. Banks decides to pull out another surprise and calls for a double elimination this early on in the game. (Previously, the double elimination came when there were only 4 girls left.)

And who were the two unlucky models who were booted out of the ANTM house?

Bianca and Kayla.

I'm glad that Bianca's out. She was too mean and combative. But I'm sad that they let go of Kayla. I liked her in Cycle 14, and was hoping she'll make it to top 4.

But hey, at least Kayla is now free.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Dressed for excess part un

With less than a month before the Versace for H&M collection drops, their look book has been floating all over cyberspace. I've seen some of the pieces, and they're very Versace. And I'm talking about the "Gianni Versace era" when excess was the order of the day.

When I say excess, I do mean EXCESS! For example, their men's collection isn't for the faint of fashion heart. It'll take a lot of guts and a pinch of panache to go out wearing something like this:

Gianni Versace was known for loud prints. He was the one who brought us the medusa head, the Florida-esque palm trees and sunsets, and the baroque style motifs.And with this collection, it feels like these loud prints are amplified by a 100,000 watt speaker!

I mean, you already have a loud print to begin with. If that isn't enough, you have to cover it all up with clear sequins.

Then, they've got some print-on-print action going on. But this isn't the subtle, same family type of print pairing that Etro does. We're talking about a clash of prints that's designed to shock the eye.

Overall, I think this collection is a good foil to last year's detailed minimalism from Lanvin. They're very brave pieces that require a lot of panache to carry.

But brave or loud as it seems, it still is Versace. And I think that's enough to get people rushing to the stores and buy an excessive amount of these pieces.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

When's it our turn?

Nope, this isn't about The Little Mermaid singing "Part of your world."

It's about this:

So, H&M opened in Singapore this year. And they've officially announced that they're opening in Bangkok and Jakarta in 2012.

What? They decided to open in Jakarta before opening in Manila? Oh the pain!

Come on, H&M, open a store in Manila. Now!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Modern Mannequin

Since I'm on a window display streak, let me talk about the star of the window display - the mannequin. Another thing I like about shop windows in HKG is the fact that they use a variety of mannequins. Some stores use mannequins that are very lifelike. Others look very industrial. While others look very conceptual.

One thing is for sure, though. You won't see those retro, scary mannequins with painted faces such as this.

A few years back, this was the mannequin du jour in many Philippine shops. Yes, they would even paint the lips blood red. And it freaked me out because it reminded me of "Marsha" from "Twilight Zone."

Zara has nice mannequins this season. When I dropped by their Harbour City store, the first thing that caught my eye was their window display. Aside from the interesting clothes, I found their mannequins equally interesting.

The caricature-type faces remind me of Lanvin mannequins, particularly from last year. The exaggerated lashes and thick brows seem to be a nod to their look last year. The only thing missing was the quirky expression.

This pop of color set against the stark, white physique of the mannequin gives it a very modern look. And this just further strengthens the fact that when it comes to visual styling for retail, HKG really is ahead of its neighbors.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Windows of creativity

Checking out window displays is another reason why I like visiting HKG. It's one of the countries that still have a very vibrant "window display culture." Every brand - whether major or Mom and Pop - has a conceptual take on fashion and lifestyle. Each window display has a concept and story. Each little detail has meaning. And that makes the window display almost like a museum exhibit.

Harvey Nichols just opened at Pacific Place (they now occupy the space vacated by Seibu) and their window displays are just top notch. I spent almost an hour just admiring each tableau and looking at how much detail they put into each one.

Here are my favorites among the lot:

Here's the men's fashion tableau. It has this humungous pair of jeans as the central focal point.

But upon closer scrutiny, the jeans are actually measuring tapes woven to create that form.

Here's the women and children's section window which features a cute teddy bear.

And the teddy bear is made up of baby bottle nipples.

The beauty window has a gigantic make up brush that fills the entire space.

And when you look at it closely, the big make up brush is created by putting together smaller make up brushes.

What I like about it is the fact that they use everyday items and transform them into something more creative. Hats off to the concept team of Harvey Nichols for coming up with such interesting and creative window displays.

Wish we had something like this in Manila. (I think the closest we have to something like this is Rustan's Makati.)

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Frendz in Hong Kong!

Almost 4 years ago, when I was still living in HKG, some of D' Frendz paid made a lightning visit. Coup d' etat notwithstanding, Grace, Lezyl and Tintin found their way to Asia's shopping capital to get their retail fix. (Who can forget Tintin's "gold knitted shrug" adventure.)

Here I am with Tintin and Grace, taking a break at McDonald's after shopping.

Tonight, Tintin, Grace and I were back in HKG, also for a lightning visit. So much has happened since our December 2007 get together. We're all based in Manila, Tintin has a new job, and Grace is married and back in advertising.

Here I am with Tintin and Grace, taking a shopping break after eating at McDonald's.

It's cool that after 4 years, we still look and act the same. (Notice Tintin's ensemble. Me thinks she's wearing the same thing after 4 years! Harhar.)

And here's proof that some of the best things - like frendzhip - never change.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Pig-ture perfect

One of the first things on my agenda in HKG was to look for the latest issue of InStyle. After checking out Page One and HMV, it turns out that they didn't have the latest issue yet. But when I dropped by GrEat to get my Triple O's fix, I was delighted to find the latest issue there.

Their "Best of the Web" issue is awesome and educational as always. But that's not the only thing that makes this issue a winner. The piggest - I mean, biggest - reason is a buxom blonde with a jolly green boyfrog.

Miss Piggy models for InStyle!

Going through the spread was such a delicious experience. The fashionable clothes (custom made for Mme. Pig) and her quips on the photos were so funny! Imagine, Miss Piggy in Jason Wu, Opening Ceremony, Prabal Gurung, Giles and Brother, among many others. This is definitely no "pig in the blanket."

She's "Pig in couture."

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Model Aggression

In the past 16 cycles of ANTM, there have always been fights. The last episode of cycle 17 showed Bianca fighting with pretty much everyone. But the models who got her ire the most were Shannon and Lisa.

Since fighting is very much part of the model culture, I guess they figured, "why not make a photo shoot about it?"

Et voila!

This shot makes me wonder how much of the fight is real. And I must say, Coco Rocha is rocking every shot she's in!

But among the lot, my favorite shot is the one that features the feisty and drag-a-licious Lisa and Dominique. They're really showing so much aggression, but in a pretty, model-esque way.

No wonder they got the top 2 photographs.

And the fight to become America's Next Top Model continues.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Made the grade

Finally, after going through all the Investigative Articles that my students submitted, I was able to compute for their final grades.

This semester is quite simple because I only have a handful of students to grade.

Next semester will be another story, though. If the plan pushes through, I might have more than 60 students spread across 3 classes.

And that would be a grade A challenge.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Super Nova!

When it comes to snack items, URC and Oishi are definitely neck and neck. Both companies continue to surprise me with their new offerings, as well as delight me with their old ones. URC gave us the classics like Chippy, Chiz Curls, Nova, Tostillas, Piattos and - let's not forget - Potato Chips and V-Cut. Oishi, on the other hand, broke ground in the snack universe with such innovative products as Marty's Vegetarian Chicharon, Gourmet Potato Chips, (their Wasabi flavor rocks! \m/_) Sponge Crunch, Pillows, Bread Pan, Wafu, and - let's not forget - Oishi! Today, I dropped by Robinson's Supermarket in Galleria to buy Wafu, one of Oishi's latest products which I'm totally into. Unfortunately, it wasn't available there. Since Robinson's is URC territory, I looked for something else to satisfy my sweet and crunch craving. And it led me to this wonderful creation from Jack and Jill:
Nova Multigrain Cereal Bars! I tried both the Caramel and Fruit and Nut flavors, and I must say, the Fruit and Nut Nova bar is awesome! The right amount of sweetness and crunch. Filled with raisins and a distinct cinnamon flavor. The fact that it's "healthy" adds to the draw, and the fact that it's just P7.50 seals the deal. I see the makings of a Nova-ddiction coming along.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Simple Pleasures

After hearing so many glowing reviews from Lezyl, I was finally able to try the newest Milk Tea brand on the block. And when I say "on the block," I mean that in a literal way since it's on the same block where our college is.

Simple Line has finally come to Taft Avenue!

Comfortably nestled along Leon Guinto, just across St. Scholastica's College and on the same street as College of St. Benilde, Simple Line is found along a row of eateries that's frequented by students from both schools. It's also on the same row as ZenTea, the "pioneer" in tea drinks in that area.

I got there a few minutes after it opened so there wasn't the usual gaggle of tea lovers just yet. Being a first timer, I intently perused the menu board, looking for something that would excite me. The shop girl suggested their best seller which was milk tea. Unfortunately, my acid reflux doesn't allow me to drink too much milk, so I asked her about their fruit teas.

One thing that impressed me was that the shop girl was very knowledgeable about tea. She said that the green tea has a strong, jasmine flavor while the black tea was on the stronger side. She said that the blueberry and melon teas are best sellers, but I wanted something lighter. So, I ordered the lychee green tea with coconut jelly.

It was the perfect beverage for a warm day. The tea was refreshingly cold and the taste was refreshingly light. The coconut jelly gave the beverage just the right texture and neutralized the sweetness of the drink.

(Speaking of refreshing, their tagline is: "Release your body, Refresh your mind.")

Off hand, I found the taste more fruity and less tea. The lychee syrup overpowered the green tea's jasmine taste, and it felt like I was drinking lychee juice more than lychee green tea. Mental note: ask them to make it less sweet the next time I order. That way, I'll get to enjoy the tea part a bit more.

(Apparently, "Simple Line" used to be called "Simple Life.")

But what I like most about Simple Line is the price. Compared to the usual Milk Tea brands (ChaTime, Serenitea, Ersao), Simple Line is great value for money. My large Lychee Green Tea with Coconut Jelly set me back P65.00, which is P35.00 cheaper than the same kind of tea in ChaTime. So, I get more flavor for less cost. Which is one of the simple reasons why I'm going to go back to Simple Line to sample their other fruit variants.

And maybe when this acid spell has subsided, I'll get to try their famous Coffee Konjac Oolong Milk Tea.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Big Brother's Birthday

Hey, hey, hey! It's my big brother's birthday today!

Happy 45th birthday, Kuya Marv!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Unexpected find

I usually drop by the Book Sale branch in Cubao to check out back issues of magazines. Particularly the InStyle issues that I might have missed. (Which is quite rare.)

But on today's visit, I found a book that pleasantly surprised me. Mainly because it's something I didn't expect to find at Book Sale. In Cubao, no less.

It was a book on Marchesa Casati - the famous socialite who inspired Georgina Chapman and Keren Craig to create their clothing line "Marchesa." It would be interesting to read about the life and times of this woman ahead of her time.

I didn't buy the book yet, though. Actually, I'm on the fence about it. I'll give it a few days, and if I still find it there, then it's a sign that it's waiting for me. (Then again, a book about Marchesa in Cubao? Of course it'll still be there. Harhar.)

Friday, October 14, 2011

FMM: Michael Jackson learns to rock

Since this week's episode of ANTM is about Michael Jackson, my Friday Magic Madness song this week comes from the king of pop. Well, way back when he was still the little prince of the Jackson 5.

Rockin' Robin is such as happy ditty. It just makes me want to stand up and do the jive.

And Friday's are supposed to be happy, so this is a perfect song to rock the weekend.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Meanwhile, in ANTM land...

They had a FIRST in America's Next Top Model history.

This week's photo shoot was a tribute to Michael Jackson. The models had to dress up like Michael in different stages of his career, from Jackson 5 to "Bad." And who was there to supervise the shoot? La Toya Jackson! (Who looks more and more like Michael Jackson after all the plastic surgery.)

After all the glitter and sequins settled, the bottom two were the models who had the most attitude and character:

Lisa D' Amato

and Angelea Preston

So who went home?


Both girls were saved by Tyra. (Who said they were saved by La Toya. She even had a speech about how Michael wouldn't have wanted to send any of the girls home.)

I must say, America's Next Top Model all-stars is getting more interesting with every episode.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

The deal is Qlo-sed!

It's confirmed! SM Retail has acquired Uniqlo and it's all over the news. A few hours after I read the item on the net, my fast fashion friends were already in an SMS frenzy talking about it.


First UNIQLO store in PH set to open in 2012

SM Retail announced today that it is set to open the first UNIQLO store in Manila next year—after signing up for a joint venture with Fast Retailing through its subsidiary Market Watch Investment Corporation.

According to a press release from SM Retail, casual wear giant Fast Retailing "has been exploring the possibility of entering the Philippine market for sometime."

Fast Retailing opened its first UNIQLO store in Japan in 1984 and began its expansion into international markets in 1991 by launching stores in the UK, and subsequently launching ventures in China, Hong Kong, South Korea, the US, France, Singapore, and Russia. As of the end of February 2011, UNIQLO has 824 stores in Japan and 150 stores in other markets overseas. The newest addition to the UNIQLO chain recently opened in Bangkok.

SM Retail did not divulge the exact location of the UNIQLO store.


My guess is that it would either be in SM Megamall or SM Mall of Asia.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011


After Target's record breaking and website crashing collaboration with Missoni, here's another capsule collection worth waiting for.

It's Jason Wu for Target!

He's better known as the young man who designed Michelle Obama's inaugural gown. And he's part of the new guard of fashion design in the US, along with Alexander Wang, Thakoon, Philip Lim, and Kate and Laura Mulleavy.

He has a very feminine and whimsical take on fashion, which makes him a favorite of the younger set. And with designs as classic as these, I'm sure that demographic will be lining up outside Target stores when it drops in February.

Target is really hitting the mark these days.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Wedding flashback

Exactly a month ago, I was blessed to have been part of an intimate, beautiful and heartfelt wedding. Last 9-10-11, Mona's sister, Lanny, got married to Gibby, and the entire event - from the ceremony to reception - was filled with love, laughter, song, and tears of joy. (There was a lot of that, especially from the groom.)

It was my first time to organize a wedding at MMLDC, and I was delightfully surprised at how nice the place was. The function room where we had the reception was very cozy, with a lot of natural light coming in. Their furnishings were all made of hard wood, and this gave it an old world feel.

The theme of the wedding was "modern Filipiniana," and we wanted to carry it all throughout the event. So, in lieu of table numbers, we thought of giving the tables a local feel as well. And we did that by naming them after flowers in the Philippines.

There were 14 tables, so we racked our brains thinking of 14 different local flowers. It's a good thing we're a tropical country with rich flora. Coming up with different table names was easy.

There was one table name that we wish we could use, but didn't make the cut. It was "Chicharong Bulaklak."

It's little details like these that make a wedding so beautiful and memorable. Another wonderful detail was the "song mob" that Mona and her siblings did for Lanny. And of course, Lanny's heartfelt rendition of "You Changed my Life" that left Gibby in tears. (I looked around and there were a lot of misty eyes during that part, too.)

It was really a joyous celebration of love, and this is one of the reasons why I love being part of weddings.

Sunday, October 09, 2011

House call!

After talking about it for a couple of months, our plan to visit Casa Gorayeb-Velasco finally pushed through last night.

Spurred by our impromptu dinner last Thursday, we finally agreed that the time is right for D' Frendz to descend on Rona and Ken's new digs. I've been hearing a lot about it from Rona, and I've seen the building several times from EDSA and the Makati-Mandaluyong bridge. That's why I was so excited and psyched to see the place up close.

And here it is! Another new house to get together and party in!

Rona and Ken's welcome greeting to all their guests. After all, a peaceful home is a happy home. But a home which has a lot of Frendz inside might not be too peaceful, though. We're just way to noisy! Hahaha.

The hosts with the most welcome us into their nice and cozy abode. I love how their house has such a "chill" vibe to it.

First on the agenda, the house tour. Rona showed us their bedroom with a wonderful view of the Makati skyline. The vista is breathtaking, both in the evening and morning.

Second on the agenda, getting the wifi and Internet TV to work. Good thing that our resident tech expert - Dip - was there to lend his expertise. By the time the party wrapped up, their wifi was up and running.

Third on the agenda, cuteness overload! Courtesy of little Lucas, of course.

We spent around 5 hours just hanging out, talking nonsense, giving Tintin pointers on her presentation, goofing around, eating, and, of course, picture taking.

The house call was so much fun that it was overflowing! And we ended up having cake and coffee at the pocket garden on the 10th floor, and the stories continued on while we were there. (Topic: First jobs!)

Before we knew it, it was almost midnight and we had to let Rona and Ken (and Lucas) rest. It was a busy-fun day for all of us.

Thanks for hosting us, Rona and Ken. And I'm sure we'll be making another house call sometime soon.