Thursday, August 31, 2006

Ye olden times

I love love love Alexander McQueen and his shoes!!! I still covet those gladiator sandals from last season...

But theres no point looking back when the future is so bright and promising!!! His fall/winter shoes are making me go gaga! I love em!!! Here's something I would call the gladiator boot for those who missed out on the gladiator sandal!!!

Now check out these boots that remind me of something Mary Poppins would wear...

Didn't I say so???

But if a pointy toe lace up is more your thing, hmmm, something like what Miss Minchin (remember the head mistress of the boarding school The Little Princess went to?) would probably wear underneath that staid and drab black dress of hers (naughty!), then dear old Alex has something for you as well!

Gorgeous ain't it?

Monday, August 28, 2006

Viktor&Rolf for H&M

My friend and former editor Celine N., who is currently studing in FIT NY, just told me that she got Paul&Joe jeans from Target! Ain't that the coolest? Green with retail envy, I decided to peek into Target (well the Target website really) to check out items that will pique my interest from the Paul&Joe collection ...and look at this pretty French school girl top I found! Its got these fine, tailored details like a rounded collar, pintucks and puffed sleeves. Best of all, it only retails for $19.99! Not bad eh?

Pretty French school girl top from Paul&Joe for Target

But more than that, Cel also mentioned that design duo Viktor Horsting and Rolf Snoeren, more popularly known as the guys behind the label Viktor&Rolf, are coming out with a line for H&M!

Viktor Horsting and Rolf Snoeren after presenting their A/W '06-'07 collection from

Heralded in the press for their classic yet modern take on fashion, and conceptual couture work, the pair says "If Haute couture is the most sublime form of fashion, H&M is fashion at its most democratic. Our roots are based in couture. It's the heart and soul of our work. But we also love to play with opposites: transformation is a key element of our signature style. For us, fashion is an antidote to reality. It's a great opportunity to communicate our vision with such a large audience of H&M devotee." (from Masstige at work!!!

A/W '06-'07 Viktor& Rolf from

How about Inno Sotto for Bayo? or Jojie Lloren for Kamiseta? Now that would be interesting!

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Black Tights are Baaccckkk!

Let's backtrack a bit to my favorite 1994 outfit: a red Scottish mini kilt paired with a black fitted Topshop top, black opaque tights and Patrick Cox Wannabe loafers. It was the 1990s, when it was fashionable to wear black opaque tights with a business suit like the Hongkong girls.

Well those days are back!!! From "streety" Marc by Marc Jacobs to classic Balenciaga to glamorous Versace, there's that common denominator. Check out these photos from JC Report and

A/W '06-'07 Marc by Marc Jacobs from

A/W '06-'07 Balenciaga from

A/W '06-'07 Versace ad campaign from JC Report

Friday, August 25, 2006

Red and Black

I love it how the red shoes and tiny clutch add a burst of color to her black and white striped top! And those jeans look really cute on her! She says she got it from Faro.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Manila Street Style

I'm contemplating on taking pictures of stylish people I see around town. I see a whole lot and I think its high time for somebody to acknowledge their effort and creativity. Style is not limited to the rich girls, fashion editors and party boys we see all the time in the local magazines. Yeah, something reminiscent of The Sartorialist's blog but with more real people and less industry insiders. My only concern is will well-dressed strangers allow me to take their photos?

Let's see!

Monday, August 21, 2006

The grass is always Green(hills) on the other side of the fence

What is Manila's best kept open secret? Why Greenhills of course!

I just felt I had to write about Greenhills, my source of abercrombie & fitch and american eagle tank tops, South Sea pearls, cheap winter stuff (think thick scarves and colorful gloves and ski caps for Php150 each!), thigh high socks (as if I wear them, but hey, its nice to have just in case a costume party comes up haha) and all those Filipiniana/Asian stuff and kitschy items that are super fun giveaways.

The place and the community surrounding it has really has evolved through the years. I remember being in grade school and going to Greenhills for my Tretorn fix (when the only destination worth going for was Gift Gate, Dingdong, Tickles and Unimart... oh! oh! and the px stuff!!!) I was too young to be hanging out there with my friends but I remember it was the 80's and I knew for a fact that the older kids went there for drag racing, hanging out at Creekside(?) and bowling in Greenlanes. Hmmmm, I can still imagine the teenage kids in their polo tees, sperry topsiders and baston jeans...

During the early 1990's, I was in high school and Annapolis Street was known for its bars and nightspots such as that place that burned down, where Side A used to play a lot? I forget. My classmate and friend, Patricia, used to live in one of the condos on that street and my mom and I would sometimes bring her home. I thought it was so cool to live there! A few buildings down was the Toch Arellano photography studio (its still there) where my friends and I had our high school grad pictures taken! I can still see us walking down that road to cross to the shopping center after the shoot. I was in a long sleeved top, Girbaud jeans and Esprit loafers thinking I looked so cool! Then a classmate asked me to carry (yes carry not hold) her humongous cellphone and we thought we were pretty hip! Hahaha!

During the late 1990's, I didn't go there much, preferring to go to Robinson's Galleria, Megamall and Shangri-la instead. I pretty much shopped in that area until my mom and her friends discovered the South Sea pearls that would make you think twice about going to Jewelmer again. After that, we were hooked and just kept coming back for the cheap retail fix. Pretty soon, the place just attracted crowds of people from outside the community and Greenhills has never been the same again.

Though the place may have lost some of its community/town center charm, especially for those who lived in the area all their lives and remember Greenhills Shopping Center as the sort of place where they could spot a visitor from a sea of familiar faces; it has never lost its "find a bargain" appeal. Thanks to the tiangges and the little boutiques that dot the mall, anyone can go to Greenhills and be secure in the thought that they will go home with a really great find without busting their budget.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Rockwell Vintage Bazaar = old news?

I was super excited to check out the Rockwell Vintage Bazaar today. I heard much about it and was looking forward to seeing it myself.

Except for some exceptional clothing from Wisdom, Ruth&Esther and Debbie Co, bags from Aranaz and ColeVintage, original & indigenous items from Modi, contemporary furnishings from a furniture stall, and some pet accessories from 2 stalls whose names I forget, I felt that in general, the bazaar leaves much more to be desired. I guess my expectations were too high. I felt that most of the stuff looked much too alike (ruffled tops, boleros, etc), and the quality of local made items still needs some improvement. For instance, the sewing needs to be more "malinis" and the jewelry designs need to evolve into something beyond mere baubles and beads. In fairness, the designs of some of the shoes were good, but the execution/production still looks a bit rough around the edges. I know its not the designers' fault, but its a symptom of what ails the fashion industry. If we want to be competitive on a global scale, the government and the people in the industry should encourage investments in training and equipment so that we don't get left behind by our Asian neighbors.

When majority of the items look like they came from one and the same manufacturer, and designs from last year are still being sold at regular price, it bothers me how stagnant the industry is. There should always be something new, something fresh that will catch the consumer's eye, that will make people want to go out and buy buy buy! So that the economy will grow grow grow!

Just a thought! =)

Friday, August 18, 2006


What happens when mass meets class? Well, masstige of course!!! Imagine when a retailer like Target works with, say, a hot designer like Luella Bartley or Sophie Albou (Paul&Joe)? Designer goods at regular, affordable prices!!! Get my point?

Ooohhh! I just have to share the wonderful news, the latest masstige development to excite any fashionista with a shoestring budget! Drumroll please!

The Nine West AND Vivienne Westwood (keep the drum rolling)...AND Thakoon (I ain't done yet)...AND Sophia Kokosalaki collections (tadaaah!)!!! Actually, this is a collaboration with Macy's and Vogue as well and the three designers will be featuring limited edition collections beginning in September 2006!!!

According to, "The designers were also given full creative control over their collection, which are comprised of eleven pieces each including shoes, handbags and ready-to-wear accessories." Hmmm, if only Dame Vivienne would do a re-issue of those Sex shoes Kate Moss was crazy about as a teenager growing up in Croydon, England.

Sex shoes or not, I wonder if these items will ever reach Philippine shores? Gosh darn it! Calling on the SSI Nine West merchandiser! A little touch of "class" won't hurt our thinning wallets =)

The "auntie" shoe from the Nine West and Vivienne Westwood Collection

The Closet Fashionista Goes to Work

So what's the buzz among fashionistas apart from the Fall/Winter 2006 collections? Why, the movie "The Devil Wears Prada" of course!!!

Can't wait to see stylist Patricia Fields' work on this film! I think this will be one fashion extravaganza no self-respecting "dedicated follower of fashion" would dare miss. I remember reading the book and daydreaming about the mythical Vogue closet! It must be a treasure trove of happiness!!! Honestly, I could not understand what Andrea, the (anti?)heroine was ranting about! She annoyed me more than how Miranda annoyed her no end! Don't you think she got the best of both worlds? Dressing up so nicely only to do brainless tasks like buying her boss' lunch or ordering lattes in Starbucks? That is NOT STRESSFUL AT ALL! I'll take any brainless shit from the higher ups if that means I get to wear all those fantabulous stuff the average girl can only dream about! (Fashion victim hello!!! Hahaha! Sad sad sad!!!)

If I were in her Jimmy Choos, I would probably make the sacrifice (I think the perks alone can relieve the stress). But sometimes, that's how the world is - not fair. Some girls aspire for that "to kill for job", and that "to kill for job" usually goes to someone who couldn't care less...

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Hello! Nice to meet you dahling!

Before anything, let me introduce myself: The Closet Fashionista

I first came across the F word over a decade ago as I was poring through the pages of British Vogue while waiting for my flight out of London Heathrow. It was the summer I turned 18, living on allowance but pretentiously into labels I could not afford, that I lived the life vicariously by buying fashion magazines. (To my parents' middle class sensibilities, it was a puzzle why I was into clothes & the styling life when I was neither socialite nor star. They could not understand my deep interest in fashion and I could offer no explanation.)

At that very instant, while staring at the italicized fonts, I understood why I was different. I belonged to a "cursed" breed, an army of connoisseurs who live for fashion; afflicted with an acute sense when it comes to spotting trends and appreciating details, that the idea of mainstream horrifies them.

Knowing I was a fashionista and coming out of my closet to admit that I was one posed a problem. Growing up in a no-nonsense, frugal home, exhibiting my passion for fashion would make me an obvious target for ridicule. However, I feel I have an obligation to explain the essence of a fashionista, skinny jeans, breezy frocks, oversize bags, dirty linen and all.

The Fashion Foibles

Fashion is an addiction I struggled with, forcing me into suspicious if not bothering behavior: tearing receipts so my mom wouldn't know how much I spent for another pair of shoes, foregoing savings for cult jeans, risking a traffic violation while checking out a lola crossing Kamuning road because I was inspired by her Marc Jacobs meets Prada look, buying a watch just because my style icon Madonna wore one herself, and spending six months of accumulated summers in London during my teen years scouring the streets (read: Knightsbridge, Oxford Street, Bond Street), bumming in parks, going to museums, and watching people every day; rather than taking summer courses on finance at the University of London (LSE or LBS), as my dad had suggested, seriously believing that both activities were equally worthwhile.

Coming to Terms

Writing about this confession came at an opportune time. At best, this is my coming out letter, a published tell all of my fashion faux pas, an admission of a secret life. At the least, I have given my two cents worth on the fashionista phenomenon. This is not just about having the money to buy designer clothes, wearing what's hot or being in the fashion industry per se. As authors Dela Cruz and Robinovitz of The Fashionista Files puts it, it is acknowledging that fashion is a "form of art, self-expression, and a representation of more emotional roots". It is a serious field of study that Holly Brubach, a self-confessed Dedicated Follower of Fashion, likens fashion to architecture.

Simply put, a fashionista is not simply interested in clothes and trendy must-haves; she knows herself and wears clothes to express her history and individuality. Her passion extends to art, culture, and social issues and disproves the impression that her kind has cashmere for brains. A fashionista derives satisfaction in looking and feeling good, but knows that what matters most of all is who she is beyond the stylish clothes.
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