Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Hearts a Flutter...

...at Viktor&Rolf for H&M

I heart this masculine look made feminine with a heart embellished top and slim pants
I heart this girly trenchy! Look at the belt buckly!
I heart this sheer top and candy colored full skirt
I heart the geeky chic look of the argyle sweater paired with jeans turned up at the bottom to expose two toned lace-up oxfords
I heart this sexy school marm look, can you imagine accessorizing this with a big stick and tortoise shell glasses?

Awwww! Beautiful clothes at a fraction of the price! Now its time for a heart attack!

(photos courtesy of style.com)

Message in a Bangle Deciphered

Ooohhh! I guessed it right! Apparently, Coco Chanel liked to say...

"Pour etre irremplacable, il faut etre differente" ("To be irreplaceable, it is necessary to be different").

Words of wisdom from the doyenne of style herself.

Message in a Bangle

Sigh, another bangle in my wish list. Wouldn't this look pretty with the Elsa Peretti bone cuff? The contrast in thickness and fluidity of the shape of each piece would be interesting to see.

I can't see the 3rd word exactly, but i'm guessing this bangle reads "POUR ETRE IRREMPLACABLE" or in English "TO BE IRREPLACEABLE". Now that's a nice mantra!

(photo of Chanel Message bangle courtesy of style.com)

Monday, October 30, 2006

Boot in My Mouth

I know I said I'll never want those tall boots given that I live in Manila, oh about 11 out of the 12 months in a year. I acknowledge I've been dissuading you from wearing boots since I've been harping about booties as the more logical option. I admit that boots aren't for Philippine weather. But you see, I'm going to a super super super cold place for the holidays! I have a reason don't I? I swear I didn't see this coming!!!

Tell me! Pray tell me! How can you resist this? It comes in black too these darn things!

Okay fine! Guilty as charged! Blame it on two ladies! I can name them! Sigerson and Morrison! They're making me do it! Yes, they want me trade my sole for $490!

Hey, wait a minute! Fickle mindedness ain't a crime!

(photos of Belle by Sigerson Morrison '4147' boot courtesy of nordstrom.com)

Sunday, October 29, 2006

En Pointe

I'm a frustrated ballerina. Guess that's where the desire for ballerina flats takes root. Needless to say, wearing pointe shoes has been my biggest frustration, never mind that my little sister Nicole says its a pain to wear. How can it be a pain right? Watching those ballerinas on stage in their pink satin pointe shoes and tulle tutus just makes you think of fluffy marshmallows, beautiful princesses, benevolent fairy godmothers, sugar and spice, and everything nice....(Just between you and me though, one time, I sneaked into Nic's room and tried them on! Heehee! They hurt like hell, even with toe pads!)

So imagine my great joy when I saw this Calvin Klein knock-off...

...of the original Repettos.

Last July, I went to Gravity Pope, a shop carrying Repetto flats in Vancouver. I was seriously planning to get a pair but my fiance put some clarity into my glazed eyes, and sense into my muffled head when he told me it costs a quarter of my plane ticket already. That quickly got me back to reality! But when I saw these Calvin Klein ones the other day in the Nordstrom website, and at a quarter of the price of the original too, my oh my! I just couldn't contain my excitement! Hahaha! Can you even spot the diff? (Well of course apart from the obvious color and material used)

Now girls, by all means, join the club! I give you all the right to wear toe shoes! No need to wait for your ballet teacher to graduate you to en pointe. I'm sure you're toes are strong enough to wear these out for more serious shopping!

(photos courtesy of nordstrom.com, shoewawa.com, toast.co.uk)

Friday, October 27, 2006

Little Black Dresses and Then Some

Here's a LBD that's sweet, but too simple for my taste. I mean why wear this...
...when you can wear something like these...

...or these...

...and these...

...See I'd rather be literally little and wear a pretty (?) yes, a pretty (not tough/sexy/drab) LBD like this...
...but then again, between the LBD here and Tory Burch's printed dress, I'm actually going for Team Tory!
(photos courtesy of style.com)

Ballerina Babes

Who says ballet flats and tights are for the ballet studio alone? Wear them out on the streets like Kate, or party in them like Naomi


Here's a trend that's spot on for Manila's fashionistas. These are the sort of shoes that will go well with those tights and dresses I've been going on and on about! Spare the tall ones and go for these! Perfect for Philippine weather!

Tough and soft at the same time! Black patent with velvet lace booties, Pablo by Nine West
Prim and proper, but oh so trendy! Makya by Nine West
Pumps or boots? Boots or pumps? Can't decide? Get this two in one! Hotshoe by Nine West
Pair this with skinny jeans and a great big cardigan or sweater dress, Honeymist by Nine West
And! The mother of all "fit for Manila" booties...Cut-out short boots in distressed canvas/faux leather from Stella McCartney

(photos courtesy of ninewest.com and net-a-porter.com)

Q: Why is Green the New Black?

A: Because fashion is serious business!

Charm School

You like this don't you? Its by Behnaz Sarafpour. Oh but its not available in some fancy schmanzy atelier or department store. if you want to know where to get it, look close into the picture and take note of that charm in the lower middle. Yup, its now available in select stores. Best of all, you only have to shell out $13. Charmed? I'm sure!

Thursday, October 26, 2006

A History of the Barong Tagalog

Here's an interesting bit of trivia that my fiance forwarded to me in an e-mail. Who would have guessed the humble beginnings of such a beautiful article of clothing!

During the Spanish occupation of the Philippines (over 300 years from 1561-1889) the barong tagalog was required by the Spanish government for Filipinos (Indios) to be worn at most times to show the difference between the rich and the poor. It was said that the poor who serve the rich must always be in uniform. Take the chauffeurs, maids, and employees as examples.They are usually in uniform to immediately distinguish them from the employers.

When the Spaniards colonized the Philippines, to make it abundantly clear who's the boss, a dress code was imposed. Men were not allowed to tuck their shirttails in. That was the mark of his inferior status. Second, the cloth material should be transparent, so that he could not conceal any weapon that could be used against the masters. Third, as a precaution from
thievery, pockets were not allowed on the shirt.

By the turn of the century a new middle class began to emerge among the Filipinos. They were known as the Principalia. They mastered Spanish laws and were able to obtain title to lands. They became successful in business and agriculture and sent their sons to be educated abroad. They were privileged to build their houses in the poblacion around the plaza near the seats of power.

Only a member of the Principalia could be addressed by the title DON, and only they were allowed to vote. They had all the trappings of power and status, but for one undeniable fact: they still had to wear their shirttails out, if only to remind them that they were still Indios.

What the Spanish authorities did not smother out was the Filipino's will power and determination to psychologically conquer their colonial masters, through improvisation and re-interpretation. The Filipino's stylistic bongga (predisposition to flashy dressing) was a reaction against the overt discrimination and insensitive oppression of the Spaniards. For example, Filipinos were forbidden to use imported silk and fabrics for their Barong, so they ingeniously used pineapple leaves to weave the pina/jusi cloth of the barong, turning the outfit into such delicate material, of luminous silky rich mixture much finer than silk. To add insult to injury, they hand-embroidered the front with such exquisite abandon: Calado and hand-work all over. Palgrave, the ethnographer noted, "The Capitan's shirt was the native barong, of fine and delicate fiber, embroidered and frilled; it was light and cool and not tucked in the trousers". (Corpuz, 74)

The Barong Tagalog gained power, prestige, and status when President Quezon, the first Filipino president, declared it the National Dress. The status of the lowly inferior Barong thus became another symbol of Filipinos' resistance to colonization.

After World War II, Philippine presidents began wearing the Barong Tagalog at their installation into office and on every formal state occasion. In contemporary times the Barong Tagalog is the power dress. As an abogado de campanilla, you cannot afford not to wear the Barong Tagalog when arguing a case in Philippine courts.

Today, every visitor and foreign dignitary invited to a Malacanang Palace state function must, by necessity, and dictated by protocol, be dressed to the nines in a Barong Tagalog. The invitations specifically say come in "Barong" instead of the traditional "Coat and Tie". Thus, everyone invited to dinner at the Presidential Palace and in many Filipino homes will unknowingly and unwittingly have to experience directly, what it feels to have to wear his shirttails out, to suffer the indignity of having the material of his barong transparent so that he cannot conceal any weapon; and horrors, to be accused directly of incipient thievery by having no pockets in his barong to put the silver.

(photo courtesy of redtangent at flickr.com)

Erase and Rewind

Dear God, I hope my sister hasn't bought the patent flats I wanted from French Sole yet. Because I found that I could get three pairs of these for the price of that one.

Thank you for The Gap!

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Style Over Substance

I love Vogue, always have ever since I was a little girl. So when I saw this book about American Vogue's editrix on display at Powerbooks...you know the drill. All I can say is, this is one person who worshipped in the shrine of style and devoted her life to fashion (Ms. Wintour had a talent in track and was a fast runner, but quit when she realized that her legs would get bigger and muscular if she kept at it, ie not good for wearing those feminine skirts and dresses!). What was admirable about her was she single-mindedly pursued her dream job (US Vogue Editor-in-Chief) and didn't allow minor setbacks to get in her way. She always kept her eye on the prize. Unfortunately, stepped on a lot of toes, pulled a few hairs, and destroyed the confidence of lots of people just to get to her coveted spot. Suffice it to say, this is a lady with balls. Big, stylish ones at that!

Funny how a bitchy, catty, scheming (an ex-bf asked for her help in buying a designer jacket for his wife. She gallantly chose one for her--a tacky piece with screaming logos guaranteed to catch the eye of those whose money can't buy them class, nothing like the classically elegant ones she favored for herself! gasp!) woman who never was a girl's girl (she was competitive with them, and thus never formed any real friendships with other women) is looked upon to lead the way to how we dress, and how we ought to live our lives. Knowing this about her (shallow with loose morals, but with a great and visionary eye for style), will it stop me from reading Vogue? Haha! I don't think so! I love Vogue for what it stands for, regardless of the personal life of the one whose name is on top of the masthead.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

I'm Loving High Waisted Flares...

Look at what stylephile, one of my fave fashion sites, featured! These high waisted flares bring back memories of the 70's: tight t-shirts, platform wedges, Charlie's Angels and their trademark flipped hair. No wonder the folks at Seven for All Mankind looked to one of the Angels for inspiration and called this pair of jeans Fawcett!

the Mod Squad...

But if you want to go a decade earlier and do the mod look instead, dadadress.com has the perfect mod-inspired dresses that look so authentic your friends would think you raided your mom's baul and came out with such fabulous treasures!

The designer, Jessika Madison-Kennedy, is a graduate of The London College of Fashion, and is committed to "creating a look based on a modernist design aesthetic that presses forward a contemporary edge." If Jackie Kennedy Onassis (ooh they share the same last name!) and Andy Warhol had a kid, she would be it!

and the Elsa Peretti BONE Cuff

I've been on the look-out for the perfect cuff since way back when and have I found THE ONE! Well, not exactly since this isn't the price point I've budgeted for, but the look is just so perfect! I can imagine the possibilities! Striking with a plain white shirt, fab jumbled together with two more gold bangles and paired with a bright colored tunic dress, elegant with a little black shift dress. Elsa Peretti BONE cuff bracelet for the left hand, small. Eighteen karat gold. Original designs copyrighted by Elsa Peretti.

(photos courtesy of stylephile.com, dadadress.com and tiffany.com)

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Guess who's not a Baghag!

Seriously! I am not kidding you!

In an interview with Teri Agins of the Wall Street Journal:

WSJ: I have just been dying to ask -- why don't you carry a handbag? The most we see you carry is an agenda or a notebook.
MS. WINTOUR: Handbags weigh you down.

So if the US and French Vogue editors-in-chief aren't crazy about bags as we thought of fashion folk to be, are we really just duped into believing that $1500 bags are investments?

(photo courtesy of The Sartorialist for style.com)

Friday, October 20, 2006

Sharing My Shopping List

Currently, I only have two things (technically) in my shopping list that I'd like to share with you (yes, I sent a "moment-of-weakness" email to my sister. The ballet flats have been ordered so that one's off my hands now!):

1. SK-II Facial Treatment Clear lotion (third from left) and

Facial Treatment Essence
The above does not even qualify as a "want" as these are more of a commodity right? You see, at my age, I realized I ought to start taking care of my skin. Historically, I scrimp on facial care products. I think of Cetaphil as a luxury. Heck, I used Eskinol for the longest time everytime I would run out of my dermatologist-supplied toner. Up until 2 months ago that is, when I had an awakening in the HK airport. After a 12 hour plane ride, I stepped into the ladies washroom to fix my hair. While brushing absently in front of the mirror, I was shocked not to see my reflection, but my pores staring right back at me!

So I dashed straight to the cosmetics area and bought a bottle of SK-II's Facial Treatment Clear lotion. Guess what! In a week's time, all my pores shrunk in size. I'm happy to say that my skin now looks amazingly fresh and renewed! And to think I'm just in the cleansing process! That's why I'm excited to see how using an additional product in the line will work for me.

Good thing I have skin fanatics for friends, who have long espoused the merits of SK-II, a legendary Japanese skincare line. I can still remember the first time I heard about this product. Alisa was reading the Asian Wall Street Journal intently, thereafter excitedly showing me the report that P&G bought SK-II. All the while, I thought she was monitoring her stocks or something important like that. Apparently to her, it really was breaking news! That meant with the backing of P&G, the line would be more accessible to millions of women out there looking for the fountain of youth.

SK-II has a very interesting history. The age-defying ingredient in the products was discovered, according to sk2.com, by "a Japanese monk who visited a sake brewery in Kobe. He was surprised to discover that the brewery workers had extraordinary soft and youthful hands. Even an elderly man with pronounced wrinkles on his face possessed the silky smooth hands of a young boy. This observation encouraged the monk to conduct a series of experiments. He eventually discovered a clear, nutrient-rich liquid that could be extracted during the yeast fermentation process. He shared his findings with a group of skincare scientists, who became equally excited by the potential of his discovery." And the rest as they say, is the stuff that legends are made of!

2. Hermes Twilly

I just had my hair cut and I'd like to invest in a nice headband that will set off my bangs! Hahaha! As the Hermes scarf loving Miranda Priestley would say, "That's all"!

Now enough about me, how about you? Care to share your shopping list too?

(photos courtesy of sk2.com and hermes.com)

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Anthropologie 101

One of the sites that never fail to amaze me is anthropologie.com. They have an uncanny ability to carry items that I have in mind; for instance, western belts back in 2004. Who would have carried such at the time right? Well, they did!

So it doesn't come as a surprise that this season they just happen to have the nicest dresses perfect for the coming holiday festivities. I suggest you wear these with opaque tights and platform/wedge pumps or booties. Now if you're going to a really cold place, layer it over a tight turtle neck sweater and pair it with tall boots! I promise you'll look stylin'!

Dont worry about looking silly if you wear opaque tights (which by the way is so difficult to find these days! M&S, my reliable source of denier 40 opaque tights, has run out of small sizes --- in all the branches I've been to!) in a tropical country. I hear we'll be having a really cold December in Manila! (If you're wondering why its extra chilly in the office these days, its that Siberian breeze coming our way.) So, what better way to welcome the blast of icy air than with these hot dresses!

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Patent Pending

Here's something that's driving me crazy these days. I can't stop thinking about getting another pair...I'm leaning towards the red ones. We'll see how my self-control holds up!

(photos courtesy of frenchsole.com)
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