Saturday, June 30, 2007

Derek's Lab

Look at these youthful but classic clothes that Derek Lam concocts in his fashion lab!

Shirtdresses are not only verstile, it can be very sexy too!
A conservative blouse and skirt need not be frumpy as this picture shows:
Red dresses rock!!!
I love this embellished tunic dress!
This is a great dress! Looks comfy and I love the pockets...the color may be drab, but it still is fab!

(Photos courtesy of

Friday, June 29, 2007

Stealth Wealth

I work in a bank catering to the affluent. I also write a monthly finance column for a society magazine. And what I've noticed, apart from the common target market, is that those who are truly, utterly wealthy shun the spotlight.

Sure, they will go to events to mingle and dine. They will open their homes to have it featured - furniture, paintings and all. But they will never ever allow their photographs to be taken and their names printed in bold letters and published in a "society" column.

Think of it this way, if you are "richer than air" as Karl Lagerfeld would say, would you want to be a target for kidnapping? Of course not! Hence their need for privacy and discretion. To set the record straight, those you see in the papers? Mere poseurs palanggas!

It comes as no surprise that for the super wealthy, and the consumers of real luxury, "Flash is out, discretion is in". That's the message from Newsweek's Annual Report on Luxury (July 2-July 9, 2007 issue). They found that understated elegance is the trend in everything from fashion design to architecture.

Rather than screaming logos, " consumers are seeking discretion, special access, surprise, humor, even secrecy. They don't crave another pair of Jimmy Choos or a custom-made Bentley so much as the challenge of vying for an appointment at the Parisian jeweler JAR - maybe you'll get a slot that day, maybe not - or an invitation to a resort where they'll be entertained by rock stars and Nobel laureates."

According to, Newsweek Rome Special Correspondent Barbie Nadeau reports that luxury doesn't need a logo to prove its high-class credentials. The status lies in the way its goods are made. Such is the case of Bottega Veneta, the 41-year old brand-which prides itself on sporting no labels at all-recently named the world's most luxurious brand by New York-based Luxury Institute.

In keeping with the movement, the way the ultra rich shop has also changed. Paris Correspondent Dana Thomas reports that high-end couture's elite clientele are no longer heading to the ateliers of top designers for fittings. Dressmakers from couture houses now travel to their clients' homes (and often in their clients' private jets!-MFO). And while traditional fashion capitals such as Paris, New York and Milan retain their importance, a new group of second-tier shopping cities are making a name for themselves. Special Correspondent Ginanne Brownell reports that cities such as Antwerp, Chicago, Istanbul and Shanghai are now challenging the supremacy of the fashion industry's major cities.

So how do you pick out the truly rich from the pseudo rich? Simple, as prnewswire writes, "The Wealthy Among The Wealthy Are Distinguishing Themselves By Not Standing Out".

Bottomline? Its not about the bling blings dahling!

Newsweek International Cover "Stealth Wealth" out in newstands June 25, 2007.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Sale Away

I know its sale season. I have been receiving text messages and reading blog posts about sales left and right. Friends who just came back from Singapore have told me about the sales there as well. People at work have proudly worn their sale purchases and have been urging me to go while the sales are still going on. If I was my usual self, I would have palpitated in a heartbeat! But amidst all the frenzy, I find myself surprisingly calm and collected. For some reason, I feel no urge to shop. No desire to step into the malls and see for myself what treasures await me. I wonder why?

Its funny though because I am not alone with these sentiments. My friend Nina, who can sniff out a sale (without the benefit of getting tipped off by the store associates ha, just by pure gut feel! No kidding!) just came back from HK and she didn't go berserk the way she normally would. Something is in the air and I can't point out why.

- Maybe because I know I have to prioritize saving over spending?
- Maybe I am finally living out the French woman philosophy of saving until I can buy the best bag/pair of shoes that my money can buy?
- Maybe because I've realized I really have more than enough clothes and shoes. (Hmm, I did ask Debbie to make a shirtdress for me, and had my tita make me a few more dresses, but that doesn't count as shopping right? But see, my mom actually left for Hongkong with her friends a couple of days ago, and I couldn't think of anything I wanted at all, so I never asked her to get me anything).
- Maybe because I guess this means I've matured?
- Or maybe because at the back of my mind, I'm thinking of going to Woodbury Common soon?

Hahaha! But seriously, I myself am amazed at this Zen like experience, like I am detached from all those red tags and % OFF signs! I mean I still love clothes, gorgeous bags and shoes, and pretty accessories, but I feel like I can live without having them all. I am content and grateful for what I have now.

I honestly can't say how long this feeling will last, but I believe that this is my greatest and bestest "find" this sale season.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Gucci Gucci Oooh!

Gucci's 2008 Resort Collection has got to be my favorite! Frida Giannini has put together clothes that suit petite girls like me! Let me tell you, its tough being a small girl. I hardly fit in most clothes, so I usually end up having them made. Case in point, a US size 0 is still loose for me! Anyway, I'm digressing. What I'd like to drive at is, for petite girls, its best to stick to the clothes that suit our frame. Not all trends look good on us, but the styles below are just worth investing in!

CIGARETTE PANTS - with a simple top, a cropped jacket, a shirtdress or a coat, it just spells simple elegance! Very Audrey-ish too!

This photo reminds me of an outfit I wore just this May when I went to NY with my hubby. I was wearing a bright yellow trapeze top, black cigarette pants and black ballet flats and people were staring at me like I was the Sun walking down the street! Its the color for Spring/Summer 2007 hello! They ought to know better right?

KNEE LENGTH AND CROPPED - should be the petite girl's mantra when it comes to skirts and jackets. Put together, the balance is just right. Individually, a knee length skirt won't drown us out and in fact maximizes our leg length without showing too much of it. A cropped jacket on the other hand is simply adorable and makes for a sleek silhouette...

If you'd like to look "corporate" then a slim cropped suit jacket cinched with a belt still means business, but with tons of style!
But with the kind of weather we have here in the Philippines, then a simple shirt with a skirt will be much cooler, literally and figuratively. I'm in fact loving this muscle shirt! Paired with a full skirt, its tough yet girly at the same time! Ooh, and those cropped gloves are so punk and rock too! Reminds me of the glove wearing girls in the DKNY ads back in 2005!

DRESSES are H-O-T! Whether its plain like this red, white and black beauty...

...or printed like these boldies...

We won't go wrong! Although smaller prints suit us best, if you like huge graphic prints and you can carry it well, then by all means do so! Fashion bends the rules for those with the right attitude!

Thanks Frida! You know what, I'm loving your outfit best of all!

(Photos courtesy of

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

The Original CD

I have an affinity with the original CD - Christian Dior. First, because we share the same initials! Imagine, some of the Christian Dior sunglasses, belts and the bags instantly have my monogram, if not a "D" to stand for my last name! How cool is that? Heehee!

Apart from the initials, I also love the clothes! For Resort 2008, John Galliano must have paid homage to Jackie Kennedy-Onassis' visit to India back in the 1960s. Because the suits and gowns are cut the way Jackie would have liked, while the colors are just so bright and vibrant like those colorful Madras cottons! The embellishments are very rich and exotic too! Quite a mix I must say! Fun, glam and elegant all at the same time!

Jackie Oish huh?

This is what I mean when I said Indian inspired...See, they invented the original skinny pants scrunched up at the ankles (Although theirs were baggy around the thighs...)!

These dresses are sublime!

Now check out these gowns!

This is more Lilly Pulitzer/Palm Beach-y actually, but well it is a resort collection right? I'm not complaining because I loves it!

(Photos courtesy of

Monday, June 25, 2007

Are You Wearing Your schu Today?

Girls! Do you want a free pair of Schus?

Schu is having an online contest that will run for one month, from July 1-31. To join, all you have to do is send as many photos of yourself, wearing your favorite schu and in a few words, share why you chose that particular pair to match your outfit!

At the end of the month, all the photos will be gathered in one album and they will post a poll so you can invite your friends to vote for the best in style. Professional stylists and fashion writers will also be invited to cast their votes on the final 10. If they like your style, then you get a new pair of schus! Exciting prizes await those who win in the special categories too!

Here's a sample from myself, but I'm sure you all can do better than this! =)

This is my favorite pair of schus. I love the forest green color and the matte gold sequins adorning it!

I want the focus to be on my schus so I wore it today with a simple khaki jumper dress and a forest green tank top to match! To add a burst of color, I accessorized with a colorful bag that still had a tinge of forest green. I then finished off with gold hoops to to tie in with the gold sequins in my schus!

Easy huh? Email your photos to right away! C'mon, unleash the style star within and schu us what you've got!

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Not My Last Resort

Carolina Herrera's resort collection was refreshingly young, yet absolutely timeless. I loves it!

The details in this printed dress and the black T-bar sandals are my kind of thing...

But these pocket dresses are really making my heart thump!

These dainty blouse and skirt ensembles are so inspiring! I want to dress up like this too...

I also noticed, polka dots are making quite a scene in most resort runways! Big and bold at Badgley Mischka, light and airy at Carolina Herrera! Hmmm...time to get dotty!

(Photos courtesy of

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Chanel-ing a Hippie

Back in September 06, Bella Freud of Biba (who incidentally has recently left the company to start her own label) sent her models down the runway with a hippie headwrap for S/S 07. I noted in my blog post that this look seemed apt for a revival...

The folks at Chanel must have felt the same way, because lookie at how their models looked like for Resort 2008!

Hippie jeans are making quite a revival here as well!

Last I heard, the hippies were organizing a demonstration against designers stealing their style...gotcha!

(Photos courtesy of
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