Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Pink Berry

Gingham top from Levi's Girls from Aunt Melissa of Levi's, pink denims from Joe Fresh, 
gold mary janes from Tip Toey Joey  

Berry's favorite color is pink, and so it was not a surprise when she thought of putting this outfit together. I would not have dared for her to go all pink, but she styles herself now, and decided this top and jeans should go together, and it looked cute!

UPDATE: For those asking where to buy Berry's Tip Toey Joeys, these are available at Baby & Beyond, G2 Strata Suites 300, P. Guevarra Street, San Juan

Monday, January 30, 2012

Dragon Dychiao at 15 Weeks

Of course, a rundown of my pregnancy outfit: Zara top, J.Crew trousers, Anthology Beas in Leopard

Thank you to everyone checking up on me, noticing the spare postings in the blog. I am fine, albeit still nauseous and perpetually hungry and never feeling full these days. It's like I can't decide if I want to eat or puke. It's been 15 weeks, but I am not yet totally over the first trimester hump, heehee.

Say hello to Dragon Dychiao, I hope you shower this Little One with the same love and affection you have all showed Berry. Berry is so excited to be an atchi/big sister, and she can't decide if she wants a little brother or a little sister. I think like us, she would be happy either way. This Little One is a blessing, as we have been praying to God to bless us with another happy, healthy baby. I am also praying for the nausea and all to go away. I just want to be able to eat a really hearty meal without fear of puking or heartburn. 

On another note, I haven't been window shopping, shopping surfing or doing any bit of shopping. Which is good news for Dada, but bad news for the blog! No eye candy to share! Hahaha! 

Please bear with me, I will get back into the groove of things shortly. I have lots of people and companies to thank, product and restaurant reviews to share, shopping news (Alexis Bittar coming out with a bridge line, oooh!), wardrobe ideas, and so much more.

And did I mention we moved back to Manila? For good! So yes, we've come back full circle.

Manila Fashion Observer is finally back home! 

Thursday, January 26, 2012

And The Winners of Catalogue63's Giveaway Are...

Parker tee in black - NINA MORFE

Square tee in white - JO CRISOSTOMO REYES

Boxy tee in gray stripe - MA. CECILIA LI

Congratulatons ladies, your names were randomly picked out by the ladies of Catalogue63! Catalogue63 will contact you via FB/Twitter to arrange the shipment of your prize to you!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Hair Pampering Day with Dessange

A few days ago, I was invited by Rustan's to a "hair pampering day" hosted by Dessange International, a French beauty line, at Emphasis in Rockwell. After years of living abroad and not having a real treat at the salon, save for hair cuts, I thought it came at the right time! Plus you know me, anything French, I already like, haha!

Now, since we are expecting Baby #2 aka Dragon Dychiao (it's just a nickname until we find out the gender, heehee), I was also worried about using harsh chemicals on my hair. Thankfully, Christopher Picault of Dessange was flown in to personally talk to invited guests about their products and was there to recommend the right products for me to use.

Turns out I cannot use Phytodess, their hair & scalp treatment line that contains zinc.

But Monsieur Picault recommended that I use these - Creme de Palme once a week after I give birth, and any of their shampoos like Bamboo, Ylang-Ylang or Vitamin C for daily use, given that hormones can really take a toll on a pregnant woman's hair. 

I ended up using products from their amber-scented premium line, Dessange Paris, which includes Black Pearl Resides with its fortifying, remineralizing, and anti-aging virtues. Now I have to tell you, my hair has been limp and lacking luster these days, a result of pregnancy hormones again, according to Monsieur Picault. So he suggested using Dessange Paris nourishing shampoo, applied on dry hair & scalp and massaged thoroughly, followed by a mask specifically targeted to moisturize dry hair. He said that what makes the mask special is that it is activated by humidity. Wow, for once, humidity is not an enemy!

I don't have photos to show, but trust me when I say my hair looked a lot better after the treatment. It felt silky for a change, and with a bit of blow-drying transformed my limp locks into a polished bob. Now, if only I can go to the salon everyday!

Oh, and before I forget, there's also the youthful Camille Alban line, also from Dessange International, which infuses fruits like fig, pomegranate, orange with other natural ingredients like honey, argan oil and henna to create products that are as effective for the hair as they sound yummy divine.

Dessange Paris, Phytodess and Camille Alban from Dessange International are available exclusively at Rustan's.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

NOW OPEN! GKonomics Design Lab and Showroom

Right on the third floor of the Gawad Kalinga Pinagsama center in Brgy. Pinagsama, Taguig is the GKonomics Design Lab and Showroom, a showcase of all the products that various Gawad Kalinga communities across the country produce as part of their livelihood training. After all, with dignified homes come the need to empower and help the community become self-sustaining. By providing GK residents with marketable skills, and teaching them good business practices, GKonomics hopes to pave the way to economic independence and wealth creation in all GK communities.

According to Divine Duran, who is the communications director of GKonomics, "Our mantra is, with every product, we share a story and with every purchase, a purpose." Given such a noble cause we of course accepted her invitation to attend the launch of their first ever showroom. With Ate Divine's cousin Nina, who is one of my bestest friends, we trooped over to Taguig, and braved three flights of stairs despite our bulging bellies i.e. Yes! We are both expecting Dragon babies! *Cue fire breathing here, hahaha!*

Here I am pregnant at 14 weeks, my BFF Nina at almost 6 months!

Divine Duran, Communications Director with Marivic Poblador-Pineda, Product Development Director, GKonomics

The launch was graced by Tony Meloto of Gawad Kalinga, interior designer Ivy Almario who designed the GKonomics showroom, Archie King & Bobby Rodrigo

If you are looking for souvenir items for a wedding or a party, unique and meaningful gifts to give to friends who have everything, or pasalubong from back home, then it's worth a trek to visit the Showroom and Design Lab. Apart from being able to buy what's on display, you may have items custom made to your taste or color motif, place wholesale/bulk orders in advance, or just visit to check out the interesting products they have on display.

Like these baskets, totes and hats made from "Bankuan", a local material sourced by a GK community in  Camarines Sur:

This slouchy Bankuan bag is my favorite, and I can imagine Japanese ladies loving these! They do like straw totes!

Totes, wallets, tissue box holders and iPad cases made from Zesto doy packs. These are made by residents of GK Sunshineville with the support of Maraming Bayani Foundation who provides the community with the raw materials used to create these products. I have seen these around in New York and Singapore actually!

Capiz products by GK Sta. Rita in Las Pinas. I remember Ate Divine's brother Angelo gave capiz tealight candle holders as giveaways for his wedding a few years ago. They also had these lighted and put on display right on the guest tables. Very pretty!

This sparkly evening clutch is made from...guess what?! A discarded video tape! How amazing is that?

Then there are candles galore in all shapes and sizes. Some of the pieces are quite funny, like the mini lechons! Hahaha!

Then there are Assumption Iloilo Cookbooks available for Php600 a piece. Proceeds from the cookbook sales are used to build homes for the less fortunate through a partnership with Gawad Kalinga.

This Hope box made from Pandan leaves are made by the weavers of Dr. Rafael San Agustin Legacy Village in San Carlos, Negros Occidental. The calados from the emblem and bookmark was learned from the Spaniards and adapted by Filipino woodworkers.

Products made from indigenous fabrics and weaves made in partnership with Randy Ortiz and GK Sulu as part of their social artisty program.

The totes above are partly made from inverted tarpaulin actually! Here's the reverse, it used to be a Mighty Bond billboard ad:

Bags, clutches and coin purses made from colored plastic bags:

The gift boxes for Theo and Philo chocolates are made by residents of GK Pangil in Laguna. If you are looking for makers of pretty gift boxes, GK Pangil could probably make some for you too!

More than just pretty and practical gift items, there are interesting finds in the showroom as well. Such as this Monobloc chair cover! It really adds character to a nondescript plastic chair, especially a scuffed and battle scarred chair that has been around for years:

Then there's the Kawayan Tech bike made by residents of GKonomics communities who are trained in bike making. You can actually custom-order these bikes at the showroom and have your bike come in the colors of your choice. Although I would prefer seeing the natural beauty of the kawayan actually.

There's actually a lot more to discover in the showroom, and everyone is invited to drop by, say hello, shop and share ideas! Congratulations to Mr. Tony Meloto, his team of Gkonomics ladies who are all women not only of leisure but also of substance, and most especially the GK communities! May the Gkonomics Showroom and Design Lab continue to be an incubator of great things discover, create, and share with the world!

The Gkonomics Design Lab and Showroom accepts customized orders for company events and special occasions, including individual purchases and bulk orders from local and international organizations.

Where to Find:
3/F GK Brgy. Pinagsama (inside green gate)
Western Bicutan, Taguig City
(Go past Maria Reyna de los Apostoles Church)

GKonomics products are also available at the following stores: 
Echo Store - Serendra Branch
SM Kultura - Megamall, North Edsa, Mall of Asia, Makati, 
Mananzan Handicrafts - Intramuros.

You may shop online through gkonomics.shopinas.com and the products will be delivered to you via Air21. GKonomics can deliver in the Ortigas, Mandaluyong, and Makati areas with a delivery charge of P50 only. 

You may also place your orders through Thess Barrameda, Sales and Distribution Coordinator at mobile number: 09064127014. The products can be sent through the regular courier system but corresponding charges will apply.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Catalogue63's And Apparel Tees Giveaway!

Parker tee in black

Square tee in white

Boxy tee in gray stripe

The T-shirt is a wardrobe staple that we all should have piles of in our closets. It's the perfect thing to throw around when you really don't want to think about what to wear. It can be dressed up with a sequin skirt, or worn the way it was meant to be, as a basic piece paired with shorts, leggings or jeans during lazy days.

Of course, t-shirts acquire an edge of its own when they don't look like the typical basic tee, like And Apparel's drapey, edgy pieces! Best of all, Catalogue63 is giving away 3 tees to 3 MFO readers! All you have to do is:

1) Choose which one of the 3 shirts above you would like to win

2) Like Catalogue 63 on Facebook

3) On the picture of the shirt you like from THIS ALBUM, leave a comment sharing what you like about the shirt. This equals one entry.

4) Follow @catalogue63 on Twitter for an additional entry and tweet @Catalogue63 which shirt you would like to win. Facebook like + following @Catalogue63 on Twitter = 2 entries (Contestants must like Catalogue63 on FB, not just follow them on Twitter, to be eligible to win)

5) Promo ends at 9 pm of January 25, the last day of the giveaway period

6) Three winners will be picked randomly (raffle) – one winner for each shirt

7) Winners will be announced through MFO a day or 2 days after the end of the giveaway period

8) Catalogue 63 contact the winners through FB and Twitter after they are announced to arrange shipment of their prize to them

NOTE: Winners must be based in the Philippines.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Bliss Gets Happy!

Before I explain the reason for my sudden and way too long  absence (teehee, sorry!) the reason of which family and close friends know by now, I'd like to share with you this blissfully happy news from my friend, the now New York-based accessories designer Happy David!

After taking up further studies in jewelry design at FIT, scoring coveted internships at the studios of Dana Lorenz and Alexis Bittar, and continuously working on honing her craft, Happy is unveiling a month long exhibition of her work at BLISS on BLISS STUDIO in New York, a creative space run by artists Ged Merino and his wife Carolina Morales!

For those who recall Happy's work back in Manila, you'd remember her for her fun, whimsical pieces. But as you can see from her most recent work made in New York, such as the cuff on the invite above, which is inspired by woven mats, her designs have acquired a more sophisticated, elegant but still edgy quality to them. 

The artist's reception was held last Sunday, January 15, 2011 at Bliss on Bliss, with a special performance by neighborhood band Hide Inaba.

If you are in the area, drop by Bliss on Bliss Studio, the exhibition runs for a month until mid-Feb. It is open to all, Tuesdays to Saturdays 9am-4pm or by appointment.

Bliss on Bliss Studio
4149A 45th St. Ground Flr.
Sunnyside, NY 11104
Phone: +19177679735

Now for those in the US who would like to buy Happy's work, she has been selling her pieces at the Manhattan outpost of NIDA, whose first boutique was opened in San Francisco.

The carefully-curated boutique which carries labels such as IRO, MALOLES, YVES SALOMON, BA&SH, LES PRAIRIES DE PARIS, BALMAIN, EROTOKRITOS, MAISON OLGA, RUE DU MAIL, and PAUL & JOE SISTER has been selling Happy's pieces for about a year now, and Happy considers it an honor to be carried alongside these hot European brands!

NIDA Boutique
573 Hudson Street
NY, NY 10014
Email: nidaboutique.ny@gmail.com

For more information about the exhibit or Happy's body of work, contact Happy at gethappynow@gmail.com
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