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Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Celebrate Easter at Blue Leaf BGC & Aseana

This Sunday, Go Easter Egg Hunting and more at The Blue Leaf McKinley Hill in BGC or at Aseana near MOA!

Tickets are Php600 for kids and Php400 for adults and available at The Blue Leaf, Kiddie-party.com shops in White Plains and Wilson Greenhills or via email at kiddieparty@yahoo.com

For more details, or to book The Blue Leaf for an event, visit their Facebook page, www.facebook.com/theblueleaf or their website, http://theblueleaf.com.ph

Friday, April 11, 2014

Tod's Spring/Summer 2014

The Spring/Summer 2014 women's collection at Tod's is designer Alessandra Facchinetti's first ever collection for the label, and there was plenty to love this season.

The iconic Gommino driving loafer, rendered in pony hair, now comes in stripes and spots.

The Ballerina Gommino comes in bright red, pink and cream...

even criss cross with ankle straps!

But what I love the most are their fringed flats and sandals. Love. Love. Love.

This is very cute! I am actually seeing a lot of styles coming out that are similar to this shape from Carven to Christian Louboutin, when it was like the sole territory of Marni back in the day. This is a must have.

Of course, the bags, the bags. The Tods D-Cube Bag comes in four sizes, with contrasting side panels, in a range of leathers including exotics. I've seen them at the @tods Instagram account and they are gorge.

Of course, the Bauletto gets the fringe treatment and some bags were more embellished than most, but I gravitated towards this sleek boxy Morsetto that incorporates the Tod's textured pattern, which is inspired by the Gommino and imprinted onto the leather.

Another milestone to this season is an extensive ready-to-wear collection which debuted in a runway show back in September 2013. There were gorgeous separates such as this crisp, cotton shirt and skirt below, as well as buttery soft leather capes, shirts, skirts and dresses. 

There's just an ease and refinement to this collection that lives up that casual elegance that Tod's is known for.

I loved the belt on this outfit. It makes the outfit and subtly attract attention with screaming, "Look at me!". Understated but still eye catching.

Meanwhile, the Spring/Summer 2014 men's footwear collection is built around their famous Gommino style, each shoe sporting a rubber pebble sole. 

Betcha you didn't even realize that without me telling you!

These oxfords, brogues and monk straps feature a complex construction wherein a leather sole is treated with rubber injections and rubber Gommini details. They are extremely elegant, and I can imagine, comfortable as well.

Tod's Double Stripe, as the name suggests, is distinguished by double stripes of leather going down or crossing a bag, wallet or shoe. 

It got its start in the Spring/Summer 2013 Collection and has now become a signature motif of the brand, seen here on blue, brown and grey base leathers.

There's a Double Stripe selection of document holders and iPad cases too!

There is in fact a customization service for customers, where a client can choose their own color combination for stripes. There are 12 colors available, with an option to add a monogram that is set on a leather label and hand-stitched inside or outside the bag. 

Ask a Tod's SA about this service, if you're looking for something a bit more special.

In the Philippines, Tod's is exclusively distributed by Store Specialists, Inc. (SSI) and are available at Tod's boutiques in Greenbelt 4, Rustan's Makati, and Rustan's Tower Shangri-la Plaza Mall.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

The Sun Always Shines at Itsie-Bitsie

If any one store represented a season, then Itsie-Bitsie would be summer.

Maybe because whenever I step into Itsie-Bitsie in Rockwell, I always always remember the first time I ever set foot in it's original spot in Malate. 

The sun was bright, the store was impossibly chic, and it was stocked with diaphanous cotton wraps, some candles and scents, and the breeziest summer tunics - Calypso by Christian Celle, if my memory serves me right. 

I was instantly transported to a place where kids spent their summer weekends on daddy's boat, or friends going on long drives to a beach house in Tali or Nasugbu.

And I was there on a weekday. 

In fact, my friends and I were in between classes, reading case studies, when our friend Isabelle announced she needed a pair of jeans and would we be interested to look with her at Itsie-Bitsie?

I still get that summer vibe at Itsie-Bitsie Rockwell of course. Especially since Ines has that knack for picking up the freshest contemporary brands that any girl worth her most flattering Mother Denims can fall back on when tropical or resort dressing comes into her social calendar.

Take for instance these summer-y sandals, flats and rope wedges from Aerin.

Aerin is the lifestyle brand founded by the effortlessly chic cosmetic company heiress Aerin Lauder. I can totally see her in these while at her weekend home in East Hampton or vacationing in Turks and Caicos.

rope-soled wedges

nude with gold leaf sandals

there's a white with silver leaf version too!

I ended up with these, it matched my outfit perfectly, like it was meant to be!

fish thong sandals

Nothing can be more summer than swimwear by Orlebar Brown. Love this rashguard.

These board shorts.

And the always classic all-black maillot. Paired here with a raffia sling bag, Aerin gold leaf sandals and printed denim shorts by Ines' latest find, Dutch brand Scotch & Soda.

Ines got the exclusive rights to bring in Sun Bum to our shores, and there's plenty of it in her store. There are sunscreens, cool down sprays and lip balms, so we can bask in the sun worry free.

I find myself getting more drawn to prints these days. My wardrobe used to be all solid colors, stripes and plaids, but now, it's getting its fair share of prints, and if I could, I would add some Banjanan to the mix.

Each piece is printed and embellished by hand! Soooo gorgeous when you see and feel it up close. Love the sustainability story behind it too.

I have yet to check out the store for their recent Spring arrivals. I know Figue should be in by now, as well as denims by Victoria Beckham and Athe by Vanessa Bruno. I know there will be some Vanessa Bruno sequin totes coming too.

Meanwhile, now's a good time to stock up on Mara Hoffman, OndadeMar and Orlebar swimwear because of their Swim Sale ongoing until May 4, 2014.

Itsie-Bitsie = summer forever. But remember, the swim sale ends on May 4!

RS 114 & 119 Joya Lofts & Towers
Joya Drive, Rockwell Center Makati
Mon-Sun, 10am-8pm

Tuesday, April 08, 2014

Carven comes to Manila!

When I think of Carven, I think of their bow-back slingbacks...

I think of cool girl Alexa Chung, who is often photographed wearing Carven.

And last Spring 2013's toile dresses come to mind. Because they really made an impression on me.

Especially this particular one. So French, with that cool girl appeal.

I would see Carven at Homme et Femme, but it's just like wow when you see the future of an actual store, even while still boarded up. This was back in January I think.

I monitored it's progress, seriously. Around March 2014.

Tadaaaa! This is Carven at Shangri-la East Wing. It's a beauty.

My friend Gretch & I passed by on opening day and the store is just love. 

Gretch & I with Town & Country Philippines fashion editor Carole Cuasay-Tagle

 It's stocked with Spring 2014's crop of new wardrobe faves.

There were a lot of standouts, but it was refreshing to see how Carven treats camo. 

camo get sweet

Alexa Chung's top & skirt, far left

I saw this in Carven Shang as well, also worn by Alexa Chung. OMG!

Of course, they always do shoes really well.

two-tone perforated flats

masculine meets feminine bow embellished sandals

the Banana sandals by Ancient Greek Sandals x Carven

Jessica Alba has an ankle strap version in black. Love. Love.

Now, I need to work my ass off so I can afford to dress in Carven. Because it's not cheap ha! But they are guaranteed to be closet staples that you can wear for a long, long time.

PS - Alexandra Jacobs trains her critical eye on Carven for The Critical Shopper in The New York Times. She writes about Carven a whole lot more eloquently than I just did.

Level 1 East Wing
Shangri-la  Plaza Mall
Mandaluyong, Metro Manila

Monday, April 07, 2014

Nao do Brasil Hits Manila!

Aihleen with partners Inna & Corinne Yenko

When our friend Aihleen Tan-Gruba first told me about NÃO do Brasil, a French brand of sneakers that she, her husband Mark, and their partners brought in to Manila after discovering and hoarding pairs of it in Paris, I wondered, "If it's French? Why is it called Nao do Brasil?"

Legend has it that a little boy named Adilson, who "lived in the depths of Minas Gerais, an arid region in Brazil", was tired of walking barefoot, and hearing his mother say "NÃO" everytime he asked her to buy him a pair of shoes.

So he decided to make his own shoes, using materials picked up from the slums of Belo Horizonte. Over the years, he refined his craft and his shoes became known for their craftsmanship, color, comfort and style.

When asked whether he had given a name to his shoes, Adilson would recall his mother's words and invariably answer NÃO, with an enigmatic smile on his face.

Today, it is said that Adilson is a happy man, who heads a small firm that produces thousands of multi-colored shoes every year for the enjoyment of all. 

Meanwhile, back in France, in the year 2010, NÃO do Brasil founder Gerard Mandrea opened his first NÃO store in Juan-Les-Pins in France. Today, there are over 20 NÃO do Brasil stores in Europe, the Middle East and now in Asia, by way of the Philippines with the first store opening here at SM Megamall Fashion Hall D.

Of course, I visited the store and was blown away by the sheer variety of choices. There are several styles to choose from ranging from the trademark Caïpi to Noïte, Altaï, Baïana, Drïa, Kerïa, Praï. These styles come in hundreds of color combinations, with sizes ranging from 18 (infants) to 47 (adults).

Aihleen told me that when you see a color and style you like in your size, I better grab onto it because there's no guarantee I will ever find the same thing ever. 

This is because 70% of their shoes are made from recycled or salvaged materials, sourced from various Brazilian manufacturers. Each pair is entirely made by hand by an artisan, in one of the five workshops set-up in different parts of Brazil.

So when I zoomed in on this silver-y pair, I knew this was it for me.

I then found a pair of silver high tops for Berry, and I left feeling like I won a matching game!

With the hundreds, if not thousands of color combinations in store, it is almost impossible to find two similar pairs in the sizes you want.

Of course, these were the pairs that Berry & I wore to the launch of NÃO do Brasil in Megamall last March 25. 

Our biggest supporters, Dada & Xavi, were there to cheer us on, along with my fellow SoMoms, Pam, Jane, Patty, Jenny and Jackie!

Because Berry & I walked the ramp! It was a first for me, OMG!

Berry, the veteran, who already had a gig with Gingersnaps under her belt, was teaching me how to pose backstage and was practicing the counts with me.

She even showed me how she counted from 1 to 5 to hold her pose, while smiling! Too cute!

It was a wonderful bonding experience with Beriray, having our hair done together at Blo and getting dolled up at Make Up for Forever. I am so happy we were in it together. We super enjoyed it!

Such a relief to also walk the ramp in the comfiest of shoes! Not only am I so glad my first ever runway experience was with Berry, I was also happy it was with NÃO do Brasil. It felt so natural to walk with a bounce on my step, with no fear of tumbling all over for all to see! 

Visit the store to see what I mean! 

NÃO do Brasil 
3/F SM Megamall Fashion Hall
SM Megamall Building D
Mandaluyong, Metro Manila
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