I was writing a reply to a reader's comment/query and I found myself unable to stop writing. I figured I better make it a post instead!
Here's to you and your envy-worthy shopping adventures my dear Anonymous reader from Singapore!!!
Hi Anon! You officially made me palpitate with excitement! Jimmy Choos on sale! Waahh! I think I'm going to go crazy there! One word - Jealous. You really make me jealous!!!
I'm happy you find value in all my musings! About your question, I always like going to the following locations for local designer stuff that I swear are quality goods. This might just be the kind that will still be worth something over the years:
1. Atelier Debbie Co
2nd floor Jupiter Place
136 Jupiter Street, Makati
Debbie Co's clothes are classy and sophisticated. But she can definitely do fun and quirky just as well! I really love this girl! Because she is petite herself, she knows what is best for similarly framed girls like me. She just gets it you know. Sometimes I go to her with no concrete idea in mind, if not a thousand and one ideas swirling around all at the same time. And I always end up leaving with the perfect dress!!! Not to mention, her construction is faultless. My sister Nicole had her senior's ball dress made by her for their ball this weekend and Nic is one happy girl! Considering that the first fitting got her really worried because it didn't come out as she envisioned. She explained to Debbie how she wanted her dress to be and come next fitting, VOILA! It was PERFECT!!!
The shop carries a ready-to-wear line as well, and she does alterations no prob! But if you see something that you like off the rack, and it doesn't come in your size, you can have it tailor made just for you! Apart from her own stuff, local designer products abound in her atelier -- from clothes (Crise de Nerfs by Mel Orlina plus some other labels), to shoes, bags and accessories (such as the D! jewelry line)!
TIP: Do try on the ready-to-wear items hanging on the racks. They always always always look better when worn! I sometimes see girls pick out an item I would have glossed over, but once they fit it, it really looks fab! I swear I wish I picked it out myself!
2. Souk Gallery
Crossings Department Store
Shangri-la Plaza Mall, Ortigas Center
This is designer Richie Ortega's store. She carries both local and imported labels. While the stuff for sale are ready-to-wear, she makes tailored dresses and gowns as well. Very reasonably priced too! My future sister-in-law Leslie had her prom dress made by Richie and it was really well-constructed! She also happens to make exquisitely beaded items that are so fab, they are stocked at Lane Crawford and Harrods under the label "When I was Five".
(Photo from anton.blogs.com)
3. Ishq Boutique
Ground Floor Astoria Plaza
Escriva Drive, Ortigas Center
Candy Reyes and Yael Buencamino started as bag designers way before bag designing became the "in" thing to do. I knew Candy's sister Krie from work, and I remember going to Bel-Air just to check out their new bags upon her prodding. But really, it didn't take a lot of convincing because we would seek them out even after they moved to a little shop in Makati Avenue. Ishq finally found a home in Astoria Plaza, and evolved into a boutique that carried the works of local clothing and accessories designers (both up-and-coming and established!), side by side their one-of-a-kind bags.
Along with Richie Ortega of Souk, I believe they are the pioneers of "off-mall retailing". What is admirable is that they supported local designers by providing them a venue to display their wares -- when this concept was still unheard of. After these girls got a lot of press, a lot of young retailers got inspired and you can see a proliferation of quaint little boutiques popping up in the metropolis.
TIP: There's a store right by Ishq called TONIC that carries shirts by Team Manila.
4. MiaBella (SOON TO OPEN THIS MARCH!)
Serendra, The Fort
Eileen Co (we call her Chico) and her friend started out with bags (Cole Vintage) as well, but have branched out to clothes and shoes that they themselves design. If you want laid back, easy breezy feminine pieces, their clothes are just that! They used to consign their stuff in boutiques across the country, sold on-line, and participated in bazaars, but Chico is opening a store in Serendra this March called MiaBella. I have yet to see the items they'll have in stock, but I'm sure Chico would have done well with the merchandising!
Now, I have never dared venture out of my local designer comfort zone as I really tend to stick to Debbie Co, my personal favorite. But do check out these stores/locations I have heard of that carry items made by local designers:
Dona Consolacion Building
122 Jupiter Street, Makati City
This building houses several boutiques (Nullah, Tilka, AB Fit Jeans, etc.) carrying both local and imported goodies.
Store for All Seasons
605 Shaw Boulevard, Mandaluyong City
If you like funky, edgy pieces, this is the go-to store! They stock shirts, clothes and accessories made by local streetwear designers. I hear they've got witty shirts with graphics like "I say chuk chak, You say chenes" or something like that. Fun, humorous stuff I'd think. I'd like to check out this store sometime soon actually!