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Friday, April 30, 2010

Marni Madness

My friend Belle sent me a $50 coupon for Neiman Marcus Last Call so my sisters and I trekked out to NM Last Call a few days back to find something to buy, anything really, just to use the coupon! Hello! That's like $50 falling down from heaven! A great excuse to shop no? Hahaha!

My sisters ended up with a sling bag and sandals, but I was good and didn't buy a single thing. Although! I was sorely tempted to get these Marni sandals because they were 30% off last price marked! And with the $50 coupon, the price would just come out to about $220, seriously!



Here's another one, which is more of an open toe pump!



I liked the first one better because it was so comfortable! But then again, the heels are so high and I really would just be clomping about in them. Besides, where else would I wear them? To the grocery? Maybe to Berry's music class?

But nah, I decided to be practical so I just walked away, never mind if these were such crazy bargains!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Robin Tomas at The Philippine Center in NYC

If you're in Manhattan now until the 27th, now is your chance to see the work of talented fashion designer Robin Tomas up close!

Robin's work is being featured at the windows of the Philippine Center along 5th Avenue in Manhattan. A must see is a fully hand-beaded bodice in ivory, and duchesse satin ball skirt, which was the finale piece of his 50 piece premiere collection show held in Manila in 2009.

To kick off the exhibit, a cocktail reception was held last April 16 at the center’s gallery hall, where several other pieces from his collection were put on display inside the Center’s main gallery. Various guests from the New York fashion industry – fellow designers, models, New York Press, Filipino community and Philippine Press, and other guests from various New York industries joined the designer in celebrating his pieces on display.


Tomas is a graduate of Parsons School of Design, and interned for Anna Sui and Valentino in New York. After which, he then worked for various major US retail brands such as Gap, Tommy Hilfiger and J. Crew

In 2009, Tomas launched his first solo collection of eveningwear during Philippine Fashion Week. In early 2010, if you recall a story I wrote for the Radar, he won the Supima Design Competition in New York for the best reinvention of the T-Shirt. I can't wait to see his design produced and sold in all Bloomingdales stores in the US!

Tomas is the second Filipino designer to be featured as part of The “Best of the Philippines on Fifth Avenue”, a project of the Philippine Consulate General New York, which features Filipino artists and artisans who have received global acclaim for the excellence of their craft to showcase the amazing pool of creativity and talent that the Philippines has to offer.


Tomas's work will be on display throughout the month of April 2010. For more information on Robin Tomas, visit www.robintomas.com. Visit soon and hope to bump into you there!!!


Philippine Center
556 5th Avenue
New York, NY 10036-5002
(212) 575-4774

(Photo Credits Giulia Piccari)

Friday, April 23, 2010

MFO x New York Street Style for Metro Magazine


I am so excited to share with you all that I played street style photographer (with Berry, my assistant, in tow of course) for Metro Magazine and roamed the streets of Manhattan back in February (it was NY Fashion Week too! So lots of stylish folks around!) in search of subjects for my New York Street Style story!

Please get a copy of the May Issue of Metro Magazine and see what New Yorkers have been wearing. I know it's steaming hot in Manila, but with a two month lead time (the norm in magazine publications) my subjects were still dressed for winter. But whatever, I'd like to think I captured the essence of New York style in my photos.

I know it's still April, but yes! May issue of Metro Magazine is out now! Show some love to your budding Garance (Hahaha, hey it wasn't easy approaching complete strangers ha. You know how busy and/or neurotic some New Yorkers can be). It was hard work (taking photos and carrying Berry in a sling) and I was a jangle of emotions - friendly (Hi! I love your style, may I take your photo?!), anxious (Please? It's for a fashion  magazine back home.) and ecstatic (Really?! Yay! Thanks so much, can you stand here please where the light is better?). Hahaha! What a rollercoaster. Fun and tiring, but made with lots of thought and love. So I hope you enjoy it.

PS - Thanks to my SIL Les for carrying Berry's baby bag while I was running after people. Thanks to Celine aka The Chiconomist too! Couldn't have done this without you girls. Hahaha!

(Photo courtesy of Marie Lozano aka @iammarielozano in Twitter)

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Currently Obsessing On: Celine Classic Box Bag

As seen in the Celine S/S 2010 Lookbook

Nope, I'm not buying. I'm just saying, it's nice no? As the name of the bag goes, it is a classic! As in a serious classic piece that transcends trends. That Phoebe and her accessories design team at Celine are a bunch of geniuses! You know, like brilliant scientists concocting breakthroughs in their design lab. Oh Phoebe! How I love thee! And I am not alone in my thoughts. In the May issue of Vogue, they've declared of Phoebe and her bag..."the fashion flock has already deemed her latest an instant classic."

Here are more pictures of the Classic Box, in real life, as seen over Paris Fashion Week! See if this doesn't want you to go out and get one for yourself!




I like the structural shape, the restraint, the discipline of eliminating embellishments, and the fact that it has no logo. Just a bag to be recognized by those in the know. The bags comes in small and medium sizes and in various skins: python, calf, suede, and crocodile:

What's best, the straps are removable so it can function as a clutch! That's like hitting a two in one!

I have no idea where to buy these bags here though. I've checked Barneys online but haven't seen it there. Maybe I will go to the store just to see. Just to see!

I know these are available in Hong Kong fo sho, all the Hong Kong blogs have been writing about this! Prices for the Classic Box Bag start from HK$21,000.

(Photos from celine.com and sunrainey.com)

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

LUSH Celebrates Earth Day: April 22, 2010

Lush Bubbles

Environmental awareness may only just be creeping into the consciousness of the beauty industry, but there’s one company who has been pioneering in this field since its inception - LUSH fresh, handmade cosmetics. April 22, 2010 will mark the 40th anniversary of the first Earth Day, when 20 million Americans protested against the damage being done to the planet. 2010 also marks Lush’s 15th anniversary and they are as committed today to ethical trading and sustainability as they were all those years ago.

Being green and environmentally aware doesn’t necessarily mean you have to spend a fortune, or give up all your favorite luxury products. When you buy from Lush you are guaranteed the most beautiful, fresh, effective products possible … you can also be happy in the knowledge that the company does all it can to help preserve our planet the way it is. As we like it that way and don’t want to loose it.

Lush's innovative range of solid products allow minimal or no preservatives and packaging, which means less waste heading to landfill. 67% of their current product range is ‘naked’ and in 2009, in the UK alone, they sold over 5.9 million naked items.

200,000 of these items were shampoo bars, meaning that 15 tonnes of plastic was avoided. Lush shampoo bars are small, convenient, easy to carry and easy to use. Use them just like soap to effectively clean the hair of everyday dirt and grime. Each bar lasts for over 80 washes, the equivalent of 3 bottles of 250g shampoo, which is both kinder for the environment and your wallet. Choose from ten varieties, including Squeaky Green (Php345.00) or Godiva shampoo and conditioning bar (Php525.00)

Lush Godiva

Lush’s other solid products include bath ballistics, bubble bars, body butters, massage bars, cleansers, shower jellies, sugar scrubs and soap. Lush has started to produce palm-free soaps from the London factory that’s set to be rolled out worldwide. The soaps have a base that’s palm oil free, which means a reduction in their annual palm use by approximately 250,000 kg.

Lush Ballistic

It’s imperative other businesses do the same, as until global levels of palm use are cut dramatically, and plans to use palm oil as a biofuel are scrapped entirely, there is little hope for a workable sustainable palm oil industry, and the future of the forests, animals and people of Indonesia and Malaysia is bleak. By choosing products not containing palm oil, like Lush soap, you are doing your bit to help preserve the only remaining habitat of the orangutan, as if things continue as they are then they will be extinct within 10 years.

Lush also has a very strong commitment to the communities and areas from which they buy their ingredients. They feel that all ingredients should be bought in a respectful way and that they tread as lightly on the planet as possible. In order to understand the impact of their purchasing decisions, for many years they have had a policy of trying to eliminate the ‘middle man’ wherever possible and going straight to the growers and processors in order to learn the true story of each ingredient. This also enables them to check the impact their buying has.

In the Philippines, Lush is exclusively distributed by Stores Specialists, Inc. (SSI) and is located at Glorietta 4, Power Plant Mall, Shangri-La Mall, Greenbelt 3, Mall of Asia, and Bonifacio High Street. You may also visit us online at www.lush.com.ph

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Costello Tagliapietra x Uniqlo



Dropping May 20th here in the US (although I hear Uniqlo in Japan has the line out already!!!) is Brooklyn duo Costello Tagliapietra's capsule collection for Uniqlo. Geared towards working women, the housewife in me finds that their jersey and cotton dresses are perfect for grocery runs as well.

The 14 piece line comes in neutral grey, rose, cornflower blue and yellow. The best news of all? The line is reasonably priced at between $29 to $39! With such working girl friendly prices, the assistant and the boss can easily rock the same dress!

Love the rightmost dress above, plus a couple more of my faves:

On The Radar: Danny Roberts of Igor+André

 Nope, this isn't Marky Mark (aka Mark Wahlberg), it's Danny Roberts of Igor+André!

When you get your Sunday issue of The Philippine Star, flip to the Sunday Lifestyle section's On The Radar and read my interview with the talented artist, Danny Roberts of Igor+André!

He shares a couple of his favorite illustrations...

Illustration of 5 girls wearing Chanel glasses, popularly known as The Girls In Glasses. The same artwork adapted for a collaboration shirt with London based company Borders & Frontier

Painting from Chanel's Spring 2010 Collection for Sundance Channel's Full Frontal Fashion coverage of Paris Fashion Week

Model Masha Kirsanova at Chris Benz from a March 30, 2010 post

...as well as his musings on his art, collaborations and inspirations!

You can also read my interview with Danny online. Click ---> here.

As with fellow star bloggers Tommy Ton of Jak & Jil and Jane of Sea of Shoes, Danny's success is evidence of what passion, talent, and blogging can do for you! And how enchanting visual images can draw visitors into one's world, minute after minute.

Enjoy and be inspired!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Yay or Nay? Jeggings


Say what? JEGGINGS!

Say that again? JEGGINGS!

When @tammydavid tweeted about The Frisky's 10 Fashion Marriages That Should Have Never Happened, I just had to agree with everything in there! Well, almost. I busted out laughing when I saw Jeggings at #4! Uh-oh! Guilty!

Jeggings may be one of the biggest jokes in the world of fashion (next to the sneaker pump and thong jeans - eep!), but I've come to a point where comfort is just as appealing to me as the iPad is to the gadget guy/girl, the Celine Classic Box Bag is to the bag lover, the Hasselblad is to the fashion photographer, a cosmetics contract is to a model, Fenton/Fallon is to Jenna Lyons...you get my drift. Defensive much? Hahaha!

So yeah, just to let it out, I do wear jeggings, I've got this pair that looks like gray skinny jeans with zippers down the side, so I can open it up a bit at the opening ala Kate Bosworth.


I find that this style slims and elongates my legs. Plus, it doesn't hurt that they are super comfortable! And cheap (these are from H&M)! I should have bought seven of this really, one for each day and make it my uniform! Joke! I think one is enough.

What befuddles me though is, are jeggings jeans that look like leggings? Or leggings that look like jeans? Mine are the latter. But whatever. Not that it matters. I just have to say, poor jeggings! So battered and downtrodden, you don't get enough credit, here's a shoutout of love for you!

Friday, April 16, 2010

Got ID? Get 15% Off Anthology Shoes at Analog Soul!

Anthology Shoes takes 15% off in Analog Soul Trinoma starting TOMORROW.
 
Present any student's ID (yours, your daughter's kindergarten ID, your sister's law school ID, any school ID!) and get 15% off. 
 
JUST LIKE THAT!
 
From April 17-23, 2010 only at Analog Soul Trinoma.

Trilogy x Gravis BBQ and Skate

Happening Tomorrow! April 17, Saturday at 3 PM!

TRILOGY BOUTIQUE & CANTEEN
110 ALVION CENTER RADA STREET LEGASPI VILLAGE
Monday-Friday: 11am-8pm
Saturday-Sunday: 11 am - 7pm
BLOG: http://www.thetrilogyboutique.com
EMAIL: TRILOGYBOUTIQUE@GMAIL.COM
+632-238-1071

The Convertibles from Unarosa

What's better than a new dress? A new dress that you can wear so many different ways!

Check out Unarosa's Convertible Dress:

There's also the Convertible Romper:

With just one item, you can instantly transform your look from one-shoulder, to sleeved, halter or tube by just twisting and tying the straps around your body.  Day to night dressing has never been this easy!

See more of what you can do with The Convertibles at Unarosa Shangri-La Plaza Mall 5th level, SM Megamall Bldg. A 2nd level, SM North Edsa - The Block 4th level, SM Fairview Annex II 2nd level, Shoppesville Greenhills 2nd level and Marquee Mall Angeles City Pampanga Ground level.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Shop & Save Tip #1: Don't Pay Retail!


Wearing my sale finds: a $10 tunic from H&M (marked down from $29.99) and a $15 leather belt from Zara (down from $50) 

Ok, I know, I know this took like, forever. I just have so many shopping tips to share, I knew I'd have to devote a lot of time to writing that post. So, I just decided to break it down into chewable bits, and go at it when inspiration strikes!

Before I expound on Tip #1, let me start off with these basic shopping rules that I live by:

- Buy ONLY what you LOVE. How do you know it's true love? "When you love it, set it free. When you come back for it, and it's still there, it's meant to be!" That means, don't be impulsive. You can hang on to the piece you want, try it on in the fitting room (sometimes, after trying it on, you realize it's not all that it's cracked up to be, so goody for you!), walk around the store with it as you shop, then decide if you can walk away. Don't run to the cash register by reflex (unless it's the last piece in your size, it's a great deal or it's love at first sight and you absolutely have to have it). I try to sleep over my purchases, especially major purchases.  If I can't stop thinking about it over so many days, then I seriously consider buying it. More often than not, I also try to wait for the piece to go on sale. If it's no longer there, then I just take it as a sign that it's not for me. One thing I learned, with my years of experience, if it's a forgettable piece, then it's something you can live without anyway. Besides, when the season ends and the stuff that you do want finally go on sale, the acquisition is just so much sweeter!

Oh, and to add, as with relationships, don't ever settle. You'll find that you will still be pining for your true love if you go for second best. If you really want a Birkin, then quit buying Bottegas and Chanels. If you add up 4 to 5 of these bags, you've got your Birkin, honey!

- Quality Over Quantity. Always. Really. You don't need 20,000 pieces in your closet. Just a few, really nice, well-made, well-fitting pieces and you're all set. Take note, I did not say expensive. It's all in the fit and the quality of the fabric. When you invest in quality, I learned, you can live with a few articles of clothing. When it comes down to it, how many of your clothes do you really wear all the time? Of your stuff, how many are classic enough to last you years without making you look like a fashion victim in 2 years? Haven't you learned by now that disposable fashion is well, disposable? Stuff from H&M and Forever21 are fun and cheap, and go for it if you are spending less than $35 or Php1600 an item (my personal max, I can't bear spending over $35 for one piece at H&M). But don't go overboard. While quality  pieces may cost more than 2, 5 or 10x what you would normally spend, an investment piece will reward you with style dividends in the long run. Remember too, there are quality pieces out there that won't cost you an arm and a leg. I find that when I stick to pieces made of 100% cotton vs. polyester or synthetic fabrics, then they are easier to care for and last me a long time, even if they're from H&M or Old Navy.

- Edit, edit, edit. Not only your closet but in your head as well. When you shop, try to think if you are buying something that will go well with what you already own, or if it is a crucial piece that will enhance your wardrobe - i.e. key piece or clutter? Don't get caught too up with the trends. In the end, if that dress that looked so cute on Alexa doesn't really do much for you, then it's just a waste of money. Stick to your own personal style and invest in that.  You also don't want to look at your photos years from now and gasp, telling yourself, "What was I thinking wearing that?!"  

When you keep all these "rules" in mind, you'll see that you'll end up spending your money wisely because you only buy what is necessary or succumb to pieces that will enhance your style.

All these being said, let's now go on to TIP #1: Don't Pay Retail!

I love it when I buy something on sale! It's just a different high. I hardly ever pay full price for my clothes. When it comes to shoes, it's still 50/50. Most of the shoes I want hardly ever go on sale. The mind is willing, but the sole is weak.

How to Follow TIP #1:

- Wait for store and online sales (Major sale seasons in the US and UK are in January and July), but stores like Anthropologie and H&M have sale sections in store practically year round
- If you're in NYC, frequent sample sales
- If you have chums who work in showrooms, that's where the deals are! Wholesale prices, woohoo!
- Shop in sale/flash sites like The Outnet, Gilt Groupe, Ideeli, Rue La La and Beyond the Rack
 - Troll eBay! Just make sure you deal with reputable sellers. I've bought a brand new Manoush seersucker dress for less than $10 and a brand new military jacket with gold buttons for less than $45 (it was over $100 at Anthropologie  two seasons ago) among many other great finds!
- When shopping online, make coupon codes work for you! Don't ignore Free Shipping coupons, that'll save you at least $7 on average
- Stores typically give you 10% off for snags, holes, missing buttons and tears on full priced items. Don't hesitate to point that out when you pay. If it's easily repairable and can be DIY'd, then there's no harm in getting a flawed piece. $3.50 off a $35 dress is still money that can be funneled into your shoe or bag fund!

Wearing a $31.50 drape dress with pockets from H&M (marked down 10%  from $35 because of an open seam on one side, but repaired and now covered with a belt from Topshop), earrings from Tom Binns, Simple 85 Loub pumps  

Oh hey, just because an item is priced below retail doesn't mean it's worth buying. Ask yourself, "Would I buy this at full price?" If the answer is no, then you have no business spending your money on it. Remember, buy what you love. Don't buy something just because it's cheap. Because quality trumps quantity in the long run. And you don't want to edit your closet only to toss out something that you bought just because it was a bargain. Capisce?

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Congratulations Amity!

As the 8th person to answer the contest questions, you win a set of foot care products from TITANIA!

Please email your shipping details to me at manilafashionobserver@gmail.com:
Name
Address
Phone Number

Now your footsies are ready for the summer!

Thanks everyone for joining! And thanks to TITANIA for sponsoring! Watch out for more blog giveaways to come!

Of Trends and Daguerreotypes

If unretouched photographs sound extreme, nothing can top daguerreotypes which highlight every imperfection and flaw.

Of course, the first celebrity that I know of who didn't mind being captured in all her un-airbrushed glory was Kate Moss (well, Kate starts all the trends!). Moss was the subject of Chuck Close's daguerreotype studies. She famously agreed to it, saying, "I've had enough pretty pictures made of me".
The prints of this series of daguerreotypes taken by Close were sold at Christie's for a whopping $166,000 in 2007. That's a lot for a bunch of unflattering photos!

Sorry guys, men aren't spared from this trend! Remember, Brad Pitt graced the cover of the February 2009 issue of W Magazine, wrinkles, big pores and all...

Unretouched Is The New Black

Supernatural! Supermodels without make-up as seen on Harper's Bazaar's online:


Granted that black&white photos are more forgiving, this is a pretty bold move still!

Meanwhile, NY Mag reports, "According to the Mirror, Britney Spears didn't want her Candie's ads to be retouched, which is quite the trendy thing to do these days. She apparently agreed to have the unretouched images released alongside the retouched images, which will presumably serve as the new campaign."

Now this is a daring move by Britney! And in full color too!

Hey, if this new "raw" trend gains steam, will you be BRAVE or AFRAID?
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