Saturday, December 31, 2005

top 10 fashion trends of 2005

on this last day of 2005, we look back at the year just past and all the fashion hits and misses. trends ran the whole gamut, from floaty tiered skirts to tight pencil skirts. and it's clear which one won out in the end (hello, puson!). here's another chance to look back at those trends and cringe when you realize, "i can't believe i wore that!"
1. boho chic: the most important trend of the year because it was worn by women from all walks of life, by all body types, all over the world. hollywood celebs—especially sienna miller, the patron saint of boho chic—were snapped wearing floor-sweeping skirts, diaphanous tunics and handcrafted accessories.
2. tiered peasant skirts: this deserves a special mention, the most ubiquitous piece from the boho-chic trend. it may have seemed unwieldy to walk around with so much fabric swishing around the legs, but this forgiving cut was just so damn comfortable!
3. chunky necklaces: this trend spawned a million and one accessory "designers." because they were so easy to make, everyone and her sister got into the business of making and selling marni-inspired handcrafted neckpieces made of wood beads, crochet balls and floral brooches.
4. mini skirts: girls just weren't afraid of showing off their pins, especially in denim minis. some got it right when they paired minis with cute baby tees or tanks and flats or flip-flops, but some just got unwanted attention when they wore it with fuck-me stilettos and tube tops.
5. shorts: a welcome trend because it came in assorted lengths. young girls wore hotpants—in fabrics ranging from denim to velvet, khaki to brocade—for gimmick nights, accessorized with dressy tops and heels. for those of us who had to worry about cellulite, varicose veins and, well, fat, bermudas were best.
6. empire-cut strappy tops: this piece just sort of snuck up on us. we don't remember when it was introduced or who brought it to everyone's attention, but suddenly everyone was wearing it—with jeans, under jackets, as beach coverups... we think women love it because it hides that pesky puson.
7. boleros: maybe someone just wanted to save on fabric and chopped the already-cropped jacket even further. this cute coverup didn't really keep one warm; it was really more of an accessory, like a necklace or a bag to match one's outfit. it came in cotton for daywear, and beaded for evening.
8. boots: just because we don't experience fall/winter weather, doesn't mean we shouldn't get to wear fall/winter trends! the boot was the important shoe of the season, and there were so many gorgeous styles out there! girls wore them with jeans tucked in, with minis and shorts, even with cocktail dresses.
9. havaianas: we never thought 800-peso tsinelas would click in a tropical country where rubber slippers were available anywhere and were used as pambahay. and with the opening of the all-havaianas store called all flip-flops in glorietta 3, havanatics can get their fix anytime.
10. zara: another brand that made a big impact on the local shopping scene. mango paved the way for spanish brands in the philippines, but zara was the one everyone was waiting for. its opening last october made other retailers nervous, but why should it? it has become the standard for others to follow.

Friday, December 30, 2005

more sales

today we decided to blow our bonus and go sale shopping in glorietta. and we thought we were *saving* because everything we bought was 50% off, but guess what, we spent seven thousand pesos (and that's NOT including lunch and dinner—yes, we were in the mall THAT long!). ugh. we can't decide if we're looking forward to or dreading the end-of-season sales of rustan's, gucci, prada, et al. following is a list of stores we saw that had a sale sign up on its window (caveat emptor: not all sales are created equal):
- cinderella (and its brands: esprit, british india, naf naf, rampage, etc)
- mango
- schu
- rockport
- pretty fit
- dockers
- marithé & françois girbaud
- the body shop
- U2
- nautica
- kickers
- terranova (*always* on sale)
- lulu castagnette
- urban & co.
- furla
- max studio
- atelier M
- mix
- adidas
- tell us what else we missed!

Thursday, December 29, 2005

spectacular! spectacular!

if you're planning to watch the 1st world pyro olympics tomorrow night, good luck! getting there will be a test of your patience, tolerance, and plain and simple abilidad. tonight we watched the fireworks exhibition of the US and south africa from the VIP area, and we got there just in the nick of time too. the show started promptly at 8pm (with a 30-minute intermission in between each 30-minute display). of course, we had the help of, ahem, a real VIP who had a car pass and a very ma-abilidad driver. our advice: get to the area as early as 4pm, park your car, and walk the rest of the way to as close a good vantage point as possible. because the TRAFFIC is horrendous (before, during and after). word is the US gave the best show so far, with the UK and australia trailing behind. but we hear that the philippines—which is not competing because it is the host country but will have an exhibition and will close the show before the awarding tomorrow—will give one kick-ass fireworks display worthy of the millennium. some photos, which hardly do justice to this jaw-dropping spectacle:

above, the US, whose fabulous show had that gasp-inducing wow factor, IOW, bongga! (well, if you're powered by GE, whaddaya expect??)

above, south africa, whose show, though decent, was a bit anti-climactic. we met the boys behind it and we mean boys—their ages ranged from 19 to 23! (and we have to mention that south africa has a beautiful national anthem, though a tad too long. someone even quipped, "parang i'm listening to the lion king!")

UPDATE: australia won.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

sale! sale! sale!

mango sale begins today! visit your nearest branch: glorietta 3, power plant mall, shangri-la plaza, gateway mall, robinsons place manila

UPDATE: if you thought, as we did, that traffic would let up just because christmas is over, boy, were you wrong! we had to drop by glorietta just to pick up a few things and getting there was bad, but that was nothing compared to getting out! we parked at park square 2 and just to get out of there took 30 minutes! we didn't even stop to shop at the mango sale! (we just walked by and it didn't have the frenzy we usually see every year. well, maybe because it's the first day.) then there's the 1st world pyro olympics happening at the esplanade by the mall of asia site in pasay city's reclaimed area. it started yesterday and if this is a sign of things to come, expect a domino effect of the traffic snarl leading to that fireworks display till dec 30, when it ends. oh yeah, then there's the new year's eve festivities. it never ends!!!

Monday, December 26, 2005

leno and conan just don't cut it

thank you, jack, for bringing back dave! "late show with david letterman", 9pm weekdays on jack TV. it's the only thing worth watching on this channel!

Sunday, December 25, 2005

merry christmas!

what else can we say? here's wishing you and your family the best of the season + happiness and success in the coming year!

Friday, December 23, 2005

wrapper's delight

we spent the day wrapping gifts, so we have nothing to post. instead, we have visions of santas, candy canes, christmas trees, reindeer and poinsettias dancing before our eyes. we just learned it takes about 50,000 trees to make just over 8,000 tons of christmas wrapping paper (the average used in the UK alone every year). so either save (and iron) those wrappers from gifts received this year and recycle them for christmas 2006. or save those useless memos and use the back to make your own. copy the prints from these cool samples of christmas wrapping paper we found on line.

bright moroccan (

bandanna baubles (

groovy giving (

christmas wine (

Thursday, December 22, 2005

new news newsy: icon + icon = $$$

dead artists collaborate with sportswear brands: andy warhol + levi's = warhol factory X levi's. come spring, you can purchase a pricey pair of jeans emblazoned with classic warhol images like mao tse tung, marilyn monroe and dollar signs. jean-michel basquiat + reebok = reeboppers. the limited-edition shoe will release three exclusive designs (the first one last october, the second this month) based on the graffiti artist's symbolic scribbles... on the beauty side, disney has hooked up with MAC (cosmetics not the computer) to produce "tint toons," cute little pots of tinted lip conditioner spf 15, whose lid is topped with flirty albeit chubby girly characters from disney cartoons. choose from miss bunny, tillie tiger, daisy duck, cleo and clarice. (wethinks this is a gimmick to get tweens to graduate straight from barbie cosmetics to MAC instead of maybelline.)... and what could be more fruitful than a hollywood celebrity becoming the face of a designer label? although louis vuitton dropped uma thurman in favor of gisele bundchen for its spring/summer 2006 campaign, we believe that's temporary. you'll soon see julia roberts for gianfranco ferré, drew barrymore for missoni, selma blair for chanel vision (eyewear), halle berry for versace, scarlett johansson for l'oréal hair care, sharon stone for christian dior skin care, and kim basinger for miu miu (???)... and in the fastest comeback in history, the beautiful and the damned supermodel kate moss is getting more work than ever. she is the spring/summer 2006 image model for longchamp (a sneak peek, left, carrying the "soho"), she recently shot for stella mccartney (after H&M canceled kate's fall/winter campaign for stella mccartney for H&M), and just this week, her new TV advert for virgin mobile debuted in the UK. view it here.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

isn't she lovely?

at last night's möet & chandon party hosted by celine lopez and pepper teehankee at the new citrus bar (also known as the bar formerly known as V formerly known as venezia), we bumped into the philippines' own version of a supermodel—cristina garcia (above, with designer rajo laurel). this australian-filipino mestiza beauty first made a splash in the modeling industry over 10 years ago when she appeared on the cover of mega magazine. though not very tall (she's probably only 5'5"), cristina makes up for her lack in height with her stunning face, the way she moves her body (any good model should know her best sides and how to trick the camera), her professionalism, her positive attitude, and her niceness! she left the country years ago to pursue an interior-design career in new york, flying in once in a while to model for advertising campaigns, and every time we see her, it's all hugs and smiles and what-have-you-been-up-tos. welcome back, cristina, hope to see you on some covers soon!

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

fur is hot!

or rather keeps you hot. if you want to resemble the eighth wonder of the world, just toss a fur cape over your shoulders and voila! parang may snow na rin sa labas! it's fun to funtasize, 'di ba? (especially for those theme parties where fur is practically required. what else is there to wear when the attire requested is "russian" or "come dressed for your favorite season" and it happens to be winter?) faux or no, it's a controversial accessory that's sure to get people staring and pointing at you, talking and gasping about you. not just because we live in a PETA world, but also because we live in a tropical country! some of our fab furry friends...
tessa xeng
even the boys get in on the act (bryanboy, that is)

Monday, December 19, 2005

another monday shopping report

it was our first time back at the ayala center since we arrived last week. the traffic wasn't as bad as we expected, the mall wasn't as crowded as we expected, the queues at the cash registers weren't as long as we expected (of course, everyone else was saying that's because it's only monday and it was only 3pm), and unfortunately, the choices for gifts weren't as great as we expected. i.e., we bought nothing. nothing! we couldn't even find the right-sized boxes for our christmas-gift cakes (not fruit, thank you very much). but here's a tip for you (not really a tip but a warning). we think it's a crime how some retailers take advantage of consumers and jack up the prices just because it's christmas and they know people HAVE to shop. from something as cheap as empty boxes (at SM, price raised from P19.95 to P24.95) to something as luxurious as prada leather loafers (at prada, rustan's makati, from P23,500 to P24,500). now if this is the result of that VAT scam, we wish retailers didn't take consumers for idiots by taking off the original sticker! hello! the new sticker was so thin you didn't even have to scrape it off to see the old [lower] price!

Friday, December 16, 2005

jet lag blues

oh it's so lonely when it's two in the morning and you're wide awake and there's no one to keep you company but bootleg copies of the new season of "lost." and when you're done with that, you have no choice but to watch TV. so there we were, watching nbc's "today" show (yes, it's on at two in the morning) with guest diane von furstenberg promoting her new jewelry collection for h. stern and annotating what the models were wearing. well, when the first model came on, we just had to sit up and take notice (but first we had to put our glasses on to be sure). was that lucia santiago in a black wrap jersey dress showing off rings, bracelets, necklaces and earrings on the today show?? back in the late 90s, lucia was one of the most in-demand runway and editorial models until a car accident, which required numerous operations on her face, arms and legs, caused her to abandon her career. but she made a comeback... then disappeared. we heard she was doing the asian-region circuit, getting a lot of work in singapore, hong kong, malaysia, etc. and didn't she appear on the cover of the asian edition of newsweek (or was it time) a couple of years ago? well, if that was her on TV, we're glad to know she never gave up on her modeling career and took it all the way to new york!

a pathetic shot of the TV. now tell us, is that lucia?? (in the black dress)

Thursday, December 15, 2005

we're back. ugh

you know you're back in manila the second you step out of the airport, and dangerously maneuver (more like careening out of control) your baggage cart down that badly designed ramp, and then it hits you: that sticky, muggy, clothes-sticking-to-your-skin, sweat-sprouting-from-your-hair-follicles, and did we mention sticky, humidity. and people were telling us it was cool in manila. (by cool, we meant the weather was low-temperature nice, not cool as in, well, but yeah, you knew that.) suddenly, the new knee-high boots we bought and wore on the plane didn't seem like such a good idea (but it was three below zero when we left!). so yesterday, driving down roxas boulevard, we noticed all these korean flags and billboards, and wondered, what the hell happened while we were away?? (we found out that the south korean president was arriving the same day.) other things we found out: "king kong" opened, "pinoy big brother" finally has a winner (so can we now all live normal lives please??), the christmas-rush traffic is in full swing, the incendiary incident at inno sotto's show (nag-paramdam daw si richard tann), garci has actually surfaced, and becky garcia got married. tomorrow we invite our readers to backtrack to our posts starting november 23 and read our updates on where the fash pack exactly was. no prizes, though, for any correct guesses. sowi.

Monday, December 12, 2005

last night in...

it's the fash pack's last night wherever we are. by 6am tomorrow, we shall be on a 24-hour flight back to the land of the brown, l'exotique and the natives (even bryanboy should be on his way back soon). although we love our tropical weather, we must admit it was nice experiencing fall-to-winter weather for a change. feeling european talaga! every morning, we would log on to to check on not just what the temperature would be for the day, but what the windchill factor was—deadly! we would make it through the day by donning a light wool coat, sweater, leather or tweed skirt, tights, and those all-important (not just for the weather- but for the fashion-factor as well, hey!) knee-high boots. a pashmina (uso or not, a bright one kept us warm, bah!) around our neck and a pair of blood-circulation-constricting gloves were a big help too when walking the streets. (and although they were in abundance, we couldn't bring ourselves to wear fur. faux or no, it felt like throwing a bunny around our neck, the poor thing. [the bunny, not our neck.] maybe if we stayed till the dead of winter, we might've changed our minds!) by wednesday, we shall be updating our posts for the past three weeks and reveal where those pix were taken, so watch out for that. see you then. gotta finish packing our shit. ¡hasta luego!

Friday, December 09, 2005

forget paris

UPDATE: well, certainly not to diss paris, but we only said to forget it because what's in paris is also in madrid (see above). the last few years have seen the opening of every major luxury label in madrid (and yes, even carrefour, the world's no. 2 retailer, next to wal-mart), most of them located at barrio salamanca, a posh neighborhood, which also includes the likes of dolce & gabbana, jimmy choo, bottega veneta, bulgari, gucci, prada, versace, and soon, manolo blahnik (what? the spanish shoe designer is not available in spain?? apparently not. all part of a marketing ploy, my dear...)

Thursday, December 08, 2005

the fash pack goes back in time

as in waaaay back. as in way back BC.

UPDATE: no, we didn't come from egypt, but the temple above sure did. the templo de debod (temple of debod) is located at the parque de la montaña in madrid, spain. built in the 4th century BC for the gods amon and isis, it was relocated to spain with the help of UNESCO in 1968. it was a gift from the egyptian government and became open to the public in 1972. if it remained in egypt it would've ended up under water when the aswan high dam was built in the 60s.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

stuff to buy during our side trip

traditional wooden dolls

ivory bangles

souvenirs made out of recycled cans and drink containers

prints galore! bags, tops, bottoms, hats, pillowcases

UPDATE: still in dakar, senegal. senegal is big on recycling used products into toys, accessories, home decor and assorted souvenirs. they turn bottle caps into tote bags, milk cartons into shelves, and juice packs into mats.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

the fash pack takes a side trip

look at that mahogany skin, that elegant profile, that swan-like neck, that tall, slim figure, those long legs, and that bright, printed outfit!

future supermodels just waiting to be discovered (we see naomi, alek, liya, tyra, iman, beverly, even halle in-the-making!)

do your research and this should be a dead giveaway

UPDATE: if you did your research, you would know that the side trip was to dakar, senegal, africa. we weren't part of the above festivities, uzi lang kami. those gorgeous senegalese women above were part of a welcoming committee for senegal president abdoulaye wade (see the AW initials on the senegalese flag attached to the prez's benz?) during the biennial conference of all member states of the world tourism organization.