Monday, October 31, 2005

happy halloween

back in the 80s and early 90s, everyone wore black. in the 80s, it was all about goth and new wave; in the 90s, it was minimalism (how boring!). but the black of today is different—it's prettier, has interesting details and texture, and is more open to styling via fun accessories. what better day to wear all black then than on our new holiday halloween (no work today!). here are the fash pack's tips on how to wear black in the mid-00s:
1. wearing all-black allows you to make your shoes the star of your outfit. nothing could be more attention-grabbbing than an animal print like vanessa's stiletto pumps.

2. mix textures, like xeng's smooth jersey tube, cotton twill mini and sparkly vest thingy.

3. counter the severity of black with a fun, funky accessory like tina's marni-inspired necklace.

4. show some skin! but control just how much. if you go short, cover up on top. if you reveal your shoulders, keep your length at the knee like daphne.

Friday, October 28, 2005

lacoste, lacroc, lacroca$#!&

when we first heard the name of this event, we thought it was the re-opening of restaurant 12. oh, we were so sad that we were so wrong. but our spirits were lifted when we found out it was all about lacoste's classic polo knit with the crocodile logo, and 12.12 was actually the code given to the original shirt. the idea was to send out a white shirt to 23 "personalities" and have them customize the shirt to their heart's (or mind's or soul's or imagination's or creativity's or deep pocket's) desire, then auction the shirts off for the benefit of the philippine philharmonic orchestra instruments fund. anything for music we'll support (especially for musicians with real *live* talent, as in they can perform *live*). after being on exhibit at the greenbelt 3 lobby for the last two weeks, the "creations" were transported to the makati shangri-la lobby lounge for the silent auction last night. considering the a-list names on the list, we were expecting a lot and we were kinda... disappointed. as one taray fashion wag put it, "ang pangit!" well, we can be a bit more articulate (read: kind) than that... after all, most of the people involved are our friends. well, since this concept was originally produced in paris in 2001, and thereafter had similar launches in london, new york, tokyo and seoul, maybe our local celebs had run out of ideas. (at least they didn't do what matt damon did: played basketball and sweated in his, then auctioned it off unwashed—ew!) from a fashion standpoint, we really liked the way hindy weber-tantoco maintained the original shirt, but gave it a contemporary spin with with nips and tucks. we can easily wear this with peg-leg jeans and pointy flats for weekends; a black ballgown skirt, heels and a standout clutch for formal events; or a pencil-cut skirt, bolero and knee-high boots for those nights out with the gals. from an investment point of view, we would love to have on our wall anything by national artist arturo luz. here he is sitting next to his very-arturo-luz creation: mr. luz's work was one of two most bidded-on pieces (starting at 100,000 pesos, while the others started at 10,000 pesos), the other one being a chair by lor calma. people's only complaint about it was, how do we wash the shirt when it gets dirty? it can't be undressed! now if the fash pack was asked to design a lacoste shirt, we would stud the whole shirt with the crocodile logo and under each one we would stitch the name of every buwaya we know in the philippines!

Thursday, October 27, 2005

amina vs michele

last night, two bag ladies launched new collections. amina aranaz launched her holiday collection called crown jewels, a three-part collection inspired by cleopatra, marie antoinette and princess urduja. the aranaz family has been in the bag business for many years, producing bags for international designers like kate spade, cynthia rowley and rafe totengco. amina took further studies in italy and struck out with her own line a couple of years ago. to coincide with the opening of her new shop at power plant, amina held the launch at the mall's south court. (her other branches are city golf plaza, julia vargas st., pasig, and rustan's makati and shangri-la plaza.) it was a small, intimate event, mostly with friends, family and fashion press. the bags were all highly decorative, embellished with beads, crystals, sequins, pailettes and all those lovely sparkly things. some of our favorites:agimat
bai kuwintasjeweled stripes
michele sison, on the other hand, was one of manila's most promising designers back in the 90s. she even went to london to study accessories, then launched a bag line. but after her husband was murdered (they were separated at the time, but they had a son together), she disappeared from the scene. and after a three-year hiatus, michele made her comeback last night by presenting a new bag collection at the launch of the metrobank femme visa card. (you can order through mobile number 0917-328-6363.) some standouts:
melissa liza michael
so get going, gals, and put your orders in asap! we can't wait till the holiday season rolls around, we want them now! because if you are anything like us, you must also be a victim of HAGS (hysterical accessory gathering syndrome).
update: the article about HAGS is no longer posted. but you can search their archive by typing in "simon says," press go, then click on the article dated october 31 titled "ladies! open up your purses".

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

wednesday is the new thursday

anyone whose "job" it is to attend events and launches knows that thursday is the worst day to have it. why? because any event and launch worth their pr is held on thursday! not monday, not tuesday, not friday—thursday! but this week, everyone thought they were being clever when they scheduled their events for wednesday night. there are three major ones tonight. let's see if we survive all the way to the last one. our report tomorrow (hangover notwithstanding).

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

the fash pack forgets

we were expecting a more fancy-schmancy event but the philippine daily inquirer 20th anniversary fashion show was just that: a fashion show. more than anything, we think it was held to promote the paper's beefed-up friday fashion and beauty section, which looks pretty good. invite said 7pm, and when we got there at 7:30, we were greeted by... monobloc chairs. the bar on the far end of the entrance wasn't even ready with the... bread? (bread talk was one of the sponsors.) and speaking of sponsors, i don't think motorola will be happy because i didn't see a single phone. (neither will their country manager because he was seated all the way in the back.) so we sat. and waited. and waited. for an hour and half. all we can say is thank god the collections were worth it! director ariel lozada outdid himself here--he got rid of all the visual and aural borloloy that distract from the clothes. the plain black runway complemented the collections, the bright lights and absence of lighting gymnastics allowed the audience to appreciate the clothes, and thank god the music was at the right decibel level! (or were we just far from the speakers??) and we liked the idea of doing away with backdrops announcing the designer; he made the designer announce him/herself by making the first outfit incorporate his/her name—very cool, very original. so why are we talking instead of showing? because, folks, we must confess, due to the fash pack's negligence (or tendency to rely on other people to do things for us), we came with an un-charged digital camera (insert sheepish face here). so after the third outfit of first designer james reyes, those three dreaded words appeared: "change battery pack." so this is all we have to show:

so you'll have to take our word for it that everyone—in order of appearance, james reyes, joey samson, yvonne quisumbing-romulo, ivarluski aseron and ignacio loyola—presented very inspired collections. the standouts for us were yvonne (pretty clothes with a dark edge; she's a thinking designer with original ideas) and ivarluski (who's seamless combination of structure and drapery commanded a standing ovation; he should've closed the show). ignacio's diverse (to put it kindly) collection was an un-climactic end.

Monday, October 24, 2005

it's gonna be a busy week

that's because next week will practically be a week-long holiday. there's no work on oct 31-nov 1 (halloween is a holiday?), back to work nov 1-2 (isn't nov 2 the real araw ng patay?), and no work again on nov 4 (we don't know why, but why argue?). so most people are going on holiday starting oct 29. but the fash pack is staying put, so we can report any fashionable goings-on in the city during those dead days.
oct 24, mon, 4pm: "Magandang Filipinas" book launch at the balagtas room, the peninsula manila
oct 25, tue, 7pm: "Fashion Declaration," philippine daily inquirer's 20th anniversary fashion show, presented by motorola at nbc tent
oct 26, wed, 5:30pm: "Crown Jewels" launch, a three-part holiday collection, featuring amina aranaz's cleopatra, marie antoinette and princess urduja bags + photo exhibit by her brother miguel at the south court, power plant mall
oct 26, wed, 6pm: "Metrobank Femme Visa" launch + comeback bag collection of michele sison at conservatory, the peninsula manila
oct 26, wed, 6:30pm: "Make Time" party of gift gate, swatch, bmw, american express and philippine plaza event at the harbor garden tent, philippine plaza
oct 27, thu, 6pm: "Lacoste 12.12 Project" launch featuring deconstructed lacoste shirts by 22 personalities from fashion, showbiz, art, business, etc. at the makati shangri-la lobby lounge

Saturday, October 22, 2005

haute dog

we thought it was a joke but this little doggie sweater is from a pet line by marc jacobs called bark jacobs. it's available in four sizes (xs-s-m-l), in three colors (poppy, brume, crusoe), and costs US$150 (for xs and s) and US$175 (for m and l).

and here's the perfect place for your little pooch to sleep in while you go shopping or have coffee and a cigaret in an outdoor café. it's by kate spade, made of heavy cotton twill, available in black/white and chocolate/red, and costs US$345. and it matches the sweater perfectly!

Friday, October 21, 2005

pump up the volume

last night, the fashion & design council of the philippines presented the finalists for the philippine fashion design competition, apparel and accessories divisions. this year's international theme was "art, fashion and industry," translated locally into "baro't saya and letras y figuras." for apparel, out of 23 finalists, we think they made the right choice in ernesto angeles, jr. called "tapistry," a play on the word tapis, the mini dress was made of strips of piña (which is traditionally used for barong tagalogs) and topped with a cropped jacket with full-volume sleeves. the dress reminds us of the post-it dress, which tom ford designed for gucci's fall/winter 2001 collection, while the jacket takes off from viktor & rolf's oversized silhouettes. we picked this as the winner too because it's modern, wearable, international, and managed to incorporate filipino elements without being costumey. out of 14 finalists, we also picked the accessories winner yvonne quisumbing-romulo, an artist/designer who's been getting a lot of attention lately. her "cocoons" was a witty take on a hood that extended into a couple of bulbous-shaped bags, which resembled water-filled balloons, one on each end. she says the headpiece/bag was inspired by terratology, which if you google, will tell you is the science of monsters. well, it did kinda look like the bulbs were the model's ears, which had been stretched out due to wearing 20-pound chandelier earrings everyday.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

saturday shopping report

so we went to rustan's FSP sale last saturday. sigh, what a disappointment. gone are the glory days of the exclusive FSP sale or the rustan's clearance sales of yore, when the store would be in a crowded frenzy, with bodyguards and yayas competing for floor space, and customers crashing the front glass door because they couldn't be let in anymore. it was like a rock concert! busloads of people from the provinces would arrive, like it was part of some tour. we remember buying christian louboutin shoes for P995, and vivienne westwood skirts for under a thousand, and christian lacroix (the first line, not the bazar bridge line) skirts in luxurious fabrics sold at 90% off, they were practically free! and we'll never forget that buy-one-take-one sale that we discovered at the alabang branch several years back. we bought a fendi baguette for 6000 and got a nina ricci bag for free, which means they each cost 3000! rustan's should just open an outlet store somewhere in laguna or cavite to get rid of old stock instead of waiting for them to burn (ilang beses na nasunog ang warehouse nila ha). we also passed by zara, which was a complete contrast! first day open to the public and already women were going nuts! we spotted the tantoco mothers, daughters, wives, in-laws occupying the entire dressing room (anton was reportedly very strict and didn't even allow his own relatives to see, much less buy, the collections before the store opened. talo pa sila ng mga zobel who got to shop before the 6pm opening last friday). there were three queues at the register, each about 20-people deep, and it took about 45 minutes to pay because the security tag removers broke—they couldn't handle the amount!—and only one was left. these women must know something we don't—we heard that, unlike mango, zara will not go on sale at the end of the season, but will instead keep prices down (lower than singapore, same as hong kong); but, like mango, will replenish stock every two weeks. no sale? sigh, another disappointment...

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

new news newsy

drew barrymore to be the new face of missoni? she reportedly shot the spring/summer 2006 campaign in ibiza last week. remember when she was the guess girl back in the early 90s? we liked her grungy appeal then with the torn jeans and chipped vamp varnish, but we love her even more as a ditzy dippy hippy. we can so picture her in the italian label's signature zigzag knits... could it be true that sienna miller and rachel weisz will replace kate moss as the stars of its ads? sienna for the clothing line and rachel for fragrance? hmmm so many brit beauties, so little brands. we're waiting for someone to give keira knightley a job (did you see her on the cover of the new york times' T beauty special? gor-gee-yoss)... mary-kate olsen to be the next kate moss? (not as a daily mirror cover girl ha!) in a calvin klein campaign, that is. the designer was said to be eyeing half of the twillionaires to model for a high-end collection. if this is true, then he made the right decision—we think m-k is the cooler twin... meanwhile, ex-calvin klein face hilary swank may be the latest hollywood celeb to front a fragrance, this time for guerlain. maybe they'll call it boxing champs-elysées (that was a joke, laugh naman)... and speaking of jokes because this isn't one, we read that marilyn manson will be launching his own fragrance. no, not monroe, she's dead—manson! all we can say is be afraid, be very afraid... something else to be afraid of: a musical about madame. titled "Here Lies Love," it is being written by the talking heads' david byrne and fatboy slim, will revolve around imelda marcos' love for partying, and will premiere in march 2006 in australia. the link talks about how she installed a disco in her nyc townhouse. we believe it because she converted a pelota court in her san juan home into a ballroom; we know because we've seen it (we would post a photo but we don't have a scanner; sorry, hindi kasi digital eh)... this one falls under bizarre fashion news. burberry is suing a ferret-clothing company in london for using their signature plaid. the items in question involve a cute cap and a darling cape. so fall/winter 2005!

fashionista ferret: "chav, innit?"

Sunday, October 16, 2005

the mark of zara

so how many articles are going to use this very same headline after last friday night? the invite for zara's formal launch said 6pm and when we got to power plant by 7pm, the mall was already buzzing with activity. the entire south fountain area was blocked off with ceiling-high black walls emblazoned with white zara logos, and the entrance was manned by four receptionists who had to make sure your name was on the guest list before they would let you in (many were turned away and told to come back the next day). the fountain was covered up with a makeshift runway and the whole place was packed with guests shopping like the store was closing tomorrow! women's section on the left, children's in the middle, and men's on the right. oh, and bar on the right too, so that's where we headed first before the bubbly ran out! store specialists inc.'s evp anton huang was smiling like the fat cat that swallowed the cash cow and why shouldn't he be? we heard that by 7:30pm, sales had already reached half a million—kaching! kaching! kaching! and if you think this store is huge (at 1500 square meters, it took over the space formerly occupied by fully booked and its surrounding shops), according to parent company inditex, a second—and bigger at 2000 square meters—branch will open at glorietta within the first quarter of 2006. so the fash pack wonders: why another branch in makati city? (power plant won't be happy about this...) and where in glorietta? (maybe they'll build a glorietta 5 just for zara??)

Saturday, October 15, 2005

new fashion haunts

the fash pack's worst fear is walking into a party and bumping into another guest wearing the exact same paisley-print boho-style dress purchased at last month's mango sale at 50% off. no, strike that, what's worse is if she looks better in it than us! so we're always on the lookout for quaint little shops that don't produce a million pieces per design, and yey, two just opened this week! last wednesday was the launch of Fibre, which carries the ready-to-wear lines of the YDG (young designers guild). it's owned by margie duavit who got the idea of putting the designers' RTW collections together, instead of shlepping around town, visiting several ateliers, from QC to malate, looking for outfits. designers include ivarluski aseron, louie claparols, reian mata, lz punzalan, mitzi quilendrino, james reyes, joey samson, mel vergel de dios and yvonne quisumbing, plus accessories by ciara marasigan (who we think is one of the better wire artists). fibre is located at the nullah building (which has lots of other cute shops!) on jupiter street, makati city.
crossings department store has become the anchor in shangri-la plaza that shoppers forgot, but they brought the life back into their fashion department with yesterday's launch of a new section called The Ramp. this shop-in-shop carries capsule collections from young designers like trisha ding (dressing room), richie ortega (united pop), the gozum sisters (wild flower), and puey quiñones (vado, opening next month), plus cute shoes by hot wind and quirky accessories by modi. so in the end, it's ok that they gave up their third floor (to british high-street brand debenham's, which opens next month). oh, there's so much shopping to do! (don't forget, zara opens tonight, plus there's that adidas warehouse sale that starts today!)

Friday, October 14, 2005

short vs long

the great thing about living in the land of the brown, l'exotique and the natives (as bryanboy likes to call our *lovely* country) is that it's perennially summer. so we're loving the shorts trend and are happy to report that it'll continue till spring/summer 2006. to go butt-hugging short or knee-length long? well, that depends on the condition of your legs, doesn't it? take your cue from these stylish gals.

Butt-Hugging Short

lulu and phoemela



Knee-Length Long




Thursday, October 13, 2005

we used to sit in the front row

congratulations to FDCP (fashion & design council of the philippines) on its 10th anniversary, which was celebrated last tuesday night with a gala fashion show featuring three-piece collections from 26 members. held at the edsa shangri-la's ballroom, the long white runway was surrounded with 16 projectors and two video walls, so no matter where you sat, you still got to view the show from the screens (we were in the third row, which is why we have crappy pictures, sad...). it was also fashion show director robby carmona's 10th year in the business. we remember robby from his high school days in colegio san agustin, where he was already a little fashionista, starting out as a teen model for adidas. the guy has been through hell to get to where he is today—one of the industry's best.

host romina urra-gonzalez in jc buendia

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

you think the boy would've learned by now

back in the mid-80s, the fash pack was in the bay area, california with two tickets to a culture club concert. we held on to those tickets for weeks, counting the days before boy george arrived. and wouldn't you know it, the concert was cancelled because the day boy george arrived, he was caught in the airport with heroin! he was deported and considered persona non grata in the US for like 20 years. now he has blown (pun not intended) it once again. you'd think he'd learn from kate moss. when boy george was in manila last may for his flop DJ-ing event (not his fault; the promoter just didn't do his job), the fash pack joined him and the rest of his entourage for dinner at sala in malate. can you believe he was booked at the century park and not some swanky hotel like shangri-la?? what's even more mind-boggling is that he actually went shopping at harrison plaza! when he said, "oh, i went to the mall next to the hotel," we thought, greenbelt? glorietta? shangri-la plaza?? his colleague even complained of spotting a cockroach in his room. well, of course, no trip to manila is complete without an encounter with a cockroach, just ask claire danes. so anyway, there we were, about a dozen starstruck ex-wavers, hanging on to george's (that's what he said we should call him, not mr. george) every word, and every 20 minutes, he would get up and go to the bathroom. by the fifth time, inis na kami ha, not because he kept leaving, pero kasi hindi nag-share! haha!

boy george in sala, malate, manila, philippines, 09. may 2005

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

battle of the spanish brands

all events this week be damned, and there are a lot, one for each day of the week, because we are saving ourselves for friday when all roads lead to ZARA! (oct 14 formal, by-invitation-only launch; oct 15 open to the public.) when mango opened its first store in the philippines (all the way in robinsons place, malate, where the term jologs was probably invented; but take note, even the ayalas would trek all the way to enemyland just to shop at mango, oye, oye) in 1998, who knew that this spanish label that no one had ever heard of would be such a hit (hello, we skip work just to queue up with the rest of womankind when it goes on sale—50% off!). since then, every important retailer in the country wanted to cash in on its success by getting the exclusive distributorship of that other famous spanish brand, zara. yes, it took THAT long before zara finally said yes to the tantocos, specifically to store specialists inc, exclusive distributor of luxury labels prada, gucci, salvatore ferragamo, burberry, bottega veneta, yves saint laurent, tod's, bally, ad nauseum (yes, they own practically every brand that matters here). we heard from the grapevine that zara was very specific about location (sosi), size (huge) and collections to carry (women, men and children; home to follow?), which is probably why it took so long because they weren't satisfied with what they were offered. and speaking of fruits, we also heard that there will soon be a change in mango ownership in the philippines. well, let's just say we've seen the mango man hanging out lately with... guess who?!

the fash pack loves this coat from zara's s/s 05 collection

Monday, October 10, 2005

and speaking of W...

W magazine has really upped the ante when it comes to controversial editorials. just imagine team aniston's shock at last july's domestic bliss cover starring none other than her hubby and team jolie. (not to mention 60 pages of them playing house and then some inside.) and if you were disappointed that pitt showed no butt, then you may just enjoy the november issue when tom ford displays his. what a comeback! we missed you, tom! here's a little sneak peek, woo-hoo! (see more of photographer steven klein's portfolio at

Sunday, October 09, 2005

inquiring fashionistas want to know

the ad came out today for the philippine daily inquirer's 20th anniversary special magazine called Fashion Inquirer (duh, a no-brainer, but it'll be a great title if they decide to make it regular!). this "one-time" (we'll see about that...) issue will be launched on october 25, 7pm at the nbc tent, along with new collections from five of the philippines' most promising young designers: ivarluski aseron, ignacio loyola, james reyes, yvonne quisumbing and joey samson. it's going to be directed by ariel lozada and we're hoping that the decibel level of his accompanying soundtrack will be a bit more tolerable (trust us, we've seen people actually walk out of his shows because they care for their ears. bring your bananas, folks! you know, those little yellow thingies they hand out on long-haul flights.) we heard that the mag will be about the size of W and will feature fashion editorials with the above-mentioned designers. hopefully, it'll come free with the newspaper, if you aren't invited to the show (nyeh).

Saturday, October 08, 2005

don't send in the clowns

last thursday night, rustan's makati launched the fall/winter makeup collections of their luxury beauty brands via an event titled "Cirque." (why they called it "cirque"—which means "circus" in french—we don't know, considering the morose mood of the fall/winter fashion collections.) in the midst of the forced big dome effect (at least they served glasses of red and white wine, many of which crashed to the floor that night), they presented a mini fashion show with clothes (and we use that term loosely) designed by eight young designers (all women, for a change!), each representing a makeup brand. our verdict: circus nga.

choc religioso for bobbi brown
cecile zamora for chanel
tippi ocampo for
patty eustaquio for nars
kate torralba for laura mercier
yvonne quisumbing for lancôme
mitzi quilendrino for estée lauder
joan cantemprate for sisley