Tuesday, January 29, 2008

opening soon: balenciaga

we thought it was just a rumor, but here's the proof: an actual balenciaga store being built in a corner of greenbelt 5. the view from the outside: the view from the inside: it's located by the escalators that lead to the outside facing ayala museum. we heard that the store—owned by jappy gonzales who also owns homme et femme, which carries balenciaga and other luxury brands—will open by late february/early march and will carry accessories with bags' prices starting at P70,000. we wonder, will we see any of those constructed floral suits too?

Saturday, January 26, 2008

can somebody come up with a funny caption for this pic?

(photo of giant chanel jacket at the spring 2008 couture show courtesy of nytimes.com)

Friday, January 25, 2008

midtown discovery

the fash pack has been a little remiss about blogging lately. the year is not starting quite right for us. nothing major, just a little funk on the brain. you know how it is in the beginning of the year, you get a little reflective about your life and have to ask yourself: what are we doing with our life? is this what we want? are we happy? are we at peace? is there something else we want to do? how can we make ourselves a better person? how can we improve ourselves? how can we save the earth? huy, tama na! life is too short to ponder these philosophical questions. just go out there and live! starting by seeing new places, even if it's just this new mall: can you guess where we are? no, we didn't leave the country. we didn't even leave the city! this is in ermita, manila! it's the new annex of robinsons place manila called midtown (it's where the midtown hotel used to be). who knew the gokongweis could come up with such a classy-looking mall? we appreciate its high ceilings, making it airy and bright, not dark and cramped and trying to sell off every available space. we hope they keep it this way and not fill up the aisles with kiosks. and thank god, no loud piped-in music, we hate that, noise pollution!! we get enough of it each time we enter a store, music so loud you practically have to yell at the staff just to ask for your size. but that's another post. a lot of shops have not opened yet and we're hoping they get some not found in everymall, although it's got a lot of the usual suspects. in fact, store specialists inc probably owns half the mall (just like in everymall). they even reserved spaces for stores that don't exist yet! well, looky, here's something that's not found in everymall: but they have to do something about this fountain and control the spouts. no one can walk next to it because everyone gets wet! wild water!

Monday, January 21, 2008

it was just a matter of time...

spotted at cinderella:
spotted at teens zone (the space formerly occupied by cinderella's top floor, now occupied by the displaced glorietta 2 stores):
is this funny or what?? (you decide):

Sunday, January 20, 2008

a public service announcement

since it's not even in the ayala malls website (we sent them feedback through the website and it bounced back รถ)...
Ayala Center to reroute traffic from Jan 21 to April
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 02:14:00 01/15/2008

MANILA, Philippines – The Ayala Center has announced the temporary rerouting of traffic in front of the Hotel Intercontinental in Makati City due to the construction of a new access ramp for its Glorietta 5 project.

Starting Jan. 21, half of Hotel Drive in front of the Intercon will be fenced off to make way for the new ramp construction. The road will be closed until the end of April.

Ayala Center vehicular traffic will be rerouted with entry from Ayala Avenue diverted to Highway Drive behind Hotel Intercon. Vehicles coming from Edsa that usually turn left to Ayala Center will now be made to make a U-turn towards Highway Drive.
The two lanes exiting from Hotel Drive to Ayala Avenue will be reduced to one lane.

Ayala Center management has made the necessary arrangements for the installation of traffic signs as well as the deployment of additional traffic aides for the rerouting scheme.

Ayala Center patrons are likewise advised to enter the area through Arnaiz Avenue (formerly Pasay Road) and Makati Avenue access points.

For more information, please call the Ayala Center Hotline at tel. no. 706-0618 everyday between 8 a.m. and 11 p.m.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

travelife: jan/feb 2008

sarah meier in the pagoda forest near beijing, china. photographed by willy saw. styling by liza ilarde. hair and makeup by mickey see for shu uemura. fuchsia wool coat by red herring for debenhams.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

we're in love

this was yesterday:
this is today:
for details, go to apple.com.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

sale! sale! sale!

"designer soiree welcomes the new year with a bang! stock up on spring '08 essentials, up to 70% off. jan 19, 1-6pm and jan 20, 11am-5pm. 3/f hall B, one roxas triangle."
"what better way to start the year than with our biggest sale ever! new and old stock on sale wed, jan 16 and thu, jan 17 at 835 harvard st., wack wack. shoes and bags on clearance at P1,000 only! see ya! camille and giselle."
from ben sherman:

Monday, January 14, 2008

the first whatever of the year

no, we have not abandoned the fash pack. and no, we haven't switched to facebook. although we've been lurking under our secret identity. and we're seriously considering signing up. parang fun. at parang napaka-out namin not to be part of this tight community. hindi kami maka-relate in polite cocktail conversation. lesson number one: sign up with facebook and compare notes! everything you need, especially from your friends and acquaintances, is there! so what have we been up to since the last time we wrote? not shopping, that's for one. we haven't been to any sale, and we haven't bought anything. kahit grocery hindi pa kami naka-punta. we're out of Q-tips and there's only one place where we know it's available: this obscure shop in glorietta whose name we don't even remember but we know exactly where it is (close to goldcrest, know what store we're talking about?). we haven't watched any movies for a very long time, kahit tapos na ang metro manila film festival. the last movie we watched had the word "bourne" in it. but we have been watching downloaded episodes of "project runway." we've seen seven eps so far and so far everyone seems so nice! where are the egotistical biatches?? but it's looking to be a good season with more unusual challenges and great guests—*SPOILER ALERT!*—monique lhuillier, sarah jessica parker, tiki barber and his taroosh asian wife—and eps involving weight loss, prom, and candy. fun! we've also tried a couple new restaurants, from the high-end, high-priced cav in bonifacio high street to the unpretentious, home-cooked angel's kitchen in connecticut street, greenhills (both highly recommended for menus, interiors, ambience, customers, and experiences from opposite ends of the spectrum). tsk tsk tsk there goes resolution number one...

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

R.I.P. shu uemura

shu uemura died last december 29 in tokyo, but why was it announced to the public only now? maybe in japan they knew, but his company only issued a statement yesterday. he died of pneumonia. he was 79. xeng zulueta, shu uemura's chief makeup artist in the philippines was lucky enough to have trained under the master. how lucky she was! and she knew it. with her permission, we are re-printing a very personal and touching tribute xeng wrote in her facebook site.

3:07am Today

I was hired by L'oreal Philippines on August 5, 2002. They needed a creative person to support the brand manager for the launch of a cult brand which was basically unheard of in the Philippines. The type of brand that fashion and beauty insiders knew. The type of brand, even our own Managing Director says would have a tough time being known in the Philippines.
I'm going on my 9th year as a makeup artist. 5 of those years have been devoted to SHU UEMURA. Along with Tina Tinio, I helped launched the brand in October 2002 and I recall our boss asking us a few days before the launch how we think this brand was going to succeed. Tina and I looked at each other and both said to him "WE JUST KNOW". As any boss would say, he retorted "GIRLS, IT'S OK TO DREAM, BUT PLEASE GET YOUR HEADS OUT OF THE CLOUDS".
Tina and I had no prior cosmetic brand management experience. Tina, coming from a PR background - fluent in Japanese and myself - well a struggling makeup artist with 5 years of high end fashion retail experience.

I got a lot of flak when I got hired. Eyebrows were raised, heads rolled, eyes rolled at the idea of me - a novice, a nobody, suddenly given the responsibility of handling Shu Uemura.
In true L'oreal fashion, they threw me into the frying pan. I was off to Japan for the first time in my life and not a soul did I know, and not a word of Japanese to save my life. I had seven days to learn 700 products and two months to launch in the Philippines. At the end of the 7 days, I flunked the exam and was reduced to tears with mascara streaks on my face (obviously not shu uemura) and my exasperated training manager says "GET UP, WE'RE TAKING A WALK!".

August in Japan is like June in Manila, typhoon season. Here I was in my Prada suit, my manolo Blahniks walking in the rain and looking like a drowned rat - did I mention a self-esteem to match? and seriously getting annoyed with my training manager, Bessie-san. She led me through a maze of buildings in the Aoyama district and then we came upon a pocket garden which looked familiar. She told me to take off my shoes and held the door for me.

It was Mr. Shu Uemura's personal Atelier. Like in all the books I read prior to this trip, there he was sitting at his desk with the orange backdrop staring straight at me. I fumbled towards him and fell to my knees. I was sobbing uncontrollably.
In Japanese he says "WHAT'S WRONG WITH THIS WOMAN, WHY IS SHE CRYING?" and in my moment of what I now call the epitome of candidness I wailed "THIS IS LIKE MEETING THE POPE!!!!!!!" He told me to get up and asked me why I was crying. I told him I flunked the test. I flunked it miserably.


I stopped crying and held his hand. He squeezed it and then said "OK GET OUT OF HERE, I'VE GOT WORK TO DO". I bowed to say goodbye and headed for the door. And in true Kaicho-san fashion (we call him that, short for chairman) he says...."OH AND ONE MORE THING, THE SUCCESS OF YOUR BRAND NOW DEPENDS ON YOU".

Door slams.

The inspiration and motivation he imparted that day remains with me six years later. Of course just like any relationship, the passion dies - it wanes and ebbs, it comes and it goes - but all this - is never about me. It is about him. Being in Manila, the constant challenge is to remain inspired - such a feat because look around you - nothing much to be inspired about, so Tina, Tessa and I along with our team have to find it in ourselves to be inspired.

His death on December 29 comes as a shock. We only found out today. I guess he wanted it that way. For us not to be sad on the eve of a new and promising year. In Tina Tinio's words - "HOW FITTING IS IT THAT HE HIMSELF CREATED THIS SPRING SUMMER COLLECTION, HE DID THE MAKE UP HIMSELF AND SHOT THE VISUAL - APPROPRIATELY CALLED rebirth.
He knew his time was up, he never made it to our training in May 2007. He never made it to Paris when we re-launched the flagship store in St. Germain is September 2007. He never made it to Bangkok last December to meet with the whole shu uemura family.

He knew he had to leave us with something more than just a makeup collection - he left with us his legacy - a subliminal message, which only the most genuine shu uemura follower will decode: REBIRTH - he forever lives on.

He lives on in me forever.

My fate was sealed today. How can I ever repay a man who changed my life? A brand that molded me and made me. A brand that I live, breathe, eat and sleep. A brand I made huge sacrifices for. A brand that meant ending many relationships with those I loved. I now know that I will grow old with this brand. Xeng, Tessa, Tina and our shu team - we are the last of the Mohicans. It is our duty to keep that passion alive, because it is not about us or the glory or the recognition - it is about him.

Thank you to all the avid supporters, many of you have gotten into trouble because it seemed like you were playing favorites and always featuring us in your pages. Without you, Shu Uemura would not be the #1 brand in the country today.

Not bad for a couple of girls who only had passion and ambition to start with huh?

Sunday, January 06, 2008

snap! snap! snap!

snap out of it already! stop waiting for the christmas spirit to hit you! because it's over! get over it already! time to welcome the new year with open arms, an open mind, an open heart, an open soul. time for new experiences, new friends, new acquaintances, new hobbies, new destinations, just plain NEW STUFF. hello, 2008. ready or not, here we come...

(photo credit: calendar by dianka)

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

happy new year!

the pathetic fireworks in makati city, as seen from ayala avenue, in between the peninsula manila and makati shangri-la. it went on for only 10 minutes...