Friday, October 31, 2008

happy halloween!

we'd rather go drinking... care to join us?

Thursday, October 30, 2008

what's new at the malls

we went malling, er, sourcing a couple of times this week. seems our visits to the mall are so few and far between that many changes happen and new things are introduced in the course of such a short period of time. (or maybe it's a long period of time, mali lang ang perception namin.) for example, in glorietta 4, the makeroom store in between starbucks and gap has closed. according to that guy inside, marks & spencer is expanding and taking over the space. wow, marks & sparks is doing THAT well here? while in the rest of the world they've been either downsizing or closing. well, our mommy likes it because they carry her size (big). we proceeded to rustan's makati to check out the stuff at the new gallerie section. we'd like to call the attention of the rustan's execs about those glass partitions. maybe they're not yet finished, but people have been known to crash into glass walls and doors if they're not clearly marked. we don't think it's enough to have a strip of masking tape across it and a disco ball on the floor. add deep etchings as markers or put substantial furniture against them. don't wait for a lawsuit to happen! as we were walking through greenbelt 3, we stopped to read and reply to a text. as we looked up, we saw this unique pair of lace-up shoes in the store window next to us: half skimmer, half boot! now don't ask us how much or which store this is. basta it's right across kate spade. here are some interesting innovations in mall of asia. unlike ayala malls, SM malls never run out of parking. you just have to look, you're sure to find one. now they made it easier for you to spot a free slot: green lights! in mall of asia, each parking slot has a red (to indicate not free) or green (to indicate free) light, so from afar, you can race with other cars for the slot closest to the mall entrance, hehe... inside the mall, they try to make it pleasant and convenient for shoppers. they have a breastfeeding station for new mothers who want some privacy... and package drop-off points (which we've featured before) so you don't have to schlep those shopping bags all over this huuuge mall. and who knew they were a pet-friendly mall! look: pooper scoopers! actually plastic bags to pick up your pet's poop. hmmm we wonder if anyone has actually used them...

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

FWQ: alex bitong

fashion watch quartet is back with the last installment starting with alex bitong today. alex bitong is one of those designers who's been around forever, but if you ask us what he's known for, we're, er, stumped. he does a lot of gowns, as well as bridal dresses for clients whose weddings don't often get featured in maurice or tessa. which is not a bad thing. it just means that maybe the innos and the rajos can't accommodate you because they're fully booked. or mahal. alex is one of those under-the-radar old reliables who can deliver. so it's nice to see him participating in a high-profile show such as this. this was a happy collection that reminded us of chickens (feathers) and eggs (shape) in basic black and bright confident colors. his use of material was quite extravagant in creating volume, but still restrained in maintaining a ladylike silhouette. shades of the original balenciaga from days of yore and more recently giambattista valli. we kinda like it...


Monday, October 27, 2008

today's business report

Rustan’s adds Hermes, Jimmy Choo to its portfolio

By Zinnia B. Dela Peña
Monday, October 27, 2008

The Tantoco family’s Store Specialists Inc. (SSI), which owns the largest and choicest upscale fashion lifestyle portfolio in the country, is upping the luxury ante with plans to bring French high fashion house Hermes and top couture shoe maker Jimmy Choo to the Philippines.

Anthony T. Huang Jr., executive vice-president of SSI and grandson of Rustan’s founder the late Gliceria Rustia-Tantoco, said the group continues to beef up its brand portfolio in response to consumers’ growing appetite for high-end brands.

“We have been acquiring new brands over the past few years. We are continuing to do so in the next three years,” said Huang as he pointed out that sales have been growing inspite of a slowing economy triggered by the subprime credit crisis in the US and the fallout of markets in other parts of the world.

For next year, SSI is preparing to launch Hermes, one of the grandest houses in the lexicon of luxury goods specializing in leather, read-to-war, lifestyle accessories, and perfumery. Established in 1837 in Paris, France, Hermes is renowned in the fashion world and its products are considered to be prestigious by virtue of workmanship, reputation, and price.

Also to be introduced in 2009 is Jimmy Choo, who has successfully created one of the world’s largest, most respected shoe empires. Of all the top-notch designers to choose from, Jimmy Choo is at the very top of every woman’s list with its impeccable quality and unlimited styles. Jimmy Choo shoes are noted for their very high heels and pointed toes.

Aside from Hermes and Jimmy Choo, SSI is also looking at marketing Massimo Dutti in the Philippines.

Based in Barcelona, Spain, Massimo Dutti is a clothing retail chain with around 397 stores in more than 29 countries.

Huang said the group is also looking at expanding the store network of Gap and Banana Republic with the opening of two net outlets each next year. Currently, there are four Gap branches and three Banana Republic branches in the country.

As for Rustan’s Department stores, the group will continue to modernize its organization to give investors a grand shopping experience. “At this point, we would like to improve operations of existing branches that we have,” Huang said.

“We’re very happy with our September-October sales. They continue to show positive results, we’re still trading higher than last year, and we are pleasantly surprised about that. In terms of our department stores, we’re tracking 12-to 13- percent growth in sales,” Huang said.

“So far it’s been quite good driven by the fact that customers are not traveling.  They’re staying home and buying in the Philippines,” Huang said.

Huang is hopeful that the company can sustain its growth for the rest of the year as they adopt a wait-and-see stance for next year.

“Next year is still a wait and see mode, but at the end of the day, we are hopeful that things will improve sooner rather than later. But as of today, things are looking okay for the year,” Huang said.

Founded in 1951, Rustans’ Department Stores are one of the Philippines’ major outlets for famous and high-value brand names, providing the capital’s top-end shoppers with premiere goods ranging from cosmetics to home furnishings.

Cartier, Tiffany’s, Ermenegildo Zegna,  Christian Dior, Gucci , Ferragamo Salvatorre, and Prada are just some of the top international labels available to Rustan’s affluent customers.

Aside from its international portfolio, SSI has also developed a number of highly successful specialty retail concept stores: Beauty Bar and Makeroom.

Beauty Bar is the first and only specialty personal care concept store of its kind in the country, carrying an enviable selection of personal care and beauty products not found anywhere else. It enables consumers the opportunity to sample fresh brands and niche products from all over the world.

Makeroom is a designer home improvement and container store, abound with innovative, creative, and witty ideas and products for home and office management.

(news item from the philippine star; photo from

Sunday, October 26, 2008

bench show at MOA

tonight, we went to see the bench show at mall of asia. bench is one of the retailers showing as part of philippine fashion week (which, we confess, we have yet to watch at SMX *insert sheepish grin*). one of the great things about bench is that you can always rely on them for good ol' basics. and for the current and upcoming holiday season, they've cranked up the volume a little just to make those basics interesting and head-turning enough. the mall's atrium was packed to past capacity and it was like being in a bench underwear show all over again because the crowd would scream and clap when their favorite celebrity endorser would walk out. we have to confess that we didn't recognize a lot of them because they're so new and so young! (and we're so old and so old!) it's a good thing we were seated next to lucy torres-gomez who would name each one for us. (or maybe it's not such a good thing to sit next to lucy. dear god, the woman is a goddess, we looked like plapla next to her :-o). anyhoo, here are some pieces to watch out for (not all pieces are available yet in the stores):

colored shorts and stripes for boys and girls:
colored jeans for him (wow, if we were a guy and had a body like that, we'd walk around topless too):

and colored high-waisted jeans for her (wow, and if we had legs like ria, we'd walk around in minis all the time)
we were with priscilla meirelles in guam and she is the sweetest, nicest gal. smart too. and another goddess:
plaid for him (we like the way two patterns were mixed here) and for her:
this will make a nice beach coverup, which can go straight from the pool to a party:
a cool look for the boys: walking shorts and a casual blazer/jacket:
and a cool back isigna:
champion swimmer enchong dee showing off those six-pack pandesal abs (yummy ba?):
bench has a collection of "green" tees with "green" messages:
this hooded tunic will be nice to wear on a long-haul flight with leggings and a soft coat:
this flame-print tee reminds us of todd oldham circa 90s when he still used to design clothes:
this top will look great on a marni-inspired outfit:
it's nice to see bench throw in some trendy items, like this long printed dress (worn by kim chiu)—it's a hot look!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

we love rafé

rafé totengco is in town! we knew we missed a lot when we ended up not going out thursday night, but little did we know we missed rafé too! he was at the project runway finals night at SMX because he is the guest judge. lest everyone forget, rafé started out as a fashion designer when he was still living in manila. back in the 80s, he had an avant-garde line called schizo. he used to hang out at a club called subway in malate. he had long straight beautiful hair—pang commercial, we swear! the long hair is gone, but he still has that same malambing ilonggo demeanor. even back then, rafé had something special. he was someone you wanted to get close to because he had a light that you wanted to reflect off of you, know what we mean? up to now, we want to get close to him, haha! anyhoo, after project runway, he attended the folded & hung 10th anniversary at a.venue, which we heard was a really great show. congrats, ronald! and this afternoon, there was a little tea party at the rafé store at greenbelt 5 to present the fall collection. and of course rafé was there to meet and greet his fans and followers and sign their bags! yes, we saw him actually sign several bags with a black marker! dang, we should have brought our rafé! or maybe we should we have just bought a new one... this was our favorite, the waldorf in shiny croc-stamped leather. it comes in black, green (our color of choice), and maroon. it's the perfect size for work and as a handcarry bag for travel. and at P36,999 is the most expensive in the collection: maybe we should go for this one instead because it's the cheapest in the bunch. the stuyvesant quilted nylon for P17,999: or maybe, we'll just wait or the sale!

Friday, October 24, 2008

ferragamo 80th anniversary

ok, so we're a little late in posting this. as jojie lloren would often say: work work work!!! and speaking of work work work, we missed the project runway finals last night, waaah! we had our invite and failed to mark the date in our calendar. (kasi naman ang daming shows sa philippine fashion week, we couldn't write them all down!) so miss ruby of schu so kindly gave us a blow-by-blow report via text ("philipp's work has shades of cary... galing ni aries, so ingenious... veejay's designs have matured..."). funny, 'no? well, we can still catch it on TV and see who won (it wasn't announced last night). but we did get to go to salvatore ferragamo's 80th anniversary wednesday night. the three-part event at the peninsula manila started with cocktails at the lobby at 6:30, fashion show inside the ballroom at 7:30, then after-party at the conservatory at 8:30. drinking champagne na naman all night long. sarap! sarap that night but suffer the next day. man, you know you're getting old when you need two days to recuperate from a night of quaffing. out of a total 32 pieces from the fall/winter 2008 men's and women's collections, these were among the most applauded:

don't forget to check out the shoes. ferosh!

wow, we want these legs:
here's the back view:

from the back she looked topless:
these are actually pants: