Thursday, December 31, 2009

top 10 trends of 2009

perhaps it was the recession or perhaps it was the onslaught of countless natural (and manmade) disasters, but it seemed like fashion trends from 2008 were just recycled for 2009. terms like recessionista and frugalista became the favorite buzzwords of the media, as fashionistas became budget-conscious and figured out ways to make the most of what was already in their closets. fashion became the last thing anybody wanted to spend on, whether it was the everyday consumer, the über-luxury brand, or the big-budget advertiser (cost-cutting, anyone?? our least favorite word!!). what all this means is that what you wore last year still worked well for this year, and, in fact, was probably still the height of fashion. which also means that this year's list is practically a recycled version of last year's. (to prove it, check the 2008 list!) following are the trends that made an impact on women’s wardrobes in 2009.

1. gladiator sandals when it came to the “it” accessory for 2009, shoes still won over bags. “ang walang kamatayang” gladiator sandals were still top of the list for many women—and stores continued selling them in every color, material, and height (from ankle- to knee-high) imaginable! (photo: bianca hosting the launch of glorietta 5)

2. platform shoes last year’s platform was also still very popular with brands trying to outdo each other with higher heels and more funky designs. and short women everywhere applauded. (photo: kate in her platform sandals by jojie lloren for janylin at the sanrio luxe opening)

3. ankle-high booties there was a time when boots were worn only during the winter, for rain, or when we traveled. but now we wear our boots all year-round—and for every occasion, it seems. the ankle-high bootie (both open- and closed-toe styles) was the footwear of choice for many women when wearing a fancy dress or short skirt. (photo: daryl at the designs filipino, greenbelt 5 event)

4. plunging neckline a couple of years ago, only the most daring girls would dare wear a neckline that went all the way down to their navel. but these days, the plunging neckline has become the height of fashion, especially for cocktail dresses and evening gowns. hollywood starlets don this look all the time, whether while walking down the red carpet or being caught by paparazzi in the street—so why can’t regular women with perky breasts (real or faux, with the latter actually being another big—pun unintended—trend…) (photo: divine at the 8th philippine tatler ball at makati shangri-la)

5. harem pants this trend was bubbling under late last year, and by summer this year had exploded—once SM has it on the sales floor, then you know it’s reached its peak. it appealed to a lot of women because it hid a multitude of sins—puson, saddlebags, fat knees—and all supposedly in the name of fashion and no one would be the wiser. (photo: pauline at the sanrio luxe, greenbelt 5 opening)

6. “my pilipinas” shirt copycats if you thought collezione C2’s philippine-map shirt couldn’t get more popular than last year, well, we’ve got news for you: it still hasn’t reached its peak. wait till 2010—election year. many politicians have chosen it as their uniform, ordering their party’s signature color from collezione by the thousands. and other local brands have cashed in on this hot, hot trend—and why shouldn’t they, collezione doesn’t own the philippine map. (photo: philippine-map shirt at kultura filipino)

7. bib necklace when bea valdes created her first collection of handcrafted necklaces several years ago, we had never seen anything like them. after making an impact on the international market, her creations then started a trend of huge, heavily embellished neckpieces that looked like they were part of the outfit—no other accessory was required. the bib necklace enhanced streamlined formal dresses and elevated casual daytime outfits. (photo: liz with tita virgie at the launch of john lloyd cruz as new swatch endorser at the establishment)

8. statement hair accessory we’re not talking about fabric headbands or cutesy clips, we’re talking about hair accessories that almost resemble little hats. well, if tessa valdes can get away with wearing feathers on her hair, then why can’t we regular folk? (photo: shauna at the 8th philippine tatler ball)

9. second-hand designer bag in the beginning, it was the fashionista’s dirty little secret: buying a second-hand designer bag. but in these days of cost-cutting, there’s no longer any shame in purchasing someone else’s “gently used” designer bag, which are now openly being sold in malls, on social-networking sites, and in catalogs. just make sure your source is reliable and you’re not duped into purchasing a fake. (photo: second-hand hermès birkin for sale at accessory lab, power plant mall)

10. color of the year: yellow whatever your political affiliations were, when former president cory aquino passed away last august, the country suddenly became a sea of yellow. when people queued up for hours to pay their respects, they wore yellow. when people lined the streets on the day of her burial, they wore yellow. for weeks after that, people who wanted to remember her wore yellow. until, that is, noynoy proclaimed that he was running for president—then wearing yellow became a political statement. (photo: salome, daphne, and carmina—yummy in yellow and NOT making a political statement at the dahpne oseña paez for linens direct launch at SM makati)

trends to watch in 2010: shoulder details like embellished epaulets or peaked shoulders; hippie-style headbands; heels with socks; printed leggings, over-the-knee boots

[PS: an edited version of this post was published in the philippine star last december 9, 2009]

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

room with a view, part 2

rasa sentosa resort by shangri-la in singapore. they have a really stunning facade

villa del mar in pagudpud, ilocos norte

some small resort in mykonos, greece whose name we can't recall. but this is the view if you stick your head out the tiny window

club himalaya in nagarkot, nepal. at sunrise, you get a clear view of the himalayan mountain range

san francisco hotel monumento in santiago de compostela, spain

sonya's garden. all views here are garden views. beautiful!

amorita resort in panglao island, bohol. with a hint of the ocean just seen. we had one of the best massages here

temple of zeus ruins in athens, greece. as seen from some cheap hotel that didn't even have air-conditioning (it had an electric fan, though!)

dwarika's hotel in kathmandu, nepal. one of the few hotels in the world that is considered a UNESCO world heritage site. hey, there's pepper!

an awesome view in boracay: nami resort

an awful view in boracay: the tides (but in fairness it's a really nice hotel. and why will you stay in your room anyway when white beach is a one-minute walk away)

an acceptable view in hong kong: renaissance harbour view hotel

an unacceptable view in hong kong: marco polo hotel (but OK if you're there just to shop and the hotel is just a place to dump your purchases)

sunrise view: yai ya resort in hua hin, thailand

sunset view: diamond hotel in manila

our hotel in paris if you just look out the window:

but this is what you see if you stick your head out (REALLY far out):

and finally one of the most, er, uninspiring views: hotel del rio in iloilo city. we would've preferred the river view!

Monday, December 28, 2009

room with a view

our post yesterday got us thinking if this is the worst hotel view we've ever had. so we backtracked and looked at our past travel photos. sometimes the hotel room (or even the entire hotel) can be the most bare-bones there is, but the view is awesome; on the other hand, the room can be huge and luxurious, but the view is yucky; and sometimes it's just the luck of the draw and they give you the room with the fabulous ocean or mountain view, or the one that faces the next building. here are some memorable views we've been given (and some not in a good way hehe):

four seasons in chiang mai, thailand. there was a little rice paddy, pond, and albino carabao right outside

hong kong disneyland hotel. this hotel was so clean and mabango. like living in a disney fantasy

fairways & bluewater resort golf & country club in newcoast, boracay

fiesta resort in guam

shangri-la's mactan resort & spa in cebu. one of our favorite hotels. plus it's got chi spa :-)

palm beach resort in san juan, batangas. a private resort that's close to our heart

intercontinental madrid in spain. this portion of the hotel was enclosed with the pool down below. there must be something ugly behind those high walls

the manor at camp john hay, baguio city. always ask for the garden view—reminds us of the baguio of our childhood

radisson plaza xing guo hotel in shanghai, china. this is located within the french quarter. beautifully landscaped

quincy in singapore, our new favorite hotel! included in the price is free everything—breakfast, lunch, dinner, and drinks; pick-up at the airport; wi-fi everywhere; mini-bar, which is replenished daily; two pieces of dry cleaning a day; and it's only a three-minute walk to orchard road!

hotel nikko kuala lumpur in malaysia

moana surfrider in waikiki beach, hawaii. we felt so bad we weren't given the spacious suite with the gorgeous ocean view :-(

edsa shangri-la. we stayed at the spa suite, which has direct access to chi spa

waterfront hotel & casino in cebu city. this is the one that looks like a castle from afar

siam city hotel in bangkok, thailand with a view of baiyoke tower, the country's tallest building

hotel yak & yeti (yes, that's the name, we kid you not!) in kathmandu, nepal

chaweng regent beach resort in koh samui, thailand. not so nice when your pool view is from the ground floor

hong kong disneyland hotel

hotel vida in clark, pampanga

intercontinental madrid in spain. what's better: a balcony with no view or just a window with a nice view?

silk suite hotel, a cheap but clean and decent hotel in bangkok, thailand. at least you know you can get a cab any time

pines view hotel in baguio city. the supposed view is half nice (background), half not-so-nice (foreground—so ignore that part)

NJV athens plaza in athens, greece. there was a demonstration going on!

hotel le jardins de paris in saint-germain-de-prés district in paris, france

more tomorrow: beautiful nature views and some not-so-nice views!