Tuesday, June 30, 2009

villa estrella

villa estrella opens july 1! watch this pinoy horror movie produced by star cinema starring shaina magadayao, jake cuenca, geoff eigenmann, maja salvador, and more! directed by rico maria ilarde. watch the trailer here:

for complete details on the movie, click here.

Monday, June 29, 2009

tod's f/w 2009 collection

tod's recently presented its fall/winter 2009 collection last week. we like the way tod's does this every season, showing their latest collection of bags and shoes for women and men to a small group of people at a time. there's usually a principal from the regional office from singapore or hong kong to explain the concept and inspiration, and what materials are used. here are some of the pieces we saw at the greenbelt 4 store:

Sunday, June 28, 2009

shiseido facial massage

there's no better way to cap a stressful week—actually, any week—than with a great facial or massage. well, how about a facial massage? that's right: shiseido's facial RX massage. wow, what a fantastic combination. personally, we gauge how good a facial or massage is by if we fall asleep during the treatment. and yes we did with this one! haaay, it just felt sooo good... (hope we didn't snore...) we had the facial massage at their greenbelt 5 branch. most freestanding shiseido stores have a little room at the back where they give facials—also at glorietta and power plant mall. first the therapist cleanses your face and removes all traces of makeup. she also uses a tiny rotating brush to really get deep into the pores. it kinda tickles hee-hee. she steams your face to open the pores, then she uses a little suction thingy to get the gunk outta there. then comes the best part: massage! good night! here are the products our therapist juvy used: then to cap the treatment, a little tea to relax and psych yourself to face another stressful week. haaay... hello, monday :-(

Saturday, June 27, 2009

sale! sale! sale!

click the pic to enlarge:
text-message and e-mail alerts!
• good day! from june 26-august 31, you will enjoy our mid-year sale discounts at kate spade, greenbelt 3. please come and visit us soon. thank you!
• sale at bacchus epicerie, rockwell! up to 20% off on all le creuset, tognana, piazza, mepra kitchenand dining equipment! from june 25-30, 2009.
• adora's sale event begins june 26. we would like to invite you to be one of the first to view our selection. we hope to see you soon!
• it's marionnaud's midyear sale! save up to 80% on selected brands. promo runs from june 26-july 5, 2009. visit marionnaud at the 2nd level SM mall of asia. for queries, call 556-0422.
• rudy project invites you to the much awaited "inventory blowout" sale on july 6 up to july 10, from 10am to 8pm at the auditorium of tektite, ortigas. get up to 70% discount on all products plus incredibly marked down prices of limited edition sunglasses.

Friday, June 26, 2009

june 25 is a sad sad day

this day will go down in history as the day two of the most recognized and revered pop-culture icons died. last night when we got the news that farrah fawcett passed away, it was not so shocking. she had been battling anal cancer for a long time now and she put up a good fight. charlie's angel has finally gone to heaven. she was 62. but when we woke up this morning and got an email that michael jackson had died, we thought it was just a bad joke! we googled it and sure enough, it had just happened: dead at 50 from cardiac arrest.

for kids who grew up in the 70s, "charlie's angels" was THE must-not-miss TV show. and even if farrah fawcett was on the show for only one season, she made the biggest impact. meanwhile, the jackson 5 was one of the biggest musical acts of that decade. we loved their catchy songs. then michael went solo and went on to become the biggest music artist of all time. personally, we think "off the wall" is one of the best albums ever written, produced, and performed.

good-bye, farrah and michael. it's also like saying good-bye to our childhood. may you both rest in peace.

farrah fawcett, 1947-2009

michael jackson, 1958-2009

Thursday, June 25, 2009

we want to go!

Where Happiness Is On Clearance

by Mike Albo

Published: June 23, 2009

WHEN I walked up to the new Paul Smith store in Williamsburg, one of the salesclerks, a young woman, was busy texting in the doorway. She looked up from her keypad. “Hihowareyou,” she said under her breath, with a dead face. (I am fluent in the language of retail, and this means: “Oh, great. A person.”)

“Oh, don’t worry!” I said, like the overfriendly doormat that I am. “You can keep texting!” She glared at me, turned and walked into the store.

Maybe she was just exhausted. It was quite humid that day, and Paul Smith’s brightly colored, cheerily printed clothing is not something to be around when you have tired eyes.

The large box-shaped shop opened in October and offers styles at 30 percent off regular retail prices. It was in a bit of disarray. Shirts were piled in toppling stacks, and suits, crammed onto hangers, were a little rumpled. It resembled an overstuffed 99-cent store more than a Paul Smith shop.

At a front table were lots of T-shirts, bucket hats and bathing suits striped in shades of blue or red ($92). Below them, behind glass, were wallets ($83), small zip cases ($29), plus datebooks, notebooks and credit card cases in Paul Smith’s signature multicolored variegated stripes.

While I perused, the moody girl ordered food, which calmed me. Maybe she is one of those people who becomes grumpy when they are hungry. She called a restaurant, asked for a chorizo quesadilla, then slammed down the phone.

Another salesclerk — a very cute, tired boy — came up and explained that a large part of the merchandise was being cut to 70 percent off for next weekend. “We have been marking it down all day,” he said, a little exhausted by his cohort, by clothes, by life.

I was glad he took precious energy to tell me, because many of the selections seemed to have gone from crazily high prices to just mildly insane prices. For example, a lightweight V-neck sleeveless top made from an “innovative mix of natural fibers and metal so it will maintain a slightly crushed look” was down from $635 to $247, which still seems hilariously expensive for a sweater vest. A tux shirt was marked down from $475 to $185. A navy blue pinstriped suit, now $738, used to be $1,285 — something even Vincent Chase on “Entourage” would think was a splurge.

All the same, I was excited to be here. Paul Smith has always held a special place in my heart. He breathed life into guys’ attire way before Tom Ford, Marc Jacobs and the men’s fashion renaissance. Mr. Smith got his start in the 1970s, opening a shop in his hometown, Nottingham, England, and then, a few years later, in London. He opened his first New York boutique in 1987, on lower Fifth Avenue, around the time I moved to the city. I would visit the store all the time. I never actually bought anything, but his designs made me excited to be an adult.

Mr. Smith’s clothes have always been crisp, dressy, optimistic and unafraid of color. He not only made it cool to wear shirts with vibrant prints, suits with purple linings, ties with floral patterns but also made it masculine. Guys would still be dressing like Fred MacMurray if it weren’t for him.

NOW Paul Smith is a global brand with 20 collections including Paul Smith Women, PS by Paul Smith, Paul Smith London, Paul Smith Accessories, Paul Smith Jeans, Paul Smith Watches and Paul Smith Pens. This outlet ends up being a repository for all of the leftovers, including some unfortunate-looking overstock — an inevitability when you are this big. The shelf of Paul Smith children’s clothing in back, for example, looked like the multicolored gack floating in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch.

Nearby was a pair of men’s shoes in a white velvet material splattered with inky blue spots, as if a pen exploded on them, and a bathing suit brief with a shiny waist buckle, which could be worn only by someone named Sergio on Mykonos.

When I returned a few days later for the clearance sale, the store was much more orderly. In fact, it was as if Mary Poppins came by and, with a snap of her fingers, had pressed the suits and folded everything into neat stacks.

The tags, scribbled with numbers, were a palimpsest of prices. The striped bathing suits were now $46.50, and the sweater vest was a sensible $103. A shelf of the label’s eye-catching business shirts was organized by neck size: $76 for an orange striped shirt; $88 for a sea-green button-down with a graceful floral pattern.

I liked a smooth lightweight overcoat ($185), a pair of suede shoes ($148) and a cream-color jacket with silky pink lapels that seemed to have come from the closet of Cary Grant ($580).

The fit of a short-sleeve button-down is always a sign of thoughtful tailoring. Too roomy and you look like an encyclopedia salesman. Too tight and you look like you’re trying too hard to be sexy at the GLAAD awards. Here a $123 short-sleeve shirt in pinstripes was just right, with a great fit in the shoulders and body.

I kept greedily trying things on. A jacket in thin white-and-blue stripes had a lining trimmed with a floral print. It was $464 and fit perfectly. A beautiful suit in a brown check pattern had Paul Smith’s signature purple lining and included a vest. It was a glorious $925. If I tried not to eat at restaurants this summer, or maybe not eat at all, I could finally, maybe, afford a Paul Smith suit.

This store was making me very happy. My moody friend even walked up and asked if I needed help. Of course, it was with the same dead face, but I didn’t mind. If that is the price to pay for affordable clothing, sign me up. I am sure she has more she wants to do with her life than fold. And don’t we all feel a little marked down these days?


280 Grand Street (near Roebling Street); Williamsburg, Brooklyn; (718) 218-0020.

THE BRIT This new “sale shop” from the upbeat British designer is crowded with colorful tailored clothing (along with some gaudy leftovers) slashed to semireasonable prices.

THE BURGIANS The staff members are cute, young, moody, enervated. Who can blame them? This is Williamsburg 2009, during the Great Recession.

THE BOLD AND THE BEAUTIFUL For the full Paul Smith experience, check out the lovely store in Manhattan, at 142 Greene Street, where the mannequins are well-dressed and the staff is a little more natty.

article and photo from nytimes.com

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

face off

cultural center of the philippines—the venue of last night's big fashion event titled "face off," presented by the philippine daily inquirer's lifestyle section and featuring the collections of rajo laurel, rhett eala, and randy ortiz, and the music of the philippine philharmonic orchestra. sa lobby lang nga. we got there 7-ish and passed through the side entrance, where they checked your purse and—dig this—checked your temperature! juice ko! we thought they were going to poke that thingy into our ear! luckily it was just our forehead. "ma'am, your temperature is 36 point 8. you may enter." homaigad, what if it was above normal, they won't let you in?? sayang naman ang effort to put on makeup, fix your hair, and wear a gown! after we signed in and proceeded to the lobby, everybody was already seated. so it was quite difficult to find an empty chair. seemed like the usherette was also at a loss as to where to seat us and many other guests who were filing in. luckily, we managed to find one free seat on the second row. it was kinda sikip and we were kinda disappointed that there was no area for the schmoozin' and the boozin'. and maybe we missed it, but we didn't spot the requisite photo wall. we wanted to take photos of the guests and count who came in rajo, rhett, or randy. but as it was, there was no picture-taking and no posing-posing to speak of. sayang naman ang effort to put on makeup, fix your hair, and wear a gown! ok, let's watch the show na lang!

first up, rajo: a very rajo trait is to start with a concept or inspiration. he is very precise and organized. his looks are complete from head to toe, from girl to girl, from how each look flows from one to the next. this time, he was inspired by the ballet. full of pale, muted tones, lots of stretchy jersey material, and costumey accessories to bring home the idea. very strong point of view. and check out the shoes! he designed those for via veneto. he also did versions of the new pant silhouette, called harem, diaper, dhoti, whatever—personally, our eye is beginning to adjust to all this fullness.
rhett's collection was made for the young socialite (or wanna-be). a lot of bold colors, body-conscious silhouettes, short lengths, strapless necklines, and intricate details that make the dress practically a conversation piece. (but if your legs are not that great, the dress will look just as alluring in a knee-length :-) he's always been known for his grown-up feminine (but not syrupy sweet) clothes and he didn't disappoint. a very commercial but not common collection. (and don't miss those gorgeous south sea pearls by jewelmer! yummy!)
randy's collection was the most bongga of all. known for his mix of color, pattern, and texture, he went all out with this one, but in a restrained manner (if that's possible). in fact, we liked this even better than his big gala show last year. all the frou-frou and borloloy were tempered by the black-and-white palette. the clothes were dramatic, but not in a grand-entrance kind of way. more like a work-the-room kind of way, know what we mean? his only color was purple (and the lone yellow), which was also the color of the night! so many women in purple! including us!
and the winner? all of them! congratulations, sisters, for a fabulous show!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

enjoy this card

have you heard about this privilege card called "enjoy"? now we've seen privilege cards come and go; in fact, we have a little leather calling-card holder stuffed with them—10% off here, 20% off there, free drink with your order here, buy one-take one dessert there, etcetcetc. and we never use them. why? because it's just too bulky to bring all those darn cards. pampabigat pa ng bag. but with the enjoy card, it's all there! wow, the people behind this card really worked hard getting all these establishments to give discounts and free stuff. there are over 200 places listed! categories include dining... shopping... health & beauty... travel... and more! and lest you think this is all in manila, they also have lots of places listed for cebu and boracay. we heard that they're still trying to get more participating venues. all you gotta do is buy the membership package for just P1,495. it includes the card plus a thick booklet filled with vouchers that can get you a whole lotta free stuff worth up to P150,000! now how can you not enjoy? for more information on where to buy the card plus a complete list of participating venues and their voucher/card offer, go to www.enjoythebest.com.ph or their hotline at (2) 750-9258.

we just had to include a picture of the cute bartender at the enjoy card launch last thursday at fully booked BHS. parang nahiya kami mag-order ng tubig hee-hee...

Monday, June 22, 2009

rajo's life as a judge

the following article by rajo laurel appeared in yesterday's sunday inquirer magazine. they're little nuggets of wisdom that we think every young designer should read and learn from. rajo has been in the business for over 15 years, but keeps his ear to the ground so he's very much in touch with the times. (btw, rajo, rhett eala, and randy ortiz are going to have a fashion show tomorrow evening titled "face off" at the CCP—that's a big deal, so see you there!)

My Life as a Judge
by Rajo Laurel

EVER since I was asked to be a judge on the reality TV show “Project Runway,” it seems that I’ve been typecast as judge material for all sorts of competitions.

From beauty contests like Miss Fitrum in the noontime show Wowowee, to the Century Tuna Superbods in Boracay and Ms Teen Dumaguete, I’ve branched out to judging this year’s Katha awards for Citem. To my surprise, I’ve even been asked to sit on the nominating panel for the National Artist awards for fashion!

I am deeply humbled and honored each time I’m asked to be a judge.

Just how do I judge beauty contests, people ask. By gut instincts depending on what makes me respond positively, I tell them. I also judge from the given brief, from the rationale behind each competition. If it’s a beauty contest, I look for what appeals to me. I look for balance in body proportion and features that make me sit up and take notice. For the most part I look for personality. Looks can only get you so far, but a fantastic personality and a great attitude can really take you places.

In Project Runway Philippines, where I sit as one of the permanent judges, I keep in mind that we’re looking for the next star in Philippine fashion design. It might be a demanding and challenging show, but the rewards are immeasurable. It’s like a fast track to fame and fortune.

So what do I look for when judging for Project Runway Philippines? Here are some of them:

1. A designer’s strong point of view. The ideas must be fresh and there must be a distinct direction. Sometimes this gets me into trouble because I end up championing the designer with a good idea over one whose clothes are well made, but who makes me yawn. I always look for the great idea in the design. The designer must really stand out above the rest. A lot of fashion folk are really jaded and you have less than three minutes to get their attention. Once you have their attention, the goal now is to sustain that and make it work to your advantage.

2. The taste level of the designer’s target market. Ultimately the designer must speak to the market that he or she is aiming at. This market’s taste level must be in line with the clothes the designer is going to make if he or she wants to translate that taste level into sales later on.

3. The designer’s mastery of the technical aspect of creating clothes. One must know how to make clothes in order to design them. The ability to execute ideas and turn them into reality is crucial because a designer cannot just imagine design ideas.

4. Creativity. What separates the wheat from the chaff is not just the ability to make ideas come alive, but to make them SOAR! This is where a lot of young fashion folk fail because they often forget that ultimately, it’s all about the clothes.

5. Diversity. A designer’s ability to design a wide repertoire is always welcome. One must be able to design sportswear, street wear and evening wear with ease and panache.

6. The fire and passion to succeed. It’s that astute sense of perfection that one is always trying to attain. This is crucial because I need to see designers who are really pushing themselves to reach that level of perfection. In our industry mediocrity is DEATH!

7. Styling. This is the way a designer presents his or her clothes. I feel very strongly about correct styling because this can make or break the fashion presentation.

8. Editing. I belong to the school of “Less is more,” and whenever I am in doubt, I just edit. But editing is something that’s only learned in time. I constantly edit my work and refine my aesthetique. This process is something I try to impart to any young designer who comes my way. The worse thing for me is to see 15 things going on in a dress. You actually just need ONE GOOD IDEA and that’s it!

9. A good attitude. This is really advantageous as the era of fashion bitches is sooooooooooooo dated and passe! What works now is the ability for everyone to get along and work with each other, even in a competition where you are all aiming for the top spot. In my experience, the journey to the destination is really what it’s all about. You learn so much from the people you meet, and with each challenge and hurdle, you really end up not only as a better designer but a better person. I sit there giving scores and points to contestants, but the truth of the matter is, I’m the one learning from them. And for this, I am very grateful.

I always say that fashion by nature is very subjective. What is beautiful to me might be horrendous to the next guy. I have learned to appreciate all kinds of design and I always keep my eyes and mind open to new ideas.

I encourage diversity and I am a firm believer that fashion should remain individualistic. Can you imagine if everyone just looks the same? That would be so dreadful!

I am also a great admirer of the Filipino design talent. I’m glad and proud that in a tiny way, I am highlighting such well of creativity in our country.

(Project Runway Philippines’ next season will air in August on ETC)

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Saturday, June 20, 2009

the gap

it's been a while pala since our last post. it's not like this was an uneventful week. (it's just that we had to finish an article that was due, er, monday, so we decided, no distractions!! no blogging!! facebook lang!!) like last wednesday, we went to megamall. we rarely go to megamall, so when we do, ituhog na ika nga. we went to attend a book launch, use up some GCs that are only valid there (why do stores do that??), and check out the new wing called the atrium. from the outside, you can't quite figure out where they added an annex, but inside, look at the shape of the ceiling/skylight: and lookie, a real live piano and piano player with a captive audience to boot. none of that loud, irritating, scratchy "music" over the PA system. class! and the gap! ah, the gap... back in the 80s, when we lived in the bay area, california for a few years, the gap was your go-to store for basics: jeans, T-shirts, chinos, sweatshirts, and jogging pants. nothing more, nothing less. then somewhere along the way, they went upscale, hired designers, released trendy collections, launched stylish advertising campaigns, got celebrities and supermodels to endorse the brand—and suddenly, the gap became cool. today, it's still a good place to get your basics and then some. we have a pair of slim trousers, which we bought at the gap seven years ago that we still wear. with all our weight fluctuations (up, down, five pounds, ten pounds, two inches, three inches—yikes!), these pants have served us well. we call them our "plane pants" because they're the most comfortable—but decent—thing to wear on a plane (i.e., still upgradeable :-) so it's been our mission to find another pair just like it. seemed like a good time to search... jeans—check. shorts—check. chinos—check. T-shirts—check. (and take note, if you buy two tops, you get 30% off on the top of lesser value!) all the basics are still there with a a few summer staples thrown in: colorful summer dresses, swimsuits, strappy sandals, canvas totes... and we tried a whole lotta pants. can we please say that this is one of the best fitting rooms we've ever been in?? other stores should use gap as a standard: spacious, well-lit, a chair on which to perch your purse (never on the floor!), a wide mirror, and six—count 'em, six!—hooks on which to hang your try-ons, as well as your own clothes! something we realized while fitting: gap sizes run big. "american size po kasi, ma'am," said the salesgal. ah, kasi malaki mga 'kano. kung asian size maliit. so we tried an 8, then a 6, then a 4, then a 2?! wow, we're thin pala! but since this will be another pair of plane pants, we opted for a comfortable but still flattering 4. introducing our new gap pants (modeled by a manananggal, este, mannequin ;-) navy stretch cotton capri pants: P2,650
the feeling we get when we wear them: priceless
PS: gap's design editions of khaki classics—a limited-edition collection designed by CFDA/vogue fashion fund finalists alexander wang, vena cava, and albertus swanepoel—are now available at gap, bonifacio high street