Sunday, September 29, 2013

No Sleep 'til Brooklyn

Everytime I think about leaving the beautiful island of Manhattan, I get a little apprehensive. Everything that I could ever want and ask for is here. Or is it? As much as I love the hustle and bustle of the city, I have to admit that I'm a little bit of a homebody. I like staying in. I like sleeping late and reading a good book with a cup of tea. I like the quiet (though not as quiet as the suburbs. I can't really stand that much silence.). As my lease ends soon, I figure it might be time for a change of scenery and two of the places that I've been looking at are Brooklyn Heights and DUMBO.

Those two places are just one subway stop away from Manhattan and It's amazing how just one subway stop can change everything. As soon as you get out of the station, you will notice the big difference right away. It's cleaner, quieter, friendlier, bigger (in terms of space meaning it's not as cramped), cheaper and...if I do say so myself...more beautiful. Walking down Montague street reminded me of Newbury street in Boston. Both streets are wonderfully lined with trees and walk ups adding to the beauty of it. Not to mention, both are also clustered with cute little cafes, diners, and boutiques more so in Montague because Newbury is becoming more commercialized. 

Again, thinking about leaving Manhattan make me a little bit apprehensive because I feel like any place outside it is the middle of nowhere. I can't help it. Manhattan spoiled me. Where else can you find a pizza place open 24/7? Where else can you find a bar that closes at 4am? (I'm talking to you San Diego, Boston, and London.) Manhattan. That's where. But as I walked around Brooklyn Heights and DUMBO, I started feeling a little less apprehensive. If ever I need the places I just mentioned above, I can always find it one subway stop away right? And there might be places like those too where I will be living. It's time to give the heights a chance and just go for it.

With that said, Brooklyn Heights and DUMBO have definitely moved to the top of my list and I am even more excited now to move and start anew. Hopefully I will be able to find something reasonable but for now I have these photos to keep me dreaming.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

A Soirée Like No Other

Deanne writes...

I love weddings. I’ve always secretly wanted to be a wedding stylist (that’s in addition to having fantasies of owning a patisserie and writing about travel adventures). It’s the hopeless romantic in me that makes me go absolutely wide-eyed for fairytale wedding gowns, dreamy color palettes, and touching videos. So imagine the excitement that filled me when Bride and Breakfast accepted me as one of their interns.

I stumbled upon this beautiful wedding blog when my friend’s wedding was featured on it. Ever since then, it’s been my guilty pleasure outside of fashion blogs (but I’m not really guilty, sorry). Bride and Breakfast is a delight for the heart as much as it is for the eyes. Owned by Janna and Ian Simpao, its posts are filled with wedding details that can truly inspire brides and brides-to-be (that’s me!). The best thing about it? Every wedding supplier featured is Filipino. After looking at Bride and Breakfast’s posts for more than year, I’m more than convinced that we Filipinos have the creativity and passion to make it big. And to truly make every wedding the couple’s favorite memory.

I was so fortunate to have been given the opportunity to meet some of those wedding suppliers at Bride and Breakfast’s Garden Soirée held yesterday, September 24. It was such a delight! Held at the romantic space of Mango Farm, it truly reflected the amazing potential of the local wedding industry. The tropical luxe theme was seen in every little detail from the stage backdrop to the tablecloths. The cocktail food was honestly the best I have ever tried at any party (seared tuna on tostilla crisps, anyone?). The dessert was something new… cakelets! And the vibe was just all-around happy and vibrant and down-to-earth – just how weddings should be.

Yesterday, I didn’t just dip my toes into the wedding industry… I dived right into it! It was refreshing to have been given the chance to get to know another industry besides fashion. It makes me realize how creative other people can be. And because of the exposure, I now have a DREAM TEAM for my own wedding. Now, I just need the man who will make all these details secondary to the love that we will hold for each other… for the rest of our lives. Congratulations, Bride and Breakfast! 

Janna Simpao, the woman behind B&B
With fashion designer Boy Santos and Ian Simpao

With Joyce Urieta of The Delightful Miss Joyce 

With my dream wedding designer, Veluz 

For a complete list of sponsors and suppliers, please visit Bride and Breakfast. 

Monday, September 23, 2013

S/S '14: Christopher Kane

Deanne reviews...

Ever since I found interest in the fashion industry, I always linked it to the capital of New York. I guess my exposure to U.S. culture was the reason for that. Thus, my designer knowledge was limited solely to names such as Marc Jacobs, Oscar de la Renta, Diane Von Furstenberg, and company.

Strange then how I chose to study fashion in London. In hindsight, that was the best decision ever. I could have cared less when I first heard about Christopher Kane. I wasn’t really into emerging talent and young designers but after studying about the acquisition of Christopher Kane by Kering, I began to look into it more. Why did one of the world’s biggest multinational holding companies take such a young designer under its wings?

His spring/summer 2014 collection answered that for me.

Georgia Taylor opened his show with a mannish silhouette. Fashion insiders could have said, “That menswear trend again?” But take a second look and you’ll see a teardrop-like cutout going on which, according to Kane, are “sterilized petals”. Obviously, Kane’s inspiration for this show was flowers. I repeat: flowers. Not florals. While every one jumped on that floral pattern bandwagon, Kane brilliantly took the road less traveled and probably gave Miranda Priestly a run for her money. Florals? For spring? Groundbreaking won’t work this time because Kane took the scientific makeup of flowers and translated it with every fabric, silhouette, and detail.

Take, for example, the photosynthesis process laser cutouts on a satin dress. Blown-up flower images on a sweater. The neckline of a dress detailed with beautiful brooches. The petal form taking on the silhouette of a dress. The words “flower” and “petal” emblazoned on tops and sweaters.

The theme of the collection was feminine but as Kane has so successfully demonstrated, he is the only one who can make this worn-out trend absolutely fresh. And, not to mention, edgy. The people of Kering must be jumping out of their seats now, patting each other’s back for a wonderful acquisition.

It was a beautiful tapestry, a creative execution.
Definitely experimental.
And, on all levels, British.

I strongly sense the eventual takeover of the youngest fashion capital. 

Photos from

Sunday, September 22, 2013

LDN: Blumenfeld Studio

Deanne writes... 

I haven't mentioned it in this blog yet but I've been back home for more than a month now. It took a while but I've finally accepted the fact that I've left the land where the River Thames runs through. Excuse the sentimentality but when you had the time of your life in a certain city, you develop a love for it like no other. So now, London is just a memory. And I'm going to remember it in any way I can. Starting with this entry.


During the Vogue Fashion Certificate course at Condé Nast College, we were asked to visit the Erwin Blumenfeld Exhibition at Somerset House. On a particularly grey Sunday, I made my way to the other side of the river... a place I hadn't yet visited. I know that architecture is usually appreciated when set against the sunlight but there was something romantic about the London sky that day that made this majestic, neo-gothic building even more beautiful. It's also quite amazing that London Fashion Week transpires here. Talk about true British inspiration.

Before visiting this exhibition, I hadn't heard of Erwin Blumenfeld, a Berlin-born Jew. Apparently, he was one of fashion's most talented photographers during the 1950's. After having captured the attention of Cecil Beaton and working for French Vogue, he moved to New York City to work for the fashion magazine bigwigs such as Vogue and Harper's Bazaar. I loved looking from one magazine cover to another in this exhibition... His photos were just so artistic as they were minimal yet absolutely striking... He didn't need any props, frou frou, or hulabaloo to make the photos work. His techniques brought out the natural beauty of his subjects. There was also a certain aura of elegance and refinement in his photos, demonstrating the fashion industry atmosphere during that time. Take note: the 1950s was the decade of Christian Dior's New Look and the rejuvenation of haute couture in Paris. 

One thing I noticed was that the Vogue covers were so much more creative - albeit simple - during his time. I fell in love with them! I liked that there were no texts screaming "Buy this now!" or "Fall Must-Haves"; instead, there were a lot of illustration-photography mash-ups. I wish fashion magazines now could revive this cover art... I think these would make much better collectibles. Covers these days focus too much on the clothes, models (celebrities, rather), and texts rather than the overall impact. 

Besides the photos, there was also a running documentary which was actually quite interesting. It featured the Blumenfeld Studio in New York where he held a lot of his shoots with models and celebrities... And still shot with film. I really think that we should give props to photographers of yore because they didn't have the convenience and ease of modern technology. And yet, they managed to create such exquisite images that can still inspire decades later. After viewing the exhibition, I sat in one of the courtyard chairs of Somerset House and just contemplated on the art I just saw. Interestingly, a British lad came up to me and then we just started sharing our thoughts over the exhibition... Hmm, a film moment, I must say... What I remember most from our conversation was our mutual admiration (for each other, hahahaha, just kidding) for Blumenfeld's photos... 

Here are more photos from The Telegraph. Don't tell me you aren't left in awe. 

Monday, September 16, 2013

NYFW Showstoppers

Deanne writes...

My mind is currently spinning with the number of fashion shows I have to keep up with... and we're only halfway through the month. Even though the two oldest fashion capitals are still in line, next season's trends are already beginning to surface. Cropped tops... floral prints and embellishments (Florals? For Spring? Groundbreaking. But no, I really mean it because it's quite interesting how some designers translated this constant trend)... Sheer... But let's save those for another entry.

While I wrap my head around what's going to be big next season, let me present to you some of my favorite outfits from New York fashion week...

Look # 1 brought to you by Prabal Gurung: a transluscent PVC raincoat with a rose motif. What a great way to marry an edgy color combination with a very feminine detail. It's perfect for the abundance of rain we've been having over here in Manila... On a side note, his collection was divine. Raf Simons' collection for Dior was an obvious inspiration. 

Look # 2 brought to you by Monique Lhuillier (Filipina pride!): a hot pink bandeau paired with a draped ball skirt in persimmon. This look has femininity written all over it... and the bandeau and the full skirt was the perfect juxtaposition between contrasting hemlines. This striking color palette, a rarity in this New York fashion week, trickled down to each and every look. 

Look # 3 brought to you by Jason Wu and Karlie Kloss (of course). Designers sure love to drape their highlight piece on this supermodel. I guess it's because only Kloss can manage to make this dress look alluring, feminine, sexy, and mysterious all at once. Swathed in gray, this dress' fitted top and drapey bottom demands the perfect movement. I'm beginning to sense that designers are loving the contrasting look this season... 

And that was just three of the thousands of looks that have been presented over the past two weeks. There are more to come. I think we're quite spoiled when it comes to choices and inspiration. And that's not necessarily a bad thing. 

Photos from 

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Pow! Boom! Wow!: Tom Ford F/W 2013

Deanne reviews...

          They’re not kidding when they say that speed is the ultimate characteristic of the 21st century. Everything is fast! Instant! Now! And in the realm of art, fashion is its number one victim. Believe it or not: fashion month is just a mere DAY away. I’m a thousand miles away from where the mayhem transpires yet I can feel my own heart palpitating at the thought of it all. 

Designers are set to reveal their spring/summer 2014 collections. It’s quite appalling if you think about it: a spring/summer mindset during the beginning of the fall months. Already the fall/winter collections are losing their luster and we’ve barely scratched the surface of the season. In an attempt to practice my “Be present in the moment” mantra, looking through the current store offerings has never felt so liberating and rebellious at the same time. Before the spring trends come driving into us at full force, let’s give the f/w 2013 collections their last minutes of fame.

A month ago, I commented on how minimalism was the trend of the season. Come to think of it, it’s the trend of the decade. This popular aesthetic finds its roots in the 90s when practicality was favored over creativity. From a designer’s point of view, it might sound like the death of fashion but isn’t this a business as well? So yes, give the people what they want. But amidst the clean, restrained, pure lines were fireworks! Patchwork! Leopard print! Boom, boom, boom!

Welcome to Tom Ford fall/winter 2013! 
(Yes, exclamation points are necessary!)

         “Cross-cultural, multi-ethnic,” he describes it to be. We don’t know if he had any specific cultures or subgroups in mind but boy did he use every fabric, embellishment, print, and texture possibly conceivable. He made his point right from the beginning. Look 1 featured Liya Kebede in a fantastically sequined skirt sandwiched by a black-and-white embroidered poncho and boots. An homage to Aztecs, perhaps?

And then it only got crazier with dark romance duly expressed in floral patterns submerged in deep, jewel tones. Then came the animal prints in overbearing quantity such as the oversize coat Liu Wen had on to top off her lacey dress. I can just keep on going… starburst-sequined details, black velvet dresses, checkered boots, neon gowns, massive fur linings, and even fringe ponchos. Clearly, sober wasn’t in the dictionary this season. What was Ford thinking? Against the current, that’s for sure.

           It would be no surprise if this collection turned divisive - impractical for the working women, a gift sent from above for the fashion peacocks – but if it speaks loudly (sorry for the pun) of his aesthetic, then Ford is happy. After all, he was always known for decadence and exuberance – ahem, ahem, Gucci.

           Minimalist lovers like me may not follow the styling direction this collection took but if taken piece-by-piece, options abound. A sequined skirt may be paired with an immaculate white blouse; the bright pink fur jacket can be worn with a little black dress. A pop of color and detail certainly doesn’t hurt. But if there’s one piece I can wear from head to toe it would be the starburst gown appropriately modeled by Herieth Paul. Just look at that jumpy hue set against the ebony skin!

         In every fashion month, we can always expect a game changer, someone who sets his eyes on aesthetic expression rather than trend direction. And it is these designers who offer us a fresh take on what is really in and what is really out. Lucky you who can get a hand on Ford’s f/w 2013 smashing collection. I’ll probably just sit back and scroll through the spring/summer 2014 collections which start- gasp! – tomorrow. While fashion editors all over the world totter in their heels from one showroom to the next, I’ll be having the greatest dilemma of having too many Google Chrome browsers on my desktop.

Photos from