Festive Shimmer

Feeling extra festive thanks to my new phone. Of course I needed to wear an outfit to match how I felt inside – all confetti-blast-ready.

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Maybe the holiday season is getting to me and I’m feeling extra festive. Or maybe it was the road to my new #SmartiPhone5c that got me dressing up like Christmas lights decked out in high shine. It wasn’t necessarily a smart move (pun totally intended) as walking along Makati with a bare midriff and other bare parts doesn’t necessarily translate to the most comfortable commute. Even worse is a trip to a dress-coded corporation in said outfit. Still, I worked my way up (including my zipper) and didn’t let stares dampen my otherwise excited mood.

And as I ended up leaving with a gorgeous new iPhone5c from Smart, the shine just seemed to make sense – like I deserved blasted confetti fit for a debutant. I’ve never really been the type to get phones right when they’re released. I don’t switch that often either so imagine my delight to be one of the first few people to get to try this amazing new phone by the most awesome carrier.

For real though, I love it. It’s so highlighter pink that’s kind of opposite what I try to dress up as – muted and blush pinks are absolutely preferred – but at the same time it’s kind of obnoxiously unforgiving and I like it like that. In a really superficial way, I’m already thinking of outfits to match. Full disclosure: my mom suggested pink and used my new pink shoes as her only supporting point. I immediately conceded. Even nail polish bottles out of the pink color family are thrown out of sight for absolute color-coordination.

I do realize, that displaying something so pink with an outfit as such probably doesn’t make much sense aesthetically but excitement does not need to make sense and I wanted to share the news with you the moment it happened.

In other more functional news, I realized, after much deliberation on whether I can do a Katniss and live in a cornucopia devoid of any form of relevant communication other than a literal killer look, I seriously can’t be without a phone. (Again I disclose, this realization came about as camping trips were suggested but in my no-hike, no-climb, no-outdoor-world, camping is synonymous to The Reaping.) I work online most of the time (I handle social media of a company) and, well, you guys know blogging is handicapped without decent internet. Also, my whatsapp is blasted literally every 5 minutes that I find myself stopping in panic when certain people’s names are prompted on my screen (mostly bosses’). Very, very happy that  I get to upgrade my phone to meet the demands of my job and also of my wandering brain allowing me to get visually inspired via Instagram, blog-surfing and a long list of non-sensical but awfully entertaining stuff thanks to my lighting-fast internet. The camera is also so much better that I don’t necessarily need to hide imperfect shots under heavy doses of filters just to normalize them (a result that never happens anyway).

Anyway, enough of my giddiness over a new gadget spilled on to my screen. Next post will be excitement over Christmas which is kind of surprising to me since my house has no decorations yet whatsoever. Still, I find myself typing this in a velvet dress with a shiny red beanie over my head and I just know the kid in me just wants to sip hot chocolate and sing by the Christmas tree.

But until I have one, I’ll just dress the part.

Jacket, H&M | Crop top, TOPSHOP | Skirt, FOREVER21 | Heels, NINE WEST

 

 

Sneaker Fever

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There was a point post-graduation I thought I would never touch sneakers again. One, no more dance prac and 2, more importantly, no more P.E. I don’t know why I was never a die-hard sneaker fan despite seeing hordes upon hordes of people lining up for the latest ones.

Heels were the only option then. Even my high school leather shoe had a measly two-inch heel that clacked all over the room. I honestly don’t know what changed. Maybe it was the realization that avoiding blisters was much more important to me than faking height (band-aids are now a staple in my bag). Or maybe, age is creeping up to me with the idea of comfort becoming much more appealing as each birthday goes by.

OR, and this is the reason I would like to defend most, sneakers are being given a fashionable facelift and I may not be lining up like the rest of the die-hard solely-sneaker-wearing (pun not intended) dudes, but I’m definitely noticing and now even wearing them rubber soles. (Remember Isabel Marant’s Bekkets that reignited the wedge sneaker revolution?)

I’m new to this though, so my new white World Balance sneakers were worn with something familiar – sweatpants. Maybe I took the athletic notion too literally. But I don’t know, I feel like I’m warming up to sweatpants just as much as I’m warming up to sneakers. (Again, pun not intended but they keep coming). I’ve actually been wearing sweatpants out more than I ever thought I would and I think sneakers might just be next addition to my unexpected daily-wear.

Want proof? These World Balance sneakers are lined up in my car for easy grabbing. And my car’s line up is like the line up in the hierarchy of Alyssa’s shoe closet.

Top, FOREVER21 | Sweatpants, H&M | Sneakers, WORLD BALANCE

#WeLovePastel

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I didn’t realize how much the girl in me would enjoy an event that revolved around pastels. And for someone who still blasts The Corrs in her car, I guess I should’ve. Pastel food and drinks, which mostly consisted of saccharine goodness in the form of a dessert buffet (read: pastel coated donuts, yoghurt straws, marshmallows, even jamba juice in the same subdued hues) and a general explosion of all things feminine, my tulle dress and I generally belonged. The program consisted of the quickest yet most colorful fashion show and a q&a with host Kim Jones and fellow blogger Domz Tiu.

We talked about how we felt about the pastel hair trend, generally both wary at first but realized somewhere along the way that it could be fun (it was). Domz and I also talked a bit about styling pastel hair which is something I want to focus on here a bit should you want to try the trend yourself. Unconventional hues, especially in unexpected places (like one’s hair), instantly add personality to any casual ensemble. You can rock pastel streaks even in head to toe black (with stiletto boots, no less) or the opposite, matchy-matchy feminine hues and what I forecast to be a peter pan collar right by the neckline. I kid. And that’s the good thing about pastel hair – it isn’t just for sweethearts who are big fans of the hue – it’s for anyone who wants to stand out and inject a bit of fun to their otherwise monotonous wardrobes (like my dreary blacks and grays).

So if you’ve always wanted to try the trend, coz it seems like it won’t be dying down anytime soon, go for it. Have fun, go crazy if you want, and own it. I may not be as courageous as you but for the few hours I had it in my hair I felt like a new person – happy go lucky and definitely spontaneous – a far cry from the usual uptight version of myself. But enough about me, if you want to go for it, you have the whole rainbow and cupcake color range to choose from.

Seriously though, tell me if you fall in love with it coz, well, #WeLovePastel. I’m sure you will too.

Donning Pastel Pink

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Last Saturday I got the chance to try something a little crazy – donning something pastel on my hair for SM North Edsa’s #WelovePastel event.

I’ve never done anything drastic to my hair color-wise. Yes, rebonds and perms were done here and there but my color has always been normal. I did try to use do-it-yourself ones but I could never get the desired results.

Still, the colors I tried on were relatively mild. I’ve always wanted nondescript changes and subtle differences noticeable only when under the sun. Drastic changes seemed fake to me and I embraced the safety net of gradual, and maybe to some, boring, coloring. For the #WeLovePastel event that I’ll be talking more about in the blog post to follow, I originally thought we had to dye our hair pastel but was able to breathe a sigh of relief when we were given the option of, errr, a clip on.

Given my aversion to color, saying yes to the clip on (even with it being just that), still came as a surprise to me. Although it was admittedly kooky, it was still kind of fun and liberating – it was temporary anyway (I just love risks without consequences). I guess I realized, if Karl Lagerfeld can do pastel hair for Chanel fashion shows, then I can follow Karl’s directive and do pastel hair for a day.

And despite my better judgment that a solid pink streak is a little too out there, I kind of liked it. May I remind you that I didn’t don any costume for Halloween and any outfit reminiscent of Katy Perry makes up for that. Even when it’s off spook-season.

Dress, by yours truly | Bag, ALEXANDER WANG 

 

On Yolanda

Finally found some courage to write about what’s going on in my head on our recent disaster. 

On Yolanda –-

Been staving off from posting anything anywhere because I know that anything I say that isn’t about helping is futile. Been posting at the account of the company I work for, yes, but I personally feel mute – like I have nothing to add but online noise; didn’t feel the storm (in Manila, that is) and am therefore not entitled to a (pretentious) voice.

I am not the best person to drag to any depressing form of entertainment (think Titanic or Les Miserables) because I find it hard separating my own emotions from the overall feeling of sadness – blame my jacked-up Feeling trait (F-trait) from the personality test for films/books/stories skimped on for fear of getting too emotionally weary.

This super typhoon Haiyan, or Yolanda as is locally known, has brought such widespread and unavoidable heartache to the Philippines. Imagine reading the news of a 6-year old girl surrendering to death telling her mother to let go and save herself instead or reading on Facebook friends of friends who’ve told their tales on after almost drowning from buildings flooded with water, walking on carcasses after the storm surveying what’s left behind. Each released account is sounding more and more like an end of the world/zombie apocalypse movie come to life and the aftermath is even more horrific. Cities wiped away by the storm. Even people who have braced themselves in some evacuation centers weren’t spared. People (even our president) are saying that the reported 10,000 forecasted death toll is exaggerated but that’s when you know that the numbers are becoming more of a statistic to others than anything else.

And still I feel immobile. Somehow, going through boxes of clothes and donating them don’t seem like help enough. Yes, joining events to auction items off to translate those into more pressing donations like food and medicine is good too but that doesn’t seem satisfying either. Being on my email the whole day, ticking things off my work checklist and the rest of the activities in my daily routine don’t feel right – like life going on is immoral.

I’m not looking for reassurance that going back to normal is okay. I’m not looking to satisfy myself either and think of the most fulfilling way to help because helping isn’t and shouldn’t be about me. I do realize, however, that no matter how much we help it will never be enough. We cannot rebuild their lives, no matter how much food, clothing and shelter we provide. We most definitely cannot lessen the loss they feel for both their homes and their loved ones. And we can’t make them forget what they went through.

I guess the most we can hope for – with all these donations, love and prayers we are sending the victims – is to spark a glimmer of hope in their hearts  – that they have not been abandoned, that they aren’t alone and that, maybe, they can get through this.

With that said, here are some online messages I’ve been seeing that I would like to comment on and other ways to help –

  1. Share important information. Who cares if you’re retweeting known competitors or if your retweets are all over the place? The more people the information reaches, the better.
  2. I’ve read that people are discouraged from donating clothes because clothing is not an immediate need. While I get that food, water and medicine would definitely be more important as of the moment, please stop making a giver feel bad about giving the “wrong” donation. If people want to help which I know they do, please don’t rob them of that. There is no wrong donation, there is just a donation. Give what you can. If it’s all you are capable of giving, I’m sure down the road, the people you’ve clothed will appreciate what’s one their back. Unless these people are organizing something to turn clothing into something else, do not dissuade people from giving.
  3. On social media noise – quite frankly, while I usually do, right now I do not care much for how well you did at the gym today or whether your dessert was fantastic. I get that our lives need to go on. But if you could just refrain from (or even limit) posting typhoon-irrelevant, nonsensical stuff for just a little longer, or at least keeping your back-to-normal-nothing-happened life private, that would be great. On a similar note, please try to limit self-promotion or promotion of any kind branding every single Yolanda post with your now ubiquitous logo.
  4. On the report that the Philippines was “privileged” to bear the storm: this is probably one of the most insensitive things I’ve ever heard. No one is “privileged” or “deserving” of death and loss, especially of this magnitude. No one.
  5. It’s okay to be constructively negative online. And by this I mean tweeting about making sure the government keeps their hands off the donations, etc. etc. because it makes people a little more wary of where the donations are actually going (and that is always a good thing.) Negative attacks on the integrity and the intent behind helping however is not welcome. While I agree that some people may have ulterior motives in helping (and, consequently, announcing it to the world), if at the end of the day someone was aided, who cares what the motive really was?

Anyone can help.

I find the countries who have rushed to our aid admirable in doing so. Filipinos all over the world are also finding ways to spread the word and help. Filipinos in the Philippines are coming up with hundreds of their own little relief operations in their communities to help too and it kind of restores your faith in humanity somehow.

Again, I repeat, anyone is capable of helping rebuild a life. Let’s not waste the opportunity.

Here are links on how to help:

  1. A list of where to dine for a cause where proceeds go to charities: http://www.spot.ph/newsfeatures/54881/dine-for-a-cause-restaurants-and-foodies-for-yolandaph-victims
  2. A list of how to help for those overseas: http://world.time.com/2013/11/10/how-to-help-typhoon-victims/
  3. A list of local relief operation centers PER region/city: http://www.rappler.com/move-ph/issues/disasters/43300-reliefph-victims-typhoon-yolanda-help
  4. For the blogger community, madtv.ph will be holding an online auction tomorrow at 9PM with clothes from your local bloggers. Will be auctioning off some items there too.
  5. For Katipunan/Ateneo folks, there is a #BaHAIYANihan event in Katipunan NEXT TUESDAY  – sort of a garage sale x hangout. I’ll also be selling stuff there (not just clothes, fashion magazines (like Vogue!) will be up for grabs too). Will be announcing more details once I have them.

A last note: if you have friends in the affected areas, please try to get word on them if they’re actually getting the relief goods. I know the media can paint a pretty skewed picture of reality so accounts of people who are there should be given weight – and from what’s being posted on social media, the help is yet to be felt. Let’s all keep lending a helping hand.

#BangonPilipinas

Prom Night

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Let’s talk prom. While most references to puberty are cringe-worthy, I figured not everyone’s prom is tainted with awkward adolescent memories. So if you were prom queen/king enjoying every minute of the night we had to act poised and reserved as teenagers, then good for you. Mine wasn’t as squeaky clean as my future self would’ve wanted it to be – there were terribly awkward prom photos with a date that I fortunately didn’t have to ask. My school demanded that we go with classmates (solely) which saved me from asking people from neighboring schools. It didn’t make for beautiful memorable photos though but it’s not like my high school look was something I’d want to remember either.

But I’m losing track of the point here. I got this dress for  such a steal at Topshop (it was on sale for about 70% off) but, admittedly, was somewhat blinded by the price. I didn’t realize how prom-looking its poof can be. Still, despite all prom horror flashbacks, I realized I like this dress – the silhouette’s young but the fabric is so intricate and the muted color adds sophistication.

Maybe I should wear this to the next party I know would be awesome and make new prom memories – or at least fool myself into doing so. Selective memory is a pretty consistent brain feature of mine.

Dress, TOPSHOP | Pumps, NINE WEST | Bracelet and ring, CHARMING CHARLIE

Tech Talk: Cookoo

Let’s be real: the apps we use 80% of the time are the ones that already come with the phone – including social media apps that may as well have come with it. The rest are just downloaded for the sake of 1) having the right tool should you deem it necessary, and 2) feeling like you’re maximizing phone efficiency, storage and Apple’s genius.

More often than not though, these extras teeter on the verge of solely being additional updates on your app store you so effortlessly ignore. So, unless you really are into reading manuals and are extra competitive on app versions, techie add-ons should – and probably would – be avoided.

When they come in the form of an accessory, however, the purchasing game shifts a bit. There are more factors to consider then – usability, wearability, cuteness level and other tough criteria that work to our advantage in convincing ourselves that the purchase is necessary, if only for the sake of fashion. But we at Pormada recently discovered a gadget that has us wanting to make fictitious proclamations: that we are, in fact, techie (when we can’t, in truth, even work a projector.)

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Manila, meet Cookoo, a brand that merges functionality and style by offering watches that offer more than sartorial leverage. Cookoo is actually an app that syncs with your iPhone or iPad remotely notifying you of your choice of certain incoming data – calls, emails, calendar reminders, Facebook, Twitter, etc. An added bonus: perpetual recharging is not necessary. In fact, it even prompts when the synced gadget is low on battery so quick action could be taken. Other interesting features offered are the ability to check in on Facebook, play music, take remote photos and videos and more all with the touch of a button.

Our personal favorite: the ability to locate your phone. This might make our knack for misplacement a tad bit worse but hey, at least we’re spoiled with a tracker.

Now, if only there was a tracker for eyeglasses…

My blog post from Pormada reblogged here. Figured I might as well share the stuff I write there. Did something pretty cool with Cookoo a few weeks back – can’t wait to share it when it comes out. I also can’t wait to finally sync my phone with my watch. Just in the process of figuring out how.

Cookoo available at: www.pormada.com 

Tie It

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Here’s the unused outfit for the Giordano street style challenge. While I probably would’ve minded donning the tied at the waist trend along with almost everyone else, I think the striped chunky sweater obviously meant to be worn elsewhere is a fresh(er) take on the plaids we’re so used to seeing hanging low.

Giordano’s spot in my heart for basics is growing bigger with each visit to their store. I was lucky enough to see a preview of their PhFW collection in our pre-prod meeting and I think I loved all the nautical takes and even some neons that probably surprised me more than it would you. While F/W is the season I think I most connect with (color-wise not fabric-wise – I still like baring more than I should), I think it’s time to look more alive and lay off with the pales. Out with the old, in with the neons? I’m probably projecting more courage than what I am really capable of but we’ll see.

How about I start with the nauticals and then we’ll see how the neons fare in my wardrobe? Agreed?

Check out the full show of Giordano S/S 2014 at stylebible.ph here: http://www.stylebible.ph/fashion/fashion-shows/giordano-ss-2014/