Fairy Tales

When fairies render olfactory miracles

I’ve always been drawn to the ethereal. Some of my favorite reads are about fantasy, mythology, and the complex worlds of the mystical. I even took a course under Coursera (it’s a website that offers an extensive list of free online programs go check it out) on Fantasy and Science Fiction under UofM and have armed myself with a line up of the Grimm Brothers, Terry Brooks, and Tolkien within bedside reach. I’m a nerd.

Naturally, all things that are even remotely related to these fictitious realms pique my interest in ways I can’t even begin to describe. Brands that reference anything wiccan, instagram accounts dedicated to fantasy, and even perfume scents that are inspired by storybook characters are given time of day.

When I came across Féerie by Van Cleef & Arpels, I knew I had to at least smell it. Even the packaging draws attention – a deep blue gem-inspired bottle that features a tiny fairy perched on a branch. It looks like a precious jewel. The scent is equally captivating. I’ve never been one to go for a sweet scent but this floral woody mix is just the right amount of saccharine. It’s initially fruity with hints of blackcurrant and Italian mandarin but the lasting notes are of the flowers – violet, Egyptian Jasmine, Florentine iris, and the Bulgarian rose. It’s a very feminine, floral choice. I truly believe that scents can easily influence one’s mood. With a spritz or two of this fragrance, expect a truly sweet and fresh take on the day ahead.

So when I’m feeling particularly somber, or let’s be real, irritable, I take the bottle on my way out the door and expect my disposition to be a lot sunnier and a whole lot sweeter. Maybe it’s expecting too much from a singular bottle. But fairies are magical creatures after all, and I’ll presume nothing less from a scent inspired by them.

Top, H&M
Skirt, EVER NEW 
Embroidered choker, PARFOIS 
Photography and Makeup by ELISA AQUINO

There’s A New Girl in Town | Ever New

We have a new store to go to.

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I was an early bird
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A rack of bodysuits

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Vina, Tracy, Aisa, myself and Tina

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Thanks to my lack of imagination (or just the impeccable styling skills or Ever New’s Visual Merchandiser) I bought the exact look on the left.

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Legitimately wanted to (also) snag the bolero and satin red clutch
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With Melissa and Mona
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Ah, and the obligatory blogger photo

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I still distinctly remember the party rush. Whether it’s a birthday (my own, for the most part), the holidays, or random big events I’ve had to attend, they almost always usually entailed frantically searching store after store for the perfect dress (or dresses on those years I felt like a social butterfly). And like a true girl scout, I’ve always had a fail-safe routine. I’d shop in the middle of the year at stores that offer insane discounts (yes, clearance too) to have a bunch of dresses ready for the rest of my fiscal (slash sartorial) year. Most of the time this preparedness served me well. Still, there’d be a few surprises here and there that almost always resulted in hysteria.

For instance, just this June I bought three long gowns for a myriad of weddings I was supposed to attend. Of course, I missed all of them. Leave it up to me to miss big events because of last minute flight changes. So now I have three beautiful spare dresses sitting in my closet waiting to be used. As luck would so devilishly have it, the one wedding I am going to be able to attend this year has a dress code so particular I am again at a loss for what to wear – the dresses at my disposal rendered useless and untouched.

Since said wedding is in two weeks, and an impending flight even closer, I have really had to strategize the trip and its subsequent garments. (I’m in desperate need of warm, heat-inducing clothes, but that’s a different story). In times of sartorial despair, I look to trusted institutions that, time and again, deliver. One of these is Ever New.

Ever New has always been one of those stores I used to gloss over mentally taking note of the items I’d buy should any fancy occasion invite come my way. The Australian brand has always been a go-to for parties with their selection of luxe fabrics and fancier silhouettes. I was extremely in luck that Ever New was launching another branch in SM Aura and was throwing a launch party for some guests just in time for my upcoming fancy event. I came in ready to look at dresses and actually stormed straight to the party rack but, instead, was kind of blindsided by the rest of the selection. What I saw was a new and improved Ever New. While the brand used to be geared towards outfits for special occasions, the brand has now perfectly melded trendy pieces in its collection now offering bodysuits, denims, and – wait for it – sneakers! Even the dressier pieces are updated with modern silhouettes and cuts. Think: less prom, more Gigi Hadid hosting the AMAs.

Everybody – bloggers, media, friends of the brand – was bonding over the clothes. At one point the line to the dressing room got extremely long. Good thing I was there early and got to monopolize the dressing room and take my sweet time which was great because I’m a really slow shopper. It doesn’t help that I’m a Gemini and the deciding alone doubles the shopping time. My personal favorites were the bodysuits, the satin clutches, the pink mules, the embroidered boleros (which I would’ve gotten had I not been so drawn to about twenty-thousand other things), and the gold pleated skirt, which thankfully I did end up leaving with. I kid you not, by the end of the day stocks were running low. That skirt was a hit, I’m glad I snagged my size before others did. My competitiveness comes in handy in the smallest (but most relevant) of ways.

A BHS Fashion Tour

A couple days ago I found myself in a tour. Of the shopping variety. 

A couple days ago I found myself in a tour. Of the shopping variety.

A few bloggers and folks from media headed to Bonifacio High Street Central for a fashion tour. Quite literally a tour, actually, the event was complete with a tour group, an itinerary, some walking and gorgeous tour guides in the form of host Kelly Misa and stylist Charmaine Palermo. Think, instead of historical sites (or religious, if you’re the pilgrimage type), there were retail establishments. Instead of selfies with picturesque backgrounds, we took OOTDs. And instead of a factual play-by-play of each place, we got styling tips care of Charmaine.

And because this was a special kind of tour, we also had some tasks. Each store visited prompted a product post according to the given style tip. I always seem to surround myself with equally competitive people so it was fun to take every challenge seriously. (Btw, sorry for Insta-flooding!) An extra challenge ensued towards the end with my favorite competitive group. I only won 2nd place, but still had tons of fun – and that’s given that I absolutely hate losing. It means the tour in itself was kick-ass. We dropped by Ever New, Mango, Karen Millen, Kenneth Cole, and Diesel and below are the tips Charmaine tackled respectively.

  1. Print on Print @ Ever New: Keep prints in the same color palette and combine different print sizes.
  2. Basics @ Mango: Basics are necessary, obviously, and can always be elevated.
  3. Cocktail Chic @ Karen Millen: Cocktail looks need not equate to a tulle dress. Try a mod silhouette for welcome variety.
  4. Workwear @ Kenneth Cole: Busy girls = Cramped schedules. Day to night office wear is a a must. The more versatile, the better.
  5. Military @ Diesel: Try the military trend by way of chic denim details such as pockets, zippers, fatigue prints, etc.

And because I had a little too much fun, I kind of rendered the tour/map in watercolor.

I guess my point is that we look at the Bonifacio High Street area and immediately think awesome dining (hello Nolita, Tampopo, Stella and Wholesome Table) but at the same time it’s really a treasure trove of some of the most in-demand fashion brands  too (including certain gems only available there such as Casadei and Karen Millen.)

So take this rendering as a sort of fashion treasure map. It kind of really is.

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With the host who moonlighted as the tour leader, Kelly Misa

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Snaps from Mango (topmost), Ever New and Promod (middle), Diesel and Karen Millen (bottom).

Head over to BHS for your own shopping fun. I’ll be back again tonight actually. Bump into you there!