Uniqlo and Lemaire

 

 

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Last February in Bhutan, I finally got to wear this Uniqlo and Lemaire wool coat that I bought from the Fall Winter 2015 collection. I didn’t need another coat but I couldn’t resist. It was made of wool but it was unlined. It draped very well, and weighed lightly. As it turns out, it is the same coat that New Yorkers went nuts over when the collection came out. Lucky me. I got it marked-down at the end of the season.

 

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Wool coat by Uniqlo and Lemaire FW2015.

 

When I got back from Bhutan, I received an email from the representatives of Uniqlo Philippines asking me if I’d be open to reviewing the Uniqlo and Lemaire Spring Summer 2016 collection. I jumped! I disclosed that I had been a fan of former Hermès creative director Christophe Lemaire. His clothes were like objects that were timeless but not simply “classic”. They allowed the wearer to interpret the pieces their own personal way. I checked out the items in store. Before Uniqlo could even send me some pieces to try, I already bought my faves.

This season, Uniqlo and Lemaire has belted dresses, knitted polos, sweaters, tent tops, ponchos, wide-legged pants and culottes, all in Lemaire’s minimalist aesthetic. The colour palette includes cream, slate blue and grey, a muted mustard, blue green and bright red. Lemaire and partner Sarah-Linh Tran were inspired by French holidays of the ’60s, hence breezy tent tops and tie-waist dresses. According to Vogue, thin-ribbed knits will appeal to customers looking to channel their inner Jane Birkin lounging on the sands of Cap d’Antibes.

 

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One of my favourite pieces is this white shirt in heavy cotton. It has scalloped hems and patches on the sleeves.

 

I got my fix of Uniqlo and Lemaire SS 2016. The white cotton seer-sucker tent top is perfect for this summer. I have already worn it three times. The single-pleat  wide-leg pant comes in blue, off white, black, and mustard. I had to have the A-Line coat which mimics a classic trench minus the hardware. The mustard v-neck sweater has a deep cut. For the photos below, which my daughter Sophia took, I’m wearing it carefully without inner wear. In reality you would need a tank top or something to go under as the neck line is cut really low.

 

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Here are some of the best pieces in the collection that came out on March 4th.

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A belted striped long sleeve dress. And a deep v-neck dress made with textured seersucker fabric.

 

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Flared skirt in cotton seersucker that comes in red, blue and black. Not just another blue blazer. This one is in light cotton fabric, is cut long, and with buttons towards the left.

 

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High-waisted seersucker crinkled pants, cotton mesh crew neck sweater, seer sucker trapeze dress.

 

For more info, www.uniqlo.com

Uniqlo and Ines de la Fressange

 

 

RELAXED ELEGANCE

 

When Ines de la Fressange came out with her first collection for Uniqlo in the spring of 2014, I went nuts. It was my first time to really love a designer collaboration. While most people lined up for high street collabs with couture and luxury brands, I raved about the basics that IDLFxUniqlo came out with. It was all about easy-to-wear basics with that Parisian je ne sais quoi that Ines embodies. Lots of boyish shirts, shrunken blazers, slim trousers, longer shirt dresses with a 1940’s silhouette (lawn dresses). I was able to throw the pieces together without giving it much thought. It was very Parisian Chic, her guidebook to French effortless style.

Every season since then, Ines came out with  Uniqlo pieces and I continued to shop. Admittedly I preferred the spring-summer items over the fall-winter lines, simply because of the fabric used and the fact that I live in the tropics. I’m all about cotton and linen, and Uniqlo uses both fabrics so well.

This season Ines’ latest collaboration with Uniqlo does not disappoint. It showed three themes — voyage, uniform, and sport.

 

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My favourite of the three themes is Voyage. I’ve been doing a lot of travelling the past couple of years. IDLFxUniqlo has been part of my staple wardrobe. This season, they use a lot of “French Linen,” which is a premium type of linen made from natural and high quality linens produced in northwestern France and Belgium. The fabric is extremely breathable, has outstanding water-absorbing properties. The fabric does not stick to your skin and is nice and dry to the touch.

My 13-year-old daughter, Sophia, took the next two photos of me in our garage. I’m wearing my favourite pieces from the Voyage theme — the heavy linen jacket and the linen relaxed trousers — which were sent to me by Uniqlo. I’m wearing them with Robert Clergerie loafers. The jacket has this crisp, refreshing feel of linen material. The large flap pockets and safari-style design complement the natural texture of linen. This jacket is heavier than the other linen jackets and tops. It would be perfect for spring days in Toronto or Hong Kong. But it’s too hot to wear in the Philippines, unless you’re guaranteed to stay inside an air-conditioned room all day. I got it anyway because it is one of those timeless pieces that I know I will wear for many years. The pants, as the name suggests, is very relaxed. It features an elastic waist with a drawstring cut loose in the hips and narrow towards the cuffs. I have these pants from an earlier season, and they were my travel uniform!

 

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Wearing Ines de la Fressange by Uniqlo heavy linen jacket and the linen relaxed trousers. Photo by Sophia Paez.

 

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My favourite pieces from the current collection — and I only have one out of the three. Very sad. I have the 3/4 sleeve striped dress. It runs a bit short, so I wear them with shorts underneath. The slub long sleeve dress is the perfect anything dress with lots of pocket. I wish I had bought this. My biggest regret, not buying this wool blend navy blazer. It is structured and perfect for more serious occasions but also good for layering while traveling. It’s so elegant. Sadly, it’s sold out in the Philippines.

 

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I also stocked up on these. A cotton ribbed blouson jacket, perfect light jacket for spring. Or all year round if you’re in Manila. And this shirt is pure love. The ruffled neck and cuffs – such a great detail in what otherwise would look like a very masculine basic shirt. And look how it flares out in the bottom.

 

I’ve been really pleased with all my IDLF pieces. This was her fifth collection. I hope it never ends. Though Uniqlo seems to be churning out more interesting collaborations. I’m just glad I got some very good pieces that will stay in my closet for a long time. Here are moments in the past when I wore IDLFxUniqlo pieces…

 

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A throwback to IDLFxUniqlo’s first collaboration from March 2014. This lawn dress is still with me. I love the vintage silhouette. And I’m a fan of shirt dresses. I’m not a fan of wearing prints though, but this one has a graphic quality despite all the flowers. This makes the cut for me.

 

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Also from the 2014 spring-summer line, this casual cotton “suit”. I dressed it up a bit with my Jewelmer strand when I wore it back when I hosted the Salon Talks during Cebu Design Week in 2014. This is still the suit that I bring when I am traveling in case I need a serious outfit. It is light weight and unlined. I also love wearing these separately.

 

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From the 2015 spring-summer collection, another shirt dress cut loose in French linen. This is me in the fall of 2015 in the French countryside, when I chaperoned my daughter at camp in Gerardmer. This dress never makes it to the back of my closet. I always wear this when I need to rush out of the house, like say to pick up my kids at school or run to the grocery. In this photo I’m wearing the dress with staple, the Birkenstock Gizeh in black patent leather.

 

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This dress was from the 2014 collection, but the photo was taken in June of 2015. Again… linen, relaxed, Birkenstocks. And yup I’m inside a bathroom (of Casa Loma in Toronto).

 

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And here’s something crazy real. My sister and I at the Port Credit playground in Toronto last 2015 summer. Those pants are also IDLFxUniqlo. It’s in cotton-linen with a thin pinstripe. I can wear these with clogs and wedges, but I also love wearing them with slip ons. The socks bit isn’t too chic, but with five small kids around us, my sister and I didn’t really care. This was taken one morning before I even took a shower. Haha. Note that most, if not all, IDLFxUniqlo trousers are cut low on the hip. It’s not a problem for me, but may be an issue for taller people. Best to try them on.

 

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From the fall-winter 2014 line, cotton twill chinos from IDLFxUniqlo. I use them as my “roughing it” pants. This was our trek up to Tiger’s Nest in Bhutan in February 2015.

 

 

Series 7 Project Manila

 

 

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I hosted the launch of the exhibit of Fritz Hansen’s collaboration with esteemed Filipino architects and designers at Studio Dimensione at BGC.

It is the 60th anniversary of the Series 7 chair by Arne Jacobsen whose collaboration with Fritz Hansen dates back to 1934. The Series 7™ was designed in 1955 and is by far the most sold chair in the history of Fritz Hansen and perhaps also in furniture history. It is made of pressure moulded veneer with four stackable legs.

Each of the Filipino architects and designers were given the task to re-interpret the timeless and classic Series 7 Chair by Arne Jacobsen. It was a celebration, of not just the chair, but also of the local Filipino architecture and design ingenuity. It is taking a design made way back in 1950s and showing how it is still relevant to us. The classic silhouette of the Series 7 transcends time and space.

 

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From left to right, Dean Yupangco, Ed Calma, Carlo Calma, Andy Locsin of Leandro V. Locsin Partners, Fritz Hansen’s Dario Reichl, Ben Chan, Gil Coscolluela, and Bong Recio.

 

 

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I hosted the official opening of the exhibit which will run until March 31st at Studio Dimensione. (I wore a K&Company dress.)

 

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Dario Reicherl, VP for Asia Pacific for Fritz Hansen, gave a brief talk about the history and relevance of the Series 7 chair.

 

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Gil Coscoluella wrapped the Series 7 in purple calfskin leather.

 

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Ed Calma kept the Series 7 form but added different colours and layers of wood veneer.

 

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Architect Juan Carlo Calma worked with three Series 7 chairs, superimposing them creating layers that represented a grotto.

 

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Andy Locsin of Leandro V Locsin Partners paid homage not just to Arne Jacobsen, but to his own father Leandro V. Locsin, by creating a mold of the Series 7 in poured concrete.

 

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I asked Andy if I could sit on the chair.

 

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Dean Joey Yupangco dressed up Series 7 in “leggings”.

 

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Bong Recio worked on a fusion of the Series 7 and the Filipino “batibot” chair.

 

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Suyen Corp’s Miguel Pastor and Nenita Lim.

 

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With fashion designer Joey Samson.

 

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The event was followed by a lovely dinner at Blackbird Restaurant.

 

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Seated, Lucy Torres Gomez, Ben Chan, Bong Recio. Standing, Robert Mananquil, Carlo Calma, Millet Mananquil and Dario Reicherl.

 

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With Dario.

 

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With old friend Keren Pascual and the Mananquils.

 

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Barbie and John Rey Tiangco.

 

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Suyen Corporations’ Noel Manapat and Keren Pascual.

 

The Series 7 Project Manila exhibit runs til March 31, 2016 at Republic of Fritz Hansen in Studio Dimensione, One Parkade, BGC. Photos by Miguel Pastor.

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