Sfera

 

 

sfera2

 

This season saw the opening of many foreign fashion brands here in Manila. It is a really exciting time for shoppers, but also a bit nerve-wracking for local retailers. I say all this competition is healthy for our economy. Plus for the many travellers who shop abroad, now you can focus on doing other things that travellers do like eat, see historical/architectural sites, experience local culture. I feel there will be less “need” for me to shop when I travel because almost everything is here now!

A few weeks ago, I attended the launch of Sfera. Its first branch is located at the second floor of SM Makati. Sfera is a Spanish brand that carries current fashion for women, men, and children. I really liked the personality of the brand. Lots of comfortable and current styles, but not exactly too trendy. I found a lot of relaxed clothing that’s perfect for casual days. But also discovered some interesting printed outfits and tailored items. The good news is – prices are very affordable. They had dresses as low as P1,200. On an average, each item I bought didn’t go over P2,000. I think I found my new favourite fast-fashion retailer.

 

P1011327
I almost got this grey sweatshirt but realized that I would need to actually make this blog come alive again. It’s kind of been in a long slumber. Haha. So sorry for being lackadaisical about updating my blog.

 

P1011329
These printed long sleeve shirt dresses are perfect for lazy weekends, while polished enough for easy meetings.

 

P1011330
I wore that red dress during a ribbon cutting ceremony at Manila FAME.

 

P1011320
I loved their collection of intimates. I got a couple of these stretchy lace-lined camisoles.

 

P1011342
Interesting details

 

P1011324
The accessories were arranged by themes. This beaded clutch had that nice Navajo pattern.

 

P1011325
Tropical

 

P1011333
The kids clothing are really “cool” – this, according to Sophia and Lily. And really friendly on the pocket. So affordable.

 

P1011336
See what I mean?

 

P1011337
I don’t know what’s happening, but my girls are really really into sweatshirts these days. They want to wear sweats every day.

 

P1011338
Cute tween fashion

 

P1011339
They even have infant wear

 

P1011349
With the merchandising team of Sfera. I love how no one wears socks in a certain demographic these days.

 

P1011356
With Jenni Epperson, Patti Filart and Rica Bonifacio.

 

sfera collage
Lately all I’ve been wearing is Sfera. Good for non-occasion days and easy to spiff up for dressier parties.

 

Follow Sfera Philippines on Instagram at @sferaPH

 

 

Jewelmer Gala

 

 

JEWELMER1

 

It has become somewhat of a tradition that this time of the year, Jewelmer hosts a wonderful gala befitting the celebration of the Philippines’ National Gem. Back in 2012, I had the honour of being the host of the Jewelmer Gala. It was so glamorous and luxurious — Patrick Rosas did my hair and makeup and Randy Ortiz made my dress.

This year is Jewelmer’s 35th anniversary. It topped previous events with not just a runway fashion show, but an entire production involving theatre actors, dancers and a story of mankind’s despair over the death and destruction of planet earth, his realization that he can act upon it, and finally, his triumph in restoring balance to the environment. Performers include Prima Ballerina Lisa Macuja-Elizalde and award-winning actress Angel Aquino accompanied by original arrangements performed by the Manila Philarmonic. Top Filipino models, dressed in couture designed by Rhett Eala went on stage with Jewelmer Joaillerie’s Spring-Summer 2015 Collection.

Also launched was Jewelmer Joaillerie’s 35th Anniversary special pendant, symbolising the miracle of the golden pearl. It is composed of a 13mm golden South Sea pearl surrounded by an 18-karat yellow gold wave with 0.105-carat sparkling diamond “bubbles”. This piece depicts how the pearl is born from the sea even as it protects this miraculous treasure in its depths. It takes about five years and at least 323 individual steps to produce a single pearl. Each piece of this special edition pendant is numbered, handcrafted by Jewelmer’s expert artisans.

 

Jewelmer Senior Vice President and Creative Director Gaelle Branellec, Jewelmer Deputy CEO Jacques Christophe Branellec and
Jewelmer Senior Vice President and Creative Director Gaelle Branellec and Jewelmer Deputy CEO Jacques Christophe Branellec

 

Liza Ilarde
Liza Ilarde of Manila Bulletin’s Style Weekend

 

Jewelmer Marketing Manager Isabel T. San Agustin and Daphe Osena-Paez
With Jewelmer Marketing Manager Isabel T. San Agustin

 

20140923_202201
One of those rare moments, together at an event.

 

20140923_193543
The gala took place at my favourite Manila building, the Philippine International Convention Centre (PICC). I took advantage of the beautiful space and snapped a lot of photos. Here’s my shameless OOTD. I wore a dress off-the-rack from Religioso, made of cotton jersey (bodice) and cotton (skirt). My shoes are from Melissa, yes they are PVC. Bag from Aranaz. And I wore my own pair of studs and strand of white south sea pearls from Jewelmer, of course.

 

20140923_205206
Jewelmer was founded in 1979 by Filipino entrepreneur Manuel Cojuangco and French pearl farmer Jacques Branellec in their pearl farm in Palawan, Southern Philippines—one of the few places in the world capable of sustaining the Pinctada maxima oyster that brings forth the rarest of all pearl varieties, the golden South Sea pearl.

 

Prima Ballerina Lisa Macuja-Elizalde and Ballet Manila (vince Arcilla by Alfred Mendoza Photography)
Prima Ballerina Lisa Macuja-Elizalde and Ballet Manila. Photo by Vince Arcilla by Alfred Mendoza Photography.

 

DSC_8667-1
Angel Aquino played the role of Mother Earth.

 

Earth Segment with the Dancers by AM Photography
The Earth segment. Photo by Alfred Mendoza Photography

 

Earth Segment by Rhett Eala ( Vince Arcilla by Alfred Mendoza Photography)
Rhett Eala creations and the Jewelmer Joaillerie’s Earth collection. Photo by Vince Arcilla by Alfred Mendoza Photography.

 

JEWELMER WATER2
Water.  01 Baroque pearls, gems with unusual and dramatic silhouettes, are unexpected free expressions of nature, giving rise to unorthodox jewels that have long fired the imaginations of artists. This free-flowing TOCCATA necklace with 9 golden south sea pearls in 18-karat yellow gold lives up to its name, like a virtuoso piece of swift, lighthearted music. 02. From the  BOLLICINE Collection: A ring composed of one golden South Sea pearls set with diamonds in 18-Karat yellow gold. 03 Also from BOLLICINE, a bracelet composed of five golden South Sea pearls set with diamonds in 18-Karat yellow gold.

 

JEWELMER EARTH2
Earth.  01 By far one of the most beautiful pieces of jewellery I’ve seen. This TROPICS necklace is composed of one single baroque South Sea pearl set with diamonds in 18-Karat yellow gold reflecting the earth’s bounty and many shapes, colours and textures of the natural world. 02 Scintillating petals unfurl in pavé diamonds, blossoming with the pearl at its heart. Each sparkling flower in the DOLCE ROSA collection is an unforgettable treasure, a sumptuous feast of nature and romance. Dangling earrings composed of two golden South Sea pearls set with 0.368 carat diamonds in 18-Karat yellow gold.  03 From the TROPICS Collection: Earrings composed of two golden South Sea pearls set with diamonds in 18-Karat yellow gold.

 

JEWELMER AIR2
Air.  01 From the LINEA DE ORO Collection, solid, straight lines are drawn in precious gold and set with sparkling stones to make a sophisticated setting against which the sensuous curves of a pearl stand out in stunning detail. A bracelet composed of five golden South Sea pearls set diamonds in 18-Karat yellow gold.  02 From the Zen collection, a cuff composed of golden South Sea pearls and diamonds in 18-Karat yellow gold.  03 From the Zen collection, amidst symmetrical ripples, a perfect duality of textures, and evenly spaced circles of light, a golden pearl floats in tranquility – a masterwork of breathtaking simplicity. A necklace composed of three golden South Sea pearls set with 20.66 carat diamonds in 18-Karat yellow gold

 

 

I Can Serve

 

 

If you recall my ice bucket challenge, I included breast cancer awareness in addition to the ALS campaign. Here’s the video again.

This year I got to witness how I Can Serve Foundation supports women with breast cancer. I love that they are so committed to promoting awareness, especially since the Philippines has the highest rate of breast cancer in the region. I strongly believe that early detection is the best way to fight this disease. So women in their 20’s should do a monthly breast self-exam. Women in their 30’s should do the monthly self-exam plus annual physical check up with a doctor. Women in their 40’s should do all that plus have an annual mammogram. There is nothing to be scared of. Mammograms don’t hurt, they’re just a little bit uncomfortable. So please let this be a reminder to all my female readers. Please, have yourself checked regularly.

After I took the ice bucket challenge, I donated some money to I Can Serve to help fund mammograms. Congresswoman Leni Robredo did the same thing, though she skipped the ice bucket aspect because she was recovering from a cold. She mentioned in her Facebook that she took inspiration from what I did. (I actually challenged her by email, haha.) We are now looking into working together for the women of Naga with I Can Serve though its founder Kara Alikpala. It’s amazing how these things happen.

In the meantime, I am volunteering to help out in I Can Serve’s Rockwell booth during the month of October, breast cancer awareness month. Every Friday, Saturday and Sunday during the month of October, I Can Serve will have a booth selling special items to help spread awareness and raise funds. I will let you know which day I will be there so hopefully I can meet some of you.

Here’s a sample of what’s available at the I Can Serve booth. Some of them are available at I Can Serve’s online shop now. There are more…

 

I can serve

01 Limited edition Swatch watch

02 Happy Skin’s Just Married lipstick, available where Happy Skin products are sold. See below.

03 Reminder band

04 Messy Bessy “The Pink Warrior”

05 Mid Chevron fan

06 Greeting Card. In lieu of a gift (or accompanying a gift!)  make a donation in someone’s name to the ICanServe Foundation. Bi-fold card measures 7 inches X 7 inches. Includes: card, holiday ornament, envelope with lining and a sealer with the Foundation’s logo.

 

15281504121_10001f740b_k
I Can Serve Tshirt designed by Bleach, P500 available online here.

 

HS_IDo_S2
Every October, with any Just Married purchased in any place where Happy Skin is sold (Rustan’s, Beauty Bar, and Plains & Prints), Happy Skin will donate P10 to I Can Serve. I totally vouch for this line of lipsticks. Just Married is one of my favourite colours. It’s got that lovely pale pink that’s perfect either for a dressy occasion with a smoky eye or for every day non-occasions as a nude. It’s very natural-looking. Each lippie is loaded with shea butter and collagen to keep lips supple and hydrated like a lipbalm. It is highly-pigmented yet moisture-packed. P499.

 

For more information on how to donate, volunteer, or partner with I Can Serve Foundation, click here.

 

 

Altuzarra for Target

 

 

item0.rendition.slideshowVertical.altuzarra-target-lookbook-lead
Altuzzara for Target

 

header

 

500917531CC00025_Altuzarra_
Joseph Altuzzara
by Neilson Barnard/Getty Images for Target

 

Joseph Altuzzara, winner of this year’s CFDA Award for Womenswear Designer of the Year, is known for designing clothes that combine French style with an American practicality. He launched his brand, Altuzzara, in 2008. It is very much influenced by his multicultural upbringing and his international education in fashion. Altuzarra was raised by a Chinese-American mother and a French Basque father.

Target’s newest designer collaboration is with Altuzzara, a designer worn by Michelle Obama, Julianne Moore, Rihanna and Lupita Nyong’o. He is a big figure on the current New York Fashion scene as well as the red carpet. Altuzarra for Target is a 50-piece capsule collection of sexy dresses, tops, bottoms and accessories including lingerie.

 

Altuzzara

 

I’ve highlighted my picks from the collection which launched just yesterday. It is also being sold in another luxury e-retail site but at a higher price than Target’s. Like the #7 dress is $142 there but only $69.99 in Target.

So I’ve put links directly to Target, since they are my site partners. I don’t know how long the items will be available on line, just act fast because these things go real fast. Philippine-shoppers, you can use your local credit card and have your Target purchases delivered for free to a US address. That’s what I do. I send my online purchases to my relatives or friends and deal with shipping later.

 

Embroidered Peasant Dress in Ruby $54.99

Python Blazer $49.99

Ankle Strap Pump  $39.99

Faux Croc Belt $29.99

Python Flounce Skirt $34.99

6 Ponte Dress with Lace Detail  $39.99

Satin Floral Maxi Dress  $69.99

 

Good Stuff 100

 

 

collage copper

 

You probably noticed that I’ve been making these layouts occasionally. I don’t use a quick program. I do old-fashioned cut and paste on Photoshop. Since I’ve been doing them for the past couple of years, the most troublesome part for me has always been putting a title on each collage. So I’ve decided, with the help of Patrick, to name this series “Good Stuff.” This is number 100 because I’ve lost track of how many Good Stuff collages I’ve made, so let’s just call this 100.

In my weekly “Good Stuff” collages I will highlight things that I love, wish, covet. Some are from my site partners, some are just picked off the net. It may or may not include gifted items or PR samples. I will indicate if so. All items will have links directing you to sites where you can buy them directly or get more info on them.

This week, my collage stemmed from that beautiful ivory coloured dress from Reiss. Everything else just followed.

 

01 I love the way this ivory dress is tailored. It can give an illusion of a small waist, long neck and a flattering neckline. Perfect dress for day or evening events.  Natalia dressicon from Reiss.

02  Soft Dog Pendant designed by Henrik Pedersen at Design Within Reach. DWR is my newest site partner and I can’t wait to work with them on highlighting some of my favourite things from their roster of good stuff. With this pendant lamp is, Pedersen wanted to evoke a lightness and purity that are reminiscent of Scandinavian design. What he achieved is a soft, sculptural, less industrial form that’s simple and welcoming.

03  Carmen sunglasses from House of Harlow 1960 comes in different colours but I’m loving this grapefruit version. It has this vintage feminine vibe that’s perfect for our tropical climate in Manila.

04  Hand-Painted Equestrian Charm Bracelet from One Kings Lane, on sale for $49. Made of 24-kt gold-plated intaglio, 24-kt gold-plated steel, and faceted glass. You know how much I love my hand-painted enamel medallion charms from Europe. Here is a chunky charm bracelet version from Susan Shaw.

05  After years of wearing uncomfortable underwire and padded bras, I’ve gotten rid of all of them. Since I am slightly built, I have found the perfect fit in soft bras and bralets. Feel free to discuss. I don’t really know if this is good or bad. But for me and my physique, I’m ok with less support. Loving this Trenta Soft Bra from Cosabella

06  Much to my husband’s dismay, I am never going to be a minimalist. Though I appreciate modern design like that pendant lamp from DWR, there will always be a part of me that will like kitsch and novelty. Like this Cockatoo Pitcher from Fitz and Floyd.

07  One Kings Lane works on flash sales. So if this pretty brass tray catches your fancy, click the link now. I think there’s only a day left to get this piece on discount.23″ Grandeur Brass Tray with leather handles from One Kings Lane.

08  Again, tugging on my old soul’s heart strings, this Pioneer Tea Kettle from Jacob Bromwell is perfect for my kitchen. It’s handcrafted from pure copper and is ideal for heating water for coffee, tea, or cocoa. A true collector’s item you can actually use, made the same way it was hundreds of years ago from when pioneers carried them in their wagons.