In and Out

I am usually dumbfounded whenever somebody would ask me to define the term fashion. I mean, basically I think it’s an art, and a means of expression. But really, how does one define something that is so exquisitely vague and in most cases subjective? Likewise, how can someone tell who’s “fashionista” and who’s not? Tricky, right?

loafer boots (Forever 21) | canvas bag (Louis Vuitton) | cropped top (Forever 21) | mini dress (Victoria's Secret) | chain necklace (Amientottie) | cross necklace | tights (from Hong Kong) | zipper bracelet and bangles | leopard-printed connector ring (Jellybean)

Question: Would you say that it’s the girl who’s always “in”?

To be honest, I for one am not easily besotted by trends. They just come and go, like how the movie stars can rise and fall, like how our economy can reach the peak and then suddenly slide down to a recession. It’s like making a purchase for something that you will only be able to use for two to three times until it’s already labelled a fad. It’s a sad, endless cycle of fashion melodrama.

A fashionista does not necessarily follow then trends, because it defeats the purpose when you’re supposed to be the one setting the trends. I’m not saying this is an official definition from Merriam-Webster alright, but there is a big fat line between a fashionista and a girl wearing or carrying an “it” item. Even if it’s on sale, you may think you have saved so much for buying a trend on a bargained price, but don’t think that way because business is still business at the end of the day. We consumers tend to forget that a “sale” tag is merely a marketing strategy and not a charity act.

There is generally nothing bad about following trends, especially if you really fell in love, and more so if it looks amazing on you. But investing on something for the wrong reasons is just so, well, wrong. Make sure you’re not compromising your own personal style just for the sake of blending in with the majority. Remember: you’re a trendsetter, not a follower! :)

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The happiest place on earth

I have so much love in my heart for princesses and prince charmings and all whatnots that we can find in the children’s story books. I grew up secretly believing that mermaids do exist and that someday I’ll have my own three wishes granted by a fairy godmother. Going to Disneyland is like witnessing all those fairytales come to life, getting your picture taken with the world famous Mickey Mouse and dining at the Royal Banquet where Cinderella once danced in her glass slippers. It was totally, amazingly blissful!

Welcome to "The Happiest Place on Earth!"

Our tickets! Cute. ^^

I saw Tarzan, Timon and Pumbaa, Mulan, Beauty and The Beast, and many more! Yiiii! 0_o

"The Golden Mickey's"

MTR to Disneyland

Mickey Mouse cookies

Mickey Mouse ice cream

Mickey Mouse waffle

And there's the real Mickey Mouse with the fake Minnie Mouse, hi hi hi! <3

Disneyland's closing fireworks

Disneyland is not just a place for kids, but for all kids at heart. The fireworks were magical and surreal that it brought us to “a whole new world” indeed.

Definitely the happiest place on earth. No questions asked. ♥

Hong Kong 07.2011

Ni hao! ♥

Just got back in Manila. Went away for a few days for a much-needed vacation, but I caught a cold and ended up spending around a hundred Hong Kong dollars for Chinese medicine. It was effective though, no more runny nose on our third day at HK- just in time for Disneyland!

My body is still sore from the long travel. Jet lag, they call it?  So I guess I’ll just shorten this blog entry with a bunch of photos.

The spectacular view from Avenue of Stars.

Day 2 at Hong Kong. Floral romper (People are People) | Flats (Happy Feet) | Scarf (Her Bench) | Gray beanie | Rose ring (Forever 21)

 

Stopping by for lunch at Cafe de Coral. They have the yummiest beverages!

Mark's birthday muffin! Have I mentioned that it was his birthday? 0_o

Our Hong Kong experience won't be complete without dimsum! <3

Care for a cup of tea, anyone?

…and some more photos. Because Hong Kong is also home of the biggest pillars of the fashion industry, even famous shopping streets like Ladies Market and Temple Street. I hear retail therapy is as effective as their Chinese medicine. ;)

HK Disneyland will be posted soon! :)

Wanted: Dream Job

“What do you want to be when you grow up?”

All of us had to answer this billion-dollar question when we were in kindergarten. Back then, at the age of five, the most popular answer would’ve been a doctor. Others would say policeman, or lawyer, or singer. I even had a classmate who said she wanted to become a princess. (No, I didn’t go to school with Kate Middleton.) And I, for one, had my own impressive answer. I wanted to become a nun, and my teacher thought I was so cute and God-fearing because of that. God-fearing, yes, though that wasn’t the case. Truth is, I really liked their headdress.

When I grew up, I did not end up in a convent (otherwise I wouldn’t be here blogging, right?). Somewhere down the road, I ended up taking Economics and Public Policy. But with all due respect to Adam Smith and the principles of demand and supply, what I actually yearn for is to build a career out of the things I love the most- fashion and journalism.

So, you might ask, why didn’t I just take fashion design or journalism course instead? Answer: If you were a small town girl like myself who was fortunate enough to be in the Metro for college, you’d probably opt for the more practical choices that would land you on a sure job. And this is not me justifying, mind you. My years in San Beda are blissfully unforgettable and my Benedictine values will forever be embossed upon my soul.

But then again, it’s never too late to be the person you could have been from the start. It’s never too late to chase after what you once missed. Somewhere out there I know my dream job is waiting for me.

Meanwhile, a girl’s gotta pay the bills! ;)

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On a very unrelated note, please hype my look on lookbook.nu!

1-2-3 Pose!

“Posing in front of a DSLR camera does not make you a model.”

Being the tweetwhore that I am, I came across this statement by chance while browsing my Twitter timeline the other day. The moment was so random that I can’t even recall whose tweet it was. And do you know what else I discovered? There is a fan page for this too. And there’s another one! “Owning a DSLR camera does not make you a photographer.”

Not that I personally felt that the verbal attacks were directed towards me, mind you. But since this is my page where I’m entitled to my own opinion, let me say that I personally thought it was a low blow.

On photography.

I am saddened that there are people who have that kind of attitude towards the booming photography industry. Do you remember those days back when films had to be processed inside a darkroom in order to develop photographs? Because I certainly do. That’s a lot of work, if I may remind you, and way expensive. I know a little bit about this because I once represented my school for a photojournalism competition when I was in sixth grade, and I had to ask money from my parents for two rolls of film, a hundred for each. And do you know how much a hundred-peso bill can buy during those days? Two happy meals from McDonald’s! And I didn’t include the cost for developing photos yet.

How about those days when cellphones with cameras cost a fortune? Those days when we needed a scanner to be able to upload a primary photo in Friendster? Those days when we had to go to a portrait studio for that 3-click Kodak moment? Ooh, I sure do remember all that!

Point is, thank God for the digital era!

Now is certainly not the time to bash each other who dares to enter the photography industry. If everyone can afford a DSLR, then by all means, let them shoot 24/7! Those who are truly talented are never threatened, perhaps merely challenged but in a positive way. Just because you were ahead two steps doesn’t mean everybody will be stuck behind you forever. It won’t boost your ego if you stomp on others’ feet. Rather than discouraging photography enthusiasts, motivating would be more appreciated. So if you can’t lend a helping hand, a zipped mouth will do.

On modeling.

First of all, let us define what a model is. A model is someone who endorses a specific product, or place, or whatever. He/she appears in tv commercials, in print ads, or in the runway for fashion shows. In short, modeling, for these people, is their bread and butter. This is how they make a living. And yes, a studio picture shot by a DSLR camera will not make anyone a model (unless there’s a modeling agency named DSLR camera.)

Like any other girl, I grew up adoring their flawless skin, their fashionably chic clothes, even their gorgeous smiles every single time I gaze upon their picture perfect faces in magazines and billboards. So, here’s what I have to say: A girl can dream, alright?

What is so bad about posing with hands on the hips in front of a DSLR camera? Is it so much different from posing with a Korean “peace sign” in front of a pixelated mobile phone? And please, can we not pretend that we do not have our own fair share of vanity? I mean, a framed photo may be so 2000 and late, but nowadays, what we all want is a decent Twitter avatar and a charming Facebook profile picture.

The photos below were taken a long time ago, and were shot using a Sony Cybershot digital camera (not DSLR). Am I posing like a model? Maybe. Does this make me a model? No. But should I care? No. And you shouldn’t, too. Narcissism may not be your cup of tea, but spare Tyra Banks’ fans who naturally love to “smize” and pout in front of the camera. Let us respect democracy, shall we?

And hey, you, yes, you! You may not be a model, but keep in mind that you have every goddamn right to pose like one- DSLR or no DSLR!

photo by Mark Clemente

Back to school

It’s official.

My first day at the Fashion Institute of the Philippines will begin this Saturday, 16th of April 2011. I am enrolled at last, and I’m absolutely feeling giddy while writing this down. My high fashion dreams are, well, still high, but slowly becoming reachable. Hence, please excuse this 21-year old lady (fine!) girl if she’s jumping for joy in the middle of blogging.

Let me give you a brief history: My love for Barbie goes all the way back since kindergarten. I remember how I used to enjoy dressing (or wrapping, rather) my dolls with cut out fabrics that I had desperately sewn together, practicing my pathetic running stitch technique which I learned from basic home economics class.

But cross my heart, I have never seen this coming… okay, probably not until mid high school.

But before then, I grew up single-mindedly believing that I am just like any other typical girl who loves clothes and dress-up games. Apparently, while most women are in total bliss when shopping, I am feeling the same kind of euphoria when sewing. But don’t get me wrong, I still believe there can be no medication on earth that is as effective as retail therapy.

Nonetheless, I am officially back to school. This time, not with a pen and paper, but with threads and needles. So as I pinch myself to verify whether this is real or not, I shall end this blog entry with these last words: I am sew excited! :D

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…On second thought, let me end this blog entry with my photos wearing my favorite pair of DIY denim shorts. I designed this one myself. So, what do you think?

I apologize if it’s the connector ring on focus instead of the details of the shorts. This photo was originally meant for my Lookbook account.

Speaking of Lookbook.nu, hype here please! :)

The last chapter

I have no idea why, but I have always been fond of fairytales. No matter how old I become every single year, a part of me that’s completely engrossed with castles, prince charming and the idea of true love will forever stay a little girl.

I’m not sure if you’re familiar with Mulan (but hey, that’s why there’s Google). She is one particular Disney character I became obsessed with since the first time I knew her story. Growing up, she’s been my childhood heroine. Mulan was brave, strong, and driven. She followed her heart and didn’t care about what other people might say. She took control of her own life and changed her destiny. I always wished to be like her, even tried to be like her at times.

Unfortunately, I became nothing like Mulan.

I was actually a bit like Cinderella, always doing what she’s been told, living to please other people. I was as helpless as Aurora, the Sleeping Beauty who’s willing to wait forever for true love’s kiss to break her curse. And yeah, perhaps I was a bit of Snow White, the part of her that was easily deceived and, most often than not, naïve.

And you know, I’ve always thought it’s unfair. Because they’re all princesses, and I’m not. I only get to take after the same weakness, but never the same strength. Cinderella has her glass slippers, Sleeping Beauty has her fairy godmothers, and Snow White has her seven dwarfs. And ugh, let’s not forget that she’s the fairest of them all!

But then again, I try to console myself by saying that there is no such thing as a perfect story. We all live in our own fairytales, and as the heroes of our own story books, every once in a while there are villains who we come across with- ogres who scare us from living our lives to the fullest, dragons who won’t stop until we’ve turned into ashes, and wicked witches who are, uhm, bitches.

Every once in a while too, we have to realize that not all fairytales involve magic wands and flying carpets. Because sometimes, a kiss, a hug, or even a simple ‘I love you’, will be enough to break a curse. Some genies don’t need to come from bottles. Some only need to care. And if you don’t come across your knight-in-shining-armor, well, you need to be strong enough to save your own ass.

For some reason, in fiction, the last chapter always provides us with the same ending. But ultimately, in real life, there are two possibilities. While some stories end happily ever after, there are also some stories… that simply end.