Pia

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Top & pants designed by Pia and made by Raymund Saul; shoes, Christian Dior; bag, Bvlgari; earrings, Me chang.

A little over a year ago, entrepreneur Pia See had an idea. She was running a uniform supply business and pregnant with her second child when she saw potential in one of her sewers who made clothes outside the workshop for extra cash. When she took over the business from her MIL, Pia discovered that there were lean months. “I wasn’t content with that so I thought of a sideline to fill in those months when orders were slow.” She started with a few dresses to wear throughout her pregnancy, made by her talented sewer, and friends began to notice. “Why don’t you sell those!”,  they’d tell me. I had to attend a wedding after I gave birth while still breastfeeding so I made a dressy top that was easily accessible anytime my son had to feed. That was the first ever top I made for Unif0rm and it was a hit.”

The EVE tuxedo top is probably my personal favorite: it’s a white sleeveless button down with a black tuxedo ribbon at the neck with the option of popping up the collar for added chic factor. It’s simple yet clever and instantly adds polish even with jeans or shorts. Pia paired the top with a ball skirt for the wedding and got big compliments and a ton of inquiries. That’s when she thought of launching her brand. Her original uniform business still exists but is slowly getting surpassed by her new venture, giving her the push to expand. Having seen samples of her top sellers, I urged her to go for it. The quality of the fabrics, the fit and good sizing, along with the small details that make it unique are just some of the qualities that made me a believer.

Pia’s style is a little bit boyish, never too girly or precious and suits her petite frame perfectly. It’s obvious she knows a thing or two about style and carries it well: the dramatic neoprene tunic with matching pant she co-designed almost made me beg to have one made for myself. “I’ve never worn this, no occasion but it’s pretty nice pala. I feel like a superhero!” That outfit alone deserved its own debut so I’m ecstatic it happened here. Read on to see more of Pia’s androgynous style and why her line should be your daily uniform.

What she does Owner & Creative Director of Unif0rm

Personal style A mix of highs and lows. Classic with an edge.

Her days be like Weekdays are easy but busy. It’s a lot of time management between family, myself and work. Weekends are spent with family doing what the kids want, eating out or zoos. We also like doing simple outdoor activities; running around flying a kite or kicking a ball just to release all the energy. I like to cook too, it relaxes me. I also enjoy watching movies and getting lost in a book.

Favorite designers and shopping haunts Yohji Yamamoto, Cristobal Balenciaga, Phoebe Philo, JW Anderson; I shop everywhere! From department stores, specialty stores to sidewalks. I like the thrill of finding a good buy. My go-to shops are Unif0rm, Zara, COS, Celine, Acne Studios to name a few.

Top 5 closet staples Bag, watch, jeans, loafers and scarf.

Celebrity crush Kate Beckinsale because she has a very pretty face and I find her appeal very sexy. Emmanuelle Alt for her fashion style and how she carries herself.

Reading material I read any kind of Home, Fashion, Food and Chismis magazine!

Online surfing I love Pinterest!

Style evolution My job influences my personal style a lot because I like to wear the clothes I make. That’s how I do my marketing and that’s how I also make sure what we make are wearable.

Current uniform It’s anything that works for me for different occasions. In other words, foolproof looks! I have various kinds but top of mind would be a button down shirt and jeans—confident and sexy paired with either loafers, sneakers or heels.

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Top, COS; pants, Uniqlo; shoes, Adidas Superstar; shades, Chanel.

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Black shirt worn underneath, Gap; top, Patty Eustaquio; pants, Zara; shoes, Kurt Geiger; earrings, H.Stern; rings, Jenny Icasas.

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Yup, she has two boys.

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Top, Korean Find (Korean Brand); jeans, Zara; shoes, Gucci; bag, Pierre Hardy; earrings, Jenny Icasas; watch, Cartier; bangle, Hermes.

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Dress, H&M; Shoes, UniqueAllure; earrings, Heart&Bolt; watch, Cartier; bracelet, Miansai; rings, Lourel_ph & Madewell.

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Top, Unif0rm; jeans, Terranova; belt, Mango; clutch, Celine; shoes, Balenciaga; earrings, Chopard; watch, Bvlgari; ring, Whjewels888.

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Tin

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Tin, a.k.a Suzy899 (her DJ and hosting name) can give us all a lesson or two on confidence. This vivacious, spirited heartthrob—yes, you read it right, has been gracing the radio waves with her big personality and booming voice since her college days as a junior jock for Magic89.9 and courtside commentator for the PBA. She is also my sister’s best friend and our host at our wedding last year whose jokes and tearful laughter stole the hearts of everyone present. My cousin Enzo even told me recently, “I still remember all her jokes that day.”

The moment I met Tin I knew she was something special. Her extroverted demeanor didn’t come off as too much or annoying, as it sometimes can be for the opposite like myself. Instead, I couldn’t stop laughing since day one of knowing her and saw her bloom from a t-shirt and jeans sporting chick to the bondage dress lover she is now. Tin’s dedication to her fitness routine puts mine to shame: she works out almost everyday with a coach, joins marathons (both running and shopping) and also dabbles in team sports. Ask her anything about basketball trivia and she knows them all! It’s almost as if she was a dude in her past life packaged in a voluptuous, sexy and confident #girlboss. “I live in dresses but I still love my sneakers. I always go back to where I’m most comfortable wearing—my t-shirt with skinny jeans and leggings.” All throughout the shoot one overcast Sunday afternoon, she put on hip hop tunes from her Spotify playlist and shamelessly danced along. She got especially excited when a Kanye tune came up that I had to tell her to slow down to get a better, non-blurry shot. She loves music, 90s music to be exact, and has legions of fans and followers that her phone literally doesn’t stop buzzing.

The allure of Tin isn’t because she’s a skinny size 2. It’s the fact that she’s a proud curvy girl who marches to the beat of her own drum with nary a care on what people say. “I equate feeling good to looking good – not vice versa. I think if a person feels good inside, that will completely translate outwardly. I lost 70 pounds, and that made me feel good physically, mentally. And I think it was my change in mindset more than my weight loss that made me look better afterwards.” This is the kind of woman we all should aspire to be. I know I will…and she’ll be happy to know that I, the ultimate alternative chick, has since become a Kanye West convert.

Catch her at 12nn-3pm Monday to Thursday for The Meal and 6-10pm on Mondays for Boys Night Out on Magic 89.9 and on The Goat at Fox Sports Ch 31 on Sky Cable every Thursday 930 pm starting October for their new season!

What she does Radio personality, DJ, TV Host

Personal style It’s almost like I have two personalities sometimes. On any given day, I can show up to work in a girly dress or a hoodie, shorts, sneakers, and a cap. My friends call my style very street, and maybe that’s because of my penchant for incorporating the hip hop culture into a lot of my outfits. And because my personality can be quite androgynous, that comes out in my style too.

Her days be like I work a lot. But because I’m in love with my job, it never feels like I’m working. I do 5 radio shows a week, I host and attend a lot of events, and when our show is in season, we have tapings once a week. I need at least an entire day to prep – a lot of research goes into every episode. I play a lot too – my friends and I all have pretty hectic schedules, but we make sure we spend at least a couple of nights a week unwinding. A lot of my friends work in the club scene, so I frequent their gigs. Also, I’m a hip hop head so if there’s a hip hop night somewhere around town, I’ll probably be there. I’m also a big basketball fan so I move my schedule around to accommodate games. When it’s the NBA season, I move my workouts to the afternoon. I skip work to watch the UAAP.

Favorite designers and shopping haunts Zara, H&M, River Island, Bershka, Stradivarius, Top Shop, NBA Store, Nike. Bags would be my biggest vice, more than shoes. Balenciaga, Prada, Givenchy, LV.

Top 5 closet staples My go-tos, as cliche as it may sound, are all little black dresses! I wish I could give a more exciting answer. I also have a strange love for sweaters. They occupy a huge amount of space in my closet. I love how you can instantly look more dressed up if you choose to wear that in lieu of a shirt.

Celebrity crush Kati Nolan. She is my spirit animal. She hosts a sports/comedy show on Fox Sports 2 in the US called Garbage Time. She’s super outspoken, completely fearless, and SO INCREDIBLY FUNNY. I want to be her just so I could peek into her brain, as creepy as that sounds.

Reading material Slam Philippines. Cosmopolitan. That’s about it.

Online surfing Nba.com, Bleacherreport.com. I used to love this website called Grantland.com until it died.

Style evolution I think I wear more or less the same thing as when I wasn’t on TV. Just a little more polished. My outfits on The Goat are what I would wear to a hosting or a night out.

Current uniform No brainer outfits that can be your go-to on lazy days! Mine would be an LBD + either a cardi or a sporty jacket.

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Rocking the off-shoulder trend in this demure, albeit fitted, LBD from Miss Selfridge—her constant go-to outfit.

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Showing off her sporty side in a grey knit dress from Topshop and Nike sneakers.

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Trying out the dress over pant look. Lace dress, H&M; jeans, Mango.

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One of her many shirt dresses! This one’s from Zara.

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Sporty chic in a printed H&M mini dress and Nike’s.

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Going back to her grassroots, basketball and tees!

Pauline

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My earliest memory of Pauline was back in 2003 at the old Summit office in Pioneer st. I believe I went in for an interview for a Fashion Assistant post and spotted a girl wearing a black and aqua pleated a-line skirt with a sleeveless top and black flats. “How chic”, my 26 year-old self thought. Little did I know that in the course of five years (two of which spent in close proximity when she became my boss), I would witness one exceptional outfit after another, day by day, at events, at pre-prod meetings, at Fashion Week, at the beach; there was no shortage of fashion inspiration, ideas and ingenuity.

As a fashion girl, I don’t take the term icon lightly. The ones who top my list: the Olsen twins, Sofia Coppola, Jenna Lyons, Jane Aldridge. There are more, of course, but these women are my solace when I’m in a creative rut and need a little pick-me-up. Seeing them on my screen instantly uplifts and brings me joy; it may be shallow to some but it matters a lot to a creative like me. It’s fuel for the mind and soul. I’ve heard Pauline say this in a couple of interviews and I get her. I really do.

Locally, I haven’t given anyone the same regard as I do her. Her originality in putting together pieces is unparalleled; it makes her so special, so unique; I have to thank her because it does so much for me visually. The fact that she searches far and wide for her next precious purchase is a sport and science in itself. Good thing she decided to join Instagram and isn’t hesitant to share where she gets her unique finds! She was a natural choice as my next muse and I was beyond excited to see what she brought to the table.

She arrived with a suitcase and shoe boxes filled with the most obscure yet enthralling pieces that made my heart skip a few beats. “I’m so happy!”, I said unabashedly when we finished. She gave me a hug and a token from a recent trip because that’s how she is—reserved yet actually kindhearted and sweet. For a few hours, I was a kid in a candy shop–or in this case–a nail salon, oooohing and aaaaahing with every outfit change. Anyone can own and buy the best pieces from the most notable designers but few can wear it with such style and panache. This is what makes Pauline a gem. Feast your eyes, folks!

What she does Wife, mother, consultant, Nail Spa owner

Personal style Evolving. Instinctively I am drawn to minimal pieces, but it is tempered by a love for girly, embellished pieces and evening wear. I also skew heavily towards the seasonal trends because change is good! Shoes, however, are the cornerstone of my outfits, and whatever I put on has to highlight my footwear of choice.

Her days be like Mellow. I try to get a workout in—either Pilates in OneLife Studio or Core Kinesis—everyday. I’ve really been into my sabbatical from publishing, focusing on rest and nutrition, fixing up our home and traveling.

Favorite designers and shopping haunts Gian Romano, Joey Samson, Dotcomme (Patrice Diaz’ and Cecile Van Straten’s line), Cos, Zara, Self Portrait, (Taiwanese brand) Stephane Dou + Changlee Yugin and hand-me-downs from my mom’s and Lola’s closets. For shoes, my current favorites are AGL Attilio Giusti Leombruni, Brother Vellies, Maryam Nassir Zadeh, N°21, Rochas, Delpozo and Marco di Vincenzo.

I shop mostly online (and I search far and wide on the worldwide web for sites) for shoes, the pop-ups of my designer friends, high street-high fashion collabs and Zara—my boys always try to con me to look the other way when there’s a Zara nearby, because they know that we’ll have to pass by.

Top 5 closet staples An over-the-top pair of statement heels, block heels, baby pink sneakers, slides with oversized bows, feminized men’s footwear classics (like fully sequined oxfords or embroidered brogues). Nowadays my clothing choice revolves around my footwear.

Celebrity crush You mean look like as a whole package and not just the face, right? I’d love to achieve a combination of the Great Kates: Hepburn, Moss, Spade and Blanchett for the rest of my life.

Reading material Preview, of course. I read Vogue, Elle and W when I’m in Nail Spa, Time when I’m in my mom’s house, and have a subscription of non-fashion magazines like Vogue Living (Australia), New Yorker and Afar on my iPad. Am currently for a Zinio sale to subscribe to BBC History magazine.

Online surfing Stylebible.ph

Style evolution Nowadays I’m always in workout clothes, which sometimes I wear the entire day. Athleisure has taken a whole new meaning for me. I worry I don’t get enough to cost-per-wear for my beloved shoes!

Current uniform NO uniform for me.

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Sweatshirt, DotComme; ball skirt from The Ramp; sneakers, Golden Goose; grape earrings from Bangkok.

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Dress, Lemaire x Uniqlo; trilby from Grand Bazaar in Istanbul; sneakers, Common Projects.

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Not your usual nail polish shelf. This one’s carefully styled and curated.

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Just like having your nails done in your living room—a really posh and stylish living room.

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Caftan, Vintage SC Vizcarra; slides, Brother Vellies Marabou Lamu.

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Brother Vellies Marabou Lamu feather slides (modaoperandi.com)

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Common Projects sneakers in baby pink!

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Embroidered halter top, Theater; jeans, Seven for All Mankind flares; shoes, Tibi flatforms; ear cuff Cova by Melanie Cuevas.

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A closer look at her ear cuff from Cova by Melanie Cuevas.

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Ang galing mo mag wala lang pose!” comment garners a laugh. (you’re so good at the “not posing pose”)

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Dolce & Gabbana (roses), Super (blue flash lens), Preen by Thornton Bregazzi (printed), Karen Walker (tortoiseshell cat’s eye).

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Silk blouse, See by Chloe; black bra, Cos; lace pants, Alice McCall; wedges, Vionnet.

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Vionnet wedges.

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Mansur Gavriel tote and cross body bags; Manu Atelier mini Pristine box bag (Manu Atelier is an up-and-coming brand from Istanbul)

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Rochas tinsel slingbacks with Art Deco-inspired heel (barneyswarehouse.com)

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Dita (silver mirrored aviators); Miu-Miu (round black); Yohji Yamamoto (burgundy round frames); Celine (pink frames)

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Fendi Bugs pointy toe flats (saksfifthave.com)

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Dress, Joey Samson; shades, Preen by Thornton Bregazzi; bomber jacket, Jaspal x Star Wars C3PO; Brother Vellies Jardin Babouche mules.

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Brother Vellies Jardin Babouche fur mules (brothervellies.com)

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Jeffrey Cambell feather slingbacks (nastygal.com)

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Shot at Maison Nail Spa at Edades complex in Rockwell, a nail salon Pauline co-owns with friends.

 

 

 

Amor

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I’ve had my share of encounters with extroverts in my years of existence. They both fascinate and intimidate me, the ultimate introvert with a perpetually RBF (resting b*tch face); in my experience, extroverts always have a ready smile anytime, anywhere. Today’s SOS muse is all that and so much more. To say that Amor is an extrovert isn’t even scratching the surface. The woman talks a mile a minute and my sleepy brain on that busy morning I met her at the GeiserMaclang HQ took a while to fathom what it saw and experienced. First, the atmosphere: it was vibrant, hectic (but not in a stressful way, I felt), people coming and going, meetings ongoing and employees making jokes while some were barking orders. Second, the space: everyone was housed under a huge floor with walls and practically every corner filled with artwork of all types, shapes and sizes. It was like being in the Art Fair but in an office setting; some even had their original labels under the pieces. I swear I saw some familiar paintings and installations from past exhibits, a couple of which were from artist Leeroy New (my current art hero and Amor’s too!).

After a few minutes of quietly observing, out comes Amor cheerily welcoming me into her office that has transformed into a dressing room filled with local indigenous, one-of-a-kind finds, striking accessories and shoes including her personal make up artist, Ron Peña, who mentions we have met before when I styled our common friend for her website. Amor tells me she has spared her lunch break for our shoot and this makes me a bit nervous; this better be damn good if she skipped eating for it. We talk, or rather, she talks while I try to pick up everything about her work and passions, mind you there are a LOT. Her wardrobe is a mix of local designers she is loyal to from Manila and the provinces (Cordillera, Iloilo and South Cotabato) she visits for her advocacy of bringing to light the genius fabric artists from these regions. I was amazed with what I learned, heard, felt and saw. Her passion easily transports you to where she’s been with her animated words and demeanor; this is why she’s the marketing bigwig that she is—the woman can sell anything! But we didn’t have time for too much talk, I had photos to take and she, places to be and people to meet. Here’s the end result of that fast-paced morning, including snippets of her detailed answers. Perhaps someday when I grow up, I’ll be as engaging and colorful as her—minus the RBF, of course.

What she does Globally awarded brand architect / risk crisis and reputation strategist / marketing innovator / sustainable development goals advocate.

Personal style “An almost perfect reflection of her vision of the Philippines: local designers practicing global design sensibilities like Maureen Disini, Jor-El Espina of Iloilo, Zhaun Barry Agabe of T’nalak Dreamweavers in South Cotabato and authentic heritage craftwork from the late Narda Capuyan from Cordillera and the modern interplay between the two”.

Her days be like I wake up very early in the morning to do business “housekeeping”: check emails, write thought leadership posts, connect with partners. I also schedule my most important meetings in the mornings. Come 10 am, it’s not unlikely that we have accomplished two meetings already. I work a lot and very closely with the team so mornings are spent with them. Lunch for me is almost sacred, being my most important meal. Afternoons are spent with client and evenings with partners and our advocacy work. It’s very important that what I wear pulls me together from the very early morning to the evening.

I usually travel on weekends for our communications, CSR 2.O, tourism programs that require an out of town component. I’m either in the Cordilleras, Eastern Visayas/Leyte or South Central Mindanao. Because of our work in tourism, resource management (water, environment etc) I have developed hobbies that are akin to my work. I have climbed the biggest cave systems in the country, gone up and down Apo in a day, learned how to dive. Our extensive work in the food service industry has allowed me to visit some of the secret kitchens in SAMAR and the indigenous kitchens of the T’bolis.

Travel overseas has been my way to detach. To celebrate my 40th birthday, I traveled to Bhutan on a study tour. The work is not just mentally grueling but also physically demanding. But I have never been happier.

Favorite designers and shopping haunts Apart from the local folks mentioned earlier, there’s Georgina Ong of Alchemista, Frederic Malle for scents, IWC for timepieces, Denovo diamonds, Tiffany, Margiela, Issey Miyake and Prada.

Top 5 closet staples

Uniqlo for my staples, the adult line of Petit Bateau, La Senza inner wear, IWC watch and Frederic Malle scents.

Style evolution Let me put it this way, it’s not about looking good but about consistency. Everything you do, say, put on your body, become associated with, has to be consistent to your values and therefore, your brand. It’s not about looking good for looking good’s sake but about what statement you convey and deliver. Fashion for me is  just another way to convey what I feel strongly for: support of global discourse with strong local roots, comfort, high performance and functionality, support of small scale producers and creators, celebration of creative collaboration and everything that makes us Filipino. Branding is all about values you hold dear and it should permeate every aspect of your life. Values should be so rich, we can taste, smell, see it. That’s the singular role of brands for me, a delivery mechanism for our values.

Online surfing

GeiserMaclang.Com

UrekaShops.Ph

net-a-porter.com

StylistinPocket.com

Hodinkee.com

Current uniform It has to be polished, serious but not too intimidating. Monogrammed oxford shirts from Uniqlo, black jeans, block heels in tan or black.

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Bomber jacket with Barong Tagalog detail, Jor-El Espina; bib, Margiela; pants, Uniqlo; shoes, Chanel.

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Dress, Maureen Disini; ring, Leeroy New for Denovo.

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Ring and sacred heart artwork by Leeroy New.

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Top, Uniqlo; skirt, Narda Capuyan from Cordillera; Ikat shoes, Stella McCartney; Lambat Necklace, Georgina Ong for Alchemista.

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A rock climbing wall inside her condo!

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Neoprene laser cut dress, Maureen Disini.

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Necklace, Georgina Ong for Alchemista.

Ring, Jul B. Dizon

Ring, Jul B. Dizon

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Earrings by Georgina Ong of Alchemista.

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T’boli belt and skirt from Cowhed, Lake Sebu.

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Earrings by Georgina Ong set against Ling Quisumbing “Barangay” installation.

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Top Uniqlo; hand carved belt by Iloilo prison wood carvers for Jor-El Espina; Ilonggo Hablon from Miag-ao; solihiya earrings by Georgina Ong for Alchemista.

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With her partner Brad Geiser.

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A small sampling of Amor’s rock collection: gems, meteorite, fossils, ammonite collections from Germany, Morocco, Japan, Bhutan, Ethiopia, France and the U.K.

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Dress (worn as top), Maureen Disini; T’boli belt and skirt from Cowhed, Lake Sebu; shoes, Christian Louboutin.

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Solihiya earrings by Georgina Ong for Alchemista.

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Dressing Veep Leni

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The now-famous color block dress. Photo from Reuters.

It’s an exciting time for Philippine politics—we have another woman in office to be formally inaugurated on the 30th of June, Vice President-elect Leni Robredo. The simple laywer from Naga is suddenly thrust into the limelight and as early as now, her wardrobe is starting to be critiqued and talked about. Case in point: when she was proclaimed by Congress as winner of the VP race, she wore a black, white and beige color block shift dress, her signature yellow tops absent, causing a stir within the public on the sudden change. She simply said she only had two yellow dresses and basically grabbed what she had in the closet for the event—yup, just like you and me when getting ready for work in the morning. Leni also mentioned that she stays away from colors that don’t complement her morena (dark) skin tone. Her concerns are normal, like any other woman out there who wants to look good and presentable before facing the world.

Now that she’s a full-fledged public figure (and being female at that), her appearance will constantly be criticized—whether good or bad—because that’s the way the world works and with social media being ever the watchful eye, it’ll be all over computer screens and phones in a nanosecond. I’ve stated my desire to be of service to my VP to the universe and while I wait for my fate ( I believe that if it’s meant to be it will happen), I’ve put together looks that I believe are appropriate for a woman in position. These are ladies who are both well-known and under the radar who all share the same fashion philosophy and give importance to dressing for the occasion: be it a state dinner, a visit to another continent, meeting important figures or simply eating out or doing errands. Shallow as it may sound to some, how we promote ourselves is just as important as the work we do. Leni is no different; and while it may be a delightful bonus that she makes the best-dressed list, presenting herself well is also a reflection of a proper and civilized society (yes, that would be us). Feel free to critique my choices, I won’t mind.

P.S. I added some yellow to the mix for good measure.

Photos from Pinterest

MONOCHROMATIC – wearing one shade head-to-toe equals instant elegance and looks put-together as the FLOTUS knows so well.

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How cute it would be if she matched with her daughters?

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PRINTS – there are ways to wear print and still look Palace-appropriate. Keep accessories minimal as the outfits are already busy.

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SEPARATES – a nice break from wearing dresses and can look just as chic.

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A model poses on the runway at the J.Crew Fall 2012 Presentation during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week at The Studio at Lincoln Center on February 14, 2012 in New York City.

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CASUAL –  because like us, she should enjoy weekends and holidays, too. Plus, fancy outfits don’t belong in her provincial advocacies.

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EVENING – go-to black or vibrant colors both work. It’s all in the fit.

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Céleteque

A few weeks ago I got a text from my friend Marcie, an old colleague from Summit who now runs her own PR company, asking if I was free to attend an event. I no longer go to events as much (or at ALL) since I left publishing, unless it’s a friend organizing it or I tag along with someone who is. I said yes because:

a. I missed it.

b. I wanted to support my friends. Zo, Marcie’s partner and former Cosmopolitan EIC, is also a pal.

c. It was a good way to network with other bloggers and people in the industry again.

So off I went a bit north of Makati where I live to the Céleteque event in the Bayanihan Center inside the Unilab compound. I used to live in that street and a lot has changed since 2004. It was a huge events center with various conference rooms; apparently it has been around for a while (yes, I don’t leave my ‘hood unless I really have to).

The invite said we had a crime to solve and were in for a new discovery. I was intrigued. I get there and find make up stations set up while guests were getting groomed by a couple of make up artists. Céleteque had make up?! Who knew? And it isn’t just your usual drugstore brand either: their cosmetics line had skincare formula that not only looks great on, it cares for your face too. How about that!

After having my foundation corrected, Zo asked us to sit outside while we wait for other participants to join  usbefore going to one of the rooms. It felt like I was a kid solving some sort of mystery role play. I was right! We went into a blue-lit room and were greeted by two “scientists” formulating concoctions into products that would solve all skin dilemmas. I had to wear a lab coat, don fake glasses, got a pen and clipboard and with the guidance of Professor X, went through activities to “create” the best product given my assigned skin problem. We had to do a bit of thinking and analyzing—it was fun! I also couldn’t help but notice the younger magazine folk and bloggers who moved so fast: taking photos while doing the activity with grace and expertise while there I was struggling to listen while sneaking in a photo or two. Keeping Up with the Millennials, indeed.

After that fun and very trippy activity we headed back to the main hall for some snacks and drinks. Food was YUMMYYY and I met some nice people while waiting for my turn at the carving station.

Once the program was done, we all lined up for the goody bags (really the highlight of any event next to the food and booze) and I was super surprised to receive my own personalized tote filled to the brim with all these amazing products! Yes, I’m not that kind of blogger who goes to events day in and out, so I was truly kilig with my loot. I’ve started using the anti-aging line and my skin has improved; less dark spots and a smoother, more supple surface. I have yet to try on the make up and will post a photo when I do. Thank you Marcie and Zo for a fun and delicious afternoon!

Scroll down to see what I got and try them out for yourselves. Céleteque is a local brand with premium positioning that I once thought was imported. Great job, Unilab!

In true millennial fashion, the souvenir photo was a video gif that was emailed to us after. Cool, huh? (awkward)

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Make up stations where you can have a whole face done by experts!

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The resident scientist hard at work showing us how to come up with the best skincare products.

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Giving the group instructions. He really was very enthusiastic.

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Cleanse, tone and moisturize the Céleteque way.

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Can’t wait to take this on my next sojourn!

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Each line is color coordinated for easy use and purchase. This line is for brightening.

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What I’m currently using now. The collagen gel smells so clean and fresh!

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I still get acne from time to time so I’m glad to have these at bay.

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Sun protection is even more important now that I’m in my 40s.

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I’ve tried these before and happy to have stock!

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I’ve used the concealer and coverage is nice, smooth and not cakey. Verdict on the make up line coming soon.

CFDAs 2016

The Council of Fashion Designers of America awards has long been heralded as the Oscars of the fashion industry. It is an event that launches the careers of newcomers into the mainstream, earning them the privilege of attracting investors, partners and a following they otherwise wouldn’t have the chance to encounter. Fashion is a tough business, especially for designers nowadays with the recent profitability of High Street brands. The CFDAs also honor the pioneers who have been influencing the way we dress for decades such as Norma Kamali, Marc Jacobs and the recently departed music, fashion and film legend, my own hero, David Bowie. The Fashion Icon award went to Beyoncé, aptly so and in true renegade fashion, she shows up in a pinstriped suit and a wide brim hat from Givenchy Haute Couture.

Here are my favorite looks from this year’s ceremony. Enjoy!

All images from Vogue.com

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It’s no secret that I’m an Olsen everything fanatic and delighted that baby sis Elizabeth joined her sisters on the pink carpet. The girls now wear black as their uniform and even though it’s tricky to decipher what exactly they’re wearing, it’s still super chic and fashion forward like no other. Because they’re just so damn cool and talented like that.

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Ever since Cruel Intentions, I’ve been a fan of the quirky Selma Blair. Her personal style is as unique as her movie roles and translated to her pregnancy looks even though she was ballooning during her final trimester. That to me was amazing and inspiring! I love the dress over pants look with the single sleeve cut to perfection she wore from Christian Siriano; definitely put him on the map for me. Good job, honey!

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I don’t know Morgan Macgregor or the designer Baja East (yet) but this two-piece dress and the way the matching belt is nonchalantly tied around her waist is a match made in fashion heaven! I also love the absence of accessories and the punctuated red orange lip as the single pop of color. Oh and her date Michael C. Hall looks good, too.

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I’m not exactly a fan of the Queen Bee but this unexpected Givenchy Haute Couture suit is as unique a statement as they come. The choice of peeptoe shoe is also on point to break the too covered-up ensemble and the hat is the cherry on top. Plus, it makes a good contrast against the fuchsia pink carpet. Bet she planned that too.

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These moody models in Thom Browne are the epitome of his signature style. Perhaps I related to it since I’m petite with narrow shoulders and can only probably wear a pantsuit if cut like this. Love everything about it: the cropped sleeve, the way the white shirt extends over it, the ankle-grazing pant that’s so slimming with a thick cuff, the shoes and bags! They look similar but a bit different in styling, keeping it dynamic and not too matchy-matchy. Winner! Paging Joey Samson.

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Love Rodarte, Love Kirsten Dunst and her incredibly detailed dress, hair ornament and I’m-so-bored look. It’s a modern 1920s style and silhouette and the sheer skirt offers just the right edge. The sisters stay true to their uniform albeit a more glammed up version. They also stuck to comfortable footwear which is an ultra-smart move worth noting. F*uck it flats FTW!

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Of course you’ll expect Queen Anna and Princess Bee to stand out in vibrant prints from Gucci in a sea of black. Anna has been known to say she’d never wear black head to toe even though she’s like a fashion god and black is the fashion uniform. They’re just too cool for that. I love, love this mother-daughter look and can spend hours staring at the details. Anna also makes me want to seriously take up tennis lessons to achieve those arms. Hello, 60-something!

Tracie

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Various hats from her travels in Japan, Brazil, Africa, Ecuador & Bali.

If world music had a muse, Tracie would be it. The mom of two, painter and entrepreneur is a woman of the world often traipsing the continents with her husband to road test the services of their luxury travel business A2ASafaris. Her recent sojourn took her to Cuba and Brazil, producing awe-inspiring photos while wearing chic ensembles, making you want to pack your bags and leave everything behind. That was certainly the effect on me! Listening to her stories while eating sizzling kansi in Sarsa Kitchen at the Fort—also her brainchild with her brother Chef JP Anglo—was a treat and transported me there; suffice to say I lived vicariously through her travel albums. I was looking forward to the loot she brought to the shoot after semi-stalking her outfit photos. It was a delightful mix of local designers, high street and TDF labels that I had the pleasure of seeing live for the first time (Sacai, Self-Portrait!). Her daughter Oraia came along to watch mom in action and gamely posed for me in her little Mexican tunic. It was love! And definitely following her mom’s footsteps. She is a lucky girl; Tracie’s collection is absolutely amazing!

Being a creative herself (she used to be Preview’s Creative Director in the mid-2000s), Tracie couldn’t help but critique every shot and give her two cents’ to the point that I started teasing her about putting on her CD hat. We ended up in fits of laughter with some censored shots and cheered when we came up with good ones. It definitely made my job easier and more fun. Here’s glimpse into her colorful world.

What she does Entrepreneur, Designer/Painter

Personal style Eclectic

Her days be like During the week, I focus on work – Sarsa, A2A Safaris, and doing design work/ bespoke handpainting for private clients. We’re also trying to finish our house  so I’m very busy with that. 

Favorite designers and shopping haunts These days, I seem to shop whenever I travel, and am really good (meaning I don’t shop) when I’m home. I also shop online and love supporting local designers.

I’m loving Carl Jan Cruz, Sacai, clothes from local communities with a textile tradition (whether in the Philippines or abroad), High street brands like H&M/Zara/COS, Être Cécile, Celine. I love unknown brands – the more unknown the better.

Top 5 closet staples

Être Cécile t-shirts, silk shirts which I buy by the dozen, track pants, decorative tops or dresses for evening, a riot of prints to break everything up

Celebrity crush Yasmin Sewell, Sofia Coppola, Amanda Harlech – these women all have great, effortless, and intelligent style.  I just came from Mexico and I think Frida Kahlo has amazing style. She wasn’t perfect but she had an artist’s eye for mixing and matching.
Style evolution Having your own business, there is no dress code. There’s no pressure to look good, except for interviews or events. So it’s a lot more relaxed – I used to wear heels all the time! These days you’ll find me in sneakers or flats. I’m really into comfortable shoes, now that I’m older and wiser!

Current uniform My uniform would either be silk shirts paired with track pants and sneakers, graphic t-shirts with black bottoms, or a mismatch of prints whenever I’m in the mood.  I like to glam it up at night. And of course I always paint in either caftans or in my pyjamas (when inspiration strikes at 3am)!

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Channeling Frida in a hand embroidered top from Oaxaca, Mexico; skirt, Comme des Garçons; sandals Prada; earrings, Céline.

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Antique elephant pendant from Bali.

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Her daughter Oraia does a cameo and poses like a pro!

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Different Sarsas (that’s Ilonggo for sauce and the resto’s namesake) greet you when you enter.

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Être Cécile t-shirt and skirt; sneakers, Adidas Stan Smith.

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Colorful knit bags from Marrakech.

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Dress, Sacai; platforms, Prada.

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Sarsa’s happy and colorful interiors made the perfect backdrop!

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Miss Oraia already following in her mom’s fashionable footsteps!

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Admiring mom’s Sacai dress. She would comment “you’re beautiful, mom!” in every outfit. Awww!

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Clutches from Monocole, Marni and Gucci.

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Silk blouse, Zara; pants, Carl Jan Cruz; sandals, Fendi.

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Fish necklace from Brazil (Amsterdam Sauer x Bianca Brandolini collaboration), Céline earrings and necklace, antique ivory earrings from Africa.

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Dress, Carl Jan Cruz.

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A meal here isn’t complete without these key sauces.

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Dress, Self-Portrait; sneakers, Adidas.

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Black and white belts, Alaia; black Sandals, Robert Clergerie.

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Casual to Cocktails: North vs South

I spent most of my life in the South–South of Metro Manila, that is. It was only in the early 2000s that I decided to leave the comforts of home – part circumstance, part want –  and moved in to my first shared apartment in Mandaluyong. That to me meant moving North even though it’s hardly as far out as Bulacan. When you need to cross a highway to get out of the suburbs, that meant you were leaving familiar territory, and anywhere past that highway is considered the other side…”Mordor” as some of my friends would call it.

Fashion-wise, I’ve seen and lived the steady south way. I absolutely do not dress up on weekends unless needed; I’m comfortable wearing flip flops in the mall; I hardly wear make up. My uniform to Alabang Town Center or “Town” as residents call it was a grey tee, ripped denim shorts (the non-hipster fit and cut) and Havaianas or flat sandals. I’m more Roxy Chick than Doña at the beach and only started wearing real cover ups (caftans, robes, dresses) in my late 20s. It’s always been a long tank top or t-shirt over my suit. For traveling, it was sneakers all the way with comfy track pants and yes, a t-shirt. For nights out, however I made more effort but still kept the southern twist: tank tops with skirts and heels or jeans with a dressy top.

I was familiar with how the northerners dressed because most of my friends lived there. They were more into brands and flashy colors and logos, all dressed up even to a trip to the mall on sem break. You could always tell the city girls in the beach; they wore silky caftans in vibrant colors, sometimes with a sprinkle of gold eye shadow and bronzer. At airports, they’re the ones in boots and a jacket; a tailored shirt and riding leggings. Nights out meant the time to whip out that LDB and pair it with killer sexy heels.

I’m now in my 40s and getting more and more aware that I have to make a conscious effort to dress my age. I’ve come to embrace the normcore way, maybe because I was around the first time it was en vogue. I haven’t outgrown my love for t-shirts and ratty shorts on Saturdays though, or traveling in sneakers which, ironically is THE way to go these days. I’d like to think I’ve grown into a combination of both districts, more balanced in my mature sartorial choices. Or at least I’d like to think so!

I thought it would be fun to show the differences in style in photos of Hollywood celebs, who if lived here, would fall under either place. Funny how some of them sometimes cross over in their choices. Raise your hand if you can relate.

All photos from Pinterest.com

MALLING Alabang Town Center

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©BAUER-GRIFFIN.COM Kate Hudson along with her son, Ryder Russell Robinson (b. January 7, 2004), stroll the West village before heading over to Grey Dog Coffee for lunch. NON-EXCLUSIVE August 1, 2008 Job: 80801W5 New York, New York www.bauergriffin.com www.bauergriffinonline.com

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MALLING Greenbelt / Power Plant

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TRAVEL  Shire

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TRAVEL Gotham

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BEACH Boracay Station 2 & 3

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BEACH Boracay Station 1

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NIGHT OUT Bank Bar

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NIGHT OUT Drive by Taco Shop

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Alex

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Jumpsuit, Something Borrowed; shoes, BCBG. Hair cut and color by Jude Hipolito and Rose Mariñas of JuRo Salon.

Hair and make up by Mayone Bakunawa – Balbarin

Alex’s petite frame and small voice can give one the impression that she is meek, shy and quiet. As Head of School of Appleseed Montessori, she is anything but. Beneath the tiny exterior is a strong-willed, driven entrepreneur who is no-nonsense when it comes to her passions–family, yoga and her businesses. Her sartorial choices are a mix of approachable and quirky with a dash of risqué. Since her days are spent overseeing her school’s operations, meeting with her staff and parents, comfort is key. “I don’t get to dress up at work because we’re always running around. So my go-to are always jeans, a shirt and sneakers,” she divulges. When the chance to get all dolled up comes up, she pulls out all the stops starting with a killer pair of heels, a dress or jumpsuit and lots of bling. Her statement bags says a lot about her love for all things girly and sparkling: heavily embellished local designs that are perfect company to her monotone ensembles. What I noticed (and admired) the most is how she knows exactly how to dress for her body type. Her clothes are perfectly tailored and cut to fit her lithe physique, making her appear taller and even leaner than usual. A valuable lesson for all the vertically challenged women out there: when clothes fit well and suit your body type, there’s no need to yearn for legs that go on for miles. And besides, it’s nothing a good pair of heels can’t fix.

What she does Head of School

Personal style Depends on my mood and what my day entails. I can go from casual to really conservative but always easy and comfortable.

Her days be like I love yoga and I go as often as I can! I’m addicted to that right now. Work is a huge factor, so are my daughter, Natalia and husband, Paolo. We love to eat out and go out of town as often as possible.

Favorite designers and shopping haunts Lately since Ive been so busy, I do online shopping  – Zalora, Agua Swimwear, Luxe Resort, shopLCP, and seektheuniq. Love the brands of LCP, Rosanna Ocampo and just really random stuff. There are just so many out there and I am so open to all kinds.

Top 5 closet staples V necks, jeans, my bags, shoes, dresses that range from day to night

Celebrity crush Kate Hudson! Love how effortless she looks, so natural and always gives out a happy vibe. Her aura is amazing!

Style evolution I try to dress the “Head Of School” part meaning long sleeves, pants etc but there are days when I opt to go really casual. Since I’m 40 and fabulous haha no more of those really short shorts, cropped tops, tight mini dresses.

Current uniform It would be great to wake up to less worrying of what to wear. I go for jeans, t-shirts and sneaks. These are the best stuff to wear especially in our line of work.

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Top, Topshop; pants, Finders Keepers at shopLCP; shoes, Charles and Keith.

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Top, Wallis; shorts, Forever 21; shoes, What For.

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Bag from Bangkok

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Top, Zara; pants, Gap; shoes, Charles and Keith.

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Earrings from shopLCP

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Bag from Ethnique.ph

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Top, Zalora; Pants, Adriano Goldschmied; shoes, Kenneth Cole.

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Necklaces from Stockton Row

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Bags from Nicole Wisenhunt

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Jumpsuit, Olivia McCall at shopLCP; shoes, Jessica Simpson.

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