Catalyzing Imagination

If one died and went to a "fashion heaven," one would be wearing a gown like this.

The Dubai based Filipino designer that creates the haute couture* is Michael Cinco. An unveiling of his collections are shown each year during Manila's Fashion Week. Last year I viewed the "Impalpable Dream," his 2009 collection. The opera started and the room silenced, dresses of beauty floated down the runway, and with each dress, a stretch of my grin. Not the least bit dissapointed, it's no wonder I keep Michael Cinco synonymous with Elysium.

*Haute couture is made to order for a specific customer, and it is usually made from high-quality, expensive fabric and sewn with extreme attention to detail and finish, often using time-consuming, hand executed techniques.

Compendium of Curiosities

Reflective Reveries and Meticulous Metronomes

Pamela Roland

The prime corner of 57th and 5th treats you to a display of cutting edge styles all year round, but during the holiday season, the Bergdorf Window commands your attention. This season the window invites you into a wonderland of fashion fantasy. You can get engulfed in a sea of red which leaves you with a delightful sense of vertigo, where queens aren't cards but queens dressed in McQueen are the ones playing cards.
A whisper of an "Amazing" you'll find yourself uttering as others are gathered to also be caught in the trance.

Alexander McQueen

Marc Jacobs

Afternoon Amusements and Sovereign Gambits

Reem Acra Spring 2010 Ready-to-Wear

Oui, je suis prêt à porter. I couldn't keep my eyes off this dress. I'm a stickler for the powerful woman look but isn't this the cutest thing you've ever seen?

Talk Amongst Yourselves

"A Sudanese woman was found guilty of indecency and fined for wearing trousers in a case that has attracted worldwide attention, but she will be spared lashes, an official who attended the trial said. The woman was arrested at a party in July with 12 other women and had faced the possibility of 40 lashes for wearing trousers, deemed indecent." - Financial Times, September 2009

On another note, here are some Spring 2010 looks that appeared on the runway this week. One of my favorite designers, Donna Karan, used mainly beige colors this season with a pop of red right in the middle of the show. As for fabrics they seemed light and movable making her vision of an "atmospheric expression of a wind blowing" come across.

The woman she's dressing is one with a "breeze and ease but strong and sophisticated."

Marc Jacobs and Louis Vuitton

Two thumbs up! This is a documentary I only recently discovered. I can now say, Marc Jacobs is my idol. He's a genius, which he repeatedly denies. To some, his work may seem scrambled, while those in tune understand the schematic of the genius. There's nothing short of inspiration here.

Chanel Iman

from left: Chanel Iman, Sessilee Lopez, Jourdan Dunn, Arlenis Sosa

Any person named after a designer and supermodel, is bound to find themselves caught up in fashion. Fortunately, Chanel Iman, welcomed the destiny that her name has given her. She's the face you've seen gracing the covers of magazines and catwalking on runways models would want to be on.
Wondering what the big deal was, when her name was mentioned why there would always be an "I love her." following. I wondered no more when I literally ran into her during fashion week. I, myself, got caught in the trance. Chanel's not just a model but that 19 year old with youth & vitality.
Let's face it when Vogue's right, they're right. Chanel Iman is one of the "World's Top Models."

Mara Hoffman, Swim 2010

A sneak peak from front row

Let's just say I like the way they're dressed. Then again, you can't really go wrong with bathing suits designed by Mara Hoffman.
First thought when I saw the Aztec like patterns is she had to be inspired by travel. I was right, world travel and fantasy. More of an ethereal feel than bohemian and ethnic, the line has entered a class of its own in high end swimwear.

Be Bold

Styled by Pulchritude

Dana Maxx Summer/Fall 2009 Collection

Looks like the Ingrid supporters kept their fingers crossed since the first entry. Someone not only got a sneak peak into backstage at a fashion show but assisted in styling, working with the likes of Dana Maxx herself who has worked for Bestsey Johnson and Marc Jacobs.
The production team included numerous amounts of MUAs, hairstylists, and my 9 models, a few from a small show called America's Next Top Model and winner of Cycle 8, Jaslene Gonzalez.
During the actual ten minutes of the show I ran around like a chicken with its head cut off, endured a really bad leg cramp, and even got an elbow to the head - I LOVED IT! lol. All in all it was an unreal experience. One that I will remember just like watching my first fashion show.

The Woman Warrior

Christophe Decarnin, Balmain

In Afghanistan, tradition has recently become law allowing men to rape their wives and making it illegal for a woman to go out in public without being escorted by a male. Young Afghanistan women are finding this law to be obsolete at this point in time of change and evolution. They are fighting for their women rights.
When women around the world are fighting for their rights like no other time before. It's no wonder the fashion we're seeing is not of a graceful doll but of a strong sturdy equal.
Frida Giannini, who serves on the Board of Directors of PPR's Foundation for Women 's Dignity and Rights had her vision of the Woman Warrior embossed in this fall's collection of GUCCI.

Frida Giannini, Gucci

Valentino: The Last Emperor

"Pure escapist fun . . . It reveals a world that is slipping away even as the cameras roll" -The New York Times

If you're a fashionista and haven't watched VALENTINO THE LAST EMPEROR, shame on you. The film was held over following the two weeks of showing at the Film Forum in New York City.
All sat in the theater in inspired awe of how this man had a vision of how he wanted his world to be. To encapsulate it in one word . . . BEAUTIFUL.

" I love beauty. Is not my fault" - Valentino

Adoring Adora

Bambino Wise wrote in an issue of WWD:

Forging a path separate from his family, Pineda this year opened Adora, a 25,000-square-foot store in Manila’s Greenbelt 5. It is a retail showcase featuring limestone floors, modernist furniture and velvet draperies. Adora already has set a benchmark in the market in terms of luxury and personalized service.

It seems I'm not the only one adoring Adora these days. The Manila department store has already made it's way into the New York fashion business source, WWD, a few times.
On my last trip to Manila I was taken on a personal tour through the store and explained how Adora really has the owner's personal touch, including the handpicked merchandise featured. With some local deisgners that caught my eye, I found myself back there again and again.
Who knows? Maybe, at this interesting point in the evolution of Philippine retail along with the country's economic growth, in the near future New Yorkers will have more of a taste in Philippine fashion. Maybe even an Adora?

You can read the entire article on p.31 in the October 13, 2008 issue of Women’s Wear Daily
Philippines’ First Family of Retailing

Fashion Week Fall 2009



3.1 Phillip Lim

This fall's Fashion Week was about American classics. Classic. Basic. Athletic. Lord knows especially as a New Yorker when you step outside on the street you need to be able to survive the jungle of walking the city sidewalks, hailing a cab, or getting on that subway, not to mention looking fashionable all at the same time.
The best designers this season took what we already had in the closets, looked at what was going on around them and most importantly felt what was happening here in the country. No one felt more that $700 billion dollar debt and uncertainty of who would lead us out of this mess than us. What fashionistas needed this time around was familiarity and comfort, leaving out the unoriginal.
The All-stars got it. Isaac Mizrahi, Calvin Klein, and Ralph Lauren went back to the essence of American fashion. 3.1 Phillip Lim tried to keep the swing of the good times and showed us a bit of Rock-n-Roll for those who are still on beat. Catherine Malandrino took us past today's hard times and gave us a look into a positive future that is to come, taking full attention to the woman. (Thank god for women designers) Anna Sui joined in the fun and brought us on an adventure through a different world inspired by Proust, the French novelist and gypsies. Last but not least DONNA KARAN. She hit the nail on the head dead on. She simply made us look at the same things we've always had but the detail made it seem as if we were looking at it through a different lens. It was all nothing short of brilliant.