Thursday, August 31, 2006

Cheap vs. Chic

TFD-Ok, what would an entire month be without the requisite compilation of fashion mags to confirm and validate the trends that have hit the runways? When it comes to local mags, I just like to look at the pictures more than anything. I hardly read the articles but I do like looking at the product shots and features. Well, TFM and I are once again ready to dish out our opinions on this. Grain of salt people, we're just having fun here. =)

Ok, so I saw the August issue of Preview, and although the subject has been used a gazillion times over (how fab to be the daughter of a Mega star, vero?), I was nevertheless intrigued. She was wearing tights! I found it ironic that the main feature of this issue is "dressing for your shape." Go figure.

I have to admit, the photography is amazing, Marc Nicdao really has it going on. But I don't know, for some reason, KC reminded me of that Jessica Simspon MV where she was in roller blades and had her hair all done up.

TFM: I like K.C., don't get me wrong but whoever styled her for this fashion editorial should be given a good knock on the head. Honey, leggings are not for everyone! Instead of making K.C. look like Madonna or Jessica Simpson, you made her look like Gabby in drag! A great stylist always has to take into consideration the body type of his/her model. Lucky for you, Marc Nicdao was the photographer for this shoot. Otherwise, this could have looked like a cheap poster ad campaign for GAY PRIDE week!

TFD-There is, one woman whom I think can wear absolutely anything. Her physique is perfection and she always looks so glamorous and classy.

Miriam Quiambao

TFM: I agree TFD, Miriam can really pull-off just about anything. I've seen her recently on T.V. and some of her choices are really spot-on.

Bag Lady

I don't really consider myself a bag freak. Sure, I appreciate a great looking bag when I see one, but I haven't really bought into the whole "It" bag obsession that celebrities especially, love to peddle. I would rather own a few bags that are distinct in style sensibility, functional, and will last a while. I remember I went to a trade show in Florence, I think it was Pitti Uomo, yeah that was it, and my friends and I saw this booth by Japanese designers and they had the most amazing, vintage-y leather bags on display. The leather was made to look old by a technology that Japs are really good at, and it was so soft to the touch. We couldn't buy the stuff of course because they were there for display purposes only, for the buyers and merchandisers. We wheedled and begged to get even one of the bags but they were stubborn. So we grabbed one of the catalogues and just hoped we could somehow get away with making individual orders. Yeah right, who were we kidding. We never got to purchase any of the bags, even with all the emails we sent them. I absolutely undertsand that they were more interested in getting wholesale orders from buyers instead of some pesky fashion students. I still dream about those bags, but, oh well.

Amazingly, I have seen some brands that have almost the same design aesthetic as those Japanese bags. Maybe in the future, I can carry one of these lovelies around.

Anna Corinna Mini City tote in Butterscotch

Anna Corinna Lady Duffel Bag in Tobacco

Anna Corinna Beckett Chain Bag in Cognac

Bulga New Hobo Bag Love2 in Navy



Monday, August 21, 2006


Another shoe style that's sweeping the fashion nation are platforms (and we thought only women working the streets could pull-off this look). Before, I wasn't a fan of these "hooker-shoes" but now, I just can't get enough of them! Like flats, they add the extra oomph to those stove-pipe jeans and men-style trousers. These shoes look so wrong but yet seem so right...especially with the trends this coming season. And I believe this is a better choice for us (people who live in the tropics) than those Wellington-boots (hello?!!!) or those "go-go" boots (ga-ga boots for you Ms. Gaga writer! --- please refer to the Rantings of The Florentine Diva).

Presenting SLUTTYness at its best, here are some examples of these killer footwear:

Dolce and Gabbana Mary Jane Platforms
Prada Loafer Pumps
Christian Louboutin Platform Wedge
Marc Jacobs Distressed Mary Janes
Christian Louboutin Lace Pumps
Michael Kors Graffiti Snakeskin Platform Pumps
Miu Miu Velvet Platform Sandals

And the mother of all platforms...
The Gucci "Jerry" Platform Pumps


The French Muse

Friday, August 18, 2006

Rantings of the Florentine Diva

Fashion journalism in the Philippines has always been a shady area, not really acknowledged for it's "legitimacy" so to speak. We do have fashion magazines and lifestyle sections but I think it's still a challenge for many of those who work in these fields to remain relevant to their readers and target market. I think that this is especially true for fashion columnists in newspapers. All topics by the writers are steeped in heavy self-promotion and misplaced conceit. When you are a busy woman, who only has a few minutes to scan the fashion news, and check out what's happening out there, you certainly don't want to know what "one or two items" a writer has been losing sleep over. I mean, really, who gives a sh*t if out of desperation for "cream colored Zara go-go boots" the "writer" ends up buying something half a size smaller? If you're gonna be writing about boots honey, then stick to the damn subject! Do I have to read the telegraph website just to get a straightforward reporting on jeans and other trends? It's such a pain but local fashion sections in newspapers have become the personal "style diaries" of a few, relatively unknown people, and that is a disservice to the readers. Articles are peppered with "I" "My friends" "I think". It's mind boggling how the "lifestyle section" has become a barkada's little project.

Sunday lifestyle is worse, god, I always end up laughing at the stupid columns and feature articles that somehow got final approval from the editor. You'll have some woman writing about her house chores or something like that. The writer says "There are better things I can think of doing other than counting how many light bulbs need to be changed," I wanted to scream back, "And I have better things to do than read about how you color code your damn towels!" Somehow these people engage in a seriously demented form of escapism by writing about mundane issues that are far from the norm in our little third-world corner. Ok some of you might say, that's like the pot calling the kettle black, but please, atleast we're not pretending to be something we're not over here. This blog IS the style-diary of two people, there is no question about that. We don't have to be relevant because this is OUR space.

ok, just had to get that out of my system...

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Check Please!

Sorry if i haven't been posting lately. We've been really BUSY with this thing(by "this thing" meaning like we discovered a treasure or treasureS....I wish I could share it with you guys but if I tell you, I literally have to KILL YOU!, right Florentine Diva?).

Anyway, this season, checks, tartans, madras and plaids abound. I think we have to thank (or murder?) Alexander Mcqueen for that. I, personally, am not fond of this trend but I think there are a few nice pieces here and there (coz I feel that this trend will be gone in a heartbeat!). So before you ride on this trend, make sure that you buy only a few of these so-called "disposable fashion" pieces. Love'em or hate'em, no doubt there will be items like these in your local Zara, Mango, Topshop or H&M:

Alexander McQueen Plaid Pencil Skirt

Moschino Tartan Cropped Jacket

Bettye Muller Plaid Pump

L.A.M.B. Cocktail Dress

Alice and Olivia Plaid Skinny Pants

Zac Posen Tartan Dress

What do you think of this trend? Send us your feedback.

The French Muse

pics from,,,

Drop a line peeps!

Call it research, or just pure curiousity, but we'd really like to know what you guys are lusting for this season. It's so great that we get such a diverse "readership," so I guess we're just interested to know what you've shopped for recently, from whatever part of the globe you are from. This way we get to share information with each other so the next time any of us travel, we'll know what to look for. Ok, so email us pictures, links, whatever you got! We'll post whatever pictures you sent us in our succeeding entries.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Loving the Gray area

I don't know about you guys, but I am sooo in-love with the color gray right now. I suppose it has to do a lot with the weather being so bleak most of the time, but I don't know, I've just realized that despite appearances, it's actually a pretty fun color! Work with it and you'll see the possibilities.

Another fabulous creation by The French Muse's designer of the moment, Phillip Lim of 3.1

Gray works with color, and this Marni ensemble shows us how

Tone on tone looks modern and sophisticated if you vary the shades of gray

So this season, I've decided that my shoes and accessories will work around my mostly neutral wardrobe (with a lot of grays of course). What have you decided to wear for the season? Care to share? ;p (I was trying to rhyme)

(Photos from,, and


The Florentine Diva

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Turning Japanese...and Chinese

Anglomania undeniably delivers the "power punch" this season, with Kate Moss as its obvious muse. Scandal or no scandal, Kate is here to stay and will remain a force to reckon with in the fashion world. And while we are all still editing and incorporating the many looks of the fall season into our wardrobes, it's also interesting to note that there are a lot of asian-inspired pieces but this time re-worked to different proportions, shapes, and fabrics. Tradition has very little to do with these pieces.

Catherine Malandrino jacket with mandarin collar

Geren Ford Kimono dress

Stella Mccartney kimono jersey dress

Stella Mccartney silk wrap dress with mandarin collar

Costello Tagliapietra silk kimono-inspired dress


The Florentine Diva

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Flat Central

I love flats...i'm so obsessed with them NOW (NOW meaning I know I'll be sick of it the next time I see a local celebrity parading one on T.V.--- BUZZ KILL!!!) Whoever is responsible for making flats a trend should be awarded with the Pullitzer prize. Comfort and chic, what more can you ask for? These babies look great with those skinny jeans and also look cool with dresses. I think every fashion-savvy girl should have at least one (or 2,3,4...)in her closet. Believe me, your feet will be thanking you :)

Here are some of my favorites (or rather dream buys):
Note: These are not your old-school circa 1995 Gucci or Ferragamo loafers.

Azzedine Alaia Patent Pumps

Burberry Check Flats

Dolce And Gabbana Jeweled Snakeskin Flats

Dior Leather Buckle Flats

Christian Louboutin Gold Flats

Marc by Marc Jacobs Python Scalloped Skimmers

Stella Mcartney Teak Satin Flats

The French Muse

(pics from,,,,

Friday, August 04, 2006

Pinoy pride

Let's get to know some Filipino designers who are making names for themselves (if they haven't already) in the international arena. A toast to you guys!

Monique Lhuillier, Fashion Designer
Born to French/Spanish/Filipino parents, Lhuillier was raised in the southern region of the Philippines called Cebu. She attended the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising in Los Angeles. It was while she was searching for the perfect wedding dress that she decided to do bridal couture. In 1996, she developed her first bridal collection which was received well by retailers and editors. In 2001, she completed her first evening collection, which was subsequently followed by a ready-to-wear collection. These days, A-list Hollywood celebrities are often seen or photographed wearing her pieces.

Lesley Mobo, Senior Designer for Jasmine di Milo, Harrods
Lesley, or Mobo, as he is fondly called has racked up many recognitions in his field. He graduated with a BA and an MA in Fashion Womenswear at Central Saint Martins in London. He won the coveted Diesel award at ITS 3 (International Talent Support) with a collection inspired by the fight for survival in extreme conditions. Titled "Obesity in the North Pole," Mobo used different textures and layering together with exaggerated shapes to explore the conventional and unconventional form and figure of the human body. His design aesthetic is now put to good use as the head designer of the Jasmine di Milo brand.

ANANAS, Jennifer Lagdameo and Miwako Washio, Bag designers
While living in the Philippines Jennifer was inspired by the indigenous materials and textile techniques. She started a small business designing and selling shawls made of pina, eventually teaming up with her designer friend, Miwako, and together they started making bags and accessories using the natural materials they loved, developing their signature abaca fabric. In 2004, they expanded beyond abaca into a unique collection of designs in leather.

Aren't they fabulous? Here's hoping that pretty soon we can add more to this list.

And I saw an interesting bag online that may be of interest to some girls out there


The Florentine Diva