Monday, October 30, 2006

WHo gets it?

As I was walking in the mall today, I was both surprised by the sheer number of people gallivanting out on a monday, and the window displays of the shops. Seriously, who gets it right? I mean, who picks the right image model, for the right market, for the right demographic..blah, blah. Sometimes I think picking an image model is like a game of lottery, like, yipee, it's Kate Hudon this year! or something like that. I think that most times, we're just confused with the choices. But being so used to how disassociated brands are with their market, it's become the norm. In terms of consistency, you have to give Bench some credit. They started the whole trend of IMAGE MODEL, billboards, gigantic pictures plastered on their window, and they are still at it. Hurrah for the young, hopeful artistas right? There's enough billboard space to go around.

I would LOVE to tick off the image models that I think are just wrong, wrong, wrong, but I'm just not in the mood to initiate another round of trash talking here.

So dear readers, tell me, who gets it right? or more appropriately, who doesn't??



Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Too casual, but not too late

What happens when you have 1,001 things to do? Well essentially it means that blog time is cut to a minimum, or to nothing at all. The French Muse and I had a rather busy and fun weekend, unfortunately for Ms. TFM, the busy schedule continues. Do you miss her already?

The past weekend was a chance to observe some of the fashion choices of ladies in Manila. For one, I gathered that comfort is really the primary consideration of most women. Tank tops and jeans are at the top of the list. While I am a staunch believer that women should definitely feel comfortable in their garments, I still think it wouldn't hurt to bring the style factor up a notch. If you feel most comfortable in a simple jersey shirt and jeans, then you can take inspiration in how Ashley Olsen spices up her take on the look. I think that the first thing to consider is getting the RIGHT kind of jeans. Of course it has to fit well, and the cut should be flattering too. Also, a tank top that stretches tightly across your chest is just, um, not...modern. It's too porn star barbie if you ask me.

While I also agree that driving shoes are the ultimate in comfort, I do think that flats, in all it's variations make for a chicer alternative. But hey that's just me.

That's all for now!


The Florentine Diva

Thursday, October 12, 2006

The Imeldific Syndrome

I'm sure you guys have noticed this --- when a woman passes a shoe shop store's front, she starts walking like an old woman on invisible crutches, or in most cases, their legs become suddenly paralyzed while they scan the whole window...hypnotized, drugged and delirious. Their husbands or their boyfriends continue walking along, talking to themselves, without knowing that their partners are still there in front of the window, feet stuck like glue...not minding that their causing traffic or they're getting bumped by people left and right. Funny picture don't you think? Not so funny if you know you are guilty of this :)

We Filipino women are sucker for shoes. I've never met any one who isn't. Even my manang gets a heart attack every time she gets her Natasha catalogue. And while she's browising through it, I kinda expect that the iced tea I requested will be given to me in water form (natataranta talaga).

And like my manang, when I read through Harper's Bazaar or Elle, I really drool looking at all these beautiful shoes. Of course, most of these brands are not available here, plus some of their prices can be pretty shocking. Thank God for the proliferation of these small and affordable shoe chains (and clothing stores that carry shoes as well). Bless them for offering us choices and kudos to them for their wallet-friendly price tags! Here is a list of these stores: (feel free to add to them)

1. VNC (unbelievably comfortable for the price)
2. Schu (great styles; very affordable)
3. Tint and Carbon (these stores carry an assortment of footwear too)
4. Tyler (unparalleled shoe collection)
5. T Studio (for the classic in you)
6. Sapato Manila (uses real leather)
7. TrunkShow (nice flats, highly affordable)
8. CMG (carries other Malaysian Brands)
9. Zara (some are not so comfortable but the styles are great)
10. Ninewest (the ever-dependable)
11. Solea (thanks ruby g. I completely forgot about wedding shoes were from Emi...very comfortable indeed!


The French Muse

Kid stuff

I thought it would be appropriate to write something about this because the Philippines has a huge untapped kids market. I think even with the economic crunch, parents here still find the budget to give their kids the best that they can afford. Miss TFM herself is busy planning my godchild's 1st birthday party (woohoo!). From childrenswear, to childrens parties, schools, to toys, and gadgets, there's still so many opportunities in this market.

excerpts from

Cool design does not have to be limited to spaces used by adults as we see with these unique areas designed to enhance places of learning. Forget the "concrete jungle" archetypal school, complete with bars on windows. This school's hallways (pictured above) have been inspired by the imaginary landscape of the Silver Dragon. This environment is created to read like a story book; the further you progress through the hallways, the higher your senses are delighted. With shimmering walls, glowing ceilings and a fantasy feel resonating throughout the architecture, the children engage on a higher social level within the school environment.

Traditionally, libraries also suffer from an image problem. Hordes of books coupled with the 'sshhhh' factor doesn't make for a very cool environment. By installing colorful interiors such as oversized book sleeves, a learning space such as the library is transformed into an area which kids see as cool, and therefore are inspired to read and learn.

A tree-inspired day care center is a far cry from fake grass enhanced playgrounds. The tree trunk is the very foundation of the center, and as such creates the security blanket for the entire structure. This center evokes a warmth which the youngsters respond to. Dream Blossoms grow out of the trunk and create sleeping areas for the habitants to snuggle and nap in. Above the blossoms sprawls the canopy of the Leaves World. These reflective silver leaves magically reflect rays of sunlight and directs this warm light into the dimly lit trunk, bringing the outside in.

Children's bookstores, on the other hand, have not suffered by the traditional libraries image problem. Generally, these stores are designed and merchandised to inspire children to enter and purchase. The Kids Republic bookstore in Beijing (pic below) has taken that concept and run with it. Incorporating the core design elements of a kid's playground, these slipperyslide-inspired-shelves house books in an incredibly fun way. Breaking from the traditional table and chair reading areas, padded L shaped reading stools are used and enjoyed by tiny readers. Dull lighting is replaced by snakelike fittings that radiate a variety of colors whilst providing adequate light to read with.



Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Manila, dumping ground for overruns?

When I was a student in Florence, my absolute main concern was to learn the language enough to get a good stint at a fashion company. My professors had reiterated many times how important the language facility was during the screening process. But as luck would have it, the work sought me out, and not the other way around. There happened to be one company that was specifically looking for Philippine students. I remember vividly taking the train to Veneto up north for that interview. I was with a couple of classmates who were also scheduled for the interview. From Florence to Ponte di Piave, Treviso, where the company HQ was, we had to take the train for four hours, with one transit, then look for the bus that would take us to Ponte di Piave. It was quite an adventure and I was just lucky that I had my sister with me and my friends to make it more fun. My sister and I actually got off at the wrong train station and only realized this when we saw that we were at Stazione Venezia Santa Lucia instead of Venezia Mestre where we had to take the train to Treviso Centrale. This mistake resulted in a flurry of phonce calls to the school to ask them to phone the company and say that I was gonna be very late.

Luckily again, the person I was closest to in the group got accepted in the company, and so did I. I went on a total of 3 job interviews before snagging the one in Treviso. The brand that we were to work for was Stefanel. I was very excited and unlike some companies, they actually wanted us to start after the holiday season. One of my classmates who got accepted at Ferragamo had to start right away, which was in late November. When I started working at Stefanel I did not quite know what to expect. I knew about the brand because I had seen outlets in Manila before it closed down, and I also saw some items from the local Italian chain store. But the work culture in Italy was a mystery to me. The sales and export department was where I was supposed to be working, along with my Korean friend. We were tasked to put together a business plan (me) and an improvement plan for her, since Stefanel is already present in Korea. It was a little daunting because I would be getting most of my information from the internet, and thousands of miles away from home. It turns out that my boss was quite familiar with Manila since he had lived here for a few years. He was even friends with the owner of a well-known Italian chain store here, whom he said he had left his big bike with before returning to Italy. He gave me a little background information on Stefanel's presence in Manila. They used to have a partnership with a well-known distributor but that didn't really work out for them. After that they just shipped overruns or overstock items to his friend's chain store. He really wanted to grow the brand in the Philippines but everyone in the company had no idea about the potential in the Philippine market. In contrast to the results of my research, Korea is a really good market although very saturated. Many improvements have to be made in order to significantly increase market share. My results were more conservative. There were some moments where I thought, gosh, are we doomed to be the place to dump overruns for years to come. Not a pretty thought. Actually I'm just glad that we are making little steps to improving the retail situation in Manila. Rustans of course is a big contributor to that. We can see that they try to bring in fresh brands that not only appeal to market taste but also inspire people to think beyond their comfort zone.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Back to the future

Nicolas Ghesquiere and Alber Elbaz are leading the pack with their cyber-themed collections...though the latter decided to take the more girly road. I really adore Alber Elbaz! He really is a master of his craft. And I love how modest and how down-to-earth this person is(and to think these are the kind of people who have every right to be bragging or being boastful about how fabulous their lives are). I guess he lets his creations do the unprententious, really, a person to emulate. Plus,look how adorable he is. Don't you just want to hug him?

Expect to see similar styles in all magazines and stores next spring:


The French Muse

(pics from

There's one website that I have been obsessing over. It's a UK website but that doesn't stop me from checking their stuff all the time. They have a great range of brands and they also produce products under their label. Many of the looks are taken from celebrity fashion. If you can't buy the original Chloe wedges, well you can get an almost exact copy from this site and not have to break the bank. I don't know if an exact same concept would work in Manila. Like, would anyone actually care to get the same pair of shoes, as, I don't know, Pia Guanio? But anyway, online shopping seems to be the wave of the future, and hopefully, the pinoys catch on too.

Here are some pics from the site

does this look familiar?



Saturday, October 07, 2006

Hot to trot

Alright, I know it's a little early to write about swimwear but I just couldn't resist. We live in a tropical country anyway so swimwear is never really out of season.

Behold these babies..

And the shoes aren't too shabby either!

The brand is called JG4B (Jasper Goodall for Bikini), a UK luxury swimwear brand featuring the imagery made by graphic artist Jasper Goodall.



Thursday, October 05, 2006

The Magic of Viktor and Rolf

I LOVE, LOVE PARIS FASHION WEEK!(Obvious ba?) And one collection that I really look forward seeing is VIKTOR AND ROLF. I adore this duo so much! Not only do they make couture-like clothes, but they also come up with these fantastic and highly entertaining shows. I remember my professor Diane Pernet ( used to say that their show was the must see during Paris Fashion week 'coz people really have a great time watching it. They may have produced better collections over the last few years, but there are still a few good pieces that I would surely dream to have.


The French Muse

Dior Scores!

Have you all seen Dior? I actually refreshed my browser a few times to make sure I was on the right page. I'm surprised I didn't see the usual craziness and madness...which is actually good. Galliano really did a 180 and gave his fans a great number of wearable clothes. Was he under medication when he was designing this collection? Whatever it is, kudos to his Shrink! Keep the meds comin' Doc!(But hold them before Couture season starts)



Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Balenciaga Spring/Summer 07

Check out these pics from the Balenciaga show in Paris. Are these the shape of things to come? Probably. But if these are the fabrics to be seen in next spring, we Filipinos are definitely screwed! LE SWEAT (and LE BODY ODEUR) will be upon us, big time!



(pics from

Last time

TFD - Ok, so this the last time I ever want to talk about this issue (you know, people bad mouthing us). When we started this blog, it was purely for our own pleasure. Miss TFM and I are equally passionate about the subject of fashion. We can talk about it nonstop, dream about it, and talk about it some more. Writing this blog is the best way that we can share our thoughts primarily to each other, but also for other people who may be interested in what we have to say. We did not start this project to join a popularity contest or make everyone like us. There are enough people in the industry who do that. What you read here are our uncensored opinions and thoughts, influenced by circumstances in our lives, then and now.

We also like reading what you have to say because your opinions educate us as well. But we will NEVER allow anyone to dictate what SHOULD and SHOULD NOT be said or written about. And we will never allow anyone to talk shit about us just because they disagree with what we have to say here. Challenge our ideas, but don't use this blog to launch personal attacks on us. Fashion professionals in the industry should know how to filter the criticisms and reviews on the work that they put out there. How else do you improve if you only take the good, and not the bad? Just look at the sad state of Philippine entertainment. Maybe if we raised our standards significantly, we would be getting better quality movies, shows and artists. It is not a crime to have standards.

This blog has no agenda and it is what it is. Take it or leave it.

A FEW WORDS (AGAIN!) FROM OUR PSYCHO STALKER "...kasi wag na ka nag magmarunong para hindi mainis ang tao sa yo...kakapagod basahin ang blog nyo kasi daming negatibong awra..."

(Hay naku Miss ANNOYnymous, kala ba namin last time na eh kitang kita namin na suki ka dito...kung napapagod ang mga mata mo magbasa, sino ba pumipilit sayo pumunta dito?...mas NEGATIVE ang Aura mo at ng IP ADDRESS mo!)

Monday, October 02, 2006

Trash Talk is not allowed!

The thing that pisses us off the most, is when people come as a guest to your home, only to disrespect you and resort to trash talk. Yes, OUR.HOME. You hear that anonymous? No one, drags your finger to that mouse to click on our link and read our blog and our personal thoughts. If you want to disagree with us, that is ok. But when you start saying things like "consider this my last post--bano nyo! sayang oras dito!" and "blog for yourself. otherwise write something worth reading, not your typical cut and paste review of collections, at sino kayo no?" then you are not being rational, you are merely lashing out.

Excuse us if we tell it like it is. Instead of saying all those nasty things, you could have just made a stronger argument about your own opinion in a level headed manner. I think we, and the other readers would appreciate that more than your bitching.

Ok, enough about little miss anonymous. For now, posts have to be moderated.

Follow-up on our psycho anonymous reader:
Here are some of the other things that came from this deranged woman: "by the way, anne bella styled kc in preview. i think she did a fabulous job. preview IS a fashion magazine and leggings is a trend that looks good on a lot of women (maybe not for your high brow taste, pwe!)" (PWE?! Where do you think this woman gets her breeding? Oops, does she have one?) Leggings is a trend that looks good on a lot of women? Hello?! Even my helper has better taste than you 'coz when she saw me wearing one, she said "Ay, pwede lang sa mga payat na legs yan!" (Only those with thin legs can wear that). And you say it's for everyone?! Buwahahaha!

And since you "adore" the work of the stylist for that shoot ('coz you keep on mentioning her name, and we don't even CARE who she is...just wrote our OPINION on it), why don't you put up a Shrine for her and do your worshipping somewhere else.

Oh and about us doing reviews on the Spring/Summer 07 collections, would you rather see our review on JORDACHE's take on Spring '07? (or for our local readers --- Monakiki's fashion forecast for Spring '07?). Since you are "THE MASTER OF FASHION", I suggest you check out other blogs (foreign and local) and do your crazy ranting there too 'coz they've been publishing their own reviews as well. While you're at it, please visit other blogs that can help you improve your grammar, ok sweetie! (Pwe!)

Lastly, if you can't stand the heat, GET OUT OF THE KITCHEN! You are not welcome here!

The beat goes on..

Fashion shows aren't limited to the runway looks. Have we never seen the fabulous display of style in the front row and behind the curtains? Off the ramp you see men and women, of varied ages and backgrounds display their personal interpretation of what is chic. Coupled with a person's own brand of energy and attitude, a look becomes his/her own. What is a better source of inspiration than that?

Here's the scene at "Settimana di Moda a Milano" (My own rough translation of Milan Fashion Week..hehe).

(pics from

baci baci a tutti!

La Diva Fiorentina