Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Ramon Valera: First Filipino National Artist for Fashion Design

Marti and I were on our usual Saturday stroll at Powerplant Mall and went to our favorite place, National Bookstore to browse and buy books. As I waited for my son to reserve the latest Diary of a Wimpy Kid book, I perused the nonfiction shelves looking to buy my next read after Malcolm Gladwell's provocative novel, Outliers when I came upon an out-of-place hardbound: Valera.

photo from Google Images

The life of this self-made fashion icon is, in a word, phenomenal! It was only fitting that his unparalleled talent be lauded by being recognized in 1996 as the very first National Artist for Fashion Design.

According to the National Commission for Culture and the Arts:

The contribution of Ramon Valera, whose family hails from Abra, lies in the tradition of excellence of his works, and his committment to his profession, performing his magical seminal innovations on the Philippine terno.
Valera is said to have given the country its visual icon to the world via the terno. In the early 40s, Valera produced a single piece of clothing from a four-piece ensemble consisting of a blouse, skirt, overskirt, and long scarf. He unified the components of the baro't saya into a single dress with exaggerated bell sleeves, cinched at the waist, grazing the ankle, and zipped up at the back. Using zipper in place of hooks was already a radical change for the country's elite then. Dropping the panuelo--the long folded scarf hanging down the chest, thus serving as the Filipina's gesture of modesty--from the entire ensemble became a bigger shock for the women then. Valera constructed the terno's butterfly sleeves, giving them a solid, built-in but hidden support. 
photo by Kutitap.com
Imagine, Don Ramon turning down no less than Cristobal Balenciaga and Queen Sirikit to design abroad! He said that if they really wanted to buy his creations then they would have to buy it from the Philippines!

What an inspiration! That's why I'll be creating another crochet accessory inspired by the designs of Don Ramon Valera. Watch for it!
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Friday, November 12, 2010

On A Hot Date

On A Hot Date
On A Hot Date by millicentmelissa featuring skull handbags
Hmmm...what to wear, what to wear! I guess that's the perennial question on every woman's mind especially when going out on a hot date.

This ensemble is what I call understated sexy. Although this Herve Leger dress screams hot, hot, hot...the colors are not which tones down a little the sexiness of this dress.

Of course with the neutral colors of the dress, you can play up the rest of the accessories and the Alexander McQueen booties and clutch is just perfect!

Minimal make-up is what should be worn with this get-up but the lips should be just as alluring so go with the red rouge that matches your skin-type.

Don't forget to spray on your Chanel No. 5 which is still the world's sexiest scent made famous by the icon of hotness, Marilyn Monroe. Your date would surely be dreaming of you (and wanting to see you again!) with your scent still lingering in his senses!

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Thursday, November 11, 2010

My First Set: Kaftan

My First Set: Kaftan
My First Set: Kaftan by millicentmelissa featuring a kaftan dress

Was admiring my cousin Paola's kaftan the other day and thought of creating a design set on how I would wear one to a posh party! Loved how the colors work in this get-up!

Items in this set via Polyvore:

Palm Leaf Chiffon Lined Waist Kaftan
99,365 PHP - matthewwilliamson.com

Nude Florida Room Strappy Platform Heel
9,915 PHP - frockaholics.com

Mary Frances Accessories Sea World Clutch
10,650 PHP - endless.com

Atelier Minyon Reversible Tribal Wing Earrings - Max and Chloe
41,565 PHP - maxandchloe.com

Yves Saint Laurent Fake Chic crystal ring
34,420 PHP - net-a-porter.com

Dannijo Lena 14-karat gold-plated Swarovski cuff
23,595 PHP - net-a-porter.com

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Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Emma Watson was finally free to cut her hair short after finishing the Harry Potter series! And her new pixie cut is da bomb!

In an interview with British Vogue, Emma revealed that:
"I was contractually obliged not to cut my hair, not to tan. All the normal things girls do, I couldn’t," she told the magazine of her Harry Potter gig as Hermione Granger. "So when I got the chance to change my appearance, this [gesturing to her hair] is what I did.”
Long hair or not, you are always gorgeous Emma!
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