Monday, July 13, 2009

Hometown Glory

What you are looking at here, right now, is a close approximation of the trends I've been seeing out and about since I came home from the Philippines. Again, let us not mind the price tags or sizing schemes; let's talk about the components.

- I've always found that Manila girls are totally into their shoes and bags, but not in an "OMG DESIGNER!!!111!!!!" kind of way. Since we do have a lot of talented artisans working with high quality materials in this country, it's pretty normal out here to get yourself all kitted out with both a nice bag and a hot pair of shoes for as low as US$30. (Just make sure they're not scuffed, though - maintenance is definitely key!) That said, the town where Hacienda de Meimei is located has a more laid-back aesthetic than Metro Manila, so a bohemian approach to accessories is in order - thus, the Rafe New York bag with the rattan frame and woven-leather detail (designed by former Manila boy Rafe Totengco - yep, that's Rah-fay to you, and not to be confused with this guy), and the brown Aldo slides for showing off a well-done pedicure.

- Over the last two weeks that I've been here, I've noticed a lot of girls wearing tiny, tiny bolero jackets with sleek, streamlined tops in bright colors - which I can't exactly explain, other than to assume that this must be something that got picked up from haute couture in Japan or Korea. Some of these tiny, shrug-like jackets have ruffles and embellished details that would look cute on most petite Asian women, but I chose the H&M bolero for its airy feel and clean lines - perfect for playing down wide shoulders and heavy arms. The yellow T-shirt is definitely a statement - political, of course (in honor of Corazon Aquino, who's still battling cancer), and fashion-wise, as a way of fighting off the rainy-season blahs. This jacket-and-tee combination can practically go anywhere... though, if I was wearing this to work or to church, I'd look for a similar top that shows enough skin around the neck and clavicle area, without going for full-on deep cleavage.

- The girls I've seen rocking the above tiny jacket/sleek top combo tend to pair their outfits with skinny jeans or pencil skirts. In this case, however, I decided to go with basic dark brown khakis instead, to go with the warm neutral palette we've established with the bag, shoes, and jacket. Black would've made this whole look too severe and bumblebee-ish.

- Since we're working with a Pacific Rim-inspired look, I thought I'd keep the makeup as simple as possible; thus, the pink Sephora gloss. Depending on how formal we're going with this look, I'd also go with some mascara, black (or brown) eyeliner paired with a metallic-gold wash over the lid, a warm bronzer or highlighter to bring color to the cheeks, and tousled waves or a low ponytail; anything that's too "styled" would only look way too severe.

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