Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Publication Watch: Preview, July 2009

credit: stylebible.ph

Longtime readers of this blog would know that Preview is my favorite fashion magazine from the Philippines; like Allure, I practically fell in love with Preview at first read - and possibly from the first issue. Any new issue of Preview that comes my way is still a must-read for me, even if I inevitably end up getting annoyed with the articles/ fashion spreads/ skin-whitener ads/ whoever they end up putting on the front cover.

I take it as a good omen that the July 2009 issue of Preview has Maricel Soriano on the cover. Say what you want about the Balmain-ish jacket she's rocking here, but I think this picture captures my favorite things about the Diamond Star herself - it's practically a homage to the roles that have made her an icon in Philippine cinema, from the ice-queen hair and makeup (taray!) to the ripped tomboy jeans. She's also surprisingly at ease with the avant-garde Balenciaga and Jil Sander dresses that she poses with in the accompanying fashion spread, too.

The list of "Best Dressed" women they have inside the magazine is nothing to sneeze at, either - although I'll be the first to admit that I barely even recognize half of the folks they've featured for this list. It's an interesting and eclectic mix of models, socialites, balikbayan hipsters, and fashion-industry insiders - some of whom may not be easily recognizable to regular folk like you and I, and some (like current It Girl Divine Lee, who's basically Manila's answer to Ivanka Trump) may be deemed more quirky than pretty - but totally memorable and stylish all the same. Not to mention the spread devoted to the plain white T-shirt, styled and modeled to the hilt by all ten ladies on the list. My only quibble with this list, however, is that there's not enough attention paid to local retail; name-checks for Topshop and Target may be fine, but I'd think that, in tough times like these, at least somebody on that list would have bought or worn something from a locally grown brand or store, let alone Divisoria or Marikina. I'm sorry, but there's got to be something wrong with the picture if the HK-based boutique franchise On Pedder gets more mentions than Shoemart and Rustan's combined.

That said:

- I have Preview to thank for my current girlcrush on Paula Taylor, who is obviously not Filipino (she's English and Thai) but has that certain breezy quality about her, which is a throwback to the socialite-bred mestiza models that used to populate Filipino print ads and magazine covers back in the '70s and '80s.

I hope BroMei and his friends from high school are reading this, because Paula really looks like the kind of girl they would've crushed on twenty years ago.

- Recurring theme #1: Fil-Am hipsters. Scribey and I spent the good part of 2008 making fun of their American Apparel-shopping, shutter-shade-wearing counterparts in the United States. Now it's 2009, and the Pinoy hipsters who have shown up in this month's Preview... do not annoy me, surprisingly enough. True, they're still singing the praises of neon-colored hightops and granny glasses, but at least our Pinoy hipsters look like they're really having fun - with their clothes and their lives. No wonder hipster icons like Steve Aoki and The Cobrasnake lurve Manila right back.

-Recurring theme #2: So much avant-garde, so little closet space. We're looking at scarves attached to shirts, jumpsuits cut like onesies, deconstructed everything, and the return of Hammer Pants... nice if you're into that sort of thing, but: again, not exactly something you'd wear to a job interview in the middle of a recession, you know?

-Recurring theme #3: Fierce shoes. If I told you that these Givenchy sandal-boots were butt-ugly, I would be lying to your face right now. (Though, after seeing Mary-Kate Olsen's cankles in these boots, I'd have every right to be hesitant about this.) And even if I don't get a hold of these right away, who's to say that I won't be scouring the shoe stores of Manila in search of bondage-inspired sandals and safe-for-work "promote me" pumps any time soon? You just watch, folks. You just watch.

- And in the category of "Preview Recommends, Meimei Approves": LUSH Squeaky Green Solid Shampoo, which I purchased in Honolulu but am currently using at Hacienda de Meimei. Believe me when I say that this shampoo has not only kept my hair clean, but has also given my flat hair amazing Farrah Fawcett-y volume. Just plain gorgeous.

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