Sunday, February 27, 2011

Rajo Man: Purveyors of Style

Menswear in Manila is celebrating fashion.  In the last decade, the number of retail labels seem to have multiplied by the minute and so has the number of designers.  No longer playing second fiddle to what used to be the bigger market for clothing(women), these tell-tale sign of the times is giving equal style attention to both men and women.  Chic and forward pieces are visibly growing in great numbers and is no longer limited to something custom made or merely settling with boring items on the rack.  For the modern man, style is no longer a lingering accessory but an essential.  Making a trademark in the expanding world of local menswear is Rajo Man.  A brainchild of Rajo and brother John, the brand is the answer to the growing demands of fashionable men in Manila.  What gives the brand the edge is their uniqueness in designed, distinct high level of taste and limited number of pieces. Rajo Man is fashion forward and aesthetically deeply rooted in the masterful art of tailoring.  The mix of tradition and contemporary design with current detailing creates a whole new perspective and interpretation to menswear in the Philippines.  Sleek and dashing with a hint of vintage, the old-new look is undoubtedly spot on the radar.  With his brimming artistry, fashion expertise and sharp business acumen, Rajo Laurel is set to pave the way in creating and broadening the expanding market with no style restrain.  Here is a glimpse of the latest collection of Rajo Man coming out this coming March and is available at the House of Laurel. Will be posting the entire set of pictures of this shoot after the launch.

Modern dandy by Rajo Man.  Photography by Lope Navo, fashion styling by Luis 
Espiritu Jr., makeup by Bobby Carlos, hair styling by Jaime Sy associate styling by 
Reg Rodriguez, Donna Gonzales Lim, Rudolph Leonor, Mikka Velasquez, Noelle Llave 
and modeled by Hideo Muraoka(Mercator).
For more inquiries call  T: (02) 895-5688 / (02)890-1686. F: (02) 899-9946. E: House of Laurel is located at 6013 Villena St. cor. MaƱalac St., Poblacion, Makati City.or visit then online at http://www.rajolaurel.com and

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Classic Reinvention

Bright days are ahead.  The Spring-Summer 2011 collection of Fred Perry has finally arrived.  Seems like the latest look is all prepped up for the beach or having a picnic under the sun. Channeling modern heritage with a refreshing take on brights, the relaxed and polished feel is definitely the season's spot on the trend for menswear.  A wardrobe must-have, the updated pieces are perfect for the tropics or vacation destination.  The 50's inspired collection is wonderfully reinvented in timeless classics with a twist.   Modern vintage is updated through distinct detailing and flawless tailoring essential for the man about style.  Adding highlight to the brand this season is the 7th collaboration with Raf Simons.  The capsule collection works on the return to classics.  Both brands have successfully  reworked the traditional shirt  with a stand collar, slimmer silhouette and an added twist--the zipper (instead of the button) creating a cool and chic look for the modern man.   Effortlessly stylish, this season's must-buy are definitely an investment.
The new old.
Check mate.
Dip dyed for that degrede look.
Collaboration with Raf Simons.

Carry all day and night.
Color it red.

Style-setting Panama hat.
In the Philippines, Fred Perry is located at the G/F Greenbelt 5, Ayala Center and the 2/F Powerplant Mall, Rockwell Center, Makati city.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Spotlight: Miguel Miranda

Promising photographer Miguel Miranda recently held an exhibit entitled "Spotlight" last February 22, 2011 at Members Only at the Fort, Taguig city.  The artist's black and white portraits present a certain rawness and at the same time evoking beauty of the human form. With a subliminal context of "naughty and nice",his first solo exhibit display images that dare to showcase modern women today.The tasteful visual imagery is a play on shadows depicting a variety of moods portrayed by each subject.   Overall the arresting pictures showcase the photographer's artistic sensibilities exploring the range of his talent.  Breaking from the mold, there is great potential in his wandering eyes. Starting out in the industry as an apprentice to photographer Paolo Pineda, he then ventured on his own --Triptych studios. Now one of the most in demand shutterbugs in the fashion scene, the talented artist is ready to face the spotlight.  For more of his works visit Kudos to you Miguel. 

Makeup by Xeng Zulueta, Hair styling by Felicity Son, Models: Ornusa Cadness, Mica Javier and Jessica Yang.Triptych Studios is located at Ground Floor, Sarmiento Condominium, 177 Yakal Street, San Antonio Village, Makati City.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Under the setting Sun

Summer is just around the corner and am so excited for all those bursts of brights to come out. Orange has always been one of my favorite colors and it seems like it's going to be the season's top hue.  Spotted in the runways of Jil Sander, Marc Jacobs, Gucci and Prada, the sought after shade is setting a warm optimistic tone in the sizzling days ahead.  Bursts of energies are overflowing the parameters of style from the latest runway pieces, bags, shoes, accessories and even cosmetics.  Bumped into Blush Magazine's(beauty) Editor in Chief Vicky Tensuan yesterday in Greenbelt 5 with the must-have color painted on her lips.  A daughter of mine who truly knows her stuff in the world of beauty.  Being in publishing for over a decade, her vast experience has made her one of the most credible and reliable EIC's in town.  A stunning beauty who has appeared in numerous television commercials, I  couldn't help but take a picture perfect smile which is the ultimate accessory to any trend and one's personal fashion. On my way home late in the afternoon I had a moment thinking of how important color  really is in our day to day lives. How can we live life without color?  It was really an "orange" day for me which I enjoyed so much.  As the sun began to set, I looked out of my window and took a shot of a glorious scene to culminate my day's end.      

Pucker up orange.
Colored kisses by Revlon.

After sunset.
coco loco.
Blush Magazine EIC Vicky Tensuan wearing a black tunic from BKK, leather tongs by
Gap, sunglasses by Aldo, gold watch by Rolex and black patent tote by Chanel.

A sunset story.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Mad about Poco Deli

The sign alone gives you an idea of what's in store.
Two days ago I started the day early doing errands before my 1pm shoot.  Luckily, I was able to finish everything around 1030am and was wondering what I was going to do next since I had a bit of time to kill.  My associate stylist Belle Camarsi suddenly texts me and said she was already near Pioneer Studios and wanted to have lunch.  It's always good to have a full meal before a shoot, so without hesitation I gladly obliged.  I asked her where we were going, she said it's a new secret foodie place I would surely love--POCO DELI.  Located in Barangay Kapitolyo in Pasig, if you guys are familiar with Charlie's(burger place) it's just a stone's throw away.  
Smoker's in the house.
Cellar status.
Home made cold cuts, an assortment of cheese and sweet somethings.
The prize is wine.
Uncanned goods.
I love going to new places, it always seems like there's an element of surprise. For lunch we had the sausage platter for starters.  The super juicy homemade sausages were grilled just about right matched with their special sauerkraut.  Panini prosciutto with melted mozzarella and cassava chips on the side for our main course with mushroom pasta with truffle oil.  I love truffle oil specially when the kitchen doesn't overdo it.  Tell me about major carbo loading but who cares it's super yummy and we didn't mind because you can take as much brewed coffee as you want (stay awake).  To top it all, we had two slices of cake for dessert.  The first one  was New York baked cheesecake( waaah real cheese and not mousse) and the second was Carrot cake with cinnamon frosting--this was the killer.  We stayed a little close to two hours enjoying the food and the carbo-sweet moment with no regrets.  I won't be surprised if this place becomes a popular one since the food is good and price points are fairly reasonable.  Don't expect a big area, it's fairly new( opened last October) and quite quaint.  Another perfect hideout from the scene to be seen. Wanted to stay longer and try the rest of the menu...oooppps but maybe some other time when work doesn't get in the way.  

The starter platter.
Start spreading the news.
Cinnamon sin.
I completely forgot to try their homemade ice cream which I heard is really good.  Will be dropping by soon to get hold of this frozen delight.

I missed out on this :-(
Associate stylist Belle Camarsi wearing a gray tank and powder blue chambray polo
both by Topshop, denim cut-offs by Levis, blue snakeskin caged heel by Tonic, vintage
heirloom silver necklaces, leather tote by Tyler and sunglasses by Ralph Lauren.
Junior stylist Donna Gonzales Lim wearing slate gray dress with leather straps from 
HK,beige shoes by Cole Vintage and brown Fendi spy.
The author wearing a white tee from Banana Republic, pique khaki trousers by Joey
Samson, white snakeskin  shoes from Adora, wooden face watch with red patent strap
from a bazaar, sunglasses by Tom Ford and red Antigona lambskin bag by Givenchy.
Poco deli is open 11am -10pm on weekdays(Friday-Saturday until midnight), and Sundays 5pm - 10pm.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

LV: Celebrating Destinations

Global luxury brand Louis Vuitton is jetsetting the world in style.  After launching their 2010 chic city guide in Manila last year, the must-have travel companion is a view into a whole new world of citylife celebration.  Now on its 11th year of publication, the new and old are combined into one as favorite cities are revisited and refreshing insights on first landings begin to unfold.  Whether for business or leisure, the subjective look into a lifestyle for the modern traveller is full of addresses and maps one would happily get lost into oblivion.  Marked by distinction, each city guide is mapped by impeccable style and taste into the world of luxury hotels,restaurants,wine bars, artists’ haunts, chocolate shops, art galleries, Museums, spas and fashion havens.  With this perfect all-out travel style fix, what more can you ask for?  Seems like fun and exciting, but it will never be complete without sound advice from the experts which makes this city guide a cut above the rest.

Not so long ago Vanessa Mayunga (her maiden name) was one of the top commercial models in the country. A stunning beauty appearing on the pages of local top glossies, the former model was at one point the face of Pantene, Close Up, Modess, Jollibee, Cebu Pacific and walked the runway shows of top brands and local designers.  After graduating from college she joined Luxasia( where she stayed for 6 years) and eventually became Group Product manager for cosmetics with Guerlain, Ysl Beaute, Jurlique and spa brands such as Phytomer and Decleor under her wing.  Today she is currently the PR Manager of LV Philippines and is set to take the brand to soar new heights and flights beyond fancy.  Looking forward to a more exciting year in style with LV!!!

LV's Vanessa Mayuga Santos wearing black shift dress, beige cardigan and black
kitten heels all by Zara, sunglasses by Stella MCartney, watch by Paneria and black
Epi leather bag by Louis Vuitton.
Look magazine's EIC Melanie Cuevas wearing a gray top and textured skirt both by
 Zara, black suede sling heels by Jil Sander, sunglassed by Tom Ford and nude mini
luggage tote by Celine.

Monday, February 21, 2011

The return of Borgy Manotoc

After a long hiatus in the advertising world, Borgy Manotoc is back with a bang.  Not only is he back now as a full grown man with an impeccable godlike body, debonair looks and dusky appeal, but also a homecoming to a brand where it all began--Bench.  A decade ago, the 17 year old "IT" boy was known as the Bench Body Spray endorser. Fast forward to today, Borgy has remarkably transitioned from the typical boy-next-door to one of the hottest personalities in the Philippine entertainment and style landscape as the latest endorser of Bench Body. To date, this grandson of the late Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos and son of re-elected Ilocos Norte representative Imee Marcos has resurfaced with a stunning comeback that give competitors a run for their money.  Borgy is blessed with a perfect physique, towering height, a stellar personality with a lot of sense in between his ears. And with this new ad campaign, watch out Manila, Borgy is definitely stylesetting sexy back!

Photography by Mark Nicdao and fashion styling by Noel Manapat.  Shot on location at the Rizal Memorial Stadium along Vito Cruz street in Manila.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Fit for a King

The last time I was at the presidential Suite of The Hyatt Hotel and Casino in Malate, Manila was around more than three years ago. I was feeling nostalgic looking back at all the good memories since I  frequented the hotel to hang out with friends for dinner and drinks.  You can dine your heart away in any of their restos namely Lili(Chinese), Fireplace(steakhouse) or Market Cafe(buffet style) and be assured of good food all worth your while.  Anyway, we were there for a series of shoots and when we got to the the room it looked like the place was frozen in time.  Everything seemed the same and was happy to see nothing has changed( in a good way) considering its almost always fully booked( according to secret sources). I guess this equates to high maintenance which should be the standard among five-star hotels.  The 220 sq. metre suite has all the amenities you can dream of. Modern design presented in a variety of wood tones fill the place with a play and display of lights highlighting decorative art.  Warm, welcoming and unpretentious, ostentatious fixtures and furnishings are nowhere in sight.  My team and I were fortunate enough to have it for a day and everyone seemed to enjoy this work get together.  The management and staff took care of us pretty well and was kind enough to assist us with our needs. No doubt we were grateful to be treated like royalty for a day even if it was just a day.
Grand allure.
Tea for two?

The bedroom.

Lounge act.
I have this weakness for big spacious bathrooms with white tiles.  The illusion of space is in the art of living well.  Nothing to flashy, just simple, stark and minimal interiors. Wish I had a bathroom like this, and if I did, I can imagine spending hours just hanging out there...sitting in luxury. Despite the shoots we had to accomplish with loads of clothes, shoes and accessories, we went through the entire day just going with the flow of fun. After all, how can one complain when you're in the best suite in the house with a perfect view of the breathtaking ocean during the day and an endless parade of passing headlights along Roxas boulevard at night.
The mirror has two faces.

Have you seen my rubber duckie?
Paint my wall.

Twin spheres.

A face without a name.

Made in the Philippines.

Fitting form.

Hyatt Manila is located at 1588 Pedro Gil cor M.H. Del Pilar, Malate, Manila, Philippines 1004.  Tel: +63 2 245 1234    Fax: +63 2 247 1234  or Email: