E! Emmy’s BFF Getaway Winners

I have always dreamt of dressing someone for the Emmys!  Now because of channel E!  I have been able to do this twice!  E! approached me once again to dress up their winners for the Emmy’s Get Away challenge and the winner was Camille Yusay!  Her prize was not only an all expense paid flight to Los Angeles to see the Emmys but she could also take her best friend.  According to Camille she chose Michelle Chua  for her entry to E!’s Emmy’s BFF Getaway cause they have been close cousins since they were little. They’ve been travelling together and they share the same interests like Fashion and Travel. They embody what E! is all about- they’re both exciting, entertaining and everything in between. Their most memorable experience was watching the Emmys live at the Nokia Theater because it was just overwhelming to see so many celebrities in one place.

I was so proud to have The House of Laurel dress them up and even provided the needed accessories to compliment their entire look. They even had Los Angeles based artists Patrick Bautista and Mario Cedenas to do the hair and make up.

I just wanted to share with you the images from Camille and Michelle’s experience as I can imagine how exciting and thrilling this all was to them.  I wish I was there to see them.  I am so happy and proud that they looked so glamorous and they looked so EMMYS appropriate!  I just want to thank E! for the opportunity!  We at House of Laurel are extremely grateful!

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It’s been quite a while since I have stayed put in town for the long weekend.  I usually schedule a trip somewhere when a long weekend comes.  However this weekend I stayed put and to be honest was for the better because of it. Our friend Chari invited us over to her house near Mount Makiling and we spend a lovely afternoon amidst fresh air and lots of lush greens.

I always love visiting people’s homes as you get to see different decorating and hosting styles.  After touring the home of Lito and Chari which was designed by Gelo Manosa and was inspired by the Filipino Bahay Kubo, we ended up in the lanai enjoying home made pizzas and peach belinis.

I loved the interactive process of creating your own pizzas and this added to the fun in the afternoon.  I was fortunate enough to take our dog Allegra as she really loves the outdoors.  You could really feel her joy as she was running in the fields.  After lunch we took a lovely walk around the property which boasted of excellent facilities like a golf course, a fishing pond and a loads of sport venues for tennis, badminton and football.  I for one thought that the place was excellent for biking as this would really give you a fantastic workout.

After our walk our gang decided to drive around the village to look at the different homes that have slowly been built around the area.  One house immediately caught my eye as this was a style that appealed to me.  As luck would have it this home belonged to my Aunt and Uncle  Macario & Letty Laurel.  I only found this out as we were approaching the house they were en route out.  I was so happy to see them and they graciously invited us into their home.  I loved it!  It was something that really appealed to my aesthetic and took a mental note of what I could and would be able to do in the future.

After the visit I drove back to Makati early enough to miss the traffic and we were back in town from Makiling in less than 30 minutes.  You have to love driving during holidays!  It’s a dream.  My next agenda was a small and intimate dinner at my friends Mandy’s home.  Mandy is one of my dearest friends and she is such a beautiful soul and an excellent host.  I always look forward to her dinner invitations as it is always so delicious.  The dinner was for our friend Dindi Gallardo who is visiting from New York.  Sadly she got caught in the in coming traffic from the Holiday and failed to make the dinner.

However we managed to have a great time just the same as the spread in Mandy’s home was just divine. Looking at the photos now I already scheduled a double class from my personal trainer to help ease all the long weekend eating.  The surprise of the evening was the birthday greeting for our friend Manny del Rosario.  I really like Manny as he is downright funny and a real great guy to be with.  I personally enjoyed the dinner as one of the guests was Sandy Daza who is one of the foremost Filipino food movers in the country.  I enjoyed talking to him about food and taking down as much information as possible.

That was my long weekend in a nut shell. Now I am looking forward in getting back to work fully recharged and raring to go!

This is the home of my friends Lito and Chari. It was designed by Gelo Manosa inspired by the Filipino Bahay Kubo.

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The EMMYS 2014 Red Carpet Review #2

I normally don't like patterns on the red carpet but this Peter Som gown on Julie Bowen really works.

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The EMMYS 2014 Red Carpet Review #1

At the recent EMMYS 2014 red carpet there was a clear trend of REDS & WHITE dresses!  It’s really interesting when everyone thinks alike and come up with practically the same looks.  As a fashion lover the red carpet’s always a great indication of what the market will want and positively respond to.  It’s also a way to see dresses outside the runway.  Either way it’s good watching and will be giving my colour/peanut gallery comments in this entry.  Enjoy the images!

OMG! I remember Anna Chlumsky as a very young actress now look at her all grown up in Zac Posen. I love the clean and classic lines.

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An afternoon w/ Mr. Luz

I recently had the profound privilege to visit Philippine National Artist Mr. Arturo Luz in his studio.  To be in his presence is always so magical as he is one of the precise and profound Philippine Contemporary artist that has influenced several generations.

I tagged along with my friends Tina Bonoan, Jitty Sison and Malu Gamboa one afternoon to visit Mr. Luz in his home and studio.  The first thing that came to my mind when I visited his home is that I felt like I was literally walking into one of his paintings.  His home was designed by Ed Calma who Mr. Luz was praising the highest compliments to.  He even mentioned that he would not be surprised if one day Mr. Calma would also be a National artist for architecture one day.

When we arrived we warmly greeted by Mrs. Luz who immediately led us to his studio.  His Studio was actually quite small but very organised and neatly planned out.  He even mentioned that the greatest artists had the smallest studios.  I was immediately enchanted and felt like I was in a trance.  I was so intrigued about the tools he used and the way his surroundings had a direct effect on his work.

Mr. Luz was in a great mood that day and he was so magnanimous and generous encouraging me to one day paint and express my artistry in another medium.  We got to talk about photography and how he is an avid photographer and a collector of Leica cameras.  In fact he showed us a sample of some of his Leica Cameras that were all  stored in one cubicle in his office.

It was so inspiring just to be around Mr. Luz and he was so open and giving.  My highlight was his passion for Making tape!  He said that it was probably the most important invention as he uses this in so many ways. In fact he uses this to keep his wallet in place.  LOL!

I just want to thank Tina, Malu & Jitty for letting me tag along and witness something so magical.  Take a look at the photos of my afternoon with Mr. Luz and I am certain that you would be inspired as well.  Such a blessing indeed.

Mr. Luz showing Malu his photograph series of leaves that he found outside his home.

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Holiday collection 2014 Moodboard – “De Chine”

I am so excited and thrilled to share with all of you our mood board for our Holiday collection 2014.  The collection is entitled “De Chine” if you translate this in English it would mean in my mind “Of China”.   We have been preparing for this collection for almost six months now and in a few weeks we will be ready to unveil the entire collection.

In the meantime I would like to show you where this all started and what our design journey is all about.  I have been sourcing in China for several years now and each time I go I get to see a facet of China that is always intriguing.  I wanted to delve into my interpretation of China and what this means to me.  China is such a powerful country now and their presence is so over powering and I wanted to harness this into a fashion collection.

I wanted to find a way to interpret this into my design vocabulary and see where this would take me.  I first started our getting a story together in my head and I wanted to explore the 1940′s attitude to the collection but from a very Chinese mentality.

In was very interesting to see where it lead to as from the start it was quite literal but then as we were developing the patterns and samples the collection went to a brand new direction that reminded me of Ungaro and YSL in the 80′s.  Me and my team were laughing that this collection is so the ante thesis of the “NORMCORE” trend that is happening at the moment!  I guess because it’s the holiday season and it’s the time to party and celebrate and the collection that we have prepared aims to cater to our clients for this.

Do take a look at our mood board and perhaps you too will get inspired with what’s to come for the HOUSE OF LAUREL!

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Happy Birthday Mother Henri!

One of the most loved people in our Philippine Fashion industry recently turned a birthday milestone and I was really privileged to have been invited.  His name is Henri Calayag.  Known to all of us as Mother Henri!  He recently turned 60 years of age  however if you look at him he does not look a day over 40 years old!   I attribute this to Henri’s health lifestyle which comprises of his daily yoga practice  and his conscious effort to eat healthily.  I also believe that  Henri looks this amazing because of his positive mindset and how really kind and generous he really is.

He asked all his friends to come in skirts and we all happily obliged.  The last time I wore a skirt was in the late 80′s so this was brand new to me all over again.  Henri personally decorated the dinner with lush greens and served up loads of champagne and delicious fare for La Tasca.  I really enjoyed the callow dish as it was so delicious.

Henri prepared a band which led to an open mic, which is something I just can’t refuse once given the opportunity.  LOL!  It was really so wonderful to see so many friendly faces as I haven’t seen them in such a long time.  We partied and danced till the stroke of midnight and like the proper Cinderella was home by the stroke of midnight.

I just want to personally thank Mother Henri for the guidance, love and friendship.  May you Henri have even more perfect health and my God continually to bless your good heart.  I love you very very much!

The Birthday celebrant! Looking as he always says "nonchalant"!

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Arturo Luz + Hans Bruman

I love creative collaborations.  I feel that the merging of two creative forces always leads to unexpected and magical results.  I recently experience this magic once again when I attended a collaborative project with National Artist Arturo Luz when he lent his genius to formidable jewellery designer Hans Bruman.

I accompanied my friend Malu Gamboa to the event and was so pleased to have seen Mr. Luz strong bold graphic aesthetic transposed into modern Jewelry.  I love how clear and focused his point of view is and I think that it is extremely inspiring to see Mr. Luz in another dimension of design.

For you art lovers and Arturo Luz fans out there please come and take a look at his beautiful collection now on display at the Hans Bruman showroom in the Shangri-La Makati hotel.

With National artist Arturo Luz!

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Tina’s new home!

One of my favourite activities is to visit my friends homes and have dinner.  Their is something extremely intimate and special about being in someone’s space and taking it all in.  I was very fortunate to have been invited to the home of my friend Tina who is an accomplished architect, interior and product designer.

Her new flat is in one of the older apartments buildings in Makati.  This means that she has more space than the regular urban dwellers. I love Tina’s style as it’s highly textural and very organic.  I loved the fact that she did not acquire anything new and used everything she already had.

The results were a really comfortable and eclectic home highlighting her collection of art, objects and beautiful furniture.  I appreciated her understanding of layering and her practical approach to design.  I just want to say  Thank you Tina  & Jack for having me it was really such a beautiful evening.

A perspective of the living and dinning room.

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PLANT Magazine!

I am so thrilled and excited to share with you the images of PLANT magazine where I am on the cover of their fashion issue.  It’s a double issue featuring an insiders featuring the hottest in Fashion and Dining in the Rockwell mall.    The magazine is really quite excellent with super cool tips and a wealth of information.

The best thing about this is that the magazine is FREE!!!!!  I just wanted to share with you the fantastic photos of Joseph Pascual as he really made look pretty decent.  I also loved the words of Jed Gregorio as he really got into my psyche and my world.  I would also like to thank Raymond Ang for putting this all together.  I really appreciate it all.

I suggest you all head over to The Power Plant mall in Rockwell and get your free PLANT magazine!  Some of the best things in this life are indeed FREE!  LOL!

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