CAROLINE ISSA + HARLAN & HOLDEN

One of my favourite Philippine grown brands, Harlan and Holden recently invited me to a round table discussion with Caroline Issa. If you haven’t heard of her then I suggest that you look her up ASAP. Caroline is one true fashion force! She is one of the most photographed fashion insiders in the world and her style and influence has propelled her to several directions that all spell true style. As one of the founders and creative energies for TANK magazine, Caroline has grown to be one of the true sage voices of our current generation.

Harlan & Holden set this beautiful space in the middle of Green belt.

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The “Soul” of the house!

During our cruise ship experience we met so many Filipinos working on board. We all were so appreciative of their work and service and we genuinely enjoyed their hospitality and friendship. In one of our dinners I was so impressed by the fact that the Wine sommelier Maxi Mondragon and the Head chef Dannis Logdat were Filipino! My family was so impressed with their success and stories. The head chef Dannis’ life story was so inspiring as he began his journey as a supermarket bagger boy in SM and now he is the head chef who is in charge of all 3000 passengers and crew in our ship.
Dannis and Maxi invited my family to see his kitchen. In my many years of experience in the service industry, the back or what I would like to call it as the “Soul” of the house shares equal importance as the front and it was really such a privilege to see Dannis’ kitchen where we met many more dedicated and hard working Filipinos that made me so proud and happy. I just wanted to share this experience with all of you as I believe these men and women working overseas really sacrificed so much for their family and ultimately for our country.

They actually do not use “fire” in the ship's kitchen. Everything used induction heat.

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Marry me at Marriott Part 2

Just can’t get enough of the gorgeous event. It was truly magical! Please do enjoy more photos of the runway from photographer Bruce Casanova!

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#LargadeLaurels CRUISING!

In our recent family vacation we decided to go cruising. It’s one of the most convenient way to travel across Europe and when you’re a group of 14 ranging from age 70 to 9 this proved to be a very good idea! We all boarded our ship in Barcelona and ventured on a 12 day journey across the Mediterranean sea. It was a really a beautiful vacation where my dad had everyone captive in one place. LOL! Seriously though we were all so blessed to be together and experienced such amazing weather and rare long periods of family time.
My camera crashed during this trip and sadly I don’t have lots of photos from all the places that we visited but what I have are the enumerable and precious memories of this special trip. Deeply grateful to my Dad for taking all of us. Sharing a few photos of the cruise ship we took.

The ship's main elevators.

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Marry me at the Mariott!

Designing wedding gowns will always have a special place in my heart. I have been doing this for more than 20 years now and every time I work on a bridal gown it is still that same feeling of joy, exhilaration and a deep responsibility to design the most important dress a woman will wear in  her life.

This is the main lobby of the ballroom, it felt like several football fields in length.

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NAPOLI!

I was so excited to visit Naples, Italy in my latest trip. It was my first time and in my research I have learned that many consider Naples the heart of Italian cuisine. Imagine going home to the birthplace of PIZZA! YAAY!!! Nix did his own research and found out that the best place to try Pizza in Naples is in SORBILLO http://www.sorbillo.it/en/

Arrived in Napoli with perfect weather.

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BTS from The Theory of Congruence Lookbook shoot

I’m always excited to try something new whether it is a new piece of art, a new dish, or a new country. There’s always the thrill of discovery. For this collection, we ventured away from our usual aesthetics of opulent, extravagant and romantic pieces to make way for a more relaxed and easy collection. The challenge now is to streamline the design and edit out all the highly detailed nuances of our designs that we were used to. We give you a more clear line of thought and a purity of sorts in this collection.

I'm loving our menswear pieces.

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The Normal Heart

Did you know that the Philippines has the 3rd highest number of HIV patients in Asia? Did you know that in 2015 alone there were 6000 patients that have contracted the AIDS virus? This staggering statistic is really quite appalling and scary. One of the things that we all need to do is spread awareness and information about the situation. One of the best plays ever written about this decease and how it affects everyone is THE NORMAL HEART written in the 80’s by Larry Kramer.

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Natalya Lagdameo’s Accessories – Available at HOUSE OF LAUREL

Every now and then I get fixated with an artist and I cannot stop thinking about them.  This happened to me when I met and saw the beautiful work of jewelry designer Natalya Lagdameo. I first chanced upon her work in a Bazaar a few years ago and I couldn’t’ stop thinking about her pieces.  I  loved them and I wanted to work with her and create a collection that would be suitable for her work. I am so happy that after so many years I am able to work with Natalia for our Cruise/Transition collection “The Theory of Congruence”.  As you can see in some of the raw photos from our shoot it was really the perfect match.  The good news is that her collection will be available in our showroom soon and I am just overjoyed.  Take a peek at how perfect her pieces are with our collection.  Thank you Natalya and thank you also to Ina for making it all happen.

Nugget Cluster Necklace (Right) Nugget Chain Necklace (Left) *both 22K Gold-Plated Brass
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Cruise/Transition collection 2015-”The Theory of Congruence”

 My favourite collection in the season has to be our Transition or Cruise collection.  The reason why I like it is because it is our most experimental season in terms of design and technique.  This is the period between Summer and Holiday and since it’s a very short one the collection is smaller and in a way more concise.  We have to be able to relay the message to our clients in a shorter time span so it has to be stronger, clearer and cleaner.  I read somewhere that one of my favourite designers Dries Van Noten has a particular  design process where in he begins with things that he actually doesn’t like.  In fact he begins with the things that he detests and from there create a design around this mindset.  I thought to myself that this  process was quite interesting and I wanted to try it out.
     I told my team lets begin with one of the most challenging subjects I had in school.  MATH!!!!   I really hated this when I was a student and so we based the collection with Math and then we added a bit of science in there and from there began the mood board and inspiration.  Like with all of our collection I love this part as we all begin to imagine and see where this could all possibly lead to.  We then moved on to colours that we normally don’t use as our clients have a penchant for colour and intensity.  What we ended up with was really surprising.  Subtle, quiet and really relaxed.
   I just wanted to share with all of you where we are all taking you this coming season.  I hope you all are as inspired as we are?

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