Sunday, September 26, 2010


Don't we love models that are not just pretty-pretty? I mean, those models who exemplify creativity, intellect or talent beyond the usual beautiful face, slim body, long legs and overall gorgeous appearance. I adore models who continue to strive in fashion, make their mark and eventually transform into idols and icons.

These models are those that reinvent themselves and evolve. For one, I am a great fan of the androgynous Jo Ann Bitagcol who sashays from catwalk to fashion photography, and doing both at the same time. Angel Aquino is a coveted model turned versatile actress and TV host. Apples Aberin and Rizza Samson both make stylish statements as fashion columnists for Philippine Daily Inquirer and Philippine Star, respectively. And then we have the style purveyor and entrepreneur Tina Maristela Ocampo with her highly-touted Celestina line doing good on the international fashion scene.

Then comes GIRLIE BENITEZ. A favorite top ramp and high fashion model who looks like a cross between KC Concepcion and Amy Austria, Girlie rocks fashion anew as an accessory designer.

In a jewelry collection (called Punk "Rocks") that consists of rings, necklaces and amulets with skulls, gold chains, black cords and colored semi-precious stones, Girle shows her edgy, rocker side with a pictorial in which she also did her own hair, makeup and styling. Talk about a model doing multi-tasking! Todo na ito!

Photography: Mike Go

Cool di ba? Girlie's Punk "Rocks" collection will be available at The House of Laurel very soon. For orders, you may get in touch with Girlie thru Facebook for the meantime.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010


Our good friend and in-demand makeup artist, Bobby Carlos, must be all smiles and feeling proud these days.

His hubby, hot designer and president of YDG (Young Designers Guild) LOUIS CLAPAROLS, adds another feather in his cap as the latest featured designer to collaborate with the clothing brand ENSEMBLES.

Following the success of Ensembles by Debbie Co Collection Series last year, and by James Reyes a few years back, Louis steps up to refuel the brand with his own take on RTW by launching very art-deco dresses, tops, skirts, boleros and trench coats. Each piece in this special pocket-collection for Holiday 2010 features distinctive retro-feel prints made into cut-out patch detailing that one can see how intricate and how much passion was put in every creation. Louis used colorful stretch fabrics with a mix of prints in the details, making the pieces look crisp and flattering.

His design inspiration for this capsule collection was taken from a lot of things - from architecture to graphic art to his favorite movies. "I played with a lot of lines and shapes & cutout prints to make it really graphic & playful", Louis says. When asked about his favorite piece, he insists, "I love the diamond collection, I love how beautifully graphic it is."

In an ad campaign that stars the gorgeous Carmina Villaroel, Louis makes his statement heard very loud and clear:

Now Bobby, don't forget Ayen's X-skirt as promised by Louis! Hehehe!

Check out the elusive Louis Claparols for Ensembles and feel expensive in this limited designer collection. Log on at, or find them on Facebook, search for “Ensembles”. Follow also on Twitter,

Wednesday, September 15, 2010


Let me segway internationally for a while: seeing Lady Gaga's far-fetched costume at the latest MTV Awards -- isn't is too early for Halloween?

Yes dears, I love Gaga, and I salute her triumph with 8 awards (out of 13 nominations) including music video of the year (for Bad Romance). But que horror, the queen of eccentricity went too far by donning a dress that looked like slabs of raw meat (that echoed the meat bikini she wore on the cover of Vogue Hommes Japan). Talk about blood, meat, gore, death - it seemed like she went out of a slaughterhouse in a costume designed and given to her by Jason (of the famed Halloween flick) thru one of his butchered victims!

(Photo from

(Photo from

Whether you like it or not, Gaga surely knows how to shock, command attention and create news. Add to that another singer with equally offbeat fashion choice, Cher, who presented her one of the awards - hell yeah, it was one advanced and astonishing Halloween visual treat!

(Photo from

So what's next for Gaga? Maybe veggies... Or probably twigs... Perhaps mud or clay... Even human hair... Whatever it will be, seeing Gaga let me avoid muna eating tocino and bacon. Kadiri!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

SEPTEMBER 2010 COVER OF THE MONTH: Cesar Montano fires up FHM

September is usually the time when magazines hold their big fashion issue. However, my cover choice of the month isn't a major major fashion image, aside from the fact that it is not a major major cover at all.

FHM for September features former beauty queen Bianca Manalo as its covergirl, but I am not referring to this one. When you turn the flipside of the magazine, you'll see Cesar Montano looking suave, sputing and mayaman with sexy babes hanging all over him for the FHM Collections issue for this year.

I love the idea that Cesar looks dashing and oozing with appeal here - unlike his usual rugged and madumi action star look. Although I have seen this exact peg before (George Clooney for GQ also with girls in lingerie, I think), it's quite refreshing to see real men wearing real clothes, I mean looking like gentlemen in nice, sleek suits.

No, not Bianca Manalo - but Cesar Montano who gets the nod for FHM!

Monday, September 6, 2010


I haven't met Ulysses King in person. But I am sure he's one nice guy to watch for.

The co-founder and general manager of the designer label BOBON (which houses limited creations by mavericks Puey Quinones, Roland Lirio, Eric delos Santos and lately, Estien Quijano) made his successful foray to menswear that he showcased at the most recent Philippine Fashion Week.

Aptly called BOBON Homme, Uly's holiday collection for men has Old World luxe feel (with his theme, fabric and color choices) re-translated with modern engineering, slim fit and sharp geometric details.

Uly's formal pieces also rely on strong and clear construction, with pleating mostly present in pants and dress shirts - as well as pintucks. The young designer must also love triangles, utilizing triangular lapels on jackets and vests with triangular hemlines for a take on an updated architectural look. And by the way, I also love the top with Peter Pan collar.

1.) vest in diagonal pleats - available in black, maroon and powder blue ( P2,200)
2.) slim fit jacket in triangular lapel- silver gray and old rose ( P6,500)

1. Navy blue suit ( wool) with pleated lapel and japanese floral lining (with pants) - full set P 15,000
2. White cotton dress shirt with V shape accent in pintucks- P 2,200

Medici blue sleeveless shirt with peter pan collar- ( P 1,800)

The BOBON store at The Podium.

Combining the old and the new, Uly's holiday collection is for the men who love details, are confident, and oozing with masculine appeal. Check out his collection for BOBON located at the Markati Palazzo, 4th Level, The Podium.

And oh, by the way, I still don't know what BOBON means. Maybe I'll ask Uly when I finally get to see him.