Thursday, June 30, 2011


I have never read THE LITTLE PRINCE, the most famous novella by French aviator Antoine de Saint-Exupery. It has been translated into more than 190 languages and sold more than 80 million copies making it one of the best-selling books ever.

A few months back, an ambitious assignment came, Sir Ric Gindap of MONDAY Magazine wanted a fashion pictorial revolving around the story of THE LITTLE PRINCE. George and I were clueless, we hardly had knowledge about the characters of the said book. We were given guidelines, but personally, I only knew this famous line "One sees clearly only with the heart. What is essential is invisible to the eye." Ask Ruffa Gutierrez about it, she answered using those words during the Q&A portion in her bid for the 1993 Ms. World title, wherein she was crowned 1st Princess (alam ko pa di ba!).

Although we were apprehensive at first, Geo and I took the challenge of styling a big cast of characters, some of whom were already friends of ours. We played on the styling pegs initially provided by fashion editor Bon Galeng, and bahala na si batman, we interpreted everything on our own. 

With good production design, numerous props and loads of laughter, this was an awesome display of teamwork - nevermind the exhaustion. Led by the cutie Bogs Jugo, former drummer of the band Pupil, he was our modern version of a rockstar Little Prince.

BOGS JUGO (drummer) as The Little Prince.
Gold-trimmed hooded vest by ADIDAS ORIGINALS x JEREMY SCOTT; Black Nehru coat by RODRIGUEZ DE ALBA by LEVENSON RODRIGUEZ; White shirt by FOLDED&HUNG (SM Mall of Asia); Black pinstriped pants by MENTAL (SM Mall of Asia); Black patent boots by TRAFFIC (SM Mall of Asia).

ALEX GUERRERO (model) as The Rose.
Red long gown by KENNETH CHUA (to order at 09276946323); Rose headdress by GEORGE PALMIANO (to order at 09173518646); Gold leaf earrings by PARFOIS (Glorietta 4); Red ring by SCHU (Glorietta 3); Emerald long gloves by CALLIOPE (SM Mall of Asia); Gold necklace by PARFOIS (Glorietta 4); Black feathered heels by THE RAMP, CROSSINGS.
Utilitarian jacket by PEOPLE R PEOPLE (SM Megamall); Star-printed top by TERRANOVA MAN (SM Mall of Asia); Striped ribbon tie used as brooch by MUNDO at THE RAMP, CROSSINGS (Glorietta 3); Floral-printed scarf used as arm band by TANGO (Glorietta 3); Denim pants by FOLDED&HUNG (SM Mall of Asia); Brown boots by TRAFFIC (SM Mall of Asia);

Photographer DIEGO JOSE's Dad as The King.
Double-breasted coat by MUNDO at THE RAMP, CROSSINGS (Glorietta 3);  Mesh shirt by RANDY ORTIZ at MYTH (Greenbelt 5); Violet skinny tie by TOPMAN (SM Mall of Asia); Scholastic brooches by SM ACCESSORIES; Gray belt by TERRANOVA MAN (SM Mall of Asia); Gray trousers by RAOUL (Greenbelt 5); Black patent boots by TRAFFIC (SM Mall of Asia); Fingerless gloves, stylists’ own.

LEVENSON RODRIGUEZ (menswear designer) as The Conceited Man.
Suit, vest, pants, kerchief and oxfords all by RODRIGUEZ DE ALBA by LEVENSON RODRIGUEZ; White and black shirt by MUNDO at THE RAMP, CROSSINGS; Scholastic brooch (on hat) by SM ACCESSORIES; Top hat, stylists’ own.

ROMAN as the Drunkard.
Black blazer by 5CM (SM Mall of Asia); White and black loose wrap by MUNDO at THE RAMP, CROSSINGS (Glorietta 3); Black wayfarers by RAYBAN; Gray denims by FOLDED&HUNG (SM Mall of Asia); Black shoes by TRAFFIC (SM Mall of Asia); Necklace, model’s own.

FRED PENALES (makeup artist, Hairshaft Salon big boss) as The Businessman.
Dark brown suit and dress shirt, both by RANDY ORTIZ at MYTH (Greenbelt 5); Checkered vest by JOEY SAMSOM at MYTH (Greenbelt 5); Wool trousers by MASSIMO DUTTI (Greenbelt 5); Checkered bowtie by TOPMAN (SM Mall of Asia); Brown shoes by TRAFFIC (SM Mall of Asia).

LOUIE as the Lamplighter.
Black suit and pants by KENNETH CHUA (to order at 09276946323); Gray fedora hat by SM ACCESSORIES; Gray polo top by MASSIMO DUTTI (Greenbelt 5); Gray skinny tie by 5CM; Belt by RAOUL (Greenbelt 5); Black shoes by TRAFFIC (SM Mall of Asia).

MARK MULDER (photographer) as the Geographer.
Brown blazer by RANDY ORTIZ at MYTH (Greenbelt 5); White dress shirt by FRANCIS LIBIRAN at MYTH (Greenbelt 5); Animal printed scarf by TERRANOVA MAN (SM Mall of Asia); Khaki pants by RANDY ORTIZ at MYTH (Greenbelt 5); Brown boots by TRAFFIC (SM Mall of Asia). 

MARX TOPACIO (model) as the Pilot.
Aviator cap by PEOPLE R PEOPLE (SM Megamall); Aviator shades by SM ACCESSORIES; Nylon jacket, faded gray shirt, military bag and utility pants, all by TERRANOVA MAN (SM Mall of Asia); Gold skinny tie by 5CM (SM Mall of Asia); Brown boots by TRAFFIC (SM Mall of Asia); Red fingerless gloves, stylists’ own;

NINYA FLAVIO as the Snake.
Snake-printed wrap blouse, pants and clutch, all by TOPSHOP (Greenbelt 3); Silver dangling earrings and choker, both by PARFOIS (Glorietta 4); Faux python pumps by SCHU (Glorietta 4).

KAYE VILLASENOR (stylist) as the Rose Garden.
Left: Red and black cutout dress by NOEL CRISOSTOMO at MYTH (Greenbelt 5); Assorted bangles by PARFOIS (Glorietta 4); Gold and silver bracelet by SCHU (Glorietta 3); Black feathered heels by THE RAMP, CROSSINGS (Glorietta 3). Center: Red dress by VANIA ROMOFF at THE RAMP, CROSSINGS (Glorietta 3); Assorted bangles and gold leaf earrings, all by PARFOIS (Glorietta 4); Petal shoes by SCHU (Glorietta 3). Right: Rose-printed dress by ROLAND ALZATE (to order at 09178744600); Assorted bangles by PARFOIS (Glorietta 4); Gold & silver bracelet and brown strappy heels, both by SCHU (Glorietta 3).
CHRIS YUHICO (assistant photographer) as the Railway Switchman. 
Newsboy hat by SM ACCESSORIES; Striped blazer by MUNDO at THE RAMP, CROSSINGS (Glorietta 3); Vest by FOLDED&HUNG (SM Mall of Asia); White dress shirt by MASSIMO DUTTI (Greenbelt 5); Striped ribbon tie by MUNDO at THE RAMP, CROSSINGS; Distressed jeans by TERRANOVA MAN (SM Mall of Asia); Brown shoes by TRAFFIC (SM Mall of Asia)

BRIAN FONTANILLA (assistant photographer) as the Merchant.
Plaid blazer by MUNDO at THE RAMP, CROSSINGS (Glorietta 3); Plaid top by JOEY SAMSON at MYTH (Greenbelt 5); Belt by TERRANOVA MAN (SM Mall of Asia); Gray trousers by TOPMAN (SM Mall of Asia); Brown shoes by TRAFFIC (SM Mall of Asia);

YONG AFABLE (writer) as the Wise Fox.
Gray blazer by TOPMAN (SM Mall of Asia); White dress shirt by RAOUL (Greenbelt 5); Gray trousers by MASSIMO DUTTI (Greenbelt 5); Brown shoes by TRAFFIC (SM Mall of Asia).

Now I understand why Sir Ric (EIC of MONDAY) was persistent on producing this pictorial. This fashion story was intended for the Travel Issue, and the travails of The Little Prince thru time and space make him the ultimate travelling man. Thanks to the whole MONDAY team (Sir Ric, Bon, Chars, Marlon, etc.), as well as to photographer Diego (also check his blog and the Hairshaft team.

 ONSTAGE. Me, Bogs and George.  

 HUGGABLE. George gets a hug from Sir Ric Gindap 

 URBAN OUTFITTER. Me working on Bogs'outfit.

 KODAK MOMENT.  Our assistants Abby, Sheila and Joan with Bogs.

 HAPPY DAYS. Fun fun with the guys from Monday - (Backrow L-R): Diego, Geo, Bogs, Alex, (Front row L-R) Kuya, Marlon, Bon, Chars and me. 

Photography: Diego Lorenzo Jose
Styling: Mike de Guzman & George Palmiano (MGP)
Hair & Makeup: Fred Penales & The Hairshaft team
Models: Bogs Jugo, Alex Guerrero, Dado Jose, Levenson Rodriguez, Roman Roxas, Fred Penales, Louie Jay Moises, Mark Mulder, Marx Topacio, Ninya Flavio, Kaye Villasenor, Yong Afable, Chris Yuhico, Brian Fontanilla

Tuesday, June 28, 2011


After watching this behind-the-scenes footage by Bench Body's upcoming ad campaign, I won't be surprised if I see you drooling relentlessly over these male athletes from the Philippine Rugby team in their almost naked glory, looking like well-endowed, massive, strong and stamina-filled Greek Olympians coming into flesh, I mean into life.   

Also known as The Volcanoes, the rugby team lets your wild imagination and kinky desire flare up in sexy briefs and nothing less. Seeing all these men bare just enough for all to catch a glimpse of, we witness how the male's gorgeous physique is transformed into a daring art form - it almost feels like watching a Dolce&Gabbana underwear ad campaign!  

Now, let's wait until The Volcanoes erupt and spit out molten lava to all who desire to follow them. Move over Azkals, shall I say?

NOTE: Video clip from BenchTV at YouTube.

Monday, June 27, 2011


It rained soooo heavily that night. But the mighty rain did not stop SM ACCESSORIES from creating their own glory under the spotlight as the downpour included celebrities, fashionistas and other recognizable figures who trooped to their media launch/fashion show last June 8 at One Esplanade in Pasay City.

RING OF FIRE. The circular stage was set for SM Accessories to claim bigtime. Not so liking the hanging cutouts though - parang mga taong nagbigti, and too early for Halloween!
AND SO WE'VE GOT IT ALL FOR YOU! To date, SM Accessories is the only retail channel carrying the widest and most complete line of fashion accessories.


For George and I, the volume of rainwater failed in comparison with the amount of accessories we used on 40+ male & female models with twice or thrice the change each (not counting the celebrities, the children, and other unforeseen figures who were not even included in our list, but made it to the runway last minute), that most people called this type of styling, "excessorizing."

THE BLACK SWAN. George checking out on queenly model Petra - or was it Petra checking on the already harassed George?
SO MANY ACCESSORIES, SO LITTLE TIME. Can you imagine all these chaos we have to deal with leading to the main part of the fashion show?!
A HELPING HAND. Thank you Madz of Adfolio for assisting backstage. Our assistant Sheila also looks on.
STYLE IN ACTION. Geo gets his styling hands on these kids.
ALL BELTED UP. Model Ann Casas must be at awe seeing the all the accessories that came flooding in.

It's contentious, but there are some people who didn't understand the idea what SM ACCESSORIES had for that event - bling, bling, bling to the max! For all they know, this was a full-blast fashion accessory launch that they attended. It wasn't an elegant, high-end jewelry event with piece-by-piece exhibition as each item come all together in one cohesive, or sometimes capsule collection. We were strictly told, the more accessories on, the merrier (in Tagalog, everything must be bongga!).  As John Kenner Chua (head of SM Accessories Management Corp.) explained in his welcome speech, "And now that SM Accessories is here, you’ll never have to look elsewhere for all your fashion accessories because we have them all!" Indeed, we placed everything we could, in our own interpretation, on the models with theatrical affluence and editorial touches in mind - necklaces, bangles, shawls, shades, bracelets, cuffs, bags, chokers, belts, hair clips, hats, etc. in more ways than the usual - so everbody would know the range they've got because they have it all nga for you! It's up to people to dissect what they saw on the runway, and wear the accessories accordingly and realistically.


Different categories of accessories highlighted the show. Pound per pound, blow by blow, models walked the runway wearing 70% accessories, 20% clothes, 10% stage projection. Geo's girls vs. my styling with the boys!

a) Category: Hats and Headpieces

HAIR MAJESTY. Super love Ria Bolivar's magnificent towering hairdo with feathers done by hair expert John Valle!
THE CHINESE CONNECTION. Jessica Yang's feather vs. China Yoo's bow.
HEAD ON. Which is cuter, pompoms or sequins?
HAT HOTTAH. Fedoras and "Kuya Kim's" hat do the trick.
FULL CAPS. An overdrive of trucker and bull caps.
TOP IT ALL. A wide display of hats and headpieces on catwalk parade.

b) Category: Belts and Bags

WAIST DEFINITION. Pile on belts to create a corset effect, or go disco with belt chains.
THE BELTER, THE BETTER. More and more belts give emphasis on the womanly figure.
MODEL LOVE. Real life lovey-dovey couple Petra and Nathaniel conquer the runway.
GET STRAPPY. How do you interpret belts on the runway in exaggerated means more than using them on the waist?
SHORT STORY. Imagine a pair of uber cool short pants made with belts (c/o Grace, Sheila & Ate Jen)!
HERE THEY COME. In fairness, the models looked very high fasyon on stage!

c) Category: Shawls and Scarves

SHAWLSTOPPER. Geo's playful skirt that he made out of intertwined shawls blew the audience away! 
LIGHT VS. DARK. For SM Accessories, there's a shawl for every skin complexion.
FLIGHTS OF FANCY. Use it as a wrap, as a skirt, on the neck or on the head, shawls can be everywhere.
DESERT NOMADS. I'd like to thank Edwin Calingasan and his team for fixing the turbans on the heads of Alex P. and Daniel. Very nice!
SAHARA KNIGHTS. Scubed model Kevin and Laxie V. were perfect as Arabs!
GLAD WRAP. Models romped with their scarves and shawls.

d) Category: Branded Goods

EYE SWEAR! The ladies wore branded eyewear from Versace, D&G and Fendi.
SLIM SHADY. Models Robbie, Marx and Timothy wearing shades all from Gucci, and watches from Kenneth Cole, Giorgio Armani & Lacoste.
BLACKOUT. Models in black bodysuits while wearing imported branded eyewear and watches.

e) Necklaces

FUN & COLOR. Colored beaded and leatherette necklaces on these models (clothes on girls by Jian Lasala)

GILDED FANTASY. Gold necklaces for lure and attention.

GOLDEN GIRLS. More fashionable gold jewelries.

SILVER SLIVER. Black and silver neckpieces take centerstage.

SILVER TRIMMINGS. It's trendy to wear silver blings! (Dresses by Jian Lasala) 

PEARL HARBOR. Pearl accessories are no pearly shells.

MOTHER OF PEARLS. Ria Bolivar in a bustier made of pearl strands, peark beads and pearl necklaces (c/o Sheila & Tiya Fely).
e) Children's Accessories
DREAMSCAPE. Walk in frothy styles and accessories that bring fantasies to life.
COOL FOR SCHOOL. Turn the school halls into your own runway.
TOO YOUNG. Play it all up with colorful blings and fanciful trinkets.
HEIGHT OF FASHION. Style heavyweights Tim Yap of Philippine Star in sparkling silver and FASH's Bianca Valerio wearing Cesar Gaupo.

f) Lifestyle
ROCK ON! Accessories from Scubed.
THE STREET IS THE STAGE. Accessories from Scubed.
THE TRAVELLING MEN. Accessories from MSense.
MAKE SENSE. Accessories from MSense.
COLOR SPLASH. Accessories from MIC.
WOMEN ON THE GO. Accessories from MIC and WWW.
EVENING ELEGANCE. Accessories from WWW.
ONE SHOULDER DRAMA. Accessories from WWW.
STYLE & SUBSTANCE. Accessories from WWW; Clothes by Cesar Gaupo.
BEAUTY & GRACE. Lovely actresses Mariel Rodriguez and Megan Young graced the show.
SONG BIRDS. Singers Rachel Alejandro and Geneva Cruz in a battle of the best legs, curves and cleavage.
SISON OF CHANGE. Lovable Michelle Sison and his cutie son Gio wearing the designer's creations.
MAD MEN. R&B's Kris Lawrence and sexy Aaron Villena
BATCHMATES. Funked-up Mark Solis and a freshened-up Baron Geisler.
I AM SAM. The handsome Sam Concepcion vs. the ethereal Sam Pinto.
BLACK BEAUTIES. Beautiful Cheska Garcia and beauty queen Priscilla Meirelles (in a Jian Lasala dress) both donning black elegance.
TAKE A VOW. Models lineup in the finale part of the fashion show.


Not because we were part of it, I have to commend the SM ACCESSORIES Group for the success of their event (despite the small technical glitch midway during the show), and them being in touch with the forces of nature - they had plenty of umbrellas for everybody as giveaways, mind you! Talk about effective forecasting, and preparing for the wet, bad weather!

RAIN RAIN GO AWAY! Top SM executive Mr. Ponce was handed with an umbrella.
MAN OF THE MOMENT. Channel 2's Marie Lozano with Mr. John Kenner Chua, VP of SM Accessories 
SAY CHEESE! Photographer Niccolo Cosme and stylist Ram de Vera.
ALL FOR YOU. SM Department Store's top executives.
HAPPY TOGETHER. Talent manager Jojie Dingcong with the stunning Bianca Manalo.
ROSE IN BLOOM. The pretty Ms. Donita Rose also came to see the event.
ALL AT ONCE. YDG president Louis Claparols, photographer/model Jo Ann Bitagcol, Ayen Florendo of SM Menswear with some friends.
TRÉS CHIC. Me with friends from SM Accessories Visual Merchandising - Michael B. & Paolo.
FULL SUPPORT. SM-MCG's Ms. A. Marie V. Pascual with SM-LTBG's Mr. Eugene Sy and Ms. Rina Lacia-Bugayong
SHOULDER TAP. Mr. John Kenner Chua with Ystyle columnist Christopher de Venecia
HEY DUDE! Baron Geisler reunited with fellow Kapamilya Mico Palanca.
HAIL CESAR! Famed designer Cesar Gaupo being surrounded by male hunks.
ALL SMILES. TV personalities Bobby Yan, Francine Prieto, Talent manager Arnold Vegafria and the statuesque Priscilla Meirelles
IT TAKES TWO. ADMM's Carol Mahusay and SM Accessories Marketing Manager Michelle Baro-Chua
SMALL BUT TERRIBLE. Cutie actor John Pratts was also in attendance.
SAM LIKES IT HOT. Gorgeous celebrity Sam Pinto while being interviewed.
MODERN DANDY. Direk Robbie Carmona also showed up.
BUDDY BUDDIES. Jun Poblador with Frank Garcia.
WE'VE DONE IT ALL FOR YOU. The SM Accessories Merchandising Team with their big boss.
CHEERS! SM-LFMC's Jocas de Leon and Marie, with Arnel Palomares and another SM colleague.
CHIKA-CHIKA. Designer Michelle Sison and son Gio with some friends.

On the other hand, of all the projects that Geo and I did, this remarkable experience would go down the memory lane as the most tiring, most demanding, most exhausting ever! Yes, we were nervous, not because we couldn't live up to the challenge and put on a great show, but because of the lack of both management and preparation.

With extremely limited time frame - to be specific, less than a week to prepare, I salute everyone for tackling this event knowing the magnitude of expectations storming thru from left and right, front and back. I have to give it to Direk Ariel Lozada for formulating a concept in a snap - he did this hellavuh show with less than five (5) days in his calendar.

MASTER SHOWMAN. Direk Ariel Lozada during a practice with Geneva Cruz.

Huge factor in this media launch was the support given by Ms. Lora Gabuna-Antenor and her Adfolio team. Thank you mother for helping all of us organize the show sequence. Thank you for volunteering to source for some clothing requirements. When we needed more manpower and there was none who would give, you sent your people to assist us. When you saw us laboring and had little energy, you sent us food and drinks. All these you did with your kindness. Super thank you!

ADFOLIO IS NO.1. Me with the No.1 Mama Lora after the show.

Of course, we have to thank the people who assisted us pre- and post-show. Sheila and Grace, most specially, for managing everything and for enduring the pressure and lack of sleep. Thanks also to Joan, Joelven, Kiko, Amor, Tiya Fely, Ate Jen, my brother JR, Madz, Joyce and all who helped backstage.

SEEING DOUBLE. My brother JR with his kamukha Mark Solis.
GRACE UNDER PRESSURE. Our assistant Grace Boyles and me flanked the beautiful Priscilla Meirelles.
BACKSTAGE BOYS. Backstage helpers Joelven, my brother and Kiko with elegant Cheska Garcia.

Our gratitude also to the two separate but awesome teams of makeup artists and hairstylists headed by Bobby Carlos (for the female models) and Edwin Calingasan (for male and kiddie models). Nice to see colleagues John Valle there, as well as Dimple Callada and Benjie Angeles. Bravo, guys!

TALK TO ME. SM Accessories Marketing Manager Michelle Baro-Chua with Makeup artist Edwin Calingasan.
SPOTTED! Chief Makeup Artist of Max Factor Bobby Carlos with hubby Louis Claparols.

It was still raining horribly after the show. I think we were the last group to exit the halls of Esplanade, having to return the truckloads of accessories back to their original boxes & plastic bags, and the clothes back on the racks & cartons. I realized, we made it through and we all did great for quite an ambitious, whirlwind type of a show. I thought, accessories kung accessories! More than ever, thank you Lord, we survived it all!

DYNAMIC DUO. Diane Aquinde and Ninoy Sarcida of SM Accessories Marketing Group.
WE R FAMILY. The SM Accessories Group beamed with pride.

Ms. Michelle Baro-Chua, Ninoy Sarcida and Diane Aquinde (all from SM Accessories Marketing Group), don't you agree? Congrats all, we're still alive - we surpassed the delubyo!