Yesterday I read Lourd De Veyra's blog post about his thoughts on the Filipino Holy Week. He made a lot of relevant points, but what spoke to me the most is his introduction of the "bliss station". It's "a room, or a certain hour or so a day, where you don't know what was in the newspapers that morning, you don't know who your friends are, you don't know what you owe anybody, you don't know what anybody owes to you. This is a place where you can simply experience and bring forth what you are and what you might be."
I didn't know it until yesterday but apparently my bliss station is where I lay out all my painting and drawing materials on the dining table. It's the part of my day where I don't care about anything else except creating something and exploring what I can do with what I know about painting (so far). ^_^ What or where is your bliss station? Will you be doing more of it this long weekend?
Anyway I just want to quickly show you something I purchased recently: these white blocky sandals from Stradivarius!
Maybe it's my age, but the way I choose shoes now is vastly different from how I did it before. Just a year ago I would always wander off to the flashiest section of a shoe store, giving the flats and boring wedges a wide berth. The higher the heels, the more exciting they are to wear. The challenge was fun - maintaining my balance in uneven and slippery flooring, changing from flats at just the right moment, towering over most people.
Now it's not so fun. The turning point was when I was walking down a street with a lot of sloping sides, almost slipping a few times - but not quite. I thought to myself, with a quiet fury that I reserve for those who cut in lines and those who man fastfood telephones, "Why the frick am I doing this to myself?" I don't have to walk in terribly high heels. It doesn't prove anything to anyone except that I'm stupid and prideful.
A male friend of mine asked me last week, "How much pain are you willing to go through for a pretty pair of shoes?" I said, "A lot!" Someone once said that good shoes can take you to good places, so if you're willing to take some pain for your vanity then you can potentially get some satisfaction out of it.
Anyways, I recently got two new pairs of shoes just to update my wardrobe. I've been mooning over them for a few weeks beforehand - they're not exactly cheap, so I had to think long and hard if I really needed them. I just felt miserable until I gave in. Next time, I won't put myself to all that trouble! If I badly want something, I'll just go freakin' get it if I can afford it.
First off, I finally got these Zara Basic Sandals. I've seen a lot of fashion bloggers wear them (especially abroad). I'm not the type to fall for trendy things, but I just love how beautifying these heels are!
It's not a secret that I love shoes. Like anyone who loves anything, I wanted to make an ideal version of the thing I love. One afternoon a month or so ago I decided to do just that!
You see Ferretti provides a shoe customization service - something I certainly wouldn't know if I didn't work for the brand. It's simple, you pick the design and the material you want and we'll do it in two weeks for more or less the same cost. There's no extra charge or anything, unless the material you chose is more expensive than the original material of the shoes.
I was hankering for new shoes but I didn't want to buy anything off the rack, for once. Here's what I came up with!
Excited? Here's the finished work!
Remember these uber pretty yellow pumps from Ferretti? Well I love them so much that I asked my boss for a pair to give away. Yes, I want one lucky Project Vanity reader to win my current favorite pair of shoes! It's super easy to join. Just pick the color of Annabel Lee Pumps (out of four) you want to win and why you think it suits your personality. Go! Full mechanics after the cut.
Aqua Blue Annabel Lees: Fun and outgoing
Lemon Yellow Annabel Lees: Cheery and positive
There are nice stores, but then there are stores where you want to take every single thing home. "It's so me!" you squeal. It takes an epic amount of self-control to walk out with only a few choice pieces but it is done.
Something like this happened to me when I visited Ever New on their opening day.
The store is fabulous, for lack of a better word! The pieces are all feminine and sophisticated - think Blair Waldorf on A-grade crack. Colorful prints and fabrics are arrayed according to a theme.
In one corner, you'll see summery white, orange and hot pink affairs. On another there is a modern nautical combination of green and navy blue. A wall displays glamorous formal wear while another has body contouring dresses in glitzy gold and black.
Take a look!
I only started to appreciate, and I mean really appreciate locally-made shoes when I started working for a Pinoy brand that makes them. I'm writing this just to share my thoughts and what I've learned (and still keep learning) from the experience. :)
It was in the mid-90s when the influx of China footwear killed off a good chunk of the local shoe industry. Fact is, China shoes are cheaper and faster to make. Shoe factories in the Philippines simply can't keep up. It's economics, and everyone just dealt with it as best they could.
However, by mid-2000, things started looking up for local shoemakers. Consumers realized that buying mass-produced, imported shoes (usually) meant a reduction in product quality and an appalling tendency to have exactly the same thing as everyone else. Now that's not necessarily a bad thing. I mean, if you pay dirt cheap for a pair of shoes, you really can't expect much.
But people wanted to expect much. They didn't mind paying more if it meant having something fairly special in terms of quality, comfort, and design. It was around that time when small local brands started popping up to make great shoes at nice prices. They're still more expensive compared to China/ Bangkok/ Korea re-branded shoes, but they are definitely more competitive.
If you are about my age then you know that Skechers was The Cool Thing To Wear when we were in elementary. I used to dream about owning those platform rubber shoes back then! Remember the heeled rubber shoes? Those were at the top of my list too. But I was just a student then and my mom didn't believe in high rubber shoes, so I could only dream.
Seriously, I had an obsession with Skechers when I was a kid. That's why when the brand asked me to visit a store and to pick my own shoes, I immediately said yes. I normally don't write about sporty brands like this but I thought I'd make an exception for something that was an inspiration during my childhood.
And so, here I have a virtual tour of the big Skechers store in Market Market, The Fort! Read after the jump to see the brand's latest selections and of course, what I took home with me.
Remember my visit to Sebago last year? That was one of my favorite features because the pink Sebago Docksides I took home then ended up being one of my best shoes. After more than a year of using them whenever I'm not in heels, they're still in great condition, albeit a little dirty.
Take note ha, I've walked them in filthy floods and extremely hot weather where even asphalt fillings would melt. They're still true and totally worth the price! Count me a fan. So when Sebago asked me to visit them again, I wasted no time. Check out some of their new designs:
The quick rise of Internet use in the past three years gave ambitious and style-savvy individuals a great opportunity to make a dream come true. With the Internet, they can easily let the world know that they have something special to offer - be it their unique fashion sense, beauty finds, or products that they designed and had made locally. For the latter, there are three brands that I really admire: Anthology, Frannie & Vinnie, and Gold Dot.
This brand is best known for offering real leather shoes that are comfortable and versatile - in short, the cool, laid-back chick's absolute must-have. They have a new collection which I just saw on Twitter this morning. It's a collaboration with Team Manila featuring canvas flats with graphic prints. I find the collection a fresher, less trying-hard take on "fashionalism".
I first laid eyes on these Parfois platforms last May, when I became their stylist for the day. I found the shoes a bit pricey though at P2,280, and besides, I was in an accessories craze at that time.
Good thing I waited! Last Wednesday, I was in Megamall running errands. I decided to drop by Parfois because of the screaming 70% off sale signs, and while walking inside, I was muttering in my head "please be on sale pleasebeonsale pleasebeonsale". It was! I got the shoes for a little over P1,500!
Thrifted secretary blouse/ Forever 21 embroidered skirt/ Parfois bracelet/ Naccara majorica pearl cocktail ring
You know, my salary just goes back to my boss because I end up buying her shoes anyway! :P I do have an employee discount (20%) but at the end of the day it's still my own money I spend. So if you love shoes, take my advice: don't work for a shoe brand that sells great stuff! (Loljk)
Anyway, I got a couple of new pairs from Ferretti last Wednesday. Both were love at first sight for me so I had to get them asap. I knew (doi) that all designs come in very limited quantities so I didn't want to leave anything to chance.
Exhibit A: gunmetal woven flats with a ribbon (P999). Self explanatory. Major win. I like how sophisticated the design is! I almost got the silver version, but I opted for a toned-down gunmetal instead.
I was at the Ferretti store in Glorietta 5 last Saturday to turn over receipts (I work for the the brand) when I spotted the new bags. It was love at first sight! I immediately bought one of the structured satchels since I am into that particular look right now.
Well, I was once seriously considering those Cambridge bags but a friend aptly observed that they're the new Longchamps - meaning everyone had them. I prefer having more unique pieces, and this Ferretti bag fit the bill (quite literally, too, since this style is only available in very very limited quantities).
Did I mention that the bag is just P899? :D It also comes in light taupe.
Have you been under the sun lately? IT'S CRAZY. I'm trying to remember if it has ever been this hot before, but I can't recall anything in particular. Wearing sunblock, shades, or an umbrella is no help at all because the heat burns as long as you're outside. I just try not to go out at all.
But sadly that's not an option. A girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do! Last Saturday, I went out to host Project Vanity's second Clinique Party after holing up in the condo all Friday working. Needless to say, the Clinique Party was a blast! A lot of girls turned up and they seemed happy with their au naturel makeovers. Hay, I have to say, I really enjoy what I do.
Anyhoo, here's what I wore that day:
I used a bunch of new products in this look, mostly from Majolica Majorca's newest collection called Sugary Trap.
So, remember those Ferretti clogs that I was yapping about last Saturday? I visited the store yesterday to get them - I was dead set - but then practicality kicked in. I just got a pair of oxford heels (which I haven't even gotten to wear yet!) and I already have a pair of clogs. They're a bit redundant for my shoe collection, so I decided to buy something I don't have yet - espadrilles.
They're perfect for summer and utterly comfortable on my feet. They're versatile enough to be worn with most outfits, but they're not that plain. I ask you this: why wear flip flops when you can wear espadrilles? ;)
I bought it for only P899. I have been abusing my old Ferretti wedges since I got them last October, so I can vouch for their comfort and quality.