Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Sister Act

Two weeks ago, I received a Fedex package that had me all excited. No, it wasn't an online order (I'm on a strict budget these days), but something better!
Fringe Fevah!

Houndstooth for my neck

The piece up close

I am happy to have the pleasure of introducing you to Vanina Dy's gorgeous handmade accessories. My sister Vanina, or Nina as she is known to her friends, is one of the most talented and creative people I know. Back in high school, Nina would make the most beautifully gift-wrapped presents out of brown paper and twine that nobody wanted to open because they were so pretty. At Christmas, her friends eagerly anticipate their presents, not just because of what's inside, but because they can't wait to see her next work of art. Lately, she's been using her clever hands to make fashion pieces (hooray for me!).  When ripped and shredded clothes became the trend, she immediately made me a couple of intricately distressed tanks that were such a hit with my friends. She's also been hard at work making statement neck-pieces that I love wearing, because they're unique, eye-catching and most importantly, a labor of love. Most of what she makes is one-of-a-kind, making them doubly special and highly covetable.

Latticework detailing on this necklace makes it look like it's part of the tank I'm wearing. Made by my sister last year.

She also made the top I wore to last year's Cosmo Bachelor Bash (that's me with friends Nicole B and Marcie). It's so delicate, I have to be careful washing it or it might disintegrate!
I don't even know if she's actually selling at the moment, but knowing my sister, she'd be more than happy to create a piece for you! Email her at vaninady@yahoo.com and show her some loooove!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Fashion's Night Out

Hello friends! As you all probably know, New York is in the thick of Fashion Week, with designers showcasing their Spring/Summer 2011 collections. Last night, the city also came out in full force to celebrate Fashion's Night Out, dubbed as "the biggest fashion party in history." Designers and shops staged shows, celebrity meet-and-greets, parties, and free food and drinks with the common objective of getting people to shop, shop and shop!

Anna Wintour and Grace Coddington dolls at Barney's New York

All I wanted to do was see the Olsen twins and Victoria Beckham in Bergdorf Goodman, but by the time the boyfriend and I headed out, it was too late to do anything! My friends Karla and Happy informed me that it would have been an impossible mission anyway, the line going inside was loooong and Bergdorf's was so packed, they had to stop letting people in.

A live burlesque show at the window display of Reem Acra

Because it was my first FNO, I wanted to dress up to celebrate such a momentous event. I decided to wear a gold sequined dress (one of my first purchases in NY) that I had never worn before. I got it at a thrift store called Vise Versa recommended to me by my fab former roommates Jay and Dante for $25. Now this dress is too big, but because it was so glam, I had to get it.

I like how it imitates leopard print!

I always say that a belt is sometimes all you need to turn something frumpy to fabulous. I used a wide black belt to cinch the dress, then tugged out the top part in a "blouse-y" ( can i just say this term is very high-school haha) style that also shortened the length of the dress. I finished it off with black tights, buckled peep-toe booties, a faux leather jacket, black scarf and my military earrings.

Before belting

After belting (excuse the messy hair!)

While walking along Fifth Avenue, I got stopped by a little girl who wanted to interview me on my outfit! She came up to me, stuck out her hand and said, "Hi I'm Melanie!" LOL, she was adorable! I had no idea who she was, but after doing some cyber sleuthing, I think I have figured out who she is: Melanie Zilo, a seven-year old from Boca Raton whose mom is Hayat Ammouri, a fashion journalist. Read all about her here.
Like a true fashion reporter, she asked me who I was wearing

The complete outfit. Dress, Vise Versa; jacket, Dorothy Perkins, shoes, Sinta by Aira Franco; scarf, bought in the fashion district for $15; tights by DKNY; earrings, bought from a street vendor

These passers-by must have thought they were seeing a celeb haha!

Even though I didn't get to see any celebs, I had my five minutes in the spotlight! Truth be told, I was just happy to be out with my man, seeing people dressed to the nines, and relishing the crisp, chilly air of New York. I (heart) New York indeed.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Sidewalk Steals

When I moved to New York, I thought I would never be able to shop cheap. No more SM Department Store! No more Landmark! But, as you can see in this blog, that has not stopped me from hunting high and low for bargains. Most of you who have been to this city know that sidewalks are rife with vendors hawking all kinds of stuff. Yet the ones you see in Manhattan are not the best there is (a lot of the stuff they sell you can find in Chinatown). Venture out into the boroughs and the hipper neighborhoods and you'll find treasures that won't break the bank. The sellers are an eclectic mix. Some are budding designers, some buy wholesale to sell retail, while others are just regular folks looking to discard old stuff and free up space in their closets and apartments.

Fake LV anyone? (Photo courtesy of Robert China at http://www.nychinatown.org/canal2.html)

I am lucky to be living in Williamsburg, the so-called "hipster" neighborhood. I love it here because everyone has their own individual "je ne sais quoi" style. But what I really love is when these stylish hipsters decide to sell their clothes and accessories because the pickings are fabulous! Check out this gorgeous beaded dress I got for $7 at Bedford Avenue. This dress was barely used, or maybe even never worn, judging from the quality.

This picture does not do this dress justice! Bad lighting!

I wore it today to a friend's despedida party, and to the last MoMA PS1 Warm Up party for the summer.

Earrings, $10 from Funk Your Junk (Ottawa, Canada); Dress, $7; Sandals, $7, gojane.com; Cuff, about $6, Rustan's; Bag, $8, from the Thursday open market at FIT.

My friend Mariel also scored a beautiful necklace made from oversized clear plastic and gold beads from a Bedford vendor.

And I scored this gorgeous vintage handbag from another lady who had stationed herself near the subway station with her wares on a blanket. She was also selling 100% skinny wool ties (I got one for the boofra), and told me that they were rescued from a house that had burned down, and that "they did not come from a dead person." Hahahaha!

Handbag, $18. Don't you just love the detail?

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Let's Shop For Rain Boots!

My good friend Mariel, of NY Minute Now recently got me a gig as a blogger for The Style Glossy, a cool new site on fashion and beauty targeted for readers specifically in Manila, Singapore and Malaysia. My first assignment was to write about how to shop for rain boots. Now, I have to confess, I've never really owned a pair until I moved to New York, where a pair is essential if you want to go anywhere during a heavy snowfall. Researching this particular topic was actually very interesting, and I hope you find my tips useful. Special thanks to Em Somera and Esel de Sagun, who were my resource persons. They distribute Plueys in the Philippines so they definitely know a thing or two about shopping for rainboots! Read my blog here (make sure to scroll down the page to view my post).

Of course I couldn't do all that research without coming across several styles that I covet! Top on my list is this chic wedge from Hunter. I like it's sleek look, and how it almost looks like a trendy shoe more than a rain boot!

Hunter Andora boot

I also like this lace-up style from Hunter. It's a bit on the chunky side but the details set it apart from a regular wellie, which is what I love about it.

Hunter Lace boot

As you can see, I'm not a big fan of colorful wellies. I prefer to stick to plain black so I don't have to worry about what to match them with. But the vintage-inspired print on this pair of Plueys (the work of Marceline Smith, a Scottish designer) is absolutely adorable! I can imagine wearing them on a nice spring day with a white cotton eyelet dress.

Plueys Sew Cute

I have to say though, the most sophisticated would be this equestrian-styled boot from Aigle. As I would say in Filipino, it's very sosyal!

Aigle RBoot

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