Porcelain Polo Shirts from Lacoste by Li Xiaofeng

Lacoste will launch it’s limited Porcelain Polo Shirts later this month. This latest collaboration between the brand and contemporary artists designed by the infamous Chinese artist Li Xiaofeng will embark Lacoste’s collection for it’s 2010 Holiday Collector’s Series. Li is a graduate of the Central Academy of Art and a Chinese porcelain aficionado for years, before this collaboration Li had already started incorporating authentic porcelain shards dating from the 14th to the 19th centuries into his work. Notable porcelain installations have included Military Parade, Playing Chess, and The Glorious Time.

Li’s contribution consists of 317 porcelain shards and one cotton polo shirt bearing a print of the artists porcelain-shard digital collage. Rene Lacoste, the company’s founder, challenged Li to create 2 different polo shirts. For both, he had to adapt his work methods slightly, choosing blue and white shards with lotus and children designs from the Kangxi Period of the Qing Dynasty.The designs have deeper meaning with it, making it more special. The printed Porcelain Polo is limited to 20,000 pieces for both men and women, and comes packaged in a silk pouch stamped with the red seal Li Xiaofeng Lacoste logo.

The Porcelain Polo was launched in Paris last June 25 at Musée des Arts et Métiers and then at Beijing in the Fall at Li Xiaofeng’s first one-man show organized by the Red Gate Gallery. It is said that some will be distributed in the Philippines late November in exclusive and selected stores only.

Women of Style: Crickette, Nicole & Camille Tantoco: Bonding through fashion

Fashion has always been a bonding point between mothers and daughters. A daughter’s first fashion icon is usually her mother. While young, she tries on Mom’s heels, hobbling around in pumps inches too big. Steals her favorite tube of lipstick. Piles on her pearls, lets her dress trail on the floor. It’s Mom who dresses her up first, who buys her first pair of earrings, first training bra, prom dress; Mom’s designer choices that introduce the concept of luxury; Mom’s jewelry pieces that become valuable heirlooms.

Fashion has always been a bonding point between Shopwise’s former vice-president for merchandising and marketing Crickette Tantoco and her daughters, twin girls Camille and Nicole Tantoco, writers for The STAR’s Young Star section and now 19 years of age. She seems to know their clothes by heart, ticking off clothing options for the girls for the shoot off the top of her head. (“Camille, why don’t you wear your Banana Republic?” “Nicole, you wear your vest with your leggings, right?”).

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Fun, but not easy being a personal shopper

MANILA, Philippinea – For the second time in her life, it was boredom that drew Susan Gaddi Campos to the world of retail.

“In the ’80s, my husband was assigned in Cebu and I got bored again,” she says. “I’m not the type who likes to play mahjong [all day], which my friends did. I was hired as merchandise coordinator for all ladies’ RTW in Rustan’s Cebu.”

When the family returned to Manila after two years, she settled into her role as full-time housewife—until four years ago, when the monotony of keeping house for mostly absent sons kicked in.

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Dizzy Miss Lizzy: Indie Junk Shop

“I feel in love with Cubao X the moment I first hung out in 2007 and saw its potential. After a year of being a tambay there, I convinced some of my closest friends to put up a store with me,” says art scene regular (notorious for her Meiday gigs and one of the owners) Mei Bastes. Along with Kitty Caragay, Karlo Cleto, Laurie Maravilla and Christian Bautista (not the singer), they set out and put up The Junkie Shop, a one-stop store where young and independent fashion designers and artists can buy/sell their stuff.

“There are a ton of very talented musicians, writers, filmmakers, artists, and fashion designers in the city and we wanted to give them their home,” adds Bestes.

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‘What we need are believers’

There is an ‘army’ of followers waiting for a bold menswear designer, argues Jerome Lorico.

If you think men’s fashion is all about rehashing past trends or tweaking conservative styles, then you haven’t seen modern menswear by new and upcoming designers like Jerome Lorico. At the recently concluded Philippine Fashion Week, Lorico, a nascent name in the industry, showcased a cerebral collection, aptly titled “Stitch,” that explored the body’s process of healing. With slashed sleeves and perforated fabrics, his Holiday 2009 collection mimicked human skin and framework and resulted in wearable pieces of art.

Here, the designer talks about his creative process and the directions menswear is taking in the country:

Manila Bulletin: What is your inspiration for the collection?

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Customized services, to get more out of your grooming

Located in the middle of bustling Makati City, Skin Inc. stands as a veritable grooming gold mine. To rid your skin of the city’s dirt and grime, as well as other skin blights, you can include this center in your shortlist. The clinic boasts of personalized facial services, state-of-the-art machines and certified medical staffing to help achieve your grooming goals.

“One thing we really are proud of is the customization of our services,” explains Dr. Windie Villarica-Hayano, MD, one of Skin Inc.’s founders. “It’s like you come here and we really see you first and do a proper assessment, history, and do proper physical examination. It’s a very medical approach and very personalized.

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Putting on the glitter in lean times

Fully-beaded ‘power’ bags for the cost-conscious maximalist.

Exploring his ideas about artistry, spirituality and the pure pleasure of beautiful things, noted beadwork and embroidery artist Amir Sali recently ventured into creating a line of delicate and yet visually powerful, one-off couture bags. The designer, for whom couture comes naturally, translated his particular aesthetic and emotive explorations in beadwork into marvelously expressive design statements—“power bags” or “character bags,” as he calls them—reflecting intelligent, witty, and eloquent abbreviations of style.

The development of the bag line came in 2007, with Sali’s realization of the potential of his craft for creating specialized bags. At the same time, prodded by early signs of the global economic downturn, the designer saw that fully-beaded couture bags could also be a less expensive and yet more versatile alternative (paired well with classic, simple silhouettes) to fully-beaded couture gowns—a more forgiving yet nevertheless luxurious option in the wake of fashion’s impending wake-up call.

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High twists on classic glamour

Unveiling his first ever collection at Philippine Fashion Week, New York-based Filipino designer Robin Tomas spins the glamour and allure of the big city into a rich, sensual collection that remarks both the inimitable romance and exquisite rawness of modern urban sensibilities. Unapologetic about his classic-wearable approach, Tomas marries the practicalities of ready-to-wear design with the opulences of couture treatments in a seemingly effortless articulation of contemporary style. From very feminine, flowy cuts to tempered occasions of voluminous play to strong shoulders and sharp tailoring, his is a remarkably well-composed, mature first collection that demonstrates how fashion can be an intelligent, informed, and tactful negotiation of art, market, economy, and trend.

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Looking for talent that will stay

Increasingly, wearability is key in winning designer competitions.

More than any concerns of novelty, innovation, or directionality, the priorities of the local fashion industry rang loud and clear at the 8th MEGA Young Designer’s Competition, held last week. Creating wearable, well-constructed pieces and understanding the market seem the strong, practical, if somewhat sobering advice of seasoned designers and other industry professionals to the young competitors.

The assertions hardly come as a surprise. In recent years, major competitions and fashion shows have seen significantly lesser experimentation among young designers. Whereas once they would have been encouraged to indulge their fantasies and flesh out their imaginations on the catwalk, today the challenges and directions for new entrants instead reflect the greater concerns of industry and economy, and consider the practical need for finding a market and being a working designer over everything else.

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Local weaves shine in fashion gala

A fusion of timeless pieces and stunning new designs plus a tradition of elegance, good taste and style were showcased in Habi: Weaving the Fabric of Life held, a fashion gala held recently at the National Museum of the Filipino People. It was a glittering part of the 2nd ASEAN Traditional Textiles Symposium.

Local celebrities, prominent social figures and fashionistas arrived at the museum’s Marble Hall in traditional-inspired formal party regalia, an affirmation of the home-grown textile industry.

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