The record-breaking Guinness World Records lists ultimate record-breaking facts, incredible accomplishments, spectacular stunts, cutting-edge science and amazing sporting feats. I wonder if there is a category for most number of costume changes in a week. If so, I should sign up for that.

With all the events that Rustan’s and Store Specialists celebrate, there are so many exciting reasons to dress up in thematic costumes and outfits. I got into a Moroccan-inspired sari for the month-long festival “Le Coeur du Maroc” in Rustan’s.

The festival brings the “Heart of Morocco” to Manila this month, the sights, sounds, tastes and feels of the exotic city, thanks to a partnership with The Embassy of The Kingdom of Morocco, the Moroccan National Tourism Office in China, HSBC, and Fairmont Makati. Check out the wide range of authentic Moroccan stuff, from home items, fashion pieces and beauty products, to delectable Moroccan cuisine, all at Rustan’s.

At the launch, H.E. Ambassador Mohammed Rida El Fassi expressed great joy at sharing the Kingdom of Morocco’s cuisine, crafts, fashion and beyond to all Filipinos. Khalid Fathi of the Moroccan National Tourism Office in China added that festivals like this do well in helping share a glimpse into their wonderful country.

Launch guests were transported to the street markets in Morocco, complete with an astonishing display of authentic Moroccan merchandise, festive sounds by the Moroccan Musicians, and artisans doing Henna Hand Tattoos and Traditional Arabic Calligraphy.

Anton Huang, president of SSI Group, was joined by Department of Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat, Consul General of Morocco Rico Tantoco, Rustan’s chairman emeritus Amb. Bienvenido Tantoco Sr., and Rustan’s CEO Nedy Tantoco. Also joining them were special partners, HSBC Philippines CEO Wick Veloso and Raffles & Fairmont Hotel GM David Batchelor. All shared a ceremonial toast of special Moroccan mint tea.

Shoppers at the “Le Coeur du Maroc” festival at Rustan’s who spend at least P5,000 can avail of a Decorative Bottle all month long. HSBC Premier and FSP cardholders are in for exciting surprises at various special events, including an exclusive workshop with Happy Ongpauco-Tiu on August 15.

Another recent Rustan’s event was the milestone fashion show for the 35th anniversary celebration of fashion designer Criselda Lontok. I was so happy to wear two of her creations down the ramp at The Peninsula Manila. Her work as Rustan’s in-house designer and her experience under the tutelage of Rustan’s matriarch and founder Gliceria Rustia-Tantoco have widened her periphery of styles, which are at once elegant and timeless.

The Criselda Lontok Holiday 2018 collection was a stunning assemblage of designs that included statement pieces, from Maria Clara-inspired tops with contemporary structures, to long gowns that improved the traditional silhouette. The collection and the anniversary celebration were graced by Manila’s most beautiful and fashionable, and done in partnership with The Peninsula Manila, Ralph’s Wines and Spirits and NARS. Stylists Carlo Evaristo and Gerry Sunga provided accessories for the show. The collection is now available at Rustan’s, and part of sales proceeds this August will go to the Virlanie Foundation.

I wore a Criselda Lontok ensemble to the recent opening of Wilcon Depot in Lipa City, Batangas, their second store in the province. I made sure to match the gown to the color scheme of Wilcon, our country’s top building and construction retail giant. I can already see how the new Lipa store can help contribute and sustain continuous growth to the Lipeños’ emerging lifestyles and vibrant livelihoods.

Present at the ribbon cutting ceremony were Matimco president Charlie Liu, Hocheng Philippines president Sam Chen and many more. From the Wilcon Depot family, present were EVP-Chief Product Officer Careen Belo, SEVP-COO and PRA president Rose Ong, president and CEO Lorraine Belo-Cincochan, chairman emeritus William Belo and EVP-CFO Mark Andrew Belo.

Another Rustan’s event that had me in costume was the opening of French luxury skin care and cosmetics brand Clarins at the Power Plant Mall in Rockwell, Makati. Clarins is brought to our country by Rustan’s The Beauty Source, and the brand delivers a premium range of expertly crafted skin care, body care products and makeup.

At the Clarins boutique launch, Rustan’s The Beauty Source put up a “Clarins Beauty Fair.” Beauty writer Kelly Misa was the lucky winner of a free trip to Paris, presented to her by Marine Lux, Clarins senior area manager.

In closing, please support the MaArte Fair this weekend at The Gallery of The Peninsula Manila. The MaArte Fair is an annual fundraising event organized by the Museum Foundation of the Philippines.

The MaArte Fair offers a range of products and accessories that are of interest not only to Manila’s stylish ladies but also for a growing circle of dapper Filipino gentlemen. The latter can check out the “Pinoy ManCave,” which features a mix of fashion and accessories.

Designers Mich Araullo, Tim Tam Ong, Aranaz, Creative Definitions, TDLG (Tweetie De Leon Gonzales), and Balay ni Atong will present custom designs together with first-time exhibitors, such as Randy Ortiz and Siklo Pilipinas. Other featured exhibitors include Rossana Ocampo for apparel, Gift and Graces for collectibles, and Nicole Wisenhunt for jewelry.

Also happening at the Fair is MaArte Talks, a series of conversations with select business owners who can offer new entrepreneurial tips and insights. Tea lovers can also partake in MaArTEA, the special Afternoon Tea served by The Pen in partnership with MFPI and Tsaa Laya. MaArte Fair is free and open to the general public, but hurry, as it ends today.

See more pics at @seaprincess888 on Instagram.

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