What a difference a year makes!


What a difference a year makes! At one of our family dinners, we discussed where the phrase, “this too shall pass” came from. Whatever its origin, the adage is quite relevant during these times, especially for our family.

At this year’s State of the Nation Address, President Duterte discussed significant milestones, developments, and actions moving forward. Fortunately, the Inquirer wasn’t included in any part of the speech. So after his delivery, I thanked the heavenly bodies, and refocused on the Filipiniana outfits of the different government officials.

Our local designers are quite crafty in stylizing our Philippine terno and other traditional outfits using local weaves. I can’t list all the great designers and their muses, but I must give a shoutout to fashion designer Rajo Laurel, who designed a modern Filipiniana ensemble for Tootsy Angara, the beautiful wife of Senator Sonny Angara.

Some young designers who made various ternos are joining the upcoming Bench Design Awards. Launched last year, the Bench Design Awards is an annual, nationwide search for the next big names in Filipino fashion and design.

Following last year’s competition format, ten young, upcoming designers will be given the chance to present their collections at the next Bench Fashion Week in September 2018. The top three finalists will be sent to Japan the following month to present alongside Bench at the Amazon Fashion Week Tokyo S/S 2019 runway.

The BDA’s first year introduced us to the fresh fashion talent of winners RJ “Randolf” Santos, Jaggy Glarino and Jenni Contreras. This year’s competition looks just as promising.

The BDA 2018 panel of judges includes Ben Chan, Bench’s chairman, creative consultant Noel Manapat, Tetta Ortiz-Matera and Yoshio Yokobori, both from Asian Fashion Meets Tokyo, Akiko Shinoda from Japan Fashion Week, Satoko Matsui, and Mikiko Higuchi. The judges have already chosen the top ten from an initial shortlist of 23 participants.

Of the ten, I have met TOQA, aka the design duo Isabel Sicat and  Aiala Valdovino Isabel is the daughter of Hans and Gi Sicat, who are dear friends, and so we are in all-out support for TOQA.

The other finalists include Sherwin “Otto” Sacramento. Marvien O. Dason, Jann Christian Bungcaras, Antonina Amoncio, Harvic Dominguez, Reysan Ornopia, Renz Edward Reyes, Abraham Guardian and Mamuro Oki of contemporary clothing label HA.MU, and from last year’s top 10 BDA finalists, Ched Dalogaog.

The Bench Design Awards will be the closing holiday show for Bench Fashion Week 2018, so BFW is all set to end with a bang. From classic to contemporary, structured to street, this year’s BFW has got all the fashion we need right under its sleeve. The Bench Design Awards concludes this September 2.

Aside from supporting the young designers, Bench has been a key pillar of the Red Charity Gala since it started ten years ago. This October 27, RCG is very excited to feature fashion designer Rajo Laurel, who is also celebrating his 25th anniversary in the fashion industry. We are already super busy arranging the big celebration at our new venue, the Marriott Grand Ballroom at Resorts World Manila.

Ann Ong, Virgie Ramos and Sea Princess

Thierry Mugler, world famous for their fragrances and fashion, recently launched Aura Mugler, their newest fragrance at Manila House. Aura Mugler is described as an “uncontrollable magic that the magnetism of fragrance materializes.” More simply put, the fragrance allows unique and powerful women to express their inner voice, whether it be sensitive or sensual.

Special guests at the dinner launch included Georgia Schulze, Fabio Ide, Tim Yap, Bianca King and Sambie Rodriguez, who marveled at the heart-shaped, jewel-like bottle of the fragrance. The volume of the heart was chiseled in glass and set in metal, resulting in an exquisite yet classic piece of art.

Joining host Issa Litton on stage were Ken Jeswani, Scent and Beaute CEO, along with marketing managers Francis Labora and Samantha Yen. Also present were Clarins regional executives Kai Chian Lim, Fragrance Group brand manager, and Camille Perencin, international coordinator.

Aura Mugler represents the dawn of a new femininity. It is a masterful mix of oriental, floral and carnal; three hearts beating as one. The fragrance is available at Art of Scent, Fresh and selected SM department stores.

Let me end with hugs and kisses to my fave couple, Donnie and Crickette Tantoco, as they prepare for the upcoming wedding of their daughter Nicole to her longtime beau Miko Delos Reyes.

All the guests were transported into another world when we stepped into White Space last Sunday for Nicole’s Despedida de Soltera. It had been raining unrelentingly all week, but inside was all calm and serenity as White Space had been transformed into an enchanted garden, a welcome reprieve from the inundated city.

The program, dubbed Broadchella, a mix of Broadway and Coachella, was a musical tribute that combined Nicole’s love of music and the arts. Nicole’s aunts, uncles and cousins performed their hearts out, but the star of the show was proud father Donnie, who gave a heart-warming tribute to Nicole with the song, “You’ll be in my heart.” Kudos to mom Crickette, who orchestrated the entire moving and uplifting evening.

See more pics at @seaprincess888 on Instagram.

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