long live olive

i am giriish

painter, writer,
designer, martial artist,

and these are my jottings...

Manila Wear @ L Manila

There’s a store in Greenbelt 5 called L Manila where you can shop for readymade original Filipino designer clothes which iconic designer Lulu Tan Gan calls Manila Wear.

queen of knitwear, lulu tan gan

What is Manila Wear? “It’s contemporary, Filipino-inspired resort wear. L MANILA is set to create a global Filipino lifestyle brand which takes inspiration from Filipino costumes, art, motifs, history and heritage. Rather than following fashion dictates of the international catwalk, we come up with one-of-a-kind, original Filipino designs. We take on a global view with relevant, fun & functional approach to retail fashion,” Lulu says.

tan gan's soft knits

L Manila features the Manila Wear of both upcoming and established designers along with the beautiful knitwear of Lulu whose innovative design and uncompromising quality remains unequalled in her field today.

Established designers such as Gerry Katigbak, known for his unmistakable elegant mix of Asianic details, and Barge Ramos whose ingenious use of print and pattern on Jusi continues to fascinate both the local and foreign fashion enthusiasts, are recent additions.  Also displayed are the upbeat clothes of Tippi Ocampo, the jersey innovations of Arcy Gayatin, Louie Claparols and this fashion blogger's pret-a-porter line .

puey's painted pineapple fabrics

Interesting and most saleable apart from Lulu’s cool knits are the Piña wraps of Puey Quiñones who simply cuts armholes into rectangular fabrics. This simplicity of pattern reveals his brilliance; no two wraps look exactly the same when worn. Adding novelty to his pieces are the hand-painted artworks rendered by inmates of The Muntinlupa Maximum Security Prison.

puey quiñones 

“I hold weekly design workshops for the inmates, giving them a chance to express their creativity through my clothes. They give my work fresh meaning and renewed purpose. It’s not just about glamour and frivolity anymore, it’s about helping other human beings, “he reveals.

glamour on high gear

girls with the Jaguar Roadster 

last friday, this blogger headed for SM city cebu for the grand lauching of THE NORTHWING via GEARS & GLAMOUR-a show featuring rare car collections of the PERFORMANCE & CLASSIC CAR ENTHUSIASTS CEBU and clothes by FASHION COUNCIL of CEBU. there were cocktails @ the atrium before the unveiling of cars and clothes. 

this blogger's velvet dresses

participating designers were asked to design clothes inspired by the cars and films where the cars came out. i was assigned to echo in my design, kenneth cobonpue's 1961 Jaguar  E-Type Roadster which is billed s “the most beautiful car in existence.” unfortunately, the film where it was featured isn’t the most beautiful film in existence, much worse, i have not seen any of the austin powers series. admittedly thus,  although this film tops most people’s list of funniest films , i remain clueless.

maria callas "la divina"

i focused instead on my favorite tragic heroine (i named my last pet DIDI after her) who remained an unchallenged star throughout the 1960’s, Maria Callas otherwise known as "La Divina". I imagined this diva on in the roadster, decked out in a simple velvet dress. 

la divina's unique voice, as well as her moods and the scandals, kept her name in the headlines throughout the 60’s. Many women saw in Callas a role model, because she had transformed herself from an overweight, ugly duckling into a beautiful, black swan and, as a reward, she had won shipping magnate aristotle onassis as her life companion. Yet, it was he whom she lost so publicly in 1968 when he suddenly married Kennedy’s widow Jackie ending the  greek romance. Onassis left Callas with a generous legacy in his will, but that was not enough to make her happy. Callas died at the age of 53 in Paris, reputedly from a broken heart. 

Enough with tragedy... here's what makes life exciting!

the cutest car owners:

glen socco with his porsche spyder

kenneth cobonpue with his porsche 356 convertible

and the best designed clothes:     

cary santiago

arcy gayatin 

jun escario 

vania romoff

if i

fanny serrano

... were an NBI agent, i would track down this syndicate preying on fashion designers. The main scammer is a nondescript female in her early forties who goes around Manila applying (and, apparently, effectively getting hired) for a secretarial position. Previous to the latest victim, Jun Escario, there were already at least two other well-known designers who fell prey to her scheming. Sources say that to get out of a six- digit debt that she scammed from Fanny Serrano, she even feigned death by having herself photographed inside a coffin. She also tried to get her hands on Joji Lloren’s coffers but fortunately, Joji called Cesar Gaupo and Mike dela Rosa whom she claimed to be her previous employers. There’s been talk that she also stole a seven-digit amount from Cesar who rightfully advised Jojie not to take her in, whoever she was. 

inno sotto

...owned Rustan’s, I would bring in additional top Filipino designers such as Pepito Albert, Cary Santiago and Lesley Mobo to display their luxurious prêt-a-porter at the floor for designer labels. Clothes and accessories (leather goods and jewellery in Pepito’s case) from these designers would make for a wonderful addition to their already-impressive line-up of foreign and local brands. OH...and, if you happened to pass by Ayala Avenue and you noticed how the show windows of Rustan’s Makati are looking cleaner and more eye-appealing (like Barney’s or Sak’s in New York), it would come as no surprise to you that no less than premiere fashion designer Inno Sotto (Rustan’s current Creative Director) has his elegant hands and elevated taste stamped on the store’s visuals.

embracing the moon

This standing meditation called “embracing the moon” is practiced before one begins the taiji forms to totally relax the body and bring the mind to pristine focus and absolute clarity. Externally, the lower body (from the waist down to the tip of the toes) is strengthened while the upper body (from the waist all the way up to the crown of the head) is suspended in vital relaxation. Internally, the organs are warmed up, joints are unlocked, mind achieves clarity and focus.This posture harmoniously unites the external (physical) and the internal (mental), the upper body (heaven) and the lower body (earth).

Diaphragmatic Breathing: Relaxing Your Mind and Body Through Breath

Inhale through your nose. Expand your lower abdomen (like a little baby); slowly and gradually taking in a full breath. Exhale through your nose. Squeeze your lower abdomen; slowly and gradually pushing all the air out through your nose until you feel a total void in your abdomen. Then repeat for the rest of the breath cycles. The lower abdomen is very important, this is the location of your “tan tien” (center/generator of energy). The “tan tien” is your CORE.

I. Beginning: Connecting with your Internal Energy

Standing with both feet together, knees unlocked and hands down on the sides. Relax your shoulders then relax your elbows, wrists and the joints of your fingers. If it helps, smile on all these joints to help them relax. Relax your spine starting with the neck area, visualise all the joints relaxing downwards to the chest area, the waist area the hips area, and all the way down to the tailbone. Relax the thighs, unlock the knees, and relax the ankles and all the joints of your toes.
Shift your weight on the right foot then bend your left knee and bring your left foot out to the side about shoulder width away, toes touching the ground first. Slowly bring your heel down and distribute your weight on both legs. Now lower your body to the ground by bending your knees and curling your tailbone into a neutral spine position. Rotate your shoulders bringing your hands forward and up to no higher than chest level. Make sure your shoulders stay relaxed. Sink down with your elbows, rotate your wrist to make a circle with your palms facing you.

III. Meditation: Emptying Yourself into the Posture

Settle into this posture known as “embracing the moon.” Take ten to twenty diaphragmatic breath cycles (later on, with practice, you will find that you are able to extend this to the hundreds). Focus on every in-breath and out-breath. Feel your body relaxing with every breath you take. If it helps, smile at all your joints and imagine a string of light coming from heaven connecting to the crown of your head. You are dangling on this string of light, weightless, ethereal, ...empty. This part is the most challenging and consists the longest part of the process. you should stay in this meditative state as long as you can. If thoughts arise and blurr your focus just bring your mind back to your breath.

III.Ending: Storing your Vital Energy

To end the taiji meditation inhale then exhale pressing your palms against each other. Inhale while separating your palms bringing them to shoulder width apart only, then exhale pressing them together again. Repeat for three cycles. Then take longer and deeper breath cycles by bringing your hands farther to the sides without straining your shoulders, drop your elbows lower then exhale by using your shoulders to compress your arms bringing your palms slowly back to pressing position in the center. Repeat three times then inhale, rotating your wrists to make the palms face downwards. Exhale lowering your elbows, allow your wrist to follow until fingers point down to Earth then rotate your wrists turning your palms outwards. Inhale; use your shoulders to raise your hands to chest level, rising slowly as you do so. Bring your hands higher until both palms are above your head. Inhale slowly then exhale extending your spine upwards as if you’re being pulled up. Hold your breath and this extension for two to three seconds then exhale slowly lowering your hands back to chest level. Inhale bringing your hands to your sides, then exhale bringing your hands down to the sides of your thighs. During this movement it is important that you visualize your vital energy (chi) returning back and settling down unto your core or “ tan tien”.
Shift your weight to the right foot. Bend your left knee, lifting your left foot and bringing it next your right foot. Slowly distribute your weight on both legs then rise up without locking your knees.