The first kawaii convention in the Philippines just ended, and I’m so hungover that I’m already blogging about it! I can’t remember having this much fun at any other convention I’ve been to. I need this to happen annually!
You could really tell that everyone in the convention truly lived the kawaii lifestyle, and were overjoyed that this movement is really starting to flourish in Manila. There may have been differences in which subculture they were most inclined to (i.e. gyaru, different kinds of lolita, mori kei, fairy kei, visual kei, decora, etc.) but everyone shared the same love for Japanese fashion and culture. I couldn’t help but be amazed at the fact that I can actually be part of this happy, kawaii community! Just positive vibes everywhere!
(Very slumberdoll circa 2009-2011. I also didn’t plan on having my photos taken so pardon the lazy and unkempt ponytail - oops!)
Had some business to attend to in the morning and early afternoon, so I arrived at Whitespace around 4:15-ish already. I missed the first fashion show. Boo!
First things first (I’m the realest! - couldn’t help it)
I checked out the Kawaii Art Exhibit! The theme was “My interpretation of kawaii, and how it influenced my art.”
By Anne Pinero and Nina Nguyen.
By Mariness Rivera and Erica Rielle Gapas.
By Franchesca Mae Acpal and Alexis Matic.
By Tish Valenzuela and Ran Soneja.
There were more featured artists whose work I wanted to take photos of, but due to time constraints, I couldn’t, huhu. MISSION FAILED!
I’m so glad I finally met Reese! I really feel strongly about her personal style (and she’s got a wonderful singing voice too)! We actually graduated from the same course in Ateneo (Information Design) but I’m a year or two older, I think!
Speaking of Information Design, I was batchmates with Miguel/Merky (or in this photo, Miguelita?), and even had a few classes together! And I knew Jin from way, way back my cosplay (photography) and deviantART days. Definitely two of the most talented (and most humble) cosplayers of our generation! Always so nice to bump into them! I always get so nostalgic.
Around this time, I started taking more people photos! I swear I need to take notes from these lovely people when it comes to doing kawaii poses! I used to do them a lot, but I somehow unlearned it? Teach me thy ways. D:
Everyone can definitely fit right in Harajuku! Japanese fashion brands (at least the ones that are not fast fashion) may not be easily accessible in the Philippines YET, but this event has just proven that it all boils down to intense passion.
If you like something strong enough, you can find ways to do it, even with limited resources! Thankfully, some of these kawaii girls had booths during the event, sharing the kawaii love with their handmade accessories, DIY products, original design dresses, re-worked vintage pieces, etc. Nothing is impossible!
One of my ultimate dreams is for Japanese clothing brands to open stores in Manila, and I’d like to think that we’ll get there someday. Hopefully, in this lifetime! For now, thanks to the organizers, there’s Lucy Pop! They had a pop-up store in Rockwell a few months ago.
Lucy Pop is a Japanese brand that is all about the kawaii schoolgirl look! They had a booth where you could freely try on some of the uniforms.
Loved the Lucy Pop fashion show! I used to be such a huge fan of the Japanese school girl look that I’d improvise by using existing items in my closet.
LucyPop now makes it so much easier though. The uniforms can be bought as a set, or you can just get one or two individual items to complete an existing outfit. P.S. They have the best neckties!
Thank you Lucy Pop!
The Harajuku fashion show followed a few minutes after. This was what I anticipated most.
I’m so proud of Ashley for styling this segment! I knew she worked super hard to get these items from different stores in Harajuku. She even flew in from Japan just to attend this event! Talk about dedication and hard work.
Some of the participating brands were Josiah Chua, Lactose Intoler-Art by Brandon Rierson, Funktique Tokyo, PIN NAP Harajuku and Punk Cake Harajuku.
Kawaii lifestyle isn’t just for girls. It’s for everyone!
These guys rocked their outfits like professionals! I’m pretty sure they also have a unique sense of style to be able to pull these kinds of outfits off!
How to properly do neon and print-on-print. This is so tasteful! I love you, Ashley.
Real life doll!
Last but not the least - KawaiiPH founders Kaila and Anne talked about the history of Kawaii in Manila. They were on the verge of tears as they mentioned how this event only started as a dream. I was so ready to cry with them, huhu. I’d like to think that I can speak on everyone’s behalf when I say that we all shared the same dream. Thank you Kaila and Anne for making this collective dream a reality! It could not have manifested without the KawaiiPH team!
Kaila, the lady of the moment, and her brother who is one of the organizers. We also have to thank him for supporting Kaila’s dream! I got to talk to him after the closing speech, and their story is so unbelievably inspiring.
As long as you believe that something can happen, it will happen. Things may seem like a long shot, but you will never know until you try your hardest to make them work.
With Kaye, Reese, Kaila, ChiChi and Ashley. From this picture, you can conclude that legwear and socks are essential to the Japanese kawaii look, lol.
I’m so in love with this photo because it shows various interpretations of Japan’s long list of fashion subcultures!
Matched with Anne too! And together, we formed the Gingham Girls.
Where you lead, I will follow~ (If you don’t get this, it only means that I’m old)
SO CUTE! You just want to put her in your pocket. Such a doll!
Bonus: Photobomber Reese!
What’s more genius than incorporating Filipiniana touches to Japanese fashion? Kaila wore butterfly sleeves too!
Before I left, I took some photos of the booths. Didn’t get to buy anything because I had to leave asap for another appointment, so I have no choice but to look at these photos and hope that I can get full with purely eye candy.
Laforet Harajuku feels!
I hate how my iPhone doesn’t have a space to insert these kinds of phone charms…
Can’t get any more kawaii than false lashes and ribbons.
Pimp your phone!
Rilakkuma is not a bear, but a personification of a bear.
SUGAR RUSH! This stuff is made of happiness. No wonder kawaii girls are also the happiest girls!
Can I bring the whole Dolly Wink booth home? I still think that Dolly Wink produces the best false eyelashes in the world. If you’ve already given up on cheap, low-quality false eyelashes, let Dolly Wink enlighten you once more.
What a way to end a stressful week! Congrats to the KawaiiPH team! Kawaii in Manila was successful in addressing and representing different aspects of Japanese kawaii culture - art, music, fashion, beauty, and a welcoming community that is open to all kinds of styles!
Sad I couldn’t stay longer and chat with everyone! Wishing and praying for Kawaii in Manila 3 to come sooner!
Last May 15, 2014, seasoned and aspiring models got the chance to show that they had what it took to be a part of TRESemme’s 2014 Runway Show.
I swear by TRESemme Keratin Smooth Shampoo and Conditioner! Who wouldn’t try out the one and only brand used and trusted by professionals?
Unfortunately, I was in the US during the actual/main show, but I’m glad I was still able to attend the biggest casting call in the country as their official event correspondent.
I’m no professional host, but I tried my best to get the inside scoop on what it was like to get tressed-up with the latest hair trends to hit the runway. Here at TRESemme’s pop-up salon, I asked Victor Ortega different questions, including what TRESemme hair products we should use to achieve that salon-smooth effect!
With Lourd Ramos outside the TRESemme Style Bus! Inside was a pimped out functioning salon! Who would’ve guessed?
Me, Lourd Ramos and Jing Monis with TRESemme Brand Manager Ann Esteves.
My bb Samantha Gomez!
The show was hosted by Raymond Gutierrez and Kelly Misa. Really loved Kelly’s outfit! I finally got to meet her in person and I was so starstruck! I pretty much grew up seeing her in all my local teen magazines!
The judges - TRESetter, stylist and author Liz Uy, sought-after fashion show director Robby Carmona, and supermodel, PR maven (and one of my ultimate life pegs) Apples Aberin. They were on the lookout for those with looks that can adjust to various fashion styles, as well as those who can emulate high street glam and couture styles for the main fashion show.
Over 700 hopefuls tried out for this event, but only 200 were chosen! Here were some of my personal faves. Not sure if they were all able to make it to the final show, but I seriously caught a bad case of hair envy when I saw these models walk the runway!
With all the TRESemme ambassadors on stage. L-R: Raymond Gutierrez, Kelly Misa, Liz Uy, Lourd Ramos, Victor Ortega, me, Jing Monis
Overall, it was a fun event that only made me want to stop cutting my hair shorter! One day, I’ll really get my super long hair back! In the meantime, I’ll take care of what I already have with my favorite TRESemme hair products.
touchMe Collection is an invitation-only fashion show organized by Japanese apparel company, MARKSTYLER. Their brands include dazzlin, EMODA, MURUA, MERCURYDUO, to name a few. I’m a huge fan of these brands so it’s always an honor to be invited to their fashion shows, let alone be allowed to take pictures and share the beauty of Japanese fashion to the world.
Third season’s the charm! This time, I was invited to Tokyo by MURUA to cover their upcoming fall/winter collection. I covered this year’s dazzlin show too, which you can read about here.
Red lips twins! Much thanks to MURUA’s PR girl Asami Kotake-san! This trip wouldn’t have been possible without her.
She was wearing all MURUA A/W 2014! I need to have this collared velvet shift dress in my life. It’s always fun to see what the brand people are wearing during touchME shows. More often than not, they’re already wearing the next season’s collection, but of course, styled with a personal flair. Such a tease for die-hard fans of the brand.
Front row with these girls! I brought Ashley to watch with me because I had an extra ticket, plus I’ve always known how big of a MURUA fan she was. I couldn’t think of anyone better to enjoy the show with!
MURUA’s theme for this year’s A/W collection is “LADY TAP 1958”, and the show started with someone actually tapdancing! It was a very dramatic introduction to a collection that did not disappoint or fall too far from the brand’s vision. It was still typical MURUA - edgy, chic, feminine, and sophisticated.
Their shoes have always played a central part in creating that whole “MURUA look”, so they went all out with highlighting their trademark shoes with sheer socks that looked like thick ankle straps.
There was also a short segment in the show where they closed all the lights in the venue, and let a single spotlight follow all the models’ shoes. Sadly, I couldn’t catch that on camera, but that was *the* highlight of the show for me. Also, as you guessed, they played tap dance shoes sounds while the models were walking down the runway.
Short, flippy hair and lots of focus on the eyes for MURUA A/W 2014 hair and make. The balance was nothing short of perfect - the details and the colors of the clothes were rich and bold enough to make a statement. I particularly loved their use of forest green and navy, and I think I have MURUA to blame for my newfound love for black alternatives.
MURUA producer Momoko Ogihara-san! Let me take this opportunity to formally congratulate the creative team behind MURUA for the beautiful show. I really felt like they took it to the next level with this one. They’re definitely one global brand to watch out for!
I can’t wait for these items to be sold in stores already! MURUA stores can be found all over Japan, but they also have stores in Hong Kong (The One mall, IT, etc), China, Taiwan (FAVVI Party), and Hawaii. You can see the specific list here.
touchMe Collection is an invtation-only fashion show organized by Japanese apparel company, MARKSTYLER. MARKSTYLER brands include dazzlin, EMODA, MURUA, MERCURYDUO, to name a few. I’m a huge fan of these brands so it’s always an honor to be invited to their fashion shows, let alone be allowed to take pictures and share the beauty of Japanese fashion to the world!
This season’s dazzlin show was called “B.C.B.G. American French”. Jennifer Eymere, editor-in-chief of French fashion magazine JaLOUSe, helped the dazzlin creative team style the show.
Here’s a sneak peek of what’s to come in stores next season!
I can’t wait for these clothes to be available in stores! Everything was so classic and pretty, and right up my style alley. I’m already excited to see how Japanese girls would incorporate these items into their own wardrobe!
Attending touchMe Collection in Tokyo is is slowly becoming a yearly thing and I never want the invitations to end. I have to give special thanks to my talented friend Shogo (coincidentally wearing the same Marc by Marc Jacobs pinwheel flowers I just wore a couple of posts back) for bringing me with him to this show. You can visit his Tumblr and Instagram to see all his beautiful illustrations! <3
Every time I pass by a Gingersnaps store, I squeal like a little girl and secretly hope that I can go back in time just so I can wear their clothes.
I’ve been a huge fan of the brand ever since I was in high school. Thanks to an intense desire to get one of their items, I discovered I could still fit in their biggest sizes after mustering up the courage to ask if I could use the kids’ dressing room. Shortly after, I found out about Just G which is owned by the same company.
Back in college, Crissey and I would often drop by the Gingersnaps at Shangri-la to ogle at their adorable skirts. We perfectly knew that they were made for kids, but we couldn’t help but get some for ourselves (example 1 and 2).
When we have children of my own, we will surely dress them up in Gingernaps and Just G. Until now we still check Gingersnaps for anything that might fit us, lol.
It’s not surprising how this proudly Filipino brand has managed to make itself global, with stores in Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, Saudi Arabia and the UAE. Everything is just so classy and cute!
Below are some photos from the anniversary fashion show that was held last February 1st at SM Aura.
With the Candy girls! Mimi, Sam, Stephie and Macy.
With marketing manager Sherry Yu and creative director Sabrina Uy. My life pegs / role models <3
Daphne Osena-Paez hosted the fashion show.
President Jerry Yu shared the story behind the brand and how it evolved through the years.
DANDA was born a natural model, thanks to her gorgeous parents Fatima Rabago and Hideo Muraoka. She was the model for Gingersnaps’ last campaign, and I first found out about her when her mom did my make-up for a magazine shoot (weird experience because in that moment, the make-up artist looked 10000000x better than the model a.k.a. me).
I need this dress in my life! (Or my future daughter’s)
Classic Gingersnaps/Just G = printed button down + fluffy tutu skirt.
Sporty chic for summer.
SO FLUFFY I’M GONNA DIE
I have this jacket!
I have this skirt!
Favorite outfit from the boys’ collection.
My favorite outfit from the entire show. Time for a tea party!
Someone make this in my size please!
Congratulations to Gingersnaps for 20 years in the industry! Thanks to Jerry, Sabrina, and Sherry for creating such a timeless brand. Much love!
This was the reason why I went to Tokyo last weekend! So incredibly honored to be invited by EMODA again to cover the S/S 14 show alongside Cheesie whom I haven’t seen in 2 years. We shot some photos against the iconic touchMe collection background, and this one turned out best:
Coincidentally matchy matchy poses despite the contrasting fall and spring styles. We’re both wearing EMODA F/W 2013 everything (except for my bag)!
On my way to Shibuya to meet up with Kumiko, Alicia (Kumiko’s intern) and Cheesie, someone on my Instagram feed posted a backstage photo of one of the models from the EMODA show. I was so shocked to see something entirely different from their present “BUDDY CLOSET” collection! This didn’t spoil me one bit, and if anything, I was even more excited to see the whole show.
“PINUP LADY” is probably EMODA’s most refreshing collection to date, since they deviated from the usual aesthetic they’re known for and introduced new themes that, when put together, are still amazingly, distinctly EMODA. All the individual pieces are classic, but when styled together become very trendy. The vintage-inspired hair and make-up add so much to the concept as well!
Without further ado, here are some shots I took from the show:
Pearl earrings and pearl necklace set is totally my style! Time to bring them out again for next season.
Pushing the limits and matching everything – top, outerwear, bottom and headband. Surprisingly, it works!
High neck trend from this fall/winter will still trickle down to next spring/summer.
Off-shoulder is also far from being dead.
This pink jacket is everything! EMODA usually has these oversized jackets every season, but having them in pastel pink is definitely going to convert non-believers to this brand.
Gingham and tropical print-on-print.
Who would’ve thought the combination would work so well?
My #1 most favorite outfit from the whole collection. I’d wear this in a heartbeat. I need this gingham jacket and bottom set in my life.
More Prada gingham on matching top and bottom sets. Too cute!
Suspenders trend from this season will still be relevant next season. Instead of pairing them with sweaters, leather skirts and beanies, pair them with crop tops, floral prints and cutesy headbands!
Trends like tropical prints and matching top and bottom sets from last spring/summer will still be around for EMODA S/S.
Can’t get over overalls? Here’s a top version that you can easily layer over printed bras and bikini tops! What a genius idea for a cover-up!
EMODA’s way of mixing prints.
Probably my second favorite from the whole collection. It is so refreshing to see EMODA mix different prints together!
This set looks so comfy. I want to buy it already.
Barbie doll feels. Blue gingham is also super cute!
Another outfit I’d totally wear.
Matching top and bottom set in dark blue denim.
Do not know if this top is naughty or nice.
With all the fitted tops and bottoms in this collection, you ought to wear an oversized jacket to balance it all out.
Tattoo stockings were all the range last year, and they’re bringing back the same idea to socks now! This one reads, “Pinup Lady”, as in the concept.
Bringing sexy back, as well as these nostalgic mid-length shorts back! I swear fashion is just one endless cycle.
Definitely the one outfit that stood out the most in the whole collection.
Peekaboo. I see you. Way to be a tease, huh?
The classic pin-up look with a cutesy twist.
The kind of EMODA style we’re all used to seeing, but with PINUP LADY concept hair! Makes such a huge difference.
I can already sense that this will be my new favorite jacket.
EMODA S/S 2014 was such a wonderful celebration of the female figure. Instead of the usual oversized silhouettes we often see from them, there were a lot of waist-baring, waist-emphasizing, hip-hugging, butt-showing items from this collection.
After the show, I dropped by the after party at SHOTO GALLERY for a bit. It was held at a huge 3-story events place which eventually got packed with die-hard fans of the brand.
There were also so many girls taking selfies against the wall in the first floor! They were all doing kawaii purikura poses which makes me wonder if acting kawaii comes naturally to every girl in Japan because it really does seem like it!
The second floor was absolute heaven! There were props in the middle of the room that you can use to accessorize with 4 different EMODA backdrops. I already thought the selfie-taking would end at the first floor, but the EMODA fangirling became even more intense on the second.
Ashlee chose cat-eye glasses, and of course, I chose these super kawaii cat-ears headband. There were other props as well and I wish we could’ve taken more pictures…
…but we got too distracted by all the (bottomless) sweets that were being served! This pictures taken before the room was opened to the public, but these were literally gone in a matter of minutes once the doors were opened. If this isn’t heaven, then I don’t know what is.
You know something’s going to be up when EMODA’s invite doesn’t have any black in it. :)
Thank you touchMe, Mark Styler and EMODA for flying me to Tokyo again! I had a fantastic time, and the show was nothing short of amazing. I’m actually quite inspired to dress for spring/summer as early as now!
P.S. If you’re wondering where Ena was all this time, she was on maternity leave! I heard her baby was supposed to be due on the same night as the EMODA touchMe show. Anyhow, congratulations to her as she finally gave birth to a healthy baby very recently!
If you adore EMODA as much as Cheesie and me and want to do the same things that we do for the brand, you might want to apply to be an official EMODA ambassador because they are searching for one! You can check out the details here. This is a huge deal, you guys! <3
Here is the complete video of the show: