Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Efren Ocampo goes beautifully Baroque

Efren Ocampo goes back to his Kapampangan roots and takes inspiration from the artisans of Betis, Pampanga in his latest collection for SM.
It is said that the wood carving tradition in Betis is as old as the town itself.  Even before the arrival of the Spanish colonizers, people in the town were already well known as blacksmiths, carvers, ship builders, and carpenters.

The Spaniards brought with them the Catholic faith, and with it, magnificent heritage churches like the Betis Church in Guagua, Pampanga.  Established in 1607, the Baroque Church was declared a National Cultural Treasure by the National Museum and the NCCA in 2001.

The main door to the church features intricate carvings portraying the “Gates of Paradise.” Inside the Baroque-inspired church, one can find religious frescoes on the ceiling, and wall murals very much like those of the Renaissance masters in the Sistine Chapel.

Just as Betis artisans created their wonderful works from wood and metal, Ocampo’s medium is “tulle lace appliquéd on fabric.”  His clothes are definitely Baroque-inspired with exquisite details, as well as a black, white, mustard, beige, and gold palette.

Silhouettes are feminine — fitted bodices with A-line skirts, as well as off-the-shoulder, strapless, and sleeveless dresses.  Ocampo says that it is his A-line skirt that makes it different from his other collections.

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“We had been doing a lot of pencil skirts,” he says, “and we decided to do A-line skirts for a change.”  He also finds the silhouette very flattering for curvy women.

The Efren Ocampo collection (styles vary per store) is available at The SM Store in Makati, SM North EDSA, SM Megamall, SM Mall of Asia, and SM Southmall.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Benefit Gala to Showcase Philippine Design, Textiles and Fashion

Renowned Philippine fashion designer, Patis Tesoro, comes to Washington DC to showcase her unique collection of Philippine-inspired designs. Signature pieces from innovative furniture designer, Kenneth Cobonpue, will also be featured in this year’s cultural “Event of the Year” which will be held at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center, on Thursday, June 11, 2015.
Tickets are now available for the “Gala Evening Celebrating Philippine Design, Textiles and Fashion,” showcasing the creative works of  renowned fashion designer, Patis Tesoro, the “Grand Dame of Philippine Fashion”. Tesoro is noted for her advocacy in preserving the piña (pineapple fiber) weaving industry in Aklan.

The evening cultural show, which takes place on June 11 at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center at 1300 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, D.C., will open with an exhibit and reception at the Atrium at 7:15 p.m. followed by the fashion show at 8:15 p.m. in the Atrium Hall.

The event will benefit Aklan Piña MANTRA, women in fiber production microenterprise in the Philippine town of Aklan. The industry was affected when Typhoon Haiyan struck the Philippines in November 2013.

Also featured is an exhibit of signature pieces from furniture designer Kenneth Cobonpue, called the “rattan virtuoso” by TIME magazine. Cobonpue is known as a strong advocate for sustainable design.

Both the works of Tesoro and Cobonpue have earned critical acclaim in the design community in the Philippines, as well as world-wide.

The US-Philippines Society, with the cooperation of the Philippine Embassy, is sponsoring the event. US-Philippines Society Executive Director, Hank Hendrickson, urges everyone to support the event saying that “the benefit gala will aid families and women in particular, rebuild livelihoods in the wake of Typhoon Haiyan.”

Seats are limited. Individual tickets at $150 are available online at the US-Philippines Society website,  For group reservations, please call 202-525-3982 or email  Sponsorship opportunities for the event are also available

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Kendall Jenner Endorses Philippine Fashion Brand

Popular American model and TV personality Kendall Jenner is the latest international celebrity to endorse the Philippine Fashion brand Penshoppe.

On Instagram, Penshoppe posted a video to introduce and welcome Kendall as part of #TeamPenshoppe.

This comes a few weeks after the fashion line scored a previous coup with the endorsement of hot fashion model Sean O’Pry.

A video posted by PENSHOPPE (@penshoppe) on
Kendall first gained popularity as part of the reality show “Keeping up with the Kardashians,| being the daughter of Kris Kardashian-Jenner and Olympic medalist Bruce Jenner.

She has since made a name for herself in modelling with print ad campaigns and photo shoots. Kendall has also walked the runways during the New York, Milan and Paris Fashion Weeks.

She is famous for her social media modelling and the use of Instagram for her fashion statements and celebrity selfies.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Ruffa Gutierrez in Bargn Farmaceutici’s 9th anniversary

In a glitzy affair, guests at the SM Mall of Asia were treated to a night of fun, beauty tips, prizes and entertainment as new products were unveiled and time-tested brands were reintroduced to the public.
Recognizing the growing demands of beauty and wellness consumers, Bargn Farmaceutici Phils. Co  (BFPC)put up a weeklong beauty fair and set up a runway right at the atrium.

Gracing the runway show is one of the hottest hunks in Philippine fashion today, John Spainhour, who now endorses the food supplement for men – New Euphoria Maxx. It is a premium energy booster and muscle enhancer, formulated to give extra edge and maximum performance.

Top-rate models paraded down the runway, and teased the audience with the products. Beauty queens lent glamour and reigning Mister International Neil Perez showed the chops that won him the title.

Jodi Sta. Maria, endorser for Cosmo Body—the country’s premier, safe and effective weight loss supplement, apparently did not make it to the event, but she did make an effort to greet the company on video.

Directors Nino Bautista and Red Gatus refused to reveal the new endorser for their Non-Acidic Vitamin C brand, Cosmo Cee.

And in a fitting finale, Cosmo Skin Brand Ambassador Ruffa Gutierrez, walked her way down to introduce Cosmo Skin Glutathione, country’s premiere whitening capsule that has Advanced Skin Whitening Formula and contains a more potent form of Glutathione, Alpha Lipoic Acid and Vitamin C.

Gutierrez also revealed the latest and the only anti-ageing oral drink in the market that contains 20,000 mg Collagen, Cosmo Skin Premium, a formula that totally defy age and can diminish fine lines and wrinkles, another breakthrough to the BFPC’s line of products.

Indeed, with a roster of celebrity endorsers from the company’s top networks to its name, and brand new advanced formula, BFPC is actually beginning to rival other health, wellness and beauty companies when it comes to industry cachet and glamour.

BFPC was founded in 2006 by Niño Bautista and Red Gatus. The erstwhile online company selling pharmaceuticals and supplements has since then earned the respect and trust of their peers and the buying public.  “Although we were very confident of our company’s potential, we never really thought that after nine years, BFPC will be where it is now—a serious industry contender that has made its presence felt in the health and wellness segments of the industry,” says Bautista, adding that they focused on industry excellence and servicing clients first and foremost.

Now on its 9th year, the company boasts several product lines that cover nutraceuticals, vitamins and now, even cosmetics.  For this year alone, BFPC is introducing new items, that will no doubt be as popular to a public hungry for what’s new and most importantly, effective.  “We are actually, introducing several new products. These are Cosmo Skin Sun Protect, a non-greasy sunblock, Cosmo Skin Facial cream and Elite Collagen Capsule,” says Gatus.

“One of the goals of BFPC is to empower the consumer, most especially women. And as we are celebrating Women’s month this March, we are taking part in empowering them to look good and feel good about themselves” explains Bautista, adding that judging from the public’s response to BFPC’s ninth-year anniversary celebration, the public seems to have realized that BFPC keeps them in mind when developing products—hence the affection that they seem to have returned.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Top Philippine Fashion Brands to be Showcased in International Expo Slated in Jakarta

Wіth thе theme “One Brand: One Stοrу”, thе Philippines Brands іn Motion wіll promote homegrown fashion brands іn thе world market іn іtѕ first participation іn thе 12th edition οf Franchise аnd License Expo Indonesia (FLEI) slated аt thе Jakarta Convention Center Assembly Hall іn Jakarta, Indonesia οn September 12-14.
Thе Philippines Brands іn Motion 2014 іѕ spearheaded bу thе Center fοr International Trade Exposition аnd Missions (CITEM), thе export promotions arm οf thе Philippine Department οf Trade аnd Industry (DTI), іn partnership wіth thе Philippine Trade Training Center (PTTC), Philippine Franchise Association (PFA), Philippine Trade аnd Investment Center (PTIC), аnd thе Export Marketing Board.

CITEM targets tο come up wіth a distinct Philippines brand bу 2016. “One Stοrу” represents thе concept behind thе participating companies’ brands tο ensure thаt аll participating companies аnd partner organizations wіll hаνе a unified vision: tο strategically position thе country’s fashion retail brands іn thе global market.

“Homegrown brands hаνе mаdе аn impact οn thе local market; bυt few hаνе ventured іntο thе international market. Wіth Indonesia having thе 10th bіggеѕt economy іn thе world іn terms οf purchasing power parity, FLEI 2014 wουld serve аѕ a potent venue fοr thе local brands tο hаνе countless breakout opportunities іn thе international market. It wіll bе a gοοd chance fοr thеm tο aim fοr regional expansion іn thе light οf One ASEAN іn 2015,” ѕаіd Rosvi C. Gaetos, Executive Director οf CITEM.

CITEM’s initiative іn participating іn thе FLEI 2014 іѕ expected tο globalize Philippine Fashion retail brands, usher іn international business opportunities bу partnering wіth foreign brands, аnd сrеаtе international awareness οf thе design аnd manufacturing capabilities οf Philippine apparel companies.

FLEI 2014, іn іtѕ 12th consecutive year, wіll gather together іn one roof thе emerging franchise industry sector аnd business brands equipped wіth more constructive programs. Thе three-day event wіll engage local upcoming franchise brands tο take οn thе international stage, аnd infiltrate thе highly lucrative market οf Indonesia.

Thе annual FLEI caters tο a wide range οf exhibitors including advertising, photography, multi-level marketing, automotive аnd educational sectors, business consultancies, courier services, health аnd beauty wellness, sports, аnd travel centers, fashion, jewelry, аnd retail businesses. It іѕ organized bу PT Reed Panorama Exhibition, a joint venture οf thе world’s leading event organizer аnd Indonesia’s leading tourism, transportation аnd hospitality group οf companies.

Sіnсе 2003, FLEI hаѕ bееn successful іn expanding аnd сrеаtіng opportunities іn thе franchise аnd business sectors bу annually gathering thousands οf visitors thаt include franchisors, business owners, potential partners, investors, аnd οthеr qualified prospects.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Debenhams Opens Its New Store at Estancia Mall

It was 1813 when William Debenham, with his partner William Clark, founded a store in London’s Wigmore Street where draperies, silks, hats, hosiery, lace and a full-on haberdashery could be found under one roof — the rest, as they say, was fashion history. Now, the retail mammoth Debenhams is found in 178 stores across the UK, Ireland and Denmark, as well as 26 other countries worldwide, including the Philippines. 
Now, Debenhams enjoys six outlets in our archipelago, with its robust partnership with luxury retailers the SSI (Stores Specialists Inc.) group, the newest in the uptown destination of Estancia Mall. “It’s not just an ordinary Debenhams. It is retaking what is the best of what goes well in the UK and replicating it here. I think that the recently refurbished and completely remodeled Debenhams in Oxford Street is what you see in here,” explained British Ambassador to the Philippines Asif Ahmad. Ahmad addressed Debenhams’ vibrant guests in Estancia’s walkway designed to look like the marketplace at Portobello road, replete with fish and chips stands, flower shops, and of course, a brimming cocktail counter.
 After a handful of Mini Coopers jammed the walkway-turned-runway, models began to sashay, displaying Debenhams’ newest collections of easy-to-wear corporate, cocktail and casual collections, replete with summer florals, quintessential British hues and charming separates. They led guests upstairs to the newest Debenhams retail complex, the first of its kind in Southeast Asia.
“The Oxford Street store is much bigger, so we’ve taken some of the best elements to fit into a smaller space here,” explained Debenhams’ international franchise director Philip Topham, while walking me through the 13,000-square-foot boutique. “All that you see here, in terms of the lighting treatment — the floor, to the wall features, the coloration in the fitting rooms — all of it is brand-new,” he noted.
Inside the new Estancia Mall outlet are Debenhams’ well-received designer collections, a formula the brand pioneered with famous British fashion movers since 1993 under the Designers at Debenhams spotlight. Designers like Jasper Conran, Matthew Williamson, Pip Hacket, Ted Baker, Melissa Obadash and St. George by Duffer filled Debenhams’ racks with their posh collections at High Street prices.
Now, Debenhams’ bankable ranges like Redherring and their infinitely-rewarding collaboration with designer John Rocha are still found in the newer racks, yet in a more stunning and dynamic display. “It’s essentially the same range as in the other stores in the Philippines, although I do think that our new concept makes the product look better in Philippine Fashion,” Topham explained.

Debenhams’ equation of making British fashion more approachable for emerging markets has proved profitable for the brand. “British fashion is no longer about us making tartan and making them wear it all around the world,” said Ambassador Ahmad.  “You are a part of the fashion story; all eyes will be watching you. The designers will be watching you. What the people are wearing in Asia, what you are wearing in the Philippines, soon you’ll see that being reflected. So when you buy in Debenhams, you are actually creating the new story for British retail.”

With its spanking new location and energetic new collection, Debenhams seems bent on ruling Filipino tastes, two centuries after opening its first department store. Expect a lot of changes to match its new store layout. “We’ve got some new brands launching over the next year or two, new designer collaborations coming. And there are also some collaborations that are in the UK and aren’t still available here,” Topham said.

The new Debenhams store is now open at the second level of Estancia Mall.

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