They get invitations to the hottest style events, rock the coolest ensembles, hobnob with the fashionable set and even get front row seats to fashion shows. They’re not exactly celebs and yet “Le Superstar Fabuleux” Bryan Boy has cemented the position of the modern day blogger as a force to reckon with in today’s digitally-led world of fashion. Illustrado talks to the most popular Filipino fashion bloggers this side and the Philippines, to get an insight on what drives their fashion appetite.
Creative Director for WAGW (What a Girl Wants) Boutique
Freelance stylist, model, writer and blogger
Manila and Cebu, Philippines
Fashion in my life
Fashion is self expression- it’s an art. I love fashion, but I’m not controlled by it.
I started blogging as an activity for 3rd year college. I started blogging about random Ateneo things and my first readers were Atenistas. I guess they noticed that I love dressing up so I got crazy hits unexpectedly and numerous emails requesting me to post outfit shots. That’s when my blog transformed into a fashion blog. I love writing, dressing up (and getting photographed haha), so why not continue?
I blog because I just doing it. Plus, the opportunities (features, billboards, magazine covers, TV interviews, fashion shows both local and international) it has given me are priceless. I am also able to network, get “free swag,” and have the ability to inspire others by doing what I love.
I dress however I feel like dressing on a certain day. It’s all about mood and what inspires me. I’m always randomly inspired and I see the beauty in almost everything!
Scoring fashion finds
I get my stuff from everywhere! From big department stores to high street brands, designer pieces to thrift items – everything! I don’t choose brands or set a budget. I just buy what inspires me.
I love Miroslava Duma for her effortlessly chic appeal and petite frame. I love Anna Dello Russo for her eccentric style and confidence. I love Karla Deras for her vintage love affair- I can totally relate!
Designer, Hand Bag Trader and Photography Hobbyist
Fashion in my life
My fashion obsession started four years ago, but my love for designer bags began in the heyday of the Ralph Lauren plaid bags. I remember owning a clutch in plaid green, and then moved on to a Prada backpack when I reached college. It’s also what motivated me to start my business trading designer hand bags.
A friend introduced me to Lookbook.nu. At first, my raw photos didn’t get enough ‘hypes’ due to poor quality and lack of editing. Then I decided to learn Photoshop and also studied basic photography so I can improve my images. My photos changed tremendously so I earned more ‘hypes,’ followers, and eventually features in magazines like Mega and L’Officiel Hommes, as well as online blogs. I also won a Jeffrey Campbell competition and got a pair of combat boots named after me. I became so addicted to blogging that my friends, secretary and even my driver would take my photos whenever I felt my outfit was “Lookbook worthy.”
I keep on looking back at my old looks and still giggle at them. There are some outfits I wouldn’t be caught dead wearing now but I retained them as part of my fashion history. I love receiving beautiful praises from my followers. I somehow feel they’re inspired by my looks so that validates my crazy purchases in a way.
I’ve mellowed lately as I’ve realized I’m not a young kid anymore so I should start investing in more classic clothes. These days, I just wear whatever fits me or what’s in my mood. I don’t follow the latest trends anymore, unlike before when I would buy the latest iconic shoes by European designers, though I still lust over edgy pieces from Balenciaga, Givenchy, Lanvin, Comme des Garcons, Margiela and Versus. I have my own style – one day I could be wearing shorts, the next day I’m in my coat, and on other days I’d mix my coat with my short shorts. There are no rules. As long as I’m satisfied with the ensemble, then that’s it.
Scoring Fashion Finds
Most of the items I wear are from my travels. Hongkong is my number one source of clothing and shoes. There’s a good number of choices and brands available. When shopping for basics, I always visit Zara, 5cm and H&M. At the height of my fashion obsession, I bought four pairs of designer shoes by Raf Simons, Trickers, Lanvin and Comme des Garcons. Do the math! That doesn’t even include the clothes and accessories yet!
Fashion inspiration and pet peeve
If there’s one person I need to name, it would have to be Carine Roitfeld, former Editor-in-Chief of Vogue Paris. I’ve seen a documentary about her and she’s effortless yet fierce. On the other hand, I hate Paris Hilton’s bags! They’re hideous!
Fashion in my life
Fashion is a big thing in my life, especially now that fashion blogging has taken a huge chunk of my time. I blog every single day and go to a ton of fashion events around the city.
I have been blogging since 2005 but never really got serious about until recently. I am huge follower of fashion blogs internationally and I noticed that the Middle East lacked quality fashion blogs. I figured I could help kick start the movement. I think I have done pretty well so far – being featured several times in local magazines, internationally online plus voted for the recent Grazia Style Awards. I know that I am widely read out here in the Middle East, and have a pretty good standing with style followers. I mean, I go to an event and everyone pretty much knows who I am, it’s crazy!
With blogging I meet lots of interesting people and experience new things every single day. As a photographer and lover of fashion, being able to penetrate the industry is great. Not only do I talk about fashion, express myself and experience it, I also get a ton of clients because of it. Hopefully, I will get more clients and more opportunities internationally. I would love to visit Paris, Milan and New York fashion week.
I follow trends and experiment a lot, but I mostly rely on my mood and comfort. I love the structured pieces and all the studs and mix of prints right now. My personal picks are from The Row, Stella McCartney, Chloe, Victoria Beckham and Alexander Wang. Also, my list won’t be complete without Oscar De La Renta, Gucci and Valentino – you need to get a little classic every now and then.
Scoring fashion finds
I usually shop in Dubai Mall and Burjuman but I also go to thrift stores around the city. Believe me, if you look hard enough, you find great things out there. I also shop online and the Philippines has got a huge number of online stores with amazing stuff.
I absolutely adore the Olsen twins – they inspire me a lot. Oh, and Victoria Beckham…the woman rocks! My ultimate fashion inspiration is the character Carrie Bradshaw – she was never afraid to embrace fashion.
Fashion in my life
I think love for fashion is something my mother passed on to me. My twin and I grew up with wonderful things around us from clothes, shoes and accessories. I grew up playing and dressing up all kinds of Barbie dolls since my Mom and my Grandma, were the best makers of Barbie dresses and hair pieces for Matel Co. back in our home town. It’s everything a young girl could dream of.
I love fashion in its very essence and the campaigns and editorials from magazines inspire me a lot. Landing into the field of fashion photography was never a coincidence but merely my choice, and my focus point. To be out there, I looked for another platform where I could showcase my photography works, and Mariyah Gaspacho, my photography partner/friend encouraged me to try out blogging. And so I did. Slowly, I began sharing my shoots from a behind-the-scenes perspective, as well as my inspirations to the public. Like my photography, it somehow picked up and I never realized that I was doing well until I was nominated in the “Best Style Bloggers” category of the Grazia Style Awards in May 2011. And, though I didn’t win, I vowed to become a better blogger ever since.
Presence in the local fashion scenes is extremely important for me. Not because of the popularity and the feature that I might get from some publications, but to be out there and meet important people that can help me out with my journey to fashion. At the moment, I am elated to be involved with international brands such as Lanvin, Longchamp, Kenneth Cole, Garage, Aldo and Nine West, Revlon, Rimmel, Une, Maxfactor, Benefit and Inglot. I am also a proud online ambassador for United Colors of Benetton UAE.
According to Coco Chanel, “A girl should be two things, classy and fabulous!” For my own style, I always prefer classic. I am mostly minimalistic though it’s fun to wear or own things with lots of color just for a change. Yes, I follow trends most of the time but comfort is my priority.
I am a very practical person. I only buy things that I can afford. H&M, New Look and Forever 21 are the best brands if you want to be comfortable yet fashionable. Fashion pet peeves? I may love looking at flat sandals’ and ballerina shoes but I can’t wear them. I prefer any kind of shoes as long as it has heels.
Who wouldn’t love Sarah Jessica Parker’s style from Sex and the City? And how about Blake Lively and Leighton Meester who are complete trendsetters from Gossip girl?
Fashion Designer, Warda Haute Couture
Hobby stylist and budding shoe designer
Fashion in my life
I have a love affair with fashion. I believe in what Coco Chanel said – “Fashion is not something that exists in dresses only.” Fashion is in the sky, on the street; fashion has to do with ideas, the way we live, what is happening. For me fashion is eternal, it never fades and there’s no end to it. That’s why when I was younger, I thought fashion is the best thing I could embrace, a career that would last even when I’m gone.
I was always fascinated with fashion magazines and dreamt of becoming a style columnist. That brought me into blogging. Basically, I write about the things I like and from there share something original with my readers. I recently got into posting my Outfit Du Jour on Lookbook.nu, where we get a lot of attention from specific brands. I have followers from networkeblog, IFB (Independent Fashion Blogger), BlogLovin, etc. Recently, my fellow bloggers voted me as one of the stylish bloggers and I got featured in different blogs. I was also chosen as one of the Community Founder in the UAE for Enstyle.dk. Also I was chosen as one of the United Colors of Benetton online brand ambassadors/bloggers.
I’m more into fusing the old with the new. I tend to grab the simplest and common thing and make it work fabulously as much as possible. I usually drool over shoes, sunglasses and scarves! Any brands as long as it looks unique, cool and has a wow effect! I don’t like to see people who style without the right proportions, or those who over-dress. That really turns me off! I hate fixing my hair and baggy clothes.
Scoring Fashion Finds
I get most of my stuff from online brands sales. I’m a very picky shopper and make sure that I get unique stuff that’s useful and of good quality. I don’t take items that are so obvious, the ones that everybody’s wearing. I want something different. I try to be smart with my budget. Fashion doesn’t mean you spend a lot. It’s about how creative and productive you are. Like me, I’m a designer creating something for myself – it’s not that hard anyway!
Fashion inspiration and pet peeves
I am fascinated by celebs that have made their own unique fashion statement. I love Michael Jackson’s style, for me he’s one avant garde icon. There’s Lady Gaga who set high fashion in flames. She brought out style that no one had the guts to pull-off. I like Bill Kaulitz, he’s Germany’s pop icon who looks awesome in androgynous style. I hate Britney Spear’s fashion taste. Mutants evolve but her fashion did not!