MARA COSON talks about what for her fashion is all about, and why you should think twice before following another fashion blogger
Photographer and currently a contestant on The Voice, about her other passion in life, that is conceptual, fashion, and portrait photography.
TOP 10 VS MODELS
The lingerie giant is famous for putting models on the map and under the limelight, but there are some of them who already have spotlights of their own even before landing the prestigious title as a Victoria’s Secret Angel.
THE ART OF YAYOI KUSAMA
The legendary Japanese artist is one of modern art’s greatest treasure, and whose style is one of the most iconic.
PLUS: Imagineocean, The Cab Live in Manila, UP Ecosoc’s LIV, Fashion Through The Ages, A-Team
THE TEAM EDITOR’S LETTER
ON THE COVER PHOTOGRAPHED BY ADRIAN GONZALES
Here we go again with another Stache year-ender issue! We ended our first year with BJ Pascual and now we have the multi-hyphenated Mara Coson joining us as our wonderful October cover girl. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to join the team during the cover shoot but I’ve heard wonderful stories about it. According to them, Mara was adorable and cute and all kinds of charming but it was her groundedness that reeled them all in. Read all about what happened during the cover shoot on page 128. This month, we also have wonderful illustrations from our very own Daniela Go (Fashion Icons) and Jessan Miramon (Fashion Through The Ages). Erin Emocling, who wrote last issue’s cover story about The Strangeness, came back with an interview with Melanie Martinez, photographer and The Voice Season 3 contestant. We also have wonderful submissions from photographers Ciara-Angela Engelhardt, Dorota Szafrańska and Krzysztof Kowalski, graphic artist Vince Puerto and writer Maikz Tomas. Ian and Edd Vicente from A-Team Philippines are also a part of this issue as models in Band of Brothers, Grace de Luna’s latest editorial. Katrina Eusebio, our official foodie, also listed down her top 3 spots in Kapitolyo where you can get gasronomic delights. Since we are ending Stache’s second year this month, we are currently brewing major changes with the magazine’s format. We will keep you posted through our Twitter and Facebook accounts. Have a happy (and fashionable?) Halloween, Maine Manalansan, EIC P.S. We will be having a special All-Out Art Issue this December! Don’t forget to send those photos, essays, poems, illustrations, songs and videos our way! firstname.lastname@example.org :)
CLICK TO WATCH THE BTS VIDEO SHOT AND EDITED BY MAYEE GONZALES
THE TEAM MOVIE REVIEWS
THE TEAM OCTOBER 2012
STACHE EDITOR-IN-CHIEF MAINE MANALANSAN CREATIVE DIRECTOR JARED CARL MILLAN MARKETING DIRECTOR ELLIE CENTENO ASSOCIATE EDITOR SARAH BUENDIA ASSISTANT EDITOR MARIELLE MISULA MARKETING ASSOCIATE COCO MACEREN SENIOR PHOTOGRAPHER JELITO DE LEON WEB DESIGNER MARY SILVESTRE MUSIC DIRECTOR LAMBERT CRUZ FASHION DIRECTOR ECKS ABITONA WRITERS KATRINA EUSEBIO, ALVIN GREG MOLINA, KARLA BERNARDO, ELISE MONTINOLA, MAE PASCUAL, ALFONSO BASSIG PHOTOGRAPHERS PATRICK GUILLERMO, GRACE DE LUNA, HANNAH MAGSAYO, ADRIAN GONZALES, MAYEE GONZALES, YANA GAGARIN, CRU CAMARA, DAN DOYDORA, JOANNA SANTILLAN, CHRISTIENNE BERONA, BEA FERNANDEZ, ELORA PICSON ILLUSTRATORS MARELLA RICKETTS, PUM BRIONES, DANIELA GO, JESSAN MIRAMON LAYOUT ARTIST DANIEL PLACIDO
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THE TEAM CONTRIBUTORS
ERIN EMOCLING is a catatonic catwoman and all things catastrophic, personified. She is a marveller of non-sequitur writing, cinematic films, and analogue photography. She is currently both an editor and a writer. You may find her cardiac musings on basterda.blogspot.com.
CIARA-ANGELA ENGELHARDT lives in Germany. She has a number of exhibitions, awards and features under her belt. Intuition and emotion are her steady companions. Thoreau speaks from deep in her soul: “The question is not what you look at, but what you see.”
DOROTA SZAFRAŃSKA and KRZYSZTOF KOWALSKI – the photography duo, we began shooting in 2010. We search for the sublime of beauty, a momentary unreal illusion rather than a documented reality reflection.
MAIKZ TOMAS. Communication arts student by day, ninja by night. Obsessed with poetry and anything written beautifully. I like art, reading books, sharing earphones, cupcakes, The art of fielding, and a lot of things in between. “When in doubt: I write”
VINCE PUERTO is a digital artist who loves to do 2 things: Read & Make Art. Whenever he is not Digital Painting, He’s in his room snuggling with a book or two.
FASHION ICONS ILLUSTRATION BY DANIELA GO
THE TEAM PICKS: ONE MOVIE THAT SCARED US SHITLESS THE EXORCIST Ellie Centeno, Marketing Director
SHUTTER Maine Manalansan, Editor-in-Chief
JU-ON: THE GRUDGE Jelito de Leon, Senior Photographer
For photographers, this is probably the worst thing you will ever see in your entire life. This is your typical asian love story gone wrong, but I can easily say that I wasn’t able to touch my camera for weeks after watching this. Just imagine developing a roll of film and seeing a ghost in every photo. Spooky.
I’ve always been a big fan of horror as a genre, and I always find it hard to find a really good horror movie to watch. Initially, I thought that it wasn’t really that scary but a few days after watching it, I started to imagine that the things that happened in the movie will happen to me. Call me paranoid but it took a while before I could actually shampoo my hair properly.. Until now, there are times when I imagine shampooing my hair and I will suddenly feel another hand “helping” me lather. JU-ON: THE GRUDGE Lambert Cruz, Music Director The classic Japanese scare ruins the safest place you’ve always known as a kid. Hiding under the sheets isn’t going to save you anymore. Add that to the scenes involving a staircase, the shower, and that fucked up army crawl from the attic for a recipe of instant nightmare and a week-long paranoia.
SUSPIRIA Ecks Abitona, Fashion Director This stylish and sometimes gory classic horror movie from Italian director, Dario Argento, is more of a surreal and scary dream than a narrative, yet the effect is essentially its strength. Add in a creepy low-key soundtrack, some legitimately striking visual scares of lurid colors and you get to exercise a continuous chokehold on senses and a recipe for instant nightmares.
This, to me, is the scariest movie of all time. I was eight when I first watched this, on Halloween no less, and cried almost through the entire second half of the film. Ghosts are one thing, but demons are on an entirely different ballpark. The Exorcist managed to showcase all the aspects of a demonic possession. It’s a film that is completely unforgettable - in every sense of the word. Expect a few sleepless nights afterwards.
THE BLAIR WITCH PROJECT Jared Carl Millan, Creative Director I don’t easily get scared; having been forced to watch scary movies growing up does that to you. I have seen it all: possession films, Asian films, ghost films, supernatural films, documentary films—name it. So instead of that one movie that scared the crap out of me—which does not exist—I will tell you instead one of my favorite horror films ever: The Blair Witch Project. It is not by a stretch a “scary” film, but it really does something to your imagination. It is not really an expensively produced film, and the actors in it are okay at best, but collectively it is brilliant piece of art. Watch it.
CROSSING BRIDGES BYJARED CARL MILLAN WHY THE INTERNET DOESN’T NEED MORE FASHION BLOGGERS BY SARAH BUENDIA
COLUMNS CROSSING BRIDGES
CROSSING BRIDGES There is a difference between growing old and growing up; the former happens whether or not we want it, but to achieve the latter it takes more than just time and gravity. JARED CARL MILLAN talks about what it means to be an adult.
COLUMNS CROSSING BRIDGES
With all these talk about growing up and wanting to grow up, one would think that the transition between adolescence to adulthood would be one linear path, a street that would quite literally have only point A and point B. There is in fact some truth to that; one way or another we are thrust into that part in our lives whether or not we want it, forced to live with the change even as we try to ignore the particular, live in the past. I now sit in a yet crowded Starbucks café trying to type down all the notes for this column—or the lack thereof—and I find it particularly hard to continue writing this piece because what I am now trying to say is vey much different from what I had wanted to write about when I mapped out in my head the direction this column would take. You see, I have always found it difficult to write about the things I barely know, and I had planned for this column to talk, however vaguely and ineffectively, about being an adult. And although I am by no means anymore a teenager, I still am quite unsure if I am indeed an adult. In college I had been asked to create at different points during my stay a curriculum vitae, and in each instance I had treated it like any other college student would treat a compulsory task: half-assed, with only a sense of obligation dictating you to do it. But I do remember writing a particular curriculum vitae quite unlike all the rest I had ever made. I had just gotten out of college and I was trying to look for internship programs in which to occupy my time in the interim. I cannot remember now for which company I had submitted the document to, what firm or magazine or publishing house that had received it but never read it. But making that particular two-page document will forever be indelible in my mind; it was created under very different circumstances, a task I had to do not borne out of moral obligation nor educational prudence, but of existential imperative. The decision was not anymore bound to the institution in which I studied; I did not do it to please a professor or a parent or myself; if I were to continue, if I were to
be a person in this earth, if I wanted to become the person that I want to be I needed to cross the bridge, jump off the ledge, live. To live then meant that I create that one document and start from there. To live then meant that I start making decisions for my life, neither good decisions nor bad decisions, but simply decisions I make for myself, by myself. And that I believe was one of the very first signs that were me I am not anymore young, also not yet old, but that I’m getting there. I can tell you that making it I was overcome with a dread I had not had acquainted myself with, and I was a kid whose life have always been permeated by a sense of dread, a kid who has always been confronted with apprehension and anxiety and angst at every corner. As it happens, there were not that many things to put into the document. I had always been a recluse. Extracurricular activities in my college had always been a nuisance to me. Involvement to causes and organizations and clubs and any other entity other than myself I deem a joke. I did not overachieve. I did not put out. I tried as much as possible not to draw attention to me as deemed necessary. And because of that, the details in my curriculum vitae were perfunctory at best. It did not make my pride swell or heart sing the way I had thought it should, but I suspect that is part of that package. I do not have anything to live for anymore. And because of the nature of this particular discourse I thought it only fair to say at the outset that I am not in any way depressed. Nor have I been contemplating the thought of killing myself, at least not any more than the routine self-loathing every one of us is guilty of. I just mean that if I were to die this instant I would die a happy man. Let me expound. There had always been for my siblings and me a set of rules that we were to follow, rules which to this day we still do, ordained by our parents early in the lives of their children. Eat your breakfast. Brush your teeth. Take a nap. Do your homework. Do well in school. Don’t eat junkfood. Memorize the
multiplication table. Sleep at 9AM. As we grew older the rules started to become less audible; we were reminded less often. Those rules did not disappear completely, we knew that. My parents just expected us to have them ingrained in our minds, and they have been. Of course those rules changed over the years. “Take a nap” morphed into “rest once in a while”; “do your homework” morphed into “learn to prioritize”; “don’t eat junkfood” morphed into “don’t smoke or drink or do drugs unless you are responsible enough to live with the repercussions”; “do well in school” morphed into “graduate from elementary school” to “earn a high school diploma” to “earn a degree.” Growing up, I suspect I had never been given the chance to worry about the direction my life would take me five or ten or twenty years in the future; I had always known in my mind and heart with even the vaguest sense that my parents had brought me up well enough to know how to fend for myself, know how to choose the right decisions and live with the consequences. I suspect that the rules that were once my training wheels would ever vanish, that the morality my parents and grandparents and aunts and uncles would lose their relevance over time. The point I think is to live with them not because somebody of authority expects you to do it or you feel compelled to do it; you live with these rules because you want to. You live without these rules because you do not want to. That is the point of being an adult: you live with a set of rules you make for yourself, an amalgam of mythologies and moralities and existential imperatives that would form the mold against which you pattern your life. My adolescence ended when finished college, when I fulfilled my parents’ wish that I earn a college degree. My adolescence ended when I started applying for jobs not because somebody wants or expects me to. My adolescence ended when I started to struggle to keep a tight rein on my life. And adulthood begins I guess when I no longer consciously have to remind myself to take responsibility of my life.
COLUMNS WHY THE INTERNET DOESN’T NEED MORE FASHION BLOGGERS
COLUMNS WHY THE INTERNET DOESN’T NEED MORE FASHION BLOGGERS
WHY THE INTERNET DOESN’T NEED ANY MORE FASHION BLOGGERS If the Internet were Walmart or Target, fashion bloggers would be shampoos: their market is simply too saturated. And if the Internet were reality T.V., fashion bloggers are the Kardashians: they’re everywhere. SARAH BUENDIA tells us which fashion blogs to unfollow. Illustration by MARELLA RICKETTS
Despite any denial towards an inclination for fashion, it is an inescapable part of life, as every waking day we make the conscious or unconscious decision to appear how we want to appear not only to others, but even more importantly perhaps, to ourselves. An affinity or aversion to fashion does not exclude us from the basic human need for clothing. Whether we take hours on end to look good or simply throw in whatever we first get our hands on, we make a statement that reflects a certain philosophy that could be uniquely our own. In any case, then, a food for thought that possibly deserves a moment in our increasingly fast-paced lives is not whether or not the fashion statements that we take on the world with every day make much or little importance to us, but what our own fashion statements already tell us of the way of life we embody. The thousand and one combinations we can create out of the things we own may sometimes fall short on an ideal we picture in our minds, but the mere act of choosing one of those combinations may very well able to tell values we hold, the kind of lifestyle we employ, the choices we make: as the old saying goes, the devil is in the details. With this in mind, it has then come to my close attention the factors that may influence these statements, and to my even closer attention, if some of these factors may be healthy for us. With
which I ask: should you really let this fresh and updated fashion blogger dictate to you how this new trend will contribute to your sound set of values? As a means of self-expression, I am aware of fashion’s power to influence and inspire other forms of expression that could promote art in highly significant ways. This is why it pains me to see that the number of fashion bloggers that have invaded the Internet look more and more like they operate on a very limiting sphere, a sphere, which I may add, serves more to please rather than to invoke a diverse production of ideas. There is of course, nothing wrong with pleasing an audience. But the danger to any kind of pleasure that seeks only to please (or very little beyond it) is that it forces its subjects to stay inactive in a strive to push for thinking that they, too, can create something new and unique. Understandably, its purpose to advertise is indispensable for some, leaving fashion bloggers with seasoned particulars in order to sell, which of course, could be vital for somebody who wishes to sustain their platform. But if their sole purpose is simply to do this, without the intention of offering something inventive, then I personally believe that there are a lot of other issues with which to put their energies on. Please, spare us your copy-paste poses and vignette filters and go read a book about the extinction of dinosaurs. To put
it bluntly: don’t be a sell-out. It should be clear to point out, though, that the question at hand is not only to encourage followers to scrutinize what they choose to incorporate in their wardrobes (and in the end, to their ways of life), but also for existing and aspiring fashion bloggers to consider their reasons for expressing what they wish to share to their audience. If someone is genuine and passionate about their line of work, they would not only wish to follow a trend, but to exercise the kind of freedom that demonstrates a philosophy worth wearing. The world doesn’t need another one of which it is already full of. Otherwise, the role a fashion blogger plays would not go beyond exposure, instead of being an entity capable of inspiring individuality. We all wish to claim to be something different, to be a special snowflake, when this showcase of trends, if not carefully examined, could make us seem like everyone else. A fashion blog worth a following is that which tells a story that has not been heard before, one that exhibits beauty not just for the sake of looking pretty, but that which opens rooms for creativity one might not have initially thought oneself to have.
Interview by ALFONSO BASSIG Photographs from ELAII CABUAG and KELVIN ARAGONES
If Lady Gaga had jumpstarted her career in an era wherein stalagmite headpieces and meat dresses were nothing but normal, would she still be Lady Gaga? There’s no point in emulating an icon when everyone else is doing the same. In a world where what was once deemed as “different” is not so different anymore, setting one’s self apart has become quite an effort. But I’m not so sure if the same concept applies for 18-year old fashion enthusiast/blogger Andi Altamira. Hailing from St. Paul University Quezon
City, this one-of-a-kind Mass Communication junior is a tamed firestorm: brilliantly fierce, yet embodying the element of restraint. He emanates a message that speaks of humility, determination, and being true to who you are. WHO IS ANDI ALTAMIRA?
Andi Altamira believes in dreams and fantasies. It’s her faith that keeps her dreams alive. She’s not a fashion junkie at all, but believes in the pleasure she
gets from it, the assurance and security it gives. Aside from Fashion, she is born to perform in a crowd. Music is her first love. WHEN DID YOUR PENCHANT FOR FASHION START?
It was in 2010. I was heartbroken. Isn’t it silly? But yes, my eyes were opened to another world after the break-up. I’ve got my newfound pleasure in shopping. I just feel like, I deserve this and I wanted something new: A new life, and a new me. I wanted to improve myself because
“I wanted to improve myself because I felt like I was never good enough.” I felt like I was never good enough. Through constant shopping, flipping through the pages of Fashion magazines, I fell in love with Fashion. It seems like everything works in this world (fashion). And yes, for once, I feel like I am “good enough”. WHAT DOES FASHION MEAN TO YOU?
For me, fashion is an outlet to express myself, my identity, and at the same time, fashion is my armor. Whenever I am dressed up, I feel so strong, secured and protected. I also get pleasure [from it]. I think that’s the best part of it. HOW WOULD YOU DEFINE YOUR PERSONAL STYLE?
My style is very conservative. I don’t bare a lot of skin. And also, I have a discipline in accessories. There is a statement and control.
WHAT CAN YOU SAY ABOUT FASHION BEING A MEDIUM OF SELF-EXPRESSION?
her destiny. I [was] not the one who came up with the idea of my alter ego. It was my friend & fashion designer, Roland Alzate who thought of it. It was when he [was] designing a dress for me, and we’re deciding on which color to use. I am Birgitta whenever I am dressed up, whenever I perform, whenever I am out in the world. Andi Altamira is the core of Birgitta. Birgitta is the future.
I CAN’T HELP BUT NOTICE YOUR BLOG’S URL (SHEISBIRGITTA.TUMBLR.COM), SO IF YOU MAY, PAINT US ANOTHER PICTURE: WHO IS BIRGITTA? IS SHE ANY DIFFERENT FROM ANDI?
WHAT INSPIRES YOU TO KEEP ON GOING?
I’ve met so many wonderful fashionable people, and [for me], fashion as [a] medium of self-expression is a way to celebrate one’s unique identity. People often think that they can’t be fashionable because they can’t afford to be one. But hey, most of my stuff [are] thrifted and [I’m] still happy and confident [of ] the way I look! It’s still a matter of taste and perspective of beauty.
Birgitta is an alpha female. She doesn’t care [about] anything or anyone, what other people may think; she lives by her rules. Her life is no accident. She creates
Love. Love inspires me so much. It’s something keeps me going every day. As you can see, my life is not all junked [with] material things. I believe that what can really make me happy is that something that is eternal, and it is love.
“That’s the best thing that I want to achieve through my blog—to inspire people and build bridges for the LGBT community.”
FOR SOMEONE WHO IS SEEMINGLY IN LOVE WITH FASHION, I CAN ONLY ASSUME THAT YOU’D WANT TO CREATE YOUR OWN MATERIAL. HAVE YOU EVER THOUGHT OF DESIGNING CLOTHES THAT ARE 100% ANDI ALTAMIRA?
Maybe in the future, just like Victoria Beckham. Maybe it’ll be more of RTW pieces and not couture. I am not born to be a couturier, but I’m still learning the science of clothing. WHAT ARE THE GOALS YOU WOULD WANT TO ACHIEVE THROUGH YOUR BLOGS?
I want to inspire others to express themselves, and it’s not the things that you have or you wear, that matters. What’s important is you, who you are and what you feel. Noble as it is, for me, that’s the best thing that I want to achieve through my blog—to inspire people and build bridges for the LGBT community. WHERE DO YOU SEE YOURSELF A GOOD TEN YEARS FROM NOW?
10 years from now, I can see myself having a successful career in fashion as a fashion editor [and] fashion stylist. Maybe by that time, I am already planning to move to Italy or Paris to live a fuller life.
There’s quite a tsunami of fashion bloggers coming out of the blue these days, but with someone like Andi whose being unique is seemingly innate, rising above the crowd wouldn’t be much of a problem. Sure, you don’t see him in billboards and department store posters, but his flaming passion gives me a hunch that his name would someday be one that is monumental. Let’s hold our horses for Andi. But then again, if there’s somebody we should watch out for, it’s Birgitta. Keep up with Andi by following his Tumblr blog (sheisbirgitta.tumblr.com) and becoming his fan on Lookbook (lookbook.nu/birgittaaltamira) “Birgitta is the future.”
LOVE KILLS by JARED CARL MILLAN YOUR BEST ATTIRE by ALVIN GREG MOLINA
WHAT IS THERE by ELISE MONTINOLA COCO BEFORE CHANEL by JESSAN MIRAMON
LOVE KILLS The romance between Heathcliff and Cathy is one of the most enduring stories in all of English literature, and one of the most infamous. Driven mad by passionate love, is there anything we can learn from this tragic affair? Photo and words by JARED CARL MILLAN
Love is the universal language of the world. All religion, stripped of their moral imperatives and biases and tenets on how to live one’s life, has a common denominator; and it is not about worshipping a supreme being or somebody of higher power. Love is most often the method to our madness, our singular justification for everything done that ended badly or brought us consequences. How many madmen have committed crimes claiming they were driven by “love”? How many successes and triumphs have been recorded spurred out of the singular power of “love”? In the case of Heathcliff and Cathy, it is precisely “love” that brought their demise. Reading Wuthering Heights is not unlike finding one’s self in a dream not quite a nightmare and certainly not paradise, but a dream nevertheless bleak and chilling. In gothic fiction the setting in which the story takes place is a character in itself, and the dismal Yorkshire moors in Northern England that Emily Bronte paints in the novel is both the backdrop as well as its central character: everything that takes place is a reflection of the marshes and bogs and
barren landscape and bleak hilltops and ominous isolation that saturate the land. I had first read the novel when I was sixteen, expecting a story quite along the lines of Margaret Mitchell’s Gone With The Wind, expecting the love story of Cathy and Heathcliff to be similar to that of Scarlett O’Hara and Rhett Butler. It is not. Cathy and Heathcliff’s romance—if one can even call it that—is dysfunctional beyond comprehension, saturated with misplaced passion and a vague sense of purpose. As it happens, the novel collectively is so grotesque and distorted that it is important to ask one’s self if Emily Bronte had intended to write the story in this manner, as though at every point in the book she challenges her readers to a game of endurance. And Heathcliff is the catalyst. I suppose if you look hard enough and introspect long enough you can find reason behind Heathcliff’s endeavors, and depending on which side of the coin you’re in you’ll either find him a formidable antihero or a downright demon incarnate. When Cathy takes
Edgar Linton’s hand in marriage, Heathcliff was devastated, swearing revenge, and he comes back with an “everything or nothing” plan to destroy the lives of the people who ruined his and take everything that was deprived of him, which in this case takes the form of the two estates. This comfortless and miserable story told through Bronte’s vigorous and ardent narrative makes an interesting contrast, the same way Wuthering Heights, a household reflecting desolation and bleariness, is situated atop a hill and Thruschross Grange, a household full of love and warmth, below the valley. It is easy to dismiss this novel as something garish, but what really makes this novel a classic is its robust characterization as well as its brilliantly explored theme, and the emotional intensity of the story is colossal and does a great deal to your head. But perhaps the best thing about this novel, with all its imperfections and flaws, is that at its very core it tells the very classic story that with bad there is good and that love, good love, honest love, always redeems.
FASHION ICONS ILLUSTRATION BY DANIELA GO
IN FOCUS BOOK REVIEWS
YOUR BEST ATTIRE You are what you wear, and so David Sedaris wears it bare as he shares his life in a collection of riveting and hilarious essays in his book Naked. Photograph and words by ALVIN GREG MOLINA
I walked into a bookstore and I chanced upon the book Naked and thought it was pretty provocative to have some book entitled “Naked” with an over the hill underwear cover. I did not know David Sedaris until I got a hand of his book. There are times when you just forget the adage never judge a book by its cover because what we unconsciously do, when we literally walk into a bookstore only to grab a nice a read for the day, is we plainly judge some books by their cover (and the slow cashier). Admit it; you do it too. At first glance, one might probably think of it as some misplaced promiscuous paperback, right next to some odd nonfiction books, sitting untouched on the shelf for several years. But as I would later learn, Naked’s cover is more than what meets the eye. When it comes to comedic writing, David Sedaris is a virtuoso. In case you didn’t notice my trying hard efforts to sound comical on my first
paragraph, I want to cleverly emulate his style after reading his book. I just discovered firsthand just how difficult it is to make your writing amusing. Making readers laugh out loud with writing on the pages may perhaps be one of the hardest things to do. David Sedaris is not just amusing; his book will make other people question their sanity. His effortless style and wit, which are so consistently laugh-out-loud funny, contains wisdom at its core. Naked can be classified as a collection of seventeen personal essays of varying length, a memoir, or an autobiography of sorts told in the first person. In this book, it covers Sedaris’s life apparently filled with rich, outrageous, and uproarious memories. He talks about daily things and experiences – entwined with witty dialogues or sharp thoughts. Often it seems like he is being self-depreciating, but truth is, he’s just being viciously honest with himself. He has an
ability to turn what would otherwise be a mundane topic into a riveting read, often with a touch of poignancy, as well as a penchant for a willingness to discuss some extremely awkward, disgusting or off-putting subjects, seemingly with no mortification or faltering. He brings his characters vividly to life in a way you can easily grasp and picture. His astute observations and crafty storytelling are weaved together effortlessly in this book. You can tell that Sedaris is a weird, awful man; but, he embraces it with peculiar self-righteousness and humility. Sedaris had suffered a lot, and most probably still does; yet, he puts it all into a context in which he and his life are side-splitting. And so readers can laugh, and from that readers draw strength. Some of my favorite essays in the collection include Chipped Beef – that pulled me in immediately and immersed me to reading young David’s imagination. Dix Hill – when he worked in a mental institution during his teenage years. The Drama Bug – his fanboy moments to theater. I Like Guys – an essay on unearthing of his sexuality. Planet of the Apes ¬– his hitchhiking stories. Ashes – the poignant account of his mother succumbing to cancer. And Naked – his experience in nudist colony. I’m glad that though the book cover didn’t appeal to me at first sight, I gave it try. The book is a work of art and David Sedaris is a genius! I would say that this is a great book for stress relief. It’s a good distraction from every day stresses that it could provide you a mental break, allowing you to laugh out loud for a moment. They say humor is a way to normalize the abnormal. I think it helps in some way to lighten the intensity of whatever is happening, and Naked, without a doubt, could grant it. Although the book addresses some adult and sexual themes, I’d still recommend the book to readers and perhaps his other amazing pieces as well like Me Talk Pretty One Day, Barrel Fever, When You Are Engulfed In Flames, and Dress Your Family in Curdoroy and Denim. As I finished Naked, I realized one thing about the book title. It perfectly suits the entire piece of Sedaris as there was a lot of exposure going on in the story. He tells life in truth - bare skin, naked.
FASHION ICONS ILLUSTRATION BY DANIELA GO
IN FOCUS MOVIE REVIEWS
WHAT IS THERE: THE LAST REVIEW YOU’LL (HOPEFULLY) EVER READ OF ANG NAWAWALA ELISE MONTINOLA, a sporadic concert-goer with heaps of class guilt, watches Ang Nawawala for the first time. These are some of her feels.
Consider this a last ditch review of Cinemalaya darling Ang Nawawala, which boldly hit the mainstream mark once it went pound-for-pound against The Mistress in its opening week. Conceded, it took a brutal beating – with a pitiful filled-to-empty seat ratio on a packed Friday night– but we look, instead, at the enclosed space of the film for its heftiest value, and consider the small victories in its stabs to branch out of the cocoon of indie. A salient effort on its part, as the film, in chunks and in its entirety, eats, digests, and expels indie – ramming full-speed into its meltin-your-heads, mumble-core, Middle American center – for good and for bad. Equal parts music porn and equal parts burgis musings, Marie Jamora’s Ang Nawawala reads like a
Lino Brocka in double reverse. Instead of scrap roofs and skin-soaked rags, we are given the nuances of the Middleclass Filipino Christmas: the homecoming in media res, the palpable tensions ignited by the swell in household population, the 70’s home as it decays in the present, and the overall spectacle of consumption. Jamora milks the ironic nostalgic shit out of this, with scenes spliced with home movies, bad haircuts, and ironic names, generating a mix of contempo-vintage aesthetics and sensibilities that are best fleshed out by the film’s protagonist, the emotionless sojourner, therefore cool-as, Gibson. Still, the hipster-ality of it all has its great points, as Jamora pays attention to the minutest nonverbal aspects of her film and, because of this, produces a potential to kinetic visual-aural-sensual
progression which speaks louder than the stale words that usurped tender dialogue. The reverberation of guitar riffs and distortions, the glints of light used to blur, to highlight, the motion, and the mirroring were great techniques generously applied to guide us into seeing what Gibson sees and how he sees, as he clumsily maneuvers around the dark of the city. The OPM soundtrack, as has been written and rewritten about, is easily the best feature of the film, with the old tracks melding into the new, framing each scene to a perfectly glossed. Ang Nawawala’s best lesson, in fact, is that any aggravated state can be assuaged with good music, not to mention, with the cathartic awkward dancing that is bound to follow.
IN FOCUS MOVIE REVIEWS
Ang Nawawala’s best lesson, in fact, is that any aggravated state can be assuaged with good music, not to mention, with the cathartic awkward dancing that is bound to follow.
Then, we get to the love story that had to happen, which is cute enough as a budding friendship, as a distraction for our hero, the classic little boy running from his ghosts. Gibson is gifted with Enid, who, on the surface, fits him well; while Gibson is lacking, Enid is in excess as a hipster go-getter, first, pulsating with the desire to bait the anti-ex, next, obsessing over her obscure Meiday costume. She is as grating as they come, referring of course to these over-enunciating, manic pixie dream girl types, but is thankfully redeemed to a degree by her realness, even if it is in an eerily similar vein to Zooey Deschanel’s Summer. We see this through her non-overness for her ex, Deacon, her shrugging off of the responsibility to fix Gibson, and her own general brokenness. Despite Enid’s subtle villainization, her characterization is easily more noteworthy than the other single trait-driven supporting characters, which span the taken-for-granted crass friend, the needlessly perverted big sister’s boyfriend, and even, for this viewer, Dawn Zulueta as the closed-off, coping mother. This is all understandable, because it is Gibson’s story after all. Still, it’s important to bear in mind that more texture will always make for better layers. Underneath the middle class twee, however, is a solid narrative space that endeavours to fill up what isn’t there for a person in crisis. Here, Gibson creates all kinds of physical and emotional filters to soften the blows of the real world. His most jarring attempts to assuage his guilt are manifested in the film’s quietest moments, where he shares
himself with his dead twin brother – smoking, jesting, kindling their kinship. Here, he is able to literally expel; here is where he becomes a whole, complex human being. Still, what isn’t there is the dirt that makes things closest to real. What comes at the cost of its ethereal sounds and visuals is that a kind off stiffness pervades all throughout, as if the actors themselves are aware of the inauthenticity of their scenes. And so, I elect to believe that the film’s wordless respites – the electric moments between Gibson and his twin brother – are real, they being one among the few realest moments of the film. I elect to believe that Gibson, despite putting his camera down in the midst of New Year’s fireworks, in the midst of finally reaching out to his mother, is still broken and will still struggle, but is making baby-step dents in his progress to look to what is there.
COCO BEFORE CHANEL Before Coco Chanel was Chanel, arguably the most important figure in the history of 20th-century fashion, Coco was a young woman who struggled with a dark childhood. JESSAN MIRAMON takes us on a look a back at her rags to riches story.
You’ve heard of the story many times: a father abandons his child; child stays in an orphanage for many years. Child begins loathing her father, spends every Sunday of her childhood sitting outside the poorhouse waiting for daddy to come and fetch her. But daddy, loathsome daddy, never shows up. Child then grows up having a very rough adolescence, followed by an even more puzzling adult life. But it’s not until she meets a rich old man where her life starts to change its course and, as Vladimir Nabokov put it, the rest is rust and stardust. This is the story of the woman who, from a dirt-poor orphan in France, transformed into the haute couture revolutionary she is now known today. This is the story of the iconic figure in the fashion world who holds responsible for decades of cutting edge pieces and several classics (e.g., the little black dress and perfume No. 5) before she got to the highest rung on the ladder. This is the story before black suits with collarless jackets, well-fitted skirts, and several strands of white pearls were all the rage, and how she made it all happen. This is the Cinderella story of Coco before she was Chanel.
It begins, as any Cinderella story would, with a flop. The year is 1893, in an orphanage in Obazine where the two sisters, Gabrielle and Adrienne, are dropped off by their father. In this nun-filled home is where the young Gabrielle, all dressed in black, unwillingly and out of boredom learns how to sew— a skill which later shapes her future. The screen cuts to black, and the next it appears we are in Moulins, fifteen years later. The sisters grown into Audrey Tautou and Marie Gillain are in their teens, fresh out of the nuns’ care. Given that the two are penniless, the film then tells us of how they shove their way out of the poverty line, working as seamstresses in the morning and as singers at night. As the story unfolds, we see how willing the sisters, especially Gabrielle, to exploit themselves to some wealthy Parisians. A cabaret scene, Gabrielle comes out of the curtain of the music hall and sings—badly—a song about a lost dog named Coco, which provides the nickname with which she becomes famous. At this instant, she meets the
wealthy playboy in uniform who will become her first lover, Etienne Balsan (Benoit Poelvoorde). We see how, as an adolescent, Chanel whored herself to get into the man’s pants, later his wealth. We see her next living in the man’s palatial home in the outskirts of Paris, where she functions as a “geisha,” as he likes to put it. And while she lives under Balsan’s roofs she meets Arthur “Boy” Capel (Alessandro Nivola), a dark and handsome British polo player who becomes, even for a brief period of time, the love of her life. He walks her around the beach, where Coco shows disgust over the fussiness of women’s fashion wear. She looks at all these women and says as if she were in a pastry shop. Surrounded by beauties whose hats looks like cakes, Chanel is driven to design a trimmer silhouette. She cuts Capel’s clothes down to fit her own slim, flat-chested proportions, and starts
dressing more simply, in spare colors. You know from the very beginning where the story is headed, after all who hasn’t heard of a rags-to-riches story. Coco Before Chanel, directed by Anne Fontaine, then, is just another clichéd Cinderella narrative, but with fashion taking a big part. Perhaps, the only unpredictable part of the story is its obvious message, that the legend got her start sleeping with wealthy old men. Coco’s life then starts to turn around. After a romantic night with Capel, he suggests that they take a two-month rental on a beach house. Coco, who’s never looked so happy, agrees. She walks out of the house and chases after the man who is to go on a one-day business
trip. “Why the wait?” she asks, as she gets inside Capel’s car and smiles at him. “Let’s keep going.” He kisses her and says he will be back on the next day. He promises two months—just the two of them. Capel leaves with Coco longing for the man she loves to get back. Later, her sister brings her the grim news that he has died in a car accident. The movie ends as Chanel’s life as a fashion legend rises steeply. As she mourns for the loss of Capel, she sews clothes and uses other colors than
her favorite black. We see an entire staff behind her while she puts the finishing touches on a dress. She finally takes on the success that she’s been having a yen for so long. Then we see Coco reclining on a staircase—probably the best part of the film—as the beautiful women dressed in signature Coco Chanel creations that would redefine fashion for the century to come receive a standing ovation from the audience. It’s just a sad thing to know that we have to wait two slow hours for those beautiful five minutes.
THE KAPITOL Stache Magazine Online’s resident foodie, KATRINA EUSEBIO, prowls Kapitolio in search of something to delight you, any time of the day. Photographs by CHRISTIENNE BERONA
We’ve all heard about how Maginhawa, Taft, and Fort are food capitals on their own. Now let’s look at how one community emerged to bring diverse flavors and become famous through just word of mouth. In late 2011, Kapitolyo generated a lot of buzz for serving eclectic and unique food finds. This is the home of today’s known food places like Café Juanita and Charlie’s. Even though Kapitolyo is located at the heart of Ortigas and it’s not easily accessible to most commuters, the restaurants are still filled with people at certain times, proving that Filipino foodies will go through any extent just to catch a taste of this place’s delicious secrets.
NAV THAI MODERN CUISINE
There’s no filling retreat than going home to the taste of Thai cuisine, suited for the sweet Filipino taste buds. The restaurant itself is a bit small but it can surprisingly fit around 30 people. It has a quiet and serene environment filled with Buddha cartoon figurines, fortune plants, and large chalkboards where they write their specialties topped off with yellow lighting. Their specialty is the Nav’s Pad Thai (Php280) – it’s like our miki bihon where thin and fat pancit noodles are mixed with vegetables, shrimp and beef cuts. It’s not as spicy as you would expect Thai food to be. Also, one order is big enough to feed 3-4. We also tried their
Bonless Chicken Pandan (Php270), it was a bit dry though and some pieces were hard to chew but the flavor of the chicken made up for everything. Overall their prices are affordable ranging from Php250-400, perfect for an intimate gathering with close friends. Address: United St., Kapitolyo, 1600 Pasig, Philippines Contact No.: (02) 655-8395 Operating Hours: Sunday to Thursday, 11.00am - 11.00pm; Friday to Saturday, 11.00am - 12mn
MILKY AND SUNNY
What better way to start the day than to enjoy fresh eggs, bacon and sandwiches in a cozy and whimsical place? Milky and Sunny is the heartwarming reason you wake up for on a bright, beautiful day. From the outside, youâ€™ll immediately see the quirky interior with aquamarine and white walls covered with colorful paintings and wall decor. The atmosphere is relaxed and upbeat â€“ perfect to give you the good vibes you need to get through the day. They serve a whole lot of breakfast selection, which includes their Big Plate (Php250) (which consists of 3 breakfast meats, egg and bread/ rice) and other rice meals (Bangus, Tapa, etc.) for those who want a full meal. They also have various pancakes, omelettes, and french toasts to choose from, some of which are really sweet like their Choco-hazelnut french toast that really brightened up my day. Their prices range from P100-P250, making it really affordable compared to other breakfast joints. Address: #9 East Capitol Drive, Kapitolyo, Pasig City Contact No.: (02) 654-2049 Operating Hours: Monday to Sunday, 7:00AM10:00PM
After the toil hassle mornings bring to you, nothing will boost your energy than chowing down on insane sandwiches from Mad Mark’s. As one of the fastrising restaurants in Kapitolyo, Mad Mark’s is known for their delicious sandwiches and ice cream selection that will surely keep you full ‘til night! While waiting for the main course, we indulged in a generous serving of their Herb Parmesan Fries (Php160), which were tasty and appetizing. Upon glancing on their menu, you would notice them terming their large servings as “man sandwiches.” And we fully agree! These 10-inch long sandwiches are delicious and filling and would surely give your tummy a run for its money. Lastly, they have a wide array of homemade ice cream with exciting flavors like: Half-baked Madagascar, Chocolate on Chocolate and Salted Sumatra for only around Php70 per scoop. Their food choices range from Php 150Php300 – definitely great value for gastronomic snacks! Address: 23 East Capitol Drive, Kapitolyo, Pasig (Near Ace Water Spa and Unilab) Contact No.: (02) 342-6802 Operating Hours: Monday to Sunday, 11:30AM10:00PM
FASHION ICONS ILLUSTRATION BY DANIELA GO
RACING AGAINST THE WIND Competing for the flag in the one of the world’s biggest triathlon events is a feat in itself. MARIELLE MISULA chronicles how the Philippine National Team skipper Nikko Huelgas prepared to put up a good race, lose to the world-class triathletes, and look forward to his next big event.
It was a late Sunday afternoon. Clouds were filling up the sky, but they were not enough to shower the 2012 International Triathlon Union (ITU) World Championship series with spitting rains. New Zealand was in the middle of a long weekend. The streets were filled up with course lane marks, steel-fenced sidewalks, packs of volunteers in red T- shirts promoting the event in the streets and controlling the pedestrian lanes, and inflatables of sponsors like Dextrol, Samsung, and Barfoot&Thompson. People were starting to fill the bleachers with different flags of competing countries outlining the grandstand. The air was thick with anticipation and excitement. The spectators’ cheers for their bets in the 23 and under Elite Men’s Competition reverberated through the bitingly cold wind gusts. As the 64 finalists started coming out of the lounge connected to the transition area, I saw an overseas Filipino
family getting psyched up to see one of the competing triathletes who used to be their neighbor back in Las Piñas. “Clap your hands when he already sprints through the carpet,” the mom excitingly reminded her son in Filipino as the announcer called out the 55th triathlete. I heard a faint cheer from a small pack of Filipinos watching from the steel-fenced sidelines not long after. They were sticking out their hands to touch palms with a 5”6’ Filipino mestizo who came running through a bluecarpeted pavement leading to the swim start area of Queens Wharf. It was not hard to spot the Philippine National Team captain Nikko Huelgas in a sea of triathletes donning black full wetsuits. He stood out with his sea blue wetsuit as he and other triathletes started plunging into the water and swim two laps of 750 meters. He was the one of the last five triathletes who surfaced on the water after almost 20 minutes. He sprinted back
to the transition area where the carbonfiber bicycles were already stationed, prepared to carry their respective owners through eight laps of 400 kilometers all under a fair weather of 15°C. Huelgas started to hit the streets at least one minute after the lead group and some chase groups had created a gap between them and him. According to the Triathlon Association of the Philippines (TRAP) Secretary-General Mon Marchan, triathletes competing in the Elite category are allowed to draft in the bike. Drafting means they can stay with a group of at least three triathletes. “If you are in a draft, you are saving about 30 percent of your energy since the streamlining has depleted. It’s very, very essential to stick to a strong cycling group so you have to finish strong in the swimming portion,” Marchan further explained. Seeing Huelgas continue cycling for at least three more laps without a group was definitely not
There will come a time during the whole race when you were thinking of quitting or slowing down. But you have to keep going.
good news. But, after six bike laps have elapsed; some Filipinos started noticing that the lone triathlete wearing a tri-suit with Philippine flag colors was already out of their sight. The race was still on and people were cheering for top dogs like Australia’s Aaron Royle who eventually finished the race in one hour, 57 minutes, 17 seconds and won the competition. The team scoured the Queens Wharf to look for Huelgas right after the race. “It was a bad race. It happens,” they admitted in Filipino. After a few moments, they saw Huelgas sitting down in a steel chair in the recovery area room. It was enough confirmation: he got lapped in the sixth bike lap and could not proceed to the last portion of the race. In triathlon parlance, bike overlapping means the leading cyclist has overtaken the trailing cyclist from the previous lap, booting the latter out of the competition in effect. “I tried fighting it. There will come a time during the whole race when you were thinking of quitting or slowing down. But you have to keep going. I tried to pull on the pain for a very long time thinking that you know, something good might happen,” the 21-year old Marketing major explained two days after the race.
Huelgas added, “No matter what happens, I think we will still get lapped even if we train for two more months. We really need one whole year for training. You have to be realistic of what you can do and what you can give.” His first full-time training with the national team started last May 2012, when TRAP set up a training camp in Imus, Cavite with 2007 Southeast Asian Games silver medalist George Vilog. A month before the training, he finished seventh in the Asian Triathlon Championships, another ITU-sanctioned event, in Tateyama, Japan. He clocked in one hour, 48 minutes, and 54 seconds. The training camp helped him improve his swim results. From his 21 minutes during the race in Chengdu, China, he clocked in 19 minutes, 36 seconds in the event. However, it wasn’t enough to fulfill the team’s second main goal in the World Championship Series –not get overlapped during the cycling race. 2011 Beijing World Championships saw Huelgas’ first overlap in cycling when the marshalls get him off the course in his last lap when the lead group was nearing the transition area to start the running portion. The coaching team admitted, “We can’t break in the top 5. Nikko has just been in triathlon for three years, as
compared to those who have training for at least five years. We still need four years to achieve good results. ” Marchan explained in Filipino, “We were not surprised with the result because the event is high-leveled. The athletes here are in the Olympic level.” He also added that Huelgas would graduate next year so he can have more time to concentrate more on triathlon and become a full-time triathlete. As of this writing, Huelgas has already started his one-month training with renowned Australian triathlete and coach Dan Atkins in Brisbane. He will fly back to the Philippines to compete in the 2012 Century Tuna Subic Bay ASTC Duathlon Championships, a world qualifier for the 2013 World Duathlon Championships, on November 25. According to TRAP, this is one of the long-term plans the organization lays out for Nikko’s campaign in the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. “You should work out on your mistakes and you should learn. After this race, that’s how it works here. Just keep going and you’ll be there. You’ll be a world-class athlete someday,” Huelgas concludes.
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FASHION ICONS ILLUSTRATION BY DANIELA GO
MUSIC ALBUM REVIEWS
GOSSAMER Of candy-coated pain and manic polarities: take a look at Michael Angelakosâ€™ war with himself in the form of a troubled record. By ALFONSO MIGUEL BASSIG
MUSIC ALBUM REVIEWS
Listen to it once, and you would hear odes to bliss. Give it another round, and you would find yourself in deep intrapersonal therapy. Gossamer, Passion Pit’s second full-length release, tends to give its listeners a false first impression with its outer shell of glossy electropop beats, and not to mention its title—which in the literal sense pertains to something light and delicate, and thematically, the tracks are nowhere near that. In a Pitchfork cover story published earlier this year, Michael Angelakos, front man of the Bostonbased band admitted that he has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder since the age of 18. Delving on themes such as alcoholism, mental breakdown, and suicide; there is no dispute that his distress heavily affected the record’s gestation period. We find ourselves part of Angelakos’ race with himself, and to listen is what he wants us to do. And the race is preempted by a gunshot, but sadly a faint one. Lyrically, Take a Walk feels misplaced. It doesn’t do much of a good job as a prelude of what the album has got in store as it revolved too much on economical matters. It does, however, give the listener a dose of Gossamer’s entirety in a way that it displays Passion Pit’s ability to juxtapose melancholia with pop, and produce earworm out of it. With banging drums, chattering riffs, and scattered pauses; a seizure of an intro generates a certain
hype that lasts throughout the second track I’ll Be Alright whilst beautifully contrasting Angelakos’ apologetic tone. Let the first track take a walk (pun intended)—this would have been a better opener for the album. Gossamer isn’t a record you would dance to at a party, but rather something that will get you through after everyone’s done boogie-ing and gone home, and you’re left alone in the bar with a bad hangover. And that seemingly is the milieu for most of Angelakos’ songwriting—drunk and fluid—as heavily exemplified in R&B curveball Constant Conversations. Here, Angelakos croons a shun-the-world tune under the bass, claps, and perfectly-rendered false intervals. The irony of it all is although he may come off as strong; the lyrics undeniably show how dependent to his lady he has grown. “Now you’re standing in the kitchen, and you’re pouring out my drink / Well there’s a very obvious difference, and it’s that one of us can think.” Constant Conversations is one hell of an emotional mess, but nevertheless, the album’s standout track. It’s one of Angelakos’ intricate love letters to his fiancée Kristina, and somehow the songs become roomier when he taps into that place with her name on it. Just listen to On My Way and drool on how he ‘went church’ on this marry-me-despite-theshit track by adorning it with lustrous chimes and orchestral synths. “I’ll buy a
ring and then we’ll consecrate this messy love,” he bluntly offers, probably down on one knee—a proposal as beautiful as it is heartbreaking. After the course of eight songs, the world seemingly stops for 33 seconds for Two Veils to Hide My Face, a prayerful interlude of that Passion Pit-esque harmony, minus the usual electronic backdrop. Nearing the end of the record, this pause merely tells us to hold our horses for the climax—a triad-track finale wherein Angelakos’ surefire honesty is pushed to the forefront, done with striking execution. There may be lapses here and there—namely that mislaid first track and momentum-blockers Mirrored Sea and Hideaway—but in the long run, Angelakos clearly outdid himself on this record. Its blueprint is a clutter, yes, but one just cannot brand Gossamer as a sophomore slump. It was a sheer display of bravery to illustrate such a personal war and actually let the whole world be a spectator. The album-ender, Where We Belong, ended the barrage of troubled poetry on a happy note. But we all know that this could only be a part of Angelakos’ tendency to sugarcoat heartache. Who won the battle between him and his demons?—that, unless we are Michael himself, we have no access to. We are left with a heavy inconclusive wondering of where he currently is exactly in life—just the perfect cliffhanger for the third record.
MUSIC ALBUM REVIEWS
FADE IN, FADE OUT After producing a hell of a debut record, The xx soared into unprecedented heights. Now, a few years and many acclaims later, SARAH BUENDIA talks about the bandâ€™s sophomore album.
MUSIC ALBUM REVIEWS
What I do like about The xx’s follow-up to the ever-loved, ever-endearing, eversoothing first record is that it stays within the character which we have fallen in love and tears with the first time we heard their single ‘Stars’ in 2009. ‘Coexist’ has once again brought us to that familiar desire for moments of silence, with or without the company of the subjects of our utmost affection, where everything seems to be full of promise, even when it might as well be entirely hopeless. This seems to have been the group’s specialty—a combination of a mastery of both displaying and evoking sadness in a strangely comforting way. The band has done this with a signature style that categorizes as simple and polished, as heard through the much-raved ‘VCR,’ ‘Basic Space,’ and ‘Stars,’ as with Coexist’s ‘Angels’ which opens the new 11-track album. So if we have learned to count on them through the thick and the thin (but mostly the thin) parts of our lives, then it is enough to want to listen to Coexist just as much. However, what I do not like about it overrides this reason perhaps more than I would personally like to admit. Despite The xx’s poetic and technical expertise, their attempt to render its good intentions fall short in its inability to penetrate its listeners’ longing for a certain factor that would give them enough motivation to pursue what is unknowable in this forsaken quest for love that might not be love, but which can be. And if that is too much to ask for
a piece of music, it really isn’t. To put it in less metaphorical terms, Coexist could at most points (and altogether) be tiring to listen to because it requires a level of intimacy that could be very difficult to get into for someone who expects to have a brave companion in the rollercoaster waves of life. While it sticks within the compounds of comfort, it does not recognize the possibility of things other than which it is, forcing their listeners to stay there rather than to transcend its boundaries. In the simplest terms, Coexist turned out to be a bit bland and boring. ‘Angels,’ though, was a promising first listen. Upon hitting the first notes, we are again taken into the world The xx has welcomed us into: a world where love, love, love, could to be enough if only we could figure out the right way to do it. The very utterance of the words would make us cringe at the expression of both the willingness and frustration to succumb to its power. But it more or less stops there. And although ‘Chained’ and ‘Reunion’ give us similar hints, the album could, as a whole, put one in a haze where everything looks as if there is not much to look forward to any more for the rest of the album. The songs become indistinct from one another, making The xx’s signature barely-there songs barely-even-really-there. Perhaps, I am giving Coexist less recognition than it deserves for having been able to come up with a smooth, highlystylized 11-track that is filled with right-
in-the-feels lyrics and electronic postproduction that seemed to have been fun to create. While I think that these things put together were smart decisions, what I looked for, perhaps, was a kind of cleverness that I yearn for in a band such as The xx, which I have trusted enough to offer me songs that would open more doors in their already beautiful world. Putting all these aside, Coexist still deserves a listen. I am not sure if it would translate well to others as little as it did to me, but if it did, I am hoping that with some persistence, it would prove me wrong by telling me that it has more to offer other than a sense of intimacy that could mostly just be a little confining.
MUSIC NEWS AND CURRENT EVENTS
Find out the latest news in the music scene straight from JAM 88.3’s DJ LAMBERT CRUZ 1. Led Zeppelin fans still no fill. You can keep being a fool in the rain but a Led Zeppelin tour is still all guesswork that spurred from Celebration Day and embraced by heart of the hopefuls that the legendary rock band will set the stage on flames again. It may seem bleak, but no final word from Robert Plant that it will never happen. For now, you can “Hey hey mama” along and live the moment with the release of the filmed 2007 concert, as the spread on DVDs, digital downloads and vinyl will start by November 19. Click here to watch a preview. Don’t lose hope. A night of Jimmy Page’s killer riffs and Robert Plant’s shrieking voice live on the stage simulcasting on different concert venues all over the world isn’t impossible, you know. 2. Who is Willy Moon? After watching his video for ‘I Wanna Be Your Man’, you’d ask yourself why he isn’t super famous yet. He’s getting there quickly. His sound and semi controlled yet sassy smooth moves on Bo Diddley beats will get you searching more about this ambitious 21 year old who will be touring with Jack White on the first week of November. A new video for his track ‘Yeah Yeah’ will be coming out soon, same song which was recently used in the global ad campaign for the launch of Apple’s new iPod. 3. Ben Gibbard’s solo album ‘Former Lives’ streamed online
Weeks before the solo album’s target official release, (November 12) Death Cab frontman made his tracks available for streaming in full. Former Lives as described by him through an NME.com interview, “These songs span eight years, three relationships, living in two different places, drinking then not drinking,” he says of the album. “They’re a side story, not a new chapter.” The album is now available, but you should give it a listen before you buy. 4. Gary Clark Jr.’s Blak And Blue is finally out Now why would you care about his new album if you haven’t heard of him? Let the music speak for you. Listen to ‘Bright Lights’, a track from an earlier EP, then be the judge. Was it the guitars being on fucking fire and a whole lotta attitude lyrics sung by his seemingly effortless voice yet perfectly expressing the feelings of the song and turning you into a different person after listening to it? Same track was recently used in the Esquire video of ‘Mila Kunis is the Sexiest Woman Alive’. “An old school bluesman for hipsters” as dubbed by theglobeandmail.com’s Brad Wheeler, Gary Clark Jr.’s soul and slow funk style is sky-rocketing him off the charts. Now put your stalking skills to the test, Blak and Blue is available on vinyl. 5. James Franco has a band? If he isn’t smoking the dopest dope he has ever smoked (the one that smells like god’s
vagina) or if he isn’t busy taking his shirt off and jumping on the bed with the wise wizard (the playful secret), James Franco is making music with a former classmate, musician Tim O’Keefe. They go under the moniker ‘Daddy’ who just released a Motown flavored EP called ‘MotorCity’. Meeting Smokey Robinson on a plane and asking him to sing in a track ‘Crime’ and using his skills on their video of ‘Love In The Old Days’, this duo has already set a direction and has got something to prove after mentioning that they are working on an album, despite him juggling everything else. Now bring out that “apex of the vortex of joint engineering!” 6. Adele and Skyfall To celebrate the 50th anniversary of James Bond, Adele’s Skyfall was premiered on her official site www.adele.tv and marking the 5th of October as the Global James Bond day. The track debuted at No. 8 on the Billboard Hot 100, already sold 460,000 downloads and counting, currently enjoying the Greatest Gainer honors on Adult Pop Songs from 32 to 21 and has Willow Smith doing her version of the chorus. If the track continues to go up the charts when the movie hits the cinemas this November, it would just be the second great news for Adele after she recently just welcomed a son.
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FASHION FASHION THROUGH THE AGES
FASHION THROUGH THE AGES
Time has had a big role in shaping the landscape of fashion and style as we know it. Let MAE VIGNETTE PASCUAL you through the journey of fashion through the ages. Illustration by JESSAN MIRAMON
By the start of the 20th century, fashion was slowly departing from the Victorian-style outfits that preceeded the era and was slowly changing as the landscape withing that time. Clothing in the early 1900s still bore tight-fitted outfits, highlighting the corsetted torso. As the decade moved on, more columnar and straight cuts became the trend, accompanied by tall and stiff collars and broad hats.
FASHION FASHION THROUGH THE AGES
The decade saw the return of the normal waistline, belted to show the womanâ€™s curve and figure, as well as the longer hemline in skirts and dresses. Pieces were made to hug the body as well as ripple with its movements. Feminine curves were the highlight and the innovation came with the use of more lightweight and elegant fabrics such as crepe and satin.
FASHION FASHION THROUGH THE AGES
The ensemble was the greatest highlight of the time with the introduction of matching coats with dresses and skirts. The signature s ilhouette was the elegant femme with pointed bust, small waist, rounded shoulder line, and below-mid-calf and full-length skirts. This feminine look was highly prized and accentuated with elegant pearls and gloves. Tailored suits for ladies also became popular with fitted jackets paired with narrow pencil skirts.
FASHION FASHION THROUGH THE AGES
Unfitted styles became en vouge in the decade, with the A-line dress gaining popularity and acceptance in the masses. Dresses were made either straight and unfitted, or in a princess-cut with an A-line style. Suits also remained and offered a variety of chocies and styles to choose from such as braided-collared cardigan types, lightly-fitted jackets, and shorter skirts.
FASHION FASHION THROUGH THE AGES
Diversity was the main characteristic of the fashion in the 60s which reflected the changing of the social landscape. Different trend were cropping up throughout the period, starting with elegant suits of box-cut jackets and simple geometric dresses which then evolved into a more radical fashion. Mini skirts became the norm accompanied by trouser suits, go-go boots, and box shaped dresses which were cut above the knee. This â€œModâ€? look became famous and was the standard of fashion. Velvet mini-dresses, micro-minis, and skimpy baby-doll dresses worn with patterned tights ruled much of the latter part of the decade.
FASHION FASHION THROUGH THE AGES
The 70s began with a continuation of the trends in the 60s but soon introduced its own unique innovations in the fashion industry. From the “minis” of the 60s, the 70s introduced the “midis” or the mid-length and “maxis” or the ankle-length skirts. Tightfitting shorts as well as flare-bottom trousers which were tight at the top became fad. The jersey-wrap dress dominated as it flattered all shapes and sizes and could be worn in any setting, formal or fun. Clothing became unstructures and fluid during the time.
FASHION FASHION THROUGH THE AGES
Much tamer as compared to the looks of the decade before it, the 90s saw the popularity of laid-back and more comfortable styles, influenced by the grunge groups of the music scene. Denim was standard as the vogue then was button-down denim shirts as well as matching denim jeans and jackets. Neon colors, oversized shirts and sweaters, black leather jackets, and colored tights also became popular.
FASHION FASHION THROUGH THE AGES
The start of the 21st century saw a resurgence and revival of the different styles of the 1900s. Dressy and more feminine styles were reintroduced. Ethnic and multicultural influences in fashion were seen with the popularity of harem pants, silk sashes, and ethnic prints. The early 200s saw a pastiche of various trends and a coming of even more radical things to come in fashion.
THE ART OF YAYOI KUSAMA The legendary Japanese artist is one of modern art’s greatest treasure, and whose style is one of the most iconic. But as ECKS ABITONA finds out, it takes more than talent to shape one’s life as a great artist. Photos from their respective owners
I wanted to start a revolution, using art to build the sort of society I myself envisioned.
A garish red wig, a blue-polka dotted wheelchair, and an eccentric mind are only some of the Japan’s Yayoi Kusama’s idiosyncrasies. The 83-year old painter, sculptor, filmmaker, performer, and “notably provocative artist” is making trouble again after 40 years of exile. Born March 1929 in Matsumoto, Japan, she suffers from “rijinsho” or depersonalization syndrome as a consequence of having a rough childhood. Coming from a wealthy and strict family, she was said to have suffered beating from her mother in her youth. “When I think of my life in Kyoto,” she quoted, “I feel like vomiting.” Kusama has experienced hallucinations and compulsive thoughts since childhood, often of a suicidal sort. Early in the artist’s career, she began covering surfaces (walls, floors and canvases) with the polka dots that would become the trademark of her work, which she started doing around the age of ten. The cosmic fields of polka dots, or “infinity nets,” as she called them, were alluded to her hallucination. Kusama’s initial works have a troubling strength and absorption. She painted desolated landscapes, knotty things like tree roots or guts, decomposing sunflowers in a field, dizzying webs of line and globular cells that might be distant planets. Kusama shares some attributes of feminism, minimalism, surrealism, Art Brut, pop, and abstract expressionism but she describes herself as an obsessive artist in her craft. Her artwork is instilled with autobiographical, psychological and sexual content, and includes paintings, performance art and installation. By the age of 27, she left her native country of Japan for New York City to continue her series of Mirror or
Infinity rooms. In these complex installations, purpose-built rooms lined with mirrored glass contain scores of neon-colored balls, hanging at various heights above the viewer. Standing inside on a small platform, light is repeatedly reflected off the mirrored surfaces to create the illusion of a never-ending space. She has returned to this form many times, becoming more baroque as technology and money have allowed. During her time in the U.S., she embraced the rise of hippie culture and quickly established her reputation as a leader in the avant-garde movement. She organized bizarre activities in prominent spots like Central Park and Brooklyn Bridge often involving nudity that was designed to protest against the Vietnam War and at one point breaking into the garden of the Museum of Modern Art to perform a happening with several naked assistants. These were enormously productive and counted artists Joseph Cornell, Eva Hesse and Donald Judd as her friends and supporters. Kusama also exhibited some of her works with Andy Warhol, Claes Oldenburg, and other distinguished avant-garde artists throughout the 1960s but these did not monetarily profit her work. By the time Kusama left New York in 1973, broke, depressed, and facing a media backlash—she was arguably more famous than Andy Warhol. Returning to Japan, she was briefly forgotten by the art world she had left behind, though her work was undoubtedly influenced, in small ways, both Warhol and Louise Bourgeois. Despite the sudden transformation in the art world and the changing times, she still continued working and began writing surrealistic novels, short stories, and poetry. Later on, she checked herself in a mental hospital by choice, which
then became a permanent residence. But whatever you make of her refuge into a psych ward, her mantra was always “selfobliteration”—to lose herself in her work and to save herself. “I fight pain, anxiety, and fear every day, and the only method I have found that relieves my illness is to keep creating art,” she wrote in her autobiography. Kusama calls her work “art-medicine”—for both herself and the people. “I wanted to start a revolution, using art to build the sort of society I myself envisioned.” She then regained success when she, the first woman to represent Japan, participated in the 45th Venice Biennale in 1993. She created a dazzling mirrored room filled with small pumpkin sculptures in which she was in color-coordinated magician’s attire – Kusama went on to produce a enormous, yellow pumpkin sculpture covered with an ocular pattern of black spots. The pumpkin came to represent for her a kind of alter ego or self-portrait. Throughout the years, a major reflective of Kusama’s works, which opened at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, traveled to the Museum of Modern Art, New York, the Walker Art Center and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo and earned her several awards giving her a new heightened recognition in the international art world and making her the bestselling living female artist. Aside from paintings and performance arts, fashion has always attracted the virtuoso. In the late 60s, Kusama dived into the fashion world, where she established Kusama Fashion Ltd., and began selling avant-garde fashion at Bloomingdales and several other associations with fashion houses.
What I would like to put across through all of my art is, I suppose, questions of what human life is, what humans are about, what the earth is about, what the universe is about. And the single message is, really, “love forever”.
Released last July, a collection issued from the collaboration between Yayoi Kusama and Marc Jacobs will interpret the most emblematic artworks of the dot-obsessed artist. Louis Vuitton pays tribute to the remarkable artist for whom Marc Jacobs, Artistic Director of the House, has great admiration. “The obsessive character and the innocence of her artwork touch me. She succeeds in sharing her vision of the world with us,” said Jacobs who visited her studio in 2006. The commencing points for the collaboration were “obsession” and “seriality.” Repetitive patterns are all over the luxury goods of leather ready-to-wear shoes, accessories, bags, watches, and
other jewelry. As if creating equilibrium, this hallucinatory proliferation also spread in the Louis Vuitton windows worldwide named with biomorphicshaped nerved sculptures named as “BEGINNING OF THE UNIVERSE,” and flowers titled as “ETERNAL BLOOMING FLOWERS IN MY MIND.” Louis Vuitton has always preserved a close connection with the world of art and this by far is their most celebrated and prosperous art-union. The most noticeable difference between Kusama and other artists is that she has always showed a high degree of sense, skill, and flair; her work, rather than being stuck in a monotonous track, has grown and transformed through her
entire career. There is always a sense of variation, of shifts in methods, scale, and substance but the same intensity pulses through them all. “I’ve been active in many different spheres of the arts, whether it be writing novels, creating fashion or pure art by itself. What I would like to put across through all of my art is, I suppose, questions of what human life is, what humans are about, what the earth is about, what the universe is about. And the single message is, really, “love forever”.”
FASHION MODELS AND TATTOOS
by ELLIE CENTENO and ECKS ABITONA A model’s body’s norm is served as a blank canvas, but not all models keep it as bare as many thought. Dozens of top models have tattoos only to be covered by either concealer or Photoshop. Tattoos show spirit and style. The right choice of color, structure, and placement are vital to put together a nicely finished look. This permanent embellishment was known to be the exclusive identifier of the Suicide Girls but now, it’s finally made its way into the tremendous world of fashion and specifically, the runways. Tattooed models suddenly became conventional from being a taboo in the catwalk and in editorials. Butterflies, favorite quotes, abstract ornamentations and other designs; the tattoos have been revolutionized from being just an accessory and reconquering its old value as decoration and its purpose as identification and expression. It turns out fashion and tattoos have something in common after all.
FASHION STYLE GUIDE
UKAY FINDS AND TIPS
Fashion enthusiasts COCO MACEREN and ECKS ABITONA takes us through they joys of thrifting. Photographed by BEA FERNANDEZ.
In the fashion industry, trying your best to stand out and find a one-of- a-kind piece is hard and almost impossible. Due to many having access to your favorite shops, it is as if you’re doomed to see someone in school or the train ride home wearing the same Topshop sweater or Zara skirt. The famed ukay-ukay (or thrift shop) has the answer to most of your fashion woes. There are numerous thrift shops around the metro and we’re quite sure that in every city, there’s bound to be one that’s going to be your favorite. And to those who still have absolutely no clue as to what an ukay-ukay is—it is a shop that sells second hand clothes from various places around the globe. Thrift shops or ukay-ukays are not for everyone especially if you prefer having brand new clothes instead but the luck of finding unique
and out-of-this world pieces will be 100 percent guaranteed. One of our favorite ukay stores would have to be the one in Anonas. It’s a building with 4-floors of pure cheap bliss. The first to fourth floor gives you shops full of clothes, shoes and bags for both men and women. As you go up each floor, the prices change and so do the shops. You’ll find shops that just sell furniture and toys and well that we believe is one of the best shops there for it provides everything you can think of— from old Chinese figurines to vintage sunglasses to toys you used to have when you were a child. The third floor, however, is filled with shops that are luxurious because they only sell “branded” clothes. Price ranges of clothes vary from Php 25.00 – Php 150.00. Usually,
when the store is on sale, they give away their clothes for 3 pieces for Php 100.00 or if you’re really lucky, its Php 5.00 apiece. Jackets usually cost more because, since most of the clothes come from other countries, particularly HongKong, its thicker and made for a winter season. It’d usually cost you around Php 450.00 – Php 800.00 Bags and shoes are more expensive than the clothes with the price range of Php 350.00 – Php 850.00. Accessories, like that of the sunglasses can be from Php 50.00 – Php 250.00. The prices of the clothes really depend on its quality and the cloth that was used. Make sure to check all ‘angles’ of it because you wouldn’t want to be caught dead wearing an item with a stain in it wouldn’t you? With a budget of Php 500.00, we acquired 5 maxi skirts—some of
FASHION STYLE GUIDE
FASHION STYLE GUIDE
which are similar to what the retail shops these days are selling nowadays like that of the white chiffon maxi skirt and the gray maxi skirt. Aside from that, we scored 2 bustiers, 2 sweaters, 2 maxi dresses and 3 printed polos. Being students living on a tight budget, it became a practice from being just a hobby having learned that not only do ukays provide unique pieces, it also provides a chance for students like us to save. Just remember though that the ukays do not carry all sizes for the piece of clothing you want. Think of the experience as a hunting game. You’d have to go through all the racks of clothing. Be patient and make sure to have your antihistamine with you. Most of the clothes and its location are kind of dusty, so after purchasing, make sure to have it cleaned. Dress down too when shopping at an ukay store, it is better to be safe than sorry. But the greatest advice we can give you is that to have fun. Don’t demand clothes, don’t get disappointed and don’t give up while searching. Trust us, you’re bound to find something that you’ll fall in love with for a really cheap price amongst those racks and boxes of old clothes.
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FASHION TOP 10 VICTORIA’S SECRET MODELS
10. CANDICE SWANEPOEL She is blonde and blue eyed and golden skinned; what’s not to love? She was first discovered at a flea market in Durban, South Africa when she was fifteen-years-old. By the time she was sixteen she was earning €5,000 a day. She has since then been on the covers of such magazines as Vogue, ELLE, GQ, Harper’s Bazaar, among others and has walked on the runways of some of fashion industry’s biggest names, among them are Dolce & Gabbana, Chanel, Diane von Fürstenberg, Givenchy, Jean Paul Gaultier. True, Candice’s career jumpstarted when she joined Victoria’s Secret’s roster of models, and then subsequently as an Angel; but she has soared beyond that mark and has become one of the world’s most coveted models in present day. Ethnicity: South African Height: 5’ 9” Hair color: Blonde Eye color: Blue Measurements: (US) 33-23-34.5; (EU) 84-59-88 Angel Status: 2009 - present
9. IZABEL GOULART Izabel Goulart is Brazilian, and as though that is not enough, she is also of Italian descent. When she was a kid her skinny frame and statuesque height had put her in an uncomfortable pedestal; she was made fun of of her contemporaries and was called names such as “giraffe.” Shopping for groceries with her mother when she was fourteen-years-old, a hairstylist suggested that she become a model. She then moved to São Paulo to pursue her modeling career. Her classic, elegant beauty earned her modeling contracts with A-list designers such as Balenciaga, Oscar de la Renta, Valentino, Chanel, Michael Kors, Ralph Lauren, and Stella McCartney. She first walked for Victoria’s Secret in the 2005 show. Later that year she was contracted as a Victoria’s Secret Angel. Ethnicity: Brazilian Height: 5’ 9.5” Hair color: Brown Eye color: Brown Measurements: (US) 33-24-35, (EU) 85-61-88 Angel Status: 2005 - 2008
FASHION TOP 10 VICTORIA’S SECRET MODELS
8. STEPHANIE SEYMOUR Among Stephanie Seymour experiences in her resume are being on numerous issues of Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue, gracing a cover of Vogue magazine, posing for Playboy, and modeling for the then-fresh lingerie company, Victoria’s Secret, among others. Stephanie Seymour was a regular catwalk woman during her prime, having modeled for big names in the fashion industry anywhere from Europe to the United States. The peak of her career was in 1994 when she became a part of exceptional photo shoots for Egoiste Chanel and Versace jeans. She was one of the most famous and coveted models in her age, and one of the most famous names in the industry to this day. Ethnicity: American Height: 5’ 10” Hair color: Light Brown Eye color: Blue-Green Measurements: (US) 33-23-33; (EU) 85-58-85 Angel Status: 1997 - 2000
7. ALESSANDRA AMBROSIO Alessandra Ambrosio is easily one of the most beautiful women not only in the fashion industry but in all of the western hemisphere. Her career began when she entered Elite Modeling Agency’s “Look of the Year” competition. She did not win the title, but a year later the agency offered her a professional contract. It was in 2001 when she first walked for Victoria Secret, which will become a longstanding relationship. Alessandra is one of the brand’s most famous faces, and was chosen as the first spokesperson for its PINK line. Ethnicity: Brazilian Height: 5’ 9.5” Hair color: Brown Eye color: Brown Measurements: (US) 34B-25-34; (EU) 86-64-87 Angel Status: 2004 - present
FASHION TOP 10 VICTORIA’S SECRET MODELS
6. DOUTZEN KROES The reason why Doutzen Kroes made it in the list is because unlike many of her compatriots she is not Brazilian or Belgian or Russian and does not have a conventional beauty and not stick-thin and has an overall impressive resume to back up her modeling career. In 2005 Vogue.com’s readers gave her the title “Model of the Year,” and in 2007 she graced the cover of the same magazine, along with other big names in the fashion industry such as Jessica Stam, Caroline Trentini, Chanel Iman, Agyness Deyn, with the label “World’s Next Top Model.” The Dutch model has been on the cover of Time, Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, Seventeen, Elle, Marie Claire, Glamour, W, Avantgarde, Dazed & Confused, and Numéro. She has also been part of campaigns of the fashion industry’s famous brands. Ethnicity: Dutch Height: 5’ 10” Hair color: Blonde Eye color: Blue Measurements: (US) 34-24.5-34.75; (EU) 86-62-88 Angel Status: 2008 - present
5. HEIDI KLUM Heidi is a regular model for Victoria’s Secret in 1997, Sports Illustrated in 1998, and became a Victoria’s Secret Angel in 1999. She, along with Tyra Banks, Helena Christensen, and Stephanie Seymour, are the brand’s original muses and first top models. She may not be the brand’s most successful model, but she is one of the most iconic. The amalgam of her German blood and curvy body and personality makes her the quintessential Victoria’s Secret Angel. Ethnicity: German Height: 5’ 9.5” Hair color: Blonde Eye color: Hazel Measurements: (US) 35-24-34 Angel Status: 1999 - 2000
FASHION TOP 10 VICTORIA’S SECRET MODELS
4. KAROLINA KURKOVA Anna Wintour called her “the next supermodel.” If that compliment is not enough to convince you, perhaps her print campaigns for Valentino, Louis Vuitton, John Galliano, Chanel, Christian Dior, Hugo Boss, Versace, H&M, or runway credits with Alexander McQueen, Balenciaga, Carolina Herrera, Chanel, Christian Dior, Dolce & Gabbana, Karl Lagerfeld, Louis Vuitton, and Vera Wang would. Karolina’s career as a model started particularly early and particularly easy: after rising to fame as a world-renowned model in her homeland, Czech Republic, she then went on an appeared in numerous Vogue covers across Europe, then in American Vogue in 2001. Shortly after, she appeared at a Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show at Cannes November that year. She was only eighteen-years-old then but was catapulted into the same status a Gisele Bundchen andd Heidi Klum. “The proportions of her body and her face, as well as her energy level, make her a model who could fit almost into any moment.” Renowned photographer Mario Testino said of her. Ethnicity: Czech Height: 5’ 11” Hair color: Blonde Eye color: Green Measurements: (US) 33-24.5–34; (EU) 84-62-86 Angel Status: 2005 - 2008
3. TYRA BANKS Tyra Banks could not have existed without Victoria’s Secret, and Victoria’s Secret could not have been the brand that it is today without Tyra Banks. Never you mind the fact that she is not by a long stretch a great model. Sure she has modeled for some big names in the fashion industry during her prime, but to be a good model in the industry it that is something very fundamental, very basic. In an age where models were expected to be merely walking hangers for clothes, she brought something new to the table; she had fun on the runway and brought personality in her walk and expressions on her face. And Victoria’s Secret liked that of her. In fact, the brand loved her so much never once was she asked to lose weight, even when her body and the industry cried for it. Tyra Banks ranks third on this list because of her beautiful green eyes, voluptuous body, fun personality, and legendary status as the Victoria’s Secret Angel. Ethnicity: American Height: 5’ 10” Hair color: Brown Eye color: Green Measurements: 36C-24-36 Angel Status: 1997 - 2005
2. GISELE BUNDCHEN Not only is Gisele Bundchen the world’s most coveted supermodel, she is also the world’s highest paid—for many years now—and the most successful. No model alive can reach what Gisele has: not Naomi Campbell, not Coco Rocha (yet), not Bar Rafaeli, maybe Kate Moss—and even then she still has a lot of catching up to do, and she’s running out of time. “If Brazil has become ground zero for new model talent, Gisele Bundchen is its first lady. Everything about her is perfect, symmetrically and otherwise,” says AskMen of Gisele. “[She] is like a breath of fresh air for anyone who’s grown tired of that drawn, emaciated look. On the contrary, Gisele’s figure is wholly feminine: shapely and proportional, not tomboyish.” Ethnicity: Brazilian Height: 5’ 11” Hair color: Light Brown Eye color: Blue Measurements: (US) 35-23-35.5 (EU) 89-59-89 Angel Status: 2000 - 20007
1. ADRIANA LIMA Brazilian bombshell Adriana Lima takes the top spot on the list for many reasons. First of all, her modeling career, which started at fifteen when she won Ford Models’ “Supermodel of Brazil” and placed second in “Supermodel of the World” contest, has been going nowhere but up. Her first modeling stint for Anna Sui in 1997 heralded her prosperous career; she has been part of notablenames in the fashion industry (Givenchy, Mavi, Guess, Maybelline, Louis Vuitton, Vera Wang, Valentino) and out (Doritos). Second of all, her piercing beauty and voluptuous body made her part of the top earning models alongside the likes of Gisele Bundchen and Marissa Miller. Third of all, her personality, charisma, and sex appeal reflect exactly what Victoria’s Secret as a brand is all about. Ethnicity: Brazilian Height: 5’ 10” Hair color: Brown Eye color: Blue Measurements: (US) 34-24-35); (EU) 86-61-89 Angel Status: 2000 - present
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BAND OF BROTHERS BY GRACE DE LUNA THIS SSHH BE MINE BY JELITO DE LEON
NIRGENDWO 2012-2013 BY CIARA-ANGELA ENGELHARDT 2 BY CRU CAMARA HOTELLE BY DOROTA SZAFRAŃSKA AND KRZYSZTOF KOWALSKI
Photographed by Grace de Luna
NIRGENDWO 2012-2013 COLLECTION BY JU MU-MONSTER PHOTOGRAPHED BY CIARA-ANGELA ENGELHARDT
HOTELLE MODEL: OLA CHRABOŁ/NEW AGE MODELS PHOTOGRAPHY: DOROTA SZAFRAŃSKA AND KRZYSZTOF KOWALSKI MUA: KARINA STRZELECKA-GRENIUK
jacket -ZARA shorts - H&M top - TOPSHOP
shorts - H&M top - TOPSHOP
top, shorts - H&M
shorts - H&M top - TOPSHOP jacket - ZARA shoes - H&M
shorts - H&M top - TOPSHOP jacket - ZARA shoes - H&M
shorts - H&M top - TOPSHOP jacket - ZARA shoes - H&M
Mara Coson is a writer by profession, best dresser by chance. SARAH BUENDIA talks to the reluctant fashion virtuoso and asks her the most important question of all: “what does it mean to have style?” Edited by JARED CARL MILLAN; photographed by ADRIAN GONZALES; styled by ECKS ABITONA; special thanks to ELLIE CENTENO
The goal was to try not to attract attention, pointing out that her style had meant for her “to be invisible, at least that’s what it served for me.”
Upon Mara Coson’s arrival at the scheduled interview and photo shoot for this month’s fashion cover story, those who had earlier been busy and ecstatic about the day’s schedule have, all of a sudden, becomes incredibly, terribly quiet. It ‘s not that she is intimidating; she isn’t. And neither is it because she came in a head-turningly outrageous outfit. Nevertheless, her presence gives us no choice but to drop everything and observe as she walks in with a rack of her clothes she has brought, most of which are neutral-colored shirts, cardigans, slacks, and few pairs of shoes. And the silence is—or at least, I assumed it is—a result of our minds silently doing the happy dance thinking how brilliantly we had choosen Mara Coson, the—repeatedly—self-proclaimed awkward girl, as our month’s fashion hero. But Mara Coson would probably doubt this very much. “It should be my sister in here!” Mara says, referring to her younger sister, artist Nicole Coson, whom she claims to be inherently more fashionable than her. Mara is a writer who’s been working for Rogue Magazine and is working for an upcoming publication called The Manila Review, which is pretty much like The New York Review of Books or The London Review of Books. Kinda dorky. Her words, not mine.
It was only a few months ago that she decided to be an online editor full-time for Rogue, but writing’s always been a side thing to her. She has written and published lifestyle columns, reviews, fiction, and some other cool stuff throughout her life, some of which you’d find in her website (maracoson. com). When asked what she does, she’d cut any kind of crap and simply say, “I’m a writer.” Having earned a place in Preview’s Best Dressed of 2012 list, on the other hand, well, is just one big goddamn mystery to her. She even wrote about it last July in a column for Inquirer online and entitled it “Why am I on This Best Dressed List?” In it she talks about dressing like a wallflower, which she also mentions to me in the interview. The goal was to try not to attract attention, pointing out that her style had meant for her “to be invisible, at least that’s what it served [for me].” This was why she never quite understood how this whole fashion thing happened, because it did just quite the opposite. I would have suggested that she is bound to fail in this goal especially now that ‘awkward’ and ‘being a wallflower’ have increasingly been becoming the new cool, but she had already realized this before writing her Inquirer article. The reason why Mara graces the
October issue of Stache is not because she is the epitome of “the new cool” or that she, among the growing number of wallflower-dressed personalities, in our opinion, is the one who “wore it best.” She’s here because she wears always a statement that she thinks serves her a purpose, more than just wanting to look fashionable or setting a trend. Mara even poses a question on trends: “If everyone’s just after this one piece, then like, do you really wanna buy it or do you just... want to have some sort of aesthetic technique?” Mara’s style philosophy is an attempt to refrain herself from following trends that could only be wasteful of both time and money. While she says that her during her stay in Melbourne, living above a second-hand shop and working for another second-hand shop could have inspired her style, the reason why it’s stuck is because she didn’t want to have to be throwing away old clothes and buying new ones every so often. This works out for her because it’s a way for her to get out of the house faster. “It takes me so long to wake up, that if I cared about what I wear it would take ages,” Mara says. “If you took more than five minutes, I’d be...“are you trying to be somebody other than you?”” And well, it just so happened that she looked pretty amazing at being herself, too.
Lately, I think trends are exponentially trying to sort of battle each other out until it gets to the point that you buy a shirt today and tomorrow it’s not gonna be fashionable.
That was that, really. Still, despite being on the Best Dressed List, she could not let herself have the authority to talk or write about fashion. When asked about her thoughts on fashion bloggers, she says that “they tend to go more on the excess” and that “if that is their style, that’s their style but I won’t subscribe to it at all.” She doesn’t even wear accessories, except for a bracelet made with thread that she couldn’t take off unless she cut it with scissors. But don’t get her wrong, she doesn’t hate fashion, inserting the phrases “I’m not anti-fashion or anything” or “And not that it’s a bad thing” whenever she spoke of her lack of concern for trends. It is just that she had found the most efficient way for her to dress herself without having to think about it too much, and that this could be helpful for a lot of people as well. Mara Coson does not encourage apathy towards fashion. She even claims that she liked having a sense of what’s being worn now, but her sentiments were something altogether
different from most people I’d probably find on a Best Dressed List, and I believe that they could save us a great deal of effort while still looking incredible. “I guess it’s just [that] people are too [sort of ] concerned. And it’s not a bad thing! But it’s just that people can be too concerned about trying to dress like somebody or follow what fashion bloggers do and it’s fine, but once you get your own sort of thing happening, then, when you go shopping, it’ll be like, you’ll know exactly what you want.” Mara says. “People forget that they should buy things for themselves, and not for a trend. Lately, I think trends are exponentially trying to sort of battle each other out until it gets to the point that you buy a shirt today and tomorrow it’s not gonna be fashionable. If people can just jump off that, then they can find their own style.” It would be no surprise if this sort of attitude towards her style, and her approach to her creative writing process had grown from similar roots. Mara shares that once she discovered
that writing books were right about reminding writers that their first draft would always be shit, she just kept at it until it became something that she really wanted to be in. “Once you get used to the rhythms of it, the ego side just, you know, goes away. It’s a lot better.” This was the kind of finding of your own voice that writers have talked about, which the lot of us could learn from when it comes to finding an efficient way to deal with everyday matters, such as the way we dress, that could help us be more comfortable about how we saw ourselves. Mara is just (un)lucky to have found the style that’s most efficient for her and it happened to be a hit for fashion critics. “I thought it was just to be a wallflower.” She might have failed at dodging glances and not making it into a list when what she wanted was to go as unnoticed if she can help it, but least she gets to have more sleep.
MELANIE MARTINEZ’S LITTLE BODY, BIG HEART, AND BEAUTIFUL PORTRAITS ERIN EMOCLING interviewed Melanie Martinez, a 13-year-old self-taught photographer and currently a contestant on The Voice, about her other passion in life, that is conceptual, fashion, and portrait photography.
Melanie Martinez started taking pictures when she was 13 years young. She is a self-taught photographer who uses both film and digital. While Melanie is gradually making a name in the music industry, we interviewed her about her other passion in life, that is conceptual, fashion, and portrait photography. YOUR STYLE ON PORTRAIT PHOTOGRAPHY RADIATES A DIFFERENT KIND OF LIGHT, SOMETHING THAT’S EQUALLY NOSTALGIC AND REFRESHING. WHEN/HOW DID IT STRIKE YOU THAT YOU HAVE A BIG HEART FOR PHOTOGRAPHY? HOW DO YOU HARMONIZE YOUR
EMOTIONS, INTERESTS, PERSONALITY TO CAPTURE YOUR SUBJECTS’ BEST PHOTOGRAPHIC FEATURES?
I always loved the idea of creative images. I’d always wish that I could take a photo with my eyes because I am able to create some sort of beauty in everything I see. I started taking pictures of flowers and the outdoors and normal things I’d see around me. I got really bored with the work that I was doing and I wanted to grow as an artist. I had crazy visuals in my head but I could never execute them because I felt like the things in my heart were holding me back. I was always so uncomfortable
with my environment and wanted to be confident and feel beautiful. Ever since I was little, I remember being really conscious about the gap in between my two front teeth. I started taking pictures of myself and it became a habit of never opening my mouth due to my insecurity. I wanted to get over it so badly that I ended up just taking photos from my open mouth down to my collar bones. This helped me become comfortable with who I am as an artist and as a human being. It helped me get over my insecurity and since then I’ve found a love for helping girls overcome their insecurities by photographing them in a beautiful way.
“I’ve found a love for helping girls overcome their insecurities by photographing them in a beautiful way.”
I always shoot subjects who are out of the norm. I use soft light to make it feel as if they’re in a beautiful setting when, really, the places where I shoot are just a block away from my house. If I didn’t open up to feel comfortable with myself, I don’t think I would have had the power to go out and create the images I do today. And, Little Body Big Heart wouldn’t exist. I think back to the times in my life when I felt really emotional and how I can portray that in a way that was aesthetically pleasing to the eye but also felt in the heart. I’ve always loved freckles because people always see them as a flaw when someone’s face is covered in them. To me, I feel as if they’re kisses from God, making you different from everyone else. WHAT/WHO INFLUENCES AND INSPIRES YOU? Andrea Hübner and Caitlin Worthington. DOES YOUR PASSION FOR MUSIC HAVE SOMETHING TO DO WITH YOUR VISION IN PHOTOGRAPHY? Absolutely. I tell stories in my songwriting and it helps me create stories with my photographs. IF YOU COULD TURN A SONG INTO A SERIES OF PHOTOGRAPHS, WHAT SONG WOULD THAT BE AND WHY? Music Box by Regina Spektor, which is actually always been a work in progress. It is very melodic and interesting, has a unique tune, and it makes me feel like there are millions of stories within just 3 minutes of the song. I would love to do a life size music box with a ballerina as the little ballerina that spins. WHAT PROJECTS OF YOURS SHOULD WE LOOK FORWARD TO? You’ll have to stay tuned to find out! I love giving surprises! Like her page on Facebook.
ILLUSTRATIONS by VINCE PUERTO LITERATURE by MAIKZ TOMAS
ILLUSTRATION BY VINCE PUERTO
BABALIK Mawawala pansamantala Hahanapin ang nawalang tiwala Babalik ako ------ hindi para sa inyo Kung hindi para sa nawalang ako Isang malaking palaisipan, Isang malabong paliwanagan Handa na muling mahusgahan Babalik ako, haharap sa inyo Isang taong malakas, mahinahon at wala na sa kahon
SARILI MUNA Magtrabaho ka na parang alila Magsumikap na parang uhaw sa pera; Uhaw pero hindi ganid Balanse ngunit tuwid
LITERATURE BY MAIKZ TOMAS
Matutong balikan ang mga natutunan Hindi para ulitin ang nakaraan Matutong tumayo sa sariling mga paa Hindi para maliitin ang kapwa Mahalin ang iyong kritiko Mabuhay sa sariling anino Eto ka. Eto siya. Matutong mahalin ang sarili bago ang iba
DOLL Move me, Motivate me. Change me as you please. Put me in a little box so I can find my own bliss Wrap me up, spice me up. Iâ€™m a pretty lass holding a tea cup. A fragile little world from where I am A representation of myself but I canâ€™t be blame
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PHOTOGRAPHS BY CRU CAMARA WORDS BY ALVIN GREG MOLINA AND CRU CAMARA. As part of their special guesting on the Overexposed Tour of the far-famed Maroon 5 in Manila, The Cab has been doing mall tours as well in promoting their album, Symphony Soldier, released August of last year. I didnâ€™t quite know what to expect from the band considering that the last time I recall listening to The Cab was back in 2008, when they were still a young, up-and-coming band signed under Fueled By Ramen. The Cab was first known for their third single, Bounce, which peaked #69 on the defunct US Billboard Pop 100 chart. Another popular song from their first album was Vagas Skies. However, The Cab has pulled larger crowd of listeners on their first single, Bad, from their second album, Symphony Soldier. Upon arriving at Trinoma, there was an astonishing amount of people that showed up. The crowd extended past the barriers, and each level of the mall was lined with people trying to get a good view of the stage. You could feel the energy building in the activity center of Trinoma Mall. It was clear that the band had definitely built a larger and devoted fan base in the Philippines with the release of their second album.
When lead singer Alexander de Leon walked onto the stage followed by the rest of the band members: Alex Marshall (piano), Chance Johnson (guitar), Joey Thunder (bass), and Dave Briggs (drums), ladies swooned and erupted with excitement. The opening act, La La, from their latest album, Symphony Soldier, immediately felt the love of the crowd and powered through the rest of the set with fan favorites. Fans sing-along and the energy and applause grew louder with every song the band played. There was never quite a dull moment on stage either, and the band made sure to keep the concert fast-paced and energetic. The show seemed to fly by a little too quickly, though, as the band was off the stage in a little less than an hour. When all was said and done, the band made sure they stuck around to say hi to all their fans and show their appreciation for the support. Despite the short performance, The Cab managed to give their fans an adrenalinefueled show that was surely worth the wait.
Ft. Mara Coson. Also includes Melanie Martinez, Fashion Through the Ages, Imagineocean, The Cab Live in Manila