Tuesday, October 28, 2008

To Chef Tonio: Christmas Gift Suggestions for your GF

Longchamp Le Pliage Tote USD 145

Chef Tonio left a comment in one of my earlier posts. He was asking for possible Christmas gift suggestions for his significant other.
Here are his requirements:

a) Bag must be only between 8-10 thousand.
b) GF is not sporty.
c) She likes brands, she doesn't like big bags.
d) Bag must have a touch of simplicity and class.

Thanks for writing in, Chef Tonio! I have to apologize for the slightly delayed response. My injured ankle has severely hampered extended window-shopping expeditions so I've just started going around lately.

Anyway, here are my initial suggestions. I promise to post some more in the coming weeks. So you have plenty of time to come up with your choice that is guaranteed to make you the "star" BF with the best Christmas gift.

1. Longchamp Le Pliage tote

A French woman staple, the Le Pliage tote made the Longchamp brand recognizable worldwide. It's a versatile tote which folds up for hassle-free storage and keeping. Depending on her needs and taste preferences, you can choose from a wide variety of sizes, colors and even handles.

The bag size featured above is about USD118. In the Philippines, Longchamp is available at Rustan's and at the duty free shop at the airport so get a friend or relative to buy it for you there.

2. Fino Leatherware bags

Go local! I have several Fino office bags and travel totes. The leather is very durable. Their new collection now features crocodile-stamped cow leather in bright colors. I think they make a good addition to any working woman's wardrobe. They have a medium-sized doctor's bag for about PhP7,000 or less. The most expensive bag they have is about Php11,000++. Here's a suggestion - why don't you get a small bag with a matching wallet and other accessories. I think it's a cute idea and the entire set will still be within budget.

Fino has stores in Podium, Shangri-la, Rockwell, Trinoma and several other malls. Try to catch them when they go on sale (about 10- 15% off) during the several upcoming mall-wide sales.

3. Coach totes and bags
If you are not queasy about shopping online, there are several Multiply and Ebay sellers that sell Coach bags. Coach is no longer available locally through Rustan's so your best bet is to buy from reliable online sellers. Hongkong is the nearest place with a Coach store. They even have a huge one at Central.
Check out the Coach bags on sale here:
There you go, Chef Tonio! I hope I was able to help even just a little bit. Stay tuned and I will try to feature more bags.
Of course, readers are also welcome to leave your suggestions and comments anytime!

Photos from Longchamp.com

Monday, October 27, 2008

Yes, I Visit the PEP website!

And why not?

Pep.ph is a treasure trove of pictures of bag-loving celebrities. Unfortunately, the site is copyright-protected. So here are the links to my favorite pictures.

KC Concepcion and her Chanel

Judy Ann Santos and her LV. Love the red!

Annabelle Rama and her Chanel and bling, bling, bling

Dr. Pie Calayan and her Chanel

Ciara Sotto and her Chanel

Gretchen and her Hermes

Georgina Wilson and her LV

Camille Prats and her Chanel

And one whole gallery on bags!

See? Bags, bags, bags. Even in the weirdest places, I will find bags to covet.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Recycle the Red

A girl has to be practical. Especially if you have a day job. There are times you just don't have time to spare, and horrors, have no time to change bags.

As the pictures stylishly show, if you do have to recycle, the best choice is your red Hermes Birkin.

Photo source

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Will Spanx Save the Day?

I've procrastinated.


Until finally the day drew near.

My sister is getting married in two weeks. I'm the maid of honor. I didn't diet. Or exercise. Or undergo liposuction. Now, it's nearly too late.

I have a fitting with the designer. He's a genius but he can only do so much.

What to do? What to do?

Help is needed. Time to search the internet for solutions.

SPANX! But where do I get Spanx in the Philippines?!

To be continued...

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

It's a Classic!

Photo source

Your weight may fluctuate...
Your fashion sense may evolve...
Your hair may go from light to dark...
But a great classic bag, especially if it's a Hermes Birkin, stands the test of time and will keep you company for a long, long time.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Manday Monday: Bally Madan Portfolio Case

Some men are still leery about using a man bag. Who can blame them? In the macho Philippine setting, man bags, especially for more mature men, is still considered taboo. The only exception would be the ubiquitous clutch bag.

However, some men are constantly searching for the middle ground. Profoundly averse to the clutch bag, these man still will not sling a messenger bag across their shoulders.

This leaves the problem unsolved. Where do you put your little comb, Blackberry, PDA, cell phone, wallet, pens and keys, as well as other knicknacks, that have become an essential part of a man's everyday life?

One solution could be a leather portfolio case. With a portfolio case, the essentials are kept secure in one location other than in a man's pockets. The design is very discreet. And since the case is in leather, the portfolio case is very professional looking and can be carried around to meetings and other business gatherings.

On a recent trip to Shangri-la Mall, I happened to see a very spiffy looking portfolio case at Bally. After some research, I discovered that the case in question was the Bally Madan Portfolio Case.

Made from Italian leather, this portfolio case is a perfect way to tote around the professional man's essentials. I like the fact that no one really needs to know that you are actually carrying a man bag with you.

So, Monk, what do you think? Checking the price at the local Bally store and will update.

UPDATE: Yikes! Just called the Bally store in Shangri-la Mall. The portfolio case is PhP42,500. At current exchange rates, that's about USD900. Amazon is only selling the portfolio case for USD525.

Photo courtesy of Amazon.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Newspaper Reading: Why I Should Stop

One lazy evening, Mrs. G. and I were at UCC having coffee and cake. She was reading a housewifely tome while I was busy thumbing through the day's newspapers.

Now, I haven't read newspapers in a long while. I get most of my information from the Internet. It was therefore an interesting time for me to reacquaint myself with the newsprint ink bleeding onto my fingers and the familiar flipping of the huge pages.

This is what greeted me while reading an article:

"Opera is a perfectly legitimate filed."

A typo. A significant one at that as it changed the entire meaning of the sentence. I ignored it.

New newspaper. New article. The article nearly made me fall off my seat. Here's why:

The words "evening" and "the" were misspelled. The word "of" was omitted.

How? How? How? When you get paid to write (which luckily I don't for this blog), it's mandatory to spell check and proofread. Tsk. tsk.

As if that wasn't enough, the next article I read made my blood boil:

"But for me, the biggest reason why we should throw the RH bill out of the halls of Congress comes from the editorials of many local and national newspapers, praising overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) for their role in stabilizing the Philippines in the heat of the Wall Street financial debacle. Now these politicians want to curtail our population growth so that OFWs will soon be a thing of the past. With the way the government is being run (like hell by Filipinos), you can bet that even (God forbid) after the passage of the RH bill, Filipinos would still be poor because it is the unbridled corruption that is the cause of our poverty, not our population growth.

It is a fact that the very countries that controlled their populations in the past 20 years are now suffering severe population decline which they have learned belatedly has become irreversible! These are the countries that have embraced our OFWs who in turn bring back more than $12 billion to our shores and thus have insulated us from the financial crisis. Surely our politicians are not that stupid that they would now support the RH bill that would cause our population to decline to the point that OFWs would no longer be needed. This means, no more $12 billion coming to our shores. So you politicians out there ought to ponder this very thought!"

What the?! I was flabbergasted! Maybe my logic is faulty, but I really failed to get the connection.

On a lighter note, I am loving this new Kashieca ad:

In my opinion, the local Betty La Fea is the prettiest reincarnation.

While a loyal Sharonian, I really can't support this outfit KC is wearing. Pink bra over sheer white shirt?! The outfit is very unflattering. She's a very pretty girl. It takes very little effort to make her stunning. This ensemble should not have even been considered. Tsk. Tsk.

At this point, Mrs. G grabbed all the newspapers within reach and forbade me from reading them anymore.
Maybe until next week.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Bottega Veneta Origami Leather Tote

Photo from Style.Com

No one works it quite like Jessica Stam, don't you think? Here she is at the Fall/Winter 2008 collection for Bottega Veneta rocking a brick-colored bag. Here are other runway close-ups of the bag she is modeling.

Photos from Style.Com

I found the bag at Net-a-Porter. It's called the Origami Leather Tote. Details are here. The bag is described as:

Brick pleated leather origami tote with black snakeskin piping. Bottega Veneta bag has two small handles at top, a hexagonal base, suede lining and a zip fastening internal pocket.

Of course, with all Bottega Veneta bags, the devil (that pushes you to buy this bag) is in the details.

Check out the snakeskin(!) piping...

... and the suede lining.

Very few brands still continue to use suede for their lining. Even LV's latest bag releases no longer have suede linings.

Coupled with the impeccable craftsmanship and the beautiful brick red color, I am starting to like this bag! It's a tote you can pass on to your children, I rationalized.

Then, I saw the price (USD3950) and I gulped. Several times.

If you do like the bag, head on to your nearest Bottega Veneta store to see this little bag love up close.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Speedy Love - 2 Great Colors!


MM, tell your friend that the epi Speedy 30 has two more great colors to choose from - Ivoire and Cassis.

Here are some pictures from LouisVuittonLover's blog:

I think the Cassis is so pretty! The dark purple hue makes the bag stand out without being too "colorful". The lining is so pretty too.

As for the Ivoire, well, I know better as I have the super bad habit of plonking my bag without checking the surface. Translated, stains and grime. The horror!

Per the update, the Grenade is only available in epi Speedy 25.

I think these bags are a great start to any bag collection. Much better than monogram canvas.

Rush, rush, rush and check the LV stores now for these babies!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Local Find: Cathy's Bags

Sofia jewelled Minaudiere

Here are the works of a local bag designer, CATHY, I found online by accident. I was searching for a good evening bag when I stumbled into her website. I must say I love her current collection. Here are some of my favorites:

Lulu oversized clutch. I love the color mix set against the silver background.
Lily Mini Messenger Bag. Perfect for a casual shopping day where you need both hands free to browse. Other colors are heather gray and brown. Can't decide what color to get!
Cleo Cocktail bag. I'm thinking of getting this bag for my sister's wedding. Love the chain and the jewel detail.

The good news is that the bags are very affordable so you can splurge and get more than one bag!

All photos from Cathys Bags website. For the rest of the collection, click here.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Bag Spotting at North Park

My office mates and I decided to have lunch at the nearby North Park one day last week. As usual, while they were busy deciding what to order, my eyes were preoccupied with checking out the bags of the other patrons. I hit the jackpot with one particular woman having lunch by herself:

Can you figure out what her bag is? The vachetta handles are still very virgin.Here is a clearer view.

I really have to apologize for the camera quality. I have been considering upgrading my phone to one with a better camera precisely for these bag reconnaissance missions.

Stumped? It's none other than the LV Monogram Vernis Summit Drive.

This bag is making me rethink my stance on the Monogram Vernis. I really have serious issues about the color transfer and maintenance problems I've heard about this line. An additional attraction is the Amarante color which is TDF (to die for)!

Here are more details about the bag. Photo for eLuxury.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

C Sees at Mercury Drug

She should have known better.

Mrs. G dragged me to Mercury Drug to buy whatever it was she was buying. With nothing better to do, I found myself wandering the grocery section. (Side note: why is there always a grocery section in a drug store? It's like the school supplies in the bookstore. Kinda a misnomer, don't you think?)

It wasn't long before I started giggling uncontrollably. I can't help it. I didn't invent these things. They're just there and somehow they call to me and my eternal amusement.

This is the box of a Pigeon feeding bottle. Have you ever checked the back?

The picture I originally took wasn't too clear so here is the original picture as shown in the Pigeon official website.

What is Peristaltic Motion?
Peristaltic motion is the smooth wave-like motion of a baby's tongue. A baby moves its tongue like a wave, rolling it front to back to draw milk (see Figures 1 to 4). The movement is encouraged as it is integral for the development of baby's jaw.


To the new moms (especially the breastfeeding ones), my deepest apologies. You have my greatest respect for taking on this challenging role that defines a woman's life. However, the picture was just... off.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Turkey Ham Sandwich

It's my lunch break and I am happily munching on a turkey ham sandwich which I brought to work.

Since time immemorial, moms and daughters have, what could only be described as, complicated relationships. At any point in time, you're either the best of friends or at each other's throats.

Today was one of the good days.

As usual, I woke up late. Humming Manic Monday to myself (generation gap!), I frantically prepared for work. Given time constraints, I didn't have time to have breakfast.

As I swept past the dining table, my mom calls out to me and hands me a sandwich. It was turkey ham. With cheese, tomatoes and lettuce. She told me to bring it along since I didn't have time to have breakfast.

You're never too old for a dose of motherly care and concern. Nothing can lift your spirit quite as much.

Thanks, mom!

Manday Monday: Koffski

For our Manday Monday feature, I bring you a man bag for the confident man who idolizes Derek Zoolander: the Koffski. A German creation, the Koffski is bagwear for men.

The concept behind the Koffski is quite sound. The bag comes with compartments for your phone, wallet, keys and even a pen.

You can wear the Koffski slung across your shoulder...

Or as a belt bag.

The website describes the Koffski man as:

"The Koffski user is elegant and resolute, exuding an air of confidence. Women will just love him.

He tends to reduce things to their essentials. He prefers to be independent. He always knows where to look when his mobile rings. Whether he is on business or spending an evening in a nightclub, the Koffski user always has his ideal companion close at hand. Very close."

The website could have been talking about my friend, Monk. Cough. Cough.

Somehow, I have a feeling bringing this along to the Metro Manila malls will get you frisked. It looks suspiciously like a gun holster.

In any case, if interested in acquiring this bag, head here.

Update: Here are some pictures of the cute male model:

All photos from the Koffski website.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Sale Alerts

Treat yourself to a luxury hair treatment at Piandre - All Kerastase Services are 10% off for the month of October. Call them at 8152418.

This weekend is the kick-off of Cubao Expo's Year-End Series of Events!
Friday (6 pm: Fashion Fest, Artist's Fair and Bazaar)
Saturday (3 pm: Concert, Artist's Fair and Bazaar)
Sunday (3 pm: Concert, Artist's Fair and Bazaar)

Happy weekend!

5 Great Bags for under USD1000

Sigh! Bag prices are really skyrocketing with most entry level bags now starting at USD1000 and up. For the bag lovers out there, I found several great options to add to your collection. The good news is that all the bags are under USD1000 and from brands with stores here in the Philippines:

1. Gucci Baboushka Tote in Medium

I love the russet color of this bag which makes it stand out from other Gucci totes. The attached bag charm is cute. I think the shape is perfect for lugging around your stuff during the upcoming holiday season.

2. Marc Jacobs Rosen Satchel in Dark Gray

Marc Jacobs really knows how to make them! The dark gray color is perfect. The chain strap adds just the right touch of whimsy and allows you to carry the bag until your dinner date.

3. YSL Tribute Patent Tote in Turquoise

This bag is turning out to be a perennial in the YSL collection with new variations coming out every season. This time, the Tribute comes out in this cool blue color and patent leather.

4. Prada Cervo Antik Hobo

Made from Prada antique deerskin. I like the gathered look. Not a bad bag to start your Prada collection with.

5. Louis Vuitton Damier Speedy 35

Only because I am so clueless! At the Eluxury website, they finally featured a Damier Speedy 35. For those who think even the Speedy 30 may be too small, this may be the right size for you!

There you go, girls! Five great bags to salivate over. Hoping the markup at the local stores won't be too much though. It hurts to pay more than you have to.

All photos except for the LV bag from Neiman Marcus website. LV photo from Eluxury

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Sale Alerts

Because retail is the best therapy, here are some sales around town to watch out for:

Shop at Warehouse (Robinsons Galleria) from October 3-5, 2008 and get 20% discount on all regular items.

Use your HSBC credit card at SM Dept Stores at enjoy 0% interest on 6-month installment on all items. Terms and conditions apply.

Skincredible Sale! All weekends September-October. Up to 25% off on VMV hypoallergenic products only at Landmark and Watsons.

Will post more news as I get them. Happy shopping!

What Brews with your Coffee? - Not for the Faint of Heart

As part of my cost-cutting measures (for the new bag love!), I have foregone my daily designer coffee (UCC, Starbucks) fix for the instant coffee mixes. We have to be practical and some sacrifices have to be made.

Luckily, my office has those instant coffee vending machines. Drop your coins, make your selection (black, with sugar, with cream) and the machine adds hot water and you get your instant coffee in seconds. With prices no higher than P12, these vending machines are a heaven sent for caffeine junkies needing a quick fix.

Last Saturday, I saw a sign tacked to the vending machine:

Want to see what the sign says? Read below. I must warn you - it may make you lose your appetite...

Last warning...

As you can deduce, I am now getting my caffeine fix from Coke Zero.

To the concessionaire, PLEASE DO SOMETHING ABOUT THIS!

Update - 10/2/08: The machine has been replaced! Yahoo!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Protecting your bags in Rainy Weather

The rainy season has come upon us and bag lovers are in a panic! How do you keep your bags from getting wet? While some bags are made of waterproof material, that protection may not be enough. It's time to check out possible rainy day bag solutions!

When it's raining hard and the winds are very strong, having an umbrella will not be enough. In all likelihood, your umbrella may not be able to withstand the strong winds. You and your precious handbag will end up getting drenched! I actually saw a girl in Rockwell with this dilemma. I pity her Neverfull's drenched state.

The cheapest way, of course, is to always bring a plastic bag along where you can slip your bag in when it rains. Understandably, this is not the most stylish solution.

A Multiply store called Saccessories sells bag raincoats. Here are some pictures from the website:

HOW TO GAUGE THE RAINCOAT SIZE TO BUY: Simply measure the width of the handles' base from left to right. Available in 3 sizes: Small -opening is 7 inchesMedium-opening is 8.5 inchesLarge- opening is 10.5 inches
Price: Only P200 per piece. Get 3 for a discounted price of P500.

Anyone tried this already? Let me know!