Sunday, March 24, 2013

Back to Black (and White!)

 There's something about a hounds tooth pattern that just spells high street fashion. When I saw these pants, I instantly knew it was something my wardrobe-overhaul project needed. I've been thinking about how to keep monochrome patterns interesting, since blocks of black and white are making a big comeback this season. I tried hard to find a top with a color that will work beautifully with these pants and then it dawned on me, that I just had to embrace the beauty of  its black-and-whiteness and maybe play with pattern instead. So there I was, throwing on another black and white piece, this sheer striped polo, and I loved how sophisticated and interesting it turned out. A little color pop from accessories would not have hurt, but I was just sold.

photo from
Left to right: Michael Kors, Philosophy, Balmain, Acne
photo from
Left to right: Unique, Marni, Sportmax, Marc Jacobs

Black-and-whites for summer, really? Yes, really. I won't lie, I was taken by surprise too. Monochrome stripes and checks, and strong lines are hot commodity this season, and the bigger and bolder the motif, the better. 

Pants: FashiondiariesCebu | Polo: Forever 21 | Shoes: Leaveland | Bag: Hongkong find from Mom | Sunnies: Vaintage

**Thanks to Ninz Sy for taking my photos, mother nature for the lighting, and SHS-J for the backdrop. Haha. This day was my brother's graduation. Hey, Congratulations to all the graduates out there! It's officially summer! Who's excited? :) **

Monday, March 18, 2013

Cutting Edge (What I wore to the Architects' Oath-Taking)

Early this March at the Manila Hotel came a milestone I'd treasure for my entire earthly existence: the oath-taking for new architects. This day came 7 years in the making (my 5 year degree + 1 year and a half of apprenticeship + 6 mos of review). So as I would give some serious thought on styling other people for special events/ shoots, I tried doing something new-- styling myself.  Normally when I have somewhere important to go, I'd just throw on whatever I find on the day itself and work my way around it... but not this time and boy did it take lots of thinking. It doesn't help that I'm a true blue over thinker too!  I am after all, my best hater and my worst critic. Haha. I would forgive debuts, proms, invitational events but not an event I worked hard to gain and be in.

Let me share with you my journey.
These are the top ten things I'd consider in creating the perfect look for an event. In this case, oath-taking ceremonies.

1. What is the event about.
It is important to define the event you're going to. If it's a pageant, then glam it up like a goddess and show a bit of skin as needed. If it's a wedding/ baptism, wear something more conservative and soft. If it's a prom, go for something fresh, young and radiant. In an oath taking (architecture especially), I'd don on something chic, structured, fuss-free, respectable whilst being stylish. Ruffles and laces are a no-no for me this time.

2.  Impressions &Inspiration: Know what you want.
 There was this dress that I saved in my phone back in July 2012 because I thought it was very architectural in character and I fell inlove with it. I scanned this photo as soon as I passed the board and knew it was the dress I'll have made.

It reminded me of a clean and crisp white building, balanced but assymetrical, modern. That translated to dress form should be something that has a womanly but strictly clean structure and  surface, a crisp silhouette, it has to be a bit avant-garde but simple, clean and assymetrical like the building I have in mind. It should be nothing flowy or  embellished. Something like this:

3. Choose your weapon.
Weight your options. Should you buy a practical ready-made dress that you can wear elsewhere even after the event? Borrow and not spend a dime? Get a designer? Base this on your honest personal budget and your priority. Since I wanted a dress that will remind me of the glorious day, (I would frame it if I could) For what it's worth, I decided to get a designer. And since the simple design I had in mind required special attention to shape, I went to one who very well gets what it means to flatter a female bodice (as I would say over and over in my past posts)-- It had to be Jerrick Macasocol. (Hi love, I know you're reading this :P ) I also needed someone I was very comfortable with so I can freely give my inputs without hesitations and since we've been working together for a while now, it was a walk in the park. :)

Jerrick added the detail on the shoulder to my pegged design to make it look more couture than a specialized dress you would see in a mall. I think it's rather genius! :) I was happy with how he executed the dress too and how it fit perfectly after it was altered on the 1st fitting without him using a measuring tape!

4. Know your body.
You know, the basic. Highlight your assets. Conceal your flaws. Pick a color that suits your complexion. Pick a shape that gives you a good proportion.

I come out more petite than I really am when I'm wrapped so I decided to bare a shoulder. My dress would have a slit in the abdomen area for aesthetics so I wanted my dress knee-length and not bodycon clingy to compensate for that  and keep it classy- womanly, give away some curves, and elongate my short physique.  :P

5. Don't stop at the dress.
So you have a dress. It's not over. You're only halfway through. What you do with the dress is just as crucial. Composition comes to play. Add and subtract. Less isn't always more. and more isn't always more. You need to think about accessories, hair and makeup to complete the look. So many gowns have not been given justice just because the shoes were awfully off or the hair wasn't up in a bun. Like this for example:

A lot might disagree but I think this is an example of a potential classic red-carpet dress that fell flat because of styling.
I decided to accessorize with just a chunky gold necklace to add more geometry and modernism to my dress, a gold purse to go with it and red nail polish for stark contrast. I wanted black open toe pumps with a gold lining but fund were running short on me so I resorted to my trusty gold heels from Asianvogue

6. Can't buy class.
Everything here is subjective, so the only sin you can possibly commit is forgetting class. Never trashy. Never. Know when to use spandex and when not to. You bare some, you cover some. Plus minus.

7. Comfort is best.
I believe in "tiis ganda" but whenever you have a choice, its always important to find something you don't have to pull down or pull up all the time.  When you're comfortable, you get to socialize more and have more fun.

8. Counter-flow. 
What do you think everyone else will be wearing? Don't wear it!
I had a feeling that the venue will be swarmed with grays and blacks and I was right, that's another reason I strongly stuck to white, and I was happy :) I saw this trend at the oscars too, which came days before our event. Aha! It goes beyond color. Think of style, cut (Since most people would come in either short gleaming cocktail dresses or chiffon flowy ones, I opted a  a pencil cut)

9.  Personal twist.
Inject you personal statement and make the look particularly your own. Let your "you-ness" shine through.

10. Confidence is sexy.
Enough said. Feel confident and beautiful in the masterpiece you've whipped up for yourself, it does wonders.

So there you have it! It sound more compliacted than it actually is. :)) Choosing an outfit is one problem any girl would be kind of happy to have. Here are photos of our oath-taking day.

Too Happy,
Archt. Kathrynn Dawn Sy

Friends from ArcStudio Review Center

USC-CAFA Passers

January 2013 Cebu Passers

EPEA Big 4. We were officemates back in our internship days.. ex schoolmates and review buddies all in one.
Same position different location. Haha.

The female architects! I'm the youngest here. Haha. Hello, Ates :P

That's Cebu Team with our not so beloved new PRBOA chairman, Archt. Cordero
Thesis housemates. These guys were the ones who convinced me to take 6 mos ahead of our real schedule for taking the board.
Boy genius KZ, my boyfret and one of my condomates back in Manila. We used to be presidents over the 2 student orgs in the college back in our time. USCARS & UAPSA. :)
This here is Buddy, my super review-buddy, slash ex-vicepresident, slash bf. He always has my back. Always. Even when we reviewed apart. Him in Cebu and me in the capital.
Haha yikes cheesy. :))
Samsung S3 vs Iphone5. Yay to their new architect-phones. We've owned really poor phones for quite awhile now. I still do. Hahaha!

Table-mates. CIT x USC

The infamous hold-your-own-cam-and-wish-you-snap-it-right photo.
Parents x Buddy. Haha.
My beloved parents <3

I happen to match the wall.

That's all! Cheers to all the new architects! It was one hell of a journey! :)

dress: Jerrick Macasocol | Shoes: Asianvogue | Purse: Liz Claiborne

I hope you guys like me new and more grown- up layout.
Long overdue :)

Friday, March 8, 2013

OSCARS 2013: My 8 Best- Dressed

I'm not a hollywood fanatic, certainly not the type who'd hold a slumber party just to watch the oscars or the grammys first hand... but when you're preparing to dress up for a formal event (not red-carpet but just as important!), that changes things.  I decided to gaze at the stars as they graced the red carpet just to test and educate my taste.  After all, it can come in handy the next time my mom demands asks me to style her for another media event. :))

I'm compiling a top 7  list of my favorite looks for you.
Enjoy! :)

**these awesome photos are grabbed from the internet. Mostly from for reference purposes. No copyright infringement intended.**

1. Charlize Theron


Dior Haute Couture Gown

In one word, Theron is white-hot! From the wicked witch in black and an up do, this look is 180 degrees different. This perfectly structured dress and that fierce do is the ultimate example of minimalism. The silhouette, to die for. Saying so much with so little. And yes, peplum has never looked this good!

2. Jennifer Lawrence

Best Actress, Silver Linings Playbook
 Dior Haute Couture Gown

The girl on fire looking nothing like her Hunger Games Self. In the borderline of being bridal, the styling here is obviously crucial. I think that with the accessories, makeup, and pulled back hair, they managed to pull-off a head turning overall look that's soft, fresh, divine and just right for her age and far from prom-y. 

3. Anne Hathaway

Best Supporting Actress, Les Miserables

 Prada Dress

Props to Anne for successfully veering away from her sexy image and going for a a very classy and statuesque look, thanks to Prada. According to an interview, she's had a lot of choices but at the very last minute, this dress spoke to her the most. Hair-choker (especially her Tiffany choker)-makeup-dress--perfectly cohesive. Some say her dress almost looks like an apron upfront, but hey you simply cannot hate a powder pink tailored gown with a dainty-sexy back detail on glowing Ms Hathaway. Can not!

4. Jessica Chastain

 Best Actress nominee, zero dark thirty
Armani Prive dress

When you think of old hollywood glamour, you'd think red lipstick, white or black dress and signature old holly wood curls. Jessica is a stand out in this copper- red ensemble that's very well put together. I love that this look pulls you to her in the dress, not how lovely the dress is per se. And the red lipstick as sole contrast in this palette worked like magic. Star power, check.

5. Amanda Seyfried

Performer, Les Miserbales
 Alexander McQueen Gown

Did she really look nice or am I biased because I love Amanda? She looks like a crystal figurine! In a sea of strapless dresses, I think she stood out in this halter Mcqueen that's delicately detailed and every bit elegant. (That's the word) Hair and makeup-- complimenting the whole look. How do they manage to look so.. what's the word.. glorious in barely there makeup?

6. Samantha Barks

Performer, Les Miserables
 Valentino dress

I loved her in the movie but I didn't expect her to look like THIS. The performer has really stolen hearts in a black dress that's all about shape.  Her necklace adding the necessary detail in the barely adorned ensemble. That, and just that. Hot, hot, hot. Boy, do we have a dark horse.

7. Naomi Watts

Best Actress Nominee, The Impossible
 Armani Prive Gown

Among all the dresses, this is the least I would want for myself, but I had to include it because it had every bit of awards night written all over it. The cut and shape is futuristic and avant-garde, her dress extremely metallic but nothing short of high fashion. It lowered her age by centuries!

So there you have it, folks! Summary? Next time you're heading to a special event, why not peg your look on these. It takes months and an army to get one celebrity's look together, luckily we get to sit back and learn a thing or two as we watch. 

My vote for best designer this year should go to Dior! Who's your red carpet favorite this year and why? I'd love to hear them!  In my next post, I'll try and write about Top 8 time saver tips on getting dressed for events! Until then! :)