Tag Archives: Local

style by Sam Potenciano

Time Travel to the ‘70s with This Vintage-Inspired Collection

Easy, effortless slips and swing dresses make up Facile’s latest ode to Parisienne chic.

Facile is a local line of uncomplicated, season-free staples that are meant to be easy like Sunday morning. Here we interview the ladies behind the brand on their latest collection.

Individually, could you describe your personal styles? Who or what are some of your major influences?

Rio Jorolan Enriquez: My style has always been a mix of feminine, masculine, and vintage elements, always accented by a pop of color, an interesting print, quirky shoes, or my go-to: bright red lips. I eschew looking too polished, too girly, too sexy, or too trendy, and instead choose basics that have a certain “quirky sophisticate” character to them.

Melissa Orozco: I like mixing things up. I don’t like confining my personal style. It’s more about keeping things comfortable. I’m drawn to prints, neutral palettes, and everything in between. I like the idea of juxtaposing, where you can pair a loud print with a muted one. Lately, I’ve been drawn to Japanese designs. I like their neutral palettes and baggy silhouettes—simple yet chic.

Did you have any specific points of reference when you were putting together this new collection?

Rio: Believe it or not, it was a vintage dress that I found in Paris two years ago that somehow shaped the direction of the new collection.

Melissa: A woman who has that nonchalant sense of style. She’ll wear a pair of sneakers with our dress and then slip on heels in the evening. Someone not so stiff in the way she dresses. The type of person who’d wear a messy bun but still look chic.   facile-2If you could imagine anyone (fictional or otherwise) that epitomizes the audience for this new collection, who would it be and why?

Rio: If I could time-travel, a French woman in the ‘70s would be the perfect girl for this collection. When I design, I definitely always have the Parisian woman in mind: Jane Birkin, Françoise Hardy, Emmanuelle Alt, Jeanne Damas, etc. If I think they wouldn’t wear it or it wouldn’t look good on the streets of Paris, then I think twice about proceeding.

Melissa: Françoise Hardy. She keeps things subtle. Her style is so easy and cool. I also noticed that she wears a lot of black and white just like our collection.

How do your new pieces fit into a Facile girl’s lifestyle? Do you imagine them worn more for everyday use or saved for special occasions?

Rio: Facile’s pieces are always designed to be fuss-free yet stylish additions to a girl’s current wardrobe. They are never loud, or gaudy, or trendy and can easily be adapted to the wearer’s personal style, whether she chooses to wear them to brunch, to a night out, on a date, or even to the park—whatever season she may find herself in.

Melissa: Like I said, it’s something you can wear with sneakers during the day and then dressed up with heels at night. It’s really about how things are paired and mixed together into a cohesive look.facile-3Facile has always been about easy silhouettes and subdued colorways. In what way has this aesthetic changed over the span of your last few collections?

Rio: This collection is a pared down yet quirkier, vintage-inspired version of the past collections.

Melissa: I think the change is really in adapting to the looks that people like while sticking to our style philosophy of easy pieces. It’s important for us to keep the brand relevant.

What is your favorite piece in the collection and how would you personally style it?

Rio: I love our Striped Slip because the shape is so easy yet the stripes give it that certain je ne sais quoi. I’ve been wearing it with sneakers, espadrilles, mid-heels, and just recently, a trench coat. It looks so good with a blazer too.

Melissa: My favorite would be the striped dress as well. White is perfect for the current season and the weather! Usually I wear a lot of black, so that’s the next best color for me. I’d definitely wear it with a pair of sneakers, simple earrings, and a necklace.

Photography by Ralph Mendoza (c/o Facile)

Sam Potenciano
Sam Potenciano
Sam is the digital editor of L’Officiel Manila. Formerly the founding editor of The Neighborhood and the editor-in-chief of Candy magazine, she is also a columnist for The Philippine Star's Young Star section. Follow her on Instagram at @sampotenciano.
style by Alyssa Castillo

Meet Your New Favorite Hobby: Weaving 101 with Rags2Riches

Rags2Riches’ S/S2017 collection is a testament to the talented Ilocano artisans and their use of Binetwagan indigenous fabric.

Rags2Riches is a constant reminder that women are loving daughters, hardworking mothers, goal-setters, compassionate Filipinas, and purposeful citizens. The true R2R Woman is a versionary—an innovator full of wisdom.

The brand’s S/S 2017: VERSIONS collection is all about “embracing beautiful complexity” and “adapting to the multiple transformations the R2R Woman makes every day,” all while “weaving together the values she carries.” Communities such as the R2R Urban Artisans, the R2R Workshop Artisans, and artisans from Ilocos were all involved in making this collection come to life. Together with the signature R2R weave in red, teal, and mustard, the collection also showcases the indigenous weave of Binetwagan from Ilocos by the only living Abel Iloko textile weaver named Dedicacion Arriola.

As an NBHD gal, I was lucky enough to have been invited to the press preview of VERSIONS as it allowed me to experience weaving with the R2R Workshop Artisans along with several R2R friends from the media pool. But in a state of mid-weave because, well, it takes a lot of focus and discipline to actually get through it—especially for a beginner like myself.

You’re not required to be equipped with special skills to become a weaver, but weaving in itself requires a great deal of patience and diligence to get the work done. It seems intimidating, I know. And it didn’t help that I chose the bold, glaring color of red rather than the friendly mustard or the calming teal.R2R-gif

It wasn’t a contest, no, but I felt the pressure on my slow hands when it dawned on me that I might get left behind everyone else. It was a group workshop—can you blame me? But I learned, during the process, that this was something that I couldn’t rush. Similar to writing, rushing will not only jeopardize the outcome of my work but also kill the experience. Weaving, for one, was actually very therapeutic for me (I might even go back for some volunteer work).

Like any maker, you want to see your own reflection in your own work. I just wanted mine to look decent, at the very least. But eventually, I got the hang of it after a couple of lags and errors.

Once I finished, I felt a sense of fulfillment—like a making-it-before-the-deadline kind of accomplishment. I felt good about myself. Maybe the R2R artisans feel this way too after hooking the very last thread of each weaved bag and, perhaps, this is one of the reasons why they love what they do.

After the mini workshop, I got to take home my own Riki bag in red. I was proud enough to tell my friends, “I weaved this!” which was simply met with them teasing me about my ability (or lack thereof) to do anything creative with my hands—let alone weave—but whatever, I was too ecstatic to mind.

As Rags2Riches Inc. unveiled their newest collection before my eyes, I also saw the literal versatility of VERSIONS. The Riki can be a flat tote or a cross body pouch. The Anna can be transformed from a flat tote to a hobo cross body bag. The Maria can be a trapezoid tote or a sling bag. The Frances could be a drawstring backpack or a simple pouch.

It’s been exactly a decade since the brand was born, and since then, Rags2Riches has proven to be a fashion and design social enterprise that’s built to last. With their latest and most innovative collection to date, it’s unlikely they’ll be slowing down anytime soon.

Art by Mags Ocampo

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Alyssa Castillo
Alyssa Castillo is a freelance writer and is concurrently Rogue Media's Editorial Assistant for The NBHD. She reads for fun, writes for a living, and wastes too much time entertaining the possibility of a zombie apocalypse. Find her on Instagram as @alyssakcastillo.
art + music by Lorenzo Escober

Mute Musicians: 4 Local Bands That Don’t Do Vocals

There is something deeply countercultural about an all-instrumental band—especially in a country so religiously devoted to every singing show ever.

My neighbors love karaoke so much, they’ve decided to do it every night. They appear to be decent, well-meaning people, I assume they just lack the self awareness that our ears are privy to every rendition of “Hot Stuff” that Tita Kapitbahay belts out. The attacks keep us up at night. Their familial tradition has become such a fixture in our household that on the rare occasion that I hear a cricket chirp, I pause to listen in childlike amusement.

I suppose it’s all just another aspect of that Pinoy charm: we love to croon. Singing is probably as Filipino as, say, SkyFlakes. An ardent passion for saccharine love ballads and ’80s pop anthems is just one of those idiosyncrasies we fine-looking island people possess, like when I lovingly set aside my chicken skin so I can indulge in its crisp, juicy goodness at the end of my meal. I don’t really blame us for our obsession with music. We’re pretty amazing at it. Many of our local acts feature incredibly capable lead singers; powerhouse vocalists who can arrest a crowd’s fragmented attention with the release of a single, effortless note—which makes the recent advent of instrumental bands in the OPM scene something of an anomaly.

I’ll be honest, there was a time in my blind, ignorant youth when I believed instrumental music was doomed to exist only within the confines of the elevator, or that awkward space between ‘please hold’ and ‘how may I help you?’. Indeed, there’s something deeply countercultural about an all-instrumental band—especially in a country so religiously devoted to every Filipino contestant in every foreign singing show ever.

Musical groups without vocalists, then, are theoretically supposed to occupy only a small niche of the industry, and oftentimes merely as novelties. In recent years, however, bands like Tom’s Story, Mind Money Circuit, and tide/edit have shown little regard for marketability, and have managed to penetrate the mainstream anyway. Through laced guitars, enticing riffs, and rhythms that range from the conservatively composed to the irresistibly incendiary, instrumental rock has made itself known, and has taken a firm hold on the Pinoy audience.

The Facebook generation in particular has taken to embracing this recent bevy of experimental OPM acts—thanks in part to the wealth of exposure provided by Social Media. Online platforms like SoundCloud and YouTube afford musical acts unadulterated experimentation and brand-building. Never before has a mainstream breakthrough become more reachable than for today’s musicians. The local scene has never been more pregnant with potential—the possibilities, like the Shake, Rattle & Roll films, are endless.

Tom’s Story is one such local breakthrough. Rooted in math rock, the group incorporates various interlocking rhythms in order to achieve an all-encompassing sound. Anchors, the opening track of their eponymous LP, is a cascade of torrential guitars that culminates in a symphonic apex, delighting without dizzying. Their live instrumentation is even more exciting; one marvels at how Light takes on a shimmering new imagining when accompanied by a tenor sax and violin.

tide/edit has also enjoyed huge success, opening for international acts and receiving a steady stream of warm reception. ‘We play happy music’, their official website proclaims, and indeed their work is composed mainly of positive, fresh songs brimming with vitality and brilliant composure. Their camaraderie as a group comes off effortlessly; they seem to know precisely how to complement each other’s strengths, taking what each member brings to the kitchen counter and whipping up a killer casserole. Always Right, Never Left is a standout, and showcases the group’s knack for making layered, multi-dimensional tracks come off as completely natural. Further is a feat of intelligent sound structuring that is at times reflective and others ecstatic.

Mind Money Circuit has similarly taken the instrumental rock scene by storm. Their track Shibuya is popular for its catchy, dance-y pulse, and sounds exactly like the Tokyo district it was named for: alert, urban, and refined. Drummer Waffles Obeso (an adorable name) lets loose on the complicated track and knows when to intermit the beat and let his bandmates take it away. Everything just clicks. Their versatility is fully realized on This Place, which begins as a chillout number, its lead guitars strumming beautifully to create a quietly lovely melody. Steadily however, Circuit takes things into full play and stuns with climactic guitar licks and a full-circle ending.

Earthmover is a slightly darker, more brooding act. Their material is incredible—polished and utterly human. Two is a masterpiece in three distinct parts, alternating between smooth and disruptive and back again. Its music video is a piece of art in itself, slightly reminiscent of Darren Aronofsky’s Pi. Ivered Ago, on the other hand, exhibits a kind of restraint in its initial shiver of percussion, before blooming into a reverie which eventually escalates into a complete rock out.

Listening to these tracks through my earphones gives me a weird kind of sensation, as if in the absence of words, music ceases to restrict itself to a set shape. Perhaps, then, instrumental rock isn’t such a conundrum after all. It can be quite stunning how a floodgate of imagery breaks loose once vocals are removed from the picture. Really, maybe it’s about time we shift the spotlight away from the vocalists just a little bit. After all, there’s an entire world of local musicians out there who can’t sing.

Photography by Isabella Jhocson

Lorenzo Escober
Enzo is an old soul trapped in a millennial context. He is incapable of intelligent conversation before 10 AM. Sometimes he has to remind himself to blink.