Fashion Forward

(Before anything else, please know that I am not siding with anyone by writing this entry. I've merely stumbled upon posts and comments regarding this issue and I couldn't help but express my thoughts, because I can relate, and that's that.)

According to, the word Fashion-Forward is defined as :

"...relating to, anticipating, or reflecting the most up-to-date fashion trends."

Because I could be quite a dingbat, when I think of the word Fashion-Forward, I think of people like Karl Leuterio and Jujin Samonte, Jane Aldridge, the Chang siblings, the Uy siblings, so on and so forth, while I literally translate "forward" to "being ahead of everyone else". Its about having that sense of individuality. Yes, you can see other people who probably dress the same way in other parts of the world, but its very rare to find people like them in the Philippines.

Jujin Samonte
(photo courtesy of

I mean, you just know that its in their blood. They just end up effortlessly putting things together, they make it work and make it theirs.

As talented as we are and as much as we want to dress up the way we want to without a care in the world what people think, let's face it : there is probably not a day in a Fashionphile's life where they don't get attention (say, the bad kind) from people who don't understand just how and why one would come up with such an attire.

Not to say that I'm an authority in Fashion, but in terms of expressing myself freely with clothes is something I could say I know a lot about because I have been bullied for it for years. One of the most unforgettable ones was when I walked in to a 7-11 store one day in September of 2008 and ended up being poked at by girls saying I was wearing "Elephant Pants" (I was crazy about them in 2002 though) when in fact they were "Wide Leg Pants" and have been appearing on glossy magazine pages for months at the time. Like some Filipinos, it wasn't new to me - I have been laughed at for my outfit decisions countless of times.

I have a fetish for hats. I'm just not very rich to afford everything I want for people to see it, but I do. I would LOVE to wear my faux fur hat in the Philippines when I go out. TELL ME HONESTLY, will I not be laughed at? I could go to Makati and I bet you that even the conyo people would end up laughing at me. "Its a tropical country! Its summer, what is she thinking? This is not Europe".

SO WHAT? I want to wear it, its my freakin' head. I definitely look up to my friends who can manage to express themselves freely with Fashion. I haven't asked them yet if they've gotten their share of uncomfortable stares from people who think that they have the right to judge who's doing it right and who's not. What's sad is, the world thinks that only people who are directly associated to Fashion are the only ones who have the right to wear what they want (and can't lay a finger on it).

Sure, I get that there are rules, and that there are certain things that go together but with Avant-Garde slowly becoming a part of our daily lives, its not impossible for people to embrace their inner artist.

I won't deny that there are times when I look at people and think "It would've been better if this was paired with that, the necklace doesn't go with the outfit, yada-yada-yada", but do I make it obvious? Do I make them uncomfortable? Do I say it out loud? No. I keep it to myself. Its a part of who I am, and I'm surely not the only one. We're all entitled to our own opinion. And I'm not here to judge, I'm not writing this to make anyone feel bad, but its just something I feel like I need to say.

You know what I think is a Fashion-Forward country? JAPAN. Heck, you can wear whatever you freakin' want and people just won't give a rat's ass. Designer or not, new or not, whatever. You see people walking down the street and you can just see how creative they are. I mean, I would surf Tokyo Fashion and I'm like "Waitwhat? That's amazing!" And don't get me wrong, I'd still drool over the glitzy, classy photos of Kate Moss or Abbey Lee Kershaw in Runway photos and Fashion Spreads, but what I most admire is how they dress up when they're not "working" (and by the way, I think there's a difference between being "Fashion Forward" and being "Fashionable". Both worthy of inspiration, but very different from each other).

See what I mean?
(photos courtesy of

Then again, I'm no guru. I'm just someone who loves Fashion, someone who firmly believes in the awesome power of this artform being a part of who you are. An extension of your character. A limb.

I know so many Filipinos are doing their best to make a difference in the Fashion Industry (and not just locally). We may be a third world country but we are definitely of things beyond our imagination, as cheesy as that sounds. We have so much potential, srsly, I mean we have people like Vito Selma, Rafe Totengco, and Michael Cinco to look up to, to name a few. And goodness, how awesome are these Pinoys?

So, this I will say : The Philippines IS NOT a Fashion -Forward country. But Filipinos, if not most of them - ARE.

Maybe it'll come for us, maybe it won't. Maybe no matter where we go, there will always be people who just gets us, and people who don't. But why should that matter? Fashion is our passion, and it makes us happy. So what if "they" think its not fasyon? So what if you don't look like you're from the pages of Nylon or Vogue or that *insert awesome Fashion Magazine Editor here* "does not agree". None of that counts (don't get me wrong though, I could probably wear a garbage bag for the rest of my life after Anna Wintour or Grace Coddington applauds my fashion sense), but srsly, none of that should really matter.

One day, people will see your character, not your clothes. They'll see WHO you are THROUGH your clothes. The clothes will just be an accessory, with you being the focal point. And I think that's the secret to every Fashionista known to Fashionphiles or merely people who just love Fashion (not dressing up). And yes, that may seem shallow but if you're an artist who uses clothes as your paint then you'd get me.

God Bless you guys. I'm just so thankful that He's blessing me with enough to still be able to splurge on my only vice apart from blogging : Fashion.


Summer Hair

You've no idea how long I've wished for an outdoor shoot. And finally, my prayers were answered. My boys Jays and Drew were my photographers. And I know its not apparent but I drew inspiration from *drumroll* Jane Aldridge. The uniqueness she effortlessly exudes, wow. Its people like her that get me more motivated to dress up the way I want to.

You know what's always been a hindrance for me? THE FREAKIN' WEATHER! I dream of the day when people won't laugh at me for wanting to wear a faux fur hat in Summer. I think there's something very sexy about fur hats in summer. Yes, I am weird.

In this set, I'm uploading photos that Andrew took (and a few BTS shots,too!) I can't post photos from Jayson's camera yet because he insists on post-processing them himself. I did minimal editing on Andrew's photos : photo filtering, a bit of blurring (for a dreamy effect), color balancing, and re-sizing. Definitely psyched to share this!

(All photos by Andrew Bautista / Post-Processing by me)

Sheer Cardigan; Topshop / Maxi Dress; Topshop / Clogs; Topshop / Faux Fur Hat; H&M/ Fringed Leather Jacket; H&M / Straw Hat; Gifted / Necklace; Indian Bazaar / Rings; Forever21, Turkish Bazaar

Can't wait for the next one! I wonder what my concept's gonna be. I was supposed to go with "Bohemian" but I was feeling this more (on the day of). I hope I can get my OS accessories soon! What an awesome statement piece for the next shoot.


Ombre All The Way

It was late last year when my awesome friend J introduced me to Ombre. I had the urge to do something about my boring hair and upon mentioning it to me, I immediately consulted everyone's best friend and found out that a number of Hollywood actresses have been sporting this - even fashion bloggers.

But none of them struck me like Lily (of LLYMLRS)


Considering that my natural hair color is darker than hers, I know it would take a ton of effort to achieve the exact same look. And since I do my Ombres on my own, considering I'm no pro, it took a lot to muster the courage I needed to bleach my hair.

The first thing I did was actually COLOR my hair and mixed bleach which isn't very strong :

It didn't look visible so less than two days later, I went with stronger chemicals (that thankfully did not damage my hair) :

Fast forward to 9 months later, here's what my Ombre looks like:

Yes, I am aware that I look like a dork. I did my Ombre for three consecutive days, working on the flaws as I see them. I've gotten a number of compliments though, oddly enough from people I didn't expect to appreciate Ombres. It definitely isn't for everyone.

I think mine's very similar to that of Rachel Bilson and Hilary Duff.

Drew Barrymore and Alexa Chung has awesome looking Ombres too, among others. One more mane I'd love to steal is Rumi Neely's. GAH SO GORGE.

Then imagine my surprise when I see Topshop's LookBook Models sporting the Ombre early this year (mostly appearing on their blog,too!) but in different awesome shades like Platinum Blonde and Pink, Blue, Green, among others!

Check out Bleach London for inspiration. Speaking of which, I tried the Dark Brown/Blue combination but it only lasted for less than a week until I decided to go back to my old Ombre. Yes, half of my mane was dark blue/blue about 3 days ago.

Also, I cannot get enough of this photo of Sky Ferreira on the cover of Wonderland. As my Pinny Gee would say, "LUSH!!"

I could go on (and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and...) you know?



I'm pretty lame with coming up with titles for outfit posts. Makes me wish I hadn't placed texts on my sets. I was blog-hopping today and just realized how much I miss blogging about fashion! Not that my recent posts are lame, but I was finally allowed to take a breather this week. Don't get me wrong, I'm still quite busy, but thankfully not like before.

I was able to clean the house (my Husband helped too!) and tend to my seemingly murdered toe and fingernails.

Also, thanks to my God-sent bff, I am now able to do a little online shopping (yay!).

Jayson, Andrew and I were supposed to shoot outdoors (do I hear someone belt out Hallelujah in the background or is that just me?) but since I had other things to do, we (actually I) had to move it to next week. Pretty excited though. Was browsing for inspiration and finally found it! Of course me screaming out "BOHEMIAN!" already happened the moment we decided to shoot, but I don't think I'd be doing just one theme. Gotta take advantage of the time (and tools!).

I was feeling quite bored and creative so I put together a few looks.

This look has been done and done countless of times but it never gets old. Bohemian Retro, it will always be sexy to me.
If the Philippine weather permits me (well actually I think it does), I would love love love to pull this off.

I'm not really known to love shoes, but there is definitely an Imelda in all of us - so imagine how that little Imelda inside of me called out for this pair. Its too pretty, and definitely a must-have! But why so hefty? Right, like I even needed to ask!

I think leather, lace, sheer, gold and studs put together screams SEXX. But I love how I can use turquoise jewelry with this set, its a subtle but very bold accent piece!

I've noticed how I'm suddenly drawn to mustard these days. Been eyeing on that pleated Topshop top I saw on Tricia too. So pretty!

I don't know what is it about Color Blocking that's so addicting. It's probably the fun of putting together colors that you never thought would end up complimenting each other.

Now if only my Boss didn't implement the new dress code. Ha. How awesome is it to have the luxury of dressing up the way you want to and get paid for it?

God, I can't wait.


I'm with Jesus

Don't get me wrong. This isn't where I'm going all self-righteous on you. Just thought I'd express my thoughts and feelings whenever people peg Spiritual (not religious, there is a difference) people as "Baduy", and that's just among others.

I don't think I can blame my friends and other people as well for thinking that way. Most people who practice the same faith as I am have been misunderstood countless of times. Probably because they turn out to be really self-righteous. And I won't be a hypocrite to say that I have those urges too at times, which would be totally wrong because my slate isn't perfectly clean and I've no right to judge anyone or whatever.

Here's the thing. As some of you know, I was once "living the dream", and I knew I was going places. I knew it in my heart that it was a passion I was wanted to pursue. And words aren't enough for me to describe how it felt to be doing what I loved most.

I temporarily left all that behind (using the word "temporarily" because I do intend to go back to modeling when I settle back in the Philippines, I believe I'm never too old to still continue fulfilling my dreams), to help my parents, and now - keep a promise that my Mom asked of us. I'm happily married, working abroad... Thank God my life is stable. God provides us with exactly what we need, and I am content. I know I could have more, but I am content. And no, I am not 'settling' because I'm at a point in my life where I know that I would be able to do other things later, because I've got priorities. I'm not exactly given the luxury to slack off, and I'm not one to complain (as I always say).

Getting back to the subject, a few of my friends have told me that they noticed how much I've changed over the year. Some of them expressing how my Christian friends have 'affected' me (and not in a good way), saying that my 'dependence on God' was making me weak, and it was unhealthy.

I'm still dumbfounded as I type this.

First of all, I won't really take it against anyone who doesn't believe in the same things I do. I'm not here to point fingers and say who's going to burn in hell. I have friends and best friends who have different beliefs - I even have bestfriends who are atheists. Honestly, I have wished and prayed that we had the same beliefs. But I told myself that I wasn't going to push them to anything.

For most of my friends who acknowledge God in their lives (no matter what religion), I see that they became stronger, God-fearing people because of it, and I respect them for that. My parents always said, no matter what faith they practice - if God is manifesting in their lives, then good for them. Pop always preaches, "If this is where they grow, then let them be. No religion teaches wrong." And this is true. Its not the religion, really. Its the person.

My friends back home are still pursuing their passion, and I couldn't be any more proud of them for that. I won't deny that I feel a little jealous sometimes because I do miss modeling, I miss receiving texts from Stylists, booking me for a shoot. I can't wait to get back to that life.

While they're blessed doing what we've always wanted, I'm all the way here - but I'm blessed too. God is giving me so much as well. In a totally different aspect, but just as awesome. God has chosen me to be a part of something that could bring Him glory - the one He's been wanting His children to give, the only thing He wants is for us to love Him, and for us to show Him that.

Maybe I have changed. But don't get me wrong - I'm still the same person. I still eat dessert before the main course, I still listen to indie music, I still like songs with really gnarly lyrics, I still watch profane, twisted films (my recent favorite is Gaspar Noé's "Enter the Void") I still laugh to Barney Stinson's inappropriate banters, and at Sheldon Cooper playfully insulting his mom for being so religious. My friends and I still throw green jokes at each other, but of course not around my churchmates or else that'll be really disrespectful. If there's one thing I don't do anymore - that'll be cussing.

And I still dream of becoming a model again.
Do you see what I'm trying to get at?

I tried to explain it in this entry but I guess some things aren't meant to be said. I'll just have to keep it to myself, but I will say this : Being with Jesus will always be awesome.

I'd better leave it at that. God Bless you guys!


You Are My Joy / From The Inside Out (Raw Ver)

Can't really call it a cover, but we were sort of rehearsing for a special number that we were supposed to offer that week. Didn't push through, obviously I was having trouble singing due to my silly sore throat. Meh. This was shot about a month ago, btw. Gotta love Drew's spiky hair. Huzzah.

You Are My Joy / From the Inside Out from Abbie Almasco-Bautista on Vimeo.


The Usual Case

You know what it is. Since I don't have enough time to write entries (I miss blogging and video blogging, for real), I finally published some of my entries that have been saved as a draft for weeks now (because I wanted to update my site!), I'm also uploading some photos I took recently.

Andrew and I are planning to shoot soon. I'll also be updating you guys on the recent P&W Night that we organized - its more like fulfilling a mission that God assigned us to complete.

Praise You, Jesus. With Him we are always victorious!

With my one and only Chubby Bunny.

Off to do some damage (don't worry, it ain't so serious) at the nearby Chanel/MAC make-up stall. I'm also gonna be uploading photos of my recent purchases! Woot, excited! No promises, but will do that for sure. Hope you guys are having a blast doing what you're doing (or not doing, ha!)

God Bless!


Flipping Over to A New Chapter

(*late post / entry typed on the 14th of March)

After Seven Years of being together (and eight months of being broken up in 2008), even I end up surprised at how fast time flies.

I remember seeing Andrew being auctioned off one night, during our dorm's acquaintance party. I was in my second year of college, he was in his first. I heard a lot about him. There was even a forum topic on him in our school's official website.

"Yeah, he's hot", I'd say. I wasn't into him though. I remember being so confused with someone else at the time.

It was about a month or so until there was a formal introduction. My bestfriend, Len, was able to capture it on camera (I took a photo of the actual picture but Andrew deleted it by accident from his camera. Hmp), I was in my first ever Topshop top, my hair was tied up, he was in that two-toned shirt and those denim puruntongs that I hate so much. We shook hands, smiled, and took a walk.

He didn't say much during our first conversation. Earlier that day we exchanged smiles at each other during our college presentation at the field. But that night, we weren't looking at each other, our eyes were all over the place. His probinsyano accent was pretty cute though. Actually, his probinsyano ways were cute. He was so innocent! I was a year older than he was, and obviously, he didn't know so much about the world I grew up in, considering that he was born and raised in Libya, and ended up going to High School in a Seminary that was close to his home in Pangasinan.

The things we went through, they weren't easy. But looking at the bright side, it would make a nice story to tell my children and grandchildren one day.

After being together for so long, you'd think that we've already adjusted to each other completely, and that being married should feel like nothing's supposed to change. Well yes, "everything "doesn't change, but you go back to square one. Its pretty refreshing, but sometimes confusing.

Andrew and I have taken it slow. We've had our share of rough patches, and I am thankful that we have, because at this point we've already faced most of the scary stuff. Surely there are still things I don't understand about him, and I'm sure that he feels the same. But am so thankful that God blessed me with a husband who UNDERSTANDS most of the time.

I can't put into words how grateful I am. I've been trying to, but have deleted several sentences because it doesn't seem to capture how I feel.

If you were wondering how we celebrated our first anniversary, we had a simple dinner at a nearby restaurant, just the way we wanted it.

The food was flavorgasmic.


After being married and all, do you want to know what my favorite time of the day is? Its when in the middle of the night, or early morning, I find Andrew's arms wrapped around me, and I just snuggle comfortably with him, wishing we'd just lay like that for as long as we could, for as long as time permits.

I love you, Andrew Bautista.