The first time we met each other, just a little over two years to this day, was at the opening of Go Lokal in Ayala Center Cebu, a concept store for up-and-coming Filipino entrepreneurs to showcase their products. I was looking at a display of minaudières and was fascinated with their iridescent detail under the harsh shop lights when someone approached me.
“Hello,” her voice was soft-spoken and polite. “I’m Susanne Verallo.”
The name immediately rang a bell—after all, it was proudly displayed next to the statement bags that had so caught my attention.
We shook hands and made small talk about her products, particularly about how the minaudières on display were among her last. She explained that they take too much effort and generate a lot of waste to make, and will be shifting her focus to jewelry instead.
When I was younger, I used to think that I’d be married by the time I was around 25.
I’m four years past that deadline and still very much unbetrothed, but I had lunch with the Francis Libiran, and it’s pretty up there on my list of highlights right now—only to be knocked off in the future when some guy I love asks me to marry him, of course. Then, maybe I’ll have a new Francis Libiran-related highlight: Walking down the aisle in one of his ethereal creations.
(But not really, because your girl has to compensate somehow for the height)
I’d like to think of this as a companion piece to the last thing I wrote, which was about going through the aftermath of a back injury through an unexpected accessory. This time around, it’s a different coping mechanism—one that’s very near and dear to me: Shoes!
Considering the aforementioned height (precisely, the lack thereof), I’ve always been a fan of high heels. Wore them the moment I could, and you can bet on anything I blew past the maximum heel height requirement my college uniform required. Did it matter if I occasionally struggled a little while walking downhill towards the campus’ Mango Avenue gate? Of course not. I was tall!
So you can imagine my horror when the good doctor from the Cebu Orthopaedic Institute told me to avoid wearing high heels post the apocalyptic event that was me getting a lumbar strain.
I’ve always had a fascination—albeit mild—with Japanese culture, stemming from eating ramen and watching Memoirs of a Geisha at an impressionable age. Though I’ve never been to the country yet, that’s not to say I don’t want to go there. I’m simply waiting for the right opportunity to do so.
That said, I was intrigued upon finding out that the theme for this year’s Make Your Own Havaianas (running until May 1) is Japanese-inspired. A quick chat with Leanne Florendo, half of the dynamic duo that makes up AL Amizade, informed me that the Havaianas’ heritage is partly rooted in Japanese culture, with the texture of the soles reminiscent of the traditional zori. Quite interesting, really, for a Brazilian brand.
Leather jacket: Forever 21 / White tee: Ralph Lauren /
Denim shorts: SM Department Store / Boots: Michael Kors Photography: Mark Philip Dales of Madworld Photography Makeup: Arnauld / Hair: Gino Fonghe
One of the perks of the job is working with extremely creative people who… mess around with you when they’re bored. Heh.
Case in point: A lull in between photo shoots for Zee Lifestyle‘s May 2016 issue led to my favorite makeup artist Arnauld weaving his magic on me, with hairstylist Gino Fonghe following suit, giving photographer Mark Philip Dales no choice but to take photos.