Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Marguerite's Travel Lookbook: Our Interpretation of "Je Ne Sais Quoi"

I started Monday morning in the mall at the Promod store in SM Megamall, minutes before the guards throw the doors open. Charisse of Stratworks invited me to be part of 10 bloggers to participate in this activity wherein a blogger (that's me) partners with a stylist to come up with 5 looks that would be our interpretation of French high-street fashion.

Promod happens to be one of France's biggest fashion store chains that caters to modern and active women between the ages of 20 to 30 years old. Their prices aren't too steep and I could vouch for the quality of the pieces. I like that they have a good mix of classic pieces and come up with different looks to suit the individual tastes of their clientele. As of now, Promod has 796 outlets in 46 countries. Wow!
When I saw the email (days after it was sent to me, since my inbox was clogged), I searched
high and low for a stylist partner among my roster of stylish stylist friends. I chose Argie Salango, a young stylist and fashion student apprenticing for one of the country's top stylists to be my partner-in-crime. I bugged him and he agreed. :) I'm glad that I have to partner up with a stylist here because I personally have a very "safe" taste in fashion and most of my clothes gravitate towards the black spectrum. I need Argie's expertise since a stylist sees things in a different perspective than a makeup artist does.
So we were let loose in this huge store to go around and pick clothes which fit our fancy. Argie was at awe with all of the pretty stuff in this huge store, smiling from ear-to-ear as he was going through rack after rack. When I was picking out clothes, he told me first to come up with a palette. The first color that came to my mind was BLACK, and every so often I would go through black. Argie would go, " 'Te, too dark. let's go light, neutral, and muted" and so I compromised with a pair of black kitten heel strappy sandals and explored the muted neutrals and brights. The clothes and accessories were all so pretty. We were only halfway through the store when we already filled one rack. "Always have options," Argie would tell me.

Once we've picked out our choices, it's time for dress-up. We were supposed to fit the clothes on the mannequin. Think of us playing with a giant fashion doll (without a head). During the duration of the activity, we came up with the idea of a storyboard for our looks, so here we are, telling the story of a woman named Marguerite as we chronicle her vacation.

Marguerite's Travel Lookbook
by Argie Salango and Bambi de la Cruz

"The plane lands. Out steps Marguerite - a single, successful, and sophisticated French lady who decided to take a short trip out of town. Work was too much. She deserves this break for herself. She removes her sunglasses with her perfectly-manicured hands. A smile materializes from her scarlet lips."

Stylist note: A French woman looks put-together in whatever situation. Her clothes exhibit
classic pieces in neutral colors with a little punch of here and there. France is a city brimming with art and culture has imbibed that same influence on her people. Marguerite is no exception. Hence, we chose clothes that were classic and sophisticated but with a punch of statement. For her first look, Marguerite has just arrived from the airport. She wears a jumpsuit in a muted gray-blue color with a tank top underneath to break the monotony and matching blue suede pumps with low heels (to keep comfortable during travel). A floral scarf adds statement plus two belts for texture and an oversize bag to keep her travel essentials during the flight.

The shades are necessary, of course, shield her eyes from the sun (or to look chic even without a stitch of eye makeup or undereye concealer. :P)

While putting together the look, we also saw various ways on how this look can be executed.
Hence, we have featured also how versatile one look could be, and how the wearer could put
together this look to fit her own style.

Aside from being a neckpiece, the scarf could also be used as a bracelet or a bag accent.

"She arrives at her hotel and lies down the bed and falls to a deep slumber. A luxurious bubble bath with a glass of champagne awaits her as she wakes up. By the time she's finished, it's time to hit the clubs. The city welcomes her in style!"

Stylist note: Marguerite mixes and matches with this tough-sexy look. Black kitten heels with strappy details are a more comfortable compromise to toe-pinching and calf-cramping stilettos.
She shows some leg with the classic denim short shorts. A layered tee keeps her comfortable
and the leather biker jacket gives her a fresh and tailored look.

Open the jacket and she wows us all with a statement necklace. Argie decided to get creative and looped five gold bangles on a chain and use that to make this unique necklace. The extra bangle could be worn on the wrist solo. Keep the sleeves rolled up. When walking down the street, zip up the jacket but once it's time to dance, then zip down, let the hair loose and have fun. Since this is such a sexy rocker look, a black messy smoky eye and nude lip gloss would be perfect too.

"She takes a stroll down the beach the next day. Now is her time for reflection and relaxation. Just her, the sand, and the sound of the waves with the warm ocean wind brushing through her long dark hair. Perfect tranquility. She sits down the sand and lets her gaze just float towards the horizon."
Stylist note: The look here is very relaxed and comfortable. The kitten heels are kicked off
and replaced with beach-friendly turquoise sandals that are better for walking on the beach. The scarf could be used at first as a bag to hold essentials such as sunblock (better keep protected!), sunglasses, and a nice book to read. The jumpsuit is made of light and airy material so it's not too heavy for an afternoon stroll down the beach. It could even be used as a bikini cover-up should she decide to take a dip later on. Bangles too, if she wants a bit of bling.

Again, we still make sure that this look stays versatile. The scarf could be used as a head
cover-up (as I have demonstrated. I have borrowed Marguerite's sunglasses from her first look
so as not to disclose my un-concealed undereye circles).

Aside from a head cover to protect the hair from being fried from the sun and to keep hair away from her face, the scarf could be used as a necklace....
or a belt (with the top pulled down using the swimsuit as a top). On another note, the
statement necklace from the second look could also be used as an accessory as the gold details
match with the jumpsuit's beadwork.

"Every girl loves to shop, and Marguerite is no exception. She visits the city's biggest shopping mall. Girls do have fun after all, wherever they may be."

Stylist note: Run around the mall with stilettos? Your calves and ankles would be screaming
"HELP!". So here's a little compromise for those who want a bit of height - wedges. Wedges
provide better support while giving height, which is perfect for the mallrats who want to keep
tall and sexy. While shopping for clothes, look for something that's easy to remove and easy
to put on - hence classic jeans and t-shirts would do, with a twist of course. The oversize knit sweater provides a bit of a bold statement on its own, with just a chunky beaded bracelet
as an accessory (Note: It's actually a necklace made to a bracelet). I chose a big, slouchy bag for Marguerite here, which holds all her essentials and still has room to fit smaller purchases so she need not carry a lot of shopping bags (How very environment-friendly!).

"She ends her day with a quiet dinner with someone special. Her face lights up at the sight of his smile. She coyly returns his gaze as she sips her glass of wine."

Stylist note: As of this time, Marguerite winds down and relaxes. The top's turquoise details and beading provide a statement on its own so we kept the rest simple-black leggings and a white jacket. We borrow the blue pumps from the first look to tie the blue scheme together. A
blue-green scarf keeps the neck warm while providing texture and more versatility. A snakeskin clutch reveals her little wild side.

And speaking of versatility, the bead details from the top can also be removed! The beads can
be used as a choker or ditch the beads and use the scarf as a neckpiece or a headpiece should she decide to go hippie chic (again, I'm borrowed as the "head" model as mannequin heads were not available).
As Marguerite ends her journey, so do we. We packed up her clothes as our muse/mannequin is stowed away. It was indeed a fun day of dressing up our muse and creating a story. However, Argie and I would be reunited with Marguerite again on Thursday, April 29, 2010 at the SM Mega Atrium. We had to choose one look, which would be displayed on that day along with the works from other bloggers and stylists.

See you on Thursday, Marguerite!

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