long live olive

i am giriish

painter, writer,
designer, martial artist,

and these are my jottings...

 if i

…were seated at an intimate dinner for eight hosted by the president’s designer, would I mince words at how ghastly one lady looked at fashion magazine’s event in Manila? 
if the shoe fits...

I saw these satin pumps at Bergdorf Goodman. They’re the most beautiful pair on the shoe department and were the only ones I could think of getting for my cousin Ann. They would be perfect for the fibre de bananiere, or pineapple silk dresses that she has to wear to formal congressional functions… and they’re just the right height.
Sadly, they didn’t have her size so now I’m waiting for the order to be delivered. My cousin Aimee who manages the Marni store @ Bergdorf will be sending these four digit Valentino’s as soon as the order arrives.
They almost cost as much as a trip to NYC, so, no I’m not paying for these.
She is.

Girls in LBD's

joy onglatco, tricia gullas

What did Audrey Hepburn as Holly Golightly in Breakfast at Tiffany’s wear at the opening scene of said movie? This garment was designed by Hubert de Givenchy and accessorized with pearls. It is the Little Black Dress of course.

agnes heuttel, arcy gayatin

Wallis Warfield Simpson, Duchess of Windsor, was also known to own several and said much in praise of the dress declaring, “When a little black dress is right, there is nothing else to wear in its place.” Even the French folk icon, Edith Piaf, consistently performed in a black sheath dress throughout her career and was nicknamed “little black sparrow” for doing so. It was acknowledged that the dress made the audiences focus more on Piaf's singing and less on her appearance.

tess lampert, lani osmena

The Little Black Dress, an evening or cocktail dress, cut simply and often with a short skirt, was originally made popular in the 1920s by the fashion designer Coco Chanel when she published a picture of a short, simple black dress in Vogue. It was calf-length, straight, and decorated only by a few diagonal lines. Vogue called it “Chanel’s Ford.” It was intended by Chanel to be long lasting, versatile, affordable, and accessible to the widest market possible and in a neutral color. Its continued ubiquity is such that many refer to it by the abbreviation LBD.

june alegrado, luisa robinson

The Little Black Dress is considered essential to a complete wardrobe by many women and fashion observers: "rule of fashion" now is that every woman should own a simple, elegant black dress that can be dressed up or down depending on the occasion. A staple of the wardrobe for years, the style of the little black dress, ideally, is as simple as possible: a short black dress that is too clearly part of a trend would not qualify because it would soon appear dated.

this jotter, marco protacio

Appearing fashionably dated, one summer more, was your style jotter. Thus, when Marco Protacio, Waterfront Hotel’s style savvy General Manager, hosted impromptu dinner to celebrate friendship, I did not hesitate to call on my favorite girl friends for a night of gustatory fun and stylish, light chatter.

Staying Serene at Club Serena

I just did a shoot at my friends resort, Club Serena in Moalboal and rejuvenated was I. although I was also working, Dexter Alazas, the stylist did his job quite well, thus, I didn’t have to lift a finger. I’ve worked with some stylists before but admittedly, in Cebu, Dexter’s level of professionalism is matchless thus far.

The items had been picked more than a week before the shoot and pulled out from the stores. An hour before the shoot, they were already steamed and laid out with the accessories, and the vignettes too had been sorted out.

Mind you, I’ve been to shoots where I had to iron the clothes myself because the stylist didn’t take care of that. Some clothes had not even been taken out of their plastic packaging.

Makeup artist, Romero Vergara, was also in top form although days before the shoot, he was at the emergency room of a hospital in Singapore recovering from an asthma attack with a nebulizer. “Too much partying, we had three bottles of Moet Chandon the night before and then a barbecue party. My lungs conked out,” he said.

Seven layouts for eight pages, all done in a day; there really is nothing like working with industry professionals. Day after the shoot, I had time to laze at oxygenated pool and even go scuba diving just before we headed back for Cebu. I didn’t realize how the deepest blue triggered primal fear in my spine until I saw the colorful, seabed of corals drop into an abyss. Then again, that’s another story.

Erte Art

ERTÉ (1892-990) is one of fashion’s most iconic figures. He was not only an excellent illustrator but also a noted costume and set designer. He was born in St. Petersburg. Russia but later naturalized as a French citizen. He was 76 years old when the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York mounted an exhibit of his works causing him to be rediscovered by art dealers and collectors and improving the market for his work today.

In Russia, as a young boy, he studied at the atelier of Ilia Repin. In 1912, he decided to improve his talent at the Académie Julian in Paris and at the École de Beaux-Art. Legendary couturier Paul Poiret discovered him and gave him a start, allowing him to earn a living by designing models for his collections, a trade that fascinated him. From Paris, he sent drawings to Damsky Min, the most important fashion magazine in czarist Russia while in Paris, Poiret opened doors of the Gazette du Bon Ton to him.

Sergey Pavlovich Diaghilev, Russian ballet impresario who with Ballet Russes revived Ballet as a serious art form, asked him to design costumes and sets. Erté’s style, though influenced by the paintings of the Pre-Raphaelites, and by Art Deco patterns, had an original touch, which was borne out of the exotic pictures he saw in the library of his father, a world-travelled admiral. These included 16th century Persian and Indian miniatures, from which he acquired certain precious decorative motifs, as well as a love for details and for gold and silver.

Between 1916 and 1938 he designed innumerable covers for Harpers’ Bazaar. During the 1920’s and 1930’s he would work in both Paris and New York on the sets of the Folies Bergères where he designed several costumes for Joséphine Baker and the Zeigfeld Follies. Hollywood also wanted him, and he created sets and costumes for The Mystic and La Bohème.

If one were to name a fashion illustrator that he most admires, that would be Romain de Tirtoff, famously and popularly known as ERTÉ.


Whenever your style jotter would go through final security check at domestic airports, one would cringe at the thought of inconvenience. Much as I’d love to, I can never get myself to wear flip flops on a plane unless it’s Caticlan bound and since these days, most of my flights are to and from Manila for design work, the only way to go is comfortably and presentably.

The easiest to wear and most comfortable travel shoes I’ve come across thus far are Columbia Sportwear Company’s convertible moccasins from the ZUGO series. The pair I picked is of soft suede in a light tusk color with chili stitching. With its lightness, supple texture, and distinct unusual shape, this pair looked fun, practical, and versatile.

Initially, I wasn’t so sure about the homey form, they’re not exactly the tapered shape that I prefer since my feet are narrow, but once I had them on, I instantly recognized its design ergonomics. Its wideness freely accommodates and makes it so much easier to slip them on and off. The collapsible heel also transforms them into slip-ons and I see its usability when you need to go that far on longer flights.

The Techlite midsole compound is engineered specifically to provide superior comfort and cushioning for outdoor footwear. This durable, impact absorbing material delivers consistent support in a lightweight package that keeps feet protected and snug whether one is spending leisurely time at the beach, on a rigorous weekend on the trail or simply listening to music within the fuselage of an aircraft.

The shoes foot bed has Contour Comfort sock liner, which interacts with the natural contours of the foot bringing up the level of support and ease. The AgION antimicrobial technology, based on silver ions, protects against a broad spectrum of bacteria to keep the foot bed clean and odor free.

Ever since I started travelling in my ZUGO’s, I’ve been breezing through final security checks. For travelling, this pair is probably the best.


here are some sketches that i have already made into clothes.

cloud coat and stretch tulle romper

raw silk tops

jersey and crystal dress

i'm still searching for the images of the actual garments.

Fits like a T

Your style jotter is never one who goes crazy over flip-flops because when you come right down to it and strip off the hype, slippers are just slippers, or so one thought. Thus, when I was invited to check out the new styles of flip-flops that allegedly give you a workout while you walk I was uncharacteristically curious.

More than just a fashion brand, FitFlop was designed with most people who barely have the time to go to the gym or follow a fitness regimen in mind. Former spa owner Marcia Kilgore with lecturing bio-mechanist Dr. David Cook developed a pair of footwear that will help people stay in shape while walking

The innovative Fitflops make use of the groundbreaking ‘microwobble-board’ technology used on the mid-sole. This single-fused underfoot foam with varying hardness engages the lower body muscles more than any footwear with every step. In effect, this results to shapely legs and thighs, and even firmer derriere. Additionally, they also force your legs and feet to align naturally, resulting to an increased speed of movement thereby working out the calf muscles.

What’s most interesting about Fitflops however is that it allegedly eases out different sorts of back pains, arthritis and knee problems. I have none of these conditions but a day of walking in these comfortable slippers proved the point. I am quite particular about daily footwear since I get pains in the sole of my feet after doing errands or even just going up and down my workrooms in the wrong pair. I have more than a dozen pairs of sneakers yet I have a favorite pair, which I’ve almost worn to tatters and surprisingly I liked my Fitflops after just an hour of walking in them. There was no pain at the end of the day either.

These gold pair that I wear now are not in the forefront of fashion but boy, are they comfortable!

Fitflop is available in Res|Toe|Run (Trinoma, Galleria, Gateway and Ayala Cebu), Shoe Salon, The Spa, Bratpack, ROX, Chimes Specialty Store – Davao, Bettina Boutique – Cagayan de Oro. To see this season’s styles check out www.fitflop.multiply.com

Taking Joy In The JOYA AWARDS

Caloy Mendoza's winning work.

I managed to catch the last day of the 33rd Joya Awards at the SM Art Center and picked my favorite paintings. Having been a student of this master when I was in college, I was curious to see what an art competition named after him embodies.

Uzi Emperado, one of the finalists personally opened the gallery on its last day to show your art jotter the collection.

Uzi Emperado's self portrait

Created in 1976 mainly with the help of the late National Artist Jose Joya who was then the Dean of the College of Fine Arts in Diliman , The Jose Joya Awards is a commitment to the proliferation of the Fine Arts. The University of the Philippines, Visayas Cebu College (UPVCC) Fine Arts Program was the foremost formal Fine Arts school outside Luzon and was recipient of Joya’s noble efforts. The Jose Joya Awards plays a major role in generating art and culture awareness among Cebuano students and serves as good ground for training young artists on the technicalities of mounting an art exhibition. All winning student-artists receive cash prizes and medals for their achievements while their artworks become property of UPVCC.

The winning work this year is called “Here, The Fountain Flows” by 20 year old, Carlo Mendoza. To this jotter, this mixed media piece captures Cebuano Pop Art beautifully. The artist superimposed digitally manipulated images on a wooden box painted with gradations of light ochre green and the ethereal blue. “If you look beyond the visual and go deeper into the painting’s meaning you’ll get the title. Despite difficulties one has to learn to flow with changes to accomplish great things,” reveals this year’s winner.

The Jose Joya Awards continues to challenge every new set of Fine Arts student leaders and renewed hope for every competitor. Highlighting the significant role of art in our society, it is also where students’ artistic dreams are made and masterpieces are conceived.


Suede & Tulle

apparently, you can't write text if you email a photo from your iphone directly to go@blogger.com

lilies and dends

i did this ikebana arrangement for a photo shoot with cybill and john yesterday.

Avaloketishvara, a thangka painting from a book given by my friend georgia.

i was testing my mobile post and it works :)


here's a dress in champagne colored taffeta for amy.

If I

Mang Ben

…were legendary fashion designer Ben Farrales, the featured finale for a group fashion gala and security guards at the backstage entrance will not let me in because I’m not wearing my access card what would I do? Although his temper is as legendary as his designs ”Mang Ben” stayed cool when the guards didn’t recognize him. A young designer who witnessed the incident politely greeted the fashion icon and told the guard who the gentleman was, thus the beloved designer went through the tarpaulin curtains with his dignity intact.

Fusion of The Butterfly Sleeve and Cola (Train)

... were an upscale coffee shop and I invited the local press of Cebu to my opening, I would make sure that all the editors are included in my guest list. I'd also make sure that the receptionist will have the savoir faire not to turn away unlisted guests. At a recent opening, local branch of an international chain of coffee shops committed social relations faux pas by turning away a guest instead of asking her to register her name and put in her contact numbers. The guest turned out to be an editor from a lifestyle glossy, while the receptionist turned out to be clueless.

Suit inspired by the Baju Kebaya

…were greeted by someone familiar whose name I can’t remember how do I get out of such an awkward situation? At a recent gala featuring 100 designers, a Cebuano designer who gained endearment with his gentle ways via a designer’s competition reality show asked all the wrong questions just to get a clue when an extremely friendly young but established Manila designer came up to kiss him. The Manila designer had to reintroduce himself while giggling. “ Ang dami kasi natin,(there’s just too many of us in this show),” the Cebuano designer apologized laughing.

sunday sketch

i had been viewing illustrations blog with cybill and realized how easy it is to just post a sketch instead of blogging words.

well, here's a sketch of my trainee working on a gown for tonette.

The Last Italian Maestro

Capucci Who?

Relatively unknown, especially to young designers these days, Roberto Capucci is the greatest living Italian creator of high fashion who still refuses to compromise aesthetics for commercial gain. For this master, anonymity comes as no surprise, for an aspiring designer however, research on his work will surely be inspirational and beneficial for one’s fashion IQ.

“I never allowed myself to be influenced by the logic of ‘When shall I wear it? On what ocassion? The history of costume wouldn’t exist if others, over the centuries had thought this way,” he declared earlier in his career.

Roberto Capucci always finds stimulus far away from mainstream, commercial fashion, which he considers to be contagiously vulgar and ruled by bad taste and ugliness. Instead, he finds inspiration in the sublime; in observing the flight of birds during an African safari, in admiring the voluptuousness of damask in a portrait by Bronzino or the indefinable light blue of a corset in a painting by Cosimo Tura and also in simply peeling an orange, copying the elegant spiral of its peel on a sleeve or skirt.

To prepare a collection, he makes as much as 1,200 black and white sketches then he edits and colors the chosen designs. Every dress can as requires much as four months of work and almost 200 yards of the most precious fabric. He is the last couturier who still uses Ermesin taffeta, a fabric that is hand-made on looms from the 1500’s.

Roberto Capucci follows a visionary dream of beauty, in sculpture dresses with swirls, crests, and ribs that combine the sumptuousness, the rigor and the solemnity of Renaissance costumes, fantastic architectures, spectacular allegories and clothes of non-existent practicality.

joy onglatco in helix dress, shagreen cuffs and menudier

I chanced upon photos of my favorite dresses and here’s one from my helix line. I made this for my friend Joy Onglatco who has recently inspired me to work on a fashion illustrations exhibit which i will be putting up in November.
full -scale muslin (back detail)

I constructed this dress using the drape method, starting the drape process on a half scale draping form which i had specifically made, then working on a full scale form. I carefully calculated the folds, building up the stiffness of the fabric to maximize its hand and fall then made the actual dress in taffeta and refitted it on Joy. The result, as you can see, is subtly sculptural.

half-scale muslin

I sketched Joy in a nocturnal blue taffeta gown similar to this one. It was for a designer-muse shoot for Metro Society magazine. The sketch did not get published with our photo but provided the incipient idea for a series of illustrations.

I haven't had a one-man show since 2000. back then, i did Soul Light Portraits--portrait abstractions. i used color to convey the feelings and thoughts that each of my subjects inspired while meditating and the resulting images were well-received; almost all the hue-infused paintings sold.

This time, i'm going to try to capture the style of each of my fifteen sitters and hopefully put smiles not just on their faces but on the viewers as well.

gilded transfer

your jotter is planning to set up his 2nd one-man show this november, thus he’s learning new techniques to layer and add depth to his paintings.

early this week he learned image transfer through acrylic emulsion, a style pioneered by robert rauschenberg which one saw at the moma in new york. caloy mendoza, this years joya awardee from UP Cebu gave instructions on the tedious process and shared invaluable tips on surface finishing, framing and so forth.

just an hour ago, one learned another technique: gilding. 'boy icoy' brought in a girl who works in a furniture export company. she gilded an old chair at my atelier and showed this enthusiastic blogger the technique.

VAJRASATTVA:Buddha of Purification

above is a sample of this artist's work combining image transfer and gilding.

incidentally, one learned how to carve early this year should he also include some sculptures in his exhibit? wonder, wonder, wonder…

a mimosa named kris

I made this dress in white silk/pineapple blend for Miss Cebu 2009, Kris Janson at the Santacruzan, Waterfront Cebu City Hotel. Initially, I thought the frock would be too transparent however, the diaphanous quality of the material made the exposed darts and skeletal construction look rather interesting. Lining the dress with nude corset and skirt made it perfectly ethereal. While most of the other Sagalas were encumbered by their elaborate gowns, kris moved around effortlessly and elegantly.

"This is really lovely on kris. Hmmmmm, however, this would need a thousand more origami mimosas if misha were to wear it in New York," were my thoughts.

dove and haori

PHOTO: edwin ao

i couldn’t go to the Metro100 fashion gala but my friend cary santiago took care of my clothes thus I didn’t worry at all. edwin ao who worked with me as associate fashion editor for zee was there too and took the photo above.

i couldn’t imagine what level of chaos the backstage was in, what with more than fifty designers there. Good news however was that “we were well applauded,” according to cary.

silk dupione coat, dove dress,wood&satin flood clogs.

i posted the “haori” pattern a couple of posts ago, and this here is the final outfit which was posted at thefashpack.blogspot.com Instead of my original plan to show the coat with an ultra fitted, micro tank dress, I instead did a shirtdress with dove sleeves and deep-V back.

found objects

During holy week, this jotter sought out refuge from the simmering city heat at a private beach house in Tabogon, an hour-and-a-half drive from Cebu City.

At night, while sipping champagne in a lap pool, one marveled at the full moon—a perfect, solitary orb of silvery gold light against the dimmest indigo, cloudless skies. While the shimmering water mesmerized, the passing breeze perfumed the nocturnal air with the unmistakable scent of an exotic breed of frangipani nearby.

Early mornings found one climbing the rocky cliffs and jumping into the warm waters of the welcoming cove while late afternoons were for hikes to the nearby town of Daan Tabogon (Old Tabogon) and exchanging pleasantries with the townsfolk.

Those were exquisite days of rest, the best chance to catch up with steven, a sommelier friend from New York; my host jiji, educator and entrepreneur; and eva, my Miami-based publisher.

On his solitary walks at the beach, your jotter photographed found objects which are featured here. Figure out what each object is and have the chance to be this jotter’s special guest for Metrowear 100 this coming April 30.