July 11, 2015

The Archipelagic Escapade, Part I

"My stomach got butterflies, can you believe this is actually happening? This is so frigging exciting," my sister Bianca and I would alternatingly say - over and over - as we flick through the itinerary for the gazillionth time, perusing every detail and trying to soak up what was yet to come in the next seven days. "Wow, what have we ever done to deserve any of this?"

I've lived fourths of my existence in the Middle East, but the Philippines - the land where I was born and raised - will always be home. It had been two years since we last set foot in our homeland. Two years. It felt like forever. And in a blink of an eye, I was flown 4,000 miles across the continent to explore and experience the Philippines in a whole new level. With tropical summer in full swing and in the midst of tourism season Visit the Philippines Year 2015, I went on an exhilarating seven-day tour of the majestic archipelago together with the Middle East's (Doha and Dubai) finest media people, stopping over three of its top tourist destinations: Manila, Palawan and Cebu.

"At any moment now it's just going to be you and me," Bianca said tensely as we headed towards the airport. "Are we ready?" Both jittery and psyched we looked at each other. "Hell yes, we're ready. Let's go." 

June 28, 2015

Doha Social Scene Recap

With a wave of new brands that keep coming in and industry household names hitting the town, Doha's fashion and social scene has been packed and abuzz since the start of the year. 

Big, well-loved brands keep rolling in: American Eagle Outfitters inaugurated their first store in Qatar earlier this year with an exclusive media preview, while luxury brands such as Karl Lagerfeld, Alice + Olivia, BCBGMaxazria and Ted Baker opened their doors recently hosting stylish in-store soirees. Two fashion industry heavyweights - Carolina Herrera de Baez and Christian Siriano - paid our sunny city a visit, unveiling their new exciting ventures with a personal touch. Speaking of fresh ventures, emerging bag designer Manar of Moni&J and mega-blogger Ascia (from The Hybrids) launched their collaboration handbag collection in an exclusive event hosted by Doha's very own Per Lei Couture. Qatar's top bloggers were spoilt with sweets, childhood joys and lots and lots of shoes at The Closet's secret Head Over Heels event, and most recently, Lancome Paris treated the city's makeup enthusiasts to a private makeup application class with Lancome's award-winning makeup artist Dania Bawab. 

And though it seemed like I've only been sleeping all the while, I was there
Read on for full scoops.

March 31, 2015

Q&A with Handbag Designer Nour Toubia

Lebanese bag designer, Nour Toubia, has made it her mission to empower women one luxuriously handmade bag at a time with her brand inspirited by yet another awe-inspiring woman, Nicoletta Parodi, Italian megastar of the 40's.

"Behind every successful man, there is a woman" - that is how the saying would normally go. But for Nour Toubia, handbag designer  and interior architect, it's a case of a woman behind another woman's success, naming her brand after her late grandmother, one of the biggest Italian actresses of the 1940's, Nicoletta Parodi. 

In this interview, Nour talks about her work, her muse and her future plans with her brand Nicoletta Parodi.

January 30, 2015

Dressing to Impress 101

This post is by this month's fashion contributor Rebecca Watts.

Dressing to impress is an art form. You may want to look great for a special event or night out, or better yet, you want to look your best just because - you know you really don’t need an excuse to want to look on point with your outfit. Here, I’ll share everything you need to know so you can dress to impress with confidence.

January 21, 2015

Going Out Out

Relishing the perfect weather to go out on outdoor coffee dates and to get clad in layers and leather, nothing less.