Purveyors of the Uniq | Seek The Uniq

Purveyors of the Uniq

A Seeker's Spin: Agoo

Our second installment in this series was shot during a very exciting and eventful day: the US presidential elections! We trekked to Agoo Bengzon's airy home that fateful afternoon armed and ready while still reeling from the previous day's SC decision. Suffice to say, we were all a bit rattled but looking forward to the shoot. The whole team was glued to CNN in between prep and shots, anxiously waiting for the results in real time. It was also a coincidence that a lot of the garments brought from the HQ were mostly red and blue! Much to our shock, the red team won. #wewerewithHER 

Agoo was already a beauty junkie back in 2002 when I first met her in Summit. She loves to dress up with a concept in mind, often with a theme, punctuated with the right accessories down to the shade of her nail polish. Her hair is hardly out of place (unless intended) and she is rarely without make up, even at the beach. While it sounds like a lot of work, she pulls it off effortlessly that every time she'd enter the room after changing looks during the shoot, we would all go WOWWW. Agoo's post as Beauty Expert for Unilever Philippines is a natural progression from her past experience as Beauty Editor for Preview Magazine where she held the post for over 10 years. She's also known to switch hair color every few months (most recent one was a dusty rose) as well as for her perfect brows and hands with nails always adorned in the latest shade. She's also a guest blogger at Preview.ph where she writes about everything beauty. 

Agoo puts her layering skills to the test, giving a new twist on these STU favorites, including the ubiquitous caftan everyone loves. Here's hoping you pick up an idea or two on how to make your piece work overtime and get inspired to dress thematically with a lot of pizzaz, just like this lovely Seeker---matching nail polish and all. 

The Valmer linen dress is possibly one of the most flaterring silhouettes I've ever met. The a-line skirt is just wide enough to create an illusion of a tiny waist and the flutter sleeves give it a dose femininity without being too cheeky. Ladies, this one's a keeper! 

Agoo layers a pink cowl neck polo shirt under the dress to give it a fresh twist and cinches the waist with a maroon belt for contrast. Her furry sandals anchors the shirt perfectly. I happen to LOVE this color combination. You must try this at home! 

 The Couva maxi dress is one of my favorites! Despite the heavy gingham print, it doesn't drown the wearer since it's cut close to the upper body with a slimming waist and a flared, cut-out skirt. Looks sooo good with a bright shoe and accessory, too! I know I'll be wearing mine to death this holiday season.  

 Checks a tad too much? Tone it down by wearing a black sleeveless vest over it and ta-dahhh it's a brand new piece altogether! 

It doesn't get any sexier than the Lampedusa linen jumpsuit in this vibrant shade of cobalt. It's another strong contender for the season's many holiday parties and reunions. Steal the show in this number! 

She jazzes things up with equally bold accessories to go with the loud color--red lips included. Not much is needed after, just a lot of confidence and attitude and perhaps a signature scent. 

There are wrap skirts and then there's the Calabria, making you want to go out for an evening of salsa dancing. At least that's what it does for me. The sexy slit lets you move your legs to the beat of the music, catching the attention of your date in the best way possible. Ola! 

Leave it to Agoo to think of wearing it as a top with flared jeans and the Guanta bug statement necklace, adding a whimsical touch to this modern Boho look. 

Can't not include the Tanapuna embroidered caftan as she is a certified caftan lover. The soft cotton fabric lets you move with ease without missing out on the style factor. 

True to form, Agoo adds an embellished belt to cinch the waist and give it definition as well as lending a modern twist to the relaxed shape. 

Another caftan, this time the Chaguaras, gets an update with a white blazer thrown over it and paired with neutral snakeskin print flats. 

 A single feather earring complements the bohemian embroidery keeping the look cohesive.

And last, the winning red dress in crimson! The Maratea is quite the First Lady staple with its conservative cut, cinched waist and flared skirt. What sets it apart, however, is the color: no wallflower would dare to wear this and expect to go unnoticed! 

It also doubles as a jacket when unbuttoned and worn with a monochromatic top and pants. In fact, you can even pair it with matching prints inside and temper it with the dress-cum-jacket. Genius! 

Watch out for our next Seeker and more styling ideas for the holidays. 





A Seeker's Spin: Chinky

When producing a new collection, we always have our Seekers needs top of mind. Can it be worn to work all the way to cocktails? Is it comfortable enough to move in when toting a toddler while grocery shopping? Will it crumple too much in the suitcase en route to your destination? 

We created a new series here on the blog called "A Seeker's Spin" featuring real life STU shoppers who wear our clothes with pizzaz. We were curious to know how they'd style key pieces in more ways than it's meant to be worn, getting the most mileage from each purchase and justifying the cost per wear that is every shopaholic's hurdle. 

We start off with Chinky, a long time STU girl who pulls off the different looks as if every garment was made for her. I kid you not! She gamely posed for the camera with the ease of a natural, patiently waiting until we finished to grab a snack and a glass of chardonnay. We were more than happy with the results and surprised how each look transformed the pieces. Hope her looks inspire you to style your STU finds! 

The Greorieles multi-side top

The Greorieles multi tie side top is actually more versatile than you think.  Worn on its own, it elevates the common tunic into fashion-forward status with the side ties. Opt to throw a structured blazer for work and fling it off once you get to happy hour. 

A closer look at the side tie details. 

We layered it over a sequin top in a similar shade to temper the shine for daytime and paired it with torn white jeans for contrast and simple beige pumps. 

I like how the sequins are still peeking out of the sides, providing a break in between fabrics for a more fashionable spin. 

The Risaralda hand stitched wrap jacket is one part bohemian via the side tassles, one part preppy by way of the blue stitching. Pairing it with true blue jeans and straw slippers is a no brainer making it the prefect weekend uniform. 

The light cotton fabric is ideal for our tropical climate and feels so soft and cool on the skin. 

It's thin enough to layer over a button-down shirt for instant preppy appeal you can actually wear to work. Just make sure the shirt underneath isn't made of heavy or bulky material and needs to be slim fit to make the overall silhouette more streamlined. 

You can wear this in lieu of a jacket or cardigan in the office. 

The Onasis printed linen hanky skirt is nothing like your basic A-line skirt. The frayed and uneven hemline keeps it interesting and chic. Cotton ties on one side add that surprise factor and serves as accent. We paired it with a long sleeved tee for a clean, polished look. 

Easy to dress up or down with these side ribbon accent. 

We switched things up by pairing it with a stripe off the shoulder cotton tee for a little print on print action, yet keeping it within the same color family so it's not too much. Make sure the top is cut close to the body since the skirt is already flared. 

The Carros multilayer sleeved linen mini dress is this season's new LBD. Love the tiered sleeves and back cut-out giving the simple silhouette that something special. 

Viola! The Carros dress also doubles as a top worn under a voluminous tulle skirt, making it semi-formal appropriate. You can even wear this look to a garden wedding or cocktail event. 

The Bourvil chambray double tie front jumpsuit isn't your usual run-of-the-mill jumpsuit. The front ties create that element of surprise showing just the right amount of skin without being vulgar. Kept it casual with Birks and accessorised with a silk scarf. 

Knot it or make a ribbon, it's all up to you! 

Find the exposed skin a tad too much? Wear a tube top or bandeau underneath for added coverage. Finish it off with a statement necklace to keep the look from being boring. 

The Belgentier overlap slit top is one of those pieces that easily translate from work to play with just the addition of an accessory, like this cobalt statement necklace. We paired it with the Peillon flared linen pants for added drama. 

 Open it up and it becomes an unexpected cover up! 

Here's the total dinner-date ready look. We just put a sequin tank underneath and switched to open toe gold sandals and it's done! 

The Caroline open back tweed playsuit is the quintessential business in front, party at the back sorta piece. We added this cute Guanta bug statement necklace to add a pop of color and contrast to break the monotony. 

Layering a white polo and rolling up the sleeves instantly switches up the look to geek chic status. 

The Mantazas navy wrap linen top is your new office uniform, adding drama via the gorgeous voluminous sleeves. 

Looks great worn with a light bottom to really make the navy pop. 


We layered it with a blue and white stripe long sleeved tee to give it a casual nautical spin for the weekend. 

Happy styling, Seekers!

Until our next Spin,




Wondering About This Wonder Balm



We all love wonder balms - they are salves to heal almost every kind of skin concern.  Lucas Papaw is arguably the best of the lost.  For those who are wondering why... here is the down low.

Who created Lucas Papaw?

Dr. T.P. Lucas

Born in Scotland in 1843, Thomas Pennington Lucas developed a love for natural history, botany and medicine from a young age. His interests in these areas led to a lifetime passion for botany and an esteemed career as a medical practitioner.

Originally practicing medicine in London, Dr. Lucas came to Australia in 1876 seeking a warmer climate. He initially moved to Melbourne where he practiced for 10 years before moving to Brisbane in Queensland. It was in Queensland that the story of Lucas’ Papaw Ointment really starts to take shape.


How was Lucas Papaw Discovered?


While carrying out his botanical research, Dr Lucas studied tens of thousands of botanical specimens. The specimen which commanded his closest attention and to which he devoted special study was the papaw tree.

The papaw plant and its fruit impressed Dr Lucas so much that his investigations led him to describe it as “the world's greatest healing agent”. From then on, Dr. Lucas devoted his researches to its application to modern medicine and, as a consequence, its benefits to humanity.

Kevin Talbot, descendant of TP Lucas.

Now several generations on, the all important papaw remedies have been passed on to the descendants of Dr Lucas. Today, the family owned business continues to manufacture Lucas’ Papaw Ointment to the same formula that Dr. Lucas used to prepare the ointment he worked so hard to create in his lifetime.


The company still operates in Brisbane where the ointment continues to be produced. You might be amazed to know that the formula for the famous ointment is still the same proven remedy today as when it was created over 100 years ago.

What is in Lucas Papaw?

Carica Papaya 39mg/g Fresh Fermented Fruit

The papaya used in Lucas' Papaw Ointment is Queensland grown fresh fruit. The fruit is received fresh to our factory in Brisbane where we ferment it under strictly controlled conditions. Every item of fruit we use is hand selected. Once the fruit is fermented to just the right level we can use it to make the ointment. The finished product contains 0.1mg/g of Potassium Sorbate which acts as a preservative.

Base - Pharmaceutical Grade Petroleum Jelly and Wax

The product does not contain polyplasdone, polyvinylpyrrolidone, talc, shellac, palm oil, glycerin or sodium lauryl sulphate. The base used in Lucas' Papaw Ointment meets the purity and safety standards of the United States FDA and the European Pharmacopeia.

Gum Balsam Peru

A minute amount of Gum Balsam Peru is used as a perfume in Lucas' Papaw Ointment. 


What does Lucas Papaw do?

The ointment has antibacterial and antimicrobial properties and can be used as a local topical application on the following:

  • Minor Burns & Scalds
  • Sunburn
  • Gravel Rash, Cuts & Minor Open Wounds
  • Nappy Rash & Chafing
  • Insect Bites
  • Splinters & Thorns

Many users of the ointment also report temporary relief of the symptoms of dermatitis and eczema.



With so many uses and applications, it is always great to have a red jar of Lucas' Papaw Ointment handy in the home. Or, carry some with you on the go in the convenient 25g red tube.

Stop wondering and live wonderfully now!


Your Purveyor Of Beauty,


STU Woman: Aissa Castillo

It's hard to imagine how a mother of two boys with a full time job in retail, a blog and a career as a stylist manages to make it home in time to cook dinner and on top of it, look good while doing all that.

Meet Aissa. She's a lot of things and to us she's every bit of an STU Woman.

Can you describe yourself in a few sentences.

I spend most of my days juggling motherhood, a full time job, and several side hustles. I am living the dream working as a Store Director for a women's retail store where I am surrounded by curated assortment home furnishing, accessories, and apparel. After work hours is when I carefully schedule out client meetings and  photo shootsfor my freelance styling business.  

Since weekends off are hard to come by in the retail world, I yearn for spontaneous adventures with my family. We enjoy exploring new cities and finding hidden gems waiting to be discovered. 

Menton Off-the-Shoulder Linen Dress

What is a normal day like for you?

Everyday is different, really. My work schedule differs from week to week, so getting a routine down would be challenging.

On work days, I'm usually up by 5am to try to squeeze in a little studio time {Barre is my workout of choice}, before heading to work at 7. My work day typically ends just after 4, and is usually followed by a quick trip to the grocery for dinner essentials before heading home. Family catch-ups during prep, giggles at dinner, then tucking in the boys at about 8pm rounds out my day. More often than not, I try to squeeze in a couple of hours for Aislerchic; catching up on e-mails, creating content, or simply seeking inspiration. Then it's off to bed for me by 10pm at the latest. 

Beyin Printed Linen Cullotes

What makes you smile in the morning?

On work days a cup of freshly brewed coffee. On the weekends, seeing the boys at the foot of our bed makes my heart sing.

What is your FASHION/BEAUTY/HOME philosophy?

I like to mix things up when it comes to fashion and home. I love creating looks with highs - lows. Pairing a glitzy blouse with a pair of distressed denim, a velvet chesterfield with a thrifted chair. I like things to be little bit undone and never stiff or sterile.

Praiano Printed Long Robe

What are 5 pieces you cannot live without (FASHION/BEAUTY/HOME)?

In complete honesty, I can live without most things, but if I had a choice I would like to always have a moisturizer, a Lamer lip balm, my Mom's pearl earrings, pen and paper.

Warska Black Long Wrap Dress

What is your favorite travel destination? Why?

As silly as this may sound, I would have to say the Philippines. Although born and raised there, I feel like I took the country's beauty for granted when I lived there, and opted to explore elsewhere. There is so much to see. I can't wait to go back. 

Beyin Printed Linen Culottes 

What is the one thing you must bring with you when you travel?

A camera.

Where do you ‘seek’ for your personal FASHION/BEAUTY/HOME finds?

I love a good flea market, thrift or antique shop find.  Estate sales are huge treasure chests. I love giving older pieces new life and putting my own spin on them.

What is your most treasured UNIQ find from around the world? Why?

It would have to be the brass and white onyx lamp that my husband and I found at a local Estate Sale. I changed the shade that came with it and paired it with a more quirky print. 

What does the word “UNIQ” mean for you?

A signature. A trait that make something/someone stand out among the rest. 

Such a refreshing take on life, family, and personal style. Her effortless approach to creating an inspired world for her family and herself is special and admirable.
Aissa sure defines our idea of an STU Woman. 
Your Purveyor of the Uniq,

Jungalow in Italy

Day one of this year, I turned a year older. I didn't particularly want anything but time with family, away from my laptop. I had just that and way, way more. But before I could peel myself away from my laptop, I did, what could easily be one of the boldest things I've ever done for myself. I signed up for a creative workshop with Justina Blakeney (whoa!), in Cinque Terre, Italy (double, triple whoa!). Gift to self, done. 

I didn't know what to expect. Darn, I didn't even know if I was pronouncing 'Cinque Terre' correctly. All I know was that I needed a good creative recharge not just for myself but for STU as well. Or maybe I was just looking for the perfect excuse to finally put those STU Escape pieces to proper use.

Five months later, I've perfected saying CHEEN|kweh TEHR|reh (only because it's really fun to say out) and I, along with my trailing husband (quite literally, having hiked most of the trails in Cinque Terre while I was busy ) found ourselves on the rocky coastline of the Italian Riviera. 

We arrived in Riomaggiore on a stormy afternoon the day before the workshop. We thought of just staying in after that hike from the train station but when the skies cleared up, we stepped out and boy, were we delighted! Lemon trees everywhere, limoncello in every bar (which is more cafe than bar, by the way), lemon-hued houses every corner-- trust me, no bad lemon here! 

The beauty of Cinque Terre deserves an entry all to itself, but let me just tell you this: the moment I laid eyes on that little dock with water breaking gracefully, colorful boats parked randomly, and vibrant houses piled onto each other behind me, I was tearing up. At this time, I was very well convinced that this whole trek to the other side of the globe, for a 3-day workshop, was all worth it-- and it hasn't even started.

No better backdrop for Escape Shop's star piece, the Turkana, than here.

I was so looking forward to meeting Justina come day one. Huge fan here. Her book The New Bohemians is my bible on design and interiors. I always get supercharged just flipping the pages. No one knows modern boho the way Justina does. So, imagine my delight meeting her. 

Photo by Azzurra Biagi

But wait, did I mention that the venue was in fact in a real(!) castle on top of a hill?

Photos by Azzurra Biagi

Our most fabulous host, Bianca of Italian Fix, greeting us by the door.

10,000 ++ steps everyday!

Photo by Azzurra Biagi

Jungalow Queen giving us a warm and jungalicious welcome. 

Photo by Azzurra Biagi

This view!

Photo by Azzurra Biagi

37 creative women in one room. It's overwhelming, energizing, and utterly inspiring.

Photo by Azzurra Biagi

It was easy making friends.

We were asked to wander around town and take IG-worthy photos.

Photos by Azzurra Biagi

While waiting for our tables at the piazza in Vernazza. 

Photo by Azzurra Biagi

 Happiest in the company of good wine, amazing food, and lovely people.

 Photo by Azzurra Biagi


 Photos by Azzurra Biagi

Dinner while the sun sets.

 The dress that launched a thousand Ciaos!

For our short lunches, we managed to down a bottle (or two) of local wine and all the soppressata and prosciutto in the world. 

Photo by Azzurra Biagi

We could do this all day.

Scavenging. OMG.

 Photo by Azzurra Biagi

When I grow up, I want to be like Justina and/or Bianca.

There was so much to take in from those 3 short days. From igniting creativity, to knowing the difference between authenticity vs originality, to finding your North Star (end goal), to keeping good company.

Though I am not about to give away all details here, as you might want to sign up for the next one, my greatest takeaway would be to feed your soul with positivity and all good things follow. May not always be the case but it sure gets you a little closer to your North Star. 

Best gift-to-self. Ever.

Grazie Justina, Bianca and all the lovely ladies I shared this most wonderful experience with. And GRAZIE MILLE Italy!


Your utterly inspired Purveyor-of-the-Uniq,


Ways to Wear: Androgyne Multiway Wrap

We all love a piece we can get a lot of style mileage from. If there's anything of that sort around here, it would definitely be the Multiway Wrap from Androgyne.

While it's easy for a piece of garment to boasts a myriad of ways to wear, for most of us, it's actually nowhere easy to pull off. Thus we produced a series of how-to videos you can all go back to for days when you feel a little uninspired. 

 Wear it as a top.

Ways to Wear 4 from SeektheUniq.com on Vimeo.

Ways to Wear 3 from SeektheUniq.com on Vimeo.

Ways to Wear 2 from SeektheUniq.com on Vimeo.


Wear it as a bottom. 

Ways to Wear from SeektheUniq.com on Vimeo.

There you have it. But mind you, the multitude of ways don't stop there. Though we leave that up to you to have fun and get uniq-ly creative.


Your Purveyor-of-the-Uniq,


Videos by: Bliss Mabini 

Six to Seek: Utilitarian Prairie

Do you always stare at your closet and say, “I don’t have anything to wear!”, and yet your closet is filled to the brim? I know the feeling! Here at Seek the Uniq, we don’t only offer you fabulous pieces to choose from, but also ideas on how to wear them (and similar pieces you have in your closet). It’s time to get creative with six pieces we love – Androgyne 011 robe, Lamu skirt, Posoltega dress, Milnerton jumpsuit, Tiaski dress, and Pedrogao pants.

Since I like experimenting with looks, I came up with the theme, Utilitarian Prairie. I felt that this would work with the aforementioned pieces and still be attuned to the Seek the Uniq identity. Remember that working with a theme shouldn’t be constraining or literal. You can always put your twist to it.  

Remember Little House on the Prairie and all the fluffy dresses they wore in floral, gingham, and pleats? The characters did their chores and wore their dresses with boots, a definite utilitarian touch. It’s also very timely since one of the Spring 2016 trends is Prairie Chic.  

Photo via Vogue


Photo via

Mixing utilitarian pieces with Prairie Chic breaks the ultra-girly demeanor. For utilitarian style inspiration, I turned to Versace’s Spring 2016 campaign featuring top models Gigi Hadid, Raquel Zimmermann, and Natasha Poly.

Photo via

Get the Utilitarian Prairie look and learn to mix and match the Seek the Uniq way.

Who says loose on loose doesn’t work? Definitely not me! Go comfy with relaxed silhouettes by wearing the Androgyne 011 robe as a cover-up over a mullet blouse and cropped pants. Accessorize with eye-catching accessories like a graphic necklace and layered rope bracelets. Finish off with a boater hat and easy leather slides.

It’s okay to hold off wearing lace the dainty way sometimes. Play with textures, prints, and colors that give it a fresh look. Toughen the Lamu lace skirt with a fatigue green blouse and a brown cinch belt. Go minimal but still creative by wearing it with a printed scarf and gold earrings. A pair of leather espadrilles give it a raw touch.

Give your dress a styling update by wearing it as a top! This look certainly screams “modern prairie”. The boxy silhouette of the Posoltega dress works well with a pair of culottes. Highlight your waist with a colorful fabric belt (good thing this dress comes with one!). Finish off with neutral-toned accessories and espadrilles.

Make wearing white more flattering with the right mix of layers. Soften the utilitarian Milnerton jumpsuit by layering it with a floral scarf vest. Glam it up with heels, jewelry, and a cool hat!

If you want to try print-on-print but in a subtle manner, learn the art of accessorizing. Make sure that the prints and colors are complementary so as to balance the look. Wear the Tiaski dress with a printed scarf for a fun contrast. Pair with leather slides or even sneakers.

This classic palette need not be boring with quirky details such as a unique necklace and printed head scarf. Move comfortably in the wide-leg  pants that feature a special eyelet combination. Wear it with an asymmetrical top and espadrilles or flats.

Mix, match and seek these six pieces to try the looks now! Have fun updating your closets!



Contributing Stylist


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