A denim button down is the perfect pairing for the vibrant Calasetta maxi skirt if you're more of a casual girl and prefer a picnic date outdoors over fine dining.
For some women, being stylish comes naturally. The saying that you are born with style embedded in your being couldn't ring more true. I've seen it in person and it may not be in the same shape or form for everyone, you'll know it when you see it. From the time I met Rissa Mananquil Trillo over a decade ago, she's had It. In her own words, her style is "a fusion of the clean, timeless, and the unexpected."
Rissa is forever polished, down to the shade of her lipstick and hairstyle but not in a boring, predictable way. Her style is attainable and approachable but it's really in the way she wears the clothes that makes it special. The former model turned beauty brand founder still slays to this day, even after three kids and wearing many hats. "As a mom, wife, columnist, and entrepreneur running Happy Skin, I gravitate towards quality fashion pieces that also multi-task and work as hard as I do. Hardworking yet beautiful clothes are a must. I go for effortless yet interesting pieces I can wear many times and multiple ways. When you have a wardrobe that works well you spend less time choosing and caring for your clothes, and focus instead on more important matters, like family and things you are passionate about."
On her inspiration when dressing up, she credits travel as one of her biggest influences, taking in as much as she can wherever she goes. Her hubby Paolo also pushes her to explore different things, may it be good wine or cultural landmarks to further expand her mind and creativity.
Who is the STU woman for Rissa? "She's a global woman whose style has been influenced by different cultures, but is also deep-rooted in being Filipino. My biggest fashion advice to my girls would be to wear an ensemble that's comfortable enough for the wearer to forget about it but fabulous enough to be remembered by those who see it."
We visited Rissa at home one afternoon to play dress up in various date outfits just in time for Valentine's. Each item she styled from the shop gave us the fashion feels---every look was so on-point and chic! Scroll down and see what she came up with and be inspired to dress however you want to celebrate the day of hearts. xoxo!
Choose a darker denim wash to anchor the equally bright skirt.
Rissa demos print on print action with these zebra slides.
The Sancti one-shoulder top is as versatile as it is unique! You can easily dress it up or down depending on your mood and the occasion.
Rissa pairs the top with leggings and a mesh skirt for an avant garde take. I say wear this on a night of dinner and clubbing after (if that's your jam).
The El Conde playsuit is perfect for a brunch date and she dresses it up with embellished heels and a playful structured bag.
We all fell in love with her Zacarias 1925 bag!
The Androgyne 040 tassled hem pants is given a modern twist with a structured, minimalist top and giraffe print pumps. Wear this for cocktails in your favorite hotel bar.
Playing with proportions paying off in the most amazing way.
We love the drama of this Androgyne 033 Back embroidered silk jacket that's actually super versatile.
Rissa gives it her signature minimalist, structured spin and paired it with light-colored slacks and snakeskin pumps to add contrast. She uses a brightly colored bag as her statement piece. For those who love a good Michelin star resto, this is the outfit to wear.
Surprise detail that got us excited: the glitter heel!
The Chinandega textured jersey maxi is quite the dramatic piece and doesn't need much else but a statement earring and metallic shoes. If you happen to attend a wedding on V-Day, this dress is for you. Entertaining at home? Swap the heels with flat sandals.
A closer look at those danglers that complemented the dress like it was MFEO. That's meant for each other :)
Have a romantic Valentine's, seekers!
The true pursuit of beauty is more than skin deep. A tube of lipstick, a jar of cream, or a bottle of fragrance creates the landscape – but it is YOU that defines it. First and foremost, you need to have a sound mind, body, and spirit.
After almost 4 years of seeking the best beauty finds, I was ecstatic when we launched our Movement Category. This closes the gap for a more holistic approach to beauty. The adage of "feeling good to look good" has never been more true... I found my center through yoga, and it is my wish that you find what works for you too.
Beauty & Wellness Purveyor, Vanessa Santos finds zen in the black mesh Amaya Performance Tank.
The key is balance. Wellness = Beauty.
We’ve sought a selection of mindful pieces that will (hopefully) inspire you to get moving with us…
Love & Madness Body Suits can go from the studio to a sexy night out.
Made from 100% recycled water bottles, Vichara Project Leggings are perfect for the Eco-conscious shopper.
Atsui Perfomance Tanks have built in sports bras, designed for ultimate support and style.
Having the right tools on hand are just as important to help you exercise safely and efficiently:
Sweaty Band Headbands keep your hair in place without pinching.
Avene Thermal Spray soothes blotchy skin and is a quick hydration during a workout.
Take your journey from beyond the studio with our selection of wraps and cover ups:
Hanuman Multi Way Cardigans are billowy soft and flatter any shape. Discover how to wear each style in different ways.
Toss on the Hana Cover Up and off you go.
The Miho Sleeveless Hoodie is perfect for Manila's unpredictable weather.
The Chiyoko Mesh Hoodie is amazingly airy and light as a feather.
For those who are too busy to attend a class, find your center with these mindfulness tools on the go:
Lovetuner Necklaces are hip accessories yes, but they are also meditation tools that bring peace and calm.
Urban Happiness Healing Oils bring instant relief and come in travel size tins to pop into your purse.
If you have never tried yoga or are looking for a new home base, we have special packages from Yoga+ Express Legazpi now up for seeking.
Their head teacher (and one of my gurus) Karen Demot, shares what yoga means to her: “I practice and I feel free from the complexities and drama of life. As I look inwards, I realize how simple it is to be myself. Although it is usually challenging, I remind myself that my actions have ripple effects I may not ever know. So I practice. Peeling away layers to bring out my truest self, living to uplift myself and others.”
Karen finds her flow in Hanuman's Graceful Motion leggings.
Whatever path you choose, making time for health and wellness is the best gift to yourself. May your life be filled with beautiful love and light. Namaste!
Your Purveyor of Beauty & Wellness,
Still undecided on what to wear for this season’s festivities? Well, you’re in for a treat! We put together four fabulous looks using pieces from our recent collections, just for you.
For a Holiday Bash with Your Clique
Choose one of the season’s best colors—like red—and build your look on that. You can try our red ruffled Calabria skirt, which is a fun piece you can party in. Pair it with a neutral top like the Greolieres, which features ties on either sides for a hint of sexiness. Accessorize with the Hopper necklace, Chandigarh Banjara clutch, gold heels, and you’re good to go.
For Christmas Day
This day calls for a celebration, so glam it up with prints and textures! We matched our blue Sanlucar one shoulder top with the Karakorum printed midi for a graphic feast. Ease on the mix of volumes by wearing sleek, nude pumps with this look.
For a Holiday Trip
Spending the holidays in an island far, far away? Pack the Rosalind maillot with you and transform it from swimwear to something you can lounge in. Wear it with the Ifrane linen wrap pants, which is another versatile piece you can play with. Carry a roomy tote like the Balqash Suzani for storing all your trip essentials in. Accessorize and protect your hair with the colorful Azuay scarf, and don’t forget your trusty pair of sunnies!
For the New Year’s Eve Countdown
Welcome 2017 with a unique, party-ready outfit that will make heads turn! Try the Rizo, our fresh spin to the much coveted off-the-shoulder silhouette. Show off those toned gams and wear it with the Timi tie side mini, and finish off your look with our festive Nagpur Banjara clutch. If you feel like your décolletage is too bare, you can always turn to the Hopper necklace to adorn your look.
Take inspiration from these holiday-ready looks and seek the pieces before they disappear! Have fun styling your STU pieces and don’t forget to tag us on Instagram with the hashtags, #seeksoughtfound and #seektheuniq.
CIC Mikka Padua and I at a recent party with friends.
Christmas can be the best of times…and the worst of times. The flurry of parties, eating, shopping, getting glammed up, and one too many cocktails are fun but exhausting.
Here are some ideas to get you back in the game, once the (Christmas) dust has settled:
Prancing around in heels are more painful that we’d care to admit. Soothe those calves with a foot massage and a cooling leg gel. Make this break work double time with a home facial too.
A Netflix marathon plus a good 8-10 hours of sleep is just what the doctor ordered. Dreamland is where your mind and body restores its balance.
Once you’ve regained some strength, its time to get those endorphins flowing. Get off that couch and hit the gym, salute the sun, spin... anything that gets you back on your feet.
Slim & Trim. STAT.
Burn those calories with tried and tested creams. Sorry, these aren’t Christmas miracles of any sort. But combined with some restraint and exercise (see idea number 2), you WILL see faster results.
Nothing will help your recover faster than some salt in your hair and sand in your toes.
If all else fails, retail therapy always works like a charm. After shopping for those you love, its time to treat yourself to some TLC.
December is almost over. Good luck. Godspeed. And let's rock the holidays away!
Your Purveyor of Beauty & Wellness,
Imagine having breakfast here everyday. Heavenly!
My husband and I spent our 1st wedding anniversary in Baguio last week. The place is close to our hearts as we got married there and every trip, we try to take the unfamiliar route gastronomic-wise. Our friend Vicky Tinio of Mama's Table, where we had our reception, suggested we try her friend's bed and breakfast / private dining place Le Coq Bleu. The owner Chantal and her husband Boi prepare homemade French meals in their charming home, complete with a welcoming committee of adorable French poodles and a very friendly Rottweiler! Upon entering their abode, I immediately thought it was a very STU location filled with rustic decor, vintage china, mismatched furniture and an overall cozy ambiance. I could've stayed there for hours drinking wine and listening to the variety of birds singing by the window. We spent a few hours listening to Chantal's stories in between delicious bites of Boi's amazing osso bucco and her signature moussaka, while I secretly daydreamed about the simple life and serenity of residing in such a whimsical place. Suffice to say, we left with our tummies and hearts full, thankful for the afternoon that was. Here are snippets of that lovely day.
Started the meal with a hearty pumpkin soup and vino we brought from home.
Our host Chantal and her very sociable French poodles Juno and Zeus.
Hestia, the Rott wanted in on the action too!
The doggies probably sensed this scrumptious osso bucco!
...and Carlo's moussaka!
Their home was a feast for the senses. Each nook and cranny was filled with lovely trinkets.
The second floor bedroom is part of their B&B, as are the meals. Whatever they eat, they serve to their guests. Just don't ask for bacon with your eggs, the French don't do that. Haha!
Hubby is a happy camper!
We love Le Coq Bleu!
You can find Le Coq Bleu on Airbnb. The house is actually green, not blue! They are also in Waze. Meals are pre-ordered a week in advance so ask for the menu and ponder on what yummy dish to have.
Until my next STU-themed find, chin chin!
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.
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 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,
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