A Seeker's Spin: Liza

by Anne Bella July 25, 2017

Liza adds a vintage kimono over the Luena maxi dress to temper the girliness "that's not really my style", she said. 

"I never think of myself as a rebel when it comes to dressing for my age. I really just
wear what I like!", says Liza Ilarde, fashion industry pioneer, Editor of Manila Bulletin's Style Weekend and print lover. You know you're dealing with a style veteran when she tells you she only prepared her outfits the night before yet comes up with the most inventive styling tricks. "I didn't have time to try them all on but in my head, I think it works." One look at the pieces hanging in the closet told me it did, and once she put them on, it was a feast for the eyes of everyone in the room.

It's how Liza mixes high and low, unexpected cuts and silhouettes plus a dash of quirky accessories that makes her the antithesis of the safe, sometimes pedestrian style of Pinays. "Women of any age should wear what they like, what makes them feel confident and what they define as comfortable, as long as they keep in mind that the outfit is appropriate for the occasion, the location and audience." 

If you're a follower of Liza on Instagram, you'd be familiar with her #ilardelizaprintaday posts where she documents the many printed garments she wears for the various events in her life, personal and professional. How DOES she pull off this tricky styling prowess? 

"One has to have to have an eye for mixing prints—I guess I have it! If you don’t and
would like to experiment, there are general rules to keep in mind:

  • Choose prints that have the same scale and a similar color palette.
  • Keep it to two prints at a time (although three is not uncommon for me).
  • Your shoes and bag should pick up a color from the print; or to be safe, make it a neutral shade.
  • Simple accessories work best to avoid looking overly decorated.
  • A streamlined silhouette makes the prints be the focus of your outfit, so avoid details like ruffles, ruching or anything with too much volume.
  • As a start, try to pair a linear print (stripes, plaid) with something fluid (florals, leopard)."

It was a trip to see Liza's look evolve from Palm Beach Chic to English Rose in a blink of an eye using STU's latest pieces---some of which were miles away from her own personal style---injected with her signature eclectic cool. 

Note the greyness of her kimono, how it complements the shade of blue and ribbon accent. 

Her origami-like purse completes the oriental feel of the whole outfit. 

"I wanted to winterize this dress," she explained to me as she piled on the layers. Such a unique take on the Benguela tie dress! 

The striped turtleneck added an interesting touch to the dusky shade, contrasting beautifully. Her knee high boots (bought for a steal from Marc by Marc Jacobs), worn with leggings, kept the look streamlined as it connected with the mullet hemline. 

Liza shows off her styling skills in this signature print on print look, once again using her striped turtleneck, this time with the Cochabamba printed skirt! 

Observe how the black and white stripe picks up the colors in the print without competing. Finish off with white sneakers and a wicker basket, both in neutral shades. 

"I love how this looks in person!," Liza says of the Vacoas pleated midi. She looks every bit the prim and proper lady especially with her sequin jacket and rose gold pumps. 

Learn to mix different textures for an interesting take. The top, bag and shoes all belong to the same color family thus keeping the whole ensemble cohesive, not overpowering the busy skirt print. 

Liza transforms into the cool gypset in the Lucapa blouse when she pairs it with equally somber shades of maroon and brown. 

Her suede sandals offer the right texture thanks to the criss cross detail; without it, the whole look would feel too covered up. 

The Waku embroidered light jacket is the ideal topper for our tropical climate and becomes the star of this simple t-shirt and jeans combo. 

A printed straw basket is so much more interesting than a plain canvas tote! 

Get imaginative with your wardrobe and take note. You'll be a master in print mixing in no time! 



Anne Bella
Anne Bella


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