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    Style Stories

    Tin of Locavore

    Tin of Locavore

    Locavore Kitchen & Drinks is not your typical Filipino restaurant – and it has quickly become known for its unique take on local cuisine. Now with 5 branches, Locavore has become a favorite stop for families and friends who want the comforting sense of Filipino food with an added zing.

    We caught up with Locavore co-founder Tin Magsaysay-Matic at their tropical-inspired S Maison branch where she shared with us how her ‘experiments’ in the kitchen turned into bestselling dishes and why she believes it’s important to pursue seemingly unrelated passions.

    How did you come up with the idea for Locavore?

    "My partner Alta Lyttle and I had the idea to open a restaurant. During our meetings, we discovered that the recipes we knew how to make weren’t traditional or conventional Filipino recipes – everything had a twist. We didn’t really plan Locavore to have that kind of concept."

    Tin wearing the Montura prism in aventurine layered with her own necklaces

    Have you always been passionate about food?

    "I’ve always loved food. I started cooking when I was 8 years old. Our family would always cook together and we would spend almost every weekend in Zambales."

    "Growing up, I learned how to make do with what we had at home. I didn’t really have a lot of money to buy groceries because I was still in school so I would just use whatever I could find in the kitchen."

    Tin wearing the Aquina earrings with the Soleya and Montura necklaces

    "That’s how a lot of the recipes on Locavore’s menu came about. I used to be addicted to caldereta and I would add different ingredients to give it a twist each time like ginger, hoisin sauce, or a lot of raw garlic."

    Locavore's Ginataang Kalabasa, one of Tin's favorite dishes 

    Locavore's take on the classic Filipino merienda champorado made with cream cheese mousse and fish floss 

    "Most of the time, I had to improvise and that’s how I came up with the recipes for the Sugpo con Mayonesa, the Ginataang Kaldereta, the Garlic Baby Squid and the Lumpia."

    Tin wearing the SoleyaMontura and  Oceania necklaces

    What’s your philosophy when it comes to cooking?

    "I get a lot of inspiration from my dad. I recently watched Samin Nosrat of ‘Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat’ and I really like her. I like relaxed cooking – not so serious, not so scientific. For me, it’s more about the gathering of people or the social aspect than the science behind it."

    Tin wearing the Aquina earrings 

    What does a typical day look like for you?

    "For Locavore, my partners and I usually spend 3 to 4 consecutive days in one branch. If I’m at S Maison, my sister Carla would be in Brixton and Alta would be in BGC. We opened our Eastwood branch recently so we’re giving that location more focus."

    Tin wearing the Pinta Earrings with our Bamboo Monogram necklace layered with a minimalist bar from the Montura set

    Can you share some of your self-care rituals?

    "I feel like it’s self-care when I spend time with my kids because I love being with them. Aside from that, I love going to the beach and surfing."

    Tin wearing the Jasmine earrings with the Solita necklace

    Are you planning on putting up other business concepts?

    "Aside from Locavore, I have a resort wear line called Quiver, which is available online and in Rustan’s, Kermit in Siargao, LU Open House and Vessel Hostel in La Union, and at Aliya Surf Camp in Baler. I also have a sunglasses line called Fin Sunnies available in those locations, too."

    "Right now, I’m working on a pop-up for babi guling or Balinese lechon. I want to test the market first because a lot of people don’t know what it is. I’m thinking of doing 3 or 4 pop-ups this year. I also want to open a sustainable take-out counter where you can bring your own bags and bottles to raise awareness about single-use plastic and promote a zero-waste lifestyle."

    Tin wearing the Antigua earrings with the Sidra and Solita necklaces layered with her own medallion necklace

    What are your tips for aspiring entrepreneurs?

    "If you have an interest, whatever it may be, even if you think it’s useless for business, just keep doing it. It’s never useless. As long as you continue to work on things that you’re passionate about, I believe it will lead you to something bigger."

    Visit www.locavore.ph for more information.

    Follow Locavore: @locavore.ph

    Photography by Sheila Catilo (@sheilacatilo)

    Feanne

    Feanne

    Nature can truly be an endless source of inspiration – and this is true for creative entrepreneur Feanne. She fell in love with drawing at a young age, captivated by minute details she would find on different kinds of plants. She nurtured that love as she grew up and eventually turned her drawings into vibrant wearable art that bears mesmerizing details.

    Feanne tells us about the meticulous process involved in creating her luxurious hand-illustrated pieces and her tips on making both business and creativity sustainable.

    How did you discover your passion for art?

    “Since I was young, I really enjoyed drawing plants and animals. I took interior design in college but I didn’t pursue it. There was a point when I tried to shift to fine arts while I was in UP but I didn’t pass the talent test so I had to stay and finish it. I don’t regret it because it helps a lot with project management and both the technical and business side of a creative career. But I really just wanted to keep drawing and that’s basically what I do now.”

    Feanne wearing her 'Sabong' dress with the Lyria earrings

    How did you start doing it professionally?

    “I had my first exhibit when I was in third year high school – it was a group exhibit with some friends. After that, I continued exhibiting and publishing my work through the years but it was only a few years ago that I started fabric print design."

    "When I was in college, I already wanted to do fabric prints but back then, I didn’t have access to printing suppliers. I was able to do some t-shirt prints but it wasn’t quite what I wanted to do. It took me a long time to find the right printing suppliers and even now I think the fabric printing industry in the Philippines is still young. If you’re an independent business and you’re not doing a thousand-meter print run, it’s a bit challenging to find a local printing supplier. I’m lucky to have found the suppliers I’ve worked with."

    "There was a point when I tried to shift to fine arts while I was in UP but I didn’t pass the talent test so I had to stay and finish it. I don’t regret it because it helps a lot with project management and both the technical and business side of a creative career."

    How did you get idea of creating wearable art?

    "I focused on creating things that I wanted to wear and that’s still my process now. I get cold easily so I like things that I can use to cover myself up."

    "Scarves and kimonos are versatile and very easy to wear – I can wear them to different occasions and they’re not tied down to one season or even age range." 

    Feanne wearing her Nautilus kimono kimono with the Acuaria necklace and puka shell layer from the Coralline necklace

    "I have clients who tell me that they can wear my designs from now until they’re grandmothers and I feel the same way."

    What is your creative process like?

    "I get inspired by everything I see in nature. It may look boring to someone else when they see me looking at an ordinary leaf but then it’s details would be interesting for me. I’m more inspired when I’m traveling to the beach, for example, where I see different kinds of seaweed, rocks and shells."

    Feanne wearing her Swallows kimono with our Bamboo monogram necklace

    "When I see something interesting, I take some quick reference photos on my phone or do a quick sketch on the spot. Then I will do some more sketching and then do an ink illustration. Sometimes I go straight to ink, which depends on my mood, and that allows the lines to feel a bit more playful compared to doing a pencil sketch."

    "After I do my drawings, I scan them and do the layout and colors digitally. Then I design a pattern, do a test print, then depending on how that turns out, I might go back to the drawing or layout and do some adjustments until I get the print right. There are some things you won’t see until it’s actually printed on the fabric such as the scale and the colors so it takes a while to develop a new product. Once I’m happy with the fabric print, then I test and see how it goes with the cut of the dress or garment that I’m making and that’s another round of iterations as well."

    Feanne's picks from our Gold Coast and Monogram collections with her 'Sabong' print

    Feanne's picks: Acuaria necklace, puka shell necklace from Coralline necklace set, Lyria earrings, Kamalei earrings, Bamboo monogram necklace, and Antigua earrings in magenta

    What are you currently working on?

    "I’m actually taking a break at the moment since I had a very busy holiday season last year. I’m taking this time to relax and doodle what I want to doodle and not worry about product development yet. I have some ideas but they’re still in a very rough stage. Right now, I’m exploring and experimenting to see what I want to do next."

    Aside from silk scarves and kimonos, Feanne's drawings are also incorporated into accessories such as clutches

    As an artist, do you find it essential to take breaks?

    "Yes, definitely. Since this is my full-time career, it’s not just art – it’s also a business. Of course, being a business means having deadlines and quotas that I want to meet in order to make a living. But at the same time, I also need to make the creative process sustainable and that includes taking breaks."

    Feanne wearing her 'Sabong' dress with the Antigua earrings and disc layer of the Coralline necklace

    "For January, I’ve just been doing a lot of resting, making small drawings and working out. When I’m busy, I don’t really have time to exercise so I’m taking advantage of the lull to take care of myself. I think you’ll find this complaint common among artists – we have problems with our wrists, shoulders and back because of poor posture so it’s important to take care of one’s physical health to avoid repetitive stress injuries. I do core-strengthening workouts, physiotherapy and get massages because I do a lot of detailing and it’s very tough on my wrists and shoulders. I really wish I had started working out properly when I was younger. I neglected to train my body’s flexibility, strength, and posture. It’s only now that I’ve started realizing and proactively addressing these issues because I learned that it does affect my physical ability to do my work."

    "When I can afford to, and at the moment I can, I take several weeks off and make use of that time to recharge, ‘fill the well’ with creative ideas, and take a step back from the work I’ve done so I have space for new ones to come in. If you’re always immersed in the same type of work or industry, it’s very easy to get trapped in a bubble and you don’t get exposed to new ideas from completely unrelated fields."

    What are your tips for artists like yourself who want to build a lucrative career?

    "I’m still in the process of figuring out if this is something sustainable and lucrative for myself. I don’t think I can answer that question without talking a little bit about privilege. Any kind of entrepreneur would have to weather financial instability for several years. You need a safety net while you’re weathering your unpredictable income and figuring things out. In my case, I was very privileged to have a supportive family. They supported me through those years and they’re still very supportive of me now."

    Feanne wearing her Swallows kimono with our Bamboo monogram necklace with the Lyria earrings

    "I would say I’m mostly financially independent in the sense that I don’t have to worry about where my next meal will come from, which is a reality for a lot of people. If you want to have a lucrative career as an artist, you have to be aware of how much financial insecurity you will have to weather, especially at the start of your career. A safety net, which can be in the form of other people supporting you or a day job, can help you as you go through periods of instability."

    Feanne wearing her Nautilus kimono with the Kamalei earrings

    "Many artists today, like myself, have to juggle a lot of roles. I’m an artist, and I’m also a business owner. I don’t have employees, so I also do everything that I can’t outsource. Bookkeeping, filing taxes, budgeting, marketing, networking, client relationships. Developing myself as a creative and as an entrepreneur. I personally pack and ship orders, deliver items to stores where I consign, and answer inquiries. If you’re an artist/entrepreneur today, you can probably relate."

    "I find it very challenging to preserve the mental bandwidth needed to engage in creative work, in the midst of all these other types of work I also need to do. But my creative work is the core of what I do. Everything else depends on it. And when I nourish my creative work with deep care and attention, that care and attention naturally flows into all the other work I do around it. In my illustrations, I go very close in with the details, but I also step back and check the overall composition and flow, and how one part relates to every other part. The same can be applied to all the other aspects of my work."

    Follow Feanne on Instagram: @feanne  

    Photography by Sheila Catilo (@sheilacatilo)

    Feanne's pieces are available at Othello.ph in Rockwell and on http://feanne.com

    Casa Consunji

    Casa Consunji

    If you’re looking for unique furniture and home items (like that rattan bed you saw on Pinterest), you need to visit this new furniture store in Taguig.

    Casa Consunji is Maggie Wilson-Consunji’s newest venture with business partners Parul Shah and Janela Cuaton that boasts of beautiful pieces sourced from all over the world and are perfect for the bohemian abode. Maggie give us a short tour of her casa and talks to us about what she finds most fulfilling about her new business over a cup of coffee.

    What’s your inspiration behind Casa Consunji?

    "My background is interior design and I love decorating homes. I always find myself looking for items that are not so expensive but I find that there is no middle market in the Philippines in terms of furniture. It’s either you go with high-end international brands or go local but wait 5 to 6 weeks and I still find it quite expensive. There’s nothing in between that can be considered affordable luxury. I thought of Casa Consunji to fill that gap in the market."  

    Maggie wearing Adira earrings and Mahi necklace from our Gold Coast collection

    "You won’t really find our pieces inside any other furniture store. Being a true-blue beach babe, I wanted a store that represented that so a lot of our products has a tropical and coastal living feel. All of our items are handmade and I can say that because I source them personally. Also, we source from small businesses – we don’t source from large manufacturers, which is something I’m very proud of."

    What kind of retail experience can people expect?

    "I want people to walk into the store and feel as if they’re at home. I added a café so while shopping or waiting, they can have a cookie of a cup of coffee. I want people to feel relaxed and make them want to stay a little bit more and welcome them into what I feel is a little piece of my home."

    Maggie wearing Adira earrings and Mahi necklace from our Gold Coast collection 

    Casa Consunji also has a cafe that serves coffee and light snacks

    What’s your creative process in putting together your collection?

    "Each collection would always have certain elements such as organic materials. For our first collection, we have pieces made of raw handwoven cotton and petrified wood while metals come in brass and copper."

    "We source our products from all over the world – from India, Indonesia, Vietnam and locally – and we make sure we have pieces from different countries in the store at all times. Whenever a customer walks in and asks about a piece, it’s really nice to be able to tell them the story of where it came from and how it was made and that adds to the value of the item. If you’re investing in a piece, it might as well come with a beautiful story."

    Maggie wearing Dahlia earrings and Navya 2-layer necklace 

    Maggie's Heyjow picks: Dahlia earrings, Adira earringsNavya 2-layer necklace, Meadow earrings and Mahi necklace

    Is telling stories the most fulfilling part of this new business?

    "Absolutely. My philosophy in design is that I want every piece to have a story because I love hearing them as well. I love knowing little details like the name of the guy that made our rattan bed or table."

    "Whenever a customer walks in and asks about a piece, it’s really nice to be able to tell them the story of where it came from and how it was made and that adds to the value of the item. If you’re investing in a piece, it might as well come with a beautiful story."

    We know just how busy you are with your show and now your new business. What are some of your self-care rituals that help you relax?  

    "I always make sure to visit my dermatologist at least twice a month for a facial and have my skin checked because I’m always exposed to the sun when I film for my travel show. I also love getting massages – I have this amazing woman who comes to my house and she gives me the best deep-tissue massages. And if schedule permits, I would take a few days off and go on a trip with my family and disconnect. I was in Dubai with them recently and I went off social media for a few days and it felt liberating."

    What are you looking forward to this year?

    "I’m really looking forward to growing the store. We’re going to open our second store within the first quarter of the year. We also have a lot of interior design projects lined up. Aside from that, I’m filming the second season of my travel show."

    What are the things you learned in the process of starting a new business?

    "When you’re a start-up, it’s important that you know the business inside and out. You can hire people to help you but it’s crucial that you know how things are done. I can easily hire a financial consultant but I want to know how everything is done just in case one of us gets sick or is unavailable."

    Maggie wearing Antigua drop earrings  

    "Always be open to learning new things and understand that you don’t know everything. When you’re open to suggestions and learning from people who have more experience, it will be easier for you once your business starts operating."

    "Don’t be too excited – make sure you plan everything out. Starting a new business is always so exciting but take your time and make sure your structure is in place. It was difficult for me not to share little tidbits of what I was planning but it’s always nice to be able to surprise people when your brand is ready to launch. You’ll always make mistakes but if you prepare, you’ll make less of them."

    Follow Maggie: @wilsonmaggie 

    Follow Casa Consunji: @casaconsunji

    Photography by Sheila Catilo (@sheilacatilo)

    Mikka

    Mikka

    A relentless seeker and purveyor of all things uniq, Mikka Padua lives in a world fueled by passion and creativity. Inspiration from a trip to Mexico (or even to the supermarket) is turned into insightful storytelling and rich retail experiences for her company Seek the Uniq. We sat down with the Commander-in-Chic at STU’s guide shop dubbed as ‘Habitacion’ where she shared her tips on overcoming an entrepreneur’s worst enemy and why she believes fashion is a powerful tool.

    On personal style: “I would say it’s contemporary bohemian but it’s really a mix of things. I like doing high-low and mixing say a statement skirt from Seek the Uniq with a classic sweater or a button-down. I don’t like doing a lot of trendy things at one time so I stick with just one and build it up from there.”

    Mikka wearing pink tailored coordinates with Coomera and Bellara necklaces from Gold Coast SS2019 collection

    “When it comes to dressing up, my criteria would be a look that would make me happy. I believe that fashion is so powerful. If you’re feeling a bit lazy or not in the mood and it’s a blah day, you can easily pick yourself up with a good outfit. If I have a big meeting, I feel more confident if I’m dressed for it. Dressing up is really important – it’s not something I take lightly. It gives you more credibility and changes your whole disposition.”

    On what she wears on a typical day: “I usually build my outfit around a certain piece, which is my highlight for that day. Right now, I’m into casual tailored pieces because they’re so easy to dress up or down. I would wear a jacket and dress it down with jeans or linen pants. If I’m working, I would wear low heels then if I’m going out at night I would just change my shoes, add a few pieces of jewelry and change my bag.”

    Mikka wearing Darthi lariat and Suma 2-layer necklace from Heyjow's exclusive collection for Seek the Uniq

    Mikka's favorite accessories are a mix of bohemian and classic pieces; these low heels by Zarah Juan were her work shoes for the day

    Some of Mikka's everyday essentials include skincare products from Boots and Pixi Beauty 

    Mikka's picks are a mix of classic pieces from the V Holiday collection and colorful bohemian pieces from Gold Coast SS2019 collection

    On her journey from corporate creative to fashion entrepreneur: “I built a career on merchandising for jewelry and beauty before I found my calling in fashion - and that's where I stayed. Even when I had a corporate job, I had businesses on the side – hobbies that turned into small businesses. I never stopped even when I got so busy with my day job. It was an outlet for me – creating things and selling them. It kept me going and it created a good balance. When I finally had the confidence to start Seek the Uniq, it helped having that kind of mentality.”

    Mikka wearing Darthi lariat and Suma 2-layer necklace from Heyjow's exclusive collection for Seek the Uniq with Dhara turquoise drop earrings from Gold Coast SS2019 collection

    “I appreciate my corporate background now that I’m in a less corporate environment. The corporate world molds you to become a better professional and I feel that it’s very important to have that kind of experience before you run your own business.”

    On the most important lessons she learned as an entrepreneur: “There are a lot of things that come with a loosely structured business that you don’t expect. We’ve been running for 5 years and I would say we still have birthing pains up until now. Running a start-up becomes increasingly difficult as you scale the business, especially if you’re not set up as a proper organization wherein you have the support of an HR or an accounting team. Those are the things that I would say is tough for an entrepreneur like me because I’m more into the creative side."

    Mikka wearing a floral dress with Copa earrings from Gold Coast SS2019 collection

    "In hindsight, I wish I was more diligent with accounting from the very start. It’s not the glamorous side of the business but it’s a crucial part of it. Another challenge would be finding the right people who understand your vision. Joining a start-up is far from a big corporation because it means you’re expected to do multiple roles. It’s not easy finding people who are willing to do that but we’ve been lucky.”  

    “In the digital world, we don’t sleep. The business does not even close. Even if we close our brick-and-mortar location, we go home and still answer our customers. It’s exhausting but if your heart is in it, it’s fun and fulfilling.”  

    On finding inspiration: “I find inspiration even in the most mundane things. Traveling helps a lot but with the kind of work we have, I can’t be away for a long time."

    Mikka wearing a floral dress with Copa earrings and Davina necklace from Gold Coast SS2019 collection

    "If it’s a question of finding inspiration, you can create it and live in a world where you’re constantly inspired. When we created the guide shop, we wanted a place where people feel instantly inspired and they would want to hang around and take their time versus going inside a typical store.”

    Mikka wearing Jasmine enamel earrings from #HeyjowxEsteeLauder partnership collection

    On the inspiration behind Habitacion: “Our guide shops are always travel-inspired and is just about putting things together that make us happy." 

    "The first one was inspired by the places that I love like India, Morocco and Mexico, a culmination of all the things that we found inspiring."

    Mikka wearing a linen jacket and pants with Amori and Berniss bangles with Soleil earrings from Heyjow's exclusive collection for Seek the Uniq

    Mikka's travel books on India's most famous cities

    "Habitacion is our fifth guide shop and the word was something I picked up during our last trip to Mexico. I liked the sound of it and it was perfect for what we had in mind. Since it’s going to run for a longer time, it had to be something that always feels fresh and homey.”

    Inside Habitacion, Seek the Uniq's guide shop, which will run until January at Powerplant Mall

    Her advice for aspiring entrepreneurs: “I would say don’t quit your day job yet. It’s not going to be easy for the first few months or years even and you would need a steady flow of income. Otherwise, you’ll run out of funds and you’ll feel like a failure. If you can, hold on to that job first even if it doesn’t inspire you.”

    Mikka wearing a safari-inspired look with Meadow yellow enamel earrings from #HeyjowxEsteeLauder partnership collection

    “When you have an idea, get to it right away. Own it and launch it even if you don’t have a website. If it doesn’t work out, then you pivot."

    "Your biggest enemy would be overthinking. You will never be able to start if you overthink because it will never get to perfect – just polish it along the way. You fail fast, you learn and then you pick yourself right up. That way you’ll find your calling sooner. The most important thing is to just do it because you’ll never know if it’s going to work or not until you take action.”

    Follow Mikka on Instagram: @mikkapadua

    Follow Seek the Uniq on Instagram: @seektheuniq

    Photography by Sheila Catilo (@sheilacatilo)

    Make-up by Angie Saul from Estee Lauder Philippines 

    Hair by Malou de Guzman of Jing Monis Salon

    Marilen

    Marilen

    You might be familiar with Marilen Faustino-Montenegro as a model and TV host but her first love is something much different. Interior design has been a part of her life since she was young and throughout the changing seasons of her life. Currently, she shares inspiring tips and practical ways to make your home beautiful via her blog and does interior styling consultation as well as product and brand styling. 

    We visited Marilen at her lovely home where she talked to us about her classic aesthetic, her love for organic skincare products and easy styling tips for the holiday season.  

    On personal style: “I would say my style is classic, clean, and crisp with a bit of an edge."  

    "I like pieces that can stand the test of time and things I can wear over and over again so I favor plain pieces over prints. I love wearing neutral colors – white, beige, black and blush. For accessories, I like minimalist jewelry."

    Marilen wearing (1) Nadja 2-layer disc necklace with (2) Darissa necklace and (3) Yalissa earrings 

    Marilen's picks: (4)  Darissa necklace (5) Azra infinity necklace (6) Alix chain necklace (7) Nola chain necklace (8) Rae 2-layer necklace (9) Rama pearl earrings and (10) Nadja 2-layer disc necklace

    Her fashion icons: "Grace Kelly, Audrey Hepburn and Olivia Palermo.”

    What’s in her make-up bag: “I try to use natural skincare products as much as possible like Cosmedica’s illuminating Rose Gold Serum the Eye of Horus mascara. The Clarins lip oil is ultra-hydrating and is very subtle, good for an everyday look. I also use essential oils like peppermint, to wake me up and take my headaches away, and frankincense because it’s a multi-purpose healing oil.”

    Some of Marilen's favorite skincare and make-up essentials pictured here with (11) Candra bar necklace (12) Monroe pearl earrings (13) Amori bangle and (14) Tesanee earrings  

    On her interior design style: “It’s a bit similar with my fashion style. I usually go for bare white walls and I add color through furniture and accessories. My taste is always evolving and it depends on the people I’m surrounded with or the places I see when I travel.”

    Just some of Marilen's interior design books you will see on her coffee table 

    “I really love the old architecture of Paris. From the doors of their buildings to all the details that go into the interiors – the wood details on ceilings, cornices, and moldings – I find them so beautiful. I mix that with different interior design styles for my projects.”

    Marilen wearing a white off-shoulder top, a blush skirt and (15) Azra infinity necklace layered with (16) Alix chain necklace

    On how she discovered her passion for interior design: “My dad is a contractor and I have aunts and uncles who are also interior designers. My dad would bring me along on his projects so I was exposed to interior design very early in my life. I took it up as a course in college and graduated in 2001. Around that time, I was also doing TV commercials, fashion and beauty shoots then I eventually joined PMAP. While I was modeling, I would still have 2 to 3 interior design projects a year so I never really stopped.”

    Marilen wearing (17) Rae 2-layer necklace and (18) Nola chain necklace complemented with (19) Monroe pearl earrings 

    On her first interior project: “I really was just following what the client wanted. When I look at the pictures now, it seems so bare. It’s very different to what I can do now.”

    On what inspires her: “My children, my husband. Seeing other creatives do their work – that inspires me to continuously come up with new things. I’m judging an interior design reality show so I gained a lot of inspiration from that.”

    Marilen photographed inside her kid's bedroom, which also serves as their classroom during their home-school sessions 

    Her advice to aspiring interior designers: “I’m lucky to have been able to study the basics of proportion, balance, and scale. I can see colors beyond what a normal person can see because I consider its composition and how it goes with the rest of the space. Studying really helps you develop your taste. Aside from good taste, it takes a lot of practice and research to hone your interior design eye."

    Marilen wearing (20) Azra infinity necklace layered with (21) Alix chain necklace and (22) Rama pearl earrings

    Her tips on gift-wrapping for the holidays: “Throughout the year, I collect things that come from gifts I receive – not just wrappers but also ribbons and other ornaments. I also incorporate things I pick up during my trips such as a seashell from a recent trip to the beach.”  

    “You can also use recycled paper or even newspaper and elevate the look with a ribbon in a bold color and berries. You don’t have to buy new materials and it doesn’t have to be so formal or all matching. As much as possible, I don’t buy new things for gift-giving because I feel like it’s not good for the environment so I try to recycle what I already have.”

    Her tips for creating a beautiful tablescape: "Right now, the trend is to just do a hodgepodge of different food spreads all over the table and not arranging items so formally." 

    Marilen wearing an emerald asymmetric top with (23) Tesanee earrings (24) Candra bar necklace and (25) Amori bangle

    Marilen matched these marble plates from The Masonry with batik plates from Home Love Point. Striped placemats from The 57.PH complement the black and white theme

    Here's an idea: place chips and crackers for dipping in a lined basket instead of a ceramic piece for contrast

    "Don’t align the plates into a grid. Experiment with placement such as positioning elements diagonally or play with different heights.”

    Dips such as these from Serbesa MNL make it easy to entertain guests at home

    “The worst thing you can do when creating a tablescape is to make everything matching. It’s better if you mix plates from one set and bowls from another set. Don’t be afraid to mix and match - it makes the spread more festive!"

    Follow Marilen on Instagram: @marilenstyles

    Photography by Jennie Castillo (@jenscastle)

    Make-up by Angie Saul from Estee Lauder Philippines

    Hair by Dollie Verniz from Jing Monis Salon

    ***

    Follow The Masonry: @themasonryph

    Follow Home Love Point: @homelovepoint

    Follow The 57.PH: @the57.ph

    Follow Serbesa MNL: @serbesamnl

    ***

    Accessories: 

    (1) (10) Nadja 2-layer disc necklace

    (2) (4) Darissa necklace

    (3) Yalissa earrings  

     (5) (15) (20) Azra infinity necklace

    (6) (16)  (21) Alix chain necklace

    (7) (18) Nola chain necklace

    (8) (17) Rae 2-layer necklace

    (9) (22) Rama pearl earrings - coming soon 

    (11) (24) Candra bar necklace

    (12) (19) Monroe pearl earrings - coming soon

    (13) (25) Amori bangle

    (14) (23) Tesanee earrings