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    Style Stories

    Lola Androgynous

    Lola Androgynous

    What does “dressing your age” really mean? Tessie Singson aka Lola Androgynous challenges the notion that fashion is only for the young and turns ‘advanced style’ to avant garde – with platform shoes to boot. The 65-year old fashion slayer shares with us how her Instagram blog started and her fashion philosophy that encourages personal expression.    

    On personal style: “My style is androgynous with a touch of kakikayan.” 

    “I wear mostly black and white with pops of bold and vivid colors. I also love wearing anything over-sized or loose-fitting so I don't feel restricted with my movements. I like anything minimalist and boyish paired with funky accessories like a statement necklace or over-sized earrings.”

    Lola A wearing a black COS dress with (1) Elise earrings

    On accessories: “I love both contemporary and vintage custom jewelry. My son JP and I are particularly obsessed with statement earrings. We just can't get enough of them.”

    Lola A wearing a COS blouse and 5cm cropped pants with (2) Moor earrings and (3) Mayi earrings

    On what a typical day looks like: “I usually wake up early at 5AM. Then, I prepare breakfast for the family while tidying up our home. By 9AM, I usually go to our car accessories shop in Quezon City with my husband to do admin work. And then in the afternoon, JP and I work on @LolaACloset if he's here in Manila. We usually schedule shoots twice a week for OOTDs for my Instagram. 

    Lola A plays around with mismatched earrings and combines the (4) Moor earrings with the (5) Mayi earrings 

    On how she became 'Lola Androgynous': “Fashion was already a part of my life in my younger years thanks to my mom who started dressing me up at an early age since I was the only ‘rose’ among the ‘thorns.'

    Lola A wearing a white Uniqlo top with (6) Olive earrings 

    "My son coined the name Lola Androgynous since we wanted to use a catchy blogger name that has a good recall. I think both JP and I just enjoy fashion. We never really take it seriously.”

    Lola A expresses her fun fashion sense through distinct accessories like these specs from Australian brand Le Specs

    “I just want people to know that fashion has no age limit. I want to inspire women and even men to be themselves and be comfortable in their own skin. Dress to express, not to impress.”

    Lola A also loves the unexpected when it comes to bags. Pictured here are Louis Vuitton's Epi Kabuki Mask Alma BB with a Celine net bag  

    One of her favorite pairs of shoes includes these platform Mary Janes from MM6 by Maison Margiela

    On what inspires her: “My very supportive husband and family. And of course, my amazing and cool followers.”

    Lola A wearing a white dress and black cover-up from Uniqlo with (7) Zarin Earrings

    On what's next for her: “Working on a capsule collection with my son and a couple of emerging designers. Super excited with my upcoming projects!

    Follow Lola Androgynous on Instagram: @LolaAndrogynous

    Follow Lola A's Closet on Instagram: @LolaAcloset



    (1) Elise earrings

    (2) and (4) Moor earrings 

    (3) and (5) Mayi earrings

    (6) Olive earrings

    (7) Zarin Earrings



    Rajo Laurel is undoubtedly one of Philippine fashion’s most iconic designers, whose name has become synonymous with luxury and outstanding craftsmanship. This year marks his 25th year in the industry and he fondly looks back on his journey with some treasured memories: from giving Barbie makeovers and being captivated by regal theater costumes to his very first fashion show.   

    In this special edition of Style Stories, Rajo gives us a peek into his day at the office and shares insightful tips for fashion entrepreneurs.  

    On how he discovered his passion for fashion design: “My first encounter with fashion was in the theater. I was a young stage actor for Repertory Philippines, which my grandmother founded, and I was one of the children in the play ‘The King and I.’ In that environment, you can really see how costumes play a very important role in the musical. I was mesmerized with all the costumes and I think that was my very first memory of what fashion could be.”

    On his younger years leading up to his first fashion show: “It’s my 25th year this year so I have lots of memories. When I was young, I would steal my sisters’ Barbie Dolls and give them a makeover, working at night and then secretly return them back. My sisters would wake up and cry because their dolls suddenly had a green mohawk, eyeliner and leatherette ensemble made from scraps. My other memories include making the prom dresses of my classmates - going to Divisoria then having my grandmother's seamstress make something for them."

    "While I was in college, I would organize fashion shows for our organizations and having mini fashion shows with friends. My very first fashion show was a baptismal of fire because it was the 10th year anniversary of PMAP and I was a very young designer, barely over 21 years old, and I had to come up with a collection of 200 pieces. These contributed to this wonderful journey and brought me to where I am today.”  

    On his fashion philosophy: “The guiding principle of being in fashion is to seek joy. Fashion is supposed to be fun. It’s not rocket science. We’re here to give a sense of happiness to whoever comes through our doors. What has also guided me is the quest for individualism and the respect that everybody has their own individual style and to be able to cultivate that with my clients and with myself.”

    On how he has evolved as a designer: “It’s a constant fine-tuning of my design philosophy and vocabulary. I’ve always been a firm believer in romance and luxury. Those are the two words that are always on my mind when I create clothes and every opportunity to do so is a refinement of that mindset. Apart from that, I also believe in dualism or paradox. I like fusing two adverse elements together: dark and light, hard and soft, bitter and sweet. I believe that mixture creates something thought-provoking.”

    Pieces from Rajo's latest collection called "Eden"

    Models wearing Heyjow pieces exclusively made for The Rajo! Store, which match Eden's botanical theme

    Heyjow's exclusive collection for The Rajo! Store include earrings in organic shapes and natural elements like seashells

    Rajo's "Eden" Collection draws inspiration from the life of a horticulturist, interpreted in petal-like silhouettes

    On what a typical work day looks like: “I’m very process-oriented. I like systems, regiments and procedures. I’m actually a little bit obsessive-compulsive with how my day is laid out even to how my pencils are sharpened and my pins are arranged. I’m one of those people who thrive in order so I try to create a system. I’m a morning person so I try to wake up as early as I can then I try to be at the office by 8AM, start meeting clients by 9AM and every hour after until 6PM, exercise then be home for dinner or meet friends for a drink or two. I try to pack my days as much as I can.”

    “I’m also a firm believer of multi-tasking – I’m doing this interview in my office while I’m having 3 fittings just outside. I’ve trained myself to multi-task. It’s something people need to do nowadays. You have to be many things to survive and thrive.”

    Inside House of Laurel, Rajo's boutique located in Makati

    On finding inspiration: “Inspiration is not a finite recipe. I usually find inspiration when I’m out of my comfort zone. Travel is a huge source of inspiration. Meeting new people and interacting with them is always inspiring. I think it’s all about perspective. Inspiration is looking at one thing and seeing it from another angle. One of the tips I can give on how to stay creative is always surround yourself with young people or a diverse group of people. I read somewhere that if you’re the smartest person in the room then you should leave it.”

    On balancing creativity and business: "You cannot be one or the other. The quest is about being able to satiate both elements. You must be creative but still think about the bottom line. You must be practical and put yourself in the client’s shoes. I always ask my team ‘will you buy this? Will you be impressed if you saw this on our racks?’ In this day and age of fast fashion, everybody is competing with each other and there’s a lot of white noise. The goal is to rise above it by coming up with something pure and authentic and sustain that in a way that also feels real.

    What’s next for him: “I’m preparing for my 25th anniversary gala on October 27 and I’m doing a collection to celebrate my banner year. I’m also looking forward to coming up with another store soon. I’m also building my beach house, which has been a dream of mine and now it’s nearing completion.”

    Follow Rajo on Instagram: @rajolaurel

    Follow House of Laurel on Instagram: @houseoflaurel

    Photography by Sheila Catilo (@sheilacatilo)




    She is a veteran in the fashion and entertainment industry, one who has graced countless local and international magazine covers and hosted shows such as Project Runway Philippines. After a decade and a half of being in front of the camera, Teresa Herrera Anthony went through a transition - one that brought her back to her first love: art. Here, she shares with us her journey back to the art world and her advice for multi-creatives like her.   

    On personal style: “I would describe it as easy with an edge.”

    Teresa pairs her short black dress with a hat finished off with (1) Gale 3-layer necklace 

    “I grew up in southern California and we don’t really have seasons like New York. You could pretty much wear summer clothes all year round. Being in LA was mostly about personal style and how you stand out. There are a lot of thrift stores in our neighborhood and I’ve been doing vintage shopping since I was 12 and it’s one of my favorite things to do when I go back there. I like finding cool and interesting pieces. I’m very casual and I like things that are relaxed, not too complicated.”

    “I’m a hat person, I wear hats all the time. I do wear a lot of black but I’m trying not to. It’s just hard because I was in fashion for a long time and everyone wears black. I’m trying to wear more color nowadays.”

    Aside from hats, Teresa's wardrobe essentials include strappy block-heel sandals and a trusty pair of shades  

    Teresa's picks: (2) Granite Bracelet Trio (3) Sandstone single necklace (4) Dovetail mismatched earrings and (5) Gale 3-layer necklace 

    On her journey from professional model to art advisor: “Before I got into fashion, I was planning to go to Parsons [School of Design] in New York as an artist for painting and sculpture. I came to the Philippines to visit my mom and that’s when I got discovered. My one-year break became 3 years then became a 10-year profession.”

    Teresa wearing an army green halter top and black denim pants with (6) Granite Bracelet Trio (7) Sandstone single necklace and (8) Dovetail mismatched earrings

    “I was in fashion for about 15 years and then I made the transition to art. Around 2008, when I was doing Project Runway Philippines, I had a lot of time on set and I was asking myself ‘What will my next 10 years going to look like? What do I really want to build?” My twenties were about traveling, discovering myself and my passions. I knew my thirties were going to be about building – building a business and a family. I started exploring the art world again, going to art shows in Miami, London and New York and met my mentor at a dinner. His name is Jeffrey Deitch and he became the museum director of the Museum of Contemporary Art in LA. It was good timing because he moved to LA from New York and after the show, I went back to LA full-time and he took me under his wing.”

    “I was studying, learning, and getting to know the art community in LA and then I was talking to my mentor, asking him if I should go back to the art world as an artist or if I should put up a gallery and he told me ‘You have a creative eye and your knowledge of art if quite deep. And even though you were in a different profession for the last 15 years, you’ve built yourself a network. I think you might be suited to do art advisory.’”

    “I took his advice and started putting myself out there. I put up Collective 88 and would reach out to anyone who needed art, who wanted to see a gallery whether in LA, Manila, anywhere. By 2011, I met an interior designer who was working on a project and I told her I can help her acquire art pieces and that project happened to be Solaire [Resort and Casino]. It put me on the map as a consultant on large-scale projects. Anything with 500 pieces or more, you go to someone like us because we help you buy the art as well as create, design, reproduce, acquire and even insure the pieces. We do everything from the time you think about a specific piece to the time it ends up on your wall.”

    On her passion for yoga: “Aside from art, I’m also very passionate about yoga and wellness. We started a charity event called Global Mala Project back in 2007 and this is our 11th year. The whole idea is using yoga as a platform for peace and action. Meanwhile, 100% of the proceeds is donated directly to charity. It’s our way to connect the local yoga community to the global community.” 

    On what keeps her inspired: “My kids.”

    Teresa looking regal in a white jumpsuit and (9) Nightfall earrings 

    On what’s next for her: “There are a few projects I’m currently working on. I’m the type of person who doesn’t look back. As soon as something is done, I’m always on to the next project. I’m still expanding into myself, still growing into myself and that journey is always exciting for me.”

    Her advice for multi-creatives: “It’s okay to be interested in a lot of different things. It means you have a very curious mind. I’m a Pisces and I tend to absorb everything around me and take it all in. But once you take in all that information, there’s some sort of formula that happens inside you and whatever comes out, you give back to the world. You have to discover what that is – what you love spending time on whether you get paid or not. I was teaching yoga for the first 5 years by donation, sometimes for free. I still do it for free. It’s about finding what you’re passionate about and then letting that come through you.”

    Teresa wearing the (10) Slate 2-layer necklace

    “Two of my favorite subjects in school were art and math – two opposite ends. But now I’m dealing with both. Who knew that that was going to be my path? I didn’t. Take it in, internalize it, and come up with something special to give back to the world. Whatever you get into, know your craft. Study all the rules and only then can you break it.” 

    Follow Teresa on Instagram: @teresaherrera27

    Photography by Sheila Catilo (@sheilacatilo)

    Make-up by Drew Cultura (@iamdrewcultura) for Bobbi Brown Philippines

    Hair by Jerome Bustamante (@makeupbyjeromebustamante) for Bobbi Brown Philippines

    Shot on location at @coffeeprojectofficial (107 Salcedo Square, L.P. Leviste St., Makati)  



    (1)  and (5) Gale 3-layer necklace  

    (2) and (6) Granite Bracelet Trio

    (3) and (7) Sandstone necklace

    (4) and (8) Dovetail earrings

    (9) Nightfall earrings

    (10) Slate 2-layer necklace



    It’s likely that you have seen and have been captivated by one of her beautiful images. Sheila Catilo has the uncanny ability to capture a person’s inner light – and every photograph she takes glows with genuine emotion.

    For our Mother’s Day edition of Style Stories, we’re putting the spotlight on the woman behind the lens who will shed light on what a career in photography looks like and how she uses her photographs to empower modern moms like her.

    On personal style: “I would describe my style as comfortable, fun and feminine.”

    “While I love wearing neutrals when I work, I also love wearing bright and pastel colors. I love clothes that are easy to wear and pieces that allow me to move. Aside from being a photographer, I am a mom of three and most of my day involves being up and about – driving, carrying things, chasing a toddler, being on the floor with my camera, doing arts and crafts, reaching for something or being someone’s playground.

    Sheila wearing the Lira embroidered blouson from Offbeat Alley with (1) Daisy earrings and (2) Mita bracelet trio

    On what she wears on a typical day: “Something comfortable like a soft top with jeans or shorts with strappy flat leather sandals. Then I accessorize to dress up the look a little bit. I love how a pair of nice earrings or a statement necklace can take my regular errands look to smart casual. 

    Sheila wearing the Isola eyelet dress from Offbeat Alley with metallic strappy sandals from Saltwater Sandals and (3) Dahlia earrings

    Some of Sheila's favorite sandals include these from Saltwater Sandals, Meigan Collection and Renegade Folk

    Sheila's picks: (4) Vinca 2-layer necklace (5) Chestnut hoop earrings (6) Dahlia floral earrings (7) Eve bracelet set (8) Berry bracelet set (9) Flaxen drop earrings (10) Canary druzy necklace (11) Tuscan Sun 3-layer necklace and (12) Pelican acrylic earrings 

    One of Sheila's favorite colors is turquoise and some of her favorite accessories (like her pair of specs and Heyjow tassel earrings) come in this color

    Sheila favors functional bags with a bohemian flair like these from Aranaz and leather accessories brand Ni Qua

    What's in her make-up kit: sunblock from Etuded House, lippies from Bobbi Brown and Happy Skin, and a couple of essential oils from Doterra 

    On what a typical day looks like: “I don’t really have a typical day because of the nature of my work. But what seems to be constant is waking up with kids on our bed. If they’re still asleep I use that short window in the morning it as my personal time to read the Word, pray and plan my day. If I’m not rushing to go somewhere, I prepare breakfast and eat with the girls before leaving the house for a shoot or errands. The rest of the day is dictated by what kind of photo shoot, meeting or event I need to attend.”

    Sheila wearing the Isola eyelet dress from Offbeat Alley with (13) Mita bracelet trio and (14) Lazare necklace set

    On how she discovered her passion for photography: “My dad gave me a point-and-shoot camera when I was 9 and that was it! Most of my allowance went into buying film and having my photos processed and printed at the local photo lab in the market. In high school, my uncle let me borrow his old SLR and taught me how to use it and that brought my love for photography to a whole new level.”

    On her early days as a photographer: “I never considered photography as a career before. It was more of a hobby I really enjoyed doing. But soon after ending a short-lived career in a TV network, I found myself in-between jobs and was at a point in my life where I was just waiting for calls from companies I applied to. During that time, I would get last-minute shoot assignments from my sister who then worked for a PR guy. I would do behind-the-scenes documentation for brand campaigns, cover high society events, take photos of real estate properties in Antipolo and Laguna."

    "I would commute almost every day with my camera from Cavite to wherever I needed to go without knowing how much I was going to be paid. I was a small girl who didn’t wear make-up and wore jeans and flipflops to work that sometimes people didn’t take me seriously or believe that I was the photographer. But the high I got from the experience of shooting, seeing my photos published, meeting new people and learning on the job made everything worth it and made me realize I might actually have a shot in this field.”

    On her current projects: “One of the things that motherhood and my job gave me is a wonderful community of women - people I've worked with and have grown meaningful relationships with just because we have something in common: we are mothers. When I was a new mom, I relied on books and on the internet when I didn’t know what to do. It was such a huge resource and yet I felt like I was still clueless and alone. And now I find myself doing projects to connect and empower moms so that they will also have the experience of growing with each other."  

    Sheila wearing the Nyes gingham tube top and skirt from Offbeat Alley with (15) Eve bracelet set and (16) Cider earrings 

    "One of the passion projects Leona Panutat and I are doing right now is called Project LILO. In this age when social media seems to have a picture-perfect view of motherhood, we want to show what motherhood is really about – how it’s messy and exhausting yet beautiful and rewarding. We want to tell moms out there that even when we feel like we don’t have it all together, it’s going to be okay.”

    “I’ve also teamed up with Mommy Mundo for a campaign called #Mompowerment, which we are launching next week. This campaign is all about recognizing the impact moms can create in their own unique way at home and in the work environment. Sometimes we underestimate our power to create the change that we want to see in this world. It’s a great reminder of the fact that we can shape a whole generation – and it starts in our very own homes and in the life of every person we encounter in our community."

    On what keeps her inspired: “My family. People I work with. This beautiful world the Lord has created for us to live in.”

    Sheila wearing the Marina 2-piece swimsuit from Coral Swimwear with (17) Auburn hoop earrings

    Her advice for aspiring photographers: “Just keep shooting. Make the most of every opportunity to grow in your craft. Don’t be afraid to go out of your comfort zone and learn from new experiences."

    "I read somewhere that the camera can’t make a good photograph any more than a typewriter can write a great novel – and it’s true. How you see things and share it through the images you take make you the artist that you are. Your eyes are the best instrument you have – not expensive cameras or big lenses or filters. Be intentional about what you shoot. Find your purpose as an artist so that it’s not just a job but something more meaningful."

    Sheila matches her printed swimsuit from Agua Brazilian Swimwear with (18) Madeira mini hoop earrings

    On what's next for her: “My family and I are planning and documenting our journey to a new home, which we are praying to come soon. Career-wise, I want to make it my mission to teach families to document their memories. That way I know I’ve imparted more than just that pocketful of moments in pictures, but a habit they get to keep and enjoy with their loved ones. And maybe a coffee table book or two. Who knows.”

    Follow Sheila on Instagram: (@sheilacatilo)

    Photography by Jorem Catilo (@jorem)

    Clothes from @offbeatalley

    Swimwear from @coralswimwearph and @aguabrazilianswimwear


    Accessories (most pieces are from our Island Girl Blush and Golden Glow collections to be released soon):

    (1) Daisy earrings

    (2) and (13) Mita bracelet trio

    (3) and (6) Dahlia earrings

    (4) Vinca 2-layer necklace

    (5) Chestnut hoop earrings

     (7) and (15) Eve bracelet set

    (8) Berry bracelet trio

    (9) Flaxen drop earrings

    (10) Canary druzy necklace

    (11) Tuscan Sun 3-layer necklace

    (12) Pelican acrylic earrings 

    (14) Lazare necklace set

    (16) Cider earrings 

    (17) Chestnut hoop earrings

    (18) Madeira mini hoop earrings



    She spent her teenage years working as a commercial model, meeting different people and traveling the world – and that has made Nicole Hernandez-delos Angeles one of the most recognizable faces on Philippine TV.

    Now a mom to 2 boys, Nicole still looks as fresh and young when she did her most memorable commercial. These days, you can catch her on Industree TV’s “Baby Barangay” with fellow moms Cat Juan Ledesma, Kelly Misa-Fernandez and Patty Laurel-Filart (who all happen to be Heyjow muses, too) where they share snippets of their work, travels and family life. 

    Here, Nicole tells us her mommy me-time ritual, stories from her early modeling years and her advice for aspiring models:

    On personal style: “I like things that are easy, quick, comfortable and convenient because I have 2 boys and I’m always on the go. I must be in pieces that can transition from morning until the afternoon and if they can carry me over to the evening then that’s great.

    Nicole wearing the Solana ruffle top from Offbeat Alley with (1) Blanca earrings from Aloha White collection and (2) Roya bracelet set from Summer Bounty collection  

    On what she wears on a typical day: “I spend the early hours of the day in gym attire because that’s usually when I work out, which is my detox and me-time. I try to squeeze in a run while my kids are in school.”

    “When I’m not in my gym clothes, a normal outfit would be something easy-going, especially now that it's summer. It depends on the day and activity of my kids. Plus, I cook so I must be comfortable while I’m in the kitchen. If it’s soccer day, you’ll see me in shorts, sneakers and a T-shirt."

    Nicole wearing the Veloso maillot from Agua Brazilian Swimwear with (3) Algier 2-layer necklace from Aloha White collection and (4) Devi bracelet set from Summer Bounty collection

    Nicole dresses up the ruffled swimsuit with (5) Magnolia statement earrings from Aloha White collection

    Some of Nicole's summer must-haves include her favorite pair of Ray-Bans, tinted sunscreen and Jo Malone's Green Wheat and Meadowsweet cologne 

    "When I have work, I dress up in basic pieces that are easy to move around in. I prefer solids because it’s easier to dress it up by layering it with accessories.”

    Nicole dresses up her summer basics with metallic Tory Burch sandals complemented with intricate Heyjow pieces from Summer Bounty, Aloha White, and Azure Paradise collections 

    On how she discovered her passion for modeling: “It was more of an accidental discovery. A friend brought me to a VTR where I did horribly and cried. I told myself ‘I’m never going to do this again’ then I get a call afterwards saying I got the part."

    "Ever since I did that commercial for a shampoo, it’s been non-stop. I’ve been doing advertisements since I was 13 years old. I stopped for a while when I got older and moved out of the country but modeling has always been an opportunity to travel and a means to earn, especially at a young age. It opened a lot of doors for me and gave me a chance to save, budget and invest.”

    Nicole wearing the Hewes Bow dress from Offbeat Alley with (6) druzy and howlite layers from Azure Paradise collection 

    On memorable projects: “The ones I would do abroad because nobody would see it! (laughs) But more because I get to travel with my mom. I guess the most memorable one that people would always associate me with is Pond’s.”

    Nicole looking fresh in a plain white dress, semi-slicked back hair and (7) Elise statement earrings from Golden Glow collection 

    On what inspires her: “There are a lot of people I admire – not just the models or the personalities in front of the camera but also the people behind it because they’re the ones that make you look good and help you perform like the director, the lighting designers, the editors. Those are people I admire because they work so many hours to make an amazing finished product. I try to emulate some of their strong qualities such as the level of professionalism."

    Nicole wearing a striped linen dress from Little Luli with (8) pearl and disc layers from Aloha White collection and (9) aquamarine rosary chain from Azure Paradise collection 

    "I get inspired by people who are naturally talented and get it in a single take. Doing an ad can sometimes be tiring and it shows on your face but when you work with seasoned professionals, you feed on their energy and that's what keeps you going.”

    On how she has evolved in her career: “I’m always a little nervous whenever I do a project. It’s not easy for me to switch on and off and it takes me a little while to warm up. Imagine: you’re shooting, you’re expected to perform a certain way and that you should know all your angles but after a while you get conscious because there are so many people watching! I guess through the years, the degree of nervousness has decreased a little bit and I’ve gained a little more confidence each time.”

    Her advice for aspiring models: “Always be true to yourself. Never sell yourself short and never settle. If you feel in your gut that what you’re doing is wrong, it probably is. At the end of the day, you’re representing yourself and you should be happy with the product.”

    Follow Nicole on Instagram: @cole_hernandez

    Photography by Sheila Catilo (@sheilacatilo)

    Make-up by Drew Cultura (@iamdrewcultura) for Bobbi Brown Philippines

    Assisted by Enzo Barbo (@enzobarbo)

    Hair by Owell Cinco (@makeupbyowellcinco)

    Clothes from @offbeatalley and @littleluli

    Swimwear from @aguabrazilianswimwear



    (1) Blanca earrings

    (2) Roya bracelet set 

    (3) Algier 2-layer necklace 

    (4) Devi bracelet set

    (5) Magnolia statement earrings

    (6) Reef 2-layer necklace

    (7) Elise earrings

    8) Tampa pearl and disc layers

    (9) Kailua 3-layer necklace