Introducing the new IORA with better price points
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Singaporean clothing brand IORA has been in the Philippines for a number of years now, and though they are low-key, the brand has a loyal following.
We recently attended the launch of “the new IORA”, which includes a new label, LALU for the younger set, and a more affordable price range.


“The collections have always included smart casual pieces and cocktail dresses. LALU is for the younger crowd 16 years old and up,” said Monette Garcia, co-managing partner of IORA in the Philippines. LALU offers stylish T-shirt dresses, cute coats, jumpers, and dresses that can also be worn as long tops.

Celine Lopez and Monette Garcia

Monette, co-managing partner Anabelle Cuazon, and their business partners first brought IORA to the Philippines in 2006. The stores are located at SM Megamall, Glorietta, and Trinoma, with branches at SM Cebu and Ayala Center Cebu.

Managing Partners for IORA Philippines, Anabelle Cuazon and Monette Garcia

Monette says she discovered IORA while living in Singapore. She was drawn to the styles and the democratic sizing, which range from small to extra-large.
“We actually have a market that goes for XL clothes so we’ve done well in the face of competition from new brands in the Philippine market,” she said.
(Personal note: I like my clothes loose, so I’m an XL at IORA.)


The Megamall store offers basic plain shirts, shift dresses, and work blouses and lacy tops to go with with pants, culottes, high waisted- or knee-length skirts.
Color palettes are mostly black, gray and neutrals with touches of colors here and there.
Sometimes, you enter a store and are assaulted by colors and prints. IORA’s sensibility is minimalist, which is easy on my eyes. I also loved the styling of the models, which the owners did themselves.


That’s because IORA is brand that favors lasting styles over fads.
Monette said IORA creates wardrobe pieces that mix the trendy with the classics.
The clothes are well-made to last several seasons so a woman can add pieces every two weeks when deliveries are fresh.
Iora comes out with 100 new styles every month and these are shipped from Singapore on a staggered basis.


IORA also announces a more affordable price range. Aside from an opening price point of Php 499, the most expensive item in the store is only Php 2,199).
Shoppers can also enjoy bundle offerings like two pieces worth Php 799 for only Php 1399, and two pieces worth Php 1,199 for only Php 1,999.

To know more about IORA, follow them on Facebook or Instagram @iora_philippines.
To find a location near you, click HERE.

“The Breakfast Club” 30 years later
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In 1985, I was a freshman at U.P. Fine Arts where I lasted one year before switching schools and majors.
During the ’80s we looked forward to movies and going to the cinema. But we didn’t get to see movies the same time as the world. We had to wait months after they were released because the Philippines was very much third world back in those days.

I had the best time though during the ’80s. Like many girls my age, I wanted to be Molly Ringwald. I adored her and watched all of her movies, like Sixteen Candles (1984) and Pretty In Pink (1986), which I hope you have seen.

Molly Ringwald

Last night I decided to see The Breakfast Club (1985) again because I ran out of things to watch, and 30 years later I am thinking, boy was that dumb!
So much has changed since 1985 and there are so many things you can’t say anymore because they are politically incorrect or considered sexual harassment.
I can’t believe I thought the movie was everything back in 1985.

Breakfast Club

The Breakfast Club is about five high school students—a jock, a nerd, an outcast, a rebel, and a socialite—who get stuck for nine hours in detention and eventually learn about each other’s innermost thoughts, where if not for detention they might not even speak to each other in the hall way.
What they had in common—unhappy homes and almost hatred of their parents.

As a parent of two teenagers, that makes me really scared and think: Am I making a happy home for my kids? Or am I making them miserable?
Having kids was the most wonderful thing I ever did, but when the two boys turned 13, something changed. They started to answer back, argue, debate, say hurtful things.
It makes me think, was I that bad as a teenager? Which I can’t explain how it happened because I have loved them since the day they were born.
But yes, I am babbling, and I digress.

It was a dumb movie, but I felt so many emotions watching it and that feeling is priceless.
I can only thank the late director John Hughes for creating movies of my generation, because there will always be that ’80s teenager inside of me which nobody can take away.

Isetan Mitsukoshi may open in the Philippines!!
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OMG. I just saw this now, thanks to a Facebook follower.
Imagine the possibility of Isetan Mitsukoshi in the Philippines!
Certainly I’m not expecting Yohji Yamamoto/Comme des Garçons/Undercover/Balenciaga/Celine or even a Japanese food hall. But the possibility of a Japanese stationery section excites me at the very least.

Isetan Shinjuku
Fashion mecca Isetan Shinkuju photographed by ataq411/FLICKR

This story was published in the Japan Times.

Isetan Mitsukoshi may open facility in Philippines

Department store operator Isetan Mitsukoshi Holdings Ltd. is considering opening a store in the Philippines.
The company is discussing the development of a department store-style facility with residential housing in a suburb of Manila. The project would be in partnership with Nomura Real Estate Development Co.
It would be the first Japanese department store operator to expand into the Philippines, although other retailers, including convenience store chain Lawson Inc., already operate there.
Isetan Mitsukoshi aims to tap demand from Asia at a time when the domestic market is shrinking. It plans to open outlets at the facility around 2022, the sources said.
Shin Kong Mitsukoshi, an affiliate firm of Isetan Mistsukoshi Holdings, operates 13 department stores in Taiwan. Isetan Mitsukoshi also operates 31 other shops overseas through its group businesses, including in Europe, the United States and China.

City of Dreams’ Crown Towers wins international design awards
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Crown Towers Manila, one of three premier luxury hotels at City of Dreams Manila, recently won two design awards in the prestigious International Hotel and Property Awards 2016—namely Best Hotel over 200 Rooms (Asia Pacific) and Best Lobby/Public Area/Lounge (Global)—at an awards ceremony held at Hotel Cipriani in Venice.

“City of Dreams Manila carries the very best DNA of the Melco Crown Entertainment brand. Following Mr. Lawrence Ho, our Chairman and CEO’s grand vision, City of Dreams Manila has joined its sister properties in Macau to become the best in its breed,” said Geoff Andres, Property President of City of Dreams Manila.

Steered by Melco Crown Entertainment’s in-house Design and Construction team, the hotel was a joint effort with architectural and design firm Michael Fiebrich Design.

Presidential Villa study
The Presidential Villa by Michael Fiebrich Design

Presidential Villa bathroom

Design et al, a leading interior design magazine which hosts the annual awards, describes the Crown lobby as “the perfect blend of strength and softness”.

Crown Towers Manila Lobby_
Crown Towers Manila Lobby

Crown Towers Manila Crystal Villa
Crystal Villa by Michael Fiebrich Design

Crystal Villa bathroom

Crystal Villa living area

The Best Hotel award encompasses Crown’s 254 guestrooms, suites, villas, spa, fine dining restaurants, and the bar lounge, which present regional elements and local Philippine materials that required working with local manufacturers and artisans.
To know more about Crown Towers Manila, click HERE.

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