Toughen Up

This weekend I watched the delightful movie “Chef,” starring Jon Favreau, his “Iron Manco-stars Scarlett Johansson and Robert Downey Jr. along with Dustin Hoffman, Sofia Vergara and John Leguizamo (Sid from “Ice Age”). Jon (who played Tony Stark’s head of security Happy, just in case you were wondering) also wrote the screenplay, and the story is what inspired this blog post. 

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The movie is about the innovative chef of a prominent restaurant whose career spirals downward when a critic-slash-food blogger writes a scathing review of his menu—a menu that he was planning to get creative with for the review until his boss, the restaurant owner, interferes and forces him to play it safe. The crowd-pleasers, of course, did nothing to redeem him from the harsh reviews. When it goes viral, he is forced to toughen up, quit, endure the ridicule, and rethink his priorities. Just as it seemed it was going to be the worst time in his life, Chef Casper comes across many beautiful truths about his life—truths on loyalty, friendship, family, and genuine happiness.

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shai lagarde love chic shailagarde black leather jacket white dress black clogs street grunge outfit 10

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shai lagarde love chic shailagarde black leather jacket white dress black clogs street grunge outfit 8

shai lagarde love chic shailagarde black leather jacket white dress black clogs street grunge outfit 1

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  • September 20, 2014
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Me Time

Denim on denim for a day of errands. 

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shai lagarde shailagarde love chic lovechic denim button down shirt giordano jeans nude peeptoe heels handbag purse sm accessories ponytail red hair casual chictopia ootd marc coblen watch asian street style blogger 4

shai lagarde shailagarde love chic lovechic denim button down shirt giordano jeans nude peeptoe heels handbag purse sm accessories ponytail red hair casual chictopia ootd marc coblen watch asian street style blogger 3

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Button-down and jeans, Giordano. Watch, Marc Coblen. Bracelet and bag, SM Accessories. Shoes, Janylin. Hype this on Lookbook here, vote on Chictopia here.

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  • September 18, 2014
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Night of Whimsy

In dainty pastels for a beautiful ballet show at the Autumn/Winter collection launch of Pandora in Mega Fashion Hall last week.

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Taking cues from the current fascination with all things magical and nature-inspired, the beloved luxury brand creates a new magical classic that mirrors the mystique and novelty of fantasy films and TV series, and altogether polishing if off with signature sophistication.

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shai lagarde love chic shailagarde lovechic mystical pandora fall winter collection metallic philippine ballet theater event pastel outfit blogger 27

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shai lagarde love chic shailagarde lovechic mystical pandora fall winter collection metallic philippine ballet theater event pastel outfit blogger 23

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The collection is a creative reimagining of an enchanted forest. Picture the tall, swooping trees lining the woods, or the golden fallen leaves from its branches, the somber moon as it lights up the autumn starry sky, or the mystical florals that bloom in the twilight, a sense of otherworldly wonderment for autumn. Crafted from sterling silver, 14k gold, colored enamel and sparkling cubic zirconia, each piece can be collected, stacked, combined and styled with other pieces.

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Echoing the collection inspirations, Pandora brought to life the mystery and magic of the forest through interpretative ballet and scenography with “A Mystical Tale with Pandora,” staged by the Philippine Ballet Theatre. Written by renowned director and playwright Floy Quintos, with costume and set design by Gino Gonzales and narrated by theatre veteran Menchu Lauchengco-Yulo, the ballet story is about the journey of a girl, Pandora in search of precious discoveries and valuable moments.

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shai lagarde love chic shailagarde lovechic mystical pandora fall winter collection metallic philippine ballet theater event pastel outfit blogger 11

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  • September 17, 2014
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Make Your Nails Roar

Bringing back an all-time crowd fave. You’d be surprised how easy and quick it is to do! Watch my short tutorial video here.

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Request for tutorials via Twitter @lovechicph, Facebook message, Tumblr Ask, or Disqus below. 

  • September 16, 2014
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Don’t Lose Sight Of What Really Matters

We can get so caught up in the dizzying flurry of everything—success, fun, relationships, work, responsibilities, dreams and goals, that it becomes so easy to forget what’s truly important. Perhaps it’s one reason I often write about it, as a constant reminder to keep from getting sucked in by these flash-in-the-pan moments and concerns. Because to lose sight of the essential is to lose ourselves, and no amount of superficial accomplishment can help us find our way back.

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Shai Lagarde Love Chic  style blogger fashion blog Manila adidas blue sneakers sporty casual style 12

Shai Lagarde Love Chic  style blogger fashion blog Manila adidas blue sneakers sporty casual style 1

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  • September 11, 2014
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Feminine Flourish

Paisley and florals make up this girly colorful look for work or school, grounded by a classic pair of black pumps. Side braid and clip-on daisy optional, depending on the day’s needs.

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Shai Lagarde Love Chic fashion blog philippines shailagarde lovechic corporate feminine girly outfit black heels pencil skirt braid red hair work outfit 1

Shai Lagarde Love Chic fashion blog philippines shailagarde lovechic corporate feminine girly outfit black heels pencil skirt braid red hair work outfit 2

Shai Lagarde Love Chic fashion blog philippines shailagarde lovechic corporate feminine girly outfit black heels pencil skirt braid red hair work outfit 4

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  • September 10, 2014
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Decorate Your Work Space

Transform your cubicle or study area into a mini vacation spot! Here’s how I did mine.

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shai lagarde love chic style blogger cubicle decor beach inspired summer theme work space office interiors pinterest tumblr 13

shai lagarde love chic style blogger cubicle decor beach inspired summer theme work space office interiors pinterest tumblr 8

shai lagarde love chic style blogger cubicle decor beach inspired summer theme work space office interiors pinterest tumblr 16

After working freelance for nine years in fashion and media, shifting to corporate required one bit of adjustment: being given my own cubicle where I would live from 9 AM to 6 PM. I’m in the office by seven, so unless I’m traveling or attending an event, that’s 11 hours a day, 55 hours a week. 

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I would go crazy if I work my butt off every day in this, so I decided to change things up a little. 

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  • September 9, 2014
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Another Rainy Day

Because it is, here’s a singing and ukulele cover of Corinne Bailey Rae’s lovely song of the same title. It’s been a year since I’ve done anything of the sort but what the hey! :) What I wore, shot by my mom before the rain droplets started to frolic in the air with the streaks of sunlight.

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Shai Lagarde Love Chic fashion blogger purple dress black boots 2

Shai Lagarde Love Chic fashion blogger purple dress black boots 4

Shai Lagarde Love Chic fashion blogger purple dress black boots 10

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  • September 8, 2014
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How To Own A Trend

September is a huge month for fashion, owing largely to the slew of designer collections and trend reports from the world’s fashion capitals. With Vogue at the frontline, magazines release what is usually their thickest issue, the fruit of months-long labor and collaboration. And what does it mean to common folk like you and me who can only ogle at fresh-off-the-runway designer pieces, unwilling to part with money that can pay for a semester’s worth of tuition or feed an entire family for a month just to satisfy our trend lust? 

Preppy Christopher Kane

It means an opportunity to draw inspiration and hone our style eye. One look I have loved and owned since college is the sweatshirt-as-top. It’s dressier and warmer than a casual shirt, less serious than a button-down. I got this one from the kid’s section so I could pretend it’s cropped and cuffed—an oversized sweatshirt and billowy midi skirt would drown my 5’2” frame. (Fashion Week: Christopher Kane; Love Chic: Forever 21)

Menswear Gucci

No need to wait until they trickle down from the upper echelon that is a designer’s atelier, to the ready-to-wear racks at the local mall. All it takes is some practice. Take a look at these trends that have taken over the past season’s runways. (Fashion Week: Gucci; Love Chic: Binkydoodles and FOF)

Graphic Oscar Dela Renta

No surprise that fashion follows the law of karma: what goes around, comes around. My photos were shot before these collections came out. I wrote this originally for Beautybook's 2014 trend forecast, adding my take on how to make them wearable and I didn't need to style new looks anymore. So first tip—find ways to mix old and new. My “dress” consists of two pieces: a skirt used as top, and a longer one that's been sitting in my mom's closet since I was little.(Fashion Week: Oscar Dela Renta; Love Chic: Sugar Rush and vintage)

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  • September 2, 2014
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First of Many

Love Chic started as an outlet for creative and sartorial pursuit. Four years, 50,000 Likes and several lessons later, the support and affection I receive in the form of messages, invites, comments and tweets still make me giddy. My free August 30 workshop called “Style Stop” was my thank you—a writing and style workshop as well as closet-shopping date for readers and aspiring bloggers. 

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It was my first independent (i.e. non-sponsored, non-collaborative) talk slash mini-bazaar), a long time coming since I’ve been getting requests to have some sort of meet-up for a while now.

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Top, Nandaemun in Korea. Cross pendant, Me&U Metallurgy. Skirt, Forever 21. Clogs, Parisian. Hype on Lookbook here, vote on Chictopia here.

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  • August 30, 2014
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To Miss What You Almost Had

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A tribute to grandfathers, and consequentially, a treatise on regret.

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The harsh way to put it would be that I traded my grandpa’s heirloom for a battery-operated facial scrubber.

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Two years ago in March, I celebrated my birthday with relatives in California. It was a delight getting to meet them for the first time in my adult life, when I could actually remember things and understand the conversations in the Kinaray-a dialect. The experience was only made more delightful by one thing: the opportunity to be with my only living grandfather, Tatay Bening.

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Tatay Bening was my dad’s uncle. He was turning 93 the following month. A former public school teacher and war veteran, he was still sharp as a tack and fun to be around. Just like my siblings and I grew up with our cousins, my dad and aunt grew up with theirs, and Tatay was the head of that big brood. 

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I have always had a fondness for the elderly. To me they are living legacies, their eyes our windows to the storied past. Grandparents, most especially, are the only real connection we have to our heritage, their wisdom our key to unlocking various mysteries surrounding who we are and what we are to be.

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And I have always believed that in much the same way a father is instrumental in shaping a daughter’s identity, so is a grandfather to a granddaughter.

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I yearned for a Lolo growing up. My parents’ dads were not really around, so I could only imagine what it was like. Hearing stories of the war, of dapper men on the streets of Bacolod or Angeles wearing suits and top hats, of love, fiestas, school, trade, travel, music in those days.

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Rummaging through their antique chests and being given mementos: a tobacco pipe, a worn-down camera, a battered old typewriter, a vintage pair of spectacles, a moth-eaten set of books. Singing along with them while listening to AM radio stations on a Sunday. Having my feet on top of theirs and dancing while the vinyl player cranked out Debussy.

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  • August 11, 2014
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Unspoken

When love caused you pain, will you be brave again?
#lovechicunspoken

Cast:
Shai Lagarde @shailagarde
Charlie Sutcliffe @C_Sutcliffe
Michael McDonnell @iiitsmichael
Aliza Jimenez @aliza_jimenez
Charlene Ajose @charleneajose

Styling by Shai Lagarde and 
Chris Lee
Shirts and Metallurgy jewelry from Me&U.

Directed by Rember Gelera
Assisted by Krista Garcia
Post-production by 4Play Studios
Music: “Your Ex-Lover Is Dead” by Stars
Used with permission from Atlas Artists

Special thanks to Migs Apacible and Kaye Holmes.
Co-presented with Me&U (www.meandushop.com) and M+Y Steel (www.mplusysteel.com). Me&U has branches in: Eastwood, SM Megamall, SM Mall of Asia, SM North EDSA, SM Pampanga, SM Clark, Shangri-la Plaza, Market! Market!, Alabang Town Center, and Robinsons Place Manila.

  • July 31, 2014
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A Different Approach

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It can’t be helped that we tend to view things from the perspective of the majority. This is what works, this is what should be, this is the accepted practice, this is the norm. The standard.

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It also can’t be helped that despite what we know better, sometimes we succumb and view ourselves from this same perspective. Am I—the clothes I wear, the things I accomplish, the talents I possess, the company I keep—good enough, from this perspective?

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And therein lies all the self-doubt and insecurity and failure to see things properly. We become so engrossed in what they say we should know, not what we already know. When we pit ourselves against others in a game of Who’s Better, we never win. 

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I’ve experienced this so many times growing up that I can’t even count the incidents. I’m a bit like Mike Ross of Suits, however, in that I can remember in vivid detail the littlest details from the past, all the way from when I was three. Let’s go as far back as pre-school.

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I was the youngest, and everyone else was painting their eggshell mosaic in the basic shades that came with the watercolor palette. I mixed some colors in mine, so my mosaic looked different. Though my work got hung on the bulletin board, I resorted to using basic colors for the next project to make them stop calling me weird. Another time when I was seven, the teacher taped a “King David” card on the blackboard, with a dozen random words on the other side. We were to pick a word that describes King David and place it around his name. I raised my hand, got my turn, and picked “ruler.” I was promptly laughed at and told that rulers are school supplies.

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I could go on and on, but the point is, the more I tried back then to be on the same plane as the rest of them, the more I felt the disconnect. It was quite the struggle, trying to find your place while trying to not be out of place, as you may have felt too. 

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  • July 26, 2014
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