Last March 17, I held my second curated workshop partnering with Commune Cafe on how to wear mixed prints with some pretty amazing people for guest speakers. Shaira Luna, Liza Ilarde, Tessa Nieto-Villalon, Abraham Guardian and Joyce Makitalo are all fashion legends in their own right and save for young designer Ham, have been in the industry for some time. I met each one in different times of my professional life and worked with some in projects, workshops and shoots, featuring three out of the five here in SOS.
#SOSMIXIT was born out of a post I wrote about the Spring/Summer 2018 fashion trends. My friend Ruby commented that she needed a tutorial on how to wear mixed prints and our friend Joyce chimed that she wanted to do a shopping / dress up party while we were at it. It got me thinking of creating a workshop out of the thread and went to meet with Ros who owned Commune cafe. We’ve talked about doing an event in the past and I decided this is the one, plus Ros, being the philanthropist she is, suggested we give part of the proceeds to Mano Amiga, an NGO who helps the underprivileged. In a span of two weeks, plans were made, speakers were confirmed, the style guide printed and social media marketing was in full swing.
I was feeling my usual stomach pains, happens whenever I know I’d be speaking in front of an audience. The biggest fear, to be honest, was what if nobody showed up. I worked really hard, mostly on my own, on top of a demanding schedule, all for the love helping people feel good about mastering a tricky styling hack. This was the first time I also charged for a workshop so talk about double the pressure! I was lucky enough to have angels as friends who assisted, generously donated swag, shared their time and talent to make it possible for me to focus on facilitating and managing on the day of. I realised that the more I fear something, the more I want to do it. Just like the very first time I rode a roller coaster (while dying inside).
I was a nervous wreck once I started talking, partly because I wished more people had signed up. I didn’t want all the precious information and extremely entertaining talks to go to waste. Once Liza, the first guest speaker started her portion, however, I began to relax and have fun. It didn’t matter that it wasn’t a full house, I owed the ones who took time out on a Saturday a good workshop and I was determined to give it to them, and I believe in the end, I delivered. I was so happy with each speaker’s words of fashion wisdom and tricks that even got me surprised! Each one had their own pasabog and the whole time I was thinking how lucky everyone was to have access to this information first hand from the most colorful personalities. The event closed with some lucky participants winning drool-worthy prizes—including a diamond solitaire necklace from Joyeria!!!— and going home happy & fulfilled, which is all I ever wanted. Probably the best thing that came out of this experience was knowing, in my own small way, I was able to help those who needed it (Mano Amiga’s mom cooks) and made some forget about their insecurities and just go for that outfit they never thought they could pull off. Fashion may be frivolous but utilised in the right way, can really change lives; I plan to continue doing so for as long as I can. Preach!
All photos by Eka Gomez of Thrive Creative House
Liza Ilarde, Fashion & Beauty Editor at Manila Bulletin Style section
Joyce Makitalo, Accessories Designer.
Abraham Guardian, Young Designer
Shaira Luna, Photographer
Tessa Nieto-Villalon, Owner of The Florence Fling
Ros Juan, Owner at Commune Cafe + Bar and our event partner.
Some of the guests who made it to the shoot 😀