Pin Up makeover with my sister: the Page Boy

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My sister and I had some fun with a pin-up makeover. I decided to do the Page Boy hair pattern, since her hair is the perfect length. It’s a style that was worn daily, and I find really classic. Her usual style is very casual, so getting the chance to give her this small make-over was great.

 

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The Process:

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The PinCurl Pattern

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She got a chance to have lunch while sporting this cool look. 

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The most important part: THE BRUSH OUT

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What do you think of my sister’s new look?

xxKelsey

 

Ballet Manila: Cinderella!

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It was perfection! The costumes, the choreography, the dancers, the MUSIC. Filled my hear with ultimate joy. My previous post on Cinderella (2015) AND this year’s performance by Ballet Manila, has made Cinderella my ultimate favorite princess. This was Ballet Manila’s first take on the production, with original choreography from no other than Lisa Macuja-Elizade (she also played the Fairy Godmother!) Click here for behind the scenes!

I brought along my mom and dad for the first time, and they LOVED it! My brother also enjoyed the detailed set designs, pointing out the moving hand on the clock about to stroke midnight! This production is by far my favorite, and I am so proud of Ballet Manila. They bring the best of ballet to Filipinos!

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I had a Cinderella inspired outfit. Basically, I realized I had a dress that matched the Cinderella shade. Added pearls and a black ribbon and my favorite black coat. 

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Have a look at my video of the show:

 

xxKelsey

 

 

 

Hello 2016! & An Apology for my Absence

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Hi lovers! I want to thank you for a great year. This month marks my one year anniversary since starting this website. I am so thankful for all of you who continue to follow my stories, and hopefully enjoy most of my ramblings. I apologize for not being able to update as much as I usually do, as I have a new full time job. But, I promise that this year there are lots of exciting stories lined up!

 

Thank you lovers!

How Pinup Saved Me From My Body Weight Issues and Bipolar Disorder.

Why can’t we all just say “Today I want a 26” waist with full C cups”  then take a shower, steam a little, and when you come out your glorious body has changed into the perfect hour glass figure you ever so dreamed of. Then the next day, if you feel like you want that thick thigh brow and smaller tits, just hop on into that shower and poof. There you have it.

Sadly, God did not give us that magnificent shower that rains holy water for body transformation. He did however, give us the beautiful blessing of making each and every one of us different. It took me a few years to accept that everyone’s body is different. When I moved here to the Philippines in 2005, I was 135 lbs., fourteen years old and 5’6”. An uncommon size at the time.   High school made it harder, since wearing a uniform meant having to get the only sizes the store carried. I would then of course, compare myself to everyone around me. I felt like a crazy giant towering over the average sized Filipina (and Filipino).  The Philippine culture is very judgmental, as hard as we deny it. Filipinos are not afraid to say things like  “Tumaba ka, pero ang ganda mo!”; “You got fat, but you’re still really pretty.”  Regina George much.

By senior year of high school, in one year, I dropped from being 135lbs. to 113lbs. Thin as a fucking rail. I never exercised and I rarely ate. It was horrifying and ultimately unhealthy. I knew it was bad when some teachers were asking me if I was experimenting with drugs (NO. I was not!) , and my best friend came to my prom, grabbed my arm and said “How did you get so thin?” (Not in a positive tone) To tell you the truth, yes it was peer pressure, and it was about a boy. Yes, a boy. I cringe even thinking about it.

2009.

2009.

I have always loved pinup since I was a child. I also had issues with my body type. I have these big hips, small waist and broad shoulders. Making me bottom heavy and insecure. (Ironic? Now it’s all about the booty these days). So when I was searching for a prom dress online, I came about to Pinupgirlclothing and I saw the most beautiful dresses, and not only that the beautiful models. The greatest thing about it was they embraced their curves, and created the clothing to accentuate every part. And not only that! They modeled the same pieces in both regular AND plus size. I began looking into other brands, such a Hell Bunny, Unique Vintage and Starlets and Harlets and they all offered sizes xxs-4xl.

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The range of sizes made me feel so good knowing that there is a place where they know there is an existence of girls out there who are not “one size fits all“. It really changed my perspective about myself. Especially since this was the most popular thing in fashion at the time:

What was this about?

What was this about?

Once I began college, the freshman fifteen took over. By graduation I was at a healthy 148lbs. I was happy enough with my weight and size, and by that time I had realized it didn’t matter what size I was. I was lucky to have a boyfriend, family and friends who supported me through my “weight gain“. I graduated in 2013 and got my first official job one  month later. Now, I have been working since college. I worked part time as a makeup artist through my last two years of school, I also took two internships in between. So getting a job right away made me feel lucky, yet unsure if I was ready for this. My job was stressful, long hours and did I say stressful? I began to feel overwhelmed, depressed and excited all at the same time. My brain was on a constant creativity mode with tons of rejections.  I have been through anxiety and depression before, so going through this phase with work was something I thought was…just another phase?

It’s hard to explain what had happened, but I eventually had to quit my job and I was at the lowest point in my life. I gained 40 lbs. putting me at 182lbs. Yes. Yes near 200lbs. And when I had an incident that changed my life forever, I knew I had to get the right kind of help. Friends, family, doctors…they all helped me to this day.

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The most unexpected help I got was from the pinup community. I’ve made friends from the past 3 years who are involved in the love of all things mid-century. They are all beautiful men and women who sent words of encouragement and gave my confidence a boost with their lovely shout outs and “likes”. It brought me back to finding my confidence in that “pin up world”. Other girls were also talking about their issues with disorders, and I felt so happy to have people to relate to. They were and still are so brave for sharing, which is why I feel confident in sharing my writings now. They come from all over the world, UK, US, Australia, Indonesia…seriously everywhere.

This is where I went wrong. Because I was comforted by the fact that pinup clothing and community came in all shapes and sizes, I didn’t care about how much weight I had gained while I was working. I was wrong because even if I had gained a little weight, it was unnatural. I was back to that point in my life where I was being unhealthy. Instead of being underweight now, I was overweight. *Why is it so hard to find the middle?* I had high cholesterol, my body fat percentage was off as well as my BMI. Blaming work and my disorder could work, but I only had myself to blame. I was being confused with the idea of being confident at any size, with being unhealthy.

Today, I have changed. I strive for a healthy lifestyle, with getting better every day. It’s a struggle, but then again what isn’t? Each day you grow and each day you learn. There are some things that cannot be explained, or that you just don’t understand immediately. Most days are good, but there are days that are down-right shit. But have a strong support system whether it be from those closest to you, or those half way around the world. It helps me get to the point in my life where I am happy.

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March 2015.

Ballet Manila: Spectacular in Tatlong Kwento ni Lola Basyang


Like the beloved Mother Goose, there is Lola Basyang. With her magical tales of princesses, beautiful birds, evil step sisters, and even dancing snakes. As a child, I had my own book of Lola Basyang and her magical tales. One of my favorites were “Maria Alimango”. A similar tale to “Cinderella”. I love these tales because they were truly Filipino.  As children’s imagination fade throughout the years, it’s difficult to hold on to that magic of the tales of Lola Basyang. But Ballet Manila has done the greatest deed of continuing to share this magic to the generation of today.

Their 20th season opens with “Tatlong Kwento ni Lola Basyang”. One of five productions of their theme “From Page to Stage”. Translating the beloved children’s tales such as “Pinnocchio” and “Hansel and Gretel”. Ballet Manila translated three favorite tales: “Ang Prinsipe na mga Ibon”, “Ang Kapatid ng Tatlong Mariya”, and “Ang Mahiwagang Byulin”.

These performances was beautiful. Full of unexpected surprises (a neon snake AND flying birds!?) From the costumes, the sets and of course the talented dancers, this production was without a doubt spectacular.The audience were filled with girls and boys of all ages. And each surprise lead the crowd to “ooos and ahhhs”. Ballet Manila has combined the art of dance and theatre; bringing life straight out of the pages.

              

I loved it so much, I returned for the last performance with my younger sister and brother. My brother, a 10 year old car fanatic, rated it 11 out of 10. If that’s not enough proof for you of how great this show was, then I don’t know what is.

With my siblings on the second time.

With my best friend during the first night I went to see the show

Ballet Manila you’ve done it again!

Thank you to Ms. Lisa Macuja for the generous invite!

How Women’s Magazines are just as Dirty as Men’s; my Vintage Nugget Magazine

We all know Playboy. Playboy fueled the everyday man’s fantasy, lifestyle and let’s say…inspiration. Their famous centerfolds from aspiring models, famous women and rising stars. To men’s tips on the perfect golf swig and the right color tie to bring out your masculinity.

Society views Playboy as sexualizing women. Opinions are made where men’s reading material is known to be dirty, vulgar and disrespectful. Even towards the women who choose to pose in those nudie spreads receive shame from the conservative. However, I see no difference with women’s magazines. Women’s magazines can be just as dirty, with countless ‘advice’ columns on how to reach an orgasm and those ‘confessions’ famous in Cosmopolitan, and even to the women gracing the covers in a sexual manner. But how come those women don’t receive shame, rather praise? Women sexualize men just as they do in Playboy. We spread men on our centerfolds with nothing but a pair of jeans or undies. (not complaining)

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Women’s Health vs. FHM-is there a difference?

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Of course, Playboy isn’t the only magazine that carry this kind of content. There are countless titles from FHM, Maxim, Nuts, GQ, Esquire.…And for the women? Cosmopolitan, In Style, Glamour, Marie Claire, and even Women’s Health…more, I know there is more.  So, women are just as dirty as men making it a fair game. Today we see the progress in women’s magazines becoming equal to that of men’s. But it is not enough, there is still the stigma of being overtly sexual as a woman.  There is a misconception of today’s feminist that stand against these ‘dirty men’s magazines’, but they tend to forget that we too expose the men. So, why do we see them differently?

Before the epic 1953 launch of Playboy making sex mainstream, popular pornographic material was kept underground. Society liked to keep things secret. Owning such material was considered dirty, like a fetish of some sort. We also have to look at how mid-century women’s magazines were pre-women’s lib. Articles strictly stuck to keeping house, matching your drapes to the perfect foyer and the recipe to Susie’s favorite chocolate chip cookies. You won’t find Jenny, 23 from Makati with her confession of a quickie with Tom in the janitor’s closet. And that defines the difference as to why we view these sexual magazines as taboo.

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Marilyn Monroe gracing the first issue of Playboy

Like I said Playboy wasn’t the only dirty magazine. My friend Adi got me something amazing for my birthday. He found a 1957 issue of Nugget Magazine at an antique store in Quezon City. A little frail around the edges and the seam, which I saved by enclosing in a plastic cover. The colors of the pages are still as vibrant as it would be when it was orignally published. Nugget was  one of those wannabe Playboys. It’s basically the poor man’s Playboy. Articles are bland, from fantasy stories about women, to how to cook a perfect steak. Their centerfolds aren’t exactly the top of the list either. Mostly unknowns, these women are much more vulgar (for a 1957 issue that is). The photography seems to be shot by an amateur, but nevertheless the women are beautiful. Illustrations full of cheeky jokes, and many many photos of women and their assets.

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The equivilant to the women’s perfect meat loaf.

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An article on Howard Hughes.

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“Hi, Tommy…and Linda too? Now this is a surprise” (Original caption.)

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Terrible humor in today’s standards.

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Featured is Joy Harmon, best known for her infamous car wash scene from “Cool Hand Luke” (Starring Paul Newman). This scene launched the iconic sexiness of washing a car!

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The centerfold’s came with no proper interviews, rather a commentary of the photoshoot. Specifying on a seduction and sexual advances between model and photographer.

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For me, this is a special rare find. Nugget was unknown to me and it still is. I literally could not find anything online besides former covers on Google Images. There seems to be no website, or even a Wikipedia page. If anyone does find something please let me know I would love to learn more about this publication! Owning this magazine is one of the greatest gifts I have received. Being able to gaze through the dated articles and detailed editorials let’s me be in 1957 from a man’s perspective. It gives an authentic idea of how times have definitely changed.

Thank you Adi! 

Impact Hub Manila: Wait, why did I even start my blog? Listening to inspiration.

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Last Monday, I was graced with an invitation to Hubblogathon hosted by Impact Hub Manila. Hubblogathon was a day where 20+ bloggers gathered together to share their ideas, listen to experienced bloggers and  talk with local entrepreneurs who began their businesses with a cause.

Since I am still new to the blogging community it was a perfect experience being able to go beyond my expertise. Meeting writers from all kinds of genres from beauty, travel, urban lifestyle, health, HIV awarness and the LGBT community, and even to cancer awarness. To be honest, I was a bit intimidated being the only fashion blogger. It’s easy to see a fashion blog as superficial, and that is why I am so thankful for going to this event. I was able to bring back the roots as to why I even started this blog. Being inspired by these other bloggers, and the entrepreneurs that I met gave me a clearer vision to the purpose of my writings. You see, never in my life did I ever think I would start a fashion blog.  I began this blog because I have always loved to write. I began this blog because I have always loved to share my thoughts. I began this blog because I wanted to make a change.

Hubblogathon brought several guests to talk about their organizations that benefit the people. From BamBike, Hope In a Bottle, Mom’s Hause of Mushroom, and KKK Coffee among others. Inspiring to see that from the beginning each of these organizations/companies were driven to make an impact on the community.

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Speakers Johan Janssens, Bryan Benitez McClelland, Ami Valdemoro, Jay Martin, Philippe Gaeng, and Princess Manzon

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Check out Bam Bike!

It just so happens that my love for vintage fashion and the pin-up culture became acknowledged through Instagram and one little article on Buzzfeed. People started to notice and I began taking credit. It gave me the confidence to share my knowledge to those who are unaware of how great the pin-up culture really is. I want people to understand how the popularity of the modern day pin-up is playing a role in today’s feminist society. There is a large role of feminism in pin-up culture today; going from body confidence, equality, freedom of expression and so-on. What I’ve learned from Impact Hub Manila is just how important and powerful a blog can be. Even if I reach a small number of readers, those readers are enough for me to be happy that I have been heard. I’ve always wanted to advocate certain aspects of the women in the Philippines. Coming from a country full of corruption, poverty and inequality it can be very difficult for women to understand the importance of gender role.

The event made me push the reset button, and now I am fully inspired and have been brought back to the root of my blog in reaching my goal of showing how pin-up models and the women and men who are into “old fashioned cars, red lipstick, posing in a swimsuit and wear really old clothes” are actually really great role models. I wish to bring this sense of positivity to all women in the Philippines. It doesn’t necessarily mean you have to curl your hair, wear a petticoat all day and do your makeup for 30 minutes. That is just a great added factor to being a woman! My future writings will continue to emphasize on fashion, style, vintage videos, movies and inspirations. But, now my writings will be full of new valuable content spanning from social impact, environmental change, and women empowerment. Look forward to many collaborations, exclusives and open forums!

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Mina Deocareza of Voice of the Youth and Joemar Belleza of baklapoako.com

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Riding Clean with coffee entrepreneur Brian Tenorio and fellow blogger Audrey Tangonan.

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With beauty blogger Gellie Abogado of http://www.gelleesh.com

I hope you continue with me on this blog not only for the beautiful dresses and old Hollywood starlets, but to understand and get an insight as to why I love this culture so much. I want to thank Impact Hub Manila for the great experience, and for all of you who are interested in social and environmental impact, entreprenureal ideas and guidance, or would just love to become a member for co-working check out on  Impacthub.ph .Each month they invite many business leaders to give talks where you can come in for FREE and listen in on their journey. Talks such as “Fuck Up Nights” where you learn from failed businesses to what they can achieve, to “Nailed It Nights” a talk on sucessful startups. Just check out their Facebook or website for updates on these events.

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Ballet Manila Goes to Hong Kong! Join the exclusive preview

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Almost every little girl was put into some kind of activity by their mother’s. Ballet, gymnastics, ice skating. Mine was ballet, yet despite most little girls who were forced to join such an activity hated it as they grew up, I ended up loving it. These two photos are from my first ever ballet recital and I was four years old. My mom had a thing for curls because she was so inspired by Shirley Temple. It wasn’t just ballet it was also tap. I did this until I was 14 (the age I moved to the Philippines). I was on pointe by that time for two years and my feet were at it’s breaking point. *pun intended*

Sadly, from the pain I could not bare (I have so much respect for those ballerinas who continue), and moving to a new country I had to stop my dancing career. If you can call it that.

But having to stop dancing doesn’t mean I can’t stop loving it. I am so lucky to be invited once again by Ballet Manila to their preview of “Flight”. This concert showcases the company’s entry to the Asia Grand Prix International Ballet Competition to be hosted in Hong Kong. Performances such as “Don Quixote”, “Sleeping Beauty” and “Swan Lake” will be performed.

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“Two nights, two completely different programs.The back-to-back concert will showcase the best of Ballet Manila and highlight the skill and artistry of all the dancers-competitors. I am truly proud of the year’s competitors; keeping my fingers cross that we will do well this year.” says Liza Macjua-Elizalde, Artistic Director and CEO of Ballet Manila. (Check out my one-on-one with Philippine’s Prima ballerina!)

Having met many of Ballet Manila’s dancers, choreographers and crew I can surely say that we have a fighting chance at this years competition. They will make our country proud with their passion, hardwork and love of performance.

The concert is divided into two nights “Flight 1″ (July 31) and Fight 2” (August 1) both at 8PM. The venue is at Ballet Manila’s home theatre Star Theatre alongside CCP.

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Buy your tickets now and bring your girlfriends, mother, grandmother, little sister/brother, or even drag along your boyfriend for a wonderful date night. I brought my boyfriend last time and he surprisingly enjoyed himeself. You just never know.

I’ll be at this Saturday’s performance with my best friend Sasja followed by dinner and drinks, so if you do decide to come  (which you will) say hi to me!

BMNL

i

Las Vegas Vintage Shopping 

  Vegas is one of the best city’s for vintage finds. The glamour of Vegas 1960s still lingers in the air. The feel of the Rat Pack drinking their whisky and Elvis singing his heart out. The desert heat, the new money and eccentric personalities all make Vegas the sin of all cities.  Main St. is this amazing boulevard of shops. So many pinup shops full of beautiful gowns and unique clothing straight from mid-century.  11721339_10152889811517587_1278720406_n 11759679_10152889811532587_1935043892_n 11774250_10152889811527587_1962865277_n 11774362_10152889811522587_348885554_n

When shopping in vintage stores you really have to be patient and really go treasure hunting. I found myself a few nylon scarves. I spent a good 2 hours lingering between shops. Stumbling upon old issues of Time magazine, vinyl records, posters, white gloves, trinkets from all over.

                                 Retro Vegas had the best collection of authentic mid-century furniture. I wanted to buy everything!             Not everything stays in Vegas.

Happy Hollywood Hiking: Trail from the Griffith Observatory

Nothing beats a trail with one of your good friends. Brisk walk uphill after a picnic is the perfect way to end your day. Not to mention, the wonderful Griffith Observatory! (Rebel Without a Cause anyone?)

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Love you LA!

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