Neutral ground | Inquirer Lifestyle

Neutral ground

Bring summer’s top trends to light with ballet-inspired neutrals or graphic white

Photographs Wesley Villarica
Makeup by Ria Gamboa
Hairstyle Borge Aloba of L’Oreal Professionnel
Shot on location at Park Terraces Showroom, 4/F Greenbelt 5, Ayala Center, Makati City
Special thanks to Eunice Acejo and Naira Miranda

Kimberly Yao, 23
“If it’s too tight, it’s not right,” says the Marketing VP of hip and happening clubs Republiq, Opus, Encore, and Members Only. With Kate Moss as her style icon, it’s no surprise that Kimberly’s wardrobe staples include the LBD, tailored blazers, and jeans that fit her to a T. Though she’s in the entertainment/nightlife business where most girls prefer vertiginous heels, a lot of bling, and body-con frocks with loud hues, she prefers flats, dainty jewels, and pale colors. “I prefer trusty flats because they’re practical, and if I wear my high heels, a lot of guys become shorter than me.” As her style is often laid-back and casual, she effortlessly pulls off a polished look by throwing on some tailored pieces. She relies on go-to shops Zara and Topshop for her wardrobe staples, H&M for trendy pieces, and Balenciaga for their bags and flats—“The softness and quality of their leather is amazing!” Though her day-to-day ensemble usually depends on her mood, for the 23-year old, confidence is still key. “I think you should be able to wear whatever you want, as long as you’re comfortable and confident in it.”

20s: Touch your delicate side with a feminine dress in creamy white
Pale pink chiffon electric pleated dress, Tango; cream leatherette platform sandals, Charles David
Cream lace sleeveless blouse, Maiden Bangkok; brown and navy striped skirt, Mango; navy suede heels, Raoul

Jean Javier, 31
As the Finance Manager of JAVCORP (a family-owned and operated company) and mother to a two-year-old boy, Jean definitely has a lot on her plate, but somehow she still manages to keep things light. When asked about her style, she says, “Simple but it can also be bongga, because when I’m in the mood, I like to look like a donya.”

Channeling her style icon Jackie O, she’s usually seen in a dress, horse-hair flats from Carbon or Tint, and oversized diamond or pearl earrings. However, she doesn’t fail to spruce things up with statement-making jewelry, or an animal print number. “I’ve always had a soft spot for animal prints as far back as I can remember.” When it comes to her sense of style, she never goes against herself by giving in to trends that are out of her own character. “I’m always age-appropriate, so when I was younger I was riskier in terms of showing skin as compared to my 30s, but the shapes, cuts, styles, and colors are more or less the same.”

30s: Bare one shoulder for a sweet-sexy surprise
Cream electric pleated dress, Zara
Cream tiered chiffon one-shoulder dress, Tango

Elena Bautista, 42
In her 40s, the jewelry designer still knows how to rock her look. Channeling her style icons Sarah Jessica Parker and Elle US Style Director Kate Lanphear, her daily work ensemble consists of jeans and a men’s polo shirt topped off with statement shoes and accessories, such as a personally designed leather handcuff with semi-precious stones, a vintage Chanel bag, and a scarf. “I’m into gigantic gems, they’re my statement pieces. I also prefer killer heels even if they can be uncomfortable, as I love the height they give me.” She gets her fashion fix at Muji for crisp white polo shirts, H&M and Forever 21 for trendy pieces, Mango and Zara for jeans and trousers, and shops in Hong Kong for good finds. As she’s not afraid to experiment with her style, she usually incorporates trendy pieces into her classic aesthetic. “I just wear what looks good on me. At the end of the day, ‘style’ for me is still an expression of who you are.”

40s: Play up a classic piece – the season’s new white shirt makes a strong statement with a tail hem

White top, and teal pencil skirt, both by Michi Calica at Bonne Bouche; tan leather gem-encrusted cuff, Elena’s own; purple leather platform heels, Solea
White asymmetrical top, Harlem + Holden at Adora; tan skirt, Zara; necklace and bangle, Elena’s own; navy leather platform heels, Solea

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