Thursday, November 8, 2007
When I was growing up in the Philippines, "ready-to-wear" was still a new concept (shows you how OLD I am!). Ready-to-Wear, in my world, consisted of white t-shirts, school uniforms and Puritan Brand tighty-whities (in mesh!).
New clothes meant getting material and making a trip to the "modista" (tailor) and looking through a stack of fashion magazines. The "modista" clipped a swatch of your fabric to the picture of the style that you chose and you came back 3 days later for a fitting. Even my denim was tailor-made.
So what do you do at 12 years old when mom hands you PHP100 (about $80 in '07 US dollars) and tells you to go shop for clothes? On your own? I let the driver drop me off at Goldcrest, which was a newly opened mall (well, it was new THEN!)
It featured lots of "boutiques" including a GAP (not related to the U.S. store, but still a jeans store). I didn't really find anything interesting at GAP (I did try on a pair of red Britannia pants), so I went out and stumbled upon the Nicholas Stoodley boutique. I think my brother had a Nicholas Stoodley shirt in his closet, but I thought that was an import.
The Nicholas Stoodley boutique was clean and sparse and so unlike the typical boutiques at the time. Other stores' idea of visual merchandising was to jam every nook and cranny with merchandise (and everything was wrapped in plastic). So the Stoodley boutique was a breath of fresh air and the merchandise was light and tropical and screamed luxury. They had a small men's collection and I picked out a pair of off-white linen pants which I jammed my prepubescent body into and closed the sale at PHP99! You can get tailor made pants at other places for half that price.
I stumbled upon these photos at nostalgiamanila.blogspot.com. You can read more about Nicholas Stoodley there including how he started out as Valentino's assistant and his memories of 70's Manila under martial rule.
Early premium denim.
Epaulet shirts. Very Prada!
Pleats and FLARED! Luv the shirt on this one.