Saturday, April 16, 2011

Love for Fashion and Writing

This is my first year to use the Belle de Jour Power Planner.

I have always been a pen-and-paper person and it is very reassuring to have something to get my every day more organized. I love the way the planner is designed - colorful and vibrant. The coupons are truly an added bonus because there is a treat to look forward to every now and then. :) More importantly, it emits a feeling of empowerment to the lady who makes use of it.

Besides using BDJ to make my life a bit more spic and span, it also serves as a daily journal or diary for me. I love to jot down events that made my day or to write down little things that made me smile. I know how a planner sometimes make a person appear too rigid but BDJ always leaves room for spontaneity and that's what makes it such a power planner.

As I was just beginning to get immersed in the many perks and activities being organized by the BDJ team, I was chosen to be one of the participants of Belle de Jour Passion Series by Bayo: Love for Fashion and Writing. This event was primarily opened to bloggers and, upon seeing the event poster, I just gave it try by submitting my entry and I got a spot.

The event was held at the Bayo store in Trinoma, a huge mall in Quezon City. I promptly arrived at the venue before one in the afternoon after spending the morning having an Easter celebration at the center where I work in Makati City.

Tricia Gosingtian on fashion blogging.
After registration, I went around the store to get two outfits that I could wear and get photographed in. I have to admit that I am not very good in time-pressured shopping and my eye for fashion isn't too sharp but it was fun trying on clothes. That is one of the reasons I was looking forward to the event - to learn more about fashion and writing.

The first talk was given by  Tricia Gosingtian, one of the Philippines' top fashion bloggers. She is a photographer, stylist and model who took up Bachelor in Fine Arts major in Information Design from the Ateneo de Manila University. She is also one of Forever 21's Brand Ambassadors.

Tricia began her talk by sharing her humble beginnings in deviantART and Lookbook. She shared the sources of her inspiration, which mostly came from Japanese fashion. Tricia also talked about how fashion bloggers like herself have made the world of clothes, shoes and accessories more real and down-to-earth for ordinary people [like myself]. It is true how everyday men and women who model, photograph, and publish their own wardrobes for the general public has more influence on fashion choices compared to celebrities nowadays. 

A moment with Tricia Gosingtian, who turns out to be the cousin of Mark Gosingtian, creator of the Hero t-shirts.
Later in the talk, Tricia went into a more technical side of fashion blogging by making mention of typefaces, designs, layouts, demographics, and more importantly, content. She also emphasized individuality, which is the core of having your own brand. On the lighter side of things, she told us about the perks she get from doing what she does best: having partnerships with clothing brands, attending fashion events and conferences, and meeting well-known people in the industry. Tricia ended her presentation by giving some fashion tips for this season.

Ana Santos, founder and editorial director of Sex and Sensibilities - a website that shares practical information about sex and sexuality.
The second talk was given by Ana Santos, a Journalism graduate of the University of the Philippines and a sexual health advocate who founded Sex and Sensibilities. She maintains a weekly column in the Manila Times called "The Single Files". When Ana Santos arrived, her presence was strongly felt and consequently, she revealed a fierce personality to match her brilliant talk.

She involved the audience straightaway by asking: "Why do you write?" After gathering several answers, she launched into the story of her personal journey into becoming a writer and how writing became her passion.

Ana presented the more technical side of writing [in general]. She discussed the ethics that guard the art and profession of writing. She said that before a writer even begins the tedious job of putting down his or her thoughts into words, he or she must first consider if the piece being written is worth the readers' time.

Moreover, Ana emphasized on finding one's writer's voice or individual writing style. She shared with the participants that the only way to find this unique writing style is to write, write, and write. And then, write some more. It is only with experimenting and letting the words flow from one's mind and heart into a blank sheet of paper or a computer document can a person unleash his or her true writer's voice.

Ms. Ana Santos with Belle de Jour creator, Darlyn Ty.
As the afternoon came to a close, I spent some time in conversation with other BDJ girls in the venue. Here is a shout out to two amazing young ladies, both co-bloggers, that I spent a good time chatting with: Iris Diaz and Angel MatociƱos. It was nice meeting both of you and I hope to see you in BDJ's other activities.

Post-event pictorials with participants, organizers, and speakers.
Job well done, Belle de Jour team! Grazie mille, bellas! :)

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