Fashion Feature With Sabina Sysantos

20120981_1739243309436875_453296638_nSabina from Folly and Misfortune is a stylish soul who I met at university, and instantly clicked with. It was one of those spontaneous and unexpected moments, where you meet someone at the right time and happen to both have a zest for fashion. Winter in Auckland has been on the icy side with the wind and grey clouds, but it was a beautiful clear blue sky today. It seemed like the perfect time to take photos, wander around the lovely suburb of Parnell and satisfy our sweet cravings with a delicious nutella dessert from Casa Del Gelato. Read on to discover Sabina’s thoughts on fashion, her favourite designers and style icons.

When did you become interested in fashion?
As a child I didn’t want to dress up and only wanted to wear comfortable clothes, I’d even go to the mall in pajamas. My interest in fashion started when I discovered the kids clothing store Orange Juice, and from that one store I stopped hating clothes. I put together this outfit when I was 7; it was an outfit with blue pinstriped shorts, a white top with a blue bandanna tied around my head. I remember I didn’t think about it, and just put it together and my Mum was amazed of me going from not wanting to dress up, and then dressing up. She told me I could be a fashion designer or a stylist. I went from hating clothes as a child to unintentionally realising that I was good at it. My family and friends would ask me for fashion advice.


How would you describe your personal style?
Recently, I’m just starting to hone it down. I feel like it’s been the same ever since, but I just didn’t execute it accurately until now. It’s developed throughout the years, as I’ve discovered more places to get my clothes from, whereas back then it was just from the mall. Now, I go thrifting, online shopping and searching for rare pieces. I’m now wearing clothes that really reflect my style. In terms of “describing my style”, it clicked last year when I had a job at the Body Shop and we had to wear all black as our uniform. When I left, the manager gave me a necklace as a parting gift and said “I think it really suits your style”, it was funny because she’d only seen me wearing black clothes, but even then she was able to tell my style, describing it as edgy classy which I agreed with and that’s what I’ve been using to describe my personal style.

Do you have any beauty and fashion icons?
I love a French beauty YouTuber called Violette, and I love the way she does her makeup. She’s definitely one of my beauty inspiration. In terms of fashion, I love Alexa Chung’s style and I also take inspiration from model street styles such as Kendall Jenner. There’s the IT girls in general like Jeanne Damas, but I also have styling inspiration from film and television.


What’s your beauty/makeup routine?
My makeup and my style has evolved. In the past, I used to wear a full eye shadow and eyeliner. It was a more intense look, with full contour, highlight, eye shadow and lashes. I steered away from that, and now I wear the least amount of makeup, focus on creating shapes for such as structuring brows and wearing lip colour for more definition. I definitely take inspiration from french beauty and have steered away from heavy layering. Now, I have a more natural look, but still wear colour and take a less is more approach.

What are your favourite fashion brands?
I’ve recently been getting into NZ designers, after being exposed to them when I moved to Auckland. I love the Cooper range by Trelise Cooper and Karen Walker. I also love Miu Miu and Gucci.casa1

What’s fashion like in the Philippines?
A part of why my style has evolved in recent years is because I was more able to wear what I wanted only once I left the Philippines. It’s very populated, and there are only so many people in the fashion industry who will go all out. Everyone else wears for comfort as much as possible, especially cos it’s so hot. Outside of school, most people wear denim shorts, tank top and sandles. Everyone wore the same unspoken uniform. Being someone who’s interested in fashion, I wanted to steer away from that, at the same time you can’t go outside of that without drawing unwanted attention. I’d wear clothes outside the usual combo, and people would always say ‘You’re such a fashionsta’ because what I wore was different.

Back then, I wasn’t wearing clothing as fashionable as I do now, but people always saw me as that fashion girl. Everyone would say you should be a blogger, you’re style goals and even though I dress a lot crazier now, it feels more myself. Fashion was always my thing, but then I felt like what I wore wasn’t good enough because it wasn’t what everyone else was wearing. There was a time I decided I’m just gonna dress normally and maybe I’d look better, so I’d just wear the tank top, sandles and shorts combo. I did it for a week, but it was depressing. By doing that it stripped my personality.


What motivated you to choose a Bachelor of Communication?
It appealed to me because ever since I had an interest in fashion, I knew my approach was to be in the media side, as I didn’t want to be a designer. I wanted to be talking about fashion, looking at it in depth, creating conversations about it, conceptualising and putting together shoots. I knew exactly what industry I wanted to be in, but I wasn’t sure what degree you were supposed to choose to get there, so I thought about English for a while just because I didn’t know what else was there.

I got the application pack and I checked out the list of degrees. I saw Communications and just remembered when I did a Summer workshop on Fashion Journalism after my second year of high school, and I was told that a Communications degree would be a good way to get in the industry. Only at that moment did I decide on my degree, a week before applications were due. I had only spent a mere moment deciding on the big question of what to do for the rest of my life and it has been one of the best decisions of my life so far.

Follow Sabina on her Blog and Instagram

How Would You Describe Your Personal Style?

5250293e2587e6ee302c64c5838250c1.jpgIt’s been such a lovely week, even through all the windy days and umbrellas going inside out. It’s the kind where you walk around feeling your mind smiling because even though it’s cold there’s a certain positive feeling inside of you that you can’t quite explain. Even when they’re days where I felt a bit down, they were simple reminders of what I’m grateful for. Over the years, I have more appreciation for the saying, less is more. This means purchasing items you really know you’ll wear again and again over the years, rather than a sporadic purchase. It also means letting your style speak for itself.1202153Personal style reflects how we may feel, how we choose to express ourselves and sometimes it might evolve or change over the years. I recently talked to a dear friend about personal style. The most important thing is wearing things we feel drawn to, inspired by and comfortable in. They’re simply pieces of clothing that we feel we’re ourselves in, and they express our personality at a glance. What we wear should stay true to ourselves and who we believe we are. The personal styles I like are Rooney Mara, Cate Blancett, Alexa Chung, Alicia Vikander and Victoria Beckham to name a few. 1483821262.jpgPersonal style is more important than trends. There’s nothing wrong with purchasing things that are trending if you genuinely like it, but if you only purchase things because they are trending, then it’s trickier to develop your own style. That is the great thing about thrifting because you can find some treasures that may no longer be sold in most stores. I remember going through a stage of peter pan collars, florals, lace stockings and red nail polish. Over the years, I feel most myself in black, grey, nude, navy and white. Although, sometimes it’s nice to add a splash of colour!harper-and-harley_ruffle-white-top-sleeves_cropped-pants_style_outfit_2-mmvys00q4fh1oc8l1m398z29csosf2msw8rm6oy78o.jpgMinimalism is a lifestyle that encourages living with less, and more of things that we value. My first introduction to minimalism started when I discovered Harper & Harley three years ago. Sara embodies the nature of minimalism and wearing a black, white, nude and navy palette with elegance, simplicity and feminity. Before I discovered her or heard about the concept of minimalism, I used to buy an excess of clothing that I only ended up wearing a few times. Personal style can express the lifestyle we inhabit and how we want to express ourselves.

How would you describe your personal style?

What Does Fashion Mean To You?

96424afe67169e4b38efe661859fae6cBack in 2015, I studied at a fashion college in Sydney, after realising how much time I spent during university reading about fashion and immersing myself into it. I love the way you could express yourself through the clothing you wore, without having to say a word. I love the creativity behind fashion in creating a piece of clothing. I’m sure if you asked anyone what does fashion mean to you? Each person would have a different answer. Self-expression is important, and the ability to choose what you wear is an instant way to tell others how you see yourself, and perhaps how you want others to see you.

Personal style is more important than trends, as it means that you can reflect and be yourself authentically. However, that isn’t to say one can’t wear something that’s trending if they like it. Personal style simply means not just wearing things just because it’s ‘in fashion’ or trending, but developing your own personal style. My love for fashion started when I bought my first fashion magazine as a teenager. I always had a hobby of drawing, painting and sketching, and in my spare time, I would design clothing. At first, the inspiration started from reading Beatrix Potter, and seeing how beautiful she would draw the clothing on the animals.

Fashion is important. Whether some may disagree, there’s no doubt that it’s something that encompasses our daily life because, well, everyone wears clothes! When we watch films, look at art or read a book, we see, feel or read descriptions of clothing. Last month I was at the museum, and as I walked through the different periods of history, I could see how much fashion changes with time. It’s a part of culture, history, identity, a person’s personality and artistic design. It can also be a form of hiding and disguising or open expression of our identity. In its functional elements, it ultimately keeps us warm, covered and comfortable.

Fashion is a form of communication. It can emote feelings, portray images, be visually pleasing or give us inspiration. We can communicate how we’re feeling, how we see ourselves, what we like and maybe shed a little part of our personality in what we choose to wear. There’s often a conception that the fashion industry is shallow, due to the visual elements. However, we wouldn’t be wearing the clothing we’re in right now, if the fashion industry didn’t exist. We wouldn’t be able to go into a store to purchase a clothing for certain occasions or find something that we feel comfortable or stylish wearing.

What does fashion mean to you?

“Don’t be into trends. Don’t make fashion own you, but you decide what you are, what you want to express by the way you dress and the way you live.” – Gianni Versace

photography from caves collect

Personal Style Is More Important Than Trends

13988823_307047526316202_1431730111_n.jpgThere was a time when nearly everyone wore high waisted denim shorts, jeggings were in and many girls owned a pair of ankle boots. The interesting thing with trends is that at some point, they are bound to make a come back. I’ve always been curious at how trends are created and how popular clothing encourage hyperconsumerism. It’s a clever way of saying ‘You need to buy this’. The strong part about having personal style, is setting your individualism and personality at a glance. In a visual world, it’s undeniable that we will make first impressions of someone by the way they appear. Personal style encourages one to emphasise their own natural beauty and develop their own style.

There’s a difference between wearing what you like and wearing something for the sake of it being on trend. I’m sure I wouldn’t be the first to admit that I have purchased clothing that was trending, but if you only buy what is trending then there will be a desire to always purchase the latest clothing. In fast fashion, a lot of designs are unfortunately copied and many clothing stores will have similar trends with their competitors. The ability to express yourself without words, is a way of showing how you want to be viewed or perhaps how you see yourself. I recall watching an interview, where the actress said the costume always seems to be the factor that really ties everything in for the character to come alive.

I smile a little when I think about how my style has changed over the years. My younger days were blissfully filled with wearing whatever I had, without too much thought. My early teens were a little more conscious of what I was wearing. I started wearing crop tops and floral dresses because at the time, the stores were full of these. In high school, I always wore a bow in my hair or a cute accessory. I realised that the thing I felt the most safe or adventurous in was whenever I wore black. Call it the part of me when I was a musician – black seemed to always be the colour that was mostly worn and I’ve always just connected with that.

My fashion has always been influenced by Asian fashion styles. My personal style has evolved and become much more minimal and simple. Personal style is the ability to express you personality, inspiration, beliefs and lifestyle into an outfit. As much as I love fashion bloggers as the next person, I feel that often we have a long feed of suggested clothes to wear and advertised products, but the importance is in finding what inspires you and feels like you. If you love street fashion as myself, you may of noticed the way some people hold themselves. Some people exude confidence and really own what they wear.

Too many jazz pianists limit themselves to a personal style, a trademark, so to speak. They confine themselves to one type of playing. – Oscar Peterson

Shop the amazing hand-embroidered sweatshirt designed by Sofia Salazer here

My Thoughts on Embracing Your Personal Style

890e480899afc7b881148c75ee7b38b7Fashions fade, style is eternal.” – Yves Saint Laurent

I for one, am always intrigued by the different fashion trends that come and go, and return throughout the years. There are the trends that one might love and purchase the product immediately, and the other ones that you simply can’t imagine how it became a trend. Fashion is part of a global language filled with self expression, cultural background and instant communication, with a long history. You may recognize that many people wear clothes to express themselves (eg. how they are feeling that day), many people wear clothes to show what they want to reflect or become and some wear what is currently in fashion. Have you ever noticed, how someone effortlessly holds themselves in what they wear, the way they look comfortable and at ease. Or have you ever noticed someone wearing something they didn’t suit and gives the impression that they are wearing clothes for other’s rather than for themselves?

Personal style is such an important part of the way we present ourselves visually. It is an instant language we speak, to disguise within or to express ourselves. I believe that it is an important reminder to let oneself know not to follow the crowd. It is easy to with current trends, popular culture and fashion magazines pointing out what to wear and what not to wear. I am a believer that what we wear creates a strong first impression on the people we meet and it also affects how we feel about ourselves. With all the vital ingredients of feeling true to yourself from within first and foremost, we must integrate a sense of self and individuality rather than conformity. Wear what you love, instead of wearing what is based on societal perception of what is cool. Style is about embracing what you feel most yourself in. In Shakespeare’s words All the world’s a stage. We all play our own characters.

Remember, we are all different. Just as music, art, dance and other creative arts are a form of self expression, rather than replicating and imitating someone else, remember to stay authentic and express your own special kind of kaleidoscope.