KATRE LEATHER GOODS | KEEP CALM, READ HERE.
Liza Ilarde Wears The Double Sloane Belt Bag Beyond The 1980s
If you’re a staunch follower of the local Philippine fashion scene, chances are you know who Liza Ilarde is. The magazine veteran has been a fixture since the nineties, a time considered to be the golden age of print. Her signature quirky, print and color-loving aesthetic makes her stand out in a sea of minimalists and has been her trademark long before it was cool to wear clashing prints or color block. Liza, in a nutshell, is in a league of her own style-wise. Age hasn’t stopped her from staying true to her style formula: she still rocks socks with sandals, hats not for the function but rather for fashion, and is a master of mixing high and low (garments and accessories). She is a fashion lover but not a slave to it; Liza prefers to be creative with inexpensive pieces, making them look like a million bucks after her innate styling skills. She’s a true fashionista in every sense of the word and never not having fun with clothes! We got her to style the Double Sloane belt bag in Basil---which she brilliantly treated as a neutral---and were delighted with every single look she cooked up. Enjoy the eye candy and pick up a styling trick or two from one of the country’s OG fashion editors.
Who are you and what do you do?
I am Liza Ilarde. Currently, editor in chief of Asian Dragon Weddings since 2011. I’ve been in the lifestyle publishing industry for around 30 years and have been editor of several magazines (Mega, Meg, Lifestyle Asia, Jet Set, Travelife, Style Weekend). I am now on semi-hiatus. Right now, I’m working on reviving my nine-year-old very neglected blog thefashpack.com.
Describe your personal style now that you’re older. How has it evolved?
When you work in fashion, it’s so easy to get sucked in by the must-haves and the “It” items. I used to covet a lot of those things and got a certain fulfillment in acquiring them and feeling like I “belonged.” It’s all part of developing your own style—eventually you reach a point when you decide which of those things truly sparked joy and which ones you needed as some sort of “armor.”
What fashion rules do you follow now and what are those you constantly break?
The fashion rules I follow are the ones that will make me look tall and thin haha.. Aside from that, I feel it’s important to always dress appropriately and with respect to your host / the occasion / cultures / religions—but without being boring.
How does one remain fashionably relevant as they age?
As one ages, fashion becomes less relevant. What remains is one’s personal style that says, “This is me, this is who I am.”
What does “dressing for your age” mean to you? Do you believe in it?
“Dressing for your age” should simply mean dressing in what you feel comfortable in, but is appropriate and respectful of the situation. For example, when you travel to other countries, be aware of their cultures and traditions. Let’s say, walking the streets of Bangkok in short shorts may be OK, but once you visit a temple, you need to cover up. It’s just basic respect and acceptance of cultures different from ours.
How did you wear the belt bag back in the ‘90s? What did you style it with?
I was around the first time fanny packs became the fashion trend—and the fashion joke—back in the ‘80s. In the ‘90s, I only wore one as a stylist during fashion shoots because I had to keep my hands free, but at the same time had to have everything I needed—scissors, clips, masking tape—close to me. (No mobile phones yet back then haha..) So I didn't wear it as a trendy item but as a work item.
What do you like about the Double Sloane belt bag? How did you come up with the looks to wear it with? Can you share your formula?
I think more than being an “It bag”, it really is a practical item. It’s one of those resurrected trends from the past that has legs and will eventually become a staple in everyone's closet, like leggings and platforms.
I loved the color. Most people would not buy a trendy item in such a unique color—black would be the default—because they think it might be hard to style with their existing wardrobe. But I treated the green like a neutral and didn't think too much about how to match my prints and colors with it.
Best fashion advice you’ve received and why? Who gave it?
The best fashion advice I ever received came from my father, believe it or not. Ever since we were kids, whenever we traveled he would tell us, it doesn’t matter if you’re going to the hottest destination on the planet, always bring a jacket. To this day, I hear his voice in my head whenever I pack.
What ‘90s trend do you wish would make a comeback? Which ones you wish never did?
I think leggings are more of an ‘80s trend. I wore them the first time around and didn't think I would again, but it’s one of those practical items that just works. But what I really hate is the “leggings as pants” trend. It’s just.. no.. please. Then again, to each her own. Walang basagan ng trip.
PHOTOS AND INTERVIEW Anne Bella Arguelles