Twisted by Jessica Zafra – Pumping irony since 1994

Archive for the ‘Clothing’


March 10, 2014 By: jessicazafra Category: Clothing, Design No Comments →

During his regular trip to the Sunday market at Legazpi Village in Makati where he buys suman and plants, Noel discovered these spectacular eyeglass frames embellished by artist Sunny Garcia.
These are statement glasses, and their statement is: “Get out of our way, you’re boring.”

Sunny also makes jewelry and other fabulous objects.

The battle for the little golden naked man

March 02, 2014 By: jessicazafra Category: Clothing, Movies 3 Comments →

Infographic from Jezebel. Click to enlarge.

We haven’t agreed with the Oscar voters in ages, but we must admit that the field of nominees this year is very strong, and just about everyone in contention for a statuette deserves the nod. Of course there are glaring omissions—where’s the costume nomination for the high-waisted pants in Her?—but the day we predict every nomination correctly is the day the Academy Awards cease to mean anything. So there’s good reason to watch the awards ceremony tomorrow apart from the clothes. It would be a hoot if everyone showed up in character: Cate Blanchett in tattered Chanel, talking to herself; Amy Adams in decolletage past her navel; Jared Leto in the trashiest Gucci gown; Leonardo DiCaprio with a fine dusting of white powder crawling into the theatre on his face; Jennifer Lawrence sniffing nail polish; Matthew McConaughey looking grim and toting a big notebook (No, wait, that’s True Detective)….

lupita mtvstyle
From MTV Style, via Jezebel

The week in spectacles: Daria or Dexter’s Laboratory?

February 28, 2014 By: jessicazafra Category: Clothing, Television 5 Comments →


We’ve never worn contact lenses because we love our spectacles too much. When we started wearing them in grade school they were a hassle. In high school we hated them because they kept sliding off our oil-slick face, which was not the fault of the glasses but of our face. In college we were indifferent to them, although they provided a great excuse for not seeing the people we didn’t want to see. Then we met Nella Sarabia, and she made us love our spectacles. She got us hooked on vintage frames, and eyeglasses became not just a necessity to us, but a personal signature.


We find our eyeglass frames everywhere—the sidewalks of Seoul, the night markets of Taipei, and Brooklyn thrift shops are excellent sources, designer boutiques when they’re having big sales, and friends who spot strange eyewear on their trips get them for us. Then we take the frames to Nella’s shop at UP Diliman, where she replaces the lenses with our prescription lenses. Designs for sunglasses are usually more adventurous than regular spectacles, but some are too flimsy for our prescription lenses. Nella says to check the plastic frames for metal supports—those are more durable.

Last Saturday we brought our recent acquisitions to Nella, and by Wednesday morning they were ready to wear.

This large cat’s eye frame in tortoise shell (plastic, actually) was a present from our friend Anna.

daria glasses
Ten dollar round metal frames from a sidewalk vendor in Seoul, in the style of
Daria fan art

Nella Sarabia’s Optical Shop is at Unit 39 of the UP Shopping Center in Diliman, QC (near Kalayaan Dorm). Call (02)4355685 to make an appointment.

Reading year 2014: HABI, hooked on handwoven

February 26, 2014 By: jessicazafra Category: Books, Clothing, Design, History 5 Comments →

Saffy loves abel and will spend hours rubbing her face on it. She is swathed in a mosquitero scarf. For a moment we thought the cover design was the eagle of the Nazi Reichsadler, but Rene says it is the two-headed eagle symbol of the Augustinian Order, woven into an abel blanket from the 1920s.

Five years ago, during a trip to Ilocos Norte, Rene Guatlo brought us to a shop that sold local textiles handwoven in the traditional manner. That was our introduction to abel, the hardy homespun Iloko fabric with the austere designs. Since then Rene has schooled us (ininggit niya kami) in the varieties of abel: binakul with the op-art patterns, binandera, burbur, bitbituka, mosquitero, etc.

Through our interest in abel, we’ve gotten to know other indigenous textiles such as the hablon of Iloilo and the sinamay of the Bicol region. We’ve lurked in bazaars organized by HABI: The Philippine Textile Council, whose mission is to promote the understanding, appreciation and use of indigenous Philippine textiles.

Inside back cover: Kandit, a Tausug waist cloth

Now the textile council has published Habi: A Journey Through Philippine Handwoven Textiles, an introduction to our rich weaving traditions. Essays by Adelaida Lim, Felice Prudente Sta. Maria, Robert Lane, Lourdes Veloso Mastura, Floy Quintos, Rene and other experts take us through the histories, symbols and processes of these living, wearable artifacts.


“Weaving is not only traditional but spiritual, symbolic, sacred,” HABI chair Maribel Ongpin writes. “What it produces expresses identity, culture, history, including dreams, the belief system, the environment.”

Today indigenous weaving traditions struggle to survive in the face of cheap, factory-produced textiles. As Rene pointed out, the weavers are getting older, younger generations are not as interested in picking up the old ways and learning the intricate patterns, and raw materials are getting scarce.

Bontoc tapis

By popularizing handmade indigenous textiles, HABI hopes to promote the market for the fabrics and keep weaving alive in the 21st century. This attractive book edited by Rene Guatlo, designed by Katherine Bercasio, and packed with vivid photos by Patrick Uy, should get more than a few readers hooked on handwoven. We especially like its portable, un-fussy design and strong visuals. Coffee table books may be impressive, but we can’t carry them around with us.

HABI: A Journey Through Philippine Handwoven Textiles retails at about Php400. Copies are available at the HABI office, Unit 4D Carmen Court, 6080 Palma Street (Backwell), Bgy. Poblacion, Makati City. Telephone (02)4782765. Open Monday to Friday, 7am to 2pm. For inquiries, visit their Facebook page.

What’s in your bag?

February 25, 2014 By: jessicazafra Category: Clothing 2 Comments →


Every single day in grade school we brought a trunk-like bag of books and notebooks on a trolley, a shoulder bag, and a lunchbox. It was like training to be a llama.

We carry less stuff these days, but still more than we need, and we know exactly why: We’re paranoid, and we like to be prepared. We don’t want to get stuck in traffic without a book to read, with a backup book in case the first choice bores us. If we are surrounded by noisy people over-sharing intimate details of their lives, we have to have our own music to plug up our ears with. If an idea strikes, we have to have the right notebook to record it in: one for fiction, one for columns, one for bits we don’t know what to do with yet, and a separate journal for appointments. We need sunglasses, lip balm, a scarf, at least three pens, and don’t forget an umbrella. The fact that we never have reason to use all of these each day does not mean we can leave them at home. Everyone knows that on the one day you leave your Swiss knife at home, someone will produce a bottle of wine and you will need a corkscrew. (At least we don’t carry two terabyte drives like our friend does.)

The solution is to have a large, lightweight bag with many pockets. Leather looks and smells great, but it’s heavy. Cloth bags are portable, until it rains. Right now our favorite bag is this rectangular sac from the French brand Bensimon.

We found Bensimon bags and their famous sneakers at Common Thread on the second floor of Greenbelt 5 in Ayala Center.

It was either the Bensimon sac or these waterproof canvas messenger bags by the local brand Gouache. In the end we went for the lighter bag.
Common Thread carries an assortment of brands and products: Hoola sunglasses, K-Way waterproof folding jackets, Praiaz all-terrain shoes, Thread 365 tees, (ugh, Hipster Guide),
Allegrina ballet flats, the ever-popular Havaianas, including neon espadrilles,
and headphones and accessories, such as these portable bamboo speakers. These should keep us from accidentally eavesdropping on the private lives of random strangers.

This is a suit.

February 16, 2014 By: jessicazafra Category: Clothing, Television No Comments →

by Giorgio Armani Made to Measure

Everybody Wants A Piece of Peter Dinklage