Posts Tagged ‘Tinsley Manila’

Sunny bling: Customized crystal accessories for summer

In Philippine Star Column on March 9, 2012 at 2:03 am

Necklace and Earrings of Yellow Jade,Turquoise Stones and Glass Crystals. Php3200

Shake off a little of the scorching heat with some colorful bibs and neckpieces that can cool down any sizzling summer ensemble. As lengths shorten and sleeves disappear, a flirty combination of stones in a playful, youthful design can complete your look. I love searching the malls for new bits and baubles that can extend the wearability of what’s already in my wardrobe. I have to admit though that I’m not a good shopper nor a patient one, I go out with a visual list in my head and if my frequent haunts do not carry what I’m looking for, I stop looking elsewhere and just go home and go online.

Three strand necklace of Turquoise, Crystallized Orange Coral and Antique Finish Findings. Php3000

Makers of made-to-order clothes Tinsley Manila, is now part of my bookmarked sites ( especially with the inclusion of their accessory line that uses real crystals (which have their own energy enhancing properties) and a lot of versatility as you can pick and choose and change-it-up according to your preference. Tinsley Manila’s founder, Elthy Irasga, branched out into accessories, naming the line Carmen Aurora (after her paternal and maternal grandmothers) simply because “I didn’t like the accessories some of my customers were using, and since I was making clothes for them, I wanted to complement what I made, it was like a natural progression,” shares Irasga.

Necklace and bracelet of White Opal Stones, Turquoise Stones and Woven Antique Finish Hearts. Php1800

Aside from pieces that can be worn around the neck, Irasga also started making sets, like one of my favorites: a neckpiece and bracelet made out of turquoise beads combined with gold wired hearts that lent some gentle femininity to my wardrobe without being sickeningly sweet, or to bring in a little sunshine to a resort-like evening, I chose a flowery yellow jade and glass bead piece that had matching tear-drop earrings. If bright is not in your sight, then there are also more neutral pieces to choose from, like black onyx or deep blue agate and the crystals (whether or colorful or dark) are often offset by either antique finish looking wood, enamel, or chain. Although most of the pieces are lightweight and delicate looking, if you have a heavier, bulkier design in mind, you can send pegs or discuss with Irasga what look you want, combination of materials and colors and she can work on doing something exclusively for you.

Royal Blue Enamel Pendant with Turquoise Stones, Indian Beads, Glass Crystals, Antique Finish Woven Balls Php 3200

The crystals may also be of significance to the wearer over and beyond just aesthetics. Turquoise for example, is not just the birthstone for adventure-loving Sagittarius but is also believed to protect travelers on their voyages. Black onyx is also another stone that shields its wearer from negativity while Coral enhances passion, power and energy, so if you need a little fire in your life, reach for this red-hot crystal. Whether or not you believe in the power of crystals, believe in the power of accessories to bring life to your ensemble or even as a clever and fresh accent to work or school uniform.

Red and Blue Necklace made from Red Turquoise Stones, Blue Agate Stones in Antique Finish Chain & Findings Php2800

This could also be an opportunity to bring on a well-spring of creativity by allowing your inner fashionista to come out and design something truly special. Go and take a look at what you love most in your closet, take note of your favorite colors and check your social calendar to see what you may need in the coming months and this could be the beginning of a delightful style collaboration between you and the craftsmen of Carmen Aurora.

Bib of Turquoise Stones and Glass Beads. Php2500

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For more information on Carmen Aurora visit or call 0917-5692188 or e-mail:

Finding the perfect presents for The Nine live-r

In Philippine Star Column on December 16, 2011 at 7:41 am

You know this lady, or you may be her, happiest when your work and social calendar are bursting at the seams. The balance act between work and play may be a tough one, especially during the holidays, but these 12 products will come in handy to make sure that whatever the season brings you still keep your cool and your style hot-hot-hot!

Done deal: Domesticity To Do List Pad and Bamboo Pen makes sure you’ve made your list and are checking it twice, P198 http://www.mydomesticitycom or email:

Basic instinct: Echostore Body Basics Body Wash is fresh-scented and gentle enough to use multiple times during a hectic day, P155, Echostore G/F Serendra Fort Bonifacio and G/F Podium Mall Ortigas

Dress up, dress down: Exhale Multiway Dress this body flattering wonder can be molded and shaped to fit the occasion, P2000, Exhale, text or call 0917-5277379 or go to Facebook Page Exhale Manila

Nailed down: Gelish Gel Polish Manicure treat your hands to chip-free polish that lasts for weeks, P680, Piandre Salon, Greenbelt 1 Call 815-2518 or e-mail for other branches

Glitter girl. Tinsley Manila Stevie sequined jacket with satin accents will brighten up any ensemble for the holidays, Tinsley Manila P4500, or call 0918-8080741

Always red-y: Shu Uemura WKW Holiday Rouge deep red lipstick may keep you busy under the mistletoe, Shu Uemura, P1350, Shu Uemura boutiques PowerPlant Mall and Rustan’s Department Store

Three’s company: Shiseido Luminizing Eye Color Trio can take your peepers from corporate to cocktail pretty depending on how much you want to shimmer, Shiseido, P1998, Shiseido Boutiques, Powerplant Mall and Glorietta 4

Butter me up: Aranaz Nadine Tote is all buttery soft leather and strong enough to carry anything you throw in it, not to mention stylish so you can carry it from conference room to club, Aranaz,P7,200 Aranaz Boutiques, Powerplant Mall and Greenbelt 5

Take charge: MILI Power Crystal is a little dynamo of a multi-charger, ensuring that none of your gadgets will run out of juice, MILI, P1650, Apple Reseller Stores and SM Appliance Centers or visit

Head honcho: Kerastase Elixir Ultime is infused with hair beautifying oils that do everything from smoothen and shine to cell renewal, restoring strength as well as softness to your crowning glory, Kerastase P2500,Kerastase, Selected Kerastase Salons

Liquid-ate: Rina Design Personalized Water Bottle is a pretty reminder to keep you or your workaholic galpal hydrated throughout a busy day, styles range from chic to cheeky, Rina Design, P298, Rina Design call 478-1342 or e-mail:

The little blackbook: BlackBerry Curve 9360 store all the data you need for work and for play in this ultra-thin Smartphone with a built-in 5mp camera and flash. SRP P16,300,


Get a custom-made closet of chic

In Philippine Star Column on September 16, 2011 at 2:27 am

A versatile black and white cape-The Alexandra

Have you ever moaned out loud, “I have nothing to wear!?” even if your closet is brimming with clothes, shoes and accessories? Perhaps it’s more precise to say, “I have nothing

(that looks perfect on me) to wear!” Sure, there are the malls, the retail shops we can run to when in a pinch, but the sizes are sometimes irregular and you also run the risk of looking like another panic buyer at a party. This was exactly the dilemma that Elthy Aguinaldo-Irasga experienced, prompting her to start her line of clothes Tinsley Manila back in 2005. “I started doing blouses for my mom and for myself because I couldn’t find clothes in styles that I wanted, that fit me perfectly. Everything was either too long, too tight in some areas and nothing fit me or my mom just right,” Irasga says. I could totally sympathize with Irasga’s frustration, being a rather in-between-sizes girl myself.

The Isabel Orange Tweed shift dress

















I decided to check out her online catalog and was attracted to many of the shift dressesand stylish tunics that I found. The website is pretty comprehensive, with a step-by-step guide on how to order, and even giving you flexibility in terms of color and fabric options. Even better, if online shopping is still unfamiliar or distrusted territory, you can call up and get them to come to you. Brilliant. Bright and early on a Saturday morning I welcomed two of Tinsley’s staff who showed up with catalogs, sample pieces and a whole load of swatches of fabrics and colors I could choose from. Most of their clients opt for bright and happy colors and prefer cotton (stretch cotton broadcloth, satinized twill, Italian cotton, Swiss cotton, cotton knit) and jersey, fabrics that move with the body. This was all music to my ears, since I tend to have a love affair with food and dieting, it is always a relief when your outfit has a little “give.”

The Emilia and sexy lacey dress

I also liked that the styles were pretty current, some had enough detail to be trendy but there were others that would be timeless enough to wear again and again. “It’s a very feminine label,” admits Irasga. “I like to think of it as a mix of Audrey Hepburn, Jackie Kennedy, Grace Kelly. It’s a very ‘ladies-who-lunch’ style, reminiscent of the Hamptons and Martha’s Vineyard.” After poring through Tinsley’s 2011 catalog, I could easily imagine Blair Waldorf or Lily Bass-esque characters sipping tea or cocktails in any of the outfits and thanking the dress deities that their prices weren’t of Fifth Avenue proportions!

What of that “same-dress-same-party” dilemma? Irasga assured me that pieces per style are limited to minimize this from happening. “We also tweak our styles to suit customers’ needs. We can add sleeves to those that are sleeveless. Change the cut, the neckline, the dress length. We can turn a certain dress style into a blouse and vice versa,” she adds.  I took advantage of this, ordering a dress but changing up the color combinations since I was told two other customers had already ordered something similar. I so loved the freedom being offered that I invited my mom to join me and she ended up with a dress that was to be converted into a top with the sleeves made more flattering for her body type. It was reminiscent of my high school days when a kustorera could come to your house and make something special for you only this time, the design brains behind the brand actually reads Vogue. Think about it, you are now able to stock up on pretty, feminine finery that fits just right — another thing to remove from your “best-stressed” list.

Cherry dress with beautiful riboon detail

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For more info, visit or e-mail Or call 0918-8080741.

SOUL TRAIN By Katrina A. Holigores (The Philippine Star) Updated September 16, 2011