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Spanish Rice

March 29th, 2011

I named this post as such because I thought I’d talk for once about my heritage. The topic goes well with the location of these photos. My husband Rob and I just found a Spanish district in Baltimore that we didn’t know about, and Rob’s lived in this city all his life!

For some of you who think I am Chinese or Korean, I am not. I am Filipino and part Portuguese. My maiden name is Escueta, and that is what the E stands for in my initials, R.E.D. I can’t speak Portuguese or Spanish all too well, but I do know how to speak a great deal of broken Filipino. Despite my having grown up in the Philippines, most of what I read in books and watched in films as a child was in English. They say that language is formed based on thought (or vice versa), so without the thought, there is no language. If you’re interested in reading more about linguistics and thought, look up Neils Bohr. Anyway, I find that surprisingly true with the way I express myself. Anyone would think I’d naturally express myself better in Filipino having been raised there, but because I find that English is much more complex in structure and has a greater variety of words, I am able to sift through the expansive language to form exactly what is in my head.

I am not saying that Filipino is not as complex, because I am not entirely sure. It sure has evolved throughout the centuries, borrowing from other languages just as English tends to do. What I do know and am somewhat turned off by in the Filipino language is its impractical use and lack of authenticity. Since almost every Filipino speaks a bit of English, there is really no need to use that language besides amongst themselves. At times I joke around that knowing Filipino just tempts me to talk behind someone’s back and gossip, so I’ve never really felt the need to use the language. It’s just polite not to exclude someone of a different tongue in a group conversation by speaking in another language. In fact, my husband and I have agreed not to teach our future kids Filipino for that reason! Neither my husband nor I really want our kids to talk bad about their dad to each other or to me without him understanding. They can just resort to Morse code for all I care!

Secondly, the lack of authenticity doesn’t really come from borrowing other languages. What I meant by lack of authenticity is really from what I see in modern day-to-day talk. In Filipino shows and movies, you will almost always see the actors switch from Filipino to English—inserting words, phrases, and whole sentences in that language. If you were to ask them to translate what they said in English to Filipino, most likely they would have a hard time doing so (even though there is an equivalent).

To give the Filipino language the merit it deserves, I believe there are still some words and expressions in that language that do not have direct English equivalents. However, when I attempt to translate these words or expressions to the best of my ability as in a Filipino joke translated to English, it doesn’t turn out to be as funny. I’ve shot myself in the foot so many times doing so.

What I Wore: Shirt from Petite Monde – Skirt from the Philippines – Tights and belt from Goodwill – Sweater from mom – Bag from H&M

Jesus Couture is a Christian online fashion retail store showcasing hip urban street wear laden with scripture and inspiring messages. Although I typically don’t dress urban, I found this cream feather dress from their shop charming and quite roaringly flapper-like. They sent me this dress in my measurements to take photos with so I could style it as I would. I wore it to a comedy show one night, and just as I expected, at least one lady asked me where I got it.

So for those who are interested in this dress or in any of Jesus Couture’s items (I included photos of some that I found cute), here’s a chance for you to win an item from their catalog!

Mandatory Entry:

Visit Jesus Couture’s Web site OR Facebook page, and leave a comment on this post telling me what your favorite item is. There may be more items added to their shop throughout the duration of this giveaway, so remember to check back from time to time!

Bonus Entries:

  1. Join this site publicly via Google Friend Connect (if link doesn’t work, try the right sidebar) and leave me a comment telling me that you did (3 entries).
  2. “Like” à la Modest on Facebook and leave me a comment telling me that you did (2 entries).
  3. “Like” Jesus Couture on Facebook and leave me a comment telling me that you did (2 entries).
  4. Follow me on Twitter (@alaModest), and leave me a comment telling me that you did. Include your user name.
  5. Follow Jesus Couture on Twitter (@JesusCouture), and leave me a comment telling me that you did. Include your user name.
  6. Tweet about this giveaway, and leave me a comment on telling me that you did. Include your user name and/or a link to the tweet. Copy & paste this to tweet: “Win ANY fashion item from Jesus Couture via @alaModest ! http://bit.ly/dRWZpl #giveaway”
  7. Subscribe to this blog through BlogLovin’, and leave me a comment on telling me that you did.
  8. Post this giveaway as your status on Facebook, and leave me a comment telling me that you did. Include your Facebook’s e-mail address. Copy & paste this: “Win ANY fashion item from Jesus Couture via alamodest.com! http://alamodest.com/?p=5727”
  9. Suggest that your friends “like” à la Modest on Facebook, and leave me a comment telling me that you did and/or how many friends you invited (2 entries).
  10. Suggest that your friends “like” Jesus Couture on Facebook, and leave me a comment telling me that you did and/or how many friends you invited (2 entries).
  11. Blog about this giveaway in a new post, and leave a comment  with the link.
  12. Buy something from Jesus Couture until the end of the giveaway, and leave a comment  telling me what you bought and when. (5 entries)
  13. Buy something from our store RGB Records until the end of the giveaway, and leave a comment telling me your full name. (5 entries)

For the bonus entries, I will check to verify if you have done these. If you are already subscribers/followers, indicate that you are in separate entries. Do not forget to leave me your real e-mail address!

This giveaway ends April 9th and is open to all.

This giveaway is based on random drawing. Remember, the more entries you have, the more chances of winning. Good luck!

Femmes de Paris

March 19th, 2011

Just to leave you some inspiration before my next overdue post, here are some neat low-fi French retro (and retro-esque) pop albums that I’ve enjoyed this week but currently do not own. Some of these vintage compilations are pretty pricey. I can’t wait to find Femmes De Paris V.1 for a bargain. It mostly has covers of American songs around the 60s sung in French—The Who’s “My Generation” and Nancy Sinatra’s “These Boots Are Made for Walking,” are examples of what you’ll find.

P.S. Julia, je vous remercie de me rendre visite cette semaine!

Pop a Paris: More Rock & Roll & Mini Skirts 2

Femmes De Paris V.1

La Belle Epoque: Emi’s French Girls 1965-68

Femmes De Paris 2

The American retro-esque April March: Chick Habit

Independent Fashion Bloggers started a new Links á la Mode feature specifically for techies, and I am happy to be part of the very first list! Thank you. I truly apologize for being the slowest I’ve ever been in updating the blog, returning comments, and responding back to messages. I’m back in college full time while working, so it’s been quite stressful these past couple of months, but I will get back to all of you! I have also been wanting to write my usual lengthy posts, but I’ve been so pressed for time that I can only do outfit posts here and there. Good news for you though, my next post will be another lovely giveaway! I have yet again included my own list of links beneath IFB’s selection—some techy, some not, but do check them out!

Cool, Chic in a CLICK!

Edited by Christen Rochon

It’s the best part about the ever-changing age of technology – It’s fashionably evolving, it’s no longer cut, dry and unattractive! It is translated differently by everyone, it’s mysterious, fashionable and chic.  It’s infused in everything we do in many respects and this week’s Tech Links a la Mode highlight that whether your tech interest is simply blogging related, gadget-trend related or fashion related, it is very much ownable and deeply personal.

I’m excited to be apart of IFB and the inaugural editing of the IFB Links a la Mode: Tech, looking forward to seeing everyone’s tech posts throughout the year!

Links à la Mode: Tech – March 15th

  • a la Modest: Retroactivity: Turning Back Technology
  • Relatively Chic: Gettin’ Techy: Google Webmaster Tools
  • Monica: Fashion Techno Frenzy – The Story Of The Love Affair Between Fashion And Technology.
  • TINEEY: How I Blogged My Way Through Fashion Week With ONLY An iPhone.
  • Miss Viki: Fashion Blogs Go Mobile.
  • Ondo Lady: My Blogging Tools: A List of Equipment I Use To Blog
  • Previously Owned: ORGANIZATION: Mail decluttering and such… a tutorial.
  • Divas and Dorks: Fashions Top Designers Choose The Apple iPad!

Originally from IFB.


Links á la Modest

  • RGB Records – My husband’s and my storefront on Amazon, containing mostly used CDs and rare books and guaranteed to have the lowest prices on the Web. New items are added at least once a week.
  • Fashion’s Effect on Men and Women – “The net can be a dangerous place simply because people– both men and women– have allowed pictures to be taken (and things to be worn) that cross the line, but they excuse it in the name of fashion.”
  • Ridiculous Brian Eno Interview- I tweeted this post sometime ago. This was one of the funniest interviews I’ve ever seen. Brian Eno is genius. Please tell me you get this.
  • Why I’m Not Getting an iPhone- Even though I have an iPhone myself that I got as a gift, I still share the author’s dislike of being constantly consumed by technology. I do hate seeing people glued to their phones, especially in movie theaters!
  • Portlandia: Technology Loop – A sketch from one of my recent show obsessions, comically explaining why I don’t like being constantly connected on the Web. You can watch the clip of it below. The show has Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein from Sleater-Kinney. I see hints of Tim and Eric Awesome Show in this, but with less LSD.

It’s been almost a year since this blog’s birth (April ’10), but I haven’t really put up a shop like I wanted to. I have accumulated so many clothes throughout my adult life, all piled up and waiting to be showcased. I thought perhaps that I should be giving them away instead of greedily keeping them all to myself—or at least be putting them up for sale. So from now on, almost EVERYTHING you see on the blog will be available to you (clothes, accessories, shoes, records, books, etc.). Just leave a comment about an item in any of my posts that you’re interested in purchasing, and we’ll talk!

A lot of the pieces I have on this blog are very unique. Most of it is stuff that I’ve worked hard to find. No item here has a set price, so feel free to bid as low as you want. I believe in fairness. I need to eat, however, so if you express interest in a non-auction item, there will be a one-week chance for someone else to make a counter-offer (think a more personal eBay). One of my readers expressed how hard it is to find online stores that sell just stylish modest dresses. That is what I really had in mind for my store.

Anyway, what I’d like to introduce as my first item for auction is this multicolored, multitiered dress from Oscar de la Renta Studios. Although I am not sure, it looks like it could be from the 60s. I had originally wanted to keep this dress, but I realized that I don’t really care much for big brand names. Although I do admire a lot of fashion designers, Oscar de la Renta is not one of my favorites (though I do fancy this dress). Besides, someone out there might be a big fan of Oscar de la Renta waiting to be bestowed with this! It is a size 6, very lightly worn, and is in pristine condition. If you cannot tell, I am wearing a black 3/4 sleeves shell underneath this dress because it was still a bit cold out. It’s not included with the dress. Just in case you’re wondering what my true size is, I am a size 4, but I have clothes that range from size 3 to 12. The magic of layering, cinching, and temporary tailoring makes clothes of all sizes possible for me to wear. I just can’t resist unique pieces no matter what their sizes are! So, for women who aren’t my size, I probably have several items that you could wear. What I love most about this dress, besides its colors, patterns, and tiers, is the fact that it’s modest. If you will take a look at the rest of Oscar de la Renta‘s collections, you’ll see that it’s very hard to find a similar structure to this. If you love this brand, the style, and/or modesty, I’m sure you’ll really like this dress.

I’m not going to put this up on sale anywhere else, so if you’re interested in purchasing, feel free to make a BID in the comments section right away. I don’t have a starting bid price, so just bid whatever you’re willing to pay to take this home with you! Don’t feel intimidated bidding on a designer dress if you think you only have a few bucks to spare! Try me, but you have to watch out for others who might be more interested than you. Be sure to keep checking back to see if other people have outbid you, or just subscribe your e-mail address to the comments on this post after bidding. For any purchase made through this blog, I will include a gift from one of my past giveaways. The bidding for this dress will conclude in two weeks (3-23; midnight EST on Wednesday).

Not interested in this particular item? You’re welcome to browse through the blog and take a look at something else. Make an offer via comment, but you’ll have to wait a week to give other people a chance. Happy bidding!

Thank you all for joining the ShopBop giveaway. If you haven’t won anything, there will be another giveaway for you possibly on the next post!

Thanks again to Independent Fashion Bloggers for choosing my post on fashion in film this week! I have not reviewed the rest of the links here, so please go through them with caution. I am continuing the trend of selecting and including my own links along with every Links á la Mode feature I get. So this week, I have a few thought-provoking posts written by friends, who I am very proud of, that I wanted to share with you all. The selection that I have for you below is a bit more content heavy than some of my usual picks, but I strongly feel that they shouldn’t be left unnoticed.

Making it Your Own

Edited by WIT & Whimsy

One of the best parts about fashion is that it is translated differently by everyone.  It’s infused in everything we do in many respects and this week’s Links a la Mode highlight that whether your style is haute couture or vintage, trendy or thirfted, style is very much ownable and deeply personal.

I’m thrilled to have this be my inaugural editing of the IFB Links a la Mode, looking forward to seeing everyone’s posts throughout the year!

Links à la Mode: March 3rd


Shopbop Wedge Sandals, Rodarte, Skirts, Juicy Couture, Yogawear, Sunglasses, Jeans, Jewelry, Lingerie, Shoes, Bags, & Dresses

Original post here.


Links à la Modest

Thank you Gayle for this pretty lace blouse!

  • Why The Burlesque Show is Almost Over- Written by friend David Gasten (guest blogging on UK online magazine The Thing Is…) who I interviewed in the past.
  • Ex-Porn Stars Speak Out-  Friend Victoria Tiedemann of Ruby-Eyed Okapi reports on ex-porn stars’ testimonies
  • John Berger’s Ways of Seeing- I was introduced to poignant John Berger’s book and BBC series through Laura from From Those About to Shop. My favorite lines from this video clip include: “To be naked is to be oneself. To be nude is to be seen naked by others and yet not recognized for oneself. A nude has to be seen as an object in order to be a nude.” It is very introspective of the way men see women and vice versa. I must warn you that there is nudity in this.
  • A Punk and a Preacher- Mono Syznal writes on Vivienne Westwood’s philosophy
  • Red Carpet Premiere of The Grace Card- My friend Lisa is the costume designer of The Grace Card that just came out in major theaters two weeks ago. I have not seen it, but if you’re interested, go check it out!
  • Giveaway for $100 ShopBop gift card- Ends TODAY (3/7) at 3PM EST

Cool Off with Culottes

March 3rd, 2011

Before anything, I apologize for how GRAINY these photos are. I took these at dusk! It’s still winter, and I’m still too tired to take photos earlier in the day.

I decided to put on my new favorite—leather jacket with puffy sleeves and asymmetrical detail (when zipped up) because it got…. COLD.

Some women who opt for both modesty and practicality wear culottes instead of long skirts, especially when working in the field. I don’t often have problems wearing my jeans really since I prefer them high-waisted and a bit loose. Most of my pants are flared, so they’re still a tad tight around the thighs. What I would love to get my hands on though are high-waisted bell bottoms from the 70s, but they seem really hard to find. I don’t know about you, but I rarely feel stellar in jeans or pants without having to do something extra with everything else I have on. Skirts and dresses though are immediate mood boosters for me (a must for modesty) and are almost on the same level as those shy-shooing shoe stimulants called heels.

For some of you who might not know the history of culottes, the term originated from French gentlemen couture in the late 1500s and were also worn by military men in Europe. They looked entirely different back then and were actually “knee-breechees” instead of what some others now call “skorts.”

As an aside, the word skorts bothers me for some reason! Maybe because the term sounds so kiddy, commercial, and annoyingly trendy. Flashes of Walmart people come to mind. By the way, I admit that I have happily shopped for clothes there and have nothing against their clothing in general, but I must say, some of the shoppers are not exactly a sight for sore eyes…

Anyway, it was only during the Victorian era when the term was used to describe split riding skirts for women who went horseback riding, and those were very similar to the culottes that we now know. Ironically, our fantastic French friends now mean panties when they say “culottes.” Oh the evolution (and/or corruption) of words (and style)…

Here are some examples of vintage catalog covers I’ve collected with culottes:

What I Wore: Leslie Fay culottes from Goodwill – Burlington Coat Factory leather jacket – Crocs sandals – layered gold necklaces

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