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Fierce,

It’s funny as it may sound but it took me 6 months for me to find the right words to create this blog and share my life-changing experience with TextileSeekers last February in Sa Pa Vietnam.

First, I would like to start on how well organized is Thao and her team on creating this special trip and making a detailed schedule for us who will experience Slow Travel and Slow Fashion from the different tribes of Sa Pa Vietnam.

This luxury tour of TextileSeekers founded by Thao Phuong is something that came to me as a surprise, when I was having a lot of troubles and chaos in Dubai UAE this came up to me as a blessing in disguise. I went to Sa Pa bringing my fragile heart not expecting anything from the trip although,  Thao from Textile Seekers gave us the schedule prior to the upcoming trip. It all happened when Covid 19 Pandemic started to spread outside of China and the numbers who were positive with the virus started to grow.

When I came to Hanoi, Vietnam a luxury van picks me at the airport and drop me to the boutique hotel together with other members of the TextileSeekers group. 

On our day 1 and 2 in Hanoi Vietnam, TextileSeekers has organised a trip to Ms. Tinh on her studio, she taught us on how to produce exquisite pieces like scarfs, table runners, tops and cover up’s using Silk Weaving.

We also visited the Women’s Museum where we explored the different costumes, embroidered clothes, and fabrics plus the importance of women in Vietnam and their roles. As we get along with our trip, we also visited 54 Traditions Gallery wherein we get to know some of the stories and history of textiles, fabrics, tribes, ancient relics, and some special antiques from different centuries in Vietnam.

On our day 3, we ride a private van for a five hour trip to Sa Pa in Vietnam. The journey starts at Topas Ecolodge where we will spend our upcoming days searching for the finest textiles, tribes and discover ancient traditions in Sa Pa Vietnam. I don’t know how will I explain into words the beauty of Sa Pa Vietnam and the location of Topas Ecolodge. I feel like I was in a fairytale or a movie finding my inner strength in a new place away from the usual busy city I was used to.

 

I am very emotional as I start looking at the beauty of the place. Thao of TextileSeekers was looking at me and she saw the happiness on my face. Thao made me comfortable since Day 1 and without her guidance, I don’t know if I would have finished the trip. It was a heavy trip for me because it is a week before my flight to Paris fashion week before I head on a new journey in Barcelona, Spain. By the way, Thao is from Barcelona, that is why when she contacted me I knew that this trip is going to be special and it is meant for me to prepare myself for something bigger.

On the third day, we went hiking for almost an hour into the mountains to visit the Red Dao tribe and meet Ms. Tamay. She is like the leader or spokesperson of the group and she welcomed us with a warm smile and sweet voice.

As we enter Ms. Tamay’s house the whole family and other women of Red Dao welcomed us and they showed us how to create natural dye from trunks, leaves, roots, and different branches from another mountain which is nearby to the area. This experience showed how resiliency can go far and use creativity to make something beautiful plus the sustainability side of the whole process. As Thao always mentions to us, it is all part of the fashion ecosystem and slow fashion movement, moreover, Red Dao tribe also showed us how to do hand-stitching and techniques on their embroideries which is something the fashion industry needs to see and start to develop.

I never imagined that watching the women of Red Dao Tribe do their techniques on hand stitching, cooking fresh vegetables they handpicked from their backyard, creating their outfits, and selling their designs made from passion and attention to detail.

Although, It breaks my heart knowing that I couldn’t do anything to help them but using my platform to spread awareness and to help them sell their designs. They made me realize a lot of things most especially, how Thao curated the trip very organised and how she made it sure that we will bring memories that will last forever.

I also want to acknowledge my sister on this trip Sashabila Mus, she is my roommate and my go-to girl whenever I need to understand something clearly. She made me feel that I am enough. This trip is so special because of people like Sasha, Thao, Ms. Thin, Ms. Tamay, and the tribes that made it possible for us to learn something new.

On the days remaining in Sa Pa, Vietnam Thao introduced as to Black Hmong Tribe they are known for Batik Indigo. They taught us how to do Batik Indigo using Hemp. Hemp fabric is the common fabric that Black Hmong are using for dyeing; this kind of practice and technique is something that I can introduce to young designers who can elevate fabrics dyed in Batik Indigo and create pieces that can be good to match with denim.

My Fierce verdict for this trip is something that I will put on every bucket list for someone who loves fashion, sustainability, textile, and a once in a lifetime experience. Thao Phuong and TextileSeekers made a luxury brand that can speak volumes and touch many lives. A once in a lifetime trip that will touch your heart and will open your eyes to new things. This trip made me pursue my passion and studies of Fashion Sustainability. Finally, I highly recommend this for anyone who wants change, experience slow travel and practice slow fashion. 

A Fierce Trip with TextileSeekers! 

 

Full Look: Dress Harlienz from Qatar and Bag Chylak

Fierce,

This isn’t my first time slaying in Paris, but it was my first time experiencing in Paris like a local. By local, I’m referring to taking public transportation, going cafe and French food trip, and avoiding the hotels.
If you’re thirsting for adventure and wanting to take the plunge into something new, I highly recommend you experience Paris like a local.

When the first time I went to Paris 2 years ago, I’m guilty of being an avid Uber user everywhere I go but this time I want to try something different and just be open to new possibilities while walking the streets of Paris. (Fierce Tip: Be extra careful with your bags and gadgets)

PARISIAN CAFES:

Parisians love their baguettes and croissants (and I do too!), so visiting multiple cafes is a must. Their cafes are on another level with the tables so tightly packed that it can be hard to get seated. However, there’s so much character and life in every cafe from the decor down to the pastries. And they’re all so singular with none being like the other.

TAKE THE METRO

Uber is the easy way out. However, If you want to experience being local you need to take public transportation. I love taking the metro because I get to see different kinds of people and unexpected moments. When you enter the metros in Paris depending on which you enter, they’re almost museum-like, displaying works of art. You’ll find some encased in copper like the Arts et Metiers or paintings and illustrations of French history.

I feel like these days most people set off to Paris with a list of places to see, museums to explore, and neighborhoods to shop. I don’t think you get to soak in a true Parisian experience by doing this. If you want to experience Paris like a local, I’d recommend you stashing away all those Instagrammable hot spots and enjoy the lovely architecture and culture around you.

Slow travel in Paris last Fashion Week has helped me to appreciate more Paris in general. I get to experience how to be like a local by walking and just looking around. It gives me the confidence to walk anywhere, visit different shops, cafes and restaurants knowing that I will learn and experience something new. I’ve learned slow travel during my last trip to Sa Pa, Vietnam last February. I find it useful when it comes to my work because I tend to always just focus on the fashion side of my trips instead of appreciating the city and the people.

It’s a romantic city to get lost in and walk through with tons of cafes to just marinate in and people watch. Take advantage of slowing down and watching the city go by before you. Stay Fierce!

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Wearing Georgian Designer: Tako Mekvabidze

Fierce,

I’m consumed by wanderlust. I want to explore the world and everything it has to offer. I want to be exposed to cultures that are different than my own. I want to meet people that change me. I’m in love with the idea of new chapters and fresh starts.


I’m in love with coffee shops in Fabrika Tbilisi. Sipping my coffee while I immerse myself in a new book that changes the way I view life. Pausing to watch the raindrops slide down the window. Realizing that this is where I was always meant to be.

I’m in love with small restaurants in Tbilisi, Georgia while enjoying my mulled wine. Learning about the simplicity of life. Making a new life for myself.

Handbag: Tessa Collection

I’m in love with any place that makes me feel alive. I’m in love with the idea that I have so much left to experience.

Don’t be afraid to fall inlove over and over again on anything around you, you will appreciate more what life has to offer. You will appreciate more your life and your inner purpose as a person.

Me and My Fierce Mama

Fierce,

Let me share with you a throwback trip that I did last year with Mum in Gudauri, Georgia to celebrate her birthday. So last February 2019 we went to Tbilisi, Georgia for the first time to explore the Georgian way.

Tbilisi is the capital of the country of Georgia. Its cobblestoned old town reflects a long, complicated history, with periods under Persian and Russian rule. Its diverse architecture encompasses Eastern Orthodox churches, ornate art nouveau buildings and Soviet Modernist structures.

This is my first trip with my mum outside Dubai, UAE and for me, this is something memorable. My mum loves snow since we were from the Philippines and it is a tropical country.

We don’t have snow (unfortunately mostly coconuts…) but fast forward, I surprised her a trip to one of the Ski resorts in Gudauri, Georgia where we enjoyed taking pictures at the snow but we have a fashion emergency. We forgot our snow boots that’s why even though we are enjoying so much the scenery. We tend to cut the trip off short because our feet couldn’t move. After all, it’s negative 7 degrees during that time in Gudauri. But to see the genuine happiness of my mum is what important the most to me. Her happiness is my happiness too.

Next time that I will visit a Ski Resort, I will make sure that I have the proper gear, outfit, and boots to slay with. For now, I cannot share with you anything fashion-related only the memories we had at Gudauri, Georgia.

It was an amazing trip and a very fast journey. We hired a personal driver at the Rooms hotel and they managed everything perfectly to us. I will go back to the place and next time I will slay it harder.

Stay Fierce in Snow!

Fierce,

Let me share with you something…
Last month I went on a secret trip to Paris for 3 days to attend a very special event and meeting with 2 big agencies. It is something that I can’t wait to share with all of you. 2020 is such a good start for me to be honest because it gives me hope to push harder, level up my game and evolve my whole packaging as a content creator. Paris is special to me because it feels like my battleground in fashion, it helps me to try new looks that I haven’t try before and meet new people in the industry with the same way of thinking as me on a creative side.

I am wearing a new favourite brand from Copenhagen, Denmark it’s Baum Und Pferdgarten, I love this brand because they know exactly what quality and design really mean with their products.

Wearing: Maaike Top and Nyo Pants

As I slay the streets of Paris, my whole look blends really well on the whole aesthetic vibe of the hotel. I got a lot of good feedbacks with this combo look as I paired with my oversized Georgian brand based in Tbilisi, Georgia.

I believe in building a wardrobe that is a good mix of luxury and streetwear brands. As much as I love to indulge in the seasonal trends, my regular purchases lean towards investment pieces with casual wear thrown into the mix.

Bag: Bottega Veneta

This February 2020, I will unveil the secret with my upcoming project for a brand that is close to my heart. Stay tuned for more slaying projects. Stay Fierce!

 

Outfit Details: Sweater & Fur Coat: Jakke London | Reversible Coat  by Flawless Coats

Fierce,

Have you experienced feeling a little down and you feel disconnected from everyone around you? Well, let me tell you something that I’ve been experiencing these past weeks. First of all, it’s not as bad as you think it is. It’s healthy.

When the people around you don’t understand you anymore, be alone. Listen to your voice away from their noise. Remember who you were before they imposed their lifestyles, opinions, and thoughts on you. Remember who you were before you met them or integrated yourself with them. Recharge your mind and your heart away from their energies. This is the time to be selfish. This is the time to ask for space. This is the time to find yourself again before you lose yourself in the crowd. Don’t wait until you no longer recognize who you are.

Photographed by Jamal Thomas

You need to be self-aware of the things around you. It will help you to become stronger and flourish yourself to be the person you always wanted to be. 

You’re starting to wonder if maybe you haven’t been making the wrong decisions but making the right ones in the wrong place. Saying the right things to the wrong people. Doing the right things for people who don’t appreciate them. Trying to live a certain way in a place that doesn’t support the kind of life you want. You need to go to a place where you feel safe and proud to live. Along the way, you will find all the reasons behind your struggles and pain. It will be the boldest and beautiful decision you will ever make in your life. Find yourself Fierce!

 

Outfit Details: Dress NÜ Denmark Fur Coat Jakke London


Fierce,
I’ve been holding this news for the past 6 months and I guess it’s time for me to share with you all my upcoming plans. 2019 was a very tough year for most of us and for me personally, I am grateful. I’ve traveled 10 times and I’ve experienced the worst things during 2019 but beyond that, I am happy for the person I am becoming. I am starting a new journey! Yes, you are right I am going to a new place and the beauty in starting over is that you get to let go of who you were in the past. You let go of what was holding you back and you let go of all the things that were weighing you down when you thought you were stuck – either in the wrong place or with the wrong person.

Why I am starting a new journey?

I want to evolve myself as a woman with substance. I want to grow as a person and find what truly makes me happy. At my age right now, I want to explore new things that I will never experience if I will stay where I am right now. — The beauty in starting over is that you get to choose.

Photographed by Jamal Thomas

You get to choose who you want to be this time without anyone telling you who you should be and how you should do it. You’re given a new chance to live life differently. You’re given a new lens to see life in a different color and you’re given another chance to redeem yourself, to fix yourself and get one step closer to who you always wanted to be.

When you decide to take a different road, when you do something that scares you and when you let go of something or someone that was holding you back – no matter how much it hurts, no matter how much you care about them, sometimes they pull you back when you were meant to fly and sometimes they silence your voice when you were meant to roar.

Location: Buckingham Palace, London

Fierce,

We were brought up to believe and understand that it is important to accept people as they are. That’s an upstanding principle to live by. And truthfully, life would be far more tolerable if we all applied this principle daily. If we could have a moment of honesty here, we just aren’t entirely capable of accepting everything that comes with a person. How I wish every person has a sneak preview to think if they deserve to get to know us or be part of our life.
You need to remember your values and what you believe in life.

Small Bag: Bally

It’s a matter of choice. Whether you will let things happen or you will control it not to happen. But most of the time fate doesn’t give us that power. Ethically speaking, we should always practice tolerance for fellow humans.


The past few weeks I’ve been thinking of unfollowing a lot of people on Instagram most especially in this wild city. Not because I don’t like them but it’s just that I don’t want to associate myself with people who have nothing to deal with me. I just want to unfollow them for me to breathe on my page and have my stand in everything that I believe in life. On a side note, it might affect some things and some people around me, but for me, I just want to take that risk and just move forward in life without thinking that someone is watching my stories and yet they couldn’t support me or do me a favor.

Handbag: Tammy & Benjamin

For me, You shouldn’t accept anything that causes you harm. most especially if it’s draining you so much. It’s okay to decide that you don’t want to deal with certain aspects that come with people.

“Accept my flaws and all,” is a common statement, but I’m here to tell you that you don’t have to do it. If the flaw presents itself as something that may be a deal-breaker for you, break the deal.

No one owes you anything so always keep in mind the same for yourself. You’re not in the wrong for being intolerant to anything less than what you deserve. And you deserve the world. Soon you will all know the reason behind this post and I am telling you that you will love every bit of that story.

Photograped by: Dawid Rus

Fierce,

Let me share with you the designer I am eyeing right now with her delicate taste, attention to details pieces and a master of colour swatches. It’s my good friend from Georgia, Tako Mekvabidze. She was known already in her home town as the go-to designer of the Elite people in the industry and now as she makes her mark on the international stage, just recently Kendall Jenner wore her Electric Green Oversized shirt as she walks the streets of Beverly Hills, California.

Peach Coat by Tako Mekvabidze

Last August 29, She has showcased her Cruise 2020 Collection in a big plaza of Batumi, Georgia. Where she showed pieces that were inspired by the sea and nature.
She used Delicate organza fabrics, natural garments, denim, straw hats, net bags in light shades of blue, pink and lemon yellow. She basically wants to show her childhood memories through this collection. She invited international press and media to showcase her passion and love for her craft in cooperation with the Tourism board of Batumi.

This show also aims to promote the beauty and uniqueness of Batumi to the world.

Opening their city to the world using fashion is such a great move. I admire Tako for being true to herself and craft most especially with her staff. I visited her showroom and I can see the genuine smile of her staff. Their passion shows how Tako treats them like a family. The trip to Batumi was very refreshing for me as it opens up my eyes on how Georgian’s love for their country and their hospitable attitude shows towards their guest.

I truly appreciate Tako Mekvabidze as a designer and a new friend where it gives me a warm feeling knowing a designer like Tako Mekvabidze is not just a designer but a true artist with a heart.

Fierce, 

Sometimes even the strongest FIERCE feels like giving up. Sometimes, you won’t get the credit you feel like you deserve. Sometimes, you’re going to feel like all the hard work you’ve been putting into a project has been a waste because nobody has been around to pat you on the back or remind you what a good job you’ve been doing. I have nothing to lose… I always try the best that I can to move forward as The Fierce Walker.

 “It’s especially hard being surrounded by individuals solely invested in connections based on your fame, nationality and what edition handbag you’re carrying. “

It took a lot of courage to challenge the status quo and be an Asian slaying outside of this city. I stop waiting around for other people to realize my value and start rewarding myself. I make sure that, even if the rest of the world can’t see what a good job i’ve been doing, i recognize it myself. It is very important to have a self-care and self-appreciation to everything that you do. 

Photographed by Lakshik Perera

I fought so hard to be where I am right now. Being an Asian, It is always a double standard most especially in this city. I always remind myself that, i don’t have to solve my whole life by questioning everything. I just have to show up and try. Focus on the most immediate thing in front of me. I’ll figure out the rest along the way. This is my journey and I am happy that I am not just living it but also fighting for something I believe in.

Styled by Samreen Kazi