High Contemporary

This Sunday afternoon, I received a call from a dear friend.  She was looking for some discreetly luxurious trifles to give her loved ones this Christmas and She was wondering if I had any ideas… 

I simply adore my dear friend and her husband.  They TRULY are one of Manila’s most stylish couples.  Viscerally, from the guts.  That means that their Style is innate and highly individual, and it does not come “store bought,” meaning that it does not emanate from the mere possession and use of “things” from Hermes, Asprey, Bulgari, Christian Louboutin, Philippe Starck, et. al. — which, stupidly enough, to a lot of Manila ladies [ and gentlemen too 😛 ], is already The Essence of Style.  *rolls eyes*


For me, they are the Manila equivalent, in taste and style, of the legendary tastemakers [ Vicomte & Vicomtesse ]  Charles and Marie-Laure de Noailles of 1920s Paris.  For their style is essentially French and specifically Parisian, not at all Manila, and not at all Philippine.  Style — a very cerebral one — oozes from their pores.  Like the two legendary Parisians,  their home is filled with contemporary art [ “But only from friends.”  they say. ], artistic furniture, unusual and rare “objets,” walls of good books, and absolutely contemporary living.  Like the two, their circle includes the most talented and most avant garde artists of our time — painters, musicians, poets, writers, etc..  Their gatherings at home are like French “salons,” with the best of people.  Like the two, their style of living is effortless and spontaneous, and rather devoid of rigor.  But completely unlike the two, their romantic lives are uncheckered, as they are totally devoted to each other.


And the best thing — indeed the mark of authenticity — is that they claim they do not have any style at all. 

“And how is your beautiful home?”  I asked her.

“The same as usual.”

“I know it’s “social death” for you two, but I’m sure magazine editors have approached you wanting to feature your home…”    

“Oh, they do.  One Editor — of that magazine one only reads at beauty salons — sent a writer to interview me and a photographer to take test pictures.”

“The Editor took one look at the photographs and declared:  “It’s not grand.”

“Grand”???!!!  Laughoutloud!!!  But “Grand” as an “IT” adjective went out with the 1980s!!!

Some people just don’t know what Style is even when it’s already staring them in the face!!! 


*snickers like “Muttley” the dog cartoon character*



  1. January 6, 2008 at 6:14 pm

    The painting reminds me of the First Lady’s Picasso in Pacific Plaza… or the other contemporary one back in her little manse by the sea in Tolosa…

  2. syzygy said,

    December 7, 2007 at 6:38 pm


    I am not who you think I am.

    With regards to the shopping (depending on how you define shopping),

    it is a never ending venture (depending on how you define venture).

    Love your post(s).

  3. violet said,

    November 30, 2007 at 3:46 am

    LOL I love Muttley!

  4. Garganta Inflamada said,

    November 27, 2007 at 9:34 pm

    Syzygy wrote:

    One can sense what true beauty is.

    But a man’s eye is deceitful when his passions seek that which is beautiful.


    Oh, I know that’s you, Meldy. So you’ve finally learned to use a computer and found your way here!!

    I also see you haven’t dropped the word “beauty” from your vocabulary.

    So, how’s the shopping these days, Meldy? Beautiful too? 🙂 🙂 🙂


  5. Syzygy said,

    November 26, 2007 at 4:59 pm

    One can sense what true beauty is.

    But a man’s eye is deceitful when his passions seek that which is beautiful.

  6. cousin paz said,

    November 26, 2007 at 2:08 pm

    Hi Toto,

    I completely agree with your definition of style – a friend said, “you either have it or you don’t.” You were right when you said that (unfortunately) some Manilans do equate it with owning a signature item from Greenbelt 4.

    Cousin Paz

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