In March 2010 started a love story eight years in the making. Seph and I met in 2002 through my cousin Jeru, his best friend of 11 years. Through those years we were always just along the borders of each other’s lives, crossing paths every now and then in between relationships, keeping in touch and losing touch and finally finding each other many years and lessons later.
When we did, we were so sure we had both been prepared for this. That there must have been a reason we weren’t brought together eight years ago; that we were meant to first grow and learn from past mistakes. Things fell into place almost cosmically: the chemistry effortless, the connection unbreakable, everyone’s love and support overwhelming. This is what we’ve been waiting our whole lives for, we thought.
It’s been our joy sharing our story with you through this blog—our passions, hopes, milestones and memories. Love Chic has not only been a celebration of our love for fashion, but of love. Of two people whose bond is so strong that one can feel or think what the other feels or thinks without saying a word. Two people with so much in common it’s like they’ve known each other all their lives. Whose differences are so complementary that when their strengths and weaknesses combine, they’re unstoppable. Two people who have made cynics believe that true love is real after all.
But love as a feeling is never enough. Falling in love is the easiest thing, while staying in love requires commitment. It takes two; not one, not three, to make a relationship work. As it turns out, the worst fears and gut feelings I’ve been having for a while were real: Seph and I have stopped moving together in this direction. The things that were supposed to be just between the two of us—secrets, plans, dreams, problems, were no longer just between the two of us.
Due to circumstances beyond my control, our story has come to an end.
They say fight for what’s yours. Give it your all. But when it turns out it has no longer been yours for over a year now, you can fight and give with all you’ve got and it won’t make the slightest difference.
When that happens, all you can do is forgive, and move on. Be grateful for what happened, and have faith that things can only get better.
From here on, Seph is leaving Love Chic to me. There will be changes, but with the same name and aim of inspiring young people to be their best and confident selves. We hope you’ll continue to be supportive of us even as we go our own ways.
Made this on our anniversary to celebrate our story. It’s time to let it go. :)
To everyone who stood by us from the very beginning, when we were starting out with webcam photos on Facebook albums. To everyone who read our first blog posts and watched our first videos. To everyone who came by our talks, wrote to Dear Love Chic, dropped by our bazaar booths, watched our guestings, and read our features. To everyone who showed their faith in us, who looked up to us and made us feel like we were doing something right. To everyone who loved Love Chic, and sephshai.
It’s been a while since our last blog post! Along with the coming of the new year (and the Chinese new year lol), a lot of changes have been afoot.
Change, we often hear, is the only thing that’s ever constant. The only thing that follows a pattern. At first, resistance; and fear of tipping the balance. Of rearranging anything.
And then, enough courage to embrace the reality that what has been comfortable, what’s easy, isn’t always what’s right.
Enough courage is mustered to face whatever must happen head on, with a sound mind and a willful heart.
Hi guys! Hope you all had lovely Valentine celebrations yesterday. Just because February 14th is over, though, doesn’t mean the love season is!
Our Forever21 Valentine’s Lookbook contest is still on-going!
The contest is open to all fashionable couples who want to show off their unique sense of paired-up style in Forever21 outfits.
We’ve posted a few samples already to help get you inspired. The winning couple gets to win a P10,000 shopping spree.
Schoolboy meets schoolgirl in collared button-downs, knit cardigans and loafers. “Campus crush” looks for the Forever21 Valentine’s Lookbook contest.
We’ve been blogging these sample entries to give you guys a better idea how you can go about your own entries for the contest.
It could be as matchy as you want, or not! It could be in a studio, or outdoors.
It doesn’t really matter as long as your theme is pretty clear, and you’re able to express your individual and paired-up styling.
Show off your sweet style and get to win a P10,000 shopping spree from Forever21.
Denim button-downs layered over tangerines and blues, worn with nude shoes. One of the many ways we’d style ourselves for the Forever21 Valentine’s Lookbook contest.
How about you? Join the contest for a chance to win a P10,000 shopping spree at Forever21.
A sample entry for the Forever21 Valentine’s Lookbook contest:
denim, leather and studded boots.
Calling all couples! Get ready for our sweetest giveaway yet. Pose a la Love Chic in your most stylish outfits for a chance to win a P10,000 shopping spree from Forever21.
Just a few samples to give you ideas. It doesn’t matter if you take your photo on the streets or in a studio, as long as it showcases your sweet style.
Contest mechanics here:
This Twitter giveaway ends tonight, so read on and then tweet away!
Boys and girls, here’s your chance to win limited edition @RayBanCollector wayfarers.
Another day in Cebu! The best thing about this city is everything’s within walking distance. On this day, we went for a walk to Ayala Center and dropped by the Cebu branches two of our favorite stores here in Manila: Complex and Skechers.
Among others, this is one question we get asked too many times: aside from the obviousness of being a his-and-hers blog, what else makes us different?
First off, allow us to say that we believe blogs cannot really be compared with each other in terms of superiority or inferiority, as each one is unique and has features that set it apart from the rest. The point of this entry is simply to state what ours are, in response to the questions. The last thing we want is to get into any rifts or psywars, real or imagined. After all, we started this blog simply to celebrate our shared love for many things such as fashion. Most of the time, we just like to keep to ourselves, content in our own little world.
This is why we’ve refrained from tackling this topic lest some take it the wrong way. But the start of this year taught us that no matter how careful you are with what you do, say, or even think, others will see what they want, hear what they want, believe what they want. So, disclaimers aside, let’s have at it for all you Tumblr Askers, email senders and talk attendees. What makes Love Chic different? We answer this by answering other blogging FAQs we’ve received over the past couple of years. Names/emails withheld by request.
Q: Do bloggers really have unlimited shopping funds? Is it true that even if you don’t, you’re always given stuff so you can afford to not repeat outfits for a year?
A: We’re not sure that it’s true or not for other bloggers, but in our case, all you have to do is browse our Archive. While we’re thankful for brands who send us gifts from time to time in appreciation of our blog, like any normal, ordinary person on the street, we have standard closet spaces in our homes and we repeat and mix and match our outfits all the time. Not because it’s a styling challenge for some fashion story or something but because we make do with what we have. And even if we did have unlimited shopping funds, we’d probably keep shopping department stores and inexpensive brands and spend the money on our dream house or a business venture or traveling or enrolling in language/music/art classes or giving huge regular donations to the Ateneo Scholarship Fund, to give back for Shai’s full scholarship in college. (By now you can probably guess that these are things we’d sink our money into should we win the lottery or something).
Q: Is it true that unless you come from a wealthy background, you can’t afford to blog? Seems like you’re all sosyal and have the time and money to pursue this.
A: Again, it may be the case for many, but not for all. In our case, we’ve always been very upfront with our readers regarding our middle-class (“commoner,” to the elitist) socio-economic background, just as we have been candid about how and why we can blog: Shai is in TV production, lifestyle journalism, clothes and accessories design and digital marketing and these enable us to be in charge of our own schedules. As for affording the clothes, anyone can afford the clothes we wear! We mention the brands in every post, and seldom will you see a high-end item (either a gift or a long-deliberated splurge). It’s not the brand, it’s not the price. It’s how you wear it.
Q: Style blogging looks so easy that anyone can do it. Why do only the same bloggers get freebies and invites to events all the time? What makes a good blogger?
A: True, style blogging is something anyone can do. All you need is your personal style, basic photography skills, decent photo-editing software, a camera and a computer with Internet. But there are bloggers who are ahead of the pack because they approach it much the same way they likely approach any other aspect of life: if it’s worth doing, it’s worth doing well. They give their best in everything they do and so reap the results. Of course, we can’t undermine that thing called luck: meeting the right people and being there when opportunity strikes. For us though, the really good bloggers are those who love blogging not for the perks, but for blogging itself. Having the passion and commitment without being overanalytical or taking themselves too seriously. They never let themselves forget that blogging is supposed to be fun; not the end-all and be-all of life.
Q: What else do fashion bloggers know how to do other than have picture-perfect hair, makeup and outfits 24/7 and look good in every photo?
A: One’s online persona is not and should not be taken as a 100% accurate representation of his or her real-life persona. We’re pretty sure bloggers don’t purposely set out to mislead readers or give off the impression that they look that good every single minute of the day, but this kind of thinking always seems to come up anyway. In our case, there are days when we have to dress up (meetings, events, etc.), there are days when we feel like dressing up (dates, parties, etc.) and there are days when we don’t dress up at all (the rest of the time). Readers who have run into us in public know for a fact that we go out of the house wearing plain-looking clothes and zero products on our face and hair. These you seldom see being blogged due to a thing called “curation.”
As for what else we can do? Aside from the skills one can presume we possess from our above-mentioned jobs, we’re happy to say that we bust some (quite unfair) notions about bloggers being all fancy and glamorous and not knowing much more beyond that. We’ve known how to cook, do housework (dishwashing, manual laundry, ironing, sweeping, polishing, gardening, car-cleaning, carpentry, the works) since we were both 8 or 9 years old. We both drive ourselves (manual, yes) to places and we also take public transport (Manila and provincial). We both know how to sew things (by hand and by machine), draw (certainly no artists, but at the very least passable) and do musical stuff (Shai sings and plays the piano and ukulele but then again, which Pinoy doesn’t? Haha).
While in college, Shai worked as a reporter, researcher and writer for different companies. Seph stopped schooling to work in a call center for a while. So an overheated car in the middle of nowhere or a seemingly insurmountable work crisis isn’t likely to have us bursting into hapless tears.
The long and short of it is that we’re blessed to have been raised by parents who made us self-reliant ever since we were kids. That way, we’re flexible: we can enjoy the finer things in life from time to time but the world doesn’t end just because a driver or household helper can’t come to work.
These might seem like no big deal to others, but to us, it is. More than being sent abroad to cover fashion events, more than being featured in local and international publications or on TV shows, more than all the other perks that this blog brings us, we’re proud that we’ve been able to pursue blogging despite not having all the resources, all the connections and all the luxuries that textbook-definition bloggers are supposed to have. We’re proud that we get to inspire readers as well as express ourselves. We’re proud of the skills and values our parents taught us that enabled us to acquire a few things on our own (with their guidance and support, of course). We may not wear luxury items, drive fancy cars or live in huge mansions, but we work hard to pay for what we do wear, what we do drive, and where we plan to live when we’re married. These, are what makes us different. ♥
On Seph: Chemistry button-down and pants, SM Accessories bag and watch, Skechers sneakers. Hype his Lookbook outfit here. On Shai: Chemistry dress, SM Accessories necklace and bag, Parisian booties. Hype her Lookbook outfit here. Favorite this look on our Chictopia here. Photographed by Richard Romero, assisted by Jeru Czar. Hair, makeup, styling and post-processing by Love Chic.
Hollywood pop star Joe Jonas visited Manila last week to join Bench’s lineup of international endorsers. What we wore:
Another one for my collection of slouchy messenger bags.
My trusty boots for those days when I need to wear something really casual, but still stylish.
I’ll always be a sucker for accessories. I try to make up a little story or theme behind the pieces I put together. Can you guess what this one is about?
My favorite F21 booties for making me look taller without making my feet hurt walking or standing around in events.
The Rizal ballroom at the Makati Shangri-la, abuzz with anticipation while everyone waited for the presscon to start.
The main man, Mr. Ben Chan!
PR maven Thysz Estrada flanked by blogger sisters Verniece and Vern Enciso
With Val Chua (Happy birthday today!) and Marj Sia’s little sister Mel, who we hear from her ate is a big Joe Jonas fan.
Starstruck with bigshot producer Mike Carandang (America’s Next Top Model, The Tyra Banks Show, Jerry Springer). It took us a few minutes and a lot of coaxing from Thysz before we could approach him, because being a producer herself, Shai is a huge fan.
The day’s host Raymond Gutierrez addressing Joe Jonas fans, who had gathered at the event for a meet-and-greet with their idol. At left, Mike and Shai trying to capture the flurry.
As soon as Raymond took to the stage to announce Joe’s arrival, the fans were all screaming, “I love you Joe!” And then, there was popstar pandemonium.
Joe in his “More fun in the Philippines” Bench outfit. Best known as the lead vocalist of teenybopper pop-rock band The Jonas Brothers with his brothers Nick and Kevin, Joe has since done away with his heartthrob-next-door image in favor of a more mature one, both in terms of his looks and his sound.
He sang three songs from his debut album Fastlife, and you could hear the fans singing along in between shrieks of “Marry me, Joe!” and “I love you!”
…to which Joe graciously responded with a smile and a thank you peppered with a few Tagalog words: "Mabuhay" and “Mahal ko kayo!”
It was awfully nice of the Bench and Joe Jonas teams not to cordon off the stage area. Bloggers and members of the press were allowed to get as near to Joe as it gets, allowing us to take a lot of close-up photos.
After the mini-performance, Raymond proceeded with the Q&A session.
We got to ask: “What’s the most memorable thing a fan has ever done for you, whether it be sweet or weird?”
Joe gave two answers: a hippopotamus named Joe Jonas, and a few stars in the galaxy named after him.
Mr. Ben Chan thanking Joe and the press for being there that day: “It’s more fun with Bench!”
With Patricia Prieto and Alyssa Lapid. Getting together with fellow bloggers is one of the main reasons events like these are worth going to!
Class picture: Thysz, Reg Rodriguez, Aisa Ipac, Tin Iglesias, Anagon, Kaye Awatin, Sarah Tirona, Tracy Ayson, Paul Chuapoco. We’re all getting together again this Saturday at Bloggers United 3. Details about the bazaar and how to get there here!
Outfit photos by Jeru Czar
Seph here! While Shai is in the US this month and I’m getting back on track with work, we’ll be trying to keep blogging separately. She from California, me from Manila. First off, I wanted to post these scans I made of magazine issues featuring her and her write-ups.
Candy Magazine “Style Crush” for March. Main photo: From Bangkok dress, Topshop hat and tights, Janilyn wedges. Thanks to Sam Potenciano!
ZENHealth February-April issue, featuring her article and photos on “Fun Date Outfits.” Outfit credits here. Thanks to Aencille Santos!
Lastly, this well-written Metro story on the most memorable Oscars attires. I know Shai worked so hard and had so much fun researching on this assignment. It turned out awesome. Get a copy so you can read and enjoy it too. Thanks to Geolette Esguerra!
Taken with Instagram @sephcham
"Forever alone" describes the past week for me. Haha! Since we started dating, this one month is the longest time we’ve ever been apart.
Taken with Instagram @shailagarde
It also happens to be Shai’s birthday on the 20th, so we’ll have to celebrate in different time zones. It may only be one month but it’s still a taste of what it’s like to be in a serious relationship over a long distance. All I can say is, can’t wait for her homecoming :D