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Get Red Carpet-Ready in Manila

July 31, 2017
With its laidback atmos and proximity to the coastline, Manilan style naturally sways casual. But if you happen to be passing through the Pinoy capital with a red-carpet event to attend, the city also boasts plenty of exquisite ateliers and pamper pads to prep you for the occasion. Here are our top picks for your big reveal...

Stylistas looking for sleek silhouettes make a beeline for homegrown designer Jun Escario’s dreamy boutique at Greenbelt Mall. Gown whizz Jun may be better-known for his beautiful bridal, but he also crafts exquisite evening gowns and ready-to-wear pieces (think bejewelled and lace bodices paired with floor-sweeping hemlines) which are perfect for black-tie events. Just add a stone-encrusted clutch or statement bod-candy courtesy of gem queen WynWyn Ong, whose bold creations can be found in nearby stylish boutique FIRMA.

Gents looking to suit up can get their mitts on a dapper design by one of the world's greatest tailors, Shanghai-trained Ascot Chang, whose deft-handed team crafts made-to-measure shirts and suits in a multitude of styles and fabrics, from linen and wool to cashmere. You’ll need to wait 3-4 weeks for bespoke pieces, but Chang’s smart RTW collection is the best off-the-peg you’ll find anywhere in the city.

Ensemble sorted, now it’s time to unwind with a treatment at the swoony Peninsula Spa, a tranquil city oasis boasting some of the most indulgent therapies available in Manila. We love the signature therapeutic Hilot massage, which employs a combination of heated banana leaves, virgin coconut oil and organic lemongrass essential oil to soothe mind and body, while youth-restoring facials will have your visage looking tighter than a freshly sealed lumpia roll.

Last but certainly not least – grooming – and where better for discerning fellas to get coiffed n’ buffed than the Back Alley Barbershop? These swashbuckling pros will cut, colour, shave and style your barnet and face fur in the comfort of a nostalgic, old-school salon. The dedicated ‘Hangover Treatment’ is ideal for urgent damage-control.

In Manila’s 90% humidity, ladies will love the tress-relief on offer at Blo in the Rockwell Center. This eye-popping pink n’ white prettykin won’t cut or colour, but is your one-stop shop for blowouts, tips n’ toes, waxing and even makeup. Ta-da!

Jun Escario / Greenbelt 5 / Makati / +63 2729 9070 / 10am-9pm daily /
WynWyn Ong / at FIRMA / Greenbelt 3 / Makati / +63 2757 4009 / 10am-9pm daily /
Ascot Chang / Shangri-La Mall / Ayala Ave / Makati / +63 2813 5001 / 11am-8pm daily /
Back Alley Barbershop / Alpha Salcedo Condominium / Bautista St / Makati / +63 94 7518 5736 / 11am-9pm daily /
Blo / Power Plant Mall / Makati / +63 2893 1715 / 11am-9pm Mon-Thu, 11am-10pm Fri, 10am-10pm Sat, 10am-9pm Sun /