I Just Made My First Slytherin-Inspired Leather Sandals

Back in 2008, I had the chance to make my very own slippers. It was a program initiated by the local government, and my mom was one of the organizers. She asked me to attend. I was way too happy that I documented it, and even blogged in my now defunct Multiply blog.

After 9 years, I am just so thrilled that I can finally do the sandal-making all over again! But this was different, I was the one in-charge of the design! 😀

I recently blogged about enrolling in SoFA (School of Fashion and Arts) for Shoe Construction. Ms Tal de Guzman, Founder and Shoe Designer of Risque Designs was our mentor. She taught and assisted us in making our very own leather sandals.

All the materials were provided, so the design limit is just our creativity!

But knowing my quirky side, I had to find a way to make a unique pair of sandals. If it was something I can buy in a local store, what’s the point of making it?

This was actually the kind of battle I was fighting over in my head, whether I should stick on the classic and common “more saleable” designs, and make queer, out of the ordinary, never-before-seen kind of shoes.

Well, I think you know what I chose.

There’s just soooo many brands in the world already that sell the same designs. I thought, if I want to make a mark, I have to different. I have to be more than just exciting. I have to be unforgettable.


There were limited colors for leathers, so I just chose what will work with what’s available. I got inspired by the Slytherin colors, so I picked silver and emerald.

I don’t have sharp scissors back then, so I just have to cut the leather via a cutter. And mind you, I never expected this will be a workout!

 

My arm muscles were on fire! Or that may be too much, but yeah, they were painful!

I had to measure the shoe last or the wooden foot-shaped mold so I can perfectly cut and lay the leather.


To give the design a surprising twist, I used a 5-peso coin to cut the arc.



To tell you honestly, I am that kind of designer who still changes her mind even during the actual construction. I just think a lot of opportunities and ideas reveal themselves not just on the designing stage, but even on the actual manufacturing.


Who am I to deny these new ideas, right? Hehe

After lots of adhesive application, leather-pulling, and material adjusting, I finally made my Slytherin leather sandals!

Yaaay! 😀



What do you think merfriends? Should I make this for Versaheel?

Let me know your thoughts! 😀

 

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AR(t)+TE(chnique) : How Versatile is Versaheel?

I would like to write about something that’s very close to my heart.

If you have been following me on my Instagram and Facebook Page, you would have probably seen or got a glimpse of the new project I am working on.

Redefine Versatility

As a shoe designer for my own startup, it’s quite a challenge to learn how to put things all together: materials, construction techniques, fabric manipulation, aesthetics and style.

That is why it is no wonder that when I learned that an established International brand would like to collaborate with me, I was totally shookt.

It kinds of feels like getting promoted to a position you’ll never know you’ll reach in just a year’s tenure, but so much better.

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The amazing team behind MARCO NOT POLO was very kind and extremely hands-on ever since we got into planning.

As a shoe designer, I had many considerations. One of which is the global demand on certain shoe types. I was advised that since this will be launched in North America, we might have to lean more on flats, to accommodate the lifestyle and increase market reach of those who will be wearing them.

I actually did not have any problems with that. We thought of making 5 pairs first, and then take it from there.

I would like to share it with you. How it all came about.

  1. Golfriend

I was pretty excited to name all of these babies that depict female characters and personalities.

I also got inspired with androgynous shoes that have interchangeable fringes. Hence, this. 😀

The salmon fringe is my favorite! They are so bold and very poppy!

 

  1. Shellen of Troy

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The shells remind me of my mermaid-loving self. Hehe 😀

Since the colors were girly, I tried to tweak it by having the art in an androgynous pair, with particular details of course – interchangeable straps!

By far this design took the longest, because you have 24 straps all in all! 8 straps each for blue, white and pink!

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Now, you don’t have to stick to only one color! The combinations are endless! I’ve actually lost count of possibilities!

I really had so much fun designing this!

 

  1. Miss Unicorn

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Unicorns are everywhere! They are in cellphone cases, restaurants, pajamas, onesies, and even in makeup! So I thought, why not in shoes!

Plus, mules are having a comeback! With a wild rage to boot! So I was sure they would really make a perfect combo! 🙂

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Not to mention, look how cute the interchangeable bows are!

 

  1. Peacocko Chanel

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I have always been a fan of Coco Chanel, her designs and perspectives in life. That is why I named one of my shoes in honor of her. This design is the classiest among all the shoes in this collection if I may say.

You could say I was a bit experimental with this pair. Canvas is usually tailored for casuals and in the pop culture, so I tried to push it further and bring it to another notch as a candidate for more formal occasions.

You can also customize the straps on these! 😀

What do you think? Will you wear this on a cocktail night?

 

  1. Skulleesi

 

I bet you know how I played with the name of the shoes already! 😀

Yes, it’s from Daenerys Stormborn of House Targaryen , Queen of the Andals and First Men, the Breaker of Chains, the Unburnt, the Khlaleesi of the Great Grass Sea, the Mother of Dragons.

Typing the above title just from memory! Hehe Yes, I’m a huge fan! 😀

This is actually my favorite! It’s clean, fun and surprisingly an attention-seeker. You can actually change the backstraps to different colors! 😀

Plus, the heel height isn’t too high as well! Just perfect for your on-the-go or travel OOTD! 😀  Yay!

 

Versatility and the ability to make fashion choices is the key that guided me towards the whole process. I want to be able to achieve different looks of the shoes without having to spend another dime. And I am so happy to be able to share that with you. And I really hope you like them! 😀

I cannot wait till they hit the fashion runway on November 18, 2017 at Calgary, Canada! If you’re in Canada, you might want to visit the show, and check out Marco Not Polo and the other amazing brands!

Whew! It just feels so good to finally reveal this project after so much hardwork we put into it.

I hope you get to support this Marikina and Filipino-made products! 😀

Like and follow us on Facebook and Instagram.

What do you think of these merfriends? 🙂 Let me know in the comments!

 

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Versaheel on Tribe at Net 25

I got a call a week before that Tribe of Net 25 is interested to feature me and Versaheel on their show. I was shookt!

Things have been really wonderful for me ever since I appeared in News5 of TV5 and Pambansang Almusal of Net 25.

I got a lot of messages and inquiries. The attention was something I was hopeful, but not expecting. 

I mean, who am I anyway. I’m just a girl who loves shoes very much.

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Anyway, I was frantic to find the perfect look for this interview since this is going to be shown on primetime. Plus, I was given some days to prepare.

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Ms. Leyah Ortiz of Beauty Talks by Leyah was my hair and makeup artist that day. She was wonderful! It was the first time we worked together, and I was really swept-away on how she made me look like a mermaid.

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I mean, look at the hair! 😀

The shoot locations were set to be at our house, at the factory and Shoe Museum.

The crew of Tribe went to our residence at around 2PM. It was overwhelming honestly. Before I knew it, they started filming the shoes and took the liberty to set the lights and the cameras.

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I was quite nervous at first because I don’t want to pain the crew with a lot of takes. I had to muster all the confidence and spontaneity in me, to do away with unnecessary cuts and second takes.

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The lights added more drama to the whole set up but wasn’t helpful enough in keeping me fresh. My face was sweating with all that heat! Hehe 😀

Our next location was the factory. I was excited to go there because it is going to be my first time to see the new collection too. Some were already formed, while others still needed more work. The patterns were beautiful as well! 😀

I still can’t believe these shoes are going to Tokyo next month! 🙂

You don’t know how much I want to share these new designs with you merfriends, but I guess we all have to wait after the fashion show! 🙂

My collaboration with Marco Not Polo is launching my shoe designing career to greater heights, and I am so humbled by the trust of Marco Not Polo and the opportunity given to me by Tribe.

We weren’t able to go to the shoe museum anymore, well maybe on the next Versaheel TV feature? Haha 🙂

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Catch everything on September 24, Sunday in Tribe at Net 25 at 5PM! 😀

See youuuuuuuu! ❤

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Versaheel’s First Feature Interview on National TV

Once again, I’m trying to beat myself with my thoughts on the impossibility of blogging via smartphone.

And for another moment, I’m currently eating my own words for I am here at Kuala Lumpur International Airport, parasiting on their fast and generous wifi connection. 


I am ecstatic to come home yet a little jittery for I am about to jump into a whole new world.

I was at Siem Reap when my first national tv feature interview aired. Thank goodness for Facebook!

I was able to watch myself and hear how my little dream is blossoming.

Being interviewed  was surreal. I came from a talk and had to pick up the shoes. I arrived just in time and managed to do a little retouch.



My shoes were laid flat and Ms Laila Chikadora was wonderful enough to get to know me and how I started Versaheel first, before the actual shoot.

It was just like talking to a friend actually. I never felt I was speaking to a star reporter. She was so nice!



My heart leaped heights above when she said she loved the Snaky Reed Somerhalder I gave her.


This was why we mimicked this popular emoji pose! Hehe

I would like you to know that I am just an ordinary girl, who just envisions and works very hard for all of these things to happen. 


That is why I am extremely grateful for all of the opportunities and the people who are giving me a chance to show what I’m capable of.

After News5, I am set to have my first live interview for Pambansang Almusal in Net25. 

Catch me live merfriends (for real! Live na talaga OMG!) on Aug 14, 2017 Monday at 6AM.

I’m probably going to be super nerved not to stutter! Hehe Wish me luck! 😀

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When You Borrow Your Boyfriend’s Polo

I have always been fascinated with Androgynous Fashion. There is just something so special and sleek with minimalism, and looking like a total elegant stranger who means business.

I was invited to attend a mall launch, to which I will blog about soon, and I was really inspired to wear something plain, and very tamed. I will be meeting the CEO, so I thought this wasn’t the perfect time to wear my too-happy and printy outfits. Hehe 😀

Let alone my hair color scream for me! 😀

Anyway, do you remember this photo? This was taken in the Forever Francis Libiran Fashion Show in April.

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John Tancuan

John was pretty dashing that night, and this is actually one of my favorite Chinese polos of him. I asked him to wear this to the event, but he had other clothes in mind. Hmpf! :/

And then, I thought to myself, if he doesn’t want to wear it, why can’t I wear it instead? It would be totally intriguing and would be really fun to experiment since it’s a first time for me! 😀

So here is what I’ve come up with.

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My strong affinity to blues right now is caused by my orange hair color. If you had the chance to check the color wheel, orange and blue are perfect for each other as they are complementary in the wheel, same as with red to green, and purple to yellow.

I had the polo tucked in, and rolled the sleeves up to my elbows. It was still big for my frame, so I just had to do some folds to make it look more seamless for my torso. I paired the top with my black skater skirt to balance the masculinity.

Since I want to keep everything lowkey, I opted for a monochromatic turn for the shoes and bag.

Still so proud of my Versaheel Snaky Reed-Somerhalder heels in Sky. My trusty Parisian satchel also made the look very put-together.

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The braid was an expriment too. Had to do something with unruly hair. 😀

The whole look reminded me of K-Pop Fashion, since I’m also getting a few hints on this fad. I thought maybe a pair of glasses should cinch everything together.

I had this full-rimmed specs last year, and I’m drawn with cats’ eye frames because they are just too stern and sexy for my life.

However, John’s friends were too keen in the glasses department and asked me to try on theirs.

The left one is Ryan’s, fashioned with only upper glass rims, while Joseff’s, the one on the right has very thin ones. The former said that I should be getting these kinds of frames to suit my relatively small face.

Looking at these photos, I think he’s right. The full-rimmed cat’s eye  glasses were occupying most of my head because the sides are thicker, while these two latter styles are very complementing, and gentle when it comes to accentuating my face.

I learned one thing that day! So yes, I have to buy something like this sooner!

Aren’t spectacles just subtle yet essential things to achieve either preppy or kpoppy looks? What do you think? 😀

Would you even dare wear a man’s fashion piece? Have you tried it? 😀

I wanna know! 😀

 

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7 Tips on How to Survive Your First Photoshoot

About a week ago, I had my first legit photoshoot for my brand, Versaheel. It felt surreal really! I didn’t know what I was doing half the time, considering I really don’t have any background on posing in a studio, or a strong experience in striking poses with a lot of people staring at you.

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“Who is this girl? “Why is her hair orange?”

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But I survived it! I mean them! I had a 2-day photoshoot, and they were magnificent!

I know, I started selling shoes way back 2009, with only a 2-megapixel camera phone and my too-tired set of feet from long hours of standing in nursing duties, I brave the traffic and sometimes rainy weather to go to the Marikina Market, and take photos of newly delivered shoes!

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It felt like a real treat for me! I remember dreaming for hours to pass by until dismissal so I can quickly pack my bags and head home, and oh, make a not-so-quick stop from my kind suppliers! 😀

There were also times when I console myself by cheating a self-promised 30-minute Multiply (the social media giant that time, Facebook wasn’t popular yet) posting and selling just so my wits will wake up amidst studying for the finals. The 30 minutes usually turn to 3 hours. 😀

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Fast forward to now, I have a studio, an outdoor venue, photographers, makeup artist, and a publicist! I could have never imagined these things when I was only 20 years old!

So if you’re a teenager, a 20-ish person, or someone who has a lot of dreams, never let those go! You’ll never know the world is actually watching you, and someday it will be ready to launch you.

I’m not a pro on this, but just in case this may come in handy, I’ll tell you things I learned on how to survive your first photoshoot.

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  1. Sleep early and arrive early.

This helps so much to ease away the appearance of the dark circles under your eyes. It’s also good to arrive early so that you can have a lot of time for your hair and makeup, consequently more time for the photoshoot itself!

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More time could also mean more photos! It also buys you time for changing and retouch!

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  1. Hydrate yourself.

This is quite a problem, especially that I don’t fair well with the water department. If you’re not hydrated enough, your lips will be chappy! This doesn’t look nice, especially on headshots and closeups!

Versaheel in Marikina

  1. Know your angles.

I have quite a pudgy face, and I know my right cheek is extra plumpy than the other side. So I could say right sideways is my best angle! Practice in a mirror so that you would know!

Hey, don’t stress too much! No one is that perfect! Every picture-perfect model also knows how to look best on camera, and we should too!

Via Galang shoes

  1. Have a concept in mind.

What are you trying to highlight? Is it your hair, your makeup, your outfit, your shoes? Know the goal of this shoot so you could also prepare!

Most high-end shoots will probably take care of everything – the clothes, shoes, jewelry and other accessories. But while you have a say on how you will look, it’s better to be vigilant on the things you bring on the set.

Versaheel in Marikina

For example, I am promoting my shoes, so I have to downplay my dress, by sticking to plains and basic colors, and let my shoes shine! You don’t want to distract your audience by looking at the other things in the photo you are not even meant to advertise!

  1. Be nice to everybody.

I think this is such an obvious thing, but we’d like to keep a happy and nice environment, no matter how pressured you are. I mean if you need help with getting some BTS photos or some extra hand to zip your dress, and the people around are not compelled to even do these for you; you’ll get extra mileage and points by being nice and hopefully (and naturally) these people can extend a hand to do your little requests.

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  1. Close your eyes. Open them. Smile/Radiate the aura.

There are times when you are so tired already, your smile turns into a fake smile, worst a frown. The easy refresh button technique that I learned is to relax your mouth, close your eyes, and then pop! You will look natural again!

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As what Tyra Banks also said, “SMIZE!” Smile with your eyes!

And it also helps to uplift your spirits, even if it has to be on your own! I mean you’re the model, you should do your job! 😀

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  1. Have fun.

And the best advice is to have fun, and just enjoy it!

It’s not everyday you don’t have to ask someone to take a photo of you and hopefully, they get the right frame and angle. I mean you’re dealing with professional photographers here, and it’s such a wonder to not instruct them on how you’d like the photo to turn out.

Plus, your next Instagram photo will not be a selfie! Yay!

Versaheel in Marikina

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I hope you learned a thing or two on this! I did too! And I am extremely grateful for all the people who have helped me make this photoshoot into a reality! These photos were released in an article about my story on how I started as a shoe designer. You can read that in The Story of a Dreamer : Via Galang.

As for this photoshoot, big applauses to these awesome people!

Hair and Make Up: Alvicel Cee of Alluring Vison by Cel

Studio: MeMo Photography Studio

Studio Photography: Evan Mogol Photography

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Outdoor Photography: Elvie Manlulu of Rugged Pixie

Outdoor Photography: Tobi Cabrera of Funkadelic

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Publicist: Blog Talk with MJ Racadio

Published Article Writer: Viva Alvaro-Galvez

And of course, my darling fiancé for being my driver that day, forever BTS photographer, sometimes my critic, and always my number one fan!

If you were to have your first photoshoot, what will it be about? Let me know! 😀

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