The Reluctant Stylista

I didn’t really foresee that I’d be writing the second part of this series after half the year has already gone by.  But when I thought about it a little more, I realized it’s a miracle in itself that I even decided to continue this after all.  I’m still writing this because I kind of like the old school journal idea that I can look back on this someday and be thankful that I have records of really awesome moments.


Read The Best of My Unwritten 2013 (Part 1)


#4 Trip to Hanoi, Vietnam

Surely one of the highlights of my 2013 was my trip to Vietnam.  This is just one of the times when I was too busy enjoying the moment that I didn’t exactly chronicle it step by step.  And I should have.  Hanoi is a lovely place, even though I’ll never get used to the way people cross the street and drive everywhere, even on sidewalks (and here I thought roads in Manila were crazy.  We Pinoys are lola drivers in comparison).

Vietnam Hanoi - Heels on Wheels

I noticed that, sadly, the Vietnamese also seem obsessed with whitening.  I was wondering why everyone was always wearing long sleeved shirts when the sun was so hot, and I’ve been told many times it’s because no one wants a tan.

It’s also interesting to note that women wear their heels everywhere.  Even while driving motorbikes.

My favorite part?  The street food.  My thanks go out to Tu (of Vietnamese God and Hanoi Street Food Tours) who toured us around and showed us the best Hanoi street fare.  I was nuts for it!  On my first day in Hanoi I was totally obsessed with their coffee (and I doubt Starbucks would survive there–they seem to have multiple cafes with excellent coffee in every block).  And egg coffee.  And this is coming from a staunch tea person!  After Vietnam, I’ve begun trying out coffee again.

Vietnam Hanoi - Chicken in Beer Can

How would you like some adidas in can?

Vietnam Hanoi - Street Food 2

Before leaving, Tu also introduced me to Hanoi’s original Egg Beer.  It’s probably not to everyone’s taste, but it was so totally mine.  I even had it before we left for the airport.  I heard not all people have the stomach for it, but I also suspect it has something to do with the preparation.  If you plan on going to Hanoi, get Tu as your guide and he’ll tell you where to score the best coffee beans, egg beer, etcetera.  He visited Boracay and Manila recently, but I was working overtime and out of town so I wasn’t able to meet him.  I’m pretty sorry about that, but I was also pressured to think of where to take him if he comes around for a visit again.  Because really, after that impressive street food tour, I’m not sure I can find food that are as interesting over here!

Vietnam Hanoi - Egg Coffee

Egg coffee

Vietnam Hanoi - Egg Beer

Egg beer

#5 I joined the Metro Weddings team

Since I shifted to styling I’ve always wanted to do shoots for magazines.  Yes, even though I got my start through blogging and TV work.  It took me this long to be part of an editorial team and now here it is!  And it’s a good fit because Metro Weddings is only published twice a year–that means I can still do other projects and generally manage my own time.

For my first issue with Metro Weddings, I helped style the cover girl Andi Manzano.

Metro Weddings Oct 2013 Andi Manzano - Styling by Alex Lapa and Ana Lloren

I also did Real Brides and a beauty editorial.

Real Brides - Metro Weddings

I did a lot of other shoots in that issue, some were even uncredited…and it will probably take a bit more time to be credited alone even if I happened to be the only stylist at the shoot.  But what matters to me most is the output.  I love taking part in the creation of beautiful photographs and editorials.  I don’t think I’ll ever get tired of it.


#6 I was a speaker for BDJ’s Fears to Fierce

One of the things I take for granted as a blogger is the influence I have (or maybe the influence that people seem to think I have–which is almost the same thing). I was asked to talk about fashion experimentation for one of Belle du Jour’s events, Fears to Fierce.

From Fears to Fierce - A Guide to Fashion Experimentation

At first, I was slightly concerned about anyone wanting to hear what I have to say.  I’m not the type of blogger to have hordes of loyal followers even though I’ve been here for a while (and I blame that on my erratic updates and general lack of interest in marketing myself as a blogger).  And I realized I never really touched base with readers that much because I had never been asked these questions before.  I was pleasantly surprised.  I love how the BDJ girls were earnest with their queries and how much we were able to relate with each other.  It seemed like I was helping them out somehow, and that’s the best feeling ever.

Because of that experience, I hope to open up an Ask Stylista section pretty soon after my blog revamp (scheduled for July, if I stick to my timeline).  One of the reasons I started this blog was because I wanted to reach out to reluctant fashionistas, the ones who compile moodboards and look at fashion pins at Pinterest all day but never get around to dressing the way they want.  If I manage to do that, I have to admit it’ll be way better than any blog award I’ve ever gotten.


#7 I was the guest stylist on How To Wear Denim for SM Jeans’ event

I had to style people from the audience, answer their fashion concerns and talk about the basics of dressing with denim.  I really loved how people were appreciative of the makeovers.  Some even approached me after the event to tell me that they took pointers and were amazed with each transformation on stage.  I don’t feel so useless after all!


#8 TV5 appearance at Good Morning Club

It’s technically not my first time to appear on TV (and I’ve still yet to see myself there), but this was especially memorable because I did tips on dressing up for the rainy season.  Sensing a pattern here?  Yes, I obviously LOVE helping people out with their sartorial dilemmas.

Good Morning Club

Thanks to my awesome (mostly) DLSU student models-for-a-day: Bea, Chris, Trish, Will, Celina and Miles who answered my call for help at such short notice.

Good Morning Club


Aaaaand because I’ve already spammed this post with so much photos, I left the rest for Part 3.  I swear it’s going to be out some time this year!

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