JULY 19, 2019

Exciting times: What we learned from Jess Wilson and LA Aguinaldo

BY ELLA RIVERA
PORTRAITS BY RALPH MENDOZA

The internet is an endless supply of inspiration, with Instagram at the forefront of fashion, beauty and pop culture. As prominent figures in a world of social media clout, Jess Wilson and LA Aguinaldo are masters of The Instagram Worthy Aesthetic, where their trendy sense of style welcomes followers at the forefront.

Both purveyors of fashion for the youth, they talked about what inspires and empowers them, their style icons, and their hopes for the Philippine fashion industry, at their Stylist’s Closet talk at UP Town Center.

On style icons

The internet has blessed us with a chocful of fashion references — whether it’s an actress, a model, or a fictional series heroine, somebody’s style can cast an imprint on our own fashion moodboard.

In her trove of references, the Sunnies Face mogul throws it back to legendary Lady Di. Jess says, “I love her style — I think she was always gorgeous and so effortless.”

She adds, “You can tell [Princess Diana] wasn’t the type to obsess all day thinking about what she’s wearing, but threw on what she had and looked gorgeous doing it. Ten years ago up to today, her style is still relevant.”

Photo by Ralph Mendoza

On fashion as an empowering tool

If you like what you’re wearing, chances are you’re feeling good about yourself. A good outfit can truly make a day—ask LA Aguinaldo.

LA comments, “I think my main inspiration is, ‘How does an outfit make me feel?’ if it makes you feel good, then you’re good. If you look good, you feel good. If you feel good, you feel great. You get to do things like you’re Superman!”

Jess adds cerebral insight into the discussion, one that she feels every woman should be reminded of. She adds,  “You have control over your body. You dictate what you want to show and what you want to keep hidden”

“That’s so important—as a woman, having control over saying, ‘Today, I wanna show skin’ or ‘Today I’m gonna cover up and it doesn’t matter, because this is my choice.’”

Photo by Ralph Mendoza

On Philippine fashion and its future

As front runners of Manila’s stylish, digital-savvy youth, it’s safe to assume that wherever the state of local fashion leads to, Jess and LA will be there.

“I think Manila’s fashion is progressive. Somewhat experimental to the point na we’re not scared to just wear whatever we want,” says LA.

The model adds: “I think that the fashion choices made available to us now in our malls really expand the taste of Filipinos when it come to fashion—it makes them really try different things,” says LA.

Portrait by Ralph Mendoza

As a co-founder of a local beauty brand herself, Jess believes that Filipino talents in fashion still ought to be recognized. She comments, “I want us to have global recognition — it’s about time.”

“Our designers are so talented, and I think that the [products and materials found in the] Philippines is so unique that I think we really have a voice overseas.”

She adds: “When you see international designers picking [up local products] internationally, it’s so exciting and it really empowers the younger generation to say ‘I can design not just for the local community but for a wider scale.’”

Portrait by Ralph Mendoza

Learn from your favorite style influencers and shop curated Ayala Malls pieces at Stylist’s Closet, soon at an Ayala Malls near you. Click here for where it’s headed next!

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