It is with mixed emotions I write this column today, as I am departing from the Philippines after joining my son in disaster relief volunteer work.
Working six days per week tearing apart damaged homes, sawing through rebar with a dull saw, sledge hammering through cement columns, eating rationed food, I depart with tears in my eyes.
I was humbled to be a part of a team that has only one thing on the agenda.........helping those in need. I lived at a camp with 63 other people from countries all over the world. I was doing work that is pretty much polar opposite to the Fashion Industry. For once, nobody asked me what I did for a living; that oh so common ice breaker of the Western World. I was just the lady from Canada, and "Mom" to the team leader (and a few others who adopted me as "mom").
Day 1 on the job site was quite intimidating, as we arrived at a large house which was now in a pile on the ground - a crew of six with a wheel barrow and a few hand tools. I was overwhelmed and didn't know where to begin. Finger nails cut off, and work gloves on, I dug in after being told we should expect to be finished at this job site by the end of the day. (Including sorting the debris into "good wood", "bad wood" and a pile for tin. Leaving the space empty and ready for rebuilding one day).
The home owner is there to tell us he was born in this house 65 years ago. I find his cell phone, her eye glasses and other personal effects in the rubble. There is a fine line to be drawn here! A fun-loving, youthful group of volunteers will keep the laughing and joking to a minimum as they complete the task, out of respect for the home owners. No high fives about completing the work until we are out of sight.
Day 4 presented me with a young teen boy who was watching us work. He was quite chatty, and happy to see us. He told us he lost his mother, father and sister. What does one say?! A hug is the best solution at such a helpless time.
At the end of a tiring work day we all climb onto the Jeepney for the ride back to camp. So much gratitude is felt as we drive along. Children running after us screaming "Haaaaaay", locals waving, signs erected stating "Thank You".
Philippines disaster relief
Each day bringing emotion to the volunteers, and then when it's time to go home, it seems that all the experiences from each day come to the surface. I can not put this feeling into words, I can only encourage you to apply to be a volunteer in a needy country. I completely understand why my son can't leave and "NEEDS" to be in the Philippines until the project is wrapped up. I will be cutting off my fingernails and donning unfashionable work clothes again. Soon!
Much love to all the volunteers at All Hands Project Bohol, and to the beautiful , gracious people of The Philippines.
Please check it out at www.hands.org
Happy New year to all our favourite fashionistas!
Every winter season there is always a hot selling item in our three Frakas boutiques. It's the item I am scrambling to buy more of in December with the Christmas rush. (Last year it was thick knit infinity scarves, so we had plenty on hand this year.) Scarves were still a very popular item this year, but not to be outdone by the all time fashionista's favourite of the 2013/2014 winter season...boot socks, leg warmers and over-the-knee socks!
Boot socks and leg warmers serve the same purpose. The tall boot socks are worn above the boot line, intentionally seen, often scrunched, or with a lace or button detail on top. Leg warmers are worn the same way, but are often thicker and are worn along with a regular sock. They are worn inside your boots, with the tops showing. This gives a cozy and casual look, most often paired with leggings and a long tunic style sweater - sort of an Apres Ski look.
Over the knee socks can be worn into the spring season with a dress, tunic or pair of shorts. Wear them with shortie boots or shoes. They add some playfulness to any outfit.
Stop by and let us show you how to wear some tall boot socks, over-the-knee socks or leg warmers. There are so many options.
See more photos on our facebook page at Frakas Boutique or visit us at www.frakas.ca
It is party season and the shop is filled with 100s of festive dresses. Whether it’s a planned office party or an impromptu dinner out, you will want to be prepared and not go through the dreaded “I have nothing to wear” panic as you rummage through your closet. You can easily spend less than $100 to look fabulous this season.
The weather is chilly, so the return of velvet is warmly welcomed by fashionistas everywhere. The velvet dress this season is super soft, stretchy and in gorgeous jewel tones, as well as basic black. You won’t have to worry about expanding during dinner. This super comfortable stretch velvet will make way for an expansion needed, while looking sleek and classy. Pair it with a chunky statement necklace and some sparkly bangles and you are set.
Speaking of sparkles - sequin dresses are the second hot festive trend in party attire this year. There is a large selection of styles of sequin dresses to suit all ages and body types. Some strapless, some bra friendly sleeveless and there is also the long sleeve option. Many of the sequin dresses are entirely sequins, however if you would rather not commit 100%, there are many dress options with sequin front detailing, or sequin top with a chiffon skirt.
Looking for a change from a dress? This is the answer - a sequin top with a leather pencil skirt, or a dressy pant. Stop by the store and let our stylists help you put your party outfit together.
Whatever your choice, wear it with confidence and a smile, and you are sure to be show stopper.
The ladies at Frakas wish you and your loved ones a very Happy and healthy holiday season.
As I write this month’s column, it is with profound sadness for over 4000 lives lost and thousands more grieving and displaced from their homes after the devastating disaster that hit earlier this month. I dedicate this column to the people of The Philippines, the Filipino community in Kelowna, and my 19-year-old son, Dane, who is in The Philippines volunteering with the massive cleanup.
(While backpacking solo in Southeast Asia, my son heard of the utter devastation caused by the Typhoon, and he immediately wanted to help. He applied multiple times with a non-profit organization called “All Hands Volunteers”, and a few days later received confirmation that he had been chosen to work on the deconstruction crew to sort through rubble in Bohol.)
I realize this column is about fashion, and it felt a little trite to be writing about what we should be wearing right now, so I will instead give a shout out to a few Filipino fashion designers who have become very successful in the world of fashion.
Danny Barrios who designs a line called Crispin & Basilio, is now sold throughout the U.S. and world fashion markets.
Albert Andrada styles shown here at The Philippines Fashion week.
Dennis Natividad showcasing his designs at the 365 Fashion Show at The Philippines Fashion Week.
Congratulations to these designers. They are just a few of the many designers from The Philippines, who have become very successful. We don’t tend to think of such places when we think of world fashion, however there are numerous talented designers and artists in the area.
I would also like to acknowledge the Filipino community in Kelowna. Many of you have friends and family members there that you have not heard from since the Typhoon hit. Our hearts go out to you as you await some news. I can’t imagine the panic, grief and sheer frustration you must feel. I hope and pray for a quick restoration of the area, as I await for phone lines or internet to be restored so I can be in contact with my son, and you can get the answers you are waiting for from your loved ones.
Please join us at our Annual Shopping Party on November 29th from 5-10pm. You won’t want to miss this event with snacks, beverages, prizes, discounts, gift with purchase and a live DJ.
One night of shopping with 20% off the entire store.
Frakas would like to donate a portion of the proceeds to All Hands Volunteers. Project Bohol, Philippines.
Please come out and support this very important cause.
Read more Fashion Frakas articles
- Summer fashion 2013 Jul 16
- Maxi-mal effect May 30
- Celebrating efflorescent spring styles Apr 28
- Spring trends Mar 16
- Buying for a small chain of boutiques Jan 27
- Cozy, soft & warm! Nov 21
- Warm can be cute! Oct 21
- Top fall trends from NYC Sep 4
- Kick off to Summer Jun 5
- In living color Apr 25
- Style the streets of Kelowna Mar 21
- Sweet, sweet Spring 2012! Jan 18
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