No other (wo)man
- Tim Yap () - October 8, 2011 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - No one but me” seemed to be the mantra of each femme fatale arriving at the doors of the Peninsula Manila as they peacocked around the lobby and onward to the Rigodon Ballroom of the 35-year-old establishment.

To describe the scenario as pomp and pageantry would be an understatement. Salons were overbooked, designers were in a state of ngarag and stylists ran to and fro to be able to meet the demands of the attendees; they were all mostly doing what some of us do best: last-minute cramming. Even Candy Dizon had to close her Jul B. Dizon jewelry shop at the Pen earlier tweeting, “I have nothing left to sell.”

The women didn’t use a lot of fabric, though. Esquire fashion director Raymond Gutierrez put it best when he described the night’s peg as “like prom, only sluttier.” Editor-at-large Liz Uy, while being barraged with calls for clothing requirements in the middle of shoots, even tweeted, “Stressquire Ball.”

The Rigodon Ballroom can easily accommodate 400 people. That Wednesday night, the Esquire launch drew more than a thousand, if my estimate serves me right. It was hot, literally. Then again, I was wearing a velvet Tom Ford tux. Save for the aircon, everything that night went smoothly, like how a dapper gentleman should. Adele was there, but didn’t render a song number. Why? Because it was actually PhilSTAR columnist Adel Tamano present, not the Rolling in the Deep chanteuse. He hosted the affair alongside actress Iza Calzado. Together, they ushered us into the night’s program from Lance Gokongwei toasting the entire crowd to Ely Buendia’s rock concert that wrapped up the night.

Peek-a-boo roll call

Lest we forget, the night actually belonged to Erwin Romulo, the editor in chief of Esquire. It was heartwarming to see his father Bert Romulo and sister, PhilSTAR columnist Mons Romulo in the audience. I also spotted Mond’s parents, the indefatigable Annabelle Rama with hubby Eddie Gutierrez, seated beside Mother Lily Monteverde. Right in front of the stage was Solenn Heussaff’s dad Louis, and mom Cynthia, who were there to support their son Erwan Heussaff, who is also part of the editorial team of the intelligent man’s mag.

In terms of sartorial savvy, I don’t even know where to begin. So many cut-out and peek-a-boo dresses, and sheer fabrics! It was sheer glamour, in a Dita Von Teese way. Anne Curtis Smith was in a Rajo Laurel purple reign cut-out dress that exposed her curves in all the right ways. Georgina Wilson wore a Jean Paul Gaultier corset with nothing but a bandeau worn as underwear and a sheer skirt by Martin Bautista. She and cousin Belle Daza made a perfect tandem, with Belle in a Jun Escario corset and yellow belle pleated long skirt.

I salute style rebel Borgy Manotoc who was super formal up there, but wore shorts and long socks down there, in contrast to all the gentlemen who were more than dapper. Bravo for fashion bravery, I must say. Liz Uy was a sexy glitterball in Jun Escario, while Esquire art director Ces Olondriz was in a jaw-dropping Charina Sarte number. Designer honor roll for that night? Rajo Laurel, Martin Bautista, Charina Sarte, and Jun Escario.

We all went to Prive at the Fort for a sneak peek of the next chapter in clubbing. Prive’s grand opening happens tonight.

For those who weren’t there, here is a Supreme snapshot gallery; sightings by Supreme with sounds by Mars Miranda’s Momol Mixtape. Let the ball season begin!

Last night, the Gawad Kalinga Hope Ball was held, and up next are the Red Cross Ball next week and the Philippine Tatler Ball next month. Next thing you know, when you wake up, it’s Christmas!

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Time flies fast, tweet me now at for 2p.m. concert tickets and more!

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