Sexy-yet-classy by two generations of fashion girls

Marbbie Tagabucba - The Philippine Star
Sexy-yet-classy by two generations of fashion girls
Grandma Approves’ Bambi top (right) and Baby blazer dress are very of-the-moment as they are timeless for elevating one's look, whatever your age.

The last thing many associate with grandmother-approved fashion are backless tie tops, sorbet-hued oversize blazers, or body-skimming baby-tees that accentuate the underboob. But not so for Bianca Mascenon, a 27-year-old former fashion and beauty editor who has helped restart her 76-year-old grandmother Belen’s fashion line in, and for, the digital age. Those very pieces are just some of the best-selling pieces by Grandma Approves, their slow fashion brand that only carries a tight edit of four non-seasonal tailored pieces.

Sexy can be classy; the aforementioned backless top called the Bambi is the perfect example, made of charmeuse-crepe and accented with a sharp collar.

Timeless and well-made is their ethos. The Baby blazer dress is an oversize silhouette that’s hot now, spotted on Justin Bieber as well as his wife Hailey, but it’s something Belen could already have in her closet — and endure the same test of time in terms of trends and quality.

We talk shop with the grandma-granddaughter duo behind the brand showing the internet that sexy knows no age.

Bianca Mascenon (left) with grandma Belen: “I’m so grateful that I was able to grow up in [an] environment where my grandma allowed me to express myself through fashion.”

YSTYLE: Can you share with us what it’s like growing up with such a sexy and stylish grandmother?

Bianca Mascenon: My grandmother is not conservative at all! Growing up, I’ve always loved wearing clothes that can be considered revealing, especially by my dad (you know how dads are). Thankfully, my grandma’s always there to fight for me. When she was my age, she liked to dress up the same way I do. I’m so grateful that I was able to grow up in that kind of environment, one where my grandma allowed me to express myself through fashion.

How long has your Grandma Belen been creating clothes?

Grandma has always loved fashion. She originally wanted to be a model. She was approached by the fashion designer Rudy Fuentes back in the day, but unfortunately, her dad didn’t allow her to pursue modeling.

She found an opportunity to develop her design skills as a young adult by getting clothes made for all the parties her family enjoys throwing. She’d work with a tailor — who remains our family’s tailor to this day — and they’d produce her sketches. Her first ready-to-wear clients were her older siblings’ colleagues. They would refer her to their friends, who would refer her to their friends, and the rest is history.

This is why my dad and his siblings grew up with a lot of custom clothes; I did, too. I remember getting measured and having dresses made growing up. That’s what made grandma happy, seeing her entire family in nice clothes she’s designed.

How’s the design and work process like between you two?

We both love fashion — she’s been through so many fashion eras and cycles, and her sense of what’s nice and what’s not is above what’s dictated by trends. I, on the other hand, have a good pulse on what the fashion landscape is like now and what we could offer that other brands don’t. The collaboration between Grandma and I allows us to create pieces that are simultaneously timeless and contemporary.

Grandma Belen, can you share with us some fabulous “Grandma-approved” tips for holiday dressing?

Belen Mascenon: You don’t have to limit yourself to red and green to feel festive. Wearing anything with a bit of color can instantly put you in the festive mood.

Have cute motifs! My sisters and I love to dress up, and there’s always a theme for our holiday parties. It gives you the excuse to wear something out of the ordinary. Try organizing themed holiday parties with your family or friends

Wear the unexpected. I always like standing out. Growing up, when all my sisters wore mini skirts, I wore midi skirts. If they were wearing long skirts, I would wear mini skirts. Parties don’t always have to mean you have to wear a dress. I like experimenting with different styles — wear a blazer and pants, or a jumpsuit.

Accessorize. Small accessories can make a big difference. I love wearing accessories with simple outfits. You can wear standout jewelry like a necklace, but you can also try wearing neck scarves, suspenders, neckties, and hair accessories.

Wear what you want to wear. Remember, you should always have fun.

Be confident. I don’t care about what other people think about what I’m wearing, as long as I like it, and I know that it looks nice and smart. You have to believe in your outfit. I don’t care about what others will say, basta I know that I’m pretty.

* * *

Shop Grandma Approves online at grandmaapproves.co or follow @grandmaapproves.co for updates.


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