A three-piece antidote to over-consumption

GLOSS THE RECORD - Marbbie Tagabucba - The Philippine Star
A three-piece antidote to over-consumption
Apara’s three-piece first collection can be a full outfit while also completing a woman’s wardrobe in a heavyweight cotton linen blend, completed with purposeful details, such as the flowing silhouette, scoop neckline below the collarbone and the side pockets in this dress.

You don’t need to live with only three garments, but Filipino small-batch brand Apara makes an enticing case. Less is more when each piece is carefully crafted, which is the Apara promise from design to execution. They can play alongside the rest of your existing wardrobe, multiply your outfit permutations, and last for as long as you love them. Created by fashion fans and insiders — forward-thinking friends who aim to future-proof their consumption and creation and share this with the world — we learn more about Apara from Ariana Coronel, Eya Uy, Jessica Choy and Nana Uy.

YSTYLE: Apara’s first release consists of three garments, three colorways — why these three?

Ariana Coronel: Apara is about versatility and creativity. We wanted our first collection’s pieces to be enough not only for a full outfit, but even a complete woman’s wardrobe. The button-down, for example can be worn as a top to match our drawstring pants or even as a cover-up to the dress, while the dress could easily double as a top to the button-down pants. There’s a variety of ways you can experiment with these staples and, depending on how each is styled, they can go from day to night — and, probably more relevant now, home. Usually pieces that are used for years are in neutral colorways, hence the careful and focused selection of just these three colors. Given each piece was made to be worn more than once, as space for creativity and interpretation of the wearer, the colors we chose could easily be paired with each other. A personal favorite is any oat piece paired with the darker contrast of the browns.

The thick waistband and adjustable drawstring of the pants make it possible to be worn mid-rise or high-rise.

What are the key details in each piece?

Eya Uy: Our button-downs have sleeves that are cut just 3/4, made to be worn as a top or an outer layer. Our drawstring pants were designed and considerate of the average Asian woman’s height. The thick waistband and adjustable drawstring make it possible for a mid-rise or high-rise look. Our dresses were designed with a flowing silhouette, a neckline that was purposefully placed below the collarbone and the side pockets that serve a practical function as well. The details make it wearable for daily purpose and could be dressed up for special occasions. From a material standpoint, each of our pieces is made with heavyweight cotton linen blend and the button-down features mother of pearl buttons. The fabric we chose was both durable but also lightweight enough for warmer seasons.

Tell us about your fashion journey.

Ariana: Growing up exposed to my grandmother’s apparel business, I was naturally curious about fashion from a young age, having early memories of cutting up magazine pages and sticking them on my non-digital mood board at the time: a corkboard. Fashion has always been more than just clothes; it is a space for self-expression. As I matured, my style evolution went from “trend follower” to “modern minimalist.” On most days, I love a neutral OOTD à la Apara, but I will also always appreciate the power of a statement piece you can call all your own.

eya: Fashion has always been a favorite conversation topic of mine, even as a child. My family dinners would be spent discussing red carpet fashion with my friends or looks in our favorite films or TV series. From there, I would and still do spend my time looking at various collections and wishing I could one day create my own. Through Apara, this passion of mine became a reality.

Jessica Choy: When I was in high school I wouldn’t miss purchasing the monthly release of fashion magazines, then soon after started to snag any fashion or beauty-related internships I could get. I knew from then on I wanted to work in the industry. When I was younger I used to think the more clothes I had, the better. Growing up in Manila in the early 2000s, fast fashion seemed like the only option available. My mindset on consuming and dressing evolved after living in Paris for two years when I completed my MBA in fashion business. I embraced how most locals did not follow trends or fast fashion, purchased their clothing from a variety of places including second-hand shops, and most importantly, how great style isn’t defined by the size of your closet.

Nana Uy: My fondest memories as a child included playing dress-up with my sister and watching the red carpet of every awards show. The older I became, my appreciation for this industry grew as I learned more about the behind-the-scenes process. Now, through Apara, I get to dress up women in real life.

A neutral palette of oat, black and brown gives space for creativity and interpretation by the wearer for years to come.

How does Apara express your personal views on fashion and style?

Jessica: Apara is an extension of our personal views on fashion and style. My approach to consuming and dressing has evolved in recent years. You’d think that someone who studied and worked in fashion both locally and internationally would shop a lot, but I hardly do. Before a purchase I think about longevity and frequency of use, which makes me gravitate towards key silhouettes and tones. I’m confident with my style and have more fun with my current approach to fashion. Our customers are like -minded shoppers, curious and practical. She is intelligent and creative, which is reflected in her everyday life including the way she considers her purchases.

What’s in the foreseeable future for Apara?

Nana: Our immediate plans definitely include strengthening our digital footprint in both the local and international fashion industries. But given that Apara encourages a “less is more” approach to dressing and way of living, we do see our product lines naturally expanding through time.

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Shop Apara online at apara-studio.com or follow @apara.studio for Instagram.


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