Thursday, December 27, 2007

Iloilo Ukay and me

Iloilo is a haven for ukay but I never really cared for ukay that much until I graduated from college. No, let me rephrase that. I never really got obsessed with ukay until after college. Well, when I was in school there were a lot of ukay places to get some really cool stuff for just about any occasion. These are the ones where you literally wrestle yourself through mounds of clothing, usually displayed in Jaro Plaza or during Thursdays in the Jaro Market. But I never really cared for the usual Ralph Lauren (although I remember buying a slim, navy wool military coat of his), Calvin Klein and DKNY flooding these places. Much more so with all the Abercrombie&Fitch, Nike, Esprit, United Colors of Benetton stuff that would make the ukay hunters go crazy. I have seen ukay hunters go crazy like flies swarming over a newly opened sack. Nakakaloka! I don’t ever wanna go there (that is unless it’s a sack full of Yohji Yamamoto, Issey Miyake, Dries van Noten). At that time I was already changing and evolving in my sartorial choices and having just regular labels (well to me anyway) just doesn’t fit in my whole ukay buying concept. I’d rather not buy at all. I was more into looking for the obscure labels and designers that were featured in fashion magazines that I read like Nylon, self service and Surface. It didn’t help that I started getting serious with my designing, also. I just stopped buying mass market clothes offered in the malls or department stores but compensated by wearing my own designs or having the few acceptable ukay finds (Comme ça du Mode and Uniqlo).

Dries Van Noten net top

The obsession came when my friend Jaki tipped me about this new ukay store inside an old mall where she said they hanger their clothes in racks and the store is airconditioned. I was skeptical at first and thought it was just a glamorized version of the ukay. But I eventually decided to go when my other friend Sol got some cool polyeamide Vivienne Tam top for his wife. Wow, I thought, because the top looked brand new and I know that a Vivienne Tam top is expensivo!

Comme des Garçons top

Of course I have to check the place now. When I got there I hurriedly sifted through the racks. The first piece I found that literally made me go “Whoa!” was this Comme des Garçons top by Japanese designer Rei Kawakubo. My blood quickened. I never imagined myself finding a Comme in an ukay. It’s like really weird. Then I found a Jil Sander shirt and a Martin Margiela navy jacket. Whoa! At P100 each it was a real bargain. That really started my whole obsession with this ukay thing.

Yohji Yamamoto one buttoned shirt

I really can’t describe the feeling of getting something so beautiful and well designed from the ukay. I remember dreaming of this Martin Margiela AIDS-tee with the white on white print. It was from their 10th year anniversary where the label didn’t make any new design but just remade some pieces from each year of their history. The twist there is everything in white. I scoured eBay to no avail and asked a few friends who are also ukay hunters about it but like me they have seen it only in pictures. My world literally stopped when I found the Margiela anniversary tee in the ukay. It just means so much to me like a relic or a piece of fashion history. Hay, I know it’s crazy and kinda weird but then again it’s just me. And it's what I keep going back for in the ukay. That 'Voila' moment when something that I find literally makes me stop and makes me wanna jump for joy. lol!

Martin Margiela ligne 6 with gold print dog

Ukay affords me to have the designer stuff I want at rock bottom prices. I know I can’t have all the new season stuff (which I can’t definitely afford) but then I also think of it as a way to curb the materialism in me. It’s a compromise. It also helps the environment because we seriously need to re-think all the brand new junk we incorporate in our lives. In ukay, something that is worthless becomes loved again. I especially think of my ukay pieces as part of this large designer archive I collect. So, cheers for ukay and all the ukay hunters out there!

Moi in Missoni shirt and a black cotton jacket from this Italian designer I can't remember now.

1 comment:

Couen said...

are u talking bout magarbo? :)