Aug 20, 2014

Painting The Town Red

So it's been forever since I have posted a "perfect for a night out" ensemble as I feel that most of my outfits have been best worn during daytime. I just had to make an exception since this dress from is just simply phenomenal (and you have to agree with me!) I knew I needed the dress as I remember Kim Kardashian donning a similar style and well this dress was absolutely the next best thing to that! Well, aside from that, there are a few reasons I am loving this dress and it is that, (1) I have been wearing a lot of red lately and the color is something I have learned to be fond of all over again (2) I love the Gothic feel of the dress with the beaded cross design. It is elegant yet also very baroque and romantics and I am all for that and (3) It fits perfectly! I have decided to give up on body con dresses because I've reached my saturation point for them but this dress is perfect because it fits tightly in all the right places. Also it is sophisticated and sexy at the same time as I love how the red and black contrast each other. More so, the black area is made of beautiful mesh with a nude undertone giving the illusion of more skin but in a very subtle way. 

I imagine that this would be the most perfect dress for me to wear if I were to decide to get my night life back to existence (which I don't have plans to, don't worry...) However, as this dress was truly meant to be worn, I did get the chance to wear it for an appropriate event which was our version of The Last Supper with my brother at Stockton Place before he left for Spain. In honor of him, I decided I wanted to dress in elements that represented Spain which was the red detail and the cross design (given that like the Philippines, a former colony of Spain, it is a predominantly Catholic country.) Now I do miss my brother immensely but seeing his photos from Spain as he explores the landscape and the architecture basically proves that this was the perfect outfit choice for his last night back here in the Philippines. Of course, the dress was the highlight of my entire outfit so I decided to keep all things minimal and simple, including my accessories, my hair and my makeup. If you notice I am again wearing my hair sleek and straight...not because it is a personal preference but because it was the perfect hairstyle that went with the outfit. You know me, when I dress up, it is all about the entire package and I try to make my look consistent and put together from head to toe. I guess I tend to really over-think and intellectualize my outfits a lot and they have to make sense to me on a cognitive level before I put them on... but that's what you get when you combine someone who operates on too much logic and rationalization with fashion. I refuse to ever be caught off-guard and every detail is planned so meticulously that sometimes, I think I have to use my brain power for other things. Hmm...

Black and Red Dress:
Black Pumps: So! Fab
Sling Two-Toned Bag: Chanel
Diamond and Ruby Earrings: My Own Collection

I was messaging my sister Katie a few days back and I realized that all 3 of us Laude-ridos (I mean...Ladridos) were officially in different continents as I am in Asia, my sister is in Northern America (D.C. to be precise) and my brother Enzo is in Europe. This was the first time this ever happened and I find that we have officially gone transcontinental. I am immensely proud of my siblings and what they have achieved and to be quite frank, I am also proud of myself and the experiences I have been through that has shaped me to be the person that I am today so I am more than happy to be holding down the fort in the Asian region. I have set out a lot of plans for myself despite my limitations and while today was simply impossible for me to get out of be as I was feeling a bit under the weather, I am quite proud to be celebrating the 2nd year anniversary of my operation. It was a delicate six-hour surgery but I am very happy I beat the odds (even if there were certain people who wished me dead hours before going to my surgery!) and here I am, still alive and kicking! 

A lot of people probably do not know this because as mentioned, I put a lot of internationalization and effort on how I present myself so it's hard to believe I have certain health issues I am going through... after all, the consensus is that if you are really sick, you should not be wearing a winged eyeliner. These generalizations are really things that I find ridiculous and just rude. It is almost saying that sick people have no right to fix themselves up and look presentable. The most recent comment I got today from my account was that, "if you really are a sick person... what were you doing in a bar?" referring to the night that I was attacked. If the person was in front of me, I would've given him/her a lashing (with my tongue and not any part of my body as I am an advocate against physical violence) but it was a wake-up call that there are stigmas present in the society and as cruel as this sounds, even against people who are already physically suffering. I have not met a person with a chronic illness who has succumbed to their situation and decided to just waste away because to be quite frank, that it not the way to approach something that you cannot change in your life. You get a diagnosis, you try to manage it with medication but life goes on and you have to carry on... and the sooner you immerse yourself with things that interest you and your passions, the better. Being given a diagnosis of some incurable thing you have to live with forever isn't a death sentence (well in the long run probably but not now...) and I think it would be a waste of time and another day to live to just be depressed and resign yourself to being sick. Life can and does go on and you can make the most out of it (as long as you do not stress yourself out too much to the point you are abusing your body.) 

Okay so, here I am raving about how probably getting sick was the best thing that happened to me which is in so many shades not exactly something I am rejoicing in but something I reckon I've managed to live with and thrive in despite of the circumstances. See the big difference there? That, I think, is something to celebrate as I have beat the odds, I did not let sadness get the best of me and I am genuinely happy to be making the most out of my time. That being said, this is also one of the reasons why I've decided not to have any filter when it comes to what I say. I sometimes blurt out things before I think about whether or not I should say them. (I personally think that is better than hitting people before brain function kicks in) Knowing how life can instantly just be taken away or drastically changed makes you want to seize every moment and say what you want to say when you want to say it. No filter, let's not beat around the bush and use metaphors but let's just say it exactly how it is. The worst things that can happen is that if you were in a reality show, you're probably going to be the most bleeped out character but since we all aren't, chances are, people won't exactly agree with everything you say which makes you a not so likeable as a person. I've already said it many times but my goal in life (or the legacy I want to leave behind... how formal) was not to be Ms. Congeniality/ Voted Most Popular or Most Liked... it's all about keeping it real. I want to be as real as possible and if I manage to piss some people off in the road to unraveling my realness, then allow me to say that I have already thought in advance that not everyone is ready for it anyway... but I won't be sorry about it. By the way, I want to remind people that I am really nice in real life. I do not enjoy putting people down and I give the same treatment to everyone, no matter who they are or what socio-economic statistical group they are part of. I look beyond class and every person I meet, I treat with equal respect. I like to make people feel that no matter who they are or where they are in life, they are very important to me. I am just so very opinionated on so many things.

Given that, I am also working on my airplane clearance so I can travel and take on the world. It's been tough and it has been taking forever... but I think September will be a very good month for me...*fingers crossed* Of course, I want to explore Asia and keep it within the region first so as not to have my travel clearance rescinded (I am being a responsible adult who doesn't want to abuse my privileges...) On the other hand, eventually, I would also love to go transatlantic, to visit my sister in the U.S. and of course my brother in Europe and I hope I get to do that while he's still actually there. I think I have also mentioned it many times that I am a major fan of Las Vegas and Miami (no, I do not gamble but I do love the "beach within the city" vibe... so I am attributing my love for Vegas aka. Sin City to 14 seasons of CSI...) Anyway, with that in mind, I was invited by the lovely people of My Vegas Style to curate five looks for the Aria Resort & Casino which is one of Las Vegas' premier hotel properties. I researched on the hotel and got excited to give my outfit choices immediately (with the outfit above being one of my natural choices...) so given my lifestyle choices and how I want to go about my vacation, allow me to share with you the categories of my outfit choices: 

(1) Lunch at Lemongrass
(2) Lounging by the pool area with my private cabana
(3) Dinner at Javier’s
(4) A night out at Haze Nightclub
(5) Shopping the morning-after my night out at The Shops at Crystals

So here we go... Let the #MyVegasStyle Blog Challenge begin...

LUNCH  at Lemongrass Cafe
I decided to let my Asian side come out with a fusion outfit that incorporates Asian elements without going too over the top:

The best Las Vegas restaurants offer an exotic dining experience you can’t get just anywhere. Serving a modern interpretation of Thai cuisine, Lemongrass specializes in a wide variety of authentic fare filled with robust flavor. Take a mouth-watering tour of Asia via a spicy papaya salad followed immediately by wok-tossed live Maine lobster infused with hints of ginger and scallion. Traditional Thai more your speed? Dive into basil pork steamed rice or spicy Phad Thai with crispy tofu, and cool the lingering notes of chilies and soy on your palette with a refreshing accompaniment to your meal. This Las Vegas restaurant favorite has taken no shortcuts on their cocktail offerings—sip on Nigori Sake, or enjoy a sweet reprieve of Watermelon Caipiroska, all the while applauding your cultural dining leap of faith.

 Lounging by the pool area with my private cabana at The LIQUID Pool Lounge

The heat is rising at LIQUID Pool Lounge. Tucked near the edge of The Pools at ARIA, LIQUID is a secluded playground where electric beats and cool drinks fill the air. Feel the energy build as hundreds move to the music, and open your eyes to what possibilities lie ahead. The Pools at ARIA feature umbrellas scattered throughout the deck to provide a shady respite from the Las Vegas sun. For a more exclusive retreat, inquire about renting one of ARIA’s 34 private cabanas, and enjoy the privacy and amenities of a fully-stocked poolside escape.
 Dinner at Javier’s

 Bringing a Southern California favorite to the Las Vegas Strip, Javier's is now open in the center of the Casino Floor. Javier's delivers a rich heritage of authentic Mexican cuisine along with hand-shaken margaritas and a high-energy ambiance to Las Vegas. Enjoy Baja specials including selections of seafood, beef, pork, chicken and vegetarian dishes both at the exquisite bar surrounded by dozens of the world's finest tequilas and in the main dining room featuring a chainsaw wood carving highlighting the Aztec civilization. Javier's in Las Vegas has the energy of your favorite Mexican restaurant with the high-end cuisine you expect from a dinner on The Strip.
A Night-out at HAZE

The most electric nightlife Las Vegas has to offer is realized in one club alone. HAZE Nightclub, ARIA’s flagship nightlife venue is presented by industry leaders The Light Group and offers a colossal cutting-edge environment that challenges your sense of perception and reality. Experience the magnetic energy that nightlife in Las Vegas is supposed to be, and lose yourself in a sea of music, drinks and people. Between the plush interior, superior service and highest-grade audio technology, HAZE provides the best Las Vegas nightlife experience you could ever wish for. The stage is set, you are in the zone and ready for an unforgettable, pulsating night on The Strip—don’t settle for anything less than the best nightlife in Las Vegas. See you at HAZE.
Shopping at The Shops at CRYSTALS
 Adjacent to ARIA lies one of the truly unique venues for entertainment and shopping in Las Vegas: The Shops at Crystals. Under its crystalline, glass-and-steel canopy, visitors will find the world’s largest collection of luxury brands in Las Vegas with offerings from the world's most esteemed brands, including Louis Vuitton, Hermes, Dolce & Gabbana, BVLGARI, Ermenegildo Zegna, Tom Ford and Tiffany & Co. The collection of prestigious designer shops and restaurants is unrivaled on The Strip and makes Crystals a magnetic destination for connoisseurs of fine fashion. 

Photos by: Celyn Jaravata

xx, JL

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