I don’t see it being sold now in toy stores, but back in the day all the little girls played with paper dolls. Our pulp mannequins normally came with a stand so we could dress them up easily with paper clothes, of course. I remember being so obsessed with precision cutting. My blunt edged scissors moved slowly across the dotted lines of each dress, shoe and bag. And after, my sister and I would outdo each other in our choice of outfit combinations. Fun times!
Today, I still get to play dress up. Only it’s called styling and instead of cut out paper costumes, I get to choose from beautiful dresses from clothing brands that I work with. One of my favorite muses is model/entrepreneur/fashion designer  Tessa Nieto-Villalon. Her newest collection from her store Florence Fling (FF) is decidedly feminine and graceful. “ My pieces are comfortable, eye-catching but unobtrusive and timeless.  It’s something you can use and keep for many years, “ says Tessa.  “I started my clothing business five years ago and my design aesthetic has always been respectful to the woman’s body.  I want my customers to be able to feel confident in everything that I make.”

Off to the Ball
 Florence Fling carries casual daytime wear to formal evening wear. It is in the latter that I think , she is the strongest at. Her gowns are a favorite of celebrities which comes as no surprise. Tessa manipulates jersey like Cinderella’s fairy godmother- only much better.  The result?  Exquisite long gowns that are must-haves for women.  The cost? So much less than your go-to designer. All of the gowns I chose for the shoot retail below Php5,000.

Plain or printed, these gowns will surely turn heads.

Red, White and Blue 
 I love the current crop of FF’s jumpsuits! The V neck in the front, V back, loose fit in the waistline and a bow on the left shoulder makes this piece extra special. You can dress it up with heels or opt for a more playful look and wear sneakers with it.  Either way, it’s a winner! I also like the separates (top with front tie detail and wide leg pants) which were done in basic colors (red, black and white).   White on white is on point this season.

What you should be wearing everyday. Jumpsuits and separates in basic colors.

Pretty Pleats
 The comeback of the pleated skirt has been received warmly by the modern woman. This is something  that you must try on first before purchasing. It’s quite tricky to work this style as it can make you look heavier (ok fatter, to put it more bluntly) when not done right. Pair it with a crop top for a more edgy getup or with a dainty top for a more polished and romantic look.  Tessa’s midi length pleated skirts are this season’s runaway bestsellers!

How lovely! Pleated skirts in floral print and cream.

What I like best about Florence Fling is the mileage that I get from the clothes. In more than one occasion, I have mixed and matched my purchases and have been very successful in my pairings. So what is old can be new again just by trying on different combinations. This is important for practical (and busy) moms like me.  After all, we never outgrow playing dress-up, do we?

Florence Fling is located at the 2nd floor, Bldg A of SM Megamall. Tel no. 6967456.
With a pocketful of glitter,
tbqp signature - white background

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