Friday, March 11, 2011

THE FRAMES HAVE IT ] A cute new angle to your dark-rimmed specs

_MG_4224A piece of eyewear from As In. Of shopping for merchandise, Shireen says, "I love going to new places and looking for local crafts and products. I got the jewelry from all over the country -- Negros, Cebu, Baguio, and Mindoro -- and the other goods from Thailand, Indonesia, and Japan. Since I can only bring back what fits in my suitcase, everything is limited in stock."

Most fashionably dressed young men in the city these days pair their slim outfits with black-rimmed glasses. Shireen Seno, who likes to shop for quirky things and slightly odd tchotchkes, suggests maybe its time to step out a little from that, ugh, frame of mind.

Let's begin with the glasses. Shireen's loot of black-rimmed eyewear, available from her online store As In and soon in her own shop of the same name in Mahabagin Street, offers new angles in your choice of specs. A filmmaker and mixed-media artist raised in Japan, Shireen, who sports an oddly-shaped bob, likes to wear a piece from her collection herself. "I got myself a pair a year ago when I was in Bangkok, shooting a documentary on Elvis impersonators and their kids. I'm a sucker for wood, so naturally that's what caught my eye."

_MG_4283A circular way of seeing things. Of the decision to open an online store, Shireen says, "It came naturally, before we were able to set up the actual shop. I like taking photos, and I have a basic background in making websites. Having a presence on Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr helps get the word around."

What catches her eye most often, when shopping for personal effects, is a certain "youthfulness and timelessness. Simple designs with quirks that set them apart. Particular colors, shapes and proportions. Fine materials and construction. Ridiculous attention to detail. I think it has a lot to do with growing up in Japan, where most things are done with the utmost care and precision." She's planning to expand the range of the eyewear she carries by adding pieces in bamboo and horn. In As In, she also has shirts and jackets.

_MG_4440These jackets at As In, according to Shireen, are "100% cotton and unlined, which make them light enough for our climate. I don't have any sewing and needlework skills. Sad! But I like to think I make up for it with an eye for good design and a feel for materials and craftsmanship."

And accessories, a sample of which is one that is made of different kinds of plastic and wire. "The other necklaces are made out of wood, reed, shell, and other natural materials. I also have some made out of recycled newspapers and magazines. Others are cast in clay and painted." Shireen has added a new accessory herself to her personal everyday wardrobe of indie filmmaker chic--a marquise-cut diamond solitaire ring given to her by the filmmaker John Torres in an engagement party (complete with kundiman singers serenading) two weeks ago. "Oh wait, he actually gave me a different ring to begin with, and then two more to choose from! The marquise was an afterthought for him, but for me it was the one. I almost wish he had chosen it, as if it were a test and he guessed correctly.. but that's just me being a spoiled hopeless romantic. He amazed me just by giving me a choice."

Which is exactly what Shireen is giving the curious stylistas she wants to attract via As In. (A choice we mean, not an engagement ring.)

Visit As In Shop here. Or soon at the store located at 59 Mahabagin Street just off Maginhawa in Teacher's Village, Quezon City.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

SENIOR MOMENT ] Senior Year director Jerrold Tarog on his own 4th year high--and lows

Daniel Medrana, Ramon BautistaDaniel Medrana and Ramon Bautista in a scene from Senior Year.

The third feature film from the director Jerrold Tarog, Senior Year, is out on SM cinemas today, and our friends who have seen it has called the work “superb” (Raymond Lee), “touching and funny” (Mario Cornejo), and “a heartfelt portrait of our inevitable ordinariness in the midst of a world that is far bigger than any high school campus” (Oggs Cruz). In this youth-oriented flick about the last colorful months of high school, Tarog leaves behind the serious motifs of his first two films—Confessional, the mock documentary about a videographer whose camera becomes witness to a wayward politician’s confessions, and Mangatyanan, about a photographer escaping the reality of her lensman father’s sexual abuse—to tell the interwoven tales of young love, self-exploration and peer pressure among a bunch of senior students from the fictitious St. Frederick’s High School.

We spoke to Jerrold, writer, director, musical scorer and editor of Senior Year, to try and spark a little confessional about teachers, that high school souvenir and, of course, high school love.

Saan ka nag-high school?
UP Rural High School in Los BaƱos, Laguna. I was a batch younger than Ebe Dancel of Sugarfree.

May favorite subject ka ba?
I loved the extracurriculars and nothing else. We had a music club back then and I was part of a band. Everything was cool and fun and dramatic. Loved it.

Favorite teacher?
I didn't have one favorite teacher in particular because I found all of them interesting in their own little ways. Yung mga weird teachers, mga inapi namin (yes, kami yung nang-aapi), teachers who did their best to inspire, teachers who inspired us to sleep.

Ano’ng pinaka hindi mo malilimutan sa panahong ‘yon?
Hmm...that I hated CAT with a passion? That I didn't know what to do with girls who had crushes on me and that I had so many awkward moments with them?

Jerrold Tarog declined to share his own photograph from high school, but here he is as he appeared on this

Any souvenirs?
A small stuffed toy in the form of a cute devil. He was named Bogart for some reason. It was what led me to my first girlfriend.

In which character can we find you in Senior Year?
I have a soft spot for Henry (the valedictorian) and Bunda (the tall, quiet girl). Of course, I was miles away from being the valedictorian. It's just that I could relate to his nerdiness. Bunda, for her internal strife and composure.

Nalungkot ka ba no’ng graduation?
I don't remember anymore. I might've been relieved because all the drama was finally over (but, of course, college had even worse drama). I was probably scared and excited too because I didn't know what I was going to do in college. This was before I shifted to Music in UP.

Tell us about your high school love, how it began and how it ended.
Met my first girlfriend in 3rd year high school, I think. We lasted around three years or maybe four, basta well into college. I was playing the drums for the cheering squad during 3rd year Intrams when she walked over and picked up Bogart (who was sitting on top of the bass drum). I said something, she said something, at doon nagsimula. It ended when she fell in love with a guy who was so opposite of who I was in college. Buti na lang because they're good together and they're obviously happy. In fact, they ended up marrying each other. I wish them all the best. As for me...I'm still looking. Or to be more exact, I'm still waiting.

Itals on "waiting," Jerrold's own. Here, a note from Jerrold the night before the film's commercial run.

Senior Year is showing at SM City Fairview Cinema 11, SM City Manila 7, SM City North Edsa Cinema 9, SM City Sta. Mesa Cinema 8, SM Mall of Asia Cinema 6, SM Megamall Cinema 7, SM Southmall Cinema 2.