OUT OF THE CLOSET
Carla’s classic, chic collectionBy Bayani San Diego Jr.
Philippine Daily Inquirer
Clearly, the closet is a favorite nook—maybe even the centerpiece—in the home of Kapuso primetime princess Carla Abellana.
The GMA 7 star has a walk-in wardrobe that looks like the showroom of a posh boutique.
With its floral wallpaper design and store-display lighting, the closet was designed by Jiezl Sunga, best friend of Carla’s sister Erica.
As bonus, the designer threw in personalized hangers for Carla’s gowns and dresses. She told Living Stars she had always wanted hangers that bore her monogram. The “CA” on the hangers could also stand for classy and appealing.
Carla has cultivated a more sophisticated fashion aesthetic since joining the biz in 2009. Proof is this closet, a showcase fit for show biz royalty.
“I love that it looks so organized, like a small boutique,” the actress remarked.
It’s a consistent reminder of her hard work as well. “It makes me feel proud that I have achieved a lot and purchased these things for myself and also for my family,” she said.
Neatly lined up on open shelves are rows upon rows of designer shoes in various colors and designs.
When it comes to footwear, Carla can be a stickler for craftsmanship. She’s always on the lookout for well-engineered but stylish shoes that work just as hard as she does.
(She’s currently juggling the soap opera “Makapiling Kang Muli,” the variety show “Party Pilipinas,” and the talent search “Protégé.” Also in the works are a movie with Richard Gutierrez and a solo film, both under Regal.)
“I put a premium on quality,” she pointed out.
Among her favorite pairs are those by Betsey Johnson (black peekaboo), Christian Louboutin (silver), Chanel (black-and-white) and Stella Luna (red).
She explained that the Betsey Johnsons and Christian Louboutins had been on sale.
The Stella Lunas, however, were a bit pricey, she admitted. “It’s too precious not to be a favorite.”
Actually, she prefers flats to heels. “If I’m not working, I don’t wear stilettos at all,” she said.
Since she now has hosting assignments, she has invested in several designer gowns and dresses.
She has a maroon Stella McCartney and a beige John Paras, plus two Inno Sotto gowns that she wore as host of the Miss Philippines-World pageant last year.
“Inno’s creations are timeless,” she noted. “Crisp, clean, couture.”
She turns to young designers Francis Libiran and Veejay Floresca (of “Project Runway”) for some of her sartorial needs.
Carla sums up designer Claiza Bihasa’s creations as “classic, feminine and elegant.”
In the daytime, she dons pastel or brightly hued dresses. For night-outs, she has a little black dress for every occasion.
She has a sequined black bolero from Mango, a modish top from Lanvin, a blue blazer from Liz Clairborne, and a green skirt from Twelve by Twelve.
White is her fave color, she quipped. “It makes you look fresh and neat.”
A favorite store is H&M. “I rarely go on shopping sprees, but at H&M, I can’t help splurging.”
She’s a firm believer in investment dressing.
“Go for quality,” she insisted. “My advice to young people is to choose classic pieces that they can wear more than once. Don’t buy something just because it’s trendy.”
Comfort over style
She patronizes local brands, like Kashieca and Bench, when it comes to casual wear and jeans.
A Kashieca model, Carla tries different styles, depending on her mood.
She counseled: “Jeans should fit you perfectly. Make sure you try on a pair of jeans before buying it.”
Also displayed in the walk-in closet are a few designer totes.
Three bags are gifts from boyfriend and fellow Kapuso star Geoff Eigenmann.
The Chanel is a first-anniversary gift; the Louis Vuitton, a Christmas present; the Coach, pasalubong from a US trip.
She beamed proudly when talk turned to the vintage totes and purses in her collection.
The black Prada was her first from that famous fashion house. “I saved up for that first big acquisition. I bought it right after (her debut soap opera) ‘Rosalinda.’ It was a gift to myself.”
She related: “I got my first-ever designer bag in Hong Kong. There are a lot of inexpensive finds there, on Canton Road.”
She has built a fine collection of timepieces through the years.
Manager Arnold Vegafria recently introduced her to Valli watches from Switzerland. The distributor is her manager’s friend, so Carla was among the first to get the Swiss company’s latest collection.
“It looks fashionable and luxurious, but it’s actually affordable,” Carla said.
Apart from Guess and Thomas Sabo, the most cherished timepiece on her dresser is a vintage Rolex from her grandmother (her mom’s mom), LVN actress Delia Razon.
Grandmom Delia also bequeathed to her a pair of lovely diamond earrings.
“When it comes to jewelry, I go for classic designs that go well with anything,” Carla pointed out. “Janna’s creations are unique, one-of-a-kind.”
Janna Katipunan, a jewelry designer, is a good friend.
Wearing all sorts of accessories—bangles, baubles and bracelets—is a job requirement.
Since becoming an actress, Carla has accumulated a wide range of accessories from SM Ladies’ Accessories, Fashion 21 and Aldo.
As far as accessories go, simplicity is beauty, Carla asserted.
Recent Stories:Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.