I may have been adventurous with dining out on my recent trip home, but when it comes to shopping I’m completely a creature of habit. I have a roster of favorite shops in Manila that I hit for what I’ve come to think of as a kind of annual restocking.
My shopping list might not all be the stuff of Pinterest-worthy blog posts (plastic file folders and Japan-made pens at National Bookstore, for example), but I was pleasantly surprised to find that the store that’s consistently at the top of my list got a major makeover. I’m talking about Bleach, formerly known as Bleach Catastrophe.
In the six years I’ve lived away from home, my yearly trips home are never complete without a few new goodies from this store. Some of my favorite shirts of Marlon’s are from here, and I wore Bleach all throughout my pregnancy (which says a lot about their roomy yet flattering cuts).
Alongside the launch of an updated look for her store, Bleach owner Tinay Villamiel also expanded into home and interior items with a pared-down, modern sensibility.
I love that these are designed and made in the Philippines, using natural materials (linen, canvas and cotton), but offer a younger, hipper alternative to the usual Asian-Filipiniana fare.
Maybe I’ve just gotten used to seeing a lot of gray, but after the sensory overload that is Manila, Bleach was a welcome visual break with its subtle palette. It’s refreshing to see something a little bit different, like these French- and Scandinavian-inspired details tucked into Bleach’s clothing, homeware and interiors. We all crave a little something that will transport us elsewhere, which also explains the proliferation of Buddha heads in homes across Europe.
I like the new home items, but I do miss the wider clothing selection of the old store. I’ve always loved Bleach’s comfy basics with a twist—although every time I visit the store, there always happens to be some kind of pearl-earring-and-Lacoste-wearing preppy girl who’s walking out looking like she doesn’t get it. Haha.
Naturally I couldn’t leave without picking up a couple of things for myself: this cozy charcoal gray graphic sweatshirt…
and this little black dress with an asymmetrical hemline for just Php 495, or €7. Ridiculously affordable, even if you’re not converting to Euros!
Looks like this LBD will have to stay hidden for a few more months before it makes a debut. Can it be spring now, please?