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Freedom in loungerie

By GABBIE TATAD, The Philippine STAR Published Nov 19, 2021 5:00 am Updated Nov 19, 2021 1:51 pm

As restrictions begin to ease and our idea of “normal” is constantly redefined, our relationship with clothing has been somewhat contentious.

We’ve questioned how essential jeans and fixed waistbands truly are, embraced Crocs and challis dusters, and are forever finding the sweet spot of looking “put together” without inconveniencing our own sense of ease.

Enter two newly launched, women-led local brands with two very different approaches to the joy of dressing for yourself.

What both brands have in common is the idea of freedom: to choose your own comfort, to present yourself the way you want to, and to have beautiful pieces that make your body feel good.

Land of Nod

From breakfast on through all the day
At home among my friends I stay
But every night I go abroad

Afar into the land of Nod.

So begins the poem “The Land of Nod” by Robert Louis Stevenson, which was Sassa Jimenez’s point of inspiration in creating her new unisex sleepwear line. Called Land of Nod, or Nod for short, the name is also a play on the phrase “nodding off” and appeals to the idea of being able to unabashedly enjoy one’s tranquil spaces.

The brand launches with a five-look collection of separates in fun, dopamine colors and incredibly comfortable fabrics. The color selection alone is indicative of Nod’s desire to inspire creativity even in the calm, and to be able to express oneself in something as simple but essential as sleepwear. The pieces can be purchased as sets or as individual pieces, and can be freely mixed and matched according to the wearer’s whims.

Sassa Jimenez takes us to the Land of Nod, her new unisex sleepwear line.

Jimenez’s incredible design skills have been heavily lauded for her ability to balance larger silhouettes with apt proportions, as evident in her work for the more streetwear-friendly Wonderboy by Sassa Jimenez.

These talents especially shine across the Nod line, because all the pieces were designed with a loose fit in mind, and the construction is just so that they look chic and smart on every body shape, height and frame. While the sizes range from XS to XL, the looser fit will definitely be able to accommodate a range of larger sizes, which is always great news.

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A post shared by Land Of Nod (@landofnod.ph)

However, in spite of Jimenez’s involvement, Nod aims to be its own entity as a brand known for making great garments. And while it may be early days, I’m here to say that Nod definitely succeeds, as these are clothes you can actually live your life in.

Because they are designed and constructed so beautifully, these carry from the bedroom, into your 9-to-5 Zoom meetings, into your kitchen for your next cooking session, into your living room to dance around by yourself (pants optional, of course), and out the door to walk your pets, meet friends for brunch, or do a quick grocery shop.

These pieces are incredibly versatile, allowing for the idea of comfort and relaxation to permeate through your day, regardless of the range of activity you may have on your plate. These are clothes that adjust to your needs, and not the other way around, which is really how it should be.

Nod’s first collection starts at P1,300 per piece and can be found at www.landofnod.ph. For more information, hop on over to their Instagram account.

Wonkie

Arvin Alvarez began her journey into lingerie at an unlikely place: as a co-founder of one of the most well-regarded sex toy shops in Manila. During her time at the shop, she met all manner of consumers with different stories to tell and different ideas about what made them feel sexy.

“There’s actually so much shame surrounding our bodies, especially women’s bodies. Body autonomy and self-expression, especially for women and queer folk, are practically taboo. I thought maybe ‘rebranding’ lingerie and underwear’s role in society can be a good and tangible way to process and tackle all these big issues,” says Alvarez. “For the longest time, lingerie has been designed for the male gaze, and who’s not tired of that? I wanted to make a lingerie brand created for the wearer to enjoy.”

Arvin Alvarez's Wonkie rebrands lingerie to be enjoyed by its wearer.

And so Wonkie was born — a brand that aims to celebrate people and the bodies they live in, to appreciate their own unique body shape, and to carve out their own personal ideas of what loving oneself really means to them. The brand launched with a seven-piece collection called Idea No. 1, featuring classic silhouettes in comfortable, high-quality, high-stretch fabrics.

The focus of the collection is on feel and function, but the design details are unlike anything we’ve seen in a locally produced space. Each piece has scattered embellishments made with small pearls and gems, but additionally have phrases that assert the importance of consent (“Off-limits till I say so”) and agency (“Kababae mong tao”).

These pieces are both beautiful and empowering without being trite or saccharine, and have a real sense of fun that makes wearing lingerie enjoyable in the first place.

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A post shared by Wonkie (@wonkie.official)

“Until recently, lingerie has always been just about the conventionally ‘sexy’ body type. It's so intimidating. There shouldn’t even be a monopoly on sexy. Having other body types represented, including my own, was something I wanted for Wonkie,” says Alvarez.

The campaign images reflect this immediately, with a range of different bodies, including Alvarez’s business partner and sister Arvel Alvarez. Wonkie doesn’t shy away from rolls, folds, lumps, and bumps that many brands would normally airbrush out of frame, and instead presents them in a beautiful light.

“Intimacy isn’t just about sex or looking sexy for a partner, but also about getting to know ourselves and learning to like ourselves. It can be very challenging. Personally, Wonkie is sort of a practice of unlearning all the judgments, mean comments, and negativity that I’ve internalized about myself, and my body.” Alvarez concludes thoughtfully, “Hopefully, it can be the same for other people.”

Idea No. 1 is available for purchase at www.wonkie.me Learn more about Wonkie on their Instagram.