Style & Grace
Businesswoman Doody Tuason on her fearless fashion, New Year’s resolutions & being at home in Pasig
“ We got really comfortable in the North. I really like the idea that I’m centrally located... It's very convenient here.”
hDescribe your life and your lifestyle. It has been a journey, a trial-and-error kind of thing. To stay on the right path over the years, I had to prioritize. It’s my husband and kids first, then everything else had to be crammed frantically in between. In those years, of course, I slept very little, because we also had an active social life and the kids were small, I had to be there. But in those times, I had so much energy. I think that’s probably why God gave us children at that age. Now, if I have to be somewhere by 10 am, and I slept at 2 am, it’s really a beating. I feel like I’m getting beaten up. Now, I don’t feel the need to party that hard anymore. I’ve kind of slowed down. igh society’s fearless woman of style, Lourdes “Doody” Tuason, has so much more to her than just incredible fashion sense, though she is so fun to watch dressed to the hilt. The lady behind the clothing and jewelry of the lifestyle store Mentxaka (the original Basque spelling of her maiden name) spent time with Northern Living, candidly sharing her thoughts on her personal style and outlook, her life as a family woman, and why she chooses to live in Pasig more than anywhere else. Apart from slowing down, what were the major changes for you in the last five years? I think my philosophy in life has changed. There was such a big transition from the way I saw things before. You know, you wanted so much perfection, to have it all. And then you come to a realization that all that energy you expended trying to create the picture of perfection in your head was not worth it because to begin with, there’s no such thing. And in the effort to do that, you caused so much pain because you tried to control everything, and you tried to manipulate everyone and everybody to fit into that picture of perfection that you want. And instead of accepting things as they are, you fight and you resist it. And the more you resist, the more they persist. And now, I’ve come to realize, it’s so simple pala. You just sit back and accept, and then everything falls into place. How is your creative process like? There are some things that look good more, and there are some things that are nicer less. So I guess depending on how the idea or concept presents itself, that’s when I decide if less is more, or if more is better. Although nowadays, when you are wearing one piece that’s already busy or calls attention to it, I think you shouldn’t use anything else. Unless you’re
trying to dress like the ‘50s or ‘60s, where there’s a look of excess. Sometimes, one little picture from magazines or that memory that picture brought to me, is what ignites the whole concept. Like now, we had an idea made of wood and that was borne out of me flipping through some pictures from the ‘30s, and saw some pictures of the wife of the king who abdicated, Wallis Simpson. I saw her choker and how they dressed in those days, and I think it looks so now. Then I told my girls how gold is so expensive today so to wear gold, you’d have to combine it with wood, then there’s something organic about it too. So that’s how my new line that I’ve been working on was born. Tell us about your personal style. I’m very moody, so I go by my moods. One day I might wake up feeling like a surfer, or might decide like I want to look like Princess Diana, or another day, it might be something different. I use magazines for inspiration, to transport me, and to keep me abreast with what’s going on. There seems to be no reservations or hesitation when you dress or create what you want. You dress or create based on how you feel. How is that so? I’m really a punk girl at heart. But you know, I had to grow up…except for the motorcycle boots I recently bought! Haha! When did you begin creating? I started 25 years ago. I am a creative person. I like to design. I’ve always sketched, drawn, painted all through my life. And I loooove bling. I really love jewelry so it was very easy; it just took me there. I used to work in public relations, but when I’m daydreaming, I’m always sketching jewelry and making pieces for myself. Then it gradually evolved, friends would ask me to do things, and then when I “retired” I decided, “Hey you know what, I’m not going to work for anyone, I’m just going to do my thing.” Tell us about your family and how they respond to your creative endeavors. I have two sons, Sev, 24 and Daniel, 21. Sev is very artistic. He likes to draw, he writes very well. He’s a man of literature. My husband, Conkoy, and Daniel are businessmen. With a husband and two sons, I am the queen. They don’t really interfere. One time, I put up an electric pink Christmas tree. I thought they would like it because they’re young, right? But they were like, “Uhmm. Really don’t know about that tree, Mom,” so okay, scrap. It disappeared the next year. My husband, on the other hand, is my patron! He’s not the sort of guy that tells me, “No, not that!” He’s happy to let me go. If anything, he says, “I buy you so many shoes, you’re wearing that shoe again!” I married the perfect guy! And he’s so patient when we shop. He’s the one who would sometimes go, “Look at that, did you see that?” He loves to shop with me. Other husbands die, right? We have our differences like everybody, but were best friends. He is my gift, he’s really wonderful. What is your typical day like? It has slowed down a bit. Now, I don’t start my day at 5:30 am anymore, like I used to for 15 years. Before, it was 5:30, wake up, have breakfast, get the kids organized, and as soon as they’re off, I get ready and go to my office. But now, it starts 8:30 or 9:00 am, have breakfast, organize the house—talk to the cook about what dinner is going to be or ask my husband what he would like in honor of the diet, etc. Then go to my office: Mentxaka in Karrivin Plaza. And then I start heading home about 6 pm, if there’s no extraordinary thing that has to be done. Basta my husband’s rule is: when he’s home, I’m home already. How do you spend your “me” time? Reading. I love to read, I get lost in my books. And I subscribe to lots of magazines. That is how I stay in touch with what’s going on out there. How do you take care of yourself? At this age, I work out almost every day, so long as I’m not sick or traveling. I go to the gym. I do cardio and I lift weights. Though I will try finding other alternatives, too. Though I don’t think I can let go of the weights as that’s good for the bones. Skincare? Most important is your diet, exercise, eating the right things. Then every now and then, having a facial cleaning. At the end of the day, if you don’t eat well, you don’t keep your face clean and hydrated, it doesn’t matter what you use, not even those expensive creams. I get spa services done at home, too. You live in Pasig. Why did you choose the North? My husband goes to work near here and in Marikina plus my kids go to school near here, too. When we first moved here from Makati, I felt like we were the only people here because this wasn’t developed yet. Originally, it was going to be temporary. But we got comfortable here. When I need to go to Quezon City, I’m already halfway there. Makati, it’s 20 minutes away because of C5. If I want to go to Manila downtown, I can pass through San Juan. I really like the idea that I’m centrally located. What are the Northern conveniences that you appreciate? The grocery is very near: Hypermart or Shopwise Libis. Shangri-La Mall is near, too. Sometimes, I walk to Tiendesitas and back. It’s very convenient. And I am very near Manila Seedling in Quezon City, because I love fresh flowers! How is a Northerner woman different? Women here are more dynamic. We like wearing heels. Everybody’s so on the move here. Like most of my neighbors are professionals so they get dressed more often. Women here work and they dress corporate. There are very few women of leisure here who do nothing. For 2011, Doody’s looking forward to: Peace. I’m so excited about my newfound peace, that concept of acceptance. God IS. He’s not good or bad; He’s all goodness. It’s you who needs to take it because He’s giving it. What legacy do you want to leave to your children? I don’t want to be known for my fashion sense alone. I want to leave my children a legacy of integrity. What I treasure is integrity, honesty, in dealing with people, in business and in every aspect.