MANILA, Philippines - Are you a frustrated fashion designer? Do you like creating fashionable looks and styling?
A web site that has been around for some time now has been giving frustrated fashion designers the world over an outlet for them to unleash their creativity.
Looklet.com, a web site based in Sweden, is said to be the first digital styling site in the world. It works just like the paper doll toys of old --or Barbie. Just pick out a model online, browse through stylish clothes and fashion accessories, and create a look fit for the office, a cocktail party, a formal event, the catwalk, or just for a leisurely walk with friends on a weekend.
Being on the web, Looklet is accessible to anyone, with or without a formal fashion background.
Filipina stylists join in on the fun
Among the many Looklet fans out there are 2 Filipina stay-at-home moms, Claudine de Jesus-Ruiz and her friend Arlene Latoza.
Ruiz's accounts are Pinay2010 and Filipina Ako, while Latoza uses the name Lexie.
It has been a year already since Ruiz started being active on Looklet. She discovered the website when she came across an entry about it on a fashion blog.
"I got hooked on it mainly because I have always loved fashion--high, mid, and low end. Looklet lets you in on contemporary pieces in fashion and likewise offers vintage pieces that one will only get to see on the site. You'll also get to know Scandinavian fashion which is really quite unique and distinctive," she said.
The styling website also afforded the busy mom a creative escape from her mommy chores. "It really unleashes the creative side in me. I'm also a frustrated fashion designer. Looklet is a haven for fashionistas, would-be designers and stylists, and those who like to play dress up," Ruiz added.
Ruiz loves the site so much that she posts new looks every day. "I can make about 4 to 8 looks within the day, which I make during my 'me' time. I have already made about 900-plus looks. My 4-year-old son and husband understand my 'need' for Looklet as a means to relax and unwind," said Ruiz.
When Latoza saw some of the creations of Ruiz on Looklet, she got interested and signed up for an account last January. She said her love for clothes got her hooked on the site.
|The leopard look as created by Arlene Latoza posted on Looklet.
"On Looklet, it's like I'm the one dressing up! Creating looks and styling is limitless and I enjoy it. You can mix and match a lot of items, and in the end, it's amazing how you can come up with a look that's really cool, pretty and stylish," said Latoza.
What makes it more interesting for her is that the site shows real clothes and items designed by famous designers and available in brick-and-mortar stores in real life. "Plus, you're styling using real models--not some kind of avatar," she added.
It's interesting to note that Bench--yes, the Philippine brand--is also on Looklet, and users can choose Bench items for the looks they create.
Styling contests, fashion news
Users also get to know the latest fashion news on the site.
Aside from that, users can join styling contests where Looklet chooses the nominees and users get to vote. Winners get the featured item.
|A stylish look created by Looklet user Claudine de Jesus-Ruiz was once showcased as the site's Featured Look.
Ruiz was short-listed for one of the styling contests. "It felt great!" she said.
Created looks can be considered for any of the following categories: Look for the Day, Featured Look, Featured User, Most Liked Users, and Most Liked Looks. Ruiz was once chosen for the Featured Look category.
The success of Looklet has led to the birth of a competitor, Couturious. According to a report on fits.me, Like.com had tried to acquire Looklet, but talks failed. So they put up Couturious and went head to head against Looklet.
But Looklet still has the lead and the following.