Waking up to a certain message from Amina Aranaz is probably the closest I’ll ever get to – as Kesha so eloquently put – “feeling like P. Diddy.” You have to understand, as Amina’s student, she was a figure I looked up to since her very first lecture on dreaming big – with every subsequent meeting with her much awaited outfits adding to that sense of awe. Imagine getting an invite to be a muse of her newest Aranaz collaboration with Rags 2 Riches. Muse! I quite like the title. Replying like I was asked out on a date probably wasn’t necessary, but…muse!

The collab’s theme, Nudos (or knots), made much sense especially since Rags 2 Riches is known for its rag-crafting abilities – knotting and twisting fitting right in. Aranaz being their partner also made sense with the brand being known for creating beautiful designs from indigenous materials. Perfect match.

Frankly, groups that create livelihoods for communities that need it most will always be respected in my book. How Rags 2 Riches differs from the rest of the bunch, I think, is due to them not resorting to pity-buying, or what I have dubbed (just now) “good citizen marketing” (read: equating buying to helping). While I very much appreciate the goodwill behind R2R, I also appreciate the actual products – pieces I know people would buy regardless of the charity they’re for. The designs can, and do, stand alone.

Also, it’s quite interesting that I got orange and green pieces to a gold and black-themed event with my go-to lipstick being an intense shade of red. While I risked looking like a completely off-mark rainbow, I think I partially avoided it by wearing an all-black ensemble. Although, I admit, my kitten-heeled boots didn’t do much to help my midget-status with co-muses Danika Navarro, Tricia Gosingtian, Patricia Prieto, Camille Co and Kryz Uy who were all, as usual, several inches taller.

Not sure how I did as a muse, but I’ve been doing quite well as a bag owner  happily lugging my goodies around since (see post here). I highly recommend you check out their collection and be a happy bag owner yourself.

Dress, H&M | Belt, FOREVER21 | Boots, OLD NAVY | Ponytail, GOODY| LAZO Orange necklace with floral cotton pendants and AMARO green wooden clutch with removable straps, both from RAGS 2 RICHES BY ARANAZ Nudos Holiday Collection

Outfit photos by Danika Navarro | event photos by Martin Yambao [bloggers pic: Patricia,  Camille, Kryz, Tricia, myself, Danika | bloggers with Amina: myself, Danika, Amina Aranaz, Tricia] | collection picture from R2R facebook page