Back to Basics
Philippine Tatler / July 2015

Words: Christina Morales


Anyone can see that today’s society is especially demanding on the modern woman. No longer restricted to the context of the home, she can be (and often is) a career woman, a wife, and a mother— all at the same time. Juggling these different hats is no mean feat, which is why Harlan + Holden is all about simplifying and returning to the bare necessities.

Ironically, ease is difficult to come by these days—for many, it has become little more than an obscure concept, a vague memory. Instead of freeing up our time, technological advancements have made us only busier, and though the modern woman has more choices than ever, so much decision-making often overwhelms instead of liberates. It’s no wonder that, at one time or another, we have all longed for the simpler days: a time before our smart phones ruled our lives, before marsala and oatmeal were colours, before salted caramel recipes, before neoprene, before Botox—a time when life didn’t seem so complicated.

Three years after the brand’s founding, Harlan + Holden turns to its core values of ease and comfort. “The ultimate luxury today is time,” explains Harlan + Holden managing partner Mia San Agustin. “We wanted to be able to make it easier for people to dress, to not have to think about their clothes.” To do this, the brand endeavours to go back to easier days with its BC collection. Its name coming from the “Before Christ” epoch in the Gregorian calendar, BC is a permanent collection of 15 wardrobe staples that complement the modern woman’s lifestyle. Each garment in the collection is tried and tested—meaning each piece is something Harlan + Holden is known for and has already less is more The BC Collection S been received warmly by their customers.

“We are happy if we can say that we’ve saved you 10 minutes in your dressing time,” says Eman Pineda, president of Adora and creator of Harlan + Holden. “We call it our ‘10 Minute Mission’ to ease your approach to dressing in order to focus on what matters to you most, whether that’s to enjoy extra time in the gym or have a chat with your daughter.”

Because the modern woman lives in a high-maintenance world, she herself should strive to be the opposite. This is why the BC collection is all about clean lines, with garments that may look simple from a distance, but upon closer inspection reveal themselves to be marvels of construction and design. Each piece boasts the features that Harlan + Holden is known for: comfort, fine tailoring, superior quality, and keen attention to detail.

Characterised by independence and a gogetting attitude, the modern woman needs clothes that are easy to put on and remove. With no need to ask for help with hard-toreach zippers, buttons, and clasps, she can simply throw on her clothes and instantly look poised and polished, ready to take on the world.

Since she is always on the go, the upkeep of the modern woman’s wardrobe shouldn’t be a priority, which is why Harlan + Holden’s fabrics are carefully selected to be hand- and machine-washable. It follows that the clothes are also easily packed and stored—perfect for the jet-setting lifestyle.

The Harlan + Holden woman is also not a slave to fashion—she has nothing to prove to anyone. The brand’s pieces can be classified as anti-trend—they’re light, relaxed, comfortable, and their designs bear the marks of calculated restraint. Harlan + Holden has gone so far as to own the term