How celebrity styling studio Qurator balances work and play

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In a fast-paced industry such as fashion, styling studio Qurator can’t underestimate the importance of taking time for rest and relaxation. Photo by KENNETH ABALLA

Manila (CNN Philippines Life) — With its sleek and savvy approach to fashion, and equal amounts personality and attitude, former fashion editor Pam Quiñones’ styling group Qurator Studio has consistently put together jaw-dropping looks for icons and ingenues, including Anne Curtis, Pia Wurtzbach, and Iza Calzado. It’s not an easy task — but it’s definitely something the team wouldn’t have any other way.

“I like that it’s something new every day,” says Maita Baello. “It’s not your typical 9-to-5 day job. I like that it’s different.”

“We have different sets of clients with different personalities, so we make sure that we cater to them depending on their personal style,” she continues. “We also inject our own take on different styles.” Melville Sy adds: “They always have to look their best.”

A day in the life of a stylist involves a lot of jet-setting and go-getting, and for the folks of Qurator Studio, there’s no better place to catch their breath than Makati Diamond Residences. The hotel’s luxury guest rooms are made specially to feel like home, but it also provides easy access to the best of the city, from shopping and dining to culture and entertainment — striking just the right balance between creature comforts and urban adventures.

In a fast-paced industry, you can’t underestimate the importance of taking time for yourself so you can be at your best when you have to face the world again. CNN Philippines Life caught up with Baello, Sy, and Shark Tanael after a good night’s stay at Makati Diamond Residences to discuss what a typical day of work is like for them, what they like to do to relax, and their ideal place to rest and catch up after a long day.

"It’s not your typical 9-to-5 day job. I like that it’s different," says Qurator’s Maita Baello on their styling work. Here she is inside the bedroom of the Makati Diamond Residence suite. Photo by KENNETH ABALLA

Tell us about your stay in Makati Diamond Residences. How was the experience?

Baello: Parang staycation talaga siya. [Laughs]. We finished work, then we went swimming. We invited two friends [over] and had a few drinks.

Tanael: We really had fun.

What’s a typical day at work like for you? What would you say is the most hectic or challenging part of styling?

Sy: Usually sa morning, [we do] prep, send emails. We wait for layouts para maka-source kami sa mall, makapag-usap sa mga designers kung kaya nilang i-accommodate ’yung mga request namin.

Baello: Every day is different. Sometimes, when we have shoots, we’re out the whole day. Sometimes there are days na puro meeting, and there are days na puro preparation for shooting. Sometimes we have three shoots on the same day.

“Nagulat ako sa cigar bar,” says Melville Sy. “Maganda ‘yung ambiance niya. It’s a good place to relax after work.” With low lights, comfortable seats, and an extensive selection of drinks and smokes, the Whisky & Cigar Bar is perfect for winding down and casual conversation. Photo by KENNETH ABALLA

What do you like to do after a long day at work?

Sy: Ang favorite kong gawin after work is mag-chill lang. [Laughs]. Usually Netflix, then mag-o-order ako ng food.

Tanael: Netflix din ako, then naliligo. [Laughs]. Gusto ko ng magandang banyo! After a long day, I like a long bath talaga.

Sy: Usually after work tatapusin namin lahat before kami mag-relax para sure na we can relax, hindi parang ang dami pang ginagawa in-between.

Baello: We all like hanging out together.

What do you like the most about staying here?

Sy: It’s a good place to stay after work kasi spacious ‘yung place tapos maraming pwedeng gawin within the premises lang, you don’t have to go out. But if you do want to go out, it’s very convenient.

Baello: It’s also nice that they have plenty of amenities, like the kitchen, and you can [have dinner together] and entertain guests. It’s complete. You can swim, you can go to the gym, go to the spa.

What do you look for when you’re staying in a hotel?

Sy: Soft pillows, nice bathtub.

Baello: And location. It has to be accessible.

Sy: I like it quiet. Gusto ko ‘pag nag-travel ako, maganda rin ‘yung place.

Baello: For me, it’s all about a nice bed.

"After a long day, I like a long bath," says Qurator’s Sharmaine Tanael. Here she is at the bathroom of the Makati Diamond Residence suite. Photo by KENNETH ABALLA

The spacious and bright Club Lounge serves up daily breakfast buffets, decadent snacks, and all-day refreshments, including the stylists’ favorites: iced coffee for Sy, fruit juices for Tanael, and hot chocolate for Baello. “I really like the high ceiling and the view — it’s so beautiful,” says Baello. “It’s a nice place to catch up and have meetings.” Photo by KENNETH ABALLA

A must-try experience at Makati Diamond Residences is the private cinema, where guests can host mini-screenings of their favorite movies and try to out-score each other at karaoke on the giant screen. Photo by KENNETH ABALLA

While getting their thrills and singing their hearts out, the Qurator crew got to munch on snacks and treats straight from the kitchen — it’s the ultimate grown up sleepover. Photo by KENNETH ABALLA

Melville Sy on their day-to-day work routine: "Usually sa morning, [we do] prep, send emails. We wait for layouts para maka-source kami sa mall, makapag-usap sa mga designers kung kaya nilang i-accommodate ’yung mga request namin." Here he is at the Makati Diamond Residences suite. Photo by KENNETH ABALLA

One of the amenities in Makati Diamond Residences that the Qurator team loves is the Whisky & Cigar Bar. Its interiors are reminiscent of an old school English speakeasy. Photo by KENNETH ABALLA

Lounging on plush seats at a choice table, Baello, Tanael, and Sy can enjoy everything from fine dining to brunch meetings in Alfred, which is open from 6 a.m. to midnight daily. Photo by KENNETH ABALLA

The hotel’s in-house Asian and continental restaurant Alfred's is named after Bruce Wayne’s ever-loyal and unflappable butler. Photo by KENNETH ABALLA