Even with a ticket to an island destination in hand, and the Tropical Essentials 2023 collection in her suitcase, Blythe still finds fresh activities to make a summer memorable
There’s no way you can ignore summer, especially here in the Philippines. For starters, your habits change, and often subconsciously. In the morning, you’d dress down in a tank top or bandeau. After noon, the urge to crank up the A/C grows exponentially. You’d sweat—and not the satisfying post-workout kind. But the most telltale sign that the heat is on is when people start complaining about the heat. Not for our certified Y2K princess Andrea Brillantes, a.k.a. Blythe, though
“Summer is happiness for me,” Blythe proudly proclaims, with an extra emphasis on “happiness”. Honestly, it’s pretty obvious she feels this way, especially seeing her sunny disposition in outdoor activities. Whether it’s fearlessly doing a TikTok while riding a jetski, or just living her best life underneath the midday sun on the arid dunes of Dubai, the sun doesn’t scare her. “Masaya ako ‘pag may araw,” she confesses.
Blythe wouldn’t even mind the heat if it means making a difference. We saw this last year when she posted a Reel of joining a Siargao beach clean-up, just months after the land was ravaged by Typhoon Odette.
This season is also the perfect time for Blythe to cross off items in her travel bucket list, from thrilling adventures to curious explorations on land, the sea, or even in the air. Recently, she ascended the picturesque Mount Batur in Bali, Indonesia as part of her birthday week. “[Bali] was just a short trip but I really made the most out of it. I was able to do a sunrise hike, snorkeling, [and] kayaking. I drove motorcycles, [went] island hopping, and many more. It was exhilarating! I’ll do it again,” she shared.
In fact, reaching summits is something Blythe hopes to do more for summers to come. “I would really like to explore more beaches and go hiking more this year,” she affirms. “I want to take advantage of my youth as much as I can,” the award-winning actress shares, referring to her seemingly endless drive to try out new things and step out of her comfort zone.
The perfect summer vacation would not be complete without a group of friends to spend it with. You’ve probably gone on a spontaneous out-of-town road trip before with your besties, or even spent a long weekend with family by the sunny shores. Blythe herself hasn’t shied away from sharing clips of her spending time with the boyfie. In fact, those summer breaks spent locked up at home away from friends just feels so strange nowadays.
However, a summer spent solo isn’t exactly a bad idea. “We should all treat ourselves with a decent ‘me time’ every now and then,” Blythe shares. Spending what should be a season for wild parties and new escapades alone doesn’t seem much fun, but take this new perspective on summer from Blythe herself.
Having been under a spotlight practically her entire life thus far, it’s no surprise that the advocates for some time alone, away from the blaring summer beats and busy schedules a packed trip can bring. “[Summer is worth spending alone] when you’re unwinding or when you feel overwhelmed,” the 20-year old online star imparts. Spot-hopping during the day or being jammed in a crowded beach nightlife wouldn’t be that exciting when you’re not in the right headspace to begin with.
And when the going gets tough on the inside, a little retail therapy can’t do much harm, right? “Shopping and traveling is very therapeutic for me. I love doing them alone,” the young fashion maven shares.
Even if you’re not soaring 10,000 meters in the air or braving the provincial dirt roads, purposefully setting days to gather with friends is still a must-do in summer. Just because you’re not traveling doesn’t mean you automatically default to binging shows all day or staying glued to the monitor for long gaming sessions. “Spend time with friends,” Blythe stresses.
And spending time with friends doesn’t also necessarily mean chatting in the DMs and lurking on Discord. Summer is known to be a rush of Instagram photo dumps and snippets of lives lining up as dots, not dashes, in your Stories. Even for the social media sensation with over 34 million followers across Instagram and TikTok, Blythe encourages practicing a healthy balance between sharing summer memories online and being present in the moment. “When I’m on vacation, I really let myself relax… Social media is something I stay away from too so I don’t usually post anything in real time,” she shares. “Most of my postings are usually two to four weeks late,” she playfully adds.
When Blythe eventually posts on her profile, she makes sure to keep it real. Written in an Instagram post about her debut in the H&M Tropical Essentials line, she admits: “This is my very first time to be part of a tropical collection, a little bit out of my comfort zone (at first!) but extremely grateful to my @hm family and to the whole team for helping me step out of my comfort zone.”
It can get noisy online, with comments and reactions cutting deep at times. This is exactly the environment Blythe knew she was stepping into, especially donning her favorite swimwear summer staples. “[Being a part of the campaign] was a step out of my comfort zone because with social media, it’s so easy to shame someone for their body. It was a long process but [it was] so worth it,” she confided.
Now, we see the new-found confidence before our own eyes. Donning fresh new pieces from the Tropical Essentials 2023 collection, Blythe looked stunning in bikini tops and wrapover skirts. Although known for her clap-backs, she employed a different approach in handling this evolution: “I mastered the art of deadma. It may sound cliché, but everyone will always have something to say, kaya just do what will make you happy.”
A STYLE WORTH SHARING
Of course, it can’t be an Andrea Brillantes fashion shoot without all the accessories. Even when sporting essentials, there will always be room for a Y2K touch. It has become a Blythe staple. You can even see it in the first photo above. Topping off a bandeau and relaxed trousers combo are a reflective pair of sporty sunglasses. In another look, she adds a bit of class by wearing a golden charm around her neck.
Blythe doesn’t shy from her playful side, constantly switching her look up and experimenting new styles and materials. “Pabago-bago rin naman ang mga trends every year. But syempre, there are still days na I stick to the basics,” she shares.
A couple of her go-to style tips would be to stick to neutrals whenever you end up spending hours just coordinating palettes and styles. Highlights in the Tropical Essentials 2023 collection are creams for a lighter look, or blacks to compliment your figure. But true to her style, Blythe advises that “you can’t go wrong with bright colors, too.” Take the eye-catching bandeau top in a marbled turquoise pattern, or a pop of emerald green from the single-strapped bikini top.
This kind of versatility is a hallmark of the newest summer collection by fashion mainstay H&M. Its pieces are fashionable for anybody to rock, adaptable for any style, and has the right touch of sophistication to instantly elevate your look. “For me, I really think na kahit sobrang trendy ng collection na ‘to, I know I can still wear them after a few years,” shares the young fashionista. “Everything was well thought of, from bottoms to accessories. All pieces are versatile and can be paired with one another,” she adds.
Being open to new experiences and styles has been a running mantra for Blythe, from creating the perfect summer itinerary whether alone or with her BFFs, to never being afraid to front the camera with looks aplenty “I’m really proud to be part of this H&M collection kasi hindi talaga siya selective [sa] audience,” she reveals. Where her adventurous nature takes her next, who knows? All we’re sure of is that this young, happy, and fearless woman will always find new ways to inspire, and definitely new ways to bring the heat.