It’s been a while since my last post (over four months!), and summer has come and gone. But even with the rainy season here, I’m always in a sunny state of mind as far as my fashion designing is concerned So apart from being kept busy with design work in my drawing room–and taking time over the summer to explore some of our beautiful islands (which I will post about next time)–immersing myself in our local crafts and culture has been something I’ve been enjoying lately.
Which is why, when I was invited once again to a sneak peak of this year’s upcoming MaArte Fair, I was only too happy to indulge in an afternoon of previewing artisanal pieces from one of the best, most prominent craft fairs in the country. Currently on its 8th year, the MaArte Fair is a fundraiser for the National Museum organized by the Museum Foundation of the Philippines. Headed by Maritess Pineda, the MaArte Fair aims to not only raise funds, but more importantly, to raise and evolve the Filipino craftsman–and, not to mention of course, raise the bar for the discerning shopper.
As a fashion designer, I know only too well how important developing and elevating our local crafts are to the fashion industry. The cultural heritage and painstaking handwork that go into our crafts, combined with our savvy design sense, are what elevate and differentiate our products from the flood of run-of-the-mill, mass produced items.
With this in mind, I happily made a mental list of all the cool, drool-worthy pieces that caught my eye, telling myself it wouldn’t really be considered shopping, it would be considered preserving our culture and helping maintain the National Museum–natch! I’m sharing just a few of the items on my wish-list with you, although I’m pretty sure that with 70 retailers joining the fair, everyone will be spoiled for choice…
Dreamy watercolor artwork from Baguio digitally printed onto 600 thread count sheets by Tara Designs ( I think I’d be tempted to turn these sheets into a lovely dress!)
Gabby Sarenas tells stories beautifully by craftily embroidering local folklore onto the piña sleeves and panels of her wearable pieces
Textures abound and contrast wonderfully with the structured tailoring of this sleeveless duster coat by Joel Escober
Vivid colors and patterns inspired by the vintas above the ocean and the vistas beneath it are found in Ken Samudio’s gorgeous accessories
Graphic renditions of the traditional Maskara are hand-carved and hand-painted into hip, cool & very chic minaudiéres by Joanique
Originally from Mangyan basket designs, these wonderfully patterned bags and accessories by prolific designer Zarah Juan are on my personal wish-list
This amazingly intricate Tboli hand-embroidered jacket by Filip + Inna is one of my favorites (imagine it with faded jeans!), especially when combined with this beaded leather bag by Rhett Eala & Zarah Juan. Winner combo!
Have you been to past years’ MaArte Fairs? What were some of your finds? Let me know what you think of my picks
*By the way, this year’s MaArte Fair will be from August 26-28, at 8 Rockwell Penthouse