The Best One Yet!

Ever since my first ManilaFAME experience, I’ve been hooked!  Imagine an event showcasing two floors of the best locally made furniture, home accessories, bags, jewelry and fashion–gosh, this is what heaven looks like for a girl like me! Hahaha!  So I’ve made it a point to troop down to SMX for every show since, for a little dose of happy and inspiration :).

And even after 3 expos, the giddiness I feel every time I visit has not died down one single bit.  In fact, after the recent show held last Oct 17-20–their best one yet–I’m still on a high and totally inspired by everything I saw!

As expected, the furniture and home furnishings were truly extraordinary!  No wonder our local artisans are considered to be design trendsetters, and have truly sparked global interest in and demand for our products :).

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While I think there were less participants this time around compared to last March, the booths and the products were definitely nothing short of spectacular! Here were some of my personal favorites… 🙂

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Ito Kish

Don’t you just love the wall treatment?  And those Busilak Jars are LOVE :).

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Kenneth Cobonpue

I have nothing else to say but his booth was impressive as always :).  This shot was my paparazzi moment.  Hahaha!  Was hoping to meet him but this interview took a while :(.

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Balay ni Atong

Those lamps made from pieces of inabel cloth and wire were TDF!!! I also fell in love with a woven blanket, but it was a bit out of my budget :(.

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Catalina

Those colorful stools/side tables made me drool!!!  I want one badly!!!

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Schema by Kalikasan Crafts

The pendant lamps are a project for our dining room next year!  Excited!

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Vito Selma

*Sigh* His Geo coffee table has been on my wish list for like forever!!!

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Masaeco

I always love their booth display, and this time was no exception 🙂

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Tadeco

Aren’t those light installations gorge? 🙂

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Industria

They won the Katha Award for Best Booth Design :).

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Triboa Bay

Another favorite of mine.  Their pieces are so well designed, yet very functional!  Their trestle table is another one on my wish list!

This time around, there was also a special showcase called The Red Box, featuring the work of the rising stars of local design.  These designers are part of a developmental program “aimed at harnessing Filipino creativity with the use of sustainable raw materials to produce design-forward products for the world.”

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Loved these tables and the lighting by Leah Sanchez.  Incidentally, aside from being an architect by profession, Leah is also one half of the duo behind Resurrection and Found Objects Gallery :).

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It was so nice to see the work of my favorite ladies from Bungalow 3oo on display during the show!  Bravo!

Even the Manila Wear section, now on its second year, had such a strong showing from its participant artists.  I noticed a lot of fashion designers combining regional craftsmanship with their own unique aesthetic and style, setting the stage for next year’s trends and must-haves :).

It truly makes me happy to see the Philippine aesthetic finally having its time in the spotlight :).  I’ve always been a fan of native arts and crafts, and it is quite wonderful that many designers have started incorporating not just local materials into their products, but traditional elements into their designs as well. Coupled with a modern twist or interpretation, the results are exquisite artisanal items that are really something to be proud of! 🙂

Here is a small sampling of my favorite brands at Manila Wear…

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Vesti

These bags are not just so “now”, but I love the use of the traditional fabric!  It was so nice to meet the designer and owner of the brand, who truly impressed me with her style and go-getter attitude :).

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Such beautifully crafted accessories from last year and this year’s Katha Award winner, Ann Ong.  I’m not sure if I could wear the grasshopper on wood neckpiece, but I was definitely wowed by the intricacy of the design :).

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It was so wonderful to bump into Dennis Lustico!  I am a longtime fan of his dress designs, and it is so nice to see how he has branched out into accessories–specifically, bags!  Aren’t they bee-yoo-ti-full? 🙂  I super loved that yellow “bayong” he is standing next to with the acrylic handles, as well as the blue beaded clutch at the bottom of the picture.  Ang ganda!!!!

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I also finally got to meet accessory designer, Ken Samudio, and had a fan-girl moment!  Hahaha!  To say I love his stuff is an understatement.  More about it in my next blog post! 🙂

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Another uber wonderful and cool accessory designer is Adante Leyesa.  Not only does he have talent by the bucket-loads, but he’s super humble too!  I just love his statement neckpieces and clutch bags!  They are definitely showstoppers!!!

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I think my most favorite accessory designer of all time has to be Joyce Makitalo, though.  Actually, between my mom and I, we have 5 of her gorgeous necklaces!!!  I can’t wait to see her new collection which is coming out very soon!  I am so sure it will be amazing!

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These barong dresses by Amarie first caught my eye at the MaARTe bazaar.  I would love to own one of these someday too :).

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Filip + Inna’s booth, and the various pieces they had on display totally took my breath away!  Not only did I love the colors, but the embroidery designs were so exquisite!  Hard to believe these are traditional designs from the tribes in Lake Sebu–they look so modern and contemporary!  Again, more on this in another blog post :).

To be honest, I could go on and on about the amazing things I saw during ManilaFAME, but it would be even better if you guys had a chance to see the expo for yourself (watch out for it in March 2014!!!)!  These pictures are but a fraction of all there is to see!  As it was, I actually didn’t have much time to go through the entire show :(, so I had to breeze past other sections such as the OTOP (One Town, One Project), which features products from various regions all over the Philippines.

Don’t you agree, though, that Filipinos are soooo talented and creative? 🙂 Coming to a show like this will truly make you feel proud of our culture and heritage!  I’m sure it won’t be long before the world starts appreciating it as well :).

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