Knowing Talent When I See It (Manila FAME 2013)

All about bringing our proudly Philippine-made products to the world, Manila FAME puts together a bi-annual showcase for international buyers.

With talented artist and graphic designer, Paolo Icasas of Happy Days fame, we weaved around the areas of the convention center re-discovering the best of what our country has to offer….

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The first floor of the SMX Convention Center (Metro Manila, Philippines) were displays of mostly furniture makers and home accessories….

On the second floor we were greeted by this scene of hand carvers….

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Although it was wonderful to see their skill in hand-carving in order to promote their craft, I could not help but feel a sense of exploitation here….  Or is it just me?

But moving on, on the second floor, it was nice to see Manila FAME exhibiting works from local artists….

And of course, my favorite, Jetro Rafael of the amazing dining experience that is Van Gogh is Bipolar. Jetro displayed many of his paintings and had an art installation with an emphasis on shoes….

Read more about my experience of Van Gogh is Bipolar here- part 1 and part 2.

Inside the trade hall, the second floor hosted a myriad of our uber-talented local fashion and accessories designers and every Manila FAME event, I always make a point to visit my lovely friend Rita at their S.C. Vizcarra area. Here, their stack of vintage-looking leather suitcases that never fails to call my attention….

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I have featured their items countless times here as well as I am a huge fan of their leather and wicker designs. Read more about Rita and S.C. Vizcarra in a previous post of mine, Scrutinize These Eye-BAGS.

There was even had a green section where I bumped into cutie, Noreen Bautista of Jacinto & Lirio.

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Noreen and the rest of this wonderful company have transformed the water hyacinth, lilies that have “severely infested Philippine waters with the rapid rate of proliferation”,  into “fashionable and functional statement bags and accessories through sustainable means.”

I have bought one of their handbags a couple years ago and it has become one of my staples. So this time, I bought a matching ipad cover. I love how the water hyacinth here replicates wood….

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Check out this Otap Market Place where Paolo and I both agree on how the minimalism of this area made it so cool. Charcoal on plywood was simple and enough for this market place to stand out…….

There was also the Manila FAME boutique area where you can purchase products from more Philippine designers and labels. I was so happy to see the display of rings (with their clever trademark egg crate fixture) and pendants from Studio Bohemia! Their eye-popping pieces have made them easy to highlight in my fashion shoots.

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Also displayed were the wonderful clutch bags crafted by Bowery! Another favorite label of mine to feature in fashion editorials … And a favorite to have! I have one of their over-sized clutch bags made out of fish skin which houses my ipad and other items I need for my pre-production meetings.

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Designs of banana-fiber maven, Dita Sandico-Ong, were present too. I have always admired her items and her support for our country’s local weavers…

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Some of my Instragram photos on Manila FAME @helloandgoodeye…. Follow me!

Let’s all make a collaborative effort to support our local artisans.  Keep your eyes peeled for the next Manila FAME this October 17th-20th at the SMX convention Center, Metro Manila, Philippines and witness the incredible talent and artistry of the Philippines!

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