Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Slit, Saturated, & Shattered

I've been postponing this entry on some more fashion/ interior trends since I was more excited to write about the Cebu showrooms...plus the weekend surf trips had me working double time in the office. So anyway I felt the urgency to post this NOW since we all know how fashion trends come and go, they're here now & gone the next minute so if I postpone this for another week, well, it won't be as inspiring: 

From style.com Fall Fashion Week (NYC):
saturated pants colors
(L to R: Yigal Azrouel, Karen Walker, Prabal Gurung, Phillip Lim)

Graphic Tartan prints
(Most wearable for me is the 3rd one, from Band of Outsiders)

High Slits
Always alluring! And always OK for tanned & toned legs :-)

Tuxedo Dressing
Cute! Not for the heavily built like me, I would say. Better on skinny & dainty girls. 
(L to R: Prabang, Wu, Azrouel, R.Lauren)

 A lot of royal blues from Yves Klein

Watta (royal blue) beauty. Wow. 

And of course I always have to squeeze in a room that is "saturated" in pink. Why yes, it can be done. How long do you think you can stay inside this room? Because the designer kept the floor neutral, it's surprisingly liveable. :-)

Or, you can just use it on panels & doors if you're "scared to commit" to such a solid color:
from getmedia.com

OR, for the even more scared, just use splashes of it on walls, literally:
from getmedia.com

Aaaaand back to fashion...

YSL came out w/ these turquoise nail colors. I can definitely do this and put 1 layer of black Opi Shatter, thanks to ndpTammy Pineda! It has to look like this after:

see the demo video below: 

My OPI Shatter arrived last week & I just have to find the time to sit down & use it. 
Maybe tonight when all my work's done. Something to do to wait out the storm. 
(yes, Typhoon Pedring ongoing as I type).

Stay safe everyone! 

 And as of 9am the next day... here is my OPI shatter 

Please don't mind the pudgy man-hands. Isn't the shatter awesome?!? 
I used aqua as base coat. Next time I'll use hot pink. :-)

Monday, September 26, 2011

The Cobonpue (ex)Cynic

I've been to Cebu countless times, for work & stopovers to Siargao...but last week  I was fortunate enough to drop by Kenneth Cobonpue's showroom in the city and immerse in inspiration & wonder.

Honestly, I've always been a bit reserved about Cobonpue's furniture....although I've actually seen some of his key pieces at trade fairs, I've never had the chance to fully enjoy or use his furniture for more than a few minutes. I fully acknowledge his creativity & ingenuity only because of the awards & praise I've read about him, & thru my starstruck apprentices & colleagues who have attended his talks. If there's 1 thing I'm sure I admire him for, it's that he is one of the few Filipino designers who made it big around the world who would always remind everyone that he is Filipino. And for that I respect & admire him tri-fold. 

(nope I wasn't lucky enough to meet him, he was in Paris that time)

BUT. But, there was still always this little bit of reservation that MAYBE...maybe he was just lucky that he was a novelty & a curiosity to the world---that to the outside world he was this "exotic" designer from an island in the Philippines who came up w/ award-winning furniture, and it was all hype & publicity. 

There MUST be something not good, like maybe not all his furniture was comfortable...or maybe he had a design team who did most of the work & he wasn't so hands-on anymore at this stage of his fame...or maybe his work's perfectly photogenic but not so perfect when inspected up close...or maybe he's selling out already...stuff like that.  ANYWAY, I was in Cebu last week to visit my residential project & on my last day found myself planning a trip to his showroom...to look at his furniture w/ my client. 

et VOILA! 10 mins into the showroom, I was won over. 

I am officially a fan.  A loyal, coveting, starstruck Cobonpue fan. 

the Little People lamp. 9" twine figures clinging to each other gathered
around a simple light bulb, all silver with 1 red.
It looks fragile yet solid as a whole.
Yes, ganon na nga. Demmet. 
The Yoda collection, Noodle chairs, Cloud lamp

The iconic Dragnet chair, Bloom chair, & the Little People Lamp! I was delighted to see the lamp version of the Little People screen I ordered some months ago & used for a residential project
(it came out fabulous, but that will be in another blog entry in the future. Wait for it. *wink*

I fell in love with the Cloud lamp, from 20 meters away. I've been looking for this ever since I saw something like it in the Vitra showroom (i think) & have been wanting to use it in numerous projects. Now I finally know where to get it :)

(add'l note: the KC staff are so inspired as well. they talk about their products w/ enthusiasm & passion...they are well-trained, professional & will not ever give you the impression they are trying to hard-sell you their products...its more of like, "you're such a loser if you don't see the beauty of all this by yourself, really"). haha. 

It's not my favorite Cobonpue collection, but it's still amazing how it's so comfortable in spite of its loose-looking structure. EVERYTHING I sat on was so COMFORTABLE!!! Why? How?
I was floored. I've used the 2-seater in a project recently, but the gray noodle chair is a new color...it's a more sophisticated hue.

The lamp looks like a Marchesa gown. I love it.

I was just admiring this wild, jelly-fish looking Marchesa gown this morning & thought I would wear something like this to a friends beach wedding in February. Crazy right? I'd get kicked out of the church for upstaging the bride! hahaha! Ok, I'll just save up for the lamp instead of the gown :-p 
and this is the gumamela-looking Bloom chair...& I got to try & sit on it! It was a very good fit I must say, just right where it matters-- where your butt, lower back & arms rest. Seat height was perfect for lounging.
we were having a laugh pretending to be Boy Abunda & Kris Aquino...I still have mixed feelings about Cobonpue's furniture (or any other good designer's) being used in gossip talk shows. It's good that world-famous Filipino design is being brought to the masses, but I dunno. It's just...weird.

I mean, at least find a good coffee table to go with the Bloom chair, right?
paging Kris Aquino's set designers...PLEASE naman. You already spent big money on the designer chair, what's up with the surplus coffee table from China? 

at least Boy Abunda's set design looks good. With the chic floor,  modern lighting, sheer metallic curtains...and Phil Younghusband.  You can't go wrong. :-)

what felt to me like Scandinavian design principles in Filipino shapes & materials (in this part of the showroom only)

more lights:
His Dragon's Tail lamp made of folded paper (?) in undulating hues of warm caramel & honey.
Ya I know, I won't be able to read by the light of this lamp. BUT so what?!? I was completely seduced. 

Lamps from Hive

This is a set of drop lights made out of wire & fish scales. You heard me right, FISH SCALES!
Ok...3 things, please
1. paano nya naisip yon?!? 
2. it didn't stink of fish at all (trust me, I stuck my head in to check, really)
3. my Panasonic Lumix LX3 rocks, right? look at that detail

And now on to the outdoors...he practices what he preaches. His furniture are exposed to the elements 24-7 to show you their durability & water-proof qualities:

daybeds & planters

And, and.....he even has PET LOUNGES! Looks like a giant slipper at first but its still elegant. Lucky is the dawg that sleeps here!

The Operetta Pet Lounge

Like I said earlier, I think he was at the Paris Maison et Objet 2011 show at the time I visited his showroom. And of course, his new collection is as stunning, creative & unforgettable as always. It will no doubt be another feather to his already iconic cap.  According to 1 blog, his collection was placed at the entrance to this international show, alongside the best of the best, to greet the most discriminating traders in the world. 

Feast your eyes on the Papillon Lounge chair & ottoman, shaped like butterfly wings (from the Maison et Objet show):

I say, Cobonpue knows how to thrill. 

What made me throw in the towel & totally cave in to the Cobonpue phenomena is when I actually saw for myself what could not be seen in photos or TV: his items looked & felt (and WERE) incredibly & beautifully handmade in real life. It's true when they say that his advantage over other designers is that his items feels wonderfully "human" in an age of computers & robotics.  I believe this goes for most if not all local designers in the Philippines especially in Cebu where I have been going back & forth these past few years, visiting the equally impressive showrooms of the Murillo brothers & Vito Selma. 

Of all things I saw in the Cobonpue showroom, this lamp hanging above me (see pic below), took the cake.  It looks ordinary, UFO-like, even boring with the variety of exciting styles in the market today. But it was while I was touching & looking at it....and zooming in on it till it was already touching my nose, that I saw how it was made. My eyes widened & stared at it for a long time, letting out a curse word every now and then (yes, forgive me for the drama but it's true). 

It was made of plastic or nylon string (the kind you use for fishing, it seems) KNOTTED with even thinner nylon string ONE BY ONE...a hundred times over weaving through a thin rim of metal.  It was the kind of knot impossible for a machine to make & only hands can do. The concept was so simple, the look so space-age, yet the end-product was so thoroughly & perfectly human that it was seriously one of the most elegant things I have ever seen in my whole life.  

I didn't realize I didn't have a close-up of this lamp. I was too mesmerized to even think about taking a picture. Actually, taking photos in his showroom or any other designer's showroom is not encouraged since we all know how fast knock-offs are produced by China, Taiwan or even by our own countrymen.    They were nice enough that day to let me take a few photos since they know me as an interior designer who have already bought Cobonpue for my projects, and not a furniture manufacturer out to copy their designs. 

And besides, not to worry, Mr. Cobonpue. Your furniture can never be copied the way you have made it in your factory, with the painstaking attention to detail (ahhh the knotted nylon lamp, I die...) & the luxury of having ecologically chic pieces with materials (& by hands) that are 100% from the Philippines. 

I am a Cobonpue cynic no more. 

Kassia's Hooters Fin

I want this fin so bad!!! Wel, because (1) Kassia Meador designed it, (2) it has a cute owl on it and (3) I support breast cancer awareness. And oh yeah, it looks like it'll give me a smooth & steady ride on my log :-) 

A cute hoot, indeed. Thank you ndp for sharing :-)

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Stay Creative in 33 Ways

(by an anonymous writer)

Anyway, I agree! All of this really works. Especially #s 5 and 9, & 13...

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Cute Hoots

Guess what I've been seein' around these days...
CLUE: it is a symbol of wisdom, big-eyed, hoots & is always up at night!  (no, it's not your neighbor's gramma). Taka a wide-eyed look: 

drawn in an art class by a little boy named Tristan 
classic Audobon
Yup, OWL FEVER!!! Y'all know I'm not such a big fan of anything feathery (a.k.a. birds of all breeds) but I gotta say, I almost didn't notice this design trend has been around had I not read American interior designer Heather Clawson saying these creatures were all over U.S. furniture trade fairs.  Read on w/ her photos from the trips: 

John Robshaw pillows
beautiful wooden trays by Simrin

vintage letter & card clips by Vagabond Trading
I especially liked this baby mobile by Ige...it's so Tim Burton right? :-)
soft & plush pillows by a certain Donna Wilson from London
And so, taking off from that, I would say these are my personal favorites which I'd definitely use in a spot or two in my interiors, if only it were available in the Philippines:

Home decor from Jonathan Adler (a bowl, a pillow, a candle lamp, & what looks like a Christmas tree ornament)

Handknitted owl by Mayan artist Julio Mendez & designed by Archt. Sindy Posso, these Twoolies are "unique handmade wool animals w/ artistic personality that come to your living space to stimulate your thoughts & emotions...combining modern & trendy concepts w/ ancestral native designs".  

(Sorry, it's so darn cute I can't help but post these other twoolie animals totally not connected to the topic, hahaha! I'm sure you'll forgive me for straying...look!) 

AAAAAAAARGH!!! That octopus is so stylin'!
And best part is, no two twoolies are alike. 

Plus!!! Let me share this Twoolie-looking armchair I found on the net accidentally: 

I want ONE!!!!! Like now! And add a cup of milk tea & a stack of Elle Decor magazines to read please!
These Twoolie toys are so adorable I think it merits a separate CBS blog entry 1 of these days. hmmm. 

So anyway, thanks for obliging me that li'l moment of weakness :-) On to the other Owls popping up in interiors: 

Lamp from Pottery Barn

Shower caddy from Urban Outfitters

3d Origami art (i won't even attempt to do this...I know my EQ level)
by Linda Solovic (scrapbook paper & canvas)

fabric from Woodland Friends

And here are the owls from the fashion world....

Kate Spade owl bag
cute handcrafted handbag

Kit + Lili cherry owl onesie
(it's ok....admit that you want to absolutely eat this one up!)

Little cherub Cadence Cosio looks delighted to wear her li'l owl dress...look at that smile! 
Thanks Kiddo & Amy for sharing! She's my cutest model so far :-)

Bath & Body Works anti-bac holder
cute shoe, unknown label
(if you know by who, help me out & leave a comment!)

a bejewelled owl pendant

Can you see my friend NdP's owl earring? She wears it so well doncha think? 

And some pieces from my own humble closet:

can you see the owl earrings & ring? 

a close-up of the FABULOUUUUUUS owl earrings given to me by my friend Tin Magsaysay from almost 2 years ago! (watta fashion foresight, Tin Mags!!!) :-) 

and my current fave ring I got from some bazaar some months ago

Whew! That was a lotta CUTE HOOTS!!! So I'll end this entry with a special owl -- one that you'll find in many Filipino homes thanks to every Arts & Crafts teacher in every Filipino school....

Hoot! Hoot!
(means, "the end"!)