The second longest-running trade show in the Asia Pacific region, Manila FAME has gained a following among buyers and design enthusiasts who eagerly anticipate the twice-yearly showcase. I only started checking it out this year, beginning with the show held last April, and was lucky to get a chance to drop by the October edition just the other week. The home and interiors offerings are always extraordinary, but being the jewelry girl, I always head straight for the fashion booths.
This time around, Manila Wear and the rest of the fashion exhibitors had their own space at the Fashion Tent in the World Trade Center. It’s always exciting to see what’s new from favorites (and L’Officiel regulars) like Joanique, Aranaz, and Ken Samudio; Michelline Syjuco was also debuting a line of accessories made out of repurposed vintage jewelry which definitely caught my eye. I enjoyed seeing the work of the winner of the Red Box Design Competition, Micki Olaguer—she presents mother-of-pearl in a way that’s fresh and never before been seen, cutting it into intricate shapes, molded against silver dipped in 24k gold. I was just as impressed with the hammered brass and copper creations of Earl Gariando, whose repoussé necklaces reminded me of the relics you’d see hanging on the necks of saints.
I always leave Manila FAME feeling energized, inspired, and incredibly hopeful about the prospects for the country’s fashion future. Judging by the camaraderie I could feel amongst the designers I encountered, showcases like these help foster an environment of partnership, creativity, even friendly competition. The best way to end the afternoon was with a scoop of sili ice cream (yes, sili ice cream!) from Albay’s 1st Colonial Grill, who was distributing cones to visitors on the second floor. Upon exiting the World Trade Center, a huge sign was advertising that next year’s edition is already set for April 21-23, 2017. Can’t wait—see you guys then!