Raphaelle Camcam is an ambitious 18-year-old high-schooler who has just made her fashion debut at the Pinto Art Museum.
Her Filipiniana didn’t look quite the way we had been used to. There were tops, dresses, skirts and barong that echoed patterns of old and used indigenous fabrics.
Rapha’s point was that beautiful, locally made materials shouldn’t be just for Buwan ng Wika or national commemorations, but pieces of an ever-vibrant culture. “I just felt it was probably time to make a change, especially now that the younger generations (my age and younger) don’t really see or learn how to appreciate the beauty of what we have in our own backyard,” she explained.
Passion runs strong in this girl, but so does good luck. “I was offered this huge opportunity by Dr. Joven R. Cuanang when he saw how interested I was in buying the fabrics from Pinto Art Museum,” she said. “He walked up to me and asked, ‘Is fashion what you want to take up in college?’ And I answered, ‘Yes, yes it is.’”
By her designs, which were a refreshing throwback to our weaving heritage, Camcam seemed to be saying, “We can use our native materials for high fashion.”
Get to know more of Nars’ Tahiti Bronze Collection from François Nars himself.
How has the island of Motu Tane influenced you?
Motu Tane inspires me all the time when it comes to the creation of color. I come up with so many ideas when I am there. The colors there are extremely strong: the blue lagoons, the green foliage, the pink sunsets… I can see a flower and say, “I want exactly this pale green color for an eye shadow.” When I’m there, I keep myself open to that process. I never force myself to create. There, my mind is very, very open to anything.
What inspired you to create this collection?
I first fell in love with French Polynesia and Bora Bora in 1999 when I was traveling with family and friends. I was really inspired by the natural beauty of the islands, and also of the people and their customs. Over the years, products inspired by my time there have made their way into various NARS collections: eye shadows, lip colors, bronzers, body oils… Suddenly it just seemed natural to create a collection of everyone’s favorites. It’s a bit like a souvenir of the island, or my version of an homage.
What are your favorite products in the collection?
I love the new Laguna Liquid Bronzer because it can be used in many different ways: to contour the face, as a bronzer, mixed with makeup to make a glowing foundation. It’s very versatile and easy to apply. You can use it on the face or the body and it looks great on everyone. I also love the oils, especially Monoi Body Glow II. It’s lightweight but really soothing and moisturizing, and it gives the skin a beautiful radiance.
What is the best technique for applying a bronzer?
The best thing about the Laguna Bronzer is that the color looks great on virtually everyone. For the liquid bronzer, I would use fingertips to blend it over the areas the sun hits naturally, like the tops of the cheekbones, the forehead and the bridge of the nose. The powder bronzer comes with its own Kabuki Ita Brush, which is really the best tool for applying it because the hairs pick up just a bit of pigment at a time so you can’t overdo it. I would brush it on the high points of the face and also on the chest and shoulders, where people find their skin tans first.