Astute shoppers always on the lookout for fashionable finds can look forward to the FilipinaZ fair that returns to 8 Rockwell on July 28-30.
The annual shopping event that aims to raise funds for the welfare projects of the Zonta Club of Makati & Environs will gather over 60 vendors handpicked by the fair organizers.
To set itself apart from similar fairs, FilipinaZ will limit its selection to jewelry, artworks and fashion. Zonta Club member Maritess Araneta’s experience in bazaars and trade fairs can be traced back to over 20 years.
“At the time, only big buyers could purchase items in bulk, but we wanted to make locally crafted products available to more Filipinos,” she told Lifestyle. “When we chose vendors for the fairs we began to hold, we had to make sure they had enough stock.”
Nowadays, however, people covet items that are more exclusive and one of a kind. Limited collections are the way to go.
Upcycled old wood
At the press preview held recently, Charming Baldemor of the Baldemor clan of Paete, Laguna, showed a selection of carved wooden clutches made from antique narra stairs. Her team of young artists cleans, pierces and carves the wood before adding details like the clasps and magnetic snaps.
Baldemor works almost exclusively with discarded items. Aside from the stair treads, she buys old Meralco posts and kariton wheels she then intricately carves and decorates, coming up with lighting fixtures one won’t find anywhere else.
The irony is not lost on her, and she stresses this point when talking with the members of Kababaihan, a group of battered and abused girls and women she works with as part of her advocacy. Kababaihan is also one of the groups assisted by the Zonta Club of Makati.
“If we’re able to come up with beautiful items from discarded wood, what more with you? You matter more, of course,” Baldemor said.
“All our programs, from women’s health services to livelihood generation, are centered on uplifting women’s lives,” said Armita Rufino, president of Zonta Club of Makati. “The proceeds from the FilipinaZ fair will go directly to those programs.”
Baldemor also worked with Georgina Ong, who provided the colored stones and hardware for some of the wooden clutches. Ong’s line of neckpieces for Alchemista was designed so each can be worn at least three different ways: as a lariat, a choker when looped twice around the neck, and as a long necklace. She also designs drop earrings that can be dismantled and worn as studs.
“I started out by joining bazaars four years ago but we now have our own space at S Maison at Conrad Manila,” Ong said. “When it comes to how to wear our pieces, we try not to dictate, but our staff are trained to give customers suggestions.”
She pairs sterling silver with gold, brass and bronze and uses colored quartz and natural gemstones.
Onib Olmedo print
Paintings of ballet dancers by Ronna Manansala, granddaughter of National Artist Vicente Manansala, will be available for sale at the fair.
“Woman Drinking Coffee,” a painting by the late artist Onib Olmedo, will also be reproduced and sold. Collectors are advised to come early, as only 50 numbered prints are planned.
Some of the other vendors at the three-day selling event include jewelry labels All the Glitters by Amanda Luym and Cacay Moras-Server, Eccentrics Limited by Juliana Santos-Garrett, and Definitive Handcrafted Opulence by Ann Ong; fashion by D’Oro Barandino; and art by Boysie Villavicencio and Bruno Gallery.