The serviceable old pouf stood by her dresser for years, and when Cookie Guerrero finally felt her stool was due for a makeover, she let loose her creative juices and went the full nine yards.
Enlisting the services of a former employee who worked as an embroiderer in her boutique that sold embroidered clothes, Cookie designed for herself a bright blue taffeta pouf with purple orchids. All too soon, a good friend asked Cookie to make her one, too.
And that’s how Cookie Guerrero’s embroidery skills transferred from clothes to poufs, to the great delight of many, including this writer. Proof of this was a close-to-sellout exhibit in November last year at the Gallery of Casa Roces.
For nine years, Cookie ran a boutique called Amica, located on the second floor of SM Megamall. Hers was one of the first boutiques at the mall when it first opened. Catering to the high-end market with embroidery as the trademark of her dresses, Cookie did not just design the embroidery, but also supervised the artistry and color schemes in the execution, training her embroiderers according to her specifications. “Never a straight line where flowers and nature are concerned,” she says.
With her embroidery know-how, now reincarnated into poufs, Cookie’s designs come in all sorts of playful designs and color combinations, the boldness of it stemming from exposure to a wonderfully quirky kind of artistic sensibility she gets from her mother, the artist Morita Roces.
Cookie sticks to just one pouf style: the classic tomato-esque design typically found in boudoirs of ladies of leisure at the turn of the century. What makes her poufs different from this brocade-and-lace forerunner are the colors and designs which either go around like a kind of senefa, or are scattered strategically in spot designs.
There are purple-bodied parrots with pumpkin-colored feathers on a cinnamon-colored taffetta, for example, or fabric printed with circus characters, alternating with embroidered greyhounds with balloons on a citrus green background. There is bubblegum pink fabric embroidered with caramel-colored butterflies, and geometrics in vermillion and celery green on dual-shaded amber fabric.
The combinations and figures are endless and wonderfully dizzying when viewed all together at her showroom. On her work desk are designs in the making: colorful Gothic gargoyles and the animals of the Chinese zodiac.
Though she does one-of-a-kind designs, Cookie will gladly customize in any color combination upon order. “I would like to think of my poufs as art pieces rather than commercial furniture,” she says. “I have a few people who do the work, so there is no possibility of major output.” Customized poufs will take at least three weeks to finish.
Cookie’s pouf truly makes a room happy. As a dresser seat, it makes for something prettier to look at than your own face in the mirror. In a child’s room, it cuts the cute and adds juvenile sophistication. Cookie’s poufs, which she calls Pouf, is something you can’t have enough of—the kind of thing you reserve a space in your home for, justifying it as a need and not a want.
Pouf, available at Cookie Guerrero’s showroom, 7 Pioneer St., Mandaluyong City, tel. no. 6340904; or Indios Bravos Art and Antiques, 178 Mabini cor. Ortega Sts., San Juan. Call Lizza at (0917) 8136088.