The phrase “to put the Philippines on the map” in numerous fields and industries around the world today hardly necessitates much use anymore. Besides the endless achievements of Filipinos in a host of different capacities around the globe, the most immediate sign within the country that the Philippines is indeed on whatever map there may be in the international scene is the avalanche of foreign brands and talents in Manila and beyond. Such is proof that the Philippines has truly become an important and relevant market that is worth exploring for products and geniuses who are worth international recognition.
Today, The Manila Times shines the spotlight on two international designers in the fields of interior design and fashion who value their presence in this part of the global map.
The art of living by Giorgio Armani
During the 2015 edition of the “Salone del Mobile” home and furniture fair in Milan, the prestigious Armani/Teatro brand offered a fascinating voyage through some of the world’s most dynamic cities. It was a journey that took in different cultures and inspired a variety of emotions, looking at ways of life and examining local sensibilities. It also served as a history on innovations and a reflection of an aesthetic sense that redraws the boundaries of taste.
Some of the Armani/Casa Interior Design Studio’s most important global projects were on display at what is touted as the largest furniture fair of its kind in the world. Sketches, renderings, plans and cross sections, photos, scale models, layouts, samples of fabrics and materials all revealed the breadth and richness of the studio’s stylistic research, and among them stood just as impressive the company’s project for Century Properties in Makati City Philippines.
“For the past decade my Interior Design Studio has been working on outstanding projects all over the world, coming up with new creative solutions in which an aesthetic of luxurious simplicity is interpreted through the local culture and ethos. In this exhibition I wanted to present this very complex, wide-ranging experience, a voyage through innovation in hospitality and the dream of living, working with great masters of contemporary architecture,” said Giorgio Armani.
The exhibition represented an important milestone in Armani/Casa’s quest, which began in 2004 when Giorgio Armani surprised the world by signing a partnership with Emaar Properties PJSC. The company’s chairman, Mohamed Alabbar, had the intuition to contact the Italian designer, known for his passion for detail and endless striving for perfection, to add character and personality to the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, the world’s tallest building. It was to become home to the first Armani Hotel. This initiative was then repeated in Milan and in other cities, from Miami to Istanbul, from Mumbai to Manila, and from Tel Aviv to Chengdu and London.
Just as the design philosophy of the designer—an approach that perfectly represents “Made in Italy”—changed the world of fashion, his interior design has changed concepts of ease and comfort within architectural spaces. His signature aesthetic is a taste for luxurious simplicity, and this sums up Armani’s profound design identity.
This trademark is evident in the exhibited projects of Queen’s Gate Place in London; the Armani Hotel Dubai; the World Towers in Mumbai; the Art Residences, Giorgio Armani and Mind Group’s first residential project in China; the Maçka Residences in Istanbul; the studio’s first architectural project in Milan, the Armani Hotel in Via Manzoni; the Harbaa Towers in Tel Aviv; and last but not the least, the Century Spire in Makati City Philippines.
An extraordinary building in an elegant residential district in Manila, the Armani Group partnered with Century Properties to design the interiors of residential units and common areas of Century Spire. The building’s bold structure, that seems to open up at the tip like a bud, and the dynamism of the oblique lines of the façades, provided key sources of inspiration for the development of the interior concept, which features all the comfort and elegance associated with the Giorgio Armani name. In one magnificent project, the Armani design philosophy exists in perfect harmony with the expressiveness of Daniel Libeskind’s architecture.
* * *
Feminine beauty by Ines de la Fressange
With the Philippines emerging as one of Uniqlo’s fastest growing markets today, the Japanese clothing brand always makes sure to give Filipinos their most important collections as soon as they are launched at the company headquarters.
This season, fashion fans of the casual wear label have access to French style icon Ines de la Fressange’s special collection, which highlig hts feminine beauty and effortless comfort.
Uniqlo design director Naoki Takizawa worked with de la Fressange to merge her passion for the brand’s LifeWear concept and her style, inspired by refined feminine beauty and authentic quality. This is the third collaborative collection with de la Fressange, comprising a total of 95 items in a wider range of fabrics.
New to the line is the natural caramel color common to southern France by way of dresses in vintage floral prints, and indigo shirts. The sophisticated styling includes new coordination approaches for classic sportswear, and updates to the garment-dyed nylon jacket and coats that proved so popular last year.
Other key pieces features items that reflect the mystique of Morocco’s Marrakech and capture the spirit of a vacation by the Mediterranean Sea. The range newly includes vanilla and limestone gray hues, for vivid natural contrasts in the dazzling sunshine.
The Ines de La Fressange collection is designed to enhance femininity, beauty, and comfortable. Reprising the popular Soutien Collar Coat, final garment dyeing enhances softness and texture. The Floral Print Dress incorporates an elastic waistband, without a gathered front, to emphasize the silhouette. Shade contrasts in the pattern underscore the vintage appearance.
Ines de la Fressange says, “Fashion has to be fun. I learned from the world of high fashion that you can express elegance without owning many items. This collection is very easy to wear, match, and is layered to fit all women around the world.”
“Fashion is one of life’s joys,” she adds. “Let’s enjoy it together!”
Born into an aristocratic family in France in 1957, Ines de La Fressange grew to be a fashion model, becoming Chanel’s star model from 1983 to 1990, and the muse of designer Karl Lagerfeld.
In 1989, she was chosen by the French government as the likeness for a bust of Marianne, the symbol of the French Republic. Ines is also active as a designer, journalist, author, and fashion consultant, and in 2010 was selected as a member of L’Oréal’s “Dream Team.” Her book Parisian Chic has been translated into 17 languages, with more than a million copies sold worldwide.
In 2013, the French style icon re-launched her own brand, Ines de La Fressange Paris, and is closely involved as creative director. The luxury lifestyle brand includes a wide range of products to create a truly a parisian style, from ready-to-work apparel to interior decorations.