Life + Style: Fashion and Craft

Today we want to discuss inspiration. What makes artists do what they do – in a way they do it? Some ideas, as well as commitment to hard work, stem from within. Imagination is a powerful source for creativity. However, no artist or designer operates in a vacuum. The environment matters greatly as it nurtures and defines the artist. Art is a form of channeling one’s creativity – but it is also embedded into the world around that inspires, challenges, and teaches. Every artist and artisan has this pool of creative references: things, people, places, and ideas that make her or him “tick” and create. Let’s call it “an inspirational bubble.” At Rich Earth Jewelry, we certainly have one. And this post opens a series of entries in which we’ll try to describe what sources of inspiration stand behind REJ’s collections and pieces. Some themes are broad, some are very specific – but we care for and love all of them and would like to share this passion with you.

Today’s story is about fashion, craft, and traditions. Let’s take a look at Ms. Universe 2018, Catriona Gray’s gown during the competition. It was created by designer Mak Tumang, and was called “Mayon”, inspired by the Mayon Volcano in Albay. It’s a gown celebrating Catriona’s roots. The Mayon Volcano has a symmetrical conical form and ancient folklore has it that it was named after the mythological heroine, “Daragang Magayon” or Beautiful Lady. Moreover, as Tumang describes it, "Despite its pulchritude is the fact that it is the most active volcano in the Philippines, erupting numerous times in the past half a millennium. Catriona can be considered as the modern-day Daragang Magayon. She embodies the Filipina’s beauty, intelligence and burning passion. This lady is definitely on fire! Watch her erupt right before your very eyes and let the lava of grace, goodness and hope flow."

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Collaborations like these, between ancient local arts and crafts and mainstream fashion and art are a wonderful thing, and particularly valuable when they serve a great cause. A recent event was the TernoCon 2018, held last November 2018. This campaign was launched to revive the Philippine’s traditional dress, the terno, which is a dress characterized by its oversized sleeves. The show’s aim was to bring back into the Filipina’s consciousness how the terno is part of their identity and a symbol of their heritage. It is a special art and craft which all Filipinos should take pride in. Inno Sotto was the chief mentor of all designers who took part in this project, and was assisted by other well-known designers, JC Buendia, Cary Santiago and Len Cabili. These designers taught their own couture techniques, how to handle different fabrics, and how to incorporate traditional and modern elements into the gowns.

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The clash of old and new, of trends and traditions, often creates unforgettable ethnic motifs and styles. At Rich Earth Jewelry, Rica often taps into ancient history and Filipino traditions for inspiration. The Hidi Collection takes us back to our Filipino roots, and gives some insight into the pre-colonial grandeur of the traditional Filipino jewelry. Before the Spanish colonization, there was a rich and developed civilization on the islands that currently form the Philippines. Gold was the material of choice and many pieces were made with simple, yet effective, hammering techniques.


And, of course, the good old Hellenistic tradition, Ancient Greece and its mythology and culture, remain a rich source of inspiration for many of Rich Earth Jewelry's pieces.

There is so much diversity and uniqueness in the world that, duly preserved and supported, may continue to serve as a source of endless inspiration for creative minds of generations to come. 

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