Riches and Brandiosity


Somebody gave us a set of pillows stitched with this little nugget of wisdom: “Families are like fudge, mostly sweet, with some nuts!” This is oh so true with mine, particularly the nuts part so I stowed away to a friend’s house and volunteered to man her couture shop so she can scout for fabric at Divisoria: that teeming, heaving cornucopia of all things crafty, tacky and fashionable. The hot and humid weather punctuated by rain, releasing an all too 'earthy' smell, mingling with an occasional whiff of something rank puts me off; even overpowering the delicious smells from hot noodle carts and frying bicho bicho (the Pinoy crumpet or donut).     Navigating through a maze of stalls (makeshift or not) makes me dizzy – so do horns blaring, peddlers and kargadors with their trolleys and carts shouting, whistling or clicking their tongues so they could pass and barkers shouting for attention (on bullhorns and karaoke mics no less).  And the sea of people weaving and converging around and between aisles, jumping over gutters, jostling on pavement, and crossing the ex railroad-now- half tiangge (street market)-half transport lane! I sometimes thought we could be more like ants – swarming (except for food) and swerving is a no-no: they walk the line and don't hold up traffic to chat up someone they ran into (more like a quick word then they move on).  Much as I love shopping and is amazed at all that could be bought at Divi, I can only brave the trip when necessary. 

The shop (and her home) is another world entirely!  Her home is stuffed with Orientalia, tiny teacups and Celadon, huge chests and carved wood.  I get happy when I am surrounded by beautiful, tiny, clever details, the more intricate (not too ornate or busy) the better. I cannot do much with the now nearly blank slate of the rectangular, open layout of our (typhoon) Ondoy wracked house, so I liked visiting hers.  She is an interior decorator and a fashion designer: you get the picture.  


 I do my best though, like here.

See the wall behind my little tableau? I am painstakingly, scraping off old paint and will repaint (when I get to it). Maybe a nice silver gray because I supposedly need more metal this (astrological) year.  Better consult Reiko Gomez’ blog again!

The walls remind me of a photomontage I saw on Elle Decor, all distressed cement walls and floors, only ours wasn’t intentional. I spray painted the wrought iron garden ‘shelf’ and metal worked mirror, enthroning my surviving collection of ceramic fruit and plates (the day before I took this shot, my dad broke two of the apples...sigh)  – the detritus of a more gracious home.

Most of our stuff we packed in bubble wrap and plastic boxes.  All our downstairs cabinets and shelves were ruined in the 6 feet high flood.  There are forecasts of more flooding this year so maybe the plastic boxes will just float. Flooding is already raging in a wider swath of the world, even in the dessert where a little rain used to be a miracle, not a portent– how topsy-turvy the global climate has become.

Her home and the shop is a wonderland for me.  Besides her fashion brand and a huge (to me) designer collection (Armani, Prada, et al), there’s a treasure trove of magazines and coffee table books on industrial design, fashion, and interiors. I get to raid her closet sometimes, if anything fits me.  If her unit was bigger, laying out her bags, shoes and clothes collection for this blog would be like a celebrity closet spread on Ok!, Hello! or Yes! Magazine. Hmmm, I wonder why they named the magazines as such - short, effusive, exclamatory - like a “Hey, buy me and ogle” holler? Did I just answer my own question? I’d have done it too, lay out her stuff, if not for the tiny townhouse that hardly holds everything, so most are in boxes both to wrestle some living space and to protect the stuff.  You could say we live out of the box(es) haha!

I mentioned before, I have good friends who shares their world; a life “made” less ordinary.  Occasionally, we indulge in makeover fun, fashionably eclectic, boho mixing and mismatching! I have my own stuff, though not as extensive, expensive or ‘brandiose’ as theirs.  Mine’s merely a selection, not a collection hehe.
I hesitate sometimes, because I don’t like people thinking the glammed up me is all me! Stepping out in style is fun, except for the killer stilettos! I once dressed like a hundred thousand in Manolo Blahnik (pumps), Anne Klein (pants), Gakuya (top) Armani (watch), Bulgari (earrings and bangle), and toted a vintage Oscar de la Renta handbag to make someone green.  It’s an in your face gesture I’d make occasionally but I am usually happy with what I have.  I’m managing expectations, see.  I am heading off any disenchantment – like admiring a nice bust line then finding out its all due to a push up bra! How deflating (hee-hee-hee).

Maybe if I had all the money in the world I would be as brand conscious as anyone.  Then again, I’m more the practical type.  I admit to an expensive pointy finger though – whatever I point at is bound to be just that.  Sigh....



P.S.  I took the pictures with my cam phone, which I mentioned before isn’t much good in low or yellow light.  I still haven’t gotten around to toting a proper camera. I just wanted to have a month ender story, seeing as I haven’t posted much. 

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