BLOG ... latest entries

» 2008 October

Traveling is a very essential ingredient in a designer's context, as it opens up numerous windows of inspiration. It also keeps one exposed, and in contact with the world at large––and such an amazing world it happens to be, indeed. Through cultural touchpoints such as food, art, religion and of course interaction with the place and the locals, travel creates a niche in one's mind which will eventually also affect all creative processes in some way.

7th~11th of October found me and my niece in the heart of bustling Bombay to be part of the product launch of my collections at ABACA India [»]. Mercifully we had half a day to settle down; our route had many pit stops––from Cebu to Davao in Mindanao, to Singapore, and finally to Bombay––but the morning after found us back on our feet.

The product launch and the Elle Décor-sponsored talk coincided fortuitously with two very ancient, very important events in the Hindi calendar: Durga Puja [»] and the Diwali [»]. For the evening's event, there was much arranging to be done and last-minute tweaking, but it was fun, and it reminded me oh so much of Milano!

Apart from the product and designer launch, I had the great opportunity to speak to a crowd of young students of the Sansa Rachna University, with colleges for architecture and interior design.

The food was incredible, of course; albeit naturally needing a few starter meals to get used to the food and how it is properly eaten, once one gets the hang of it, there really is no end to the eating. Very little room to 'feel guilty' too, since a lot of the food available is vegetarian, and prepared with meticulous detail. The chutneys for instance, were amazing.

• • • • • •

On the 12th~15th of October, we found ourselves in Kutch, which is in the Gujarat region of India. Rural for the most part, the cottage industries that were found there were fairly flourishing, proving that with a systematic approach, commercialism and retention of local crafts' quality can go in perfect synch.

Several challenges for the beginner though: Kutch is right by the Pakistan border, and thus is largely a desert area; the heat of the sun had probably never been as hot as I ever remembered it to be! That, and for someone used with a bit of meat in the everyday fare, Kutch is entirely vegetarian. It was also where we had what was probably the best lunch of the whole experience––in the humble living room of a woodblock artisan's home.

We were welcomed by a very hospitable staff who accompanied us throughout our Kutchi sojourn. Certainly it humbled and inspired me in many ways. Beauty and its practical application speaks clearest through material and the skill of the artisan. Technology in Kutch is developing; and yet pumping their local skill and being proud of the local arts, putting it out internationally and ensuring that the next generation is both aware of, and interested in its continuation, keeps the aesthetics alive.

The empowerment of women was a particularly strong movement in the area. Women who, for years and years have lived without tapping into their full potential as meticulous craftspersons, now produce embroidery works for limited-edition designs, as well as for more commercial enterprises, with stores in major cities like Delhi and Bombay. For instance, also the movement of Tsunamika [»] which helps women from villages devastated by monsoons and tsunamis, promotes industry from the cottage level, through creating hand-made little dolls from scraps of cloth.

Friends were made along the way.

Labels: ,


  · April 2008
  · May 2008
  · June 2008
  · July 2008
  · August 2008
  · October 2008
  · January 2009
  · February 2009
  · March 2009

Previous Posts
  · ABACA INDIA LAUNCHING EVENT » 2008 September And ...
  · SENSO VIDEO PANAMA LAUNCH » 2008 July It seems th...
  · FURNISHING THE SACRED (PART 2) » 2008 June I have...
  · FURNISHING THE SACRED (PART 1) » 2008 June In man...
  · CEBU-X: AN EXPLOSION OF ACTIVITY » March 2008 In ...

Back to top   

Debbie Palao New Collections2009 © Copyright Debbie Palao, Design Ventures Cebu Inc. All rights reserved. Patents pending.