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The 10 Runaway Hits Of ArteFino 2018

Expect heavy crowds browsing around these brands—some were sold out in two hours!

ArteFino 2018 boasts of over 100 proudly Filipino brands, and this year did not disappoint. Local fashion designers mingled with upcoming homegrown brands, and while the space was vast and the crowd was organized, every turn you make would pique your interest to peruse what were in store.


READ: Artisan Steals You Should Not Miss At the ArteFino Fair 2018!


The first two hours of Artefino was a frenzy of familiar faces greeting one another, and snapping up what one needed before they ran out—and some brands did quickly sell out their items, but hopefully will replenish in time for this weekend. Here are the brands that were a hit with the patrons, in alphabetical order:


1. Farah Abu


@farah_abu for #ArteFino2018 ??

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READ ArteFino 2018: No One Does Maximalist Accessory Design Quite Like Farah Abu


Calling her collection “statement pieces” are—well, an understatement. Most of the pieces in her recent collection contain huge gemstones adorning bags, accessories, and earrings, some upon heaps of colored feathers, with some pieces bigger than your ears themselves. Patrons were drawn to the multicolored pieces, in part due to Farah’s welcoming nature and eagerness to help out with choosing the right pair for each one. She is as bubbly, lovely, and bright as her pieces—a clear reflection of the artist and her creations.


2. Gabbie Sarenas


SENSE AND MEMORY Gabbie Sarenas continues to reimagine the possibilities for traditional Filipino textiles. For ArteFino 2018, the designer keys into the idea of versatility in tradition with a series of statement bibs articulated in her signature fine piña (adorned with hand-sewn sampaguitas) and hablon, a local weave native to Iloilo. Titled “________, Nagmamahal, _______,” each of the 15 available bib designs bears a sensibility of ease and freedom; having done away with sizing with the calculated design choice of not having side seams, the wearer is given the choice whether to relax (in jeans and a pair of day-flats) or to constrict (in a simple sheath or wide-leg trousers) as she pleases. With each bib sewn to resemble individual art pieces all on their own, we predict a sold-out run. Act fast. Write up by Martin Yambao @martinpanduh GABBIE SARENAS ____________, NAGMAMAHAL ___________ Aug 30-Sept 2 Available until stocks last ? #GabbieSarenas #ArteFino

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READ ArteFino 2018: Gabbie Sarenas Tells The Story Of The Philippines' Rich Culture Through Her New Line Of Piña Bibs


From afar, Gabbie Sarenas’ Cecilia Bib looked too delicate to hold, but that’s the thing about cloth such as piña—it looks delicate, but it’s as tough as it gets. The Cecilia bib is inspired by the way love letters were signed back in the old days. Made out of piña and hablon, there is hand-sewn sampaguita embroidery in each one, and it comes in your conventional off-white and black. Gabbie mentions that each bib is free size, and can easily be adjusted as needed. Meant to be worn over a shirt or a dress, women eagerly did so on the spot, and marveled at the ruffles and embroidery of each piece.


3. HaloHalo


Friday drop of the trabaho tote. Come by at @artefinoph . #halohaloresort ??????

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READ: ArteFino 2018: HaloHalo's Cara Sumabat Talks About Elevating Banig To Create Stylish And Functional Pieces For Your Wardrobe And Your Home


If a hipster and a banig weaver had a baby, HaloHalo would be their child. Extraordinary weave patterns were matched with soothing colors such as pistachio green, millennial pink, and your standard rust brown and black. The patterns and colors translated exceptionally well to floor pillows, bags, fans, placemats, and of course, floor mats. Both sizes of their biyahe totes sold out as quickly as they were hung up on their display area. Their space was one of the most well-thought of, seemingly set up to be the “Halo-Halo Resort," to encourage patrons to lounge and relax a little while.


4. Finds at ArteFino

Stuffed to the brim with over 30 brands, Finds at ArteFino looks like a walk-in closet, curated with hand-sewn jackets, silk robes, embroidered blouses, and countless trinkets. Take your time when in the space, and look from top to bottom—each brand has a meter or two of space, so it’s easy to miss out on a valuable find. Keep your eyes out for the jackets over at Sitio ArteFino, blouses by the loveseat, and fun slip-on shoes with pompoms.


5. Jor-El Espina



READ ArteFino 2018: Jor-El Espina Weaves The Story Of Culture


Espina has no qualms with mixing materials, colors and textures—in fact, his “bomberongs”  (bomber jacket + barong) are a testament to his talent and expertise to do so. While the jackets come in neutral hues like black, white and gray, your eyes are drawn to the multicolored pieces that don’t shy away from going all-out—satin, lace, and barong embroidery all come together in one jacket. So much craftsmanship in one piece!


6. Ken Samundio / Matthew and Melka


Dinner is served at ARTEFINO. See you tomorrow for an accessories feast. Everyone is invited!

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READ: Drew Barrymore Gifted With Two Earrings From The Same Filipino Designer


The international brand did not disappoint in their showing at ArteFino. Set up as a welcoming dining experience, pieces are thoughtfully strewn about, with their signature bloom earrings displayed as dessert. Neckpieces, headpieces, clutches and bags abound as well, with patrons making a beeline for the brand’s bestsellers such as their Fleur earrings and clutches, but take your time to look around for their new selections, such as the Triton Market Tote basket bag, made of mother of pearl and pearls—definitely a show-stopper.


7. Micki Olaguer


The jeweller’s area isn’t hard to find, with it occupying double the space and being surrounded with a buzzing crowd. With a price range starting at P1,700 till around P50,000 and up, it comes as no surprise that there’s something for everyone. Their bestsellers are their popular stackable rings containing a solitaire gemstone—either choose your designated birth month gemstone, or one that strikes your fancy—get three and you get a discount. Don’t let the good deal blind you from the rest of her collection, though. Keep your eye out for her dangling earrings made out of mother of pearl—you can detach the dangling pieces, leaving the studs, making it two pieces for the price of one.


8. Rhett Eala


Day 3 #artefino2018 #rhetteala

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Wel known to be a champion for Filipino talent, you’re immediately drawn to his new collection of bomber jackets and blouses. Each piece is perfectly tailored, as expected from him. We are particularly loving the bomber jackets in Hiyori and Yayoi, which come in different sizes, and are as comfortable to wear as they are lovely to look at. Eala didn’t hold back with his capsule collection of new tops as well, with the Mindanao top catching our eye—every inch covered in beadwork, with feather details on the shoulders and bottom.


9. Yvette’s Bags and Beads Collection


What you would mistake as crochet bags are actually made out of plastic straw, and has added woven nito material into her mix of distinctive bag designs. Most of her bags come in solid colors, but for ArteFino, she launched a line of colorful pieces in ethnic prints. Coming in all shapes and sizes, some of the bestsellers were her dramatically big round bags that came in light brown, her shoulder bags, as well as her handbags with white fringes. Don’t fret about the material—the bags are made with materials that are strong enough to carry even your laptop, and the white bags don’t seem to get dirty, even with constant use.


10. Zarah Juan


Zarah Juan’s whimsical, playful take on shoes, bags, scarves and jackets had her clientele grabbing their shoe size and chosen tote as soon as they entered ArteFino. Her Turumpo shoes, inspired by its namesake, ran out quickly, and her Camalig mules flew off the shelves, leaving a lot of pairs for those with size 9 feet. She also launched her new collection of wicker bags—the Islaw wicker bag is shaped into a carabao, the Takatak wicker bag is a horse, and the Padyak wicker bag is shaped into a tricycle. So ingeniously clever!


Artefino 2018 is only until September 2, Sunday. Registration begins at 9 am, and doors open by 10 am. Each ticket is P150. Best to come early due to the long queue for the elevators, and to snap up finds before everything runs out again!


Photos from @farah_abu @zarahjuan @halohalostoreph