Thursday, January 28, 2010

what comes around goes around

Two amazing American artists opened a creative wonderland recently just beside our gallery/shop by the Alley West in Siem Reap, Cambodia. Featuring treasures and art culled from recycled clothes, fabrics and haunts from the junkyard, they've created such a trove of earth friendly clothes and accessories that magically defines their name - CIRCLE...

Rachel Faller, who owns KeoK'jay in Phnom Penh, provides jobs and skills for women living with HIV. Lauren Iida, on the other hand, creates fashion from recycled and vintage materials through another enterprise that empowers impoverished women through education and livelihood.

Having met in Phnom Penh, they decided to bring their talents together in Siem Reap to open up Circle...

The store is awash with quirky details and little nooks of art from found objects and scavenged treasures.

Necklaces and bracelets from fabric scraps and buttons...

This box frame with dinosaurs and bingo numbers is cool.

Iida, Laren's brand, is very feminine but each with a twist.

Rachel's style is very urbane with a touch of Boho chic.

Jam, left, is opening an organic cafe right above Circle in a few weeks called Samakki.

Leah, who provided sinful indulgences that evening with her amazing cupcakes will be partnering up with Jam on Cafe Samakki. We definitely can't wait for them to open up what will be our new hang-out!

Leigh, Jam and Don

Learn more about Rachel's work at and Lauren's at

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

life's a fuckin' fairy tale

It all begins with Once Upon a Time... and often ends with And They Lived Happily... but often or not, it ends with a not-so-happy ending, or sometimes, it just ends.

When my grandmother read my first bedtime story eons back, I knew that I'd be forever drawn into a world of words and tales woven out of one's imagination. That sheer magic of storytelling gave me my inspiration to try my hands into fashion for the first time...

The magic of the good is its inevitable relationship with the bad...
(Glitter Encrusted Skulls Necklace)

Once upon a time, there lived an evil queen...
(Evil Queen Cape Dress with Glitter Encrusted Skulls Necklace)

Her kingdom come, her will be done...
(Paparazzi Dress and The Other Birkin Bags)

But as she crossed paths with a man to tame her heart...
(Captivation Dress)

Don't we all wish for one?
(Fuckin' Fairy Tale Top and Pants)

Alas, the last page is turned...
(The End Shirt and Destiny Pants)

The full collection of the The Fuckin' Fairy Tale Series is on exhibit/sale at the mezzanine floor of POETRY at the Alley West, Siem Reap, Cambodia

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

what happened last year - thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is primarily a very American holiday, but having been raised in a city in the Philippines where American Baptist missionaries took good roots, we have been celebrating it all our lives. And besides, thanksgiving is such a universal celebration these days...

So it's only natural that we prepped up our Cambodian home for this holiday. I had an event organized for Guerlain Paris the month before so, I ended up with tons of scrap metal that I turned into two outdoor lounges.

We made and screen printed special throw pillows for the dinner with the names of our guests and guests-to-be (Obama and Hillary were too busy that evening)

We set our table with sculptures from Bill Bensley's Fantastical Creatures Exhibit and some bounty from the harvest (harvest at the supermarket, that is). We also made special placemats and coasters which stated things we were thankful for...

By dusk, the al fresco corner of the house was ready and so was dinner!

Me, my wife Faith, Don, Sheree (fresh from Newcastle, flown in especially for the Wanderlust fashion shoot) American authors Shannon and Jason and of course, Liz!

Our menu included stuffed chicken (turkey was too darn hard to find in Cambodia!), roast potatoes, buttered peas and veggies, battered fish, prawn cakes, pasta, stuffed pumpkin dessert, cream cheese cake, etc... Jason and Shannon brought a super cool drink that they concocted themselves!

Inside, we had our tree set up too for the holidays...

Guests got to bring their pillows as souvenirs!

A few days later, we had dinner with some new friends... Max, who's Vietnamese-French, Rachel, from the US, who's opening a boutique next door to us at the Alley West and Ruben from Mexico.

We definitely love welcoming friends to our home!

what happened last year - halloween

2009 was such a whack and it passed like a breeze. So many things and projects here and there kept me up for so long that the blog world seemed like a distant universe away from me. So what I'll do is try to catch up with the past year's missed posts... so here goes Halloween!

We started the evening at Linga Bar...

Snow White

Martin came out as a mummy with disastrous results. He had a lot of wardrobe malfunction and was half naked before the clock struck 12.

Stuart came as Michael Jackson

Georgie was Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz. She followed the yellow brick road with a motorcycle...

Quite a drunk Ariel from the Little Mermaid

Ali G in da house!

Half of them came out as Greeks...

And this one's a Ghost Rider

Bonnie from Bonnie&Clyde, a ghostbuster and a UHC (Unidentified Halloween Costume)

Fairies and what-nots at Angkor What Bar

I came as an 18th century explorer!

Wild party at Angkor What. We can barely move!

I was with my Auntie Mida's friends from the US: Allan, Marlowe and Mark from Chicago and Seattle. They were on a holiday here and they definitely came at the right time!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

louis & vuitton

For Christmas, we got Freedom two new pups to play with. Last year, our Labrador Chocky, mysteriously disappeared in our front yard and our son was devastated.

So we got him these cuddly little poodles... Louis and Vuitton. Somehow, they remind us of the colors of the monogrammed classic luggage... and they're French, hence the name. But for some strange reason, they remind me so much too of ewoks from Star Wars. Maybe we should have called them Leia and Luke instead? HHmmm...

Vuitton's a girl and is the darker one - almost like the color of the monogrammed canvas. She's the reserved, behaved and elegantly calm pup among the two. She's almost very lady-like... might be Marie Antoinette on her past life. Yes, she likes her hair brushed and loves cake too.

Louis, the lighter shaded pup, on the other hand is mischievous, fretfully friendly and such an "Energizer Bunny".He can end up covering himself in mud in no time. He is definitely Freedom's favorite.

He is also such a flirt. On parties, he'd flaunt his cuteness to guests who couldn't resist his natural French charm. Our friend Kimberly from New York, just couldn't help it!

And my sister Grace acted like their adopted mom during her holiday here.

Our cat, Cartier was truly jealous!

Friday, January 15, 2010

family portraits

Our not-so-little boy came home to Cambodia last month with Nanie, my mom and my sister and made our holidays the best we've ever had. It was our first Christmas and New Year altogether so we had to do our portraits!

My son, Freedom, all grown up!

The two of us doing a Lacoste ad!

Family snaps

Our Family! From left: my mom Love, my sister Love Grace, Don - the high priest of Cambodian avant garde fashion, my wife Faith, our son Freedom and Nanie.