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Arts & Culture

You Have To See These 10 Amazing Things At This Big Design Fair

Here's your complete guide to navigating Manila FAME 2017, which has a surprise guest waiting in one of the exhibits!

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Photography: Real Living

The bi-annual design event Manila FAME (short for “Furnishings and Apparel Manufacturers’ Exchange) is one of the most highly anticipated trade fairs for buyers, designers, design enthusiasts, and homeowners. Here, you’ll find furniture, décor, gifts, and fashion accessories at its freshest—as most of these are brand new collections that haven't been seen elsewhere.  

In its current 66th edition, buyers and guests will be thrilled to discover that they will be treated to many new and exciting Special Settings, exhibits, talks, and special guests (see number five, below).

But whether you are a first-time FAME visitor or a frequent guest, navigating through the cavernous halls could be intimidating or overwhelming. So we give you here our guide to navigating FAME, with tips on what exhibits you shouldn’t miss: 

Be welcomed by Chambers, the Cebu Project



In the first hall, all three chambers of design—furniture, gifts, and fashion—converge in an experiential setting showcasing beautiful furniture, décor, accessories, and jewelry by Cebu’s pre-eminent talents. The “chambers’” walls are made out of leaves of translucent natural fiber. An interesting note: this entire exhibit was carefully arranged and curated in a mock-up in Cebu prior to the items being shipped to Manila.

Get Inspired by the Special Settings



Also located in the main hall, the Special Settings at Manila FAME marry products from different manufacturers in an exhibit that is curated by a designer to reflect a specific trend or tendance. This season, internationally acclaimed product designer Tony Gonzales curates Design Commune: Patterns and Palettes.



This setting showcases four different color palettes and textures: Blues and Whites, Ethnic Nomads, Green Tinted, and Natural Black and White. Since each setting is color-coordinated, you can get amazing decorating and styling ideas here for your own home.

Upcycled goodness at Lucent Objects

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Now on its third edition, the Lucent Objects exhibit by multi-awarded designer Stanley Ruiz explores themes of Topography, Archetype, and Nature of Materials, as it features the application of manipulated and processed agricultural waste on lamps. In this exhibit, cornhusk, abaca, and banana bark are infused into cast lamp bases and objects molded from old water dispensers and containers.

This awesome Bamboo Extreme Exhibit



Aside from the popular Bambike exhibit in the next hall, designers such as Milo Naval highlight sustainable bamboo as a new material for transportation vehicles. Don’t miss the bamboo-laminated motorcycle, boat, foodcart, and a pretty futuristic pedicab (above).

Have yourself tattooed by Whang-od



Yes, you read that right. You don’t have to climb all the way up to Kalinga to get a tattoo by the oldest mambabatok (traditional Kalinga tattoo artist using the method of hand-tapped tattooing) in the country. Once the doors of FAME opened, visitors lined up to get tattooed by this spry, 100-year-old living National Treasure.

Indigenous crafts and apparel at One Mindanao



Located at the left side of Hall One, One Mindanao is where you can find finely made Mindanao handicrafts, from hand-beaded T’boli jackets to t’nalak-accented baskets. Some pieces are also for sale.

New Generation Weaves exhibit



Paris-based design specialist Nelson Sepulveda returns once again to design and curate with the country’s top manufacturers and exporters, such as Catalina Embroideries, Tadeco, and Obra Cebuana to create a stunning series of exhibits that showcase Philippine craftsmanship and weaving in a fresh and modern way.

Roam around the country at the Artisan Village



In the next hall, you’ll find multiple “huts” that house members of the Artisan Village, and each “hut” features a fine selection of handicrafts, furniture, fashion, and food from different provinces in the Philippines (some booths even offer free tastings of their food).

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Get some Natural Personal Care



In the tent area, don’t miss the Natural Personal Care section organized by the Department of Agriculture. These booths sell all-natural beauty and wellness products, such as handmilled soaps that almost look good enough to eat, as well as organic ornamental plants and herbs.

Grab a cup (and a knick-knack) from Locale Café



When you’re done sourcing, sit down and have a cup of Joe and a snack at this café which partners with Locale magazine—you can even buy the décor on the shelves, too!

IMPORTANT: A few tips when visiting Manila FAME

1. Always register first at the front desk and get your entry badge, whether you are a buyer, designer, media/blogger, or a just a curious visitor.

2. Don’t show up in flip-flops and ratty shorts—come in decent attire; some of the buyers show up in business attire. But do wear comfortable shoes, as you’ll be doing a lot of walking.

3. Children below the age of 12 can’t enter the fair unless they are in carriers or strollers. This is understandable, because there are a lot of breakable and fragile items in the fair. There is a Kids’ Activity Station in the lobby, where you can leave your child (with an adult guardian) while you source.

4. There are some booths that sell their products (mostly in the tent area, Manila Wear fashion hall, and Natural Personal Care booths), but some of the items are prototypes and samples that are not for sale—always ask the person manning the booth first.

5. Don’t take photos without asking for permission. Many booths don’t allow photo taking (some have signs), but you can take photos in the general exhibit areas, public areas, and Special Settings. If a particular booth catches your fancy and you just want to take a photo of the overall design, ask permission from the booth owner or usher first.

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Catch the Manila FAME 2017 at the World Trade Center in Pasay City from October 20 to 22, from 9am to 6pm. For more info, follow Manila FAME on their Facebook page. 

More on Realliving.com.ph

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