Like most people who have lived for far too long away from home, I suppose I was looking for a way to go back to that place where the sun shines so bright that it gets tired early and sets every day around six; where almost everywhere the air smells of sea; and where palm fronds dance and sing in the time of the monsoon. That would be the Philippines, where I was born. I am now in France, here for almost a decade.
And so 7100 Islands happened because of nostalgia, but don't expect fuzzy lighting and soft everything here. Tropical energies are powerful sources of inspiration. When I was designing the pieces for the first collection, all the bags and the baskets inevitably came out vibrant and fun.
Of course that I had decided to use the authentic ikat woven by the T'boli tribe contributed a lot to the happiness of the pieces. I mean, just look at those colors and patterns!
Why 7100 Islands? That would be about the number of islands comprising the southeast Asian archipelago which provides the materials from which all the objects in my shop are made.
I also chose the name because I plan for this entire thing to be a voyage of sorts, where every collection uses a different material from a different region. For 2013, I am thinking to incorporate in my works woven mats from the center islands. I am excited for the trip!
Apol started her professional life as a journalist, but somewhere along the way realized that, sewing since she was a little girl and infatuated with traditional crafts since her teens, she had to do her own thing. And so - ta-dahh! - 7100 Islands.
It is also about pieces crafted using materials made by tribes and artisan communities in the Philippines, a chain of islands in southeast Asia.
* T'nalak is abaca woven by the T'boli tribe of Mindanao, using the ikat process.
* Hinabol is made from hemp, and handwoven by the Higaonon community, also of Mindanao.
The website: www.7100-islands.com
Accepted payment methods
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