Cath Kidston



So have you noticed? I got my first advertiser yesterday – Cath Kidston. I was so giddy, I posted it in Twitter. I had been using Cath Kidston for years now. I used to have to order them in the UK. I have a friend in London who would buy them for me and ship them here.


This was my first shipment from London in 2008. Insane, huh?


At the Standard Hotel in New York.


The one I used while I was pregnant with Stella. I loved the irony. I was wearing an edgy Eairth dress and holding a cowboy print bag. This was in 2008.


In Brooklyn, NY in my Amish widow look, 2010. (Dad, I think I left these shoes in your house. These are my favourite.)


Stella’s bib, a gift from Rossy Yabut of Heima.


Anyway, my heart sank when fakes of Cath Kidston showed up. I was specifically going anti-luxury and anti-big brands that’s why I got those floral “bayongs.” I’m really against fakes and copies of anything. I find it repulsive plus all the other issues that go with buying counterfeit. Plus, it’s so easy to tell a Cath Kidston fake anyway. The fabric alone is substandard, never mind the zipper. To top it all off, an original Cath Kidston is relatively inexpensive to begin with. So why bother getting a fake? Someone even asked me to “authenticate” her Cath Kidston purchase. Gasp!

The good news is, you can now shop for all the Cath Kidston original products you want. Just click on any of the photos below or click on the ad on the right (how’s that for subtle? haha) to bring you to the Cath Kidston site. All the prices are in US dollars and shipping to the US and Canada is not a problem. I know most of you already have a balikbayan box system of shipping things here. Or if you can’t wait any longer, just organize something through Johnny Air Cargo.

Here are some of the adorable items that caught my eye this morning.



Picnic cooler. I’d love to have this for use with the kids, to keep their drinks and snack cool.


Kids’ Provence Rose Mini Rucksack. My girls are Cath Kids fans too.


Provence Rose Set of 4 Side Plates. I’m into mismatched plates. These are just too cute!


Antique Rose Bath Towels. My husband will hurl if he sees this in our bathroom. But I don’t care because they are just so pretty!


English Rose Placement Enamel Beaker. This is just so adorable. I love the vintage feel of enamel cups.


Mini Dot Holiday Bag. I have this bag, given to me by The Bag Hag. It’s similar to the Duchess of Cambridge’s travel bag, but this has smaller dots (and actually a completely different shape). I use this on days I have to lug a few shoes for changing.

So have a look around the Cath Kidston site. A lot of items are on sale. Just click on the photos below.


Cath Kidston US


Cath Kidston US





Italian Festival x Daphne Furniture in Rustan’s



Last Thursday my brand Daphne Furniture participated in one of Rustan’s activities for their month-long Italian festival. Some of my pieces were used in a table setting that reflected the coast of Amalfi. There were three table settings – mine, Rustan’s Erik Hannikainen’s and Mrs Nena Tantoco’s. Here are some of the photos I took in between speaking and meeting guests…


My table setting took inspiration from the sea – the coast of Amalfi. The sofa and the two blue chairs are from Daphne Furniture.


We worked with the turquoise colour of this chair and mixed it with the Coral Collection of San Marco Ceramics (needless to say, everything is from the Rustan’s floor).


I’m a huge fan of “solihiya” or cane-weaving. If I could put it in all my furniture, I would. I just love the idea of a technique so old and yet still so relevant and beautiful. Here my design team came up with mixing the cane with a simple linen upholstered seat against turquoise painted mahogany wood.


I’m loving all the sea-inspired decor on this table. Astrud Crisologo, who is now a buyer for Rustan’s Home, styled my tablescape. These oranges brighten up the table even more. And behind them is a beautiful nautilus-shaped vase which can either be filled with wild flowers or bread sticks.


San Marco Ceramics with coral and sea theme. Lovely beyond words.


Chandelier by Murano.


Another view of my table setting. I love the use of the gold plate chargers and utensils.


Thank you, Astrud Crisologo for styling my table scape and for showing the versatility of Daphne Furniture.


We had a full house in Rustan’s Makati’s fifth floor.


Mrs Nena Tantoco’s fabulous table. I’ve been privileged to have been invited to her home a few times. She is our ninang in our wedding. She really loves creating beautiful settings at home. Dining with her is always a memorable experience.


Tita Nena is a big proponent of local crafts and merchandise. So even with her Tuscan garden theme, she used homegrown merchandise like the woven plate chargers, coasters and fresh banana leaves. The china she chose is also from San Marco ceramics.


Tita Nena’s personal touch – a poem or letter for every guest. And instead of using typical napkin rings, she used a little basket by the Ifugaos.


In lieu of flowers, fresh lemons can spruce up your table. I’m loving those two conifer trees though. Can anyone ID for me?


Tita Nena’s son, Donny Tantoco the president of Shopwise/Rustan’s Supermarkets, talked about the best cheese and cured meats they recently sourced in Italy.


No wonder I always see my initials imprinted on cheese! DOP stands for “Denominazione di Origine Protetta”, which means Protected Designation of Origin. It is like a guarantee that this particular cheese is of the highest quality and that the milk used in production of this cheese is from a certain location in Italy. It also means that the method of production is traditional and ensured of aging correctly. It is a mark of the highest standards! WOW. My personal initials stand for excellence! Haha.


Pecorino Romano… incredible!


And Parmigiano Reggiano… so so good.


All these cured meats came from specific regions that offer the best. All these cheeses and meats are now available in Rustan’s supermarkets. Just ask for the Italian festival stuff.


It was a great afternoon. Thank you to everyone who came and took the time to meet me. It was lovely.




Ramon Orlina




Fans and collectors of Ramon Orlina’s sculptures can see/buy his latest works in a show called Luminosity from July 13 to July 27 at Gallerie Joaquin.





Chic women use “Daphne” at home


Sorry for the cheesy title. I’m not good at copy writing. Haha. But it just dawned on me that my products are appreciated by women I like and admire. This is always a good sign. Last year, Lucy Torres-Gomez bought a pink Daphne chair for her daughter Juliana. I have yet to ask her for a photo of it in their house. Lucy is the loveliest person I know. And I mean that sincerely.

Here are some recent media appearances of my products, as seen in the homes of Hindy Tantoco and Tessa Valdes.


Hindy, on the cover of Town & Country April 2011


That sofa in the background is by Daphne Furniture.


Tessa’s current cover of Metro Society shows her wearing nothing but Daphne Linens! Thanks for choosing my brand Tessa!!!!

Debbie Palao



I was one of the three judges at this year’s Cebu Next international furniture show for the awards called Mugna. One of the designers that caught my attention was Debbie Palao. She’s not new in the business. She’s been designing furniture for over twenty years. She and her husband, Gus, run a successful furniture factory in Cebu. They’ve focused mainly on the foreign market, resulting in a strong brand that’s represented abroad but not locally (yet).

This year, Debbie granted our wish to feature her work and showroom in Urban Zone. I approached Debbie for the design auction I was organizing for UNICEF, called Auction for Action. She generously donated two Maze tables. The auction was a huge success. We raised over P1.4 million through an online auction. A lot of people were asking, who is Debbie Palao. Here’s Debbie’s world.


At the Cebu Next furniture expo in April 2011. I was with my fellow judges.


I fell in love with these chairs. Debbie named them “Pout”. Made of steel foundation with woven and tied thread. I love the mixture of hard and soft, in an exaggerated way.


This is the MAZE coffee table in natural rattan. The ones she donated to UNICEF were made of blackened rattan. Just look at the complexity of the pattern. Completely done by hand.


Me and Debbie at her showroom. I’m loving all those lamps.


Debbie Palao’s showroom in Mandaue, Cebu.


The showroom. In the foreground, another of my favourite, E’Kiss. It reminds me of telecom tower but with abaca rope criss crossing the steel bars. Again, I love the irony of mixing high tech metal against the humble abaca rope.


Another witty piece. Debbie calls this Ripples. It looks like a soft rug thrown on top of a stool. But it also looks like ripples in water caused by one pebble. I love how the piece was tied or woven together in one continuous line starting from the centre point.


One of my favourite chairs. Debbie took inspiration from one of her poufy skirts and came up with the idea of “dressing up” a chair. It’s such a stunning and witty piece.


The reason they called it Meryll was because of Meryll Streep’s character in The Devil Wears Prada who threw her jackets around. Debbie jokes that her family and staff refer to her as that same character when she’s not looking. 🙂


Cute Button stool. All her pieces are ergonomically designed. All comfortable.


The chocolate brown with a pop of orange is adorable.


Debbie’s furniture is sold in Europe, India and South America. Her work has been featured in Elle Decor, House Beautiful and other major publications. Here’s one of the recent ones, spring 2011.


It’s that stool/side table that’s completely hand painted with dots. I love it’s graphic, ethnic vibe.


And here’s another version in the showroom.


Check out Debbie Palao’s site here.