AsiaStore Blog - Buying Trip

The studio of style maker Wynn Wynn Ong

Did you 20150807_122456_resizedknow that Town & Country declared  Wynn Wynn Ong a style maker? That didn’t surprise us at all as Wynn is one of our most admired AsiaStore designers. We are proud to showcase her collection at AsiaStore and had the privilege of visiting her Manila based stFilipinoDesignNow-Eventudio 20150807_114944_resizedto see her latest creations, inspired by the Philippine Gold exhibition. The theme is built around black and gold and features handwoven silver and copper scarves plated in gold, exquisite hand sculpted clutches and a breathtaking collection of necklaces, earrings and cuffs all produced using the lost wax technique. Once again, we are awed by Wynn’s talent.

Jewelmer’s miracle Golden Pearl!

M20150807_093050_resizedy first stop today is at Jewelmer to meet with Franck, Tricie and Jacques Branallec to discuss the miracle that is the Golden Pearl. Jacques’s father I learn, was a pioneer, in successfully cultivated pearls with a rich, natural golden color. Through decades of research and biotechnology, Jewelmer has perfected the breeding process that produces gold-lipped Pinctada20150807_104955_resized maxima pearl oysters capable of growing large, lustrous, golden pearls, now regarding as a national treasure of the Philippines.

As I gaze through the cases o0hing and ahhing over the beautiful necklaces, earrings and bracelets, I’m shown a priceless treasure…a matched strand of 16-18mm golden pearls. Jewelmer produces close to 1/2 million pearls a year and it took 30 years to match this strand. Simply magnificent! And as a special treat, I’m told that if one purchases a Jewelmer design for $200k or more, they are treated to a complimentary trip to the breathtaking Jewelmer Pearl Farms in Pawalan! So if a trip to the Philippine Islands is on your wish list, stop by AsiaStore this Sept for your first look at Jewelmer Golden Pearl collection!

Back to Manila!

20150806_232348_resizedIt’s back to Manila to review the collections our Filipino designers have been busy preparing for the Filipino Design Now installation curated by Federico De Vera. Join me as I visit the designers in their studios and hit the marketplaces in search of all the “must have” items from the Philippines !! Get a sneak peak at all the exciting new products that will be featured at AsiaStore this fall in conjunction with the upcoming Philippine Gold Exhibition.

Meet Myanmar Jewelry Designer Terence Tan

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(source: Asia Society New York Blog)

Artist Combines Ancient Ornaments from His Homeland With Contemporary Concepts

Designer Terence Tan’s background in archaeology, anthropology and paleontology has given him a unique perspective of Myanmar’s history. Over the years he has collected an extensive array of stones and beads, many of them from prehistoric sites dating from civilizations that flourished during the Bronze-Iron Transition Period.

Tan’s jewelry collection combines ancient stones with contemporary concepts. Asia Blog spoke with him in New York to learn more about his work.

Could you tell us about the inspiration for your jewelry?

I get inspiration from ancient ornaments and combine them with contemporary concepts to create my designs. I create conceptual jewelry, and I like using motifs and designs that represent auspiciousness and prosperity. My collection for the Asia Society is inspired by the Pyu era (200 BC – 900 AD), which is considered a proto-historical period. It means that some of the written records from the period can be deciphered, and some cannot. Each of the pieces from the collection is handmade and one-of-a-kind.

Tell us about your research and the process of writing your book, Ancient Jewellery of Myanmar.

For my PhD, I specialized in ancient ornaments from Myanmar. The book involved almost two decades of work. For my research, I traveled in Myanmar to places that are very difficult to reach, staying at monasteries in different villages.

What advice would you like to give to young artists?

Learn as much as possible because inspiration is right beside you. You don’t have to go too far. Everything can be your inspiration.

Terence Tan’s collection, along with his book Ancient Jewellery of Myanmar, are now availableat AsiaStore.

 

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Interview by: Tim Lau
Photos by: Zhi Yong

SHOP TERENCE TAN 

Jim Thompson

IMG_4590IMG_4597IMG_4577My final stop is at the Jim Thompson flagship store on Surawong Road, where I am greeted by Sumalee and taken on a tour of the latest thai silk collections…so many new things since my last IMG_4579IMG_4578visit! I am overwhelmed by the beautiful textiles and eagerly browse through the departments selecting new offerings for spring.  Some of my favorites include bowties, cufflinks, silk boxers, t-shirts, silk robes,  hand woven shawls and dazzling new thai silk accessories.For the past 12 years, AsiaStore has been proud to be the exclusive source of Jim Thompson products in the US and we are thrilled to introduce an exciting new collection of products this spring!!

Sweet Drug

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I was browsing through the Riverside Shops and in among the antique stores and souvenir shops I came across this wonderful Thai concept store called Sweet Drug. I’m told designer Dee, hand paints his signature edgy images which are then translated into prints for apparel, t-shirts, accessories and home products. LOVE IT !! I especially liked the t-shirts and the canvas totes. I’m bringing back a sampling to try…you’ll have to let me know what you think!

Asiatique the Riverfront

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Tonight I met Terry Chan for dinner at Asiatique, Bangkok’s first large-scale riverside community mall combining  shopping, dining and sightseeing. We take a ferry boat (a treat in itself!) to the international trade port that has been transformed into a shopping/dining mecca. While it doesn’t have the same feel as the old Bangkok night market, there’s still much shopping that can be done, with more than 1500 boutiques to browse and a champagne bar to indulge in! And when our feet couldn’t take much more, we had more than 40 restaurants offering a host of international cuisines to tempt us. Shopping and dining aside, the river view was my weakness…it simply took my breath away!

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Champagne bar

 

 

Chatuchak Market

downloadFollow AsiaStore’s Chief Merchandising Officer Anne Godshall as she scouts out the latest designs in Asia.
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I am up early and off to the weekend market!! Chatuchak Market, also known as JJ Market is a must-see for shoppers…it’s sheer size and diverse product offerings will bring even the most seasoned shopper to their knees!  The market stretches over 35 acres, featuring more than 8000 stalls of antiques, decorative accessories, jewelry, accessories, textiles, clothes, novelties, food and more!  I have to say it’s a bit intimidating but with Ellen as my guide I’m confident we will uncover some wonderful treasures. First find are these lovely embroidered pillow covers with coordinating votives and incense sets…love them! From there it’s off to explore textiles where I find some lovely woven thai silk scarves. I am shocked to see that the pricing on thai silk has tripled since my last visit- still we have to have them…they’re gorgeous! Next stop jewelry…I absolutely love these delicate brass earrings…so many patterns, I can’t choose…I think we need an assortment of all of them! And now just as I think I might not be able to carry much more, I see these beautiful lotus candle holders. I’m going to have to come up with an extra hand to carry everything, but I’m not leaving without them!

 

 

Goodbye Bagan

IMG_4487After  a quick browse at U Sein Win’s daughter’s little “shop” where I select some lovely etched cups, I pack up my things, stop briefly  at the “facilities” IMG_4467and I’m off to the airport. It’s been a long productive 4 days, but it’s time hit the next stop on my tour…bangkok here I come!

Well maybe not…it appears my flight’s been cancelled. Oh thank goodness, a kind airport official quickly scoots me onto to an earlier flight. Only 1 seat left and it’s mine!