Malaysia Tatler Homes - - STYLE -

rom its mod­est be­gin­nings in the 1940s as a hub for rat­tan porch fur­ni­ture and an­tique re­pro­duc­tions, the Cebuano fur­ni­ture in­dus­try has come a long way. To­day, Cebuano brands are not only at­tract­ing the at­ten­tion of celebrity in­te­rior de­sign­ers and in­ter­na­tional lux­ury brands, they are also mak­ing big im­pres­sions at pres­ti­gious trade fairs such as Mai­son & Ob­jet. When placed in the hands of Cebu’s creative de­sign­ers and their ca­pa­ble crafts­men, trea­sures from the seas (such as shells and mol­luscs) and the land (such as abaca, co­conut, rat­tan, wood, bam­boo and an­i­mal skins) are trans­formed into ex­quis­ite fur­ni­ture and home decor. Vito Selma is a prime ex­am­ple of how Cebu’s fur­ni­ture in­dus­try has evolved. He spent much of his child­hood around his par­ents’ tra­di­tional fur­ni­ture-mak­ing busi­ness. As a young adult, Selma left Cebu to study de­sign in San Fran­cisco and Mi­lan, then re­turned home to help his fam­ily re­brand their busi­ness with a new aes­thetic that is more streamlined and func­tional, with strong Ja­panese and Scan­di­na­vian in­flu­ences. With Selma, ev­ery­thing is con­sid­ered and trans­for­ma­tive – a chair can be re­con­fig­ured as a night light, while lamps in­spired by wood­block puz­zles can be re­assem­bled for vari­a­tions in form. “Cebuano fur­ni­ture is spe­cial be­cause of the craft­work, which has be­come an in­te­gral part of the de­sign,” he ex­plains. “A lot of things are made by hand, and this can be seen in the de­tails.” Like Selma, brother-and-sis­ter duo Dean and Lae­lany Pas­quet be­long to the new gen­er­a­tion that has stepped up to im­prove the fam­ily busi­ness. La Galuche was founded by the sib­lings’ fa­ther, Jean Marc Pas­quet, a French gem­mol­o­gist who met and mar­ried their Cebuano mother when he went to the is­land to source red and black co­ral in the 1980s. The brand spe­cialises in mar­quetry us­ing ex­otic skins, par­tic­u­larly galuchat – the highly prized skin of rays, first used for samu­rai sword hilts in 15th-cen­tury Ja­pan be­fore be­com­ing fash­ion­able in France in the 17th cen­tury. The brand’s lim­ited edi­tion Art Deco-style fur­ni­ture, as well as smaller items such as jew­ellery boxes and ash­trays, have made fans out of the likes of Ro­bicara, John Lyle, Cravt,

FROM TOP De­signer Vito Selma is one of the young creative forces help­ing to push Filipino de­sign for­ward; brother and sis­ter duo Dean and Lae­lany Pas­quet of La Galuche are help­ing to shape the fu­ture of their fam­ily busi­ness

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