SHOP OF THE MONTH: Fashion Interiors by Paul Cornelissen.
THIS 2,000-SQM LABYRINTH OF IMPRESSIVE SHOWROOMS FEATURE VIGNETTES THAT CHANGE AS FAST AS THE SEASONS IN FASHION
This sprawling, lavishly decorated furniture store in Makati will leave you breathless and envious!
FASHION INTERIORS BY PAUL
Cornelissen was built to impress. With its high ceilings and multiple showrooms that seem more luxurious than the last one, each room you visit is an awe-inspiring experience in itself.
While the place has been in Makati for only three years, those behind the brand have had 40 years of experience in the export furniture business through Far East Furniture, which participates in the regular furniture fairs in Manila. When Fashion Interiors was established, they built a separate factory for it, aptly called Fashion Interiors Manufacturing Inc. All the pieces found in the showroom—from the paintings to the sofas—are made in their factory in Angeles, Pampanga, with materials sourced from all over the world.
Jan Krenn, store manager and a Dutch national, says: “We chose the name because it went with what we wanted to create. We want to create beautiful spaces, beautiful pieces.” Opening their flagship store in Makati was a strategic move for the brand, creating a location in Metro Manila where they can entertain potential clients who are interested in exporting their pieces, as well as a prime location for their target market to access.
Two larger-than-life Oscar Awards statues welcome you when you reach the double doors that lead into Fashion Interiors, and its grand reception area sets the tone for what you’re in for. Each showroom is unique, with thematic names such as “Inspire” or “Opium.” The current collection (as of this writing) features different kinds of wood, such as railroad wood, teak, jungle wood, oak, and rosewood, which are used and mixed with other smoother materials like glass or brass.
The second floor houses mostly decorative pieces from the previous collection that have been marked down. At the far end is another showroom being built, and it will showcase a preview of a new collection that will be ready by September. “We change everything, from the walls to the flooring. The export buyers come in, buy hundreds of our items, and production starts by then. And by November, December, the items will arrive in Dubai, in the US, in South Africa, in New Zealand.”
Heading down the iron staircase will lead you to the Fashion Bar, with both indoor and al fresco areas. Fashion Bar is open daily but may also be rented out for events. Adjacent is a separate room for marked-down items. While the pieces may seem apt for big houses, Jan says that there are also options for compact spaces. “We prefer not to customize, since we have tables that come in three sizes. We have sofas in three-seater or four-seater, so we like them to pick things as they are.”
While Fashion Interiors might come off as vast and sprawling— and it is, indeed—the key is to take your time, as if you’re exploring a new place in one of your travels. Pause inside each showroom, take it in as a whole, and then focus on each piece and trace your steps back to appreciate the place in its entirety. After you’ve settled in, you’ll soon realize how much Fashion Interiors has to offer.
Each vignette is done in a grand scale, aiming to impress clients. Wood, much like the massive center table shown here, is a common element found in most of the vignettes. The rose gold touches add a modern feel to the space. (LEFT) Nothing says drama than heavy red drapes and pieces that look like they belong in a centuries-old castle. Replicas of medieval swords, suits of armor and helmets― life size, mind you―are used extensively in this year’s collection. RL’s PICK: WOODEN COFFEE TABLE WITH COPPER LEGS, PRICE AVAILABLE UPON REQUEST RL’s PICK: METALLIC PENDANT LIGHTS, PRICE AVAILABLE UPON REQUEST
ABOVE Photos of founder Paul Cornelissen, with personalities in Philippine society and celebrities from the local showbiz industry, grace the walls of the Fashion Bar. Store manager Jan Krenn states that it is common practice for furniture stores in the Netherlands to have a coffee shop or a place to relax in as well, so they adapted the same practice here.
BELOW This vignette is more laidback compared with the others, but it still uses the same luxurious materials found all over the showroom―a sofa made with downfeathers and a mixture of different types of wood and metal pieces. RL’s PICK: RAILROAD WOOD COFFEE TABLE, PRICE AVAILABLE UPON REQUEST
RIGHT For this year’s collection, a number of dining tables and side tables have an ornate tabletop made with seashells sourced from Indonesia and the Philippines. Mixing it with more solid colored pieces makes the seashell tabletop the focal point of the room.