A grab bag of styles and me­mories

These light­weight hand­made clutches wield the beauty of abalones

Northern Living - - CONTENTS - TEXT YAZHMIN MALAJITO PHO­TOG­RA­PHY PA­TRICK SEGOVIA

We pro­duce work ac­cord­ing to what we be­lieve is true, good, and valu­able, and the re­sults are of­ten re­flec­tions of frag­ments from our lives. This is es­pe­cially true for Mele + Marie.

“If Her­mès has the Birkin, Mele + Marie has the Han­nah,” says the brand’s founder Rose­marie Oamil.

Her hus­band Mele­cio Oamil Jr. had de­signed 24 Han­nah mod­els, all in­spired by dis­tinct mo­ments from his life. The hon­eyand-rust-colored Han­nah 1 or Brown Pin is a nod to mud—the af­ter­math of a flood in Mele­cio’s home­town in Nueva Ecija, where he grew up as a kid, obliv­i­ous to the calamity’s ef­fects. The bag is his own em­blem of bliss and hope. Mean­while, the Han­nah 9 or Brown­lip Plain, done in ecru and with touches of gold, re­flects the story of his fam­ily’s move to the big city; the pale brown is sym­bolic of the view of the con­crete jun­gle from their 11th floor con­do­minium.

They may look heavy, but the bones of these eight-inch minaudières, em­bel­lished with abalone shells, are acrylic, mak­ing it light.

The in­ti­mate im­ages of the past, paired with Oamil’s re­fined artistry, have been the brand’s ticket to the Paris and New York Fash­ion Weeks. Es­tab­lished in 2012, Mele + Marie will fi­nally reach the shores of its roots in May, when it makes its de­but at Manila Fash­ion Week.

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