A boutique on the second floor of PowerPlant Mall has been our latest haunt for chic accessories and stylish home decor. Cura V is the brainchild of five women with impeccable taste: bag designer Emi Jorge, interior designer Trisha Calma, accessory designer Nicole Whisenhunt, restaurateur Camille Ongpauco, and stylish mom (and Preview Best Dressed alumna) Kai Lim.
Together they choose the covetable merchandise in Cura V (such as jewelry from Lucky Monkey Silversmiths and Michelline Syjuco, or shagreen trays, vases, and rugs sourced from their travels), and offer their carefully curated selection to those on the hunt for beautiful, luxe objets they can wear or display at home. "If it’s something we sell in the store, it’s something we prefer to use at home as well," these ladies say. "If we believe in the product, that’s the only time we sell it."
Read on to find out more about Emi, Trisha, Nicole, Camille, and Kai.
HOW DO YOU DEFINE YOUR PERSONAL STYLE?
Nicole: Feminine, romantic, effortless.
Kai: I don’t really know how to define my style. I don’t really stick to one. I try to experiment, but it’s always something structured, conservative, and classic, but still trying to infuse a little of the trends.
Emi: I go for things that are not easily accessible, so that, to me, are luxurious items. Things that you don’t find easily.
WHAT'S YOUR SHOPPING STRATEGY?
Nicole: When I do need to buy something, I’m the type to canvass everywhere and look for the best option, and then from there make a decision.
Kai: If I buy something, that means I’ve researched on it and [thought about whether] I really want to buy it. Especially if [it's] an investment piece.
Emi: I’m not into acquiring a lot things. I really think about it. I have few things, but [they're] well-thought of items.
WHO'S YOUR STYLE ICON?
Kai: For home, I’ve always been drawn to the interior design work of Kelly Hoppen. She’s more into muted [colors], [but] not really minimalist—white, brown, neutrals. For style, I like Giovanna Battaglia, the editor of Vogue Italia. She always has a way of mixing the same things in different ways, which for me is very practical.
Emi: I think for home, Jade Jagger, [who's] more bohemian.
WHAT ARE YOUR FAVORITE STATEMENT PIECES FROM THE STORE?
Nicole: We had this very beautiful ebony wood base from Bahari. I really liked that. And I like our Casa Calma table.
Kai: A Fallon necklace. I super wanted to get but I didn’t want to buy from the store. And then when I went back it was gone, and now it’s stuck in my head.
Emi: [Pieces by] Gilles Caffier, [who's a] French designer based in Thailand. In the store we have leather trays. We also had a couple of vessels. And the cowhide!
Trisha: For me it would be the Pure Rugs. We have a small collection of cowhides from Argentina and it’s branded as Pure Rugs. We’re the exclusive [purveyors] here in Manila. And we have a new collection of teakwood cheeseboards from Bahari.
Camille: My favorite would have to be our collection from Malou Romero's Joaniqué, which is fine jewelry with semi-precious stones.
EVERYONE SHOULD OWN...
Nicole: Statement accessory. Jewelry.
Kai: A well-tailored cocktail dress.
Emi: A good book on a coffee table.
Trisha: A really good brand of home scent or candles for every person who likes to entertain, like Voluspa.
Camille: A nice clutch that makes a statement, like Emi Jorge's.
MY HOME IS FILLED WITH...
Nicole: Antiques and paintings.
Kai: Souvenirs from our travels.
Emi: A collection of art. A joint collection by my husband and me.
Trisha: My husband’s collection of mid-century modern furniture and artwork.
Camille: Artwork and modern Asian pieces.
I LIKE TO MIX THINGS UP BY...
Nicole: Adding some new pieces into wardrobe or my house and mix it with whatever’s existing.
Kai: Mixing high-low items—something couture with something mainstream.
Emi: Relying on my gut feel.
Trisha: I like textures. I’m very tactile. And I like prints also. I like layering.
Camille: Adding a statement piece to my outfit.
WHAT ARE YOU CURRENTLY LUSTING FOR?
Nicole: A new Mulberry bag.
Kai: A Fallon necklace.
Emi: One month vacation without mobile phones.
Trisha: One month vacation. Anywhere.
Camille: An AP Royal Oak watch.