“My sister and I wanted to experiment with bigger stones this time around. This is actually our first real collection but we’ve been in the business for 4 years,” says Vicky Panopio about her and her sister Bea’s latest endeavor. Vicky and Bea Panopio are the sisterly design duo behind Panopio jewelers, one of Manila’s go-to jewelry houses for exquisite custom-made jewelry.
They held a photo exhibit last night at Members Only to showcase their Pre-Holiday 2010 collection. Kai Huang photographed nine of the Panopio sisters’ muses wearing pieces from their beautifully designed collection.
“They’re our friends. A lot of them inspire us to think about new pieces because of their varied lifestyles. Some are more street, while some are more sophisticated, so we design around that. We think, ‘What would she wear if she would go this event?’ And we design based on that.”
Indeed, the nine muses all have varied styles and lifestyles: model and TV host Phoemela Barranda, entrepreneurs Camille Villar, Tina Navarro and Ruby Gan, makeup artist Jigs Mayuga, young ladies Lanielle Beverford and Celine Cruz, and designers John Paras and Czarina Villa. But regardless of their individual influences, the Panopio sisters took their inspiration from them aggregately. Vicky says, “This collection didn’t use a particular muse as an inspiration. It was more the idea of how do we put bigger rocks together, make them wearable, sophisticated, and reachable to the ordinary woman.”
And so they used “a mix of colored stones and diamonds, and a mix of material” to encapsulate diverse concepts fueled by many inspirations. A trademark of the collection is their toying around with the precious metals. “Instead of just using traditional gold, we used silver dipped in gold.”
Lastly, Vicky had this to say when asked how she and Bea work together in their business: “We operate the stores together; I’m in charge of the production line, so I see the goldsmiths—I see them everyday. As for designing, it’s really the both of us. We come up with an idea, and ask each other, ‘Hey, what do you think about this?’ and we give each other our response.”
Click on the photo gallery to see Panopio’s Pre-Holiday 2010 collection.