With a sudden trend for the Art Deco movement, New York-based Filipino designer Rafe Totengco brings his own rendition of it to his handbags.
It's been exactly a century since the 1920s came roaring in with its signature aesthetic—the Art Deco. Famed for its familiar style in art, architecture, and even in jewelry design, its impressive fusion of historic and futuristic influences is still loved by many to date.
We can all agree when we say that trends just seem to be cyclical, wherein artists and designers reinvent—if not improve—what became a fad of the past to be relevant in today's setting once again. So, regardless if the Art Deco has been a hundred-year-old trend, it can very much be revived. And one of the style purveyors of this movement is Filipino designer Rafe Totengco, the founder and creative director of Rafe New York.
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To achieve an exquisite execution ala Art Deco, designers normally draw inspiration from influences including Bauhaus design, cubism, and Italian futurism. For Rafe's fall and winter 2020 collection, it echoes the sleek geometric motifs of the iconic epoch as it was filled with rich textures and jewel tones masterfully paired with embossed leathers, shell inlay, supple suedes, and crushed velvet.
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According to Rafe, "I’ve always embraced the vintage aesthetic and this collection draws a lot from muses like Bianca Jagger and Sayoko Yamaguchi as well as designs from the 1940s when women carried elegant vanity cases and wrist purses." Hence, this collection serves as a poetic ode to the powerful tastemakers and rulebreakers of the previous generations.
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The designs echo the individuality of the flapper girl and style of a 70s socialite. The New York-based brand highlighted the rich and exuberant embellishments of the past while paying homage to its very city with structured silhouettes akin to the ever-iconic Chrysler building. In fact, upon looking closely, it's actually an intersection of culture and architecture. Rafe breathes new life into the fashion industry with vibrant, polished accessories designed for women who have an affinity for timeless style. So, whether you’re looking for a statement clutch or a day-to-evening bag, you’ll find all of that and more in Rafe's new offerings to tote in the metro.
Rafe New York's Fall/Winter 2020 Collection is available in Rustan's Department Store. Follow Rafe on Instagram @rafenewyork for more info and updates.
Photography SELWYN TUNGOL
Additional Text ISABELLA MARTINEZ