We couldn’t help but wonder—what happens when the rich textiles of Filipino creativity interlace with the cosmopolitan ambiance of New York fashion?
In a city that weaves together a wide variety of styles and harmonizes an array of trends, one clutch truly stood out in the recent episode of And Just Like That… It wasn’t your typical clutch—RAFE’s JOANNA Ellipse clutch made a dazzling appearance on the arm of none other than the iconic Carrie Bradshaw herself, intertwining a tale of Filipino craftsmanship, fashion finesse, and a touch of Sex and the City sparkle.
Video: DANNY SANTIAGO (via Instagram)
Styled by Danny Santiago, costume designer and wardrobe stylist of the show, Carrie confidently paraded through the streets of New York with a new fashion companion by her side—the JOANNA Ellipse clutch, a work of art that fuses the flair of the Philippine islands with the glamour of the Manhattan skyline. Crafted by hand with green buntal straw, a natural fiber extracted from palm leaves, this clutch pays homage to the artisanal skill that stretches across continents.
The JOANNA Ellipse clutch isn’t just a fashion accessory; it’s a canvas of exquisite materials interwoven with innovation. The handwoven green buntal straw, meticulously extracted from palm leaves, is a nod to nature’s raw beauty and sustainable fashion. This natural fiber adds depth to the clutch, evoking an earthy elegance that resonates with both Filipino traditions and modern sensibilities. It’s the audacious blend of Filipino ingenuity and New York sophistication. RAFE’s artful knack for blending cultural influences has yielded a creation that’s akin to a sartorial dance, a choreography of two worlds that elegantly intertwine.
The pièce de résistance? The green agate stone clasps, adorning the clutch like finely-crafted jewelry for the fashion-forward soul. Nestled within brass, these clasps are a nod to the lavishness of both Filipino heritage and cosmopolitan allure. It’s as if the brand’s creative director has orchestrated a melodic composition of style, where each note strikes a chord of elegance.
Now, let’s delve into function with a splash of fabulousness. The concealed slip pocket is akin to a hidden treasure, while the harmonious tassel and golden chain shoulder strap make a statement that’s both whimsical and poised. It’s a clutch that communicates volumes without uttering a single word—a true achievement in the realm of fashion storytelling.
Carrie’s tête-à-tête luncheon with Aiden’s former spouse, Kathy, was more than just an exchange of words; it marked the intersection of two narratives, a fusion of characters who’ve journeyed through the work of life. And amidst budding camaraderie, there it was—the JOANNA Eclipse clutch, a silent participant in the intricate interplay of relationships.
Its presence on a show as iconic as And Just Like That… raises questions about the representation of Filipino designers on the grand stage. How often do we witness the clash of cultures and creative voices in mainstream television? How can this single clutch serve as a catalyst for more Filipino designers to take center stage in the world of big television productions?
As Filipino designers like Rafe Totengco continue to redefine the fashion landscape with their ingenious creations, it’s apparent that the Sex and the City universe isn’t solely about love, friendship, and urban tumult, but also about embracing the vibrant spirit of global design. The next time you spot a meticulously-crafted masterpiece gracing the screen, remember that, behind the scenes, a blend of creativity and a mosaic of cultures are converging to forge something genuinely enchanting, just like RAFE’s clutch.
Photos: DANNY SANTIAGO and RAFE