Modern Living

Let’s get personal

ALL THAT SHNAZZ - Alexei F. Villaraza - The Philippine Star
Letâs get personal

Oliver and Maude CEO Kat de los Angeles recently bought the brand and has expanded its product line, which now includes linen, jewelry, scent bottles and fine crystal.

All you have to do is scroll Instagram for a minute or two to learn that having initials on anything continues to be a classic trend. Monograms have been around since practically the beginning of time. Nowadays, you see the likes of Cara Delevigne all wrapped up in her monogrammed Burberry poncho or Karlie Kloss wearing a jacket with her name in script on the back. You even have high-end brands like Goyard, Louis Vuitton and Gucci gold stamping their leather goods with your shiny initials.

For businesswoman Kat de los Angeles, the monogram was her way of connecting with her family’s history and the regal yet restrained way her grandmother would entertain and serve the family’s best-kept secrets on subtly personalized dishes.

When she and her family had a home to call their own, Kat wanted to continue her grandmother’s tradition of having elegant and personalized home accouterments. “It reminds me of the more genteel times of yesteryear,” she says. “Coming from an old-fashioned family, things were either elegantly labeled or beautifully designed.” Having grown up in, as well as marrying into a family of builders, a beautiful home was part of the deal. The challenge was to make it her own and she knew exactly how to do it.





After having searched for fully-customizable monogrammed homeware, she saw Oliver & Maude on Instagram and instantly took a liking to their simple and tasteful pieces. Oliver & Maude (O&M) had led the monogrammed home ware movement in 2013. “I first started as a loyal client and when I heard it was being sold, it wasn’t such a tough decision to purchase it since I had already loved the brand and the pieces they offered,” she shares. The brand now caters to many weddings here and around the Asia Pacific region and has an expanded its product line, which includes fine porcelain and crystal, ceramics, flatware, and seasonal offers such as monogrammed linen, jewelry and scent bottles.

Put your name on it

Just like Gucci with its Gs, Chanel with its Cs, and Louis Vuitton with its LVs, each of us can have our initials on just about anything. Monograms may have you thinking of your mother’s “fancy” napkins, kickass royal crests, and other dated, preppy, and overly-precious items of the past, but it doesn’t have to be that way.

For the monogram virgin, there are certain rules to keep in mind when slapping your initials on any item. “For married couples, the monogram is done with the bride’s first initial, the surname of the couple which is usually larger in size and the groom’s first initial. For single people and for men, it’s initial of the first name, middle then last. For children, traditionally it’s first, last and middle initial until they come of age then after which they follow the order used for single individuals,” shares Kat.

The size of the monogram, which O&M usually does from an inch to three inches, depends on the product it will be placed on. It’s also based on whether they choose to have their initials, name or initials with an additional icon from O&M’s exclusively designed badges. “We also have a selection of fonts a customer can choose from. Our signature Quattrocento font looks great on smaller products like travel sets. A favourite choice is the England Hand which works best on bigger items because of its bolder and more classic look.” For glassware and tableware, Kat says seasoned host prefers both the curvy script and print fonts because it makes it look more elegant.

The key to working monogramming is to keep it simple with a piece or few. You don’t want to go as far as have the painting of yourself over the mantle, but a few good initials here and there can look fresh and not over the top.

It goes without saying that the best gifts are personalized. Whether the gift represents an old inside joke, or it’s been monogrammed for the recipient, a personalized gift signifies that you’ve been extra thoughtful in your choice (and that you’ve planned ahead, technically). Even if it’s embroidered on something otherwise ordinary, your monogram makes the object 80 percent more posh.

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For information, visit www.oliverandmaude.com or on Instagram @oliverandmaude.

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