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The unbearable lightness of being Vivien Ramsay

Karen Bolilia (The Philippine Star) - November 14, 2014 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - Vivien Ramsay and her family are in the middle of a big renovation. But conversion might be the more accurate word, as they transform a former dumpster into her new studio slash factory. It is getting there. The sewing machines are in, the dyeing pools are in place, and with the help of her husband and sister, it’ll soon house the designing, sewing, dyeing and printing all in one place, working like a vertical operation. This is the new home of Eairth and VR, her namesake line.
Speaking of Eairth: you may be wondering where it’s gone — but gone it hasn’t. Now working on a smaller, more introverted scale, VR is a natural progression from Eairth, not a symptom of its departure. “After six years of developing Eairth, I desired to elevate the process and end-use of the clothes,” Viven shares, “to a place that is ‘city-minded.’” This means soft tailoring, sweaters, and shapes that lend to this sensibility. At the heart of the VR DNA is a brand nostalgic for a blend of military uniforms with a love of lingerie. Vivien describes her clothes as soft armor, pieces that delicately reveal the figure and inspire courage and invention. “The Hot Days,” her Spring 2015 collection, is grounded in glamour, freedom and dance — something that manifests via her signature quilting, braiding and fringe. Most importantly, it’s no Vivien Ramsay collection without the technique de résistance, dyeing. A new pigment she calls “heroine” figures highly in the collection, made from madder root sourced from India. VR’s repertoire complements a lifestyle that translates the city life unfettered by the idea of a slower pace; a tension welcomed and even reflected in Viven’s own life — transplanting herself from New York, and now Manila, to somewhere north of the city, and into a new home for herself and her work.

 

 
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