Thursday, February 2, 2012
I recently had a chance to meet Jenn Villaruz, founder & designer of FOREIGN UNITY, who had asked me to collaborate with her on her new collection as an art director and model. I loved her previous collections & her energy, she is beautiful inside and out, so I was happy to contribute. This was also my first opportunity to feature my new mural, MAITRI, the Future Buddha’s Cosmic Lap. We made our own headgears, inspired by the idea of the warrior queen archetype that’s been a thread in my work as well. Mine unfortunately was falling apart, so I had to hold it to my head the whole time lol. We had Jenn's friend, the awesome Dr. Sus on board with the camera. You can read more about the theme and inspiration behind the shoot and the collection below.
FOREIGN UNITY ’URDUJA’ Winter Collection 2011/2012 Press Release:
Co-signed by Les Nubians, Amel Larrieux, Kelis, Ladybugg MECCA and many more, Brooklyn-based jewelry brand, ‘Foreign Unity’ by Jennifer Villaruz has yet to become evident. With affordable and inventive hand-crafted designs, there is no telling that Jennifer puts a lot of love and hard work into each piece. Stemming from originality, her designs have a spiritual welcoming of all cultures combined. This collection features a collaboration with one of Jennifer’s biggest inspirations and feline fantasy creator, Lichiban. Lichiban took charge in creating the art direction and graphic design for the collection. Also, her amazing new mural, MAITRI, was our backdrop for the entire photo shoot, that took place in Brooklyn.With the right mixture of art and design, this collaboration creates an amazing display of eye-catching jewelry and playful artistry.
The inspiration behind the entire collection stemmed from Philippine heroine, Urduja (pronounced “er-doo-wha”), who was born in the 1400s. To many Filipinos, she was considered to be a legendary warrior queen and was recognised for her beauty, ambition and leadership. She had a unifying power; reigning peace in the central regions of Luzon. Urduja was known to many to fight in military combat like a king and brought imported goods to her people using elephants as her form of transportation. Her story and my collection naturally aligned itself as the birth of the designs came to life. With desert storm camoflauge combined with feminine vintage accents, the entire modern day warrior queen-look evolved. Lichiban and Jennifer created their own head-pieces for the shoot to top off the entire ‘Urduja’ look.
Foreign Unity: Winter Collection 2011/2012 is out NOW! Check out the full lookbook here.
Photography: DrSus || Jewelry Design/ Styling/ Model: Jennifer Villaruz | Foreign Unity
Art Direction/ Mural / Graphic Design/ Model: Lichiban | Katapulko