It was while studying architecture that Doro Barandino nurtured a love for design. But in the ’90s, after graduating from school, he felt there wasn’t much happening in architecture in his hometown in Cebu. This made him shift to product design.
He got involved in the furniture, home and fashion accessory industries, which were thriving and lucrative in that decade.
Through the years, he used his creative expertise designing for clients, buyers and various home and furniture manufacturers. He regularly attended many international shows with his export clients, including the Maison & Objet in Paris and Salone del Mobile in Milan, as well as shows in Singapore and Hong Kong.
With his clients, he was a constant fixture at the Center for International Trade Expositions and Missions (Citem) and Manila Fame, showcasing home and accessory products. The various companies he worked for received citations and special awards for his work.
Barandino still designs furniture and home accessories, but the urge to design jewelry and bags has become so powerful. “Don’t you find it amazing to express yourself in such small objects as jewelry and bags?” says this elusive genius. “It’s so personal for me, and I just love it.”
Only recently he started to work on his own collection under his own brand, D’oro Barandino. “Only very recent,” he stresses, “because I hardly talk about myself and my design.”
The website he created, D’orobarandino.com, is a simple and straightforward interface, a platform to showcase his neckpieces, cuffs, clutches and minaudières, and where buyers may easily place an order without requesting for a sample.
“In my experience, we don’t exchange calling cards anymore with the buyers we meet in the shows,” he explains the site’s commercial importance. “They simply ask for your website.”
His work speaks for itself, a reflection of years of design knowledge and dedication to craftsmanship.
The “Kiano” clutch follows a clever linear shape, seemingly inspired by a parallelogram, but was actually inspired by “a tip of a cutter blade.”
It’s made of black shagreen leather rawhide, and perfected with golden clasps seamlessly integrated into the design to produce an elegant and luxe finish.
The forms of his clutches and minaudières are intriguing, using ingenious design techniques. The “Keith” minaudière has an inverted bean shape with hand-hammered brass gilt clasp finishing. The “Matt,” an Art Deco-inspired hexagon-shaped clutch of black shagreen rawhide and framed in brass, boasts of charming black carabao horn clasps.
A perfect statement piece for the holidays and beyond, the beautifully made “Lian” hard shell minaudière gleams with a marbleized finish and warm bronze framing. It gracefully sparkles with a hand-sculpted double dragon head.
There are even clutches and minaudières from his collection that resourcefully utilize unexpected industrial components such as electrical connectors and hardware, juxtaposed with carabao horns and nails. Each piece is tastefully assembled to reach the height of sophistication.
His neckpieces and cuffs are stunners.
“Levi” is a choker made of brass “joined in harmony,” he describes the piece. It has an attached pendant of several folds that resembles a cross.
Brass cuffs follow the same creative technique. In the “Nion” cuff, the brass was hand-beaten to create a crumpled effect.
According to Barandino, his recent collection represents his style. “The presence of the industrial hardware for clasps and the linear shapes really says a lot about my design aesthetics,” he says.
His unusual use of shapes and forms and hardware is something he wants to be remembered for as a designer.
What influenced his latest collection? “Believe it or not, I was not in any ‘big’ city when my collection was conceived,” says this admirer of mid-century furniture and aficionado of products from the ’60s.
He is also into Art Deco style and the Bauhaus movement; back in the ’90s he used to collect retro lamps made of plexiglass, brushed in copper and brass.
“I was in downtown Colon Street, the oldest street in Cebu, and Magallanes, where the inspiration started,” he continues.
Barandino strolled these streets to scour old and quaint stores for anything, and found interesting stuff he now incorporates in his designs.
“Seeing beautiful architecture, a beautiful sculpture, a beautiful shape or form, or a beautiful space prompts my mind to work,” he explains. “It triggers inspiration!
“At times after a good meditation and after clearing one’s mind,” he continues, “I feel I become a vessel of ideas.”
For Barandino, designing bags and jewelry is likened to creating art, but a functional kind that marries form and function. “Sometimes the form can be so attractive and intriguing that you don’t mind if it doesn’t function, but then that’s not my principle,” he says of making things work. “A form has to function.”
E-mail email@example.com or visit www. d’orobarandino.com
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