No, I can't claim Kim Catrall, SJP, Samantha or Carrie as family. What I can claim though, is the creator of this:
THE ring in the movie, Sex and the City was created by my cousin, Ramona Boucher... actually, Ramona Magsaysay Alampay Boucher, the force behind House of Bastion. Our mothers are sisters, and if this blog is a celebration of the happiness fulfilled by the process of creation, I am shamelessly in brag mode that, for the very early process of Ramona's journey as a very sought after jewelry designer (to the likes of Elizabeth Taylor and the St. Phalle family, among others), I witnessed the irrepressible creativity running in this woman's veins at a very early age. When most kids wanted to shop in the Gap, Ramona didn't shy away from places like The Alley on Belmont when we were teenagers running around Chicago. She used to visit us in the summer, and I would take her to places like Handle with Care on Wells Street, but she would gravitate to the other shop (the name escapes me at this point) that sold huge rings with very intricate Celtic and Greek designs on the corner of Wells and North at the time. She was always light years ahead of the pack when it came to her creative expression, never suppressed, always giving it away. When she was a student in UP's Industrial Design program, I remember Ramona with the blue wig, on Dong Puno's show, talking about the rock scene (and back then, Bamboo was a skinny kid playing at the Atrium with a band called Basu-rock, later to be called Rivermaya). When I started graduate school, Ramona came to Chicago again, and did she ever indulge my siblings with her creations! For my brother's show and tell, she once dressed up as a gypsy woman, complete with the head gear, the accents and the chants that came with it. All the fifth graders in Hardey Prep were mesmerized! Years later, we are still in awe at her creations. Understatement is not an option, for her creations are a celebration of structure, color and innovation in jewelry design. Parrots and elephants are rendered in various stones, the perfect company for cocktails. On the other hand, some of her floral creations embody sheer elegance, and yet, we mustn't be fooled: they can double as weapons!
My professor used to remind us about the irony (in design) all the time. At reviews in design school, he would say, "But I am worried because you seem to have missed the irony." And so, to this day, I still look for that irony in all forms of design. To me, it is exciting to find tension in a piece of art. Hence, the appeal of Kapoor's Cloud in Chicago, Bosch's Garden of Earthly Delights, any of Yoshitomo Nara's mean little girls, and Alessi's Form Follows Family Collection... all these exhibit a certain duality of character, art that asks of the viewer to look closer. Ramona's pieces are no different. They're beautiful: the craftsmanship extraordinary; they sparkle and their colors flirt, but they do more than just adorn a woman... in and of themselves, they are the statement. Indeed,for the Samanthas of this world, a Bastion ring may be the next best thing to girlfriends, martinis and sex in the city. Then again, the ring might be enough!
PS: It's Ramona's birthday on Friday! Happy birthday, love! xoxo
Photo Credit for the Sex in the City film still goes to www.allmoviephoto.com
Photo Credit for Ramona's ring goes to Bastion by RM Boucher