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Cassandra Does

The summer that I became an adult, I spent time in Ibu Gedong's Gandhi ashram in Candi Dasa, Bali. I had just finished high school in Japan and was all set to start art school in London. My family spent many summers at this ashram but as an eighteen year old I was much more aware of my place in it, in Bali, and as an artist to be. I went on several of my own excursions, along the beach, to the top of the hill that overlooked an ocean of palmtrees, or by joining a ceremony with Balinese ashram workers...

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Tuesday, 08 March, 2016
Cassandra Does

 What happens when you find vintage magazine printing blocks in your favourite antique shop in Ubud? As lovely as they are with their copper patina on wood, I just had to see what these Indonesian girls really looked like...  

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Monday, 04 January, 2016
Cassandra Does

I recently found this gem just down the road from my villa. Just up from the Canggu Club, keep heading north on Jalan Pantai Berawa and it's on the right in amongst the hotchpotch of other things going on on this long strip. Signs point left and right to warungs, guesthouses, motorbike rentals, boutiques and cute western eateries. Lots of independent small businesses doing their own cool thing here, that you won't see in Seminyak.Look for the row of macrame planters hanging outside (Why is macrame always a good sign of taste these days? ) and step into a treasure trove of Indian, Western and Balinese vintage...

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Monday, 28 December, 2015
Cassandra Does

Once a week, or more if I can make it, I take the hour drive along winding roads through forests and paddy fields up to Ubud. From the centre of Ubud I make a turn into Jalan Suweta which peters out into a country lane through paddy fields, and there eventually I reach the ceramics workshop Sari Api. A beautiful open air studio with plenty of space and creativity, surrounded by leafiness. It was opened 20 years ago by Suzan Kholik, a ceramicist graduate from Art School Vevey in Switzerland.I've made it a new mission to learn all I need to know about the various methods to create a perfect bowl...

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Friday, 18 December, 2015
Cassandra Does

In 2008 a Norwegian film maker, Morten Traavik, organised a beauty pageant in Angola that highlighted women who had lost limbs because of landmines. While the idea seems a bit shocking, it was a concept developed by an artist who wanted to challenge the conventional concepts of beauty. It was a way of empowering disabled women and deliver some much needed attention to the landmine issue. After the government backed contest in Angola proved a success, Traavik set his sights on Cambodia, another heavily landmined country, to replicate the event there...

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Friday, 11 December, 2015
Cassandra Does

 After a long history of dark painting styles, it is refreshing to see an artist interpret the Bali landscape with a colourful impressionistic interpretation. It suits it so well.I fell in love with the work of Arie Smit when I visited the Neka Museum in Ubud. His paintings are alive with movement in the way that Van Gogh's landscapes jump off the canvas.Given his background, Smit's decision to let colour and celebration flow through his work fills out the viewer's appreciation. At least, it did for me...

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Thursday, 08 October, 2015
Cassandra Does

 Ubud is a mere hour's motorbike ride from Canggu, north of Seminyak, where I live. Its cool foresty village vibe makes for a nice break away from the endless coastal summer sun and its zippy surfdudes. It's also a nice cultural break. So how to separate the wheat from the chaff? There are various museums, galleries and commercial artist workshops. Here is what I would recommend spending time on.The Puri Lukisan museum on the main street is a pretty, landscaped compound, a little dog eared, but worth visiting for my favourite Walter Spies painting (see my post here) and an understanding of his time and contemporaries in Bali...

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Wednesday, 30 September, 2015
Cassandra Does

Chloe and Valentino's spring summer 2015 collection put cutwork embroidery firmly on the map this summer. As head designer of Australian fashion label Sancerre (more about them later) who are based in Bali, I have the privilege of working with Bali suppliers, and kerawang open cutwork embroidery is one of Bali's better known exports. Not only is Bali a refreshing place to work, as you can imagine, commuting past rice fields to a big wooden house that is the office, but our suppliers are all family businesses run by friendly people...

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Monday, 10 August, 2015
Cassandra Does

While spending a blustery summer afternoon in Ubud, I dropped into the Museum Puri Lukisan. While in the mid century pavilion, a rain storm burst overhead and the lights went out. The storm was so violent that I couldn't help but watch it pass from the entrance. After 20 minutes, sunlight emerged framing the tall palm trees in front of me. This is what I love about Bali, and what I can see in much of the art here: all encompassing shapes of plants, trees and rice paddies shaped by the light, and the people small within it...

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Wednesday, 08 July, 2015
Cassandra Does

As a fashion and print designer, I have always pursued the brush stroke in some way or form. Like I mentioned in my previous post, Emi & Eve were born from my upbringing in Singapore and Japan, and my adoption of the Chinese calligraphy cartridge brush. I thought it might be interesting to have a  look at which designers around Asia, or of Asian descent, have somehow maintained the brush stroke in their work. Result: some legendary Hanae Mori, Issey Miyake and Yohji Yamamoto,  new find Moyuru, a Japanese brand, based in Bali who only use tones of charcoal, and one of my all time favourites Tsumori Chisato...

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Monday, 29 June, 2015
Cassandra Does

I may not look Asian, but I am often told my textile prints and drawings express a certain Asian flavour.One summer when I was eight and my family lived in Singapore, I watched my mom learn Chinese brush painting at the Dutch Club where we were members. I loved the way a wet brush could do so much: One simple vertical stroke would release a new page from the roll of rice paper. Inky wet brush marks bled into shapes, and then magically into petals, bamboo, fish, birds, flowers....When I was allowed to have a go at my own drawing, it just wasn't quite the same...

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Friday, 05 June, 2015
Cassandra Does

What better place to replenish a worn out wardrobe from traveling through Cambodia and Bali for the last two months, than Seminyak? This corner of Bali is where cool fashion brands who really know what they are doing have opened stores, creating a whole new Bali look fit for any St Tropez or Ibiza. Designer Peter Woodward is one of various Australians who have honed their craft on the island. And, among the various boutiques that come and go, his has been thriving for 7 years now. I'm not surprised...

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Wednesday, 27 May, 2015
Cassandra Does

Born in Bali and trained in womenswear at the renowned Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp, Belgium, Tanudiredja's career in fashion began at an early age. At 15, Heaven was already working as a tailor in Indonesia. In 2004 he moved to Europe and by his second year at the Academy the young designer received the prestigious Christine Mathijs Award in association with Dries Van Noten.Based in uber creative Antwerp, jewellery designer Heaven Tanudiredja is still part of the Dries van Noten creative team...

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Tuesday, 19 May, 2015
Cassandra Does

 

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Wednesday, 13 May, 2015
Cassandra Does

  On a recent trip to Ubud, I ended up collecting gold floral hairpins, the ones worn for ceremonies. They look so lovely singly or in a bunch! So I decided to go and visit some workshops where the golden head dresses, made from many gold foil flowers called Gulung Agung, are made.I asked around and I was told they are made in Bangli, an hour's drive from Ubud. There we were directed further north towards Besakih and found a simple workshop compound near the small town of Undisan. Head craftsman Ni Nyoman Asra explained how he learned the trade from a friend, after which he managed to grow his family business to Bali's number one producer of Gulung Agung, employing 8 people...

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Tuesday, 05 May, 2015
Cassandra Does

  Women in Cambodia just love dressing up. Heavily sequined outfits, intricate gold jewellery, heavy make up and elaborate hairdos are a must, on wedding days or any other special occasion. While we see heavy make up on Balinese brides and dancers only, the Cambodian woman has embraced it as her own as soon as there is something to celebrate. This comes as no surprise when you consider the ostentatiousness of the Khmer culture that stems from its roots as a sacred royal kingdom. Extravagant detail is everywhere...

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Tuesday, 28 April, 2015
Cassandra Does

On your next trip to Bali, skip Seminyak and spend some time in beachside Canggu. This lazily sprawling beachside neighbourhood serves famous surf spot Old Man's and a growing community of expat villa owners and surf tourists in quiet streets hanging right angles around rice paddies. There is not much in the way of shopping, but should you have an afternoon to while away when there is no surf, make your way inland from Old Man's along Raya Batu Bolong and you will discover Horn. And a fantastic discovery it is...

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Tuesday, 14 April, 2015
Cassandra Does

 In the second of my three part series about the kebaya, we follow the kebaya style as worn in Singapore. Interestingly, although the sarong kebaya uniform has served Singapore Airlines well in establishing their brand message, the kebaya does not in fact originate in Singapore. Since Stamford Raffles named it the Lion City, Singapore has always been a melting pot of different cultures. Having spent most of grade school in this city, it's easy for me to feel at home here. Besides the Malay, Indian and Chinese cultures, there is a community of Eurasians, beautiful dark skinned people, with distinct Portuguese heritage in looks and in a westernised perspective on life underpinned by their Catholic faith...

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Monday, 06 April, 2015
Cassandra Does

 As I was browsing in Kapok at the National Museum recently, I instantly noticed the colourful printed collection of funky loose trousers by Matter. Although "printed loose trousers" might conjure up a hippie image, Matter is definitely not that.Matter is about returning to the basics of what connects us: stories, craft, and values. The brainchild of world traveller Renyung Ho, Matter’s concept is simple: Making pants to see the world in, while helping small communities around Asia through the process of making them at the same time...

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Monday, 30 March, 2015
Cassandra Does

  While growing up in Singapore, I saw quite a bit of South East Asia, in particular Indonesia. Always seeking out an authentic experience off the beaten tourist track, my parents took us to a Ghandian ashram in what is now the sleepy tourist village of Candi Dasa on the south east coast of Bali. It was run by an inspirational lady, Ibu Oka, who was full of amazing stories she told in Dutch or English, depending who was still at the table after dinner. She hosted university professors, politicians and other adventurous people in thatched seaside cottages with vegetarian meals taken together at a long table on the lawn under palm trees and the milky way...

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Monday, 23 March, 2015
Cassandra Does

While much of the world parties into the New Year on December 31, Bali kicks off with a mandatory total switch off and reboot in March.The Balinese New Year falls on the spring equinox, which was last Saturday. Nyepi is a day that the Hindu Balinese dedicate completely to connect more deeply with God  through prayer, fasting and meditation, as well as self reflection to evaluate personal values such as love, truth, patience, kindness, and generosity. Therefore no work can be done, all roads need to be free from vehicles and people...

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Monday, 23 March, 2015
Cassandra Does

   As part of Singapore Design Week, The National Design Centre is featuring various outstanding designers who helped shape Singapore.Here are my top 4 picks that were displayed from the fashion industry...Vice and Vanity necklaces, 2006Definitely a name I have earmarked to follow, this brand makes solid statement necklaces made from every day and industrial materials like wood, tube, plastic and leather.  Emily of Emerald Hill gown, 2011This is a musical production of a classic Singapore tale of a Straits born Chinese lady who spoke English, Baba Malay, French and Chinese dialects, who threw lavish parties at home...

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Monday, 16 March, 2015
Cassandra Does

   

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Monday, 09 March, 2015
Cassandra Does

The kebaya is a sheer elegant blouse pinned at the front with a brooch that is worn in various permutations around South East Asia. It gives any woman, rich or poor, young or old, a certain poise and elegance not only with its tailoring, embellishment styles and bright colours, but by way of the identity it gives them. And that is why I love it. The original kebaya is essentially unchanged from the Javanese style as seen in the 16th century. Prior to 1600, kebaya on Java island were considered to be worn only by royal family, aristocrats and minor nobility, and women walked publicly bare-chested...

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Monday, 02 March, 2015
Cassandra Does

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Blogger Detail

Blogger Name:     Cassandra Does
Full Name:     Cassandra Postema
Email :     hello@emiandeve.com
Biographical Info:    Cassandra is a Dutch fashion and textile designer/maker and illustrator graduated from Central St Martin's who produces accessories made from recycled landmines in Cambodia. Growing up in various parts of the world and calling South East Asia her home, she travels between Hong Kong, Singapore, Cambodia and Bali finding inspiration for her jewellery designs and sourcing artisanal textiles. She is passionate about sustainable and ethical design for fashion. Follow her on Instagram for real time photo stories.
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