FOR international Feng Shui expert Maritess Allen, putting up the UK-based fashion house Frigga, was a natural progression of bringing together two of the things she loves—making people feel good and look good.
Named after the Norse deity regarded as “the goddess of all the goddesses,” and inspired by the principles of the Chinese ancient art of feng shui, Frigga’s fashion pieces hope to attract luck with auspicious symbols that promote harmony with the environment.
While other fashion houses follow the changing of seasons, Allen injects Frigga’s collection with her forecasts that follow the waxing and waning of the moon. This unique concept, in effect, has created a separate niche for Frigga in an industry where standing out is as important as being “in.”
With years of studying feng shui under renowned Asian masters behind her, Allen decided to take up fashion-related courses, including Your Future in Fashion, Luxury Brand Management at the University of the Arts, London.
“The basic principle of feng shui is that you attract prosperity and auspiciousness in your life if you’re living and work environments are balanced and harmonious,” Allen told reporters during a media appreciation lunch held recently at the Luxent Hotel in Quezon City.
“Feng shui uses shapes, colors, symbols, and elements in seeking that balance, so it lends itself naturally to fashion. You apply the same principles on clothing, which is the most intimate environment there is, close to our bodies, and essentially that is wearing and projecting our aspirations to acquire harmony in our lives,” she added.
The idea of Frigga, Allen shared, was born out of her own personal need as having to remove all her charms and accessories became quite inconvenient during airport inspections, “So I told myself, one day I’ll make all these clothes so I don’t have to wear all my feng shui charms.”
Another reason, she added was that “Every Chinese New Year, media would always ask her about the lucky prints and colors for clothes, so now I could just show them my Frigga collection.”
Working with her in putting together the brand is a team of London’s top fashion designers, and Toby Meadows, a respected fashion consultant for high-end brands in Europe and is the author of the best-selling book How to Start Your Own Fashion Label.
“Besides the yearly forecast, not a lot of people know that our luck also changes every month, so you could just imagine that creating a forecast can be quite a tedious process.” Allen says she would lock herself for three months to complete the entire process for each animal sign for every month of the year.”
Using her meticulously prepared feng shui forecast for each animal sign, the Frigga team then makes its own creative interpretation by combining the forecast guidelines with the latest fashion trends.
As the London Director for Frigga, Meadows likened the development of the brand to an exciting journey, rather than a destination. He says they want to take advantage of fast-changing market trends and pitch the brand to the global market.
Frigga Charmed Life (www.frigga.co.uk), the online store for chic, lucky fashion was launched last March with fabulous pieces and exciting promotions for its subscribers. Feng shui aficionados from London, Manila, and Los Angeles had a first look at the Spring/Summer collection of Frigga, and the response has been overwhelming.
For this year, Frigga features the Pantone colors that dominate the 2014 fashion palette in the major European fashion houses. The Spring/ Summer 2014 collection, Marites adds, features “fabulous fabrics, chic style, lucky prints, and unique design—the qualities that set Frigga above other brands.”
The latest collection features Kaftans with rhinoceros and elephant prints that is believed to protect the wearer from robbery and accidents. Dresses in red and green have “double happiness” prints all over them to attract romance. There are also shawls with gray and green horses that are supposed to temper the fiery nature of the Year of the Horse.
“When I initially presented Frigga, they were all amazed with the idea. Where ever you are in the world we all have one thing in common, each of us has gone through a difficult time in our lives, and all we want is some change—and a little bit of luck,” notes Allen.
“I believe feng shui has done a lot of good things to me and all I want is to be able to share its benefits to everyone,” says Allen.
Select Frigga pieces are available in World of Feng Shui stores nationwide.
This article first appeared at THE MANILA STANDARD TODAY