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History repeats

By Words by Natasha Dragun Photography by Sonny Thakur

History repeats
Filipino jeweller Natalya Lagdameo transforms old treasures into striking contemporary pieces.

Pending much of her career as an interior designer, scouring the Philippines for collections of furniture, heirlooms and artefacts, Filipino-Australian Natalya Lagdameo developed an intimate appreciation for the archipelago’s fine arts and crafts traditions. It’s this keen eye she brings to her jewellery collections, reinventing priceless Filipino treasures into stunning, contemporary works.

“Jewellery design started as a hobby,” she says. “I had a small collection of colonial Philippine jewellery introduced to me by my father, who is an antique dealer in Manila.
He taught me the history behind furniture pieces, local fabric, architectural styles and artefacts from the different regions. I felt it would be fitting to use the traditional styles
in a modern setting.”

Lagdameo travels the Philippines not just sourcing pieces for her artwork, but meticulously recording the history that comes with them. She takes note of the stories, details, patterns and symbols represented by the pieces to learn more about their provenance, age and use. 

The Alfajor Drape necklace – pictured here on Lagdameo – is a handmade, gold-plated alfajor chain (filigree pattern joined by rings) with baroque pearl drops – the pearls are sourced from Palawan. “This style of chain was introduced by the Spanish in the colonial period and is still made by artisans from several provinces,” she says. See


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