Category Archives: night

SHAHBANO


We wandered into Shahbano one afternoon months ago (it’s just down the street from La Botica) and ended up just hanging way after our lunches were done. What can I say? I found an old copy of TimeOutNY and I obviously had to read every page. Shahbano sells flavorful soups served with half-sandwiches, good coffee and beautiful silk tunics. The place is a kind of store/cafe hybrid, all through the vision of the owner Annick Belanger. We got a chance to chat with her one evening about her global roots and the store while we sipped a little sangria.

Annick was born in Montreal but spent years as a child living in Cameroon. She first came down to Panama with her husband seven years ago and ended up getting a house here. It was not until she sold her restaurant in Montreal that she spent more than a few weeks a year here. Even once Annick was living in Panama, it was a trip to South Asia that led to Shahbano. “I went to India for the first time in 2009 and I was there in five weeks,” Annick said.

“I met this man who did the most incredible embroidery. When I met this man. I looked at my husband and said, I think I found what I wanted to do.”

Annick decided to created a business that would combine her interests in food and clothing. “I always had a passion for fashion. I was always creating my own clothes. That’s where the idea for Shahbano came from. I didn’t want to have the clothing without the food, or the food without the clothing,” Annick explained.

She designs all the clothing sold in Shahbano herself. The pieces are then created in New Delhi, Jaipur and Jodhpur. She also designs all the home decor and masterminded the menu. I don’t really understand where she found the time, either.

Shahbano opened in April 2011 and Annick says that after a year, the place is still developing.   She’s begun a changing system of exhibitions, showing a different artist every month at the moment. The overall goal for Shahbano is be a space for clients to feel at home.”

“There was a proposal done here yesterday, up here,” Annick continued. “I wasn’t here but my staff told me about it. Apparently the man [who was proposing] told the waitress, ‘I put a book about our relationship here on the shelf. [When] I ask you to bring me a book, bring me that one.'”

“That, for me, is what I’m looking for,” Annick said. “To create that kind of environment.”

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LYLE THOMAS BY RENATO AMADO

Renato sometimes makes accessories, such as this necklace, to go along with his collections.

Renato Amado, the designer behind the label Lyle Thomas, has taken the opposite path than us across the Atlantic. Renato’s parents were born in Colon, Panama, and lived in Panama City until he was eight. Then he moved to New York, and it’s been his home ever since. Renato currently lives in South Brooklyn and has an atelier in Chelsea, just north of FIT.

We talked to Renato on Skype about where he got his start, his inspiration for the Fall 2012 season, and all the crazy cool things going on in Panama right now.

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FOTOS DE FESTIVAL ABIERTO

Jennifer, a social media volunteer at this weekend’s Festival Abierto in Parque Omar.

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MISS BALANTA

Angélica Castillo aka Miss Balanta is a graphic designer, fashion consultant and blogger originally from Colombia. See her blogging at work at missbalanta.com

We’ve heard a little about something you’re doing called “Panayork.” We’re way into that New York-Panama connection. Could you tell us a little more about Panayork? I was living in Barcelona and everyone was asking me why are you moving to Panama?! So I told them, I’m not. I’m moving to Panayork. There are so many cultures and so many people coming together here.

What’s your favorite thing you’re wearing today? This blouse. I got it at Espacio Vintage. It’s actually a man’s t-shirt. A Miami Vice man’s t-shirt.

What do you recommend in PTY? One of my favorite places in Panama ever is Casco. So many new things going on here: fashion, art and music. All kinds of culture. I call it the Casco Village of Panayork; I only go out of the bubble when it’s necessary.

[Laughs] The last time I was interviewed in English was for German TV and it was like ahhhh.

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BEAUTIFUL

Jacqueline Brandwayn's beautiful show Beautiful at Espacio Panama

See more of Wednesday’s opening after the jump:

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PABLO

Pablo. Works for Levi’s in visual merchandising. From Panama. 

¿Qué recomendarías de Panamá? Un restaurante – Segundo Muelle. Comida peruana – el aguadito de pescado es delicioso.

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ROCHELLE

Rochelle Tolani, from Panama. Freelance graphic designer & illustrator.

What do you do exactly? I just graduated. I’m designing a new magazine that’s coming out. It’s called “Ser Mama.”

Where do you hang out in Panama CityWhen I’m not in my house designing, I’m here in Casco. Most of the time I’m at Relic or Villa Agustina. You can meet people from all other countries there, which is cool.

What else do you recommend in Panama? Nature. We have the mountains and the beaches. [In the city] sometimes I go to Cerro Ancon and draw.

Where do you see yourself in the future? I want to go to London [for grad school]. I’m traumatized by London.

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