When one thinks of an “alluring” design, the imagination immediately goes to soft, seductive fabrics, subtle sensuality and shades that are striking on a more subconscious level. There were 10 collections presented at the Grand Allure show which bordered from cleverly innovative to downright pageant-esque, where subtlety seemed like the farthest thing from the designer’s mind. Here are the highlights from the show.
Fanny Serrano presented an all-out ethereal collection with models in kabuki-esque make up and dressed almost head-to-toe in piña and other natural looking fibers. It was as if someone had taken Annie Lennox’s music video for Walking on Broken Glass and given it a Filipinana twist as textures seemed to be spun from muted gold threads with tailoring that defied gravity. It went way, way beyond the oftentimes re-invented barong tagalog and filled the stage with an abstract romanticism of earthy neutral tones that moved easily with both the male and female models. His collection was the most cohesively clean and consistent among the group. Paper-like dresses by June Pugat made entirely of custom-dyed jusi were a welcome surprise after all the flashy colors and sequins that permeated the runway that night. The designer shared that he had created these dresses to be worn by “earth goddesses” — think of the Indonesian devis, which is probably what they were made to look like as they floated almost fairy-like down the catwalk. Rust and forest green paired with black and sand-like yellows, plus interesting detailing in the back (think a flower opening its petals to the sun) made these ensembles seem to change in shade and structure with every model’s movement. (see below)
Edgar San Diego turned Samurai sexy with asymmetrical twists on the traditional kimono. With strong reds, blacks and golds, trimmed with softer fabrics or abstract prints against a blue-gray, it were as if he also took the prized koi fish as inspiration — perfect pieces for a dramatic entrance at any event. Enchantment came in the form of textural draping and soft pastel fabrics for most of Mitzi Quilendrino-Bustos’ collection, including an extremely sheer and body-skimming wedding dress trimmed with gold, which closed the show that evening.