Philippine Fashion Week 2011

In Philippine Star Column on May 22, 2011 at 4:54 am

I love fashion, I may not be an expert at it but I do enjoy seeing designs wafting down on the runway. It’s actually nice break for me, since I just sit back and enjoy the show. It’s my firm belief that one of the steps to happiness for every soul in training is to do things they enjoy whenever they can and take no heed if others feel it’s a “shallow” past time. Who cares? When we are in a state of enjoyment (and no one is getting hurt) then we are thismuch closer to our Higher Selves. When you feel good, the rest of the world feels good. That’s a promise.

I’m including here some of the reviews included in the YStyle Section of the Philippine Star which has become a fashion authority and must-read section for your enjoyment. You may not agree with some of the reviews, but like I said, just take it all in and try to enjoy the visual offerings this weekend.

The whimsical and the wearable in the collections of Eric de los Santos, Jerome Salaya Ang and Sassa Jimenez
By Katrina A. Holigores (The Philippine Star) Updated May 20, 2011 12:00 AM Comments (0) View comments

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Working it: Jerome Salaya Ang’s collection for Philippine Fashion Week relied on his construction and detailing.
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Jerome Salaya Ang

MANILA, Philippines – Ang has been known for his construction, being able to make even heavy fabrics defy gravity. This collection, which had a Tim Burton-esque feel, with models wearing prosthetics on their faces (à la Planet of the Apes) and hairpieces reminiscent of the Queen of Hearts in Alice in Wonderland were at first distracting in their studied “ugliness.” The clothes, though — a sea of muted olives, blacks, golds and grays — looked like they had been chiseled and carved. It seemed a take on the late Alexander McQueen. A favorite was a dress that gave the optical illusion of a shrug/cape billowing behind it only to find out it was made from one piece. Even jumpsuits came together in a shredded, put-together fashion, and layers of fabric that still looked wistful and light added a femininity even to the darker, more structured pieces. Overall, Ang worked hard to put the collection together and it showed in the detail and construction.

Eric de los Santos

Orientalia regalia: Asian influences and jewel tones liven up Eric de los Santos catwalk.

Starting off with a pantsuit would not have been my first choice even if worn by supermodel señora Marina Benipayo. De los Santos has a collection mostly in jewel tones and separates with influences of Orientalia. Prints and patterns with hints of Asian decorative items were found on skirts, jackets, pants. Considering the patterns chosen, I found the obi belts on some to be a bit much; with so much going on it made them look heavy and stiff.  A different pattern or perhaps a custom-made pattern would have been a bolder, more original choice. The trousers, due to the stiffness of the material used were probably the best “fit” overall. The fabric seemed to move and ripple as each model strode forward, legs encased in a sea of yellow, whites, greens and pinks.  The jewel tones of some of the dresses were a delight to look at, especially when combined with a flapper-fringe design that gave additional movement and fluidity to the ensemble

Sassa Jimenez

Bubble pop: Bright colors and bubble skirts were the highlights of Sassa Jimenez’s collections.
Yvonne Quisumbing returns with the mesmerizing sea; Lyle Ibañez brings together strong and soft
BENT ANTENNA By Audrey N. Carpio (The Philippine Star) Updated May 20, 2011 12:00 AM Comments (0) View comments

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A regal wave: L’Oreal Paris gave Anne Curtis rolling waves of hair for Yvonne Quisumbing’s show.
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One of the more anticipated shows this Fashion Week was Yvonne Quisumbing’s holiday collection. Part of the YDG several years ago, she made waves with romantic dresses that possessed a gritty edge, like shadows folded in a dream. An artist, primarily, whose medium is fashion, Yvonne’s pieces can be considered wearable art — she creates from concepts and ideas rather than dressing an idealized version of herself, and everything she designs comes from a deeply personal place. Her last Philippine Fashion Week show was back in 2006, and Yvonne says she had been laying low and living in Cebu, but she never stopped designing clothes, or painting and illustrating. “She’s always been effortlessly creative,” says her good friend Nikki Luna. “As an artist and designer, she’s able to simply exist and react to both, as if sharing a common thread.”

This PFW collection showed a softer, more sophisticated side. Flowing, diaphanous fabric in chiffon, organza and satin took on the textures of an ocean color scene at sunset. “Ink black depths, white and gray waves, pink sun. The soft movement of the water inspired me to use materials that are delicate and sheer,” the designer explains. Details like strips of loose fabric and shredded layers mimicked sea foam, algae, and glittery ripples of sand without looking deconstructed or messy. One outfit had the model’s face covered in a shower cap-like mask, a recurring motif in Yvonne’s work, and a metaphor perhaps for the parts that will be kept hidden, a reminder that there is always something more to this than what we see. “Her new pieces mesh contradictions of ‘bareness’ and ‘fullness,’” says Nikki. “It just breathes exquisite femininity.”

So whether or not you call it a comeback, the resurfacing of Yvonne Quisumbing in the fashion industry feels like a missing piece falling back into place, and for those who are new to her, expect to see designs that are more feminine and comfortable, and as she says, “designs that reflect positivity.”

L’Oreal Paris, a Philippine Fashion Week partner, was instrumental in completing the runway look. Yvonne was trying to evoke the gracefulness and femininity of a ballerina, so she wanted voluminous wavy curls. With L’Oreal Paris Total Repair 5, dreary locks were transformed to bouncy, healthy curls, epitomized by Anne Curtis’s thick glossy mane as she opened Yvonne’s show in a sheer red top with delicately tattered ribbons that fluttered in the breeze.

Meanwhile, the urban minimalist looks from Lyle Ibanez’s holiday collection were distinctly downtown with an avant-garde attitude — sleek and black with corseted belts, metallic fabrics and leather finishings that were edgy yet elegant. The dress worn by former America’s Next Top Model alumna Claire Unabia showed how hard and soft come together in an interesting way. The shinier the outfits got, the less they seemed to work, however, as the last few dresses looked like disco balls draped in tulle.

Chris Diaz: Armored opulence
AT LIBERTY By Jackie Cohen-Antonio (The Philippine Star) Updated May 20, 2011 12:00 AM Comments (0) View comments

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Fierce yet feminine, Chris Diaz’s Holiday 2011 collection was a glimpse into the late Middle Ages, albeit a glamorous version.  Echoing a period of pious saints, chivalrous knights and kingdoms at war, the pieces were carefully constructed with armor, suggesting a medieval stage, unique and well received by spectators who craved something off the beaten path.

Metallic bodysuits with painstakingly embellished trims and floor-length satin gowns with accompanying cape-like trains echoed a past loaded with regal resplendence and drama. Formal wear featured breast plates as a modern take on armor, made of elaborate handmade floral ornamentation or luxurious fur over body-hugging long-sleeve jersey tops.  Slim A-line skirts in jacquard damasks and chiffon and crepe de chine dresses were captivating, sensual and exuded a sense of richness.

The hues used were predominantly ones found during dusk and dawn.  The collection of linear and vertical silhouettes was teeming with midnight blue, dove gray, chocolate brown, bold bronze, glittering gold and rust.

Accessories like prominent and ornately beaded bib necklaces were a memorable part of the collection.  Gauntlets and chainmail coifs were showcased throughout the show.  The finale was a fantastic Marina Benipayo in a golden floral-encrusted gown doing a theatrical rendition inspired by controversial Saint Wilgefortis, the daughter of a pagan Portuguese king who resisted an arranged marriage and grew a beard before being crucified.   A spectacular ending to a phenomenal show.

For more Philippine Fashion Week go to

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