We're thrilled about the upcoming feat of one of our country's young designers, Edwin Ao, who was chosen among our cadre of highly talented designers to represent the Philippines in Japan Fashion Week Autumn/Winter 2010. He will participate in the 2010 Asian Designers Collection, where ten fashion designers from all over Asia will exhibit their collections to a global audience.
This Cebu-based designer is naturally excited about this imminent event. “I was happy when I got the email of the Japanese chairman confirming that I was chosen to represent the Philippines. It's something to look forward to and [will be] a memorable experience for me,” says Edwin, who made waves in the Philippine fashion scene a few years back through his ingenious take on deconstruction and play on textures, layers, and asymmetry.
“The collection is inspired by the twisted body shapes and the expressive lines that characterize Egon Schiele's paintings and drawings. The concept is mutilate, to make imperfect by exercising or altering parts. [It] aims to seek new uses of common design elements, [which I've] created to be intentionally displaced or rearranged.”
And much like his previous collections, there is a pronounced concentration in the technical aspects of construction. There is “ample use of draping techniques, twisting, pleating, and playing around the layers of fabric—sheers and structured alike—in different textures.”
Asked who his designer inspiration is, Edwin told us it's Pritzker Prize-winning deconstructivist architect Frank Gehry, who is known for his aesthetic subversion of standard structural forms and functional necessity. “His modern designs are more than just masterpieces, but modern wonders. His design aesthetic is just impeccable and brilliant.”
Another personality inspiration is the Japanese industrial designer Tokujin Yoshioka, who apprenticed under Shiro Kuramata and Issey Miyake. Edwin says of him, “He can surprise people in a simple way. His ability to transform an ordinary material [is] very interesting, [and] is just so inspiring as well.”
He would very much love to dress Diana Vreeland, if she were alive today, and counts his good friend Cybill Gayatin, daughter of Cebu-based designer Arcy Gayatin, as his muse.
Read on to find out more about him, and click on the photo gallery to see a sample of his collection for Japan Fashion Week 2010.