Designer Arcy Gayatin has been making waves in the fashion industry for 24 years. Her clothes have become a staple among the most stylish women in her hometown of Cebu, where she has made her name from romantic designs tinged with just the right trace of edginess.
Arcy’s straightforward persona, her expertise of the female form, and her signature draping techniques inform her design sensibilities. “My no-fuss personality [is reflected by] the easy-on-the-skin clothes that I make.” Her clothes also hew to her passion for art, and the works of her favorite artists—from Vicente Manansala to Vincent Van Gogh—become her unwitting collaborators in chic.
WHAT WAS YOUR FIRST REAL ENCOUNTER WITH FASHION?
I was exposed to fashion because of my mother. Even at a very young age, she taught me to appreciate exquisite fabrics and custom-made clothes.
WHO DO YOU ENJOY DESIGNING FOR?
I enjoy designing for those who give me their trust. That’s when I am able to give my best.
CAN YOU DESCRIBE YOUR IMAGE OF A WOMAN WHO WEARS YOUR DESIGNS?
She is one who is easy in her own skin, someone who is just as comfortable in the spotlight as outside of it.
ARE THERE ANY MATERIALS YOU LOVE TO WORK WITH?
[I love working with] jersey because it gives you freedom of movement, which, for a woman, can be so liberating. I also enjoy creating my own materials through different fabrication techniques.
WHICH DESIGNER WOULD YOU LIKE TO COLLABORATE WITH?
Alber Elbaz! Not only is he a genius, he also seems like such a nice guy!
IF YOU COULD MAKE A WEDDING DRESS FOR ANYONE, WHO WOULD IT BE?
I would love to design a gown for Sofia Coppola. I picture her getting married in St. Helena, her father’s vineyard in Napa Valley. I think a lace collage gown would be perfect for the occasion.
WHERE DO YOU LIKE TO SHOP?
Moss in SoHo. It is a store-cum-museum, so even if I end up not purchasing anything, it’s still a feast for the eyes.
WHAT ADVICE CAN YOU GIVE YOUNG DESIGNERS WHO ARE STARTING OUT?
Be mindful of construction and proportion. Get to know your fabrics. Professionalism can take you a long way. Always, always be on time.