Benjie Panizales didn't only give us beautiful resort wear this season. He created pieces that explored a piece of our history, specifically that of the age-old Philippine pearl trade. "I learned that the first natural pearl industry, not just in the Philippines but in the entire world, started in Sulu—long before the Spaniards discovered the Philippines," the designer shares. "Thus, my present collection [pays] homage to the brave seafarers of the Sulu Archipelago, the badjaos."
Reminiscent of the sea, he chose light, polychromatic fabrics that follow your every move. A printed white and gray dress captured his inspiration the best, its ruffled neckline covered in pearl-like embellishments that were delicately joined at the sternum. It was the romantic face of the collection, as timeless as the pearl itself.
That said, Benjie didn't shy away from color at all. His long, jewel-toned gowns were as festive and flirty as the next, with colored pearls either binding their sleeves or pooling at the chest. Perhaps the most interesting piece was a tulle gown with a cover-up covered in bubblegum pink pearls—proof that pearls just want to have fun.
See the rest of the collection below: