When one thinks of Chris Diaz, what immediately comes to mind would be his signature feminine looks with a touch of romance. In his Panasonic Manila Fashion Festival 2018 show, the designer proved that such an aesthetic is never cookie cutter and that his approach is "ever-evolving"—he took it up a notch by mixing sensuality with references to the Wild Wild West via rugged belts and chokers, and a great dose of skin exposure. Think of it as cowboy-meets-beauty queen chic. If it sounds strange, you’ll definitely side with us when you take a look at the rest of the pieces, which play up the strength of such an odd combination.
According to the designer himself, the inspiration for the collection harks back to the past: "'50s was in mind. Roadside motel seduction was the situation...updated Rockabilly greaser looks with rodeo hints."
One look that stands out and embodies such creative blend of references is the hot-hued number that featured a magenta midi skirt paired with a silver sleeveless top encrusted with supersized sequins. Such embellishments are almost synonymous with Chris Diaz’s designs. The element that popped the most were the crimson red gloves—because fashion's a pageantry, right? Chris Diaz then propels this into the rodeo via a gritty black belt with feather finishes and a slinky choker. It’s a subtle yet unique juxtaposition of the feminine and the masculine.
Aside from this nostalgic incorporation of the Western rodeo into the collection, there are other ingenious techniques the designer utilized. For example, there was a restrained use of colors and neutrals depending on the mood embodied by each model. Some were dressed in neutrals with pops of cheetah printed gloves like fur. Some were dressed in head-to-toe brights like the teal form-fitting dress (so '50s!) matched with divinely orange gloves. There was also the popsicle-colored cowboy button-downs worn by the male models, giving off a very Rockabilly vibe.
It was a visual feast to see such characters traipsing down the runway, and as a whole, the collection embodies a vintage rock party updated with modern preferences. So, whether you prefer your affairs to have that moody motel vibe or that of a festive rodeo, let these pieces breathe new life into your typical black and white evening wear.
See the rest of the collection below:
Pieces are made-to-order, by appointment. Prices will be released soon.
Produced by Yanna Lopez and Steph Sison
Photographed by Miguel Alomajan