StyleBible Preview

Manly Marina

Chris Diaz presents a bearded Marina Benipayo in his show for Philippine Fashion Week Holiday 2011.
Manly Marina Chris Diaz presents a bearded Marina Benipayo in his show for Philippine Fashion Week Holiday 2011.

The collection was already curious when the first look sauntered onto the catwalk, what with Chris Diaz doing away with the obvious frilly femininity of his collections past, showcasing instead a futuristic take on a medieval inspiration: Wilgefortis, a 14th century female saint adored by many—especially women—who seek respite from marital and other strife.

It was unlike any other Chris Diaz collection we've seen before, and it was odd and beautiful and wicked, to say the least, but what most held our attention was the finale: top veteran model Marina Benipayo regally working the runway in a contemporized medieval golden gown, sporting a scraggly beard that made her look very much like the hirsute saint.

"I met Marina last season and promised to work with her soonest," Chris says. "We all know she has this magic and reputation for making a garment come to life. I wanted to showcase Saint Wilgefortis in an emotional way and Marina is just perfect for that."

Chris says Marina was "very game" with the beard, and we have no doubt that she was. She worked it, after all, looking every bit as fierce as any of the other less facial-haired models in the show. Now, that's a pro.