StyleBible Preview
You may now save articles for later!

Meet the Young Designers Who Will Represent the Country in an International Design Competition at KLFW

Meet the Young Designers Who Will Represent the Country in an International Design Competition at KLFW
IMAGE Ronnie Cruz of Art Personas
Go Team Philippines!

The AirAsia Runway Ready Designer Search (AARRDS), in collaboration with the Kuala Lumpur Fashion Week Ready to Wear (KLFW RTW) team, is about to make another young designer’s dreams come true!

With prizes worth over RM350,000 on the line, 15 talented fashion designers from Indonesia, Thailand, Singapore, Philippines, and Malaysia are set to compete for a chance to become AirAsia’s Most Promising Designer for 2016.


Last July 23, the top three designers from each participating country were flown to Malaysia for the fitting and exclusive coaching session with Andrew Tan, founder of KLFW RTW. The finalists will each showcase their three-piece collections at the KLFW runway on August 19 at the Pavilion Kuala Lumpur shopping mall, and only one will bag the title along with many other perks, including a confirmed show segment to showcase his or her full collection at KLFW RTW 2017.

watch now

(From left to right: Philippine designers Ron Xavier Santos, Bea Samson, and Mae-Ann Veloso)

Needless to say, our money’s on Team Philippines!

Read on below and meet the three local designers who will be representing our country in the upcoming international design competition at Kuala Lumpur Fashion Week.



Tell us about your collection.

“My collection was inspired by the evolution of the Filipino costumes starting from pre-colonial times. While I was researching, I found out that when the Spaniards colonized the Philippines there was already a pre-existing Filipino costume but that’s not the one known today like the barong tagalog, the terno, and all that. They tried to establish control by forcing people to wear certain clothes, which explains why in some of our costumes there were four different layers even though it’s a very hot country. Even the barong tagalog was established so that they can see whether the Filipino men were trying to conceal weapons or not, and it always had to be below the waist. Basically, every detail in my collection is like turning it around. I made it revealing wherever it was possible. And even in the barong tagalog, they were using embroidery as a subtle way to revolt against the Spaniards so I also used that. All these details are supposed to go against what they used to impose on us.”


What sets you apart from the other designers in this competition?

“Being meticulous with the construction, that’s one thing. Another thing is that I really like well-researched collections. I want every piece of it to have meaning—not just random details that look nice. It has to have a purpose.”



Tell us about your collection.

“Paraluman means muse, or the most beautiful. It’s someone who inspires artistically, so I used the traje de mestiza, the terno, and the barong tagalog as my inspirations. I chose that direction because it’s the best time to represent the country in an international platform. I also used the pañuelo as inspiration so I have a coat that’s oversized and I plan to wear it slightly off the shoulder on one side. I also have layers, because the traditional Filipino clothes have different layers. I’ve always liked the old pictures of women wearing their traje de mestiza or terno, but nowadays we only see them on special occasions so I want to make it more wearable and accessible but at the same time express the same kind of beauty, class, and overall elegance.”

How does your collection represent your signature aesthetic as a designer?

“Probably the textures and prints. It’s actually challenging because we’re limited to three looks, but you want to show them your range as a designer. So what I did was I have one look with the digital prints and it’s an oversized coat because I like ovoid tops, etc. That’s an original print, by the way! I also have one other piece that’s Victorian-inspired but it’s made from silk cocoon, and since I love pleats, I bought the fabric then had it pleated. For the third look, I have mesh with stripes and another set of stripes. I think it’s basically mixing everything but making sure that it’s all still cohesive.”


Alingawngaw ng Pag-Alala / Remembering Resonance


Tell us about your collection.

Remembering Resonance is inspired by the Philippines and the Filipinos. Gathering elements from the country’s rich culture, this collection is redesigned for the modern, more experimental generation. It is an homage to our evolution, not only of what we wear but of who we are as people. Although other forms of native attires exist in the Philippines, others are indigenous and tribal in origin, I chose the filipiniana, which is the most highly evolved among our national costumes. The idea is to interchange the filipiniana elements to create new looks making it ready-to-wear, so I focused on three—the barong, the terno, and then the mestiza. The challenge is to be mindful of the theme, which is Asian-inspired. And then I incorporated my own design aesthetic, which is streetwear. The aim of my collection is to be worn by today’s Maria Clara.”

How does it feel to be representing Philippine fashion in this competition?

“It feels surreal. It’s a big challenge and it’s such an honor to showcase the Filipino art and local talent. It proves that Filipino designers are truly globally competitive.”

Photos courtesy of AirAsia and Art Personas

Related Stories from

Hey, Preview readers! Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Tiktok, and Twitter to stay up to speed on all things trendy and creative. We’ll curate the most stylish feed for you!

More Videos You Can Watch