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Pefta 2012 Q&a: Li-j Eleazar

Find out why this young designer from Slim's chose the cocoon as her inspiration for this year's PEFTA.
Pefta 2012 Q&a: Li-j Eleazar Find out why this young designer from Slim's chose the cocoon as her inspiration for this year's PEFTA.

How do you feel about being a PEFTA finalist this year?

Happy and excited! Being a PEFTA finalist is probably the equivalent of accelerating your career by about 3 to 5 years.

What motivated you to study fashion design?

I never imagined myself being in this industry. I wanted to take up medicine before but my mom insisted
that I take a fashion course instead. I just fell in love with fashion after learning design and construction

How would you describe your design aesthetic?

Clean and simple but complicated.

Please tell us about the portfolio you submitted to Preview. What is the concept behind it? How does it tie in with this year's theme, Silhouette?

The title of my collection is Cocoon Secrets. It’s a study on the shape of the cocoon and the paradoxical ideas of concealing and revealing—whatever is covered is as important as what is exposed.


The concept is borne out of a very personal source of inspiration—my father. He passed away a year ago and whenever I see a butterfly, I’m reminded of him. With this year’s theme in mind, I played with the concept of a butterfly’s metamorphosis and focused on the shape of the cocoon.

My designs reflect both the emotions that are brought about by the memories of my father and the study of the cocoon silhouette. The cutouts [and] the lines are like missing pieces of me because wala na si Dad. The candy details echo my emotions when I think of happy memories with my Dad. The shapes and the designs in the collection are consistent with my emotions—wanting to feel protected and wanting to move outward and nurture others; covering and uncovering; keeping and sharing secrets.

Please tell us about the piece that the Preview editors selected for you to execute.


It's a one piece dress. The high collar flows to the back side of the bodice down to the skirt’s back seams and continues to the front part of the skirt. It has candy color components. I plan to use wool to achieve the kind of molding I have in mind. It looks simple but is very complicated.

This piece represents the entire collection well as it features the collection’s main elements—the cocoon shape, the concept of covering, uncovering and covering once more, the secrets hidden and exposed by the flowing panel, the transformation from collar to skirt, the emotion of happiness showed by the candy color components.

My biggest challenge in creating this piece would be sourcing the right materials and executing it to make it more like a couture piece.

Where do you get your inspiration?

I always get my inspiration from my emotions.

Which artists do you admire most, both local and foreign? How does your aesthetic resonate with theirs?


I appreciate foreign artists, but I only admire Sir Danilo Franco’s work. It’s like all his designs have a theory. Illustration pa lang malinis na. From sketch to execution, every line and detail may basis. My work is nothing to compared to his, but I really want to achieve that kind of craft.

What accomplishments in your budding career are you most proud of?

Being in this industry and continuously learning techniques in constructing clothes and couture garments are my accomplishments.

What aspect of fashion design do you seek to master?

Old to new techniques of constructing haute couture.

How do you envision yourself evolving as a designer?

I want to be known as one of the top designers in terms of design and construction.

How do you see yourself contributing to the growth of Philippine fashion?

Through the promotion of Filipino aesthetics and reinventing techniques in dressmaking.


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