Maxidress master Eric delos Santos started out PHFW’s Day 4 Solo A show with an attention-getting play on graphic black-and-white, readying the audience for a line that strongly showed his predilection for '80s moxie and the strong—yet sexy—female form. And who better to open his show than muse Marina Benipayo? The supermodel glided down the runway in a voluminous, florid mullet dress, setting the tone for the rest of the duo-chromatic collection. Charo Ronquillo followed suit in an ensemble that played on proportion: a black beribboned shrug topping a striped maxiskirt made a case for contrasting separates. Women, take note!
Scuba-necked jersey disco dresses, power-shouldered, gartered pantsuits, peek-a-boo lace, sweetheart necklines, and halter croptops, all rendered in variations on the black-white-and-lace theme—Eric stayed faithful to his decade of choice, with just the right tinge of 1980s excess to avoid going over the top. Explosive geometric prints went alongside with dainty black lace creations, displaying once again the designer’s knack for runway-to-real way directions.
CRAZY COOL. Kicky shapes and femme heels showed the softer side of graphic print-on-print.
Jeffrey Rogador’s models commenced the next collection in a similar graphic palette; striped black-and-white cotton shirts graduated into quieter, more relaxed work- and casualwear separates, for a collection aptly named “Grayscale.” Layers and subdued prints—all in washes of black, white, and gray—lent the entirety of Jeffrey’s casual, sportif-leaning, charcoal-inspired menswear and womenswear collection a grown-up vibe. Clean, embellish-free silhouettes with athletic touches piqued the crowd’s interest, while thoughtful details such as asymmetrical shoulders, contrasting Henley sleeves, zip-ups, runner’s stripes, and tennis whites kept the sportswear theme in check without venturing into literal territory.
Classic shapes like Sabrina necklines and fit-and-flare tops were refreshed with the designer’s more modern take, for a younger, trendier aesthetic. Touches of the metallic, like his burnished silver shorts and lounge pants, stayed approachable, and ingeniously keeping the rest of the ensemble boxy and austere ensured both wearability and covetability.
After getting roused with a stop-motion fashion film by indie AV collective Thursday Room (fronted by up-and-coming model Tini Dahl), the audience poised themselves for yet another one of Jerome Salaya Ang’s sublime showings. The designer, famous for his romantic leanings, offered up a decidedly more subdued take for Holiday 2013. Entitled “Mirror, Mirror,” the collection featured pieces inspired by beloved storybook characters: The archetypal aesthetics of fairy princesses, wicked queens, evil stepmoms, and big, bad wolves—with the season’s biggest hairdos—all took on a couture bent, and all with Jerome’s signature drama.
BLACK AND GOLD. Dark face paint (and showgirl hair) offset Jerome Ang's gem-encrusted matte gold pantsuits.
The show wasn’t all pomp and pageantry, as the forest-fairytale collection brought the designer’s most solid strengths to the fore: Gold lamé, vine-print embroidery, gem-encrusted bodices, tiered brocade ruffles, poison-apple red, even armored corsets fit for knights in shining satin and silk were the fairest of them all. And as for this season’s erogenous zone? We give him a C for cleavage—true to medieval form, it’s the chests that have it.
HAPPY TIERS. All the better to dance at the ball with, ruffled pants make for practical formalwear.
Fit for the impending Age of Aquarius indeed were the psychedelic openers at Junjun Cambe Holiday 2013. Seemingly inspired by the movie Hair, models were clad in groovy '70s staples like bubblegum-hued go-go dresses, Nehru-collared suits, and disco sequins, the latter then transitioning into cocktail pieces with dark velvet and commencing the second part of the collection, which may have lacked in color—black and white dominated—but not in spirit.
Abstract and whorl prints then gave way to the final third of his set, which took on quintessential baroque elements. Each ensemble was rife with reference, and feathered fascinators, floor-dusting lace, fingerless opera gloves, and moody velvet gowns showed the designer’s love for theatrical pieces.
GILDY AS CHARGED. Baroque elements such as an embroidered neckline inject an emerald velvet maxidress with more drama.
Dennis Trillo, Rafael Rosell, and Alden Richards all suited up for M Barretto’s sharply-edited collection, which consisted purely of black and gray menswear pieces—and yes, even the gals didn’t take part in the great gender divide. Suits, from sleek, triad-like silvery gray sets to motocross to military, didn’t escape the meticulous eye of the designer, who appropriated them for both masculine and feminine silhouettes.
JUST RIBBING. Vests paired with textured innerwear elevated the traditional suit shape.
Each piece was both unique yet similar to the one prior, with traditional suit details combining with the novel and athletic. Cotton drop-crotch pants, cowl necks, zip vests, leather-trimmed lapels, and some good ol’ Pulp Fiction 'dos took the classic to the coolly postmodern. Even show closer Marian Rivera agreed, echoing our sentiments and slapping a fellow model a swaggy high-five as she sashayed down the runway.
SWIMFAN. A dapper Enchong Dee demonstrates precisely how smart tailoring highlights one's best assets.