From Southeast Asian, baroque, and Oriental motifs, some truly well-edited and some pageant-y executions, to a welcome look at archival pieces of one of the Philippines' most revered designers, the "10" segment of Philippine Fashion Week Holiday 2011 was the first showing for the substantial coterie of designers participating in this season's installment of PFW.
Danilo Franco, Edgar Allan, Edgar San Diego, Eric Pineda, JC Buendia, Johnny Abad, Noel Crisostomo, Noli Hans, and Richard Papa showed 10-15 looks each, with the show ending with vintage pieces designed by the late, great Salvacion Lim-Higgins. Word has it that this show took the place of what was supposed to be a grand fashion show staged for the 300th anniversary of University of Santo Tomas (UST). All ten designers are UST alumni.
JC Buendia and Noel Crisostomo easily showed the best collections of the night, wowing with such well-crafted, well-executed designs that showed off their tailoring mastery and neo-classic, elegant design aesthetics. And of course, the Slim's mini-retrospective was a treat; seeing the creations in runway action definitely would not be a frequent occurrence, and it was a pleasure to have witnessed the rare outing.
The master tailor showed an intensely tasteful lineup of extremely well-crafted and covetable pieces that take formal dressing from dressy-but-snoozy to simply chic and elegant. Holding court were gleaming black full skirts paired with lacy, translucent button-downs that give off a sexy schoolmarmish vibe.
His segment was soundtracked to the telling waltz of Wong Kar Wai's In the Mood for Love, and it was nothing but apt for the seductive Oriental theme he had going on. Hand-cut (yes, hand-cut) rose overlays on figure-flattering shifts, evening gowns, and extended coats were as fetching as the black plastic paillettes Noel resurrected from his Holiday 2010 collection. This is one sexy collection we wouldn't mind wearing in the evening and during the day. We're sure So Lai-zhen (as played by Maggie Cheung) would approve.