The second to the last day of Philippine Fashion Week Holiday 2011 closed with the Design Fusion and Visions & Trends show. Up ahead are the five designers who presented ten-look collections for Design Fusion: Bo Parcon, Don Protasio, Russell Villafuerte, Veejay Floresca, and Xernan Orticio, all of who drew from various inspirations and invariably exhibited excellent executions.
First among the Design Fusion designers was Bo Parcon, who showed a ten-strong lineup of black and gold pinned warriors, swathed in creations of black tulle artfully embellished with a multitude of gold safety pins arranged in various geometric and Art Deco-inspired patterns. Considering the seemingly simple components of his designs, it was a very luxe outing that is resourceful, decadent, and cohesive at its best, and runs as a showy and more crafty contrast to the dishevelled street sensibility he showed for Spring/Summer 2011.
For the past two seasons, we've known him for his use of bright colors and experimentation with sportswear material for a distinctly urban aesthetic; but this season, Don Protasio takes a decidedly muted turn towards nomadic motifs. Using lightweight cotton and overdyed linen fashioned in voluminous, albeit featherlight tent-like silhouettes, Don presented a ten-look collection that represents his own brand of minimalism: "I wanted the pieces to evoke a sense of ease, almost anti-design design."
The accessories deserve a special mention. Don collaborated with new Filipino label Os, which designed the polyurethane "bones" that anchor the oversized, triangular contours of the nomadic garments. Noteworthy also are the split-toed shoes inspired by Japanese jika-tabi boots, which round up Don's roving collection.
Russell Villafuerte is not one to shy away from color and texture, as evidenced by his Spring/Summer 2011 and Holiday 2010 outings. His collection for Holiday 2011 is no different, featuring a fiery color story of brick red, orange, vermilion, and strong yellow in a gamut of garments that also display Russell's propensity for texture. Shirred leggings are topped with a pom-embellished tank, a Crayola orange minidress is layered with a tie-dye/graphic print buttoned overlay, while a fluidly draped harem jumpsuit features a sequined bandeau top. Overall, it's a coherent deviation from the cocktail of prints and colors that he presented last season.
Veejay Floresca is always a hit with the ladies for his ultra-feminine, form-flattering creations. But this season around, he's showing an edgier side, albeit still as sexy: bodycons of interlaced mesh, lace, and satiny panels in geometric patches that seductively reveal skin in all sorts of none-too-shy persuasions. The opening dress is styled with a similarly paneled pair of leggings that recall those made by Louis Claparols for his neo-tribal piña and satin Piñagayon collection, but that is where the similarities end. Where Louis's lineup was heavily stylized, Veejay's is softer, more decidedly feminine, as is telling of his romantic design aesthetic. In all, this is one collection we see a lot of party girls wearing—with the proper undergarments, we hope.
Last to show was Xernan Orticio, who also hearkened to geometric paneling to give depth and dimension to his ivory designs. Sheer-skirted columns and bodycons are paired with sleeveless, deconstructed coats, while some knee-length cream garments feature contemporized peplums that lend a sculptural and architectural feel to the dresses. Noteworthy is the absence of sleeves in the entire outing, which is altogether a welcome thing: perhaps attention should be taken away from the usual erogenous areas and be transported to the seemingly mundane and too familiar—the arms.