Albert Andrada, Cherry Samuya Veric, Emi Alexander Englis, Fanny Serrano, Gerswin Qua, Gil Macaibay, Jaz Cerezo, June Pugat, Marc Rancy, Martin Bautista, and Popo Go all showcased their Holiday 2011 finery on the last day of Philippine Fashion Week. It was a show overflowing with baronial motifs—just appropriate for the segment title—as all 11 designers presented their grandest and most spectacular designs.
Opening the show was Dubai-based designer Albert Andrada, who started Grand Allure with an imposing pageant that included lit candle-epaulettes and sequined tights under powder-white Elizabethan frippery. It was no less an extravaganza than what one would expect from the Middle East-based designer, considering their penchant for ostentation and regalia. Next was Cherry Samuya Veric, whose darkly dramatic collection was considerably more toned down than Albert's, but that's not to say it's less luxurious and commanding. The outing features Cherry's usual brand of luxe and glam, just tastefully bridging dramatic spectacle and actual evening wearability.
Emi Alexander Englis also leaned towards the dark side, but used the less glitzy jersey as the medium for easy evening elegance. Silken draping, which resulted in an ultra-deep cowl neck, long liquid skirts, and an amorphous jumpsuit, is the prevalent feature of the covetable, cohesive collection. Veering away from this noir luxuriance is Fanny Serrano, who sent down heavily-headdressed models down the catwalk, swathed in floral- and geometric-print asymmetric maxis and kaftans.
Gerswin Qua brought the most color in Grand Allure, giving the audience a slew of red and orange cocktail looks abundant with texture (wide fringing) and visual interest (diagonal prints). Next, Gil Macaibay alluded to the imperial showiness of that most revered plumed fowl, using peacock feathers as the eye-catching accents of his jewel-tone gowns.
Bringing boudoir sexy back was Jaz Cerezo, who also presented a dark collection with substantial textures. A standout from her collection is the finale dress, a lace-bustiered evening gown with a decadently layered tulle ball skirt. Following her all-black lineup was June Pugat, who, like Gerswin, tipped towards the sanguine area of the color wheel, presenting an array of draped evening gowns, some of which are accented with golden flecks from a painting treatment we have lauded him for in the past.
Marc Rancy, meanwhile, veered away from strong color altogether, using a cream and blush color story for his stately, dressy creations. Popo Go, on the other hand, stuck with a monochromatic palette for his outing, featuring his usual sparkly, glittery inclinations.
Martin Bautista is our favorite of the Grand Allure lot, showcasing the freshest repertoire in this particular coterie of designers. In terms of color, silhouette, and style, Martin's is the most current and is easily the most wearable, even with the layered looks, given they're broken down. His play with chiffon and jersey in deepest blues, shades of teal, taupe, and white and black is a refreshing respite from the overall heavy "grand"-ness of this PFW segment.
Click on the following links to view the following designers' Holiday 2011 collections: