The two designers who closed Day 3 of Philippine Fashion Week Holiday 2011, Lyle Ibañez and Yvonne Quisumbing, drew from distinctly different founts for inspiration—the bustling cityscape for Lyle, and seaside at sunset for Yvonne. The show marked returns for both designers: yet another outing for the ever-present Lyle at PFW, and a return from a hiatus for Yvonne, who had many people (fellow designers included) eagerly awaiting her comeback.
In his PFW rejoinder this season, Lyle turned out yet another assortment of very wearable looks inspired by "urban warriors." Showcasing mainly black casuals for both men and women with fluid draped details and styled with waist cinchers and abbreviated basque corsets, the collection represents Lyle's preferences for easy silhouettes punctuated with interesting design details. Also, it was nice to see his gloved sleeves from his Holiday 2010 collection come back in this high-necked and sparkly trouser look on model Claire James.
Niko Pedro of Buensalido & Associates, the PR company of PFW, sat down with me during one of the shows the day before this show and asked, "Who is Yvonne Quisumbing? So many people are reserving tickets for her show!"
For those unaware, Yvonne is a former member of the Young Designers Guild (YDG) of the Philippines, and she went on hiatus for a while, taking a break from designing full-time (although she still catered to a few clients) and worked instead in a photography studio and an interior design magazine. She also moved from Manila to Cebu to be closer to her family. An artist at heart ("she paints, writes, art directs, does film" according to Kate Torralba), she is one of the best talents in her batch (comprised of Louis Claparols, John Herrera, Reian Mata, and the late Brian Leyva, among others). As such, her comeback show was one of the eagerly awaited outings this season by stylistas and industry people alike.
"My inspiration is the ocean scene at sunset," she shares. "The colors I used are inspired by the ink-black depths of the water, the whites and grays of the foam and waves, and the pink reflection of the sun. Cuts are soft and feminine and the fabrics are sheer and flowing."
True enough, her oceanic inspiration comes through in the patent fluidity of her designs, characterized by diaphanous and rippling gowns and skirts topped with frothy necks or otherwise contrasted with cascading strips of linear fabric. Every single soft, ethereal confection in Yvonne's collection is representative of her current state—dreamy, dulcet, rested, and most importantly, inspired.