His show is always one of the most anticipated outings in Philippine Fashion Week because he always knows how to deliver. From the garments that each and collectively speak of a story to the makeup and styling that propel the narrative, from the show music to the overall presentation of his collections (he presented his Holiday 2010 lineup in a short film), Marlon Rivera constantly delivers an experience that soars from the salmagundi of shows of PFW, now and in seasons past.
This Holiday 2011, Marlon presents a repertoire that takes after his love affair with conservative suits and tuxedos, but are dipped in the profane through a bondage inspiration evoked through straps and leather and an irreverent form of tailoring that leaves room for wicked wear and play. We sit down with him to know more about his latest collection:
Can you please tell us about your inspiration for the collection?
My first collection was called Editor. That’s how I do things, I put together things that I like; usually, bare jeans, a t-shirt, a tuxedo and a key piece for the season, and I just throw in an inspiration. This year, it’s bondage.
It all started with finding a good buttonhole machine. You can buy a cheap one but it never comes out really nice. So, for the past two collections, that’s always been my problem, so I started using straps. Then I started playing with the idea of access and restraint. That led me to so many other things. I started doing my patterns, and I ended up with squares. It was the easiest thing to do.
We don’t really have one inspiration; like for the first collection, it was about the editor, but there were so many other inspirations. If one theme just comes through, it's bondage, because I wanted to do a lot of straps and leather.
Did the motif of bondage come first, or was it entirely prompted by your use of straps and the lack of a good buttonhole machine?
No, I've always liked bondage. I did all those pants with zippers that go all the way to the back. There's a lot of fetish going on. But they’re not obvious references. You see them when you wear the clothes, actually. Like there are peek-a-boos and transparent parts of the dress that you don’t see until you wear them.
It gives the wearer a bit of surprise, or a bit of discovery.
Yeah, and only the wearer knows. Like some of the wrap pants, they’re actually open on one side, so the privates are somewhat exposed, but no one will know...
How would you say the collection represents your design aesthetic?
I’m a relatively new designer, but rather old for the average age of those that join Fashion Week. I’m an old person who owns a lot of suits and tuxedos which I really love to wear. So it’s really me.
I like dark clothes. I think the collection has a bit of severity to it. There are crude and bastos elements that I love to play with. I don't want to be philosophical about it, but I like clothes that, when you see it, it seems proper, but you know, when you wear them, there’s some sort of profane surprise. My neckline’s always pretty high but I always tend to expose some other part, because I like that idea. I like the contrast between the crude and the conservative.
Click on the photo gallery to view Marlon Rivera's Holiday 2011 collection.