Four designers dish out all-out femininity for the last show of the fourth day of Philippine Fashion Week Holiday 2012 . Read on for our full report, thoughts, and observations.
From the obvious references to medieval armor via the metal wristguards, wide belts, harnesses and kneeguards used throughout the show, it wasn't difficult to deduce that Avel Bacudio took inspiration from the Middle Ages for his Holiday 2012 presentation. Opting for a somber palette of black and white and a vast variety of textures, silhouettes, and finishes, he showed the audience his take on warrior dressing: contemporized, sexy, on-trend, and mostly covetable. He seemed to have showcased various factors to make the collection appealing for everyman and everywoman: trendy elements such as the mullet silhouette, bold prints, and sportswear motifs; sleekly tailored separates; edgy enough evening dresses; and even resort-friendly billowy garments and ultra-sexy maillots. Avel is clearly all-inclusive in this outing, and despite the style variety, it all ties in.
Trust Chris Diaz to paw through the history books for inspiration, and come up with a strong-willed, influential lady of yore as his muse. A year ago, it was Saint Wilgefortis; this season, it's Nadia Léger, the Russian wife of French artist Fernand Léger. According to Chris, Mrs. Léger was an "influential and inspirational figure in the French and Russian art world." Who wouldn't be beguiled with such a figure? Chris reimagined her world, and ensconced her in a stage full of decadent evening ensembles fit for any soigné soirée.
But for all the sumptuousness of this collection, it's really nothing new that we haven't seen from Chris thus far. At some points, the styling of the looks dangerously recalled the work of his contemporary, Joel Escober, a bit too closely for our liking. A noteworthy case in point: the beaded black belts that cut the silhouette of cocktail dresses and long gowns (see Joel's counterparts here). In any case, Chris' shoutout to Mrs. Léger retains his trademark charm and romanticism, and we're certain the pieces would sell. But for next season, we'd really love to see him step out of his comfort zone and stretch his creativity.
ERIC DELOS SANTOS
Disco diva Donna Summer's recent passing came to mind the moment club classic "Last Dance" blared from the speakers of SMX Function Rooms 2 and 3, and runway veteran Marina Benipayo smilingly sauntered onto the catwalk. The audience immediately got a taste of what it was in for from Eric delos Santos: high sheen and shine and sexy throwback silhouettes reminiscent of the Studio 54 era—except it wasn't all so retro. Eric tastefully imparted wattage to his Holiday 2012 collection without immediately reverting to obvious sequins. Pleather replaced the ubiquitous discs of shimmer in variations of coquettish dressing, which gave way to lacy and racy garments that were surely snapped up by the daring right after his show. Batwing dresses, all the more fun to dance in; slinky, disco ball-bright gowns to sashay in; and graphic-print jumpsuits to channel your inner Bianca Jagger were all up for grabs in this outing, proving that all Eric really wants is for his ladies to have a ton of fun.
The current of ladylike dressing swept through Raoul Ramirez's collection as well, making this four-designer show of Fashion Week a veritable wellspring of womanly clothes for the ultra-feminine. Raoul bravely tackled chartreuse, dropped hems, sheer skirts and pants, and mega ruffles for his show. But what was most endearing of all is the reference to the Golden Age, only apt what with the ongoing buzz about Baz Luhrmann's screen adaptation of Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby. We were taken with the gold dresses, and particularly the bead-overlaid flapper dress whose loveliness couldn't be captured on cam. Again, another collection that's bound to sell—hotly, at that.
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