Three female designers and a design duo show us all they've got in the closing show of the fifth day of Philippine Fashion Week Holiday 2012. Read all about the shows of Lizanne Cua, Sassa Jimenez, Yvonne Quisumbing, and EsAc below.
Lizanne Cua's love affair with jersey and easy, casual dressing is something we have been privy to since Holiday 2010. You can't actually call their relationship a dalliance since it has been going on for so long and has, actually, stood the test of time. Trends? Not so much. But time? Definitely. The same loose, cowl-neck dresses, hoodies, solid sheaths, and tank dresses are brought back season after season with a slight variance in styling, sometimes courtesy of cord belts, cover-ups, and vests, sometimes with simple beaded strips. This season, she somewhat glamourized her jersey with sequined cardis and boleros. Perhaps the fidelity to jersey and the casual silhouettes serves a particular purpose, one that Lizanne can't shake off. In any case, it wouldn't be far-fetched to proclaim a very similar collection from her for Spring/Summer 2013.
We love it when a designer departs last season's marked theme for a completely different one. We love it even more when the new collection retains the personality the designer has been known for, and happens to be a design identity-shaping one. Last season, Sassa Jimenez put a fashionable circus on the runway with her cheery hodgepodge of clown ruffs, oversized bowties, and bubble dresses, branding her as a youthful designer for the very playful, pouf-loving fashionista.
This season, Sassa's girls are much more grown-up, abandoning the carousel and leaving pink birthday parties behind. Calling to mind industrial getups and aviation uniforms, Sassa makes good use of pleather for her urban jaunt, which carries all sorts of edge with nary a nod to last summer's too-sweet confections. Cross harnesses make the pilot uniform-esque outfits ready for takeoff, while parachute silhouettes guarantee smooth landings. And lest you forget that Sassa is still a young designer, she gives you gem-bright dresses, sweetheart dresses, and brave silhouette play to ensure that that girly sassiness isn't gone. Overall, a great collection from the talent, at once definitive of her current creative state, and covetable for her audiences, too.
We were first introduced to Yvonne Quisumbing as this true-blue creative whose acclaimed Philippine Fashion Week return satisfied all our wistful cravings for truly pretty dresses. This season, however, her creativity went over our heads as she presented several pairs of boyshorts-cum-trousers that had us wondering about the statement she was trying to make. Were they a two-sided echo of the satyr-allusive headdresses commissioned from artist Nikki Luna, a pant hybrid that mirrors the binary qualities of the half-man, half-goat? And what about those frilly chaps? To say that we were thoroughly confused is an understatement.
But it wasn't all a dead end, as Yvonne still had plenty of pretty for us to fawn over. Towards the last third of the show, when all the confusing pants and chaps were way out of sight backstage, we couldn't help but think that perhaps Yvonne was only kidding. Here's hoping to a more approachable collection next season.
Last, but definitely not the least, came Raoul Ramirez and Audie Espino's EsAc. If these two can have it their way—and they do have it their way—more barely clad beefcakes would parade throughout the entire show than overly gussed up females. Alas, Philippine Fashion Week is about fashion, meaning to say it is about clothes, and banana hammocks hardly count as such.
So to comply with the ultimate spirit of the platform, the design duo let out dolled-up women onto the runway. They looked like they were ready to go to Sunday church—hats, gloves, and all. Oddly enough, the Sunday's best-ness of their outfits weren't accompanied with reprimanding looks on their faces as the EsAc men continuously flexed—they were unabashedly flexing, we kid you not—behind them on the stage, taking pretty much all the attention away from them. A showcase of ladylike piousness versus overt machismo? Whatever the directive, it was all we've come to expect from the label.
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