A hodgepodge of prints, Incredible India, tasteful tailoring, Hideo Muraoka in a suit—all these and more came from Arnold Galang, Jun Jun Cambe, Ronaldo Arnaldo, and M Barretto from the second day of Philippine Fashion Week Holiday 2012. Mull over the collections with us:
In Philippine Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2012, we discovered him as a runway favorite. This season, the love affair with his clothes continues with his fearless Holiday 2012 salvo, a maximalist contrast to his offerings last October. Diving headfirst into this season's hottest trends of print on print, bold colors, and loose silhouettes, Arnold Galang doled out checks on mosaic prints, kaleidoscopic sweater dressing, and even dropped hems and pajama wear, which take on a different allure under Arnold's hands. Breaking the assault of prints were vibrant, solid colors, proving that the designer knows precisely when to turn it up, and when to turn it down.
JUN JUN CAMBE
Often during shows in Fashion Week, a cohesive concept or trope doesn't always jump out at the audience, prompting, among the media, a cursory glance at the press kit, which states some choice sentences from the designers about their collections. But in the case of Jun Jun Cambe, the motif was obvious enough: a sojourn to majestic India. All the elements were there: jewel tones, harem pants, shalwar for men, elaborate embellishment, embroidery, and bindis, of course. Toward the end of it all, we couldn't help but anticipate a Bollywood-style dance presentation, but when the models just quietly strutted off the runway, we were just as relieved as we were while watching the show, as we found out that Jun Jun, in his trip to India, didn't take his butterfly friends along. Whew.
Thankfully, Ronaldo Arnaldo's most recent runway outing didn't reference the styling of a much-touted collection of a foreign designer too obviously, unlike his Holiday 2011 collection, whose slouchy gloves and pointy boots recall, far too well, the Fall 2011 presentation of Haider Ackermann. This season, Arnaldo's collection is all his, with its stern tailoring, workaday go-tos with a "twist," a paean to the peplum trend, and some experiments on structure and length. All were nice, but a tad predictable, perhaps? Come next PFW, we'd love to see the seasoned designer stretch his boundaries—we're sure a transition would be a welcome thing, and a lovely sight to see.
To cap off the night, M Barretto showed us some wardrobe basics for men, peppered with a few grungier looks—all made irreverent through styling with colorful baseball caps. Graffiti suiting, camo coats, and asymmetrical tees were the more eccentric garments up for grabs, prompting thoughts of "Would my boyfriend look good in that?" But these thoughts were instantly banished the moment an all-(bow)tied-up Hideo Muraoka strutted on the catwalk as the finale. Sometimes, for all the fashion design ingenuity in the world, you only need a beautiful man in a suit to make all the statement you need.
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