We knew we were in for something for this show. An extravaganza of splendor, sparkle, drama, and aplomb came from four designers based in the Middle East—Albert Andrada, Butz Fuentes, Bandoix Flores, and Ezra Santos—plus fashion design prodigy Kermit Tesoro. And sure enough, the quintet didn't disappoint, some more so than others.
Like snowy empresses Albert Andrada's models glided on the stage, but demure they were not. Some were swathed in strong-shouldered, slinky numbers, while some shed garments right then and there, but of the fiercely royal, richly handworked type—dragon-embroidered robes hid wanton white seducers underneath. Some of the Oriental princesses had less to reveal in simple indigo gowns, but they radiated a regal presence nonetheless. If there were any doubts that this royal designer (and really, he is the royal designer of the Royal Family of Fujairah) could bring drama to the stage, these ensembles banished them, once and for all.
A ransom of pailettes, double crosses, horned sleeves, serrated shoulders and hips, and butterfly sleeves à la terno for men were the orders of the day from Dubai-based designer and "Stylemonger" Butz Fuentes. Paying just as much attention to the men as much as the women, Butz toyed with textures, silhouettes, and visual details for his Philippine Fashion Week debut.
Click here to view his collection.
Bandoix Flores' collection was largely romantic and mostly gothic. With a black-dominated palette with smatterings of gray and white in between, the monochromatic motif was feminine, through and through. Silky fabrics cut into liquid dresses were interspersed with combos of lace tops and full silken skirts, with flirty tulle skirts injecting some youth into the otherwise somber collection.
The last of the Dubai designers to show in Premiere B, Ezra Santos brought the house down with a 37-look collection that bridged avant-garde stylings with all-out romanticism. Gazing at one immaculately executed gown after another made us lucky spectators of this uncharacteristically generous outing from the Dubai-based designer, whose first introduction to us here at Style Bible consisted of only one breathtaking Odile-esque ensemble from the Metrowear Filipiniana show. This night, Ezra sated all our desires to see more of his creativity. He also reaffirmed his love for Swan Lake (or Black Swan?), what with the models' gorgeous eye makeup and all. We shan't say any more; behold the collection for yourself.
Not to be outdone, the youngest of the batch turned out femininity to the hilt, too—a surprising endeavor considering his avant-garde sensibility. But perhaps the womanly, sometimes girly predilections shouldn't have come too much as a surprise. Kermit, after all, has been showing us his other side, giving us a taste of more ladylike and girlish stylings in the collections leading up to this, in the manner of paneled body-cons and ballerina dresses. Conspicuosly gone were the muscoskeletal tropes he used to great effect in seasons of yore. What's up, now? Beadwork to the max, gem embellishment, froth, real fur, fringe, and even flounces and frills! Kermit Tesoro, is that you? As the new Pied Piper of Texture, he's at the head of the visual and tactile parade, stretching what we've seen from him thus far by about a mile longer.
Click here for more on Philippine Fashion Week Holiday 2012!