The tandem show of Jun Jun Cambe and Lito Perez on the second to the last day of Philippine Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2011 never wanted for spectacle, which is very appropriate considering most of the shows this season have been elaborately staged due to retail brand sponsorships and a distinct appeal to the wider public.
But Cambe and Perez put up a show, each showcasing their respective design aesthetics through their 45-piece collections.
Jun Jun Cambe
It's not clear what statement Cambe was trying to make with his mélange of evening dresses, workwear separates, menswear, and cocktail frocks, but you can bet it's a loud one. Boisterous floral prints in even louder shades of popsicle orange, lemon yellow, and candy apple red bloomed through the whole collection in evening gown silhouettes and flimsy beachside coverups.
This pastiche of a collection is marked by its abundant use of butterfly appliqués, seen most in the opening pieces in what could only be a too literal interpretation of spring. The dresses these winged insects landed on were quite busy to begin with, and we think they would've been better presented had the designer opted not to use the kitschy butterfly embellishments.The lineup sobered up, however, towards the end with monochromatic one-piece bathing suits; we gravitated towards the simple maillots in twinkling black spandex, such as the one worn by Ria Bolivar.
Lito Perez's statement, meanwhile, is as clear as day and as historically allusive as fashion could be in this day and age. Starting off with an act where two self-fanning Maria Claras are scandalized by the contemporary mini-wearing Filipina, Perez's show is an homage to a bygone era of old Manila, ternos and Ilustrados.
Using an unmistakably contemporary roster of silhouettes paired with overblown terno sleeves hanging coyly just below the shoulders, sepia prints and old world calligraphy of various adages emblazoned on creamy fabrics, the designer referenced the divergence of historical Filipiniana and current sartorial urbanity.
But as with Jun Jun's generous take on accessorizing, Lito had his own share of excess, strapping wooden Ilustrado dolls across several of the ensembles. Styling note: the dresses make a statement enough without the help of the little men.