The very first show at Philippine Fashion Week Spring-Summer 2011 was golden, inspired by new Pond’s Gold Radiance line, the main sponsor. Four design heavyweights—Dennis Lustico, JC Buendia, Jun Escario, and Rajo Laurel—presented six piece collections unified by the metallic color.
Adding to the punch, the clothes were modeled by iconic Filipina beauties Tweetie De Leon-Gonzales, the brand’s newest endorser, Marina Benipayo, Patty Betita, Joey Mead, Rissa Mananquil, Sarah Meier-Albano, Divine Lee, Amina Aranaz-Alunan, Kelly Misa, Mikaela Lagdameo-Martinez, Phoemela Baranda and Ria Bolivar. What better way to fuse a skin care line with fashion than to have the clothes modeled by some of the prettiest women in the country?
Working with creamy gold shantung, Dennis Lustico sent out a slew of well-cut, knee-length shift dresses that the sophisticated women in the room likely earmarked for their next social to-do. Necklines were highlighted with garlands of fringe that looked as though he unraveled strips of caramel fabric to loosen out each fine strand.
He kept silhouettes close to form but not too tight as to be unforgiving. It was as though he took a page out of the Slim’s collector’s book, working volume and drape work seamlessly onto the structure with nary an unintended pucker of fabric marring the clean lines.
The designer to many a President showed his prowess at tailoring, hitting this season’s ‘50s trend on the nail—a bit warm on the eyes for summer 2011, however?
Full skirts dropped to the ankles and were topped off with structured jackets and vests, in the elegant style that the likes of Carolina Herrera and locally Tingting Cojuangco. While the ankle-length tulle skirt was quite pretty on Mikaela, the fully covered jacket seemed too mature for a woman in her early 20s.
Our favorite look was on Amina Aranaz-Alunan whose wide-leg trousers definitely deserved a second look, its ruffled tulle top with a youthfully sheer back the prized combination. It’s separates like these that can easily be worked into the wardrobe of a fashion astute woman.
While he sheepishly claimed to his collection was done in just a day, the liquid gold lame that Jun Escario sent down the runway looked tight and well-studied. Languid gowns and catsuits were dripping with the designer’s signature blend of glamour.
Haltered necklines, decorated with golden studs or amber beaded fringes, burst into flowing floor-length skirts or cascading elephant pants. Each golden goddess dress was cinched at the waist with belts customized in the same fabric.
It was an updated ‘70s bohemian gal that was seen strutting down the catwalk in Rajo Laurel. The combination of embellished pieces with crisp white and sandy gold created an easy does it look for today’s crop of glamazons.
Rissa Mananquil opened the show wearing a beaded bamboo fringed skirt that swished like Josephine Baker as she walked. The tribal and fringed theme carried on through the rest of the pieces. The show stopper was Tweetie’s finale gown that was covered from neck to elegant wrist down to the floor in beautiful bronze and antique gold beads sewn in an ethnic pattern.
The clothes, although beautiful, are familiar. Case and point, Tweetie’s and Divine's gowns were part of Rajo’s Pintados collection in 2008. It would have been nice to see something new from this prolific designer.
It must be said though that for the opening of Philippine Fashion Week, the clothes left us wanting more, six pieces from four great designers just wasn't enough for our fashion appetites.
When asked, some designers mentioned that they got confirmation to do the show just last Friday, four days before the big night. Could this be why designs were kept simple albeit polished and well constructed? However, a representative from Pond's assured the participating designers was invited to do the show at least two weeks before.