“It was Ben [Chan]’s idea,” Randy Ortiz replied when asked why his designs weren’t for Kashieca as was the case for previous seasons. After the launch of his fragrance for the female line during the last Philippine Fashion Week Holiday 2011, the Ben himself asked Randy if he wanted to try something different. That’s how he began his next project for the retail giant: creating a capsule collection for Bench.
Designing for Bench meant creating both a line for men and women and that it would be “a very young collection,” as Randy described; “so I took on the challenge.” He started working on the 20+ designs in January this year. Product development has taken quite a lot of time and they used digital printing to create the patterns for the garments and art for the t-shirts.
What’s special about this collection is that Randy feels he’s come full circle with his designs. The stripes, dots, paisleys and prints he favored when he first began his career 20 something years ago resurfaced. “This is what I loved working with in the beginning,” he shares, “My clients and friends who are familiar with my work from long ago will recognize these elements.”
So the oversized paisleys and the combination of dots and stripes on tees are a playful nod to the archives of Randy Ortiz. The women’s shirts and crew necks were styled with pieces reflecting the elegance he’s come to be known for today—consider the long skirt that’s draped ‘til the hips then sheer ‘til the floor or the wide trousers that sit at the waist and extend long to the heels. As for the men, the look was sport in the city as shirts with baby collars and longer plackets were paired with slim or drop-crotch trousers that were coolly rolled up to the ankles.
This is actually a Holiday collection for the brand and the pieces should hit Bench stores next month. Click on the photo gallery to view all the looks from Randy Ortiz for Bench.