Manila's finest came out last night to celebrate fashionalistic designer Rhett Eala's 20th anniversary in the fashion industry. And no other than President Noynoy Aquino was in attendance, fêting the acclaimed designer most known for his My Pilipinas collaboration with local retail brand Collezione-C2, which put the Philippines on the fashion map, so to speak. Rhett's brilliant idea to put the Philippines' archipelagic emblem on tees and other pieces of casual clothing pioneered "fashionalism," which President Aquino himself advocated throughout his presidential campaign when he regularly wore Collezione-C2's map-emblazoned collared tees.
Rhett's celebrated his career milestone in a grand anniversary show amongst friends and loved ones, who cheered him on through the night as he showcased two collections in collaboration with Collezione-C2 and South Sea pearls purveyor Jewelmer.
The first collection is his Holiday 2010 lineup for Collezione-C2, which takes travel as inspiration. "Travel [is] a journey of discovering and reaffirming who you are," says Rhett, a keen traveler himself who understands the stylistic and comfort demands of urban mobility. His separates for the Collezione-C2's Holiday 2010 collection possesses a fine mix of preppy, easy wearability with a decidedly urbane sensibility in its modern silhouettes and monochromatic color story shot through with just enough brights for playfulness and vibrancy.
The second collection is a high fashion spectacle where Rhett's evening wear creations served as couture canvases for Jewelmer's Las Islas Collection of beautiful and lustrous South Sea pearl jewellery. Rhett's flowy satin and chiffon gowns and full-skirted dresses of hand-painted fabric were breathtaking backdrops to the equally breathtaking Jewelmer pearls, which adorned the models' necks, wrists, hands, ears, and hands in all sorts of decadent fashion. Miss Universe 2010 4th runner-up Venus Raj opened and ended the collection to great applause.
"There [have] been challenges, naturally, but even those serve a purpose—to strengthen resolve, to think, explore and discover more, to realize that things are not always what they seem," muses Rhett about his two-decade career in the Philippine fashion industry. "I have been designing for 20 years but I still find my work fascinating, probably because it is my passion. Looking ahead, I see only life and its many possiblities. So this grand anniversary show is not just a celebration of what I've already achieved—it's also a celebration of the people who have helped me get to where I am now, and of greater things to come."
Click on the photo gallery to view Rhett Eala's 20th anniversary fashion show.
Click here to see the stylish guests at the event.