The industry bigwigs responsible for staging the grandest fashion events in Manila, Robby Carmona of SAGA events, stylist Noel Manapat and Keren Pascual, threw the first ever Philippine Fashion Ball last night at the Peninsula Manila. The ball is a celebration of the Philippine fashion industry's movers and infuencers, from designers and makeup artists and hair stylists to fashion editors, stylists, models, photographers, and show organizers.
Says Phoemela Baranda, president of the Professional Models Association of the Philippines (PMAP), "It’s simply just one big celebration of all the individuals who embrace and steer the fashion industry. It's time we recognize the years of hard work and passion these people have been putting out to keep Philippine fashion continually surviving with pizzazz."
Noel Manapat shared that they just wanted to throw a party for the fashion industry to get together, saying, "When we were thinking about the party, we thought, 'Should we do a fashion show?' But if we did one then the models would have to walk and not be able to enjoy, plus we'd have to do hair and makeup. So we decided not to." Looking at the crowd as they entered, he voiced his excitement at seeing so many people, even senior designers, arrive. "We tried to invite as many people as we could and hopefully next year we'll be able to invite everyone!"
The theme of the event was black and white, and the famed hotel's Rigodon Ballroom had no shortage of elegantly clad attendees donning the best of dramatic, monochromatic finery by Filipino designers.
The ball is "envisioned to be an annual affair as an effort to keep Philippine fashion thriving, celebrate its forerunners and inspire new blood to continue pursuing and evolving their craft." As such, it wasn't just a party; awards were given to "exceptional individuals whose visions and talents have revolutionized the industry." Daryl Chang of Preview was deemed the night's Most Fashionable by hosts Rajo Laurel and Tessa Prieto-Valdes, while other awardees include:
- Inno Sotto (for Fashion Design)
- Jun de Leon (for Photography)
- Jackie Aquino (for Fashion Direction)
- Marina Benipayo (for Modeling)
- Patrick Rosas (for Make-up & Grooming)
- Henri Calayag (for Beauty & Style)
Merit awards were also given to the following fashion groups:
- Young Designers Guild of the Philippines (YDG) headed by acting president Eric delos Santos
- Fashion Designers Association of the Philippines (FDAP) led by Lito Perez
- Fashion and Design Council of the Philippines (FDCP) headed by JC Buendia
Additionally, the past and current presidents of PMAP presidents were also honored:
- Phoemela Baranda (2010-present)
- Ariel Atendido (2008-2010)
- Rissa Mananquil (2003-2008)
- Baba Parma (2001-2002)
- Grace Molina (1998-2001)
- Denden Abesamis (1991-1995)
- Apples Aberin (1995-1997)
- Tweetie De Leon-Gonzales (1989-1991)
- JB Abesamis (1988-1989)
- Ronnie Asuncion (1987-1988)
Lastly, Lifetime Achievement Awards were awarded to Philippine Fashion Week founder Joey Espino and multi-awarded, international fashion designer Josie Natori.
It was an affair full of love, and of course, style.