By JOHN ROLAND LEGASPI
Images by NOEL PABALATE
Capping all the fashion festivities in the country, the four-day event of Panasonic Manila Fashion Festival (PMFF) brought a roster of Filipino artistry in the runway at the Marquee Tent of EDSA Shangri-La. Running from April 2 to 5, the PMFF was a presentation of what the industry has to offer as brand and designers converge to produce 40 collections predicting the future of fashion in the Philippines.
Through fashion management powerhouse Art Personas, in partnership with Panasonic Philippines and online shopping site Zilingo, fashion merged with technology. A cinematic montage shown in wide screens displayed style in detail, with ready-to-buy runway looks with the push of a button.
The 10th season of PMFF, aligned with the yearly schedules of its foreign counter parts in New York, London, Milan, Paris, and Tokyo, marks the local industry’s capability to cope, thrive, and be the arena of fashion in the Southeast Asian region. Creating possibilities is what Art Personas stands for. Now they took things beyond the realm of possibility into reality. And leading this milestone is Art Personas’ CEO, Ronnie Cruz, with COO Michael Carandang.
“Everything fell to its proper place,” Carandang said, as the designers did their final march. The effect of PMFF extends to more than just the people involved in the runway but even to those who are sitting in the rows. Creativity flourished in every piece, as a model after model walked down the runway, pushing tastes and style to newer heights.
“To think that we still live in an industry where a lot of designers feel that the way to make money is only through bridalwear or through bespoke,” Carandang mused. It’s the connotation he aims to change in the local fashion scene. With PMFF, designers can have the chance to generate designs beyond the confines of marketability. “Through the help of fashion festivals, fashion weeks, and social media, it’s all coming to the place,” he added. “And with the marketplace of e-commerce, that’s where the formation is coming. And I think the market base is ready.”
PMFF brought together the best brands and designers who filled the runway with styles and concepts that filled the eyes with wonder, creating a buzz in social media and sparking conversations about the future of fashion.
From the contemporary and the artisanal to the sophisticated and timeless, let’s take an in-depth look at the fashion that graced the runways of the PMFF.
Chris Nick brings Paris to the PMFF by drawing inspiration from the City of Love. He played with drapery, sharp tailoring, and illusions, exposing skin through strategic cuts and sheer fabrics. Shawls flutter as models walk down the runway wearing pieces in hues of black, champagne, and burgundy. The texture and quality of his choice of material express high taste and preference for luxury. Completing the Parisian look are micro gloves and berets, of course.
WEDNESDAY From Elle
Woods of Legally Blonde, the Plastics of Mean Girls, the life of Barbara ‘Barbie’ Millicent Roberts and to that iconic pink dress worn by Marilyn Monroe for ‘Diamonds are the Girls Bestfriend,’ Yong Davalos’ Wednesday is an ode to the women of cinema in pink. The collection is a blushing display of women in every era styled in timeless pieces, from elegant dresses in lace with gloves to the preppy and it-girls of high school.
This PMFF partner isn’t just a digital platform, but also a style haven. Banking on inclusivity and diversity, Zilingo spiced up the opening of PMFF with a collection that showcased all the must-haves this summer season, from fun dresses in polka dots, pieces in tropical hues, and street looks too chic for the sidewalks, Zilingo and the brands under their belt lit the runway up to a good start.
Cheetah Rivera proposes a collection in neutrals. Unit 507 is composed of pieces ranging from the subtle sheen of organza, silk, and satin, to a touch of floral print with lilac accents. Her collection is contemporary, young, and elegant, mixing details such as cargo pockets, electric pleats, and crisp collars to produce looks that will appeal to every type of woman.
TEOFILA BY ANTHONY RAMIREZ
Designs made by Anthony Ramirez for Teofila is for the sophisticated. Border-lining minimalism with modernity, the pieces flow with ease in soft blues and gray, then turning to monochromes, and a shock of red. Each were made in playful silhouettes, highlighting small details such as ruffles, bows, and unconventionally placed pleats.
Daryl Maat’s creations offer a retrospective look to the age of disco and rock and roll. The designer set Studio 54 fever to the runway with all things that glitter, sequined with added embellishment— reminiscent of the pieces worn by Elton John onstage. Edgy are the rocker pieces in black, exploring textures through pearls, feathers, latex, and leather.
It was the ‘80s for designer Steph Tan with her collection titled ‘Femmepire.’ Laser lights kissed the runway as models dressed in ‘80s proportions—power shoulders, above the knee hems, and asymmetry—took to the runway. Sparkling party dresses, elegant evening gowns featuring multiple techniques, exposed Steph’s mastery of dressing the female form.
RETURN TO INNOCENCE
Jaz Cerezo takes a minimalist turn with her ‘Return to Innocence’ collection. Modest, lady-like, and proper, the clothes showed her prowess in telling a story through delightfully bright color palettes. Details such as ruffles, bows, and flounce are put in new places—sides of the pants and front of the sleeves— giving interesting form in a tasteful manner.
Talk about wearable art, Cherry Veric’s ‘Homage’ is reminiscent of the Sistine Chapel walls. Dresses in floral print and embroidery are romantic and dainty, just like the growing shrubs and flowers climbing a garden wall. But the pieces that took people’s breath away were the ones with paintings ala Da Vinci and Michelangelo. Cherubs and other heavenly bodies are printed on suits, with explosions of tulle for a skirt.
O’KEEFFE BY ARIN
O’Keeffe x Arin was all about the wrap and easy clothing. Draped pieces, clean lines, and a new take on halter make the collection cohesive. Keeping things cool, models were styled in a chic ’do. A perfect complement to the pieces were the tinted eyewears of Prive Revaux
Think of the hexagon prints in The Shining, but unlike the movie, the gloom bus left as Dodjie Batu’s menswear collection hit the runway. True to its title, ‘Hex’ was about putting varied styles of hexagonal patterns on the runway. Bomber jackets in different pastel hues, matching prints on prints, and patterned socks dominated his collection, a fun alternative to men’s fashion.
Gable & Grant showcased a summer in the US through its contemporary pieces. Surf culture is definitely in season, with beach printed shorts, tropical polos, and pieces in patriotic colors of blue and red bespeckled with white stars. It shifts its direction with a set in military-inspired greens and fatigues. Capping the collection was a line of suits tailored in familiar hip-hop fashion—baseball caps on, finished with sneakers, minus the under shirt.
RED BETWEEN THE LINES
Whether horizontal or vertical, Edgar Buyan’s ‘Red Between the Line’ collection is a celebration of that timeless pattern— stripes, which were reimagined in different colors and matched with other materials like tulle, mesh, and pop art print. His distorted coats made whimsy what otherwise would have been a linear collection. The addition of headbands made from the same striped material gave the looks another flare, mimicking a halo or an 18th-century headdress.
Mark Tamayo’s ‘Red Strings’ explores plaid, lace, and bondage in a sophisticated manner. He bends gender stereotypes through his designs. Particularly eye-catching was a geometrically printed ensemble was worn by a guy in a corset. That female suit with hardware details and that red lace tube dress that falls to the ground with scalloping neckline were also wonders to behold.
Renan Pacson’s ‘Wasteland’ is a collection that blends grudge and utilitarian aesthetic in one dynamic line. Looking at pieces such as the distressed grey denim ensemble with weaving patterns, heavy jackets with waving strings and straps, and striped cargo pants on a guy veiled with black lace is like watching a dystopian movie—dark, edgy, and thought-provoking.
Just like a phoenix, Kaye Morales’ ‘Rebirth’ collection is fiery, rising from the ashes. Mixing street and utilitarian wear, her pieces are not for the cool kids, but for the rebels. Textured denim and pieces with ‘rebirth’ graffiti brought angst and attitude to the runway. Topping her show was an avant garde piece decorated with golden wings and fluttering red feathers for the skirt.
‘Borders at Balcony’ by Stylia dives deep to a nautical aesthetic, featuring crisp white dresses with navy stripes for details as well as skirts in sunny yellows. It slowly transitions to street with the incorporation of leather. And ending the experience with a psychedelic trip were highly tinted pieces in tie-dye and paint, splattered with details of Jibun’s Eve Garden.
Wine, neutrals, bustiers, and corsetry reign supreme in Billy’s collection. It is sharp and intense. The clean lines from the paneling accentuate the woman’s curves with smartly place shimmer as an added pizzazz. His color story, from the reds and earth tones to the grays and black, is expertly curated to highlight one technique to the other.
AVEL X MATTEO
Aviation served as an inspiration for designer Avel Bacudio and actor Matteo Guidicelli for a collaboration collection. Nuetrals, ripped acid wash denim, and burgundy pieces were the highlights of their runway show. Their collection took flight as they mixed air force uniform elements—double pockets and colored bands—with hoodies and bandeaus, taking it to the street and athleisure level.