By Rey Robes Ilagan
Eddie Baddeo, who made a name for himself with his couture creations, died the morning of Aug.16 at the Lung Center of the Philippines in Quezon City. The designer was diagnosed with stage 2 colorectal cancer back in June 2016. He also suffered from a hypothyroid condition.
Revered as Philippine fashion’s enfant terrible, Baddeo first made his mark as a designer of avant grade fashion, creating highly artistic clothes from the most unlikely materials in 1986. Against the exaggerated silhouettes and oversized shoulder pads dominating the ’80s fashion scene, Baddeo embellished his creations with metal bustiers, compact discs for cocktail dresses, electric fan covers as headdresses, and even venetian blinds as party wear during a group fashion show held at The Manila Hotel. This willingness to innovate proved the designer gifted with a strong sense of fashion that defied conventions without ever losing classic sensibilities and impeccable craftsmanship.
In the ’90s, when deconstructed fashion and organic, shapeless designs ruled runways, Baddeo took his collections the opposite direction and celebrated the über woman with ultra feminine couture inspired by the glamorous women of the ’50s. His ethereal fashion take accentuated the feminine form that’s both beautiful and seductive with bustiers that allow a peek of décolletage and dramatic hemlines blooming from his hip-hugging skirts.
Through the decades, Baddeo was best known for dressing society’s most stylish with his classic designs that would cascade down the back, flowing skirts, and feminine sheaths. His constant collaboration with the Philippine Cancer Society and the Best-Dressed Women of the Philippines provided a wealth of opportunities for the designer to explore and test the boundaries of his creativity.
Baddeo last appeared at the Annual BestDressed Women of the Philippines Awards Ball by the Philippine Cancer Society last year. Staged at the main theatre of the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP), the fashion show, produced by Zardo Austria, raised funds for the Marawi City war victims. A book published for the event, celebrating Baddeo’s 33rd anniversary in Philippine fashion, is set to be launched next month.
Eddie Baddeo was more than a client. He was my protector. He carved my directorial abilities through flamboyant fashion presentations from QCDG in the ‘90s to stylish creations for the Philippines’ Best Dressed. As we always quoted Shirley Bassey, “This is my life.”—RAYMOND VILLANUEVA, runway director
Eddie would hire me as his finale model for most of his gala shows in the late ’80s to early ’90s. I had semi-retired from modeling in the mid-90s but he told me not to retire yet and continued to cast me for shows. That was how much Eddie believed in me. Never pretentious, Eddie always saw life in a positive light. Rest now in God’s loving arms, Eddie, we will miss you.—MARINA BENIPAYO, model and actress
Eddie Baddeo, as we fondly call Shawie, was a good friend, and I will miss him… I already do. Shawie was an Icon in his field, fun-loving, artistic, and creative. His career humbly began and prospered because of his true love for fashion. This was obvious from his countless creations for the last 33 years, which I personally treasure. Shawie truly left his mark in the world of fashion and in each of our hearts. He was also a devotee of Our Lady Of Manaoag, Our Mother of Perpetual Help and had deep faith in God. I am sure that He will now peacefully rest in His arms. Shawie, you will forever be missed. Thank you for shining your light in each one of our lives. —ELAINE ROJAS VILLAR, Eddie Baddeo Muse
I met him through a friend in a hair competition. I will never forget our zipline adventures, our river rafting in some of the great provinces of the Philippines, our Sunday karaoke nights with just the two of us at our place. It hard to see you suffering, but it is okay now. Sleep well, Shawie. No more sorrows and pain. I love you, until we meet again.—EDGAR MEDINA, Eddie’s partner for 32 years
Our photo shoots for ‘Faaabvlous’ always drew in the best fashion designers, commissioned by the Fab ladies. Eddie Baddeo was one of the chosen couturiers and at these shoots, he would personally be there with Edgar Medina to supervise and check on the gowns. He was friendly, amiable and always had a happy face. A talented designer, Eddie’s creations left an imprint of newness and boldness with his dazzling style. I invited him to be one of the subjects of ‘Faaabvlous,’ to which he replied: Next year. But later on, he sadly told Tina that he was sick. Eddie Baddeo was a gentle and kindred soul and will be missed by many.—RUPERT JACINTO, artist and photographer
I’ve truly admired him, not only because of how amazingly talented he was, but also because beneath the feisty “mataray” exterior is a generous, caring, and loving person, even during his last moments. He would always put others first and make people laugh back to back with Direk Raymond. I’m ever so grateful to have had Tita Shawie in my life as a mentor and a second mother. From starting out as her eight-year-old flower girl model, to now, her muse in full-bloom, Tita Shawie watched me grow over the years, guiding me, constantly giving me advice. He would always push me out of my comfort zone. I wouldn’t have accomplished this much and be where I am right now if it wasn’t for him. He introduced me to the crazy yet exciting world of fashion. He will forever be my inspiration and motivation. I’m sure it doesn’t end here. I know that he will continue to guide his forever Baddeo flower girl.—KRISHA SIA, model and brand development consultant
Eddie was my co-contemporary in the fashion industry. I met Eddie in a bar in QC. Every time I saw him there, I couldn’t helped noticing his outfit. We were introduced by a common friend , then I knew he is a fashion designer. That started our friendship. We both entered the prestigious then, FDAP at the same time. We were budding designers then. I knew that he’s going to make it big in the fashion industry because his lines were different, not a common one. He is one designer who is adventurous in creating clothes. So brave who made clothes that were so experimental. I remember him as one who is so humble and so fun to be with. A person who always talk about being beautiful always. One is so beautiful inside and out! Eddie will be missed not only as a designer but a friend who will always remind you to be beautiful always!!!—ALBERT ANDRADA, fashion designer
My friendship with sisterhood Eddie is not all bed of roses. We’ve had differences and issues but we made sure to work it out immediately. Our differing personalities were a good thing as we made to accept these differences and were able to create a stronger bond of friendship. One thing I will always cherish no matter what life sends, are the memories and the happiness we had, by being best of friends. For my sisterhood, I know you are at peace now with our Lord. Till we meet again.—MARCOTT ALMEDA, Eddie Baddeo Muse
Tags: Albert Andrada, ARINA BENIPAYO, designer, Eddie Baddeo, EDGAR MEDINA, ELAINE ROJAS VILLAR, enfant terrible, Fashion, KRISHA SIA, Leisure, life, MARCOTT ALMEDA, Marina Benipayo, RAYMOND VILLANUEVA, Remembering Eddie Baddeo (A Tribute), Rupert Jacinto