By John Legaspi
Photos by Noel Pabalate
“The sun, the bright sun, that brings back, not light alone, but new life, and hope, and freshness to man, burst upon the crowded city in clear and radiant glory,” wrote the British author Charles Dickens in his novel Oliver Twist. This second novel aims to shed light on the issues of juvenile delinquents, child labor, and orphans in London in the 1830s through its central character Oliver.
That is also the goal of fashion designer Pablo Cabahug’s 10th year celebration of his career in fashion, by giving back to the youth of his alma mater, Colegio de San Juan de Letran, with a benefit gala inspired by the ultimate source of light in the universe—the sun.
His collection, “Rayons du Soleil,” a French phrase meaning the “rays of the sun” was a 50-piece collection inspired by 10 years of his past works that were showcased at the Philippine International Convention Center with family and friends and the alumni of the academic institution gathered to give the designer a toast.
“This is my love letter, my love story 10 years in the making,” said Pablo. “The collection is all about life, rising and falling. But still, we do have a choice to live another day and to start anew.”
The proceeds of the benefit gala will be donated to Colegio de San Juan de Letran for the construction of its Quadricentennial Building, commemorating its 400-year pursuit toward academic excellence.
Just like a piece of sunlight fallen onto the earth, ‘Rayons du Soleil’ lit up the dark runway with pieces in varying shades of the sunrise and the sunset that filled the guests’ eyes with Cabahug’s awe-inspiring designs.
“As an alumnus, this is my way of giving back,” he said. “A portion of the [collection] sales will be donated to the Letran scholarship, so we can continue to give back long after the show is over.”
Just like a piece of sunlight fallen onto the earth, “Rayons du Soleil” lit up the dark runway with pieces in varying shades of the sunrise and sunset that filled the guests’ eyes with Cabahug’s awe-inspiring designs.
From neutral shades with hints of sparkle to bright yellows and oranges, the collection channels the changing colors of the sky as it displays vivid pinks, blues, and lilac mirroring a cotton candy-hued atmosphere of the sunset. The designer showed his expertise multiple techniques showcased in his collection, from romantic flounces and sharp cutouts to tailored suits and ethereal sculptures. For a dramatic flair, the collection also featured pieces in black, playing with shadows and elegant proportions.
The school spirit was also alive on the runway as Cabahugdressed some of Letran’s alumni or the benefit gala show and with Asia’s Queen of Rnb Kyla wearing a black ball gown with tulle details as she performed, keeping everyone in the festive spirit.
“With this project, not only will we make Filipinos look good, but we also allow ourselves to become instruments of making God look best through our creativity,” says Fr. Boyd Sulpico, alumni chaplain and member of the board of trustees of Colegio de San Juan de Letran. “We are celebrating history and making that celebration part of our history.”
Check out all the looks of “Rayons du Soleil:”