Just when the local fashion scene is undergoing “a famine of beauty,” we were given a taste of good fashion
The thing about Manila Fashion Festival (MFF) is that it has already set the bar way up high the past two seasons. But it seems that its only competition is itself. With that, how does the MFF outdo its past presentations?
This proved to be no challenge as day one of the four-day event started on all time high. The collections justifiably set the tone for this spring/summer 2016 season—impassioned and high-spirited. Will the MFF stay consistent or will it be a waning down a trajectory? Let’s just hope it’s a start-strong-end-strong kind of thing.
Here’s a quick rundown of MFF’s first day.
Loose and billowy silhouettes are great suggestions for easy dressing. Chris Diaz does them so well that seeing the clothes come down the runway readily inspires one to wear them. Inspired by biologist and philosopher Ernst Haeckel’s illustrations of underwater species Chris put out a slew of pastel-colored separates, carefully placed appliqués on dresses, and the biggest hit of his show: denim overalls for men and button-downs for women.
The theme was apparent: circus fashion in muted colors—white, gray, and pale yellow. There were crisp-collared shirtdresses, toggle vests, and pleated culottes paired with flattering high slits on the sides. Though the collection isn’t anything exciting—you know, not the type that quickens the pulses—it is a pretty solid set still, one that the overly feminine-inclined market will surely favor.
The designer’s focus was on softly tailored pieces—suits, button-downs, and vests. But when you’ve got another button-down attached to a shirt and an extra set of sleeves hanging on the side, the effect is a little cryptic. What was perhaps an intent to be inventive fell short on the execution.
We don’t see a lot of streetwear during fashion weeks. Leave it to Renan to show that little spunk we need. The 12-piece collection has that same spirit as his Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Tokyo show but was somehow tweak to look “localized.” Crumpled garbage bags were made into hats and actual wearable pieces (oversized shirts, jackets, and accented vests) and complemented by grease-like makeup. There was a fast rhythm of Tagalog rap in the background, even. But the homeless chic look aside, you can break the mesh and leather pieces and still find something for you to keep in your closet.
John Herrera’s Bioluminescence—the collection that won him the London Emerging Designers (LED) Awards and brought him to show at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Tokyo—comes back home. The couture designs mimic the glow-in-the-dark ability of marine animals, which inspired him for this collection. The fin-like details and neon-colored “scales” took over the black cocktail dresses with rufflesforming creature-like pieces that look lethal.
When the models grouped together at the end of the show—like a huddling school of fishes—everything made sense, and the impact was further punctuated. But that wasn’t the end of it. The lights dimmed and there went the 20-piece collection—all vibrant and illuminating right before our eyes.
Click the slideshow above to see a few of these designers’ looks!