This season, Philippine Fashion Week spring/summer 2016 (PhFW) shakes things up a little on its 20th year. Its new home is now the City of Dreams, as it used to be held at the SMX Convention Center with only selected guests invited to view the shows—a total of five shows and nine designers. This overhaul brought out major changes from the slowly waning down fashion event, but will it give PhFW the redemption it needs?
Not quite just yet. Day One brought out four designers who, though unique in their own design perspectives, weren’t unanimous in doling out impressive collections. We’ve always loved Jeffrey Rogador’s take on urban local streetwear, which was the saving grace of the day. But one good collection wasn’t enough to cancel out the bad ones.
So yes, with 20 years under its belt you’d think PhFW has mastered it all already. Going back, does PhFW, probably the longest-running local fashion showcase in the industry still have new tricks to show? Regardless of what we think, its founder Joey Espino says that “[Philippine Fashion Week] is here to stay.”
Jeffrey’s fervor for the local industry has always been his strength. Ever since he released his Jeepney collection, his collections thereafter became a reminder of what we Filipinos tend to forget: That there’s a way to support local designs—even by way of literally putting national heroes and iconic landmarks on shirts.
For this season, his Fish Market collection features a simple sketch of the humble tilapia, staggered throughout his gray and black streetwear pieces. Think sweaters paired with skater skirts, relaxed button-downs with culottes. He has always been into ready-to-wear apparel, and it is a smart choice for him to upgrade it every season.
Out came psychedelic-colored pieces with cartoon character prints and patchwork vests and jackets. It is a little too inspired by Japanese streetwear, which prides itself in outlandish appeal. Hers need more fine-tuning, both in idea and taste. But the collection is called Rebel anyway. She’s had it with rules and it shows. In fact, this show was her coming out party as a proud lesbian. How’s that for inspiring her own collection?
Of course, not a day goes by Philippine Fashion Week without a collection that features new dresses that feel overdone. With half of Erwin Tan’s pieces in blood red and the others—of similar silhouettes!—in stark black, one can’t help but feel jaded after a show with excessive visuals. It’s the same floor-grazing dresses with seemingly heavy and meter-long trains. What happened to the variety and, more importantly, the vision that every collection always needs to have?
Sidney Perez Sio
Sidney is one to constantly incorporate and reinvent piña or the barong for women in his collections. But too many ideas can kill. Out came models in barong-inspired dresses with bling often worn by rappers, only to be topped off with aviator glasses and baseball caps. No kidding! Two opposing styles mashed into one look created a sense of disconnect. Somewhere along the Lolita frills matched with silver neck chains and the gentle lace paired with Nike trainers, we got a little confused.