“It was pretty nostalgic,” intimates Sassa Jimenez backstage, downing a bottle of water in the process. The designer, who is no stranger to the daily commerce of runway shows having been in the industry for nine years, headlined the first day of this year’s Bench Fashion Week (BFW).
While the air of nostalgia was initially meant for the designs Sassa sent down the runway, the show had that extra punctuation of a throwback as Maxine Medina (who had also been modeling for a little under a decade when she joined the Miss Universe pageant) opened the show dressed in wide trousers and a ruffled top—a welcome departure from her usual dressy uniform and a lovely return to her modeling roots.
Sassa’s designs included a profusion of cascading ruffles that graced everything from hemlines, pockets, and shoulders. “Some of these were designs I’ve had for a while and reworked for today,” says the designer of her 12-piece collection. There were pantsuits, numbers in varying shades of blush, and stately wrapped pieces (also in blush, a trending color this season). “I’m a bit more streamlined now,” she said, “there was a time for being maximalist but I think it’s also because I’ve grown up over the years.”
Rightfully so, Sassa Jimenez’s first show of the year displayed a confidence in restraint. A tulle skirt referenced ballerinas but was made more wearable (and less beginner’s ballet class) when it was paired with a simple black bodysuit. A seemingly simple silhouette had a nice surprise at the back when the model turned to reveal layered ruffles. Set to open her new atelier in Makati this April, the designer will be displaying her pieces from BFW along with some other reimagined pieces from her archives and for that, we can’t wait.