While the entire world was watching the Royal Wedding with bated breath, fashion spectacle that it was with Kate’s beautiful gown, Pippa’s glorious figure-hugging bridesmaid dress and Princess Beatrice’s ridiculous hat, I was getting ready to watch another fashion spectacle right here in Cebu: Face Off 2011 at the Waterfront Cebu City Hotel, presented by Philippine Daily Inquirer and Samsung.
It is hard to describe the masterpiece creations of each of the renowned Manila and Cebu- based designers, or the general feeling of awe and pride at the work of our very own Filipino masters of fashion, but I’ll try to give you a quick rundown and a few pictures of my favorites from their holiday collections:
- Edwin Ao– Edwin opened the show with fall inspired fashion in a palette of gray and black. Excellent execution and structure of coats and skirts, and they looked like they belonged to a sophisticated New Yorker. His muse was Mia Arcenas.
- Pablo Cabahug– Manila’s Pablo Cabahug came next with a classic and feminine collection dominated by soft, flowing fabrics in black and dove gray. The final number was worn by Miss Cebu Mia Zeeba Ali Faridoon.
- Protacio Empaces– Protacio then wowed the crowd with earthy tones of tan, sienna, brown and green, with exquisite handpainted, cutwork embroidered pieces on a fabric that looked almost like leather from afar. His muse was Camella Taylor.
- Patrice Ramos Diaz– She opted for classic black and beige with an edgy twist and had Rica King-Deen wearing her final design.
- Jun Escario– Absolutely breathtaking was Jun Escario’s sleek and sheer creations in black, beige and red with beaded detail and figure hugging silhouettes. My jaw nearly dropped to the floor as soon as the first dress came out, and I remained in shock for the rest of the collection. Meg Eteve was his muse.
- Rhett Eala– One of Manila’s most popular designers, Rhett went for a sweet look with a blush and white palette, adorned with petals and crystals. I loved everything about it, it was like a celebration of girlishness and femininity. Delphine de Lorme wore the final creation.
- Arcy Gayatin– This collection was an ingenious and very interesting reinvention of boucle, in shades of bright blue, red, gray and black. Pretty Annette Osmena walked down the ramp last looking like a living doll.
- Efren Ocampo– He invoked a modern-day goddess feel with the use of white flowing fabric with a leather belt, crochet details here and sequin details there. His very fitting muse, looking like she stepped straight out of Olympus, was Danessa Onglatco.
- Oj Hofer– Oj Hofer once again proved to be a master of draping and added pleats to the mix, in shades of purple, plum and teal, all flowing and giving off an Egyptian influence with touches of gold. Lani Osmena brought the house down when she appeared in bright fuschia and a coral colored head creation as the final piece.
- Randy Ortiz– This collection was also for a lady’s lady, with lace, sheers, chiffon, sequins and flowerettes in combinations of red and dove gray. His muse was June Alegrado.
- Philip Rodriguez– One of my absolute favorites that night was Philip’s collection of black and nude strewn with white cut embroidery that looked like a shower of petals. And his muse Elvira Luym appeared in brilliant red, providing a powerful contrast with the rest of the collection.
- Mike de la Rosa– This was also a collection of blacks and whites, but focusing on form instead of embellishments. There was basic black satin, or white silk jersey with thin gold belts. A blazing mirage was the hot fuschia and tangerine number worn by Bianca Valerio. The final piece was worn by Yvette Vass.
- Cary Santiago– Masterpiece collection. Goosebump-inducing creations in fabrics woven a la Bottega Veneta in purple, dove gray and old rose with magnificent detail and genius workmanship. Utter perfection. Cary’s muse was Marguerite Lhuillier in a red number.
All in all it was a fantastic show, congratulations to all the organizers, designers, runway mannequins, top fashion director Jackie Aquino, the one and only Tessa Prieto Valdez (who hosted the show) and Cebu’s most esteemed ladies for Face Off 2011’s success! And thank you to Kaye Luym and Cybill Gayatin, the dynamic duo behind A-List Events for the invite!
Now back to Princess Beatrice’s hat…