MANILA, Philippines — The prestigious Central Saint Martins’ (CSM) MA Fashion Graduation Show has applauded young Filipino fashion creator Jessan Macatangay, honoring the Batangas-born designer with the coveted L’Oreal Professionnel Womenswear Creative Award.
Past winners of the prestigious CMS award include Kim Jones, Grace Wales Bonner, Christopher Kane, Mary Katrantzou, Molly Goddard and Craig Green.
Central Saint Martins is a world-renowned art school in London, England which produced legendary designers Stella McCartney, John Galliano and Alexander McQueen.
Jessan's 2022 masters graduation collection is called "Sculptural Sensuality."
The designer shared his inspiration behind the series, saying in a statement, “This collection is about making society realize that a woman is more than her body. Clothes exist to accentuate the feminine figure and showcase it in its most lustrous light.”
Jessan explained further, “I really want to create pieces for women who adore sensuality without fearing sexuality; and for women who long to relax on the beach with her swimsuit, legs and arms sun-kissed, and exposed for all the world to adore (not judge). She does not want to cover up with a t-shirt while on the beach. She wants to be free.”
Jessan also shared that his observance of the conservative upbringing in his hometown in Batangas served as a backstory of his winning collection.
“In our country, where – even in 2022 – 85% of the population remains to be Roman Catholic, religion and tradition still play major roles in putting restraints on women, especially with how they dress. This is especially true in areas outside Metro Manila. I grew up in Batangas where the prevalent dress code is always modest and conservative. Batangueños are naturally religious people. So religious, in fact, that they allow their beliefs to heavily influence every aspect of their lives,” said Jessan.
“These outdated restrictions are not only thrown at regular women. From celebrities and influencers to models, Filipinas from all walks of life oftentimes find themselves being subjected to bashing, unnecessary judgment, and being told to cover up when they post photos of themselves wearing clothes that do not conform to conservative standards of generations past. In fact, growing up, I even saw women wear t-shirts over their bikinis while swimming just to cover up. This is where my project started – from the fear and discomfort of showing skin. Could there be a way to make women let go of this fear?”
Recently, "Broken Marriage Vow" actress Sue Ramirez rocked some pieces from the collection fresh off the runway for a cover fashion editorial shoot with L'Officiel Philippines Magazine.