'Rubber is not texture'

B HIVE - Bianca Salonga -

In the documentary September Issue, high priestess of the fashion world Anna Wintour was depicted as the kind of editor who wouldn’t bat an eyelash when killing a $50,000 photo shoot. When she took out a photo from a feature shoot on textures, fashion editor Grace Coddington simply reasoned, “For Anna, rubber is not texture.”

It is highly debatable whether rubber is, indeed, texture or not. While some might choose to agree with Miss Wintour, others might opt to insist on the complete opposite. During the recently concluded Philippine Fashion Week, however, it was pretty clear that she was on to something.

During Fashion Week, some of the most astounding shows presented a luxurious and utterly sophisticated take on textures, which were defined by delicate craftsmanship and regard for high precision construction. The collections sent down the runway by the country’s most prolific designers offered a fresh and innovative approach to creating texture and depth. Sequins, pailettes, fringe and modern fabric treatments were some of the dominant elements in most of the creations, lending a distinctive mood of opulence and grandeur to this season in fashion.

Pailettes adorned Arnold Galang’s slinky gold ensemble, whose collection was designed to address the constant need to build a versatile wardrobe. Galang created pieces that were accessible, wearable and re-workable. Three things that, in fashion, immediately spell success. His take on evening wear strongly implied that he had somehow managed to tap into the fashion’s consciousness, churning out pieces that exuded elegance and ease.

There is good reason why Eric de los Santos is the choice designer for many red carpet regulars. For one, his approach to luxury dressing never fails to garner much praise and admiration. This year, he impresses no less than the cognoscenti with his collection of meticulously shredded fibers to create the illusion of fur or, given our tropical weather, fringe. If anything, it was his emphasis on superior workmanship coupled by a bespoke design sensibility that made his collection most covetable this season.

La femme fatale was a key point of reference for Jerome Salaya Ang’s collection, which unsparingly utilized sequins in each of the pieces he sent down the runway. Perfectly complementing strong silhouettes on pantsuits and skirts were blinding doses of gold, which were very much reminiscent of Gucci during its heyday under the helm of Tom Ford in the ‘80s.

A straightforward and defined design direction as in the case of Norman Noriega proved to be the ideal canvas for a play of light, contrast, movement and texture. One who consistently takes inspiration from chiaroscuro, Noriega utilized gold and black sequins onto his bodycon pieces to create a strong yet essentially sensual collection. Furthermore, Noriega proposed new fashion contradictions by using pin-sharp silhouettes to capture the fluid and graceful movements of the wearer.

Global, chic and highly innovative, Veejay Floresca’s approach to creating texture is one that pushes boundaries and escapes the typical. His brilliant exploration of fabric treatment (as seen in this story’s crinkled jackets and trousers) and vision for putting together a variety of materials (such as mesh, leather and crinkled taffeta) to create one cohesive look reveal a progressive and evolutionary design direction. Floresca’s most daring proposition for the season further offers a new definition to the idea of elegance.

In the context of these pieces, one will be inclined to believe that perhaps Anna Wintour was correct in insisting that, “Rubber is not texture.” After all, this year’s roster of designers seemed to have created their collections on that very same premise.










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