Happy Andrada The Pursuit of Happy-ness
Jose Paolo S. dela Cruz (The Philippine Star) - May 29, 2016 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines -  She was a blushing debutante when it all started, opting for a fashion show to introduce her to the world, rather than the usual frills of a traditional debut. That first step led her to a happiness she still enjoys to this day, 10 years later.

Happy Andrada wanted to be a fashion designer. It was a dream that she has nurtured ever since she was in grade school, when she designed her first dress. What’s more, it’s a dream she shares with her sister Viva, with whom she established Fashion Art (F*ART) in 2007, a concept store that carries creations by Filipino artists. “It’s a venue for designers who draw inspiration from artwork,” she explains.

In her decade-long career, Happy is known for her intricately designed bridal creations but a conversation is all it takes to know that she’s not all peaches and cream. The fair-skinned beauty admits to liking Goth designs, yet she succumbs to the fact that it’s not exactly what the local market wants.

Lucky for Happy, her creativity isn’t confined to local shores. She recalls her first fashion shows abroad: South Korea’s International Fashion Art Biennale and Japan’s Fashion Design Competition in 2010. “I remember seeing my clothes down the runway. It made me really proud to be a Filipino,” she reveals with a smile.

And how the list has grown. This year alone, Happy already held three fashion shows abroad. First, she showcased her origami-inspired Autumn/Winter 2016 Collection during the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week after being chosen by Fashion Week Amsterdam and Vodafone. Second, she presented her works on the runway of London Fashion Week in February to showcase her latest bridal ready-to-wear collection. Third was the Fashion Art Toronto in Canada last April, where her tribal designs and tribute to Filipino Pintados made waves in the haute couture lineup. “It was really good timing since I’m celebrating my 10th anniversary this year as well,” she notes.

While Manila has embraced more of her feminine designs, her works on foreign runways seem to feature a darker, more soulful side of her artistry. Staying true to her advocacy of promoting Philippine culture, her collections are mostly creative infusions of modern, avant-garde designs with Philippine fabrics such as organza, abaca lace and piña. And she’s happy to keep it that way. “When you are a designer, you have to remember that it’s not just about expressing yourself or making clothes, but also about collaborating with your clients,” she says.

With an eye for detail, a heart for innovation and an ear that listens to her clients, it’s easy to see how Happy puts a smile on the faces of everyone who sees her work.

 

Photography by JO ANN BITAGCOL • Creative direction by LUIS ESPIRITU JR. • Makeup by SARI CAMPOS for Make Up For Ever • Hairstyling by RONNIE TUMAMAK for Creations by Lourd Ramos • Styling by DIANE LASAM • Jewelry by MILADAY JEWELS • Coral pink gown by MARK TAMAYO and lacy blue cropped top by FOREVER 21

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