The ‘It’s a wrap, thanks to all’ shot. (Front row, from left) Libet C. Virata, Kara Alikpala, Maureen Wroblewitz, Tang Singson, Paola Huyong and Chinie Go; (back row) your writer, Sara Black and Alexis De Pampelonne.

October on our minds
WRY BREAD - Philip Cu-Unjieng (The Philippine Star) - July 15, 2017 - 4:00pm

October is Breast Cancer Awareness month. And while it may still be three months away, preparations for this year’s Fashion Can Serve is at fever pitch.

A fundraiser of ICanServe to assist the foundation in mounting its yearly, nationwide grass roots activities that espouse breast cancer self-examination and early detection, Fashion Can Serve (now on its third year) has proven to be a special “Pink-letter” day when fashion, society and lifestyle worlds all get together for a worthy advocacy.

To this year, the Philippines unfortunately ranks highest when it comes to deaths from breast cancer in the ASEAN region; ironic, given rates of survival, if detected and treated early, are high. Evidently, both ignorance and fear still reign in this country when it comes to breast cancer.

As in past years, six fashion designers will showcase their Holiday collections, with the unique proposition that to close each designer’s segment, there will be guest models who are either survivors or personalities attached to the advocacy. Cary Santiago, JC Buendia, Ito Curata, Vania Romoff, Rosenthal Tee and Mia Arcenas-Branellec comprise the 2017 lineup. The show, hashtagged #whywefight, happens on Oct. 8, Sunday, 4 p.m., at the Raffles Ballroom.

A screen grab of Maureen’s test shots with the ‘warpaint’ colors of the ICanServe ribbons/logo. Look out for the official Fashion Can Serve poster!

One aspect of preparing for the show is producing the show’s poster and collaterals. And this year, the face of Fashion Can Serve is the 2017 winner of Asia’s Next Top Model, Maureen Wroblewitz. A member of the audience during last year’s show, Maureen lends her face to the advocacy in honor of her mother, a Filipina, who was a staunch supporter of ICanServe, until she passed away when Maureen was just 11 years old.

Photographer Sara Black volunteered her services in making the images come to life. Invaluable in assembling the pegs and concepts for the shoot were my eldest son, Quintin, and my nephew, Alexis de Pampelonne.

On the day of the shoot, representing ICanServe were my sister Libet C. Virata, founder Kara Magsanoc-Alikpala and Tang Singson, along with Paola Huyong. Clinique/Estée Lauder handled the makeup chores and Isha Andaya-Valles provided a styling team. An early partner for the show, Lucerne’s Philip Stein, gamely joined us, accessorizing Maureen for a number of the photo set-ups. And Maureen’s management, Prima Stella’s Chinie Go, showed up to demonstrate the commitment of Maureen’s team to the cause.

#whywefight is the rallying cry this year, as it highlights the importance and support family represents whenever an individual discovers she has breast cancer. Often acting as an impetus to wage “war” against the ailment, family can be an important element in keeping despair or surrender at bay. And I know that ICanServe would appreciate my mentioning the other various corporate partners who have indicated this early on that they can be counted as “family:” Jewelmer, Security Bank, Del Monte, Manulife, Ideal Vision, Auto Nation, Mundo Design, Solar, Rustan’s and SSI. Collectively, they are all playing a part in making this year’s show become a reality.

Ultimately, the show is all about hope; and ICanServe is hoping you’ll stand counted, and be with it when October comes around.

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