Art and fashion collide with Mark Bumgarner, Love Marie collaboration
Alixandra Caole Vila (Philstar.com) - January 7, 2016 - 9:05pm

MANILA, Philippines - Fiercely conquering the art and fashion scene to create pieces that would captivate you for the coming seasons is racer turned designer Mark Bumgarner and actress turned artist Love Marie Ongpauco-Escudero.

Coming from two different worlds but having the same creative and brilliant minds, Bumgarner and Love Marie further extend the fashion spectrum to unconsciously lure you into their remarkable collection this 2016. 

For their first-ever collaboration, 40 remarkable dresses will be paraded at the fashion show gala on January 18 at the Dusit Thani Ballroom. Fifteen of these were handpainted by Love Marie and two of her handpainted gowns will be auctioned for the benefit of the Corridor of Hope Foundation and Thalassemia International Association (formerly Balikatang Thalassemia Foundation).

The first-ever collaboration of Bumgarner and Love Marie was drawn from varied inspirations and a mixture of ideas. All of their well-designed tailored and beautifully painted pieces aim to strike sentiment and possess a personality. It challenges the current trend of gowns as they try to incorporate a soul into the collection. 

"I want the girls who will wear the dress to feel beautiful. I mean that is priceless 'di ba? If you feel beautiful everything else follows," Love Marie explains when asked about her aesthetic inspiration at the press conference held at the Dusit Thani Hotel on Thursday.

"I don't want something that when you wear it, you will feel uncomfortable or say is it too loud. I wanted something timeless, edgy but basic. So here, some of the dresses are practical and affordable and you can wear it over and over," she adds.

The dresses are mostly in neutral colors with vine and flower paintings, drawing inspirations from Love Marie's painting from her exhibit in 2014.

When asked how their collaboration started, Bumgarner explained that the idea came up almost a year ago when Love Marie went to his house for the first time to fit basic dresses she requested to be sophisticatedly tailored for an event. 

"So, we were there, and then we were having a conversation and I said I have always wanted to design a bag. Then she said she also dreams of painting a bag. And all of a sudden, how about dresses?" explains Bumgarner.

Mutually discovering that both of them are capable of unleashing and harnessing their inner brilliances together, from simply fitting a Bumgarner dress to fancying the thought of making shoes, both ecstatically decided to instead create a whole dress collection together. 

Later on, Bumgarner sent Love Marie a piece of skirt for her to paint on, and the rest is history.

"We started to do things even though there's no set plan yet," Bumgarner admits.

It was six months ago when plans became solid. According to Bumgarner, he sends Love Marie raw materials for her to paint on.

"So I send her raw...and the whole process of creating one dress normally is two weeks. But if she's on a roll, and I'm on a roll, we did like five or six."

Love Marie said that their partnership is great and their ideas measure well together most of the time, so having to talk about the aesthetics is not really a problem for the two of them. They both share the notion that they should constantly improve each other’s strengths and invest their time together by tossing ideas back and forth. 

Moreover, they both trust one another’s instinctive eye and perspective for beauty and art. 

In fact, Bumgarner said, he drew a lot of inspiration from Love Marie herself because she loves to dress up all the time.

BALIKATANG THALASSEMIA FOUNDATION BUMGARNER BUMGARNER AND LOVE MARIE CORRIDOR OF HOPE FOUNDATION AND THALASSEMIA INTERNATIONAL ASSOCIATION DUSIT THANI BALLROOM LOVE LOVE MARIE LOVE MARIE ONGPAUCO-ESCUDERO MARIE NBSP QUOT
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