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Red Charity Gala 2023 evolves beyond 1-night fashion show, aims to raise P5M for charity |

Fashion and Beauty

Red Charity Gala 2023 evolves beyond 1-night fashion show, aims to raise P5M for charity

Deni Rose M. Afinidad-Bernardo -
Red Charity Gala 2023 evolves beyond 1-night fashion show, aims to raise P5M for charity
Tessa Prieto (fourth from left) with her friends and partners at Red Charity Gala 2023. The Red Charity Gala 2023 is presented by Bench and Angkas, in cooperation with Arthaland, together with our generous partners, A2A Safaris and Jewelmer. With the participation of Botanist, Crate & Barrel, Diagold, Emirates Airlines, Genteel Home, JMA Jewelry, Omega, Peninsula Manila, Remy Martin, Rhodium Regenerative Institute, and Tiffany & Co. With additional support from Avignon Clinic, Crimson Boracay, Fuentes Manila, Huawei, Moss Manila, Robert Blancaflor Group,, and our media partners Philippine Daily Inquirer and Philippine Star. Special thanks to Adworks Manila, Gardenia, Henri Calayag Salon, Midas Hotel, Mint College, MX Studio, and Organique. / Deni Rose M. Afinidad-Bernardo

MANILA, Philippines — Red Charity Gala, the country’s biggest and most awaited fashion and charity event, is ready to stage its 12th show featuring celebrity fashion designer Ivarluski "Ivar" Aseron on October 8 in The Peninsula Manila, Makati City.

“Actually, Ivar was the choice pre-pandemic. After the successful launch of the 11th, because 11th was the culmination of all the 10 designers, they had a 10-piece collection each,” Tessa Prieto, who co-chairs the gala together with Kaye Tinga, shared how Ivar’s turn for the gala was halted by the COVID-19 pandemic, pausing the gala’s annual run that featured internationally-renowned Filipino fashion designers such as Rajo Laurel, Joey Samson, Chito Vijandre, Lesley Mobo, Jojie Lloren, Ezra Santos, Cary Santiago, Michael Cinco, Furne One and Dennis Lustico.

All those first 10 designers featured on the gala’s 11th year, said Tessa, had a lunch with her at her house and she made them vote on who they think should be featured in the next gala. Almost all of them voted for Ivar.

“So parang it’s his time, sort of his season, but then at that time, after we voted unanimously, pandemic happened.”

Ivar was almost the unanimous choice, said Tessa, because he “has a different kind of design ethics in the sense that it’s not bling, it’s not loud, it’s structured.”

“(He’s) very detail-oriented. So that’s why we had to do the staging wherein our guests can see the details and the intricacy of the weave and everything,” she continued.

Since Ivar’s pieces in the gala are more into finer details, Tessa shared that they also adjusted the gala’s production design. They trimmed down from their usual 60 to 70 tables to only 40 this year due to venue restrictions, so the show this year is more intimate, allowing the audience to take a closer look at the opuses.

“As opposed to all those designers that’s all bling and you can see from afar, it’s shiny. This would be more subdued but still very well lit-up that’s why we have to spend on lighting… And I’ve seen some of the details. Some are from his own style of weaving… Some are more of a manipulation of fabric, which is what he’s really good at,” Tessa explained.

“We wanted a different show altogether. After the pandemic, we want to sort of… give it a little kind of twist. So instead of having it in the ballroom, we’re moving it to the main lobby.” 

Tessa and Kaye once again share their passion for fashion as a means to help and gather funds for different causes. Apart from The Philippine Red Cross, where the gala owes its name, the ball also aims to raise at least P5 million and more awareness for Assumption High School Batch 1981 Foundation and Hope for Lupus Foundation to provide support and guidance for those suffering from Lupus.

“I think, we have already established after 11 years that we’re the only one that’s totally for fashion for charity,” Tessa vouched. “We promote a Filipino designer and it has already become a status symbol for all the designers, I think.”

Part of the gala’s transformation is its extension in fundraising beyond just the one-night dinner and show. 

“We’re very hopeful in the sense that we don’t really want to keep whatever earned that evening as the deadline. We want to continue on. So what we want to do is we want to announce what was raised a year after. Because as I said, for those who cannot attend, we’re still open for donating and stuff like that.”

All of Ivar’s pieces from the show will be up for sale for the chosen charities.

“The cost of the table buyers are for the show’s expenses. That’s why we have to raise as much as we can at the auction. Because all is talagang 100% to charity. So we have Red Cross, Assumption HS ‘81 Foundation. We have Save the Palawan Seas Foundation, and this year, we’re adding the Hope for Lupus Foundation, which is by the wife of Senator Mark Villar, si Em Villar. She started that foundation. She said she’s going to support by buying and also donating.”

Through the years, the event has built two children’s libraries in Eastern Samar, and provided two-year senior high school scholarships for 20 deserving students in Passi, Iloilo.

They have also contributed to training youth volunteers for first aid, emergency and disaster readiness. Relief operations during fire incidents and calamities were also a priority, providing aid when it is needed most. During the pandemic, both foundations also extended support to frontliners, providing them with hot meals and fresh produce. During those trying times, their resources were also allocated to isolation facilities, vaccination sites and RT-PCR saliva collection sites in Makati. 

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