Soleil and the women
EXISTENTIAL BLABBER - Kara Ortiga (The Philippine Star) - April 26, 2013 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - Soleil Ignacio’s women have graced the pages of numerous fashion magazines, their elegance and distinctive beauty a threat to supermodels in the industry. But Soleil’s women aren’t real. They are illustrated with wispy long brushstrokes, doused with a pleasantly muted color palette, and detailed with intricate yet sparse patterns. From a Yoko Ono illustration making the cover of Status Magazine, to an entire product spread for Nylon Singapore, Soleil’s women are a true standout in the fashion industry, and everyone wants a piece of them.

For her upcoming show “Exalted Souls,” we see Soleil’s women again, this time with the imperious demeanor of feline creatures. Done in thick acrylics and pastels, awash in gouache and detailed with ink and graphite, this series highlights women who are demure in beauty and grace but exuding a mighty confidence. Women with tainted pouty lips, sharp claws for arms, and smoky smeared eyes. It’s in the very image of these femme figures that commands the viewer to pause, linger, and admire.

Soleil shares with Young Star how fashion coincides with her works, and how her love for cats developed into an idea for the show.

YOUNG STAR: Who or what are your artistic influences?

SOLEIL IGNACIO: Some examples are Marcela Gutierrez, Richard Gray, and Mel Odom. My other influences include beautiful women, beauty or fashion editorials, beautiful designs or typography, and my cat. Basically, everything beautiful.

Is your personal fashion style reflected as well in your work?

My personal style is far from my paintings. I like drawing elegant women, and my fashion sense is very laid- back. I like wearing loose tops, shorts, and boots or sneakers. But in a way, my drawings and my style have some similarities as well. They both have a minimalist feel, few colors, patterns, and accessories.

How did you come up with the idea for the show?

I was sure I wanted it to be related to cats. I’m a cat lover you see, so I thought of doing something that portrays a cat’s behavior, most especially their grace, poise, and overall superior being. Since cats are very woman-like—and I obviously adore drawing women—I thought it was the perfect idea.

I’ve added a new flavor to these new works. They are bold and strong. My ladies give off an aura of royalty and superiority, much different from my past works, which had a very soft, subdued, and demure impression.

What’s your most memorable piece of work?

The background illustration me and Kris Abrigo did for Eldzs Mejia’s fashion editorial for Mega Magazine back in 2010. It was my first illustration work, in my own style, that got published in a local magazine. It was also Thursday Room’s first-ever collaborative work. That, or it triggered the start of Thursday Room.

If you had one dream fashion designer to work with, who would it be and why?

I guess Lanvin. I really like their style and I think a “Lanvin x Soleil Ignacio” would look perfect together (Laughs). Also Prada as well, because of their collaboration with James Jean, which will forever be one of my favorites.

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Exalted Souls will exhibit on May 11, 8 p.m. at Vinyl on Vinyl (The Collective, 7274 Malugay Street, Makati City). Check out more of Soleil’s works on

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