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Philippine Fashion Week Report: Victorian gets modern with 3D florals and skulls

- Audrey N. Carpio () - June 1, 2012 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - Jerome Salaya Ang’s collections at past Fashion Weeks were always a treat because of how they stood out from the rest. Not a lot of designers would deliberately obscure their models’ faces with scary masks or present dresses that seemed demonically inspired. His shows were haute horror and they usually had a grinding soundtrack to match. So it was partly surprising but fully deserved that he was chosen to close Fashion Week this season. “I want us to look forward to what Filipino fashion could be,” said Joey Espino as he introduced the finale, noting that the Filipino designer is already beset with a lot of challenges. If this is the future of fashion, then it’s a dark and exciting place.

An American Horror Story-level video entitled Skin, Sin and Bones and shot by Fold Canela set the tone of the show, with three Victorian-era styled women on a settee, having their photographed taken, their heads wrapped in gauze. Blood, bruises and black eyes, too, references to the sin of vanity and the punishment of going under the knife. The “macabre concept of beauty” is the running theme in Ang’s work; for this holiday collection with L’Oreal, beauty was highlighted more than the macabre, a move that makes his clothes more accessible, or perhaps just more grown up, more refined.

Peplum, a current trend, was seen framing hips and waists, but so were bustles, corset laces and high collars, all part of Ang’s contemporary Victorian styling. Black power numbers with paillettes, bondage tights and crystal skulls brought the drama, but ruffles of gauze in dusty rose, shimmery silks, handpainted duchesse and a shower of white 3D florals showed a softer, more romantic side as the models posed like broken dolls or mental patients with electrocuted hair. With live opera singer Ana Feleo vocalizing over atmospheric Bjork music, the audience couldn’t help but be drawn into this world hovering just on the edge of darkness. The short red number worn by Teresa Herrera captured the essence of the collection, with its buttressed skirt and big, layered shoulders, a very lively, visceral dress, but the grinning skull on the chest reminds us that we are all just skin and bones.

AMERICAN HORROR STORY ANA FELEO FASHION WEEK FASHION WEEKS FOLD CANELA JEROME SALAYA ANG JOEY ESPINO SIN AND BONES
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