Dennis Lustico cuts it out, speaks his piece

JACKIE O ' FLASH - Bea Ledesma - The Philippine Star

Sharper than ever. Better than ever. Smarter than ever. YStyle talks to the original young designer — one of the pioneering talents featured on the pages of this section during its infancy — Dennis Lustico, now no longer quite as young, but just as au courant as ever.

YSTYLE: After how many years, what was the mindset for this collection?

DENNIS LUSTICO: Whenever I do projects, be it a fashion show or creating a line for a label or most recently making a bag collection, one constant element is that of being challenged. I always dare myself to come up with something new or interesting. It is important for a designer to give himself time to experiment, brainstorm, research and do studies. Sometimes you feel that you’ve succeeded and sometimes you feel that you didn’t. What’s beautiful I think is that you go back to the same process and never get tired of it.

What materials and silhouettes were you working with?

I played with both fit and loose silhouettes, there are barrel and slinky shifts, completely covered and almost revealing pieces, stiff and fluid fabrics. Organdy, satin, taffeta, leather and spandex are some of the materials we used for this collection.

You worked with architectural cutouts, really straight-edged, almost like windows. Really cool effect. What was the inspiration?

Zaha Hadid is an architectural genius. Her projects are so vast and so ahead of our time. Hers is of fluid geometry, sinuous detail, minimal yet opulent, seamless rendering, organic and avant-garde.

You reveal a lot of skin here, though it’s not noticeable immediately. Was this on purpose?

Yes, it’s intentional. My inspiration is to interpret the works of Zaha Hadid. One of the questions that I asked myself when I was on the designing stage of the collection was “if one can wear a building, how would it look?”

One dress in particular, all white with a cape, revealed flesh all the way up to the hip. Who did you imagine would wear this dress?

One can wear that dress as it is — maybe the likes of Pam Quinones, Charina Sarte, Lovi Poe or Anne Curtis. Or it can be lined with skin tone fabric for the more conservative.

Do you think it’s okay for women to show this much flesh now?

We made the openings high to emphasize the design but every dress is open to adjustment as one desires.

When is showing off skin stylish and when is it trashy?

When it is not relevant to the design.

Everyone and their third cousin has a style blog. What’s your take on it?

Everything depends on the number of followers each one has. In the end those who make sense will remain. 

You’re on Instagram (barely). What do you enjoy photographing?

Please forgive me — hahaha — it was a dear friend who put me on Insta and I never even once attempted to post a single picture because I still don’t know how to — hahahaha. Promise, I will be active soon.

Who do you admire for their sense of style?

Bea Valdes, Olivia d’Aboville, Mandy dela Rama, Pepito Albert, Josie Natori, Gaita Fores, Celine Lopez, Andy Vazquez Prada, Tina Ocampo, Hindy Tantoco to name a few.

Who do you hate? Or, if that’s too harsh, who do you think needs to tone it down?

Can’t name but those who do selfies and do a lot of them. This is the newest clinical manifestation of narcissism and KSP syndrome.

Where do you go to shop for yourself?

Fred Perry, Univers, Zara, sometimes Homme et Femme.

What are your current “investment” pieces?

Black Prada brogues, which I use almost every day and a white Fujiwara shirt from Univers.

What do you think women should wear now? And guys?

I think both guys and girls should experiment more with day wear, especially the younger generation. To see them experiment  with colors, mix and match pieces and play with silhouettes is a welcome change. We can learn so much from the bold Japanese and dandy English.

Do you have a rule when it comes to design?

Yes, wearability. I would want my dresses to be a good investment. 

When are you most pleased with your work?

Nothing beats a happy client. This is when I am most pleased with my work.

What do you consider your best piece?

I can’t recall one particular piece. I have made many dresses already and with it is a constant effort to make that piece the best. I do however have memorable ones and they belong to friends now.

Your worst?

I’m afraid not one but several. Mostly uncomfortable pieces and I don’t know where they are now.

Who would you like to design for who you haven’t yet?

Olivia, Bea, Stephanie Kienle.

Best client?

Celine Lopez, Mons Romulo, Ria Prieto, Renna Angeles and Mely Hechanova.


It’s always tough when a client doesn’t know what she wants.

What are you working on now?

I’m preparing for my first international trade fair, Fashion Access in Hong Kong, from Sept. 24 to 27. This is with Citem and we will be bringing my bags together with other exhibitors and exporters.

When are you happiest?

During sunrise on the beach.

What do you want most in the world? Right now?

Vacation with my mom.









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