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The traveling tailor

Bea J. Ledesma (The Philippine Star) - December 27, 2013 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - Menswear matters: “There’s always an urge to push the level of design but, at the same time, have that discipline not to f*ck it up.”

Gian Romano is on the road again, traversing the usual places (New York) with the not-so usual (New Orleans). Before his departure, he let us into his studio, to see what he’s currently working on: jackets and trousers (the usual) with some new, intricate tailoring (not-so usual). We talked to him on the road, and discovered, while he’s mid-transit, that he already has plans for his return.

YSTYLE: First, what are you listening to on repeat on your iPod, while you travel?

GIAN ROMANO: Right now, I’ve been listening to a lot of Haim’s debut album “Days Are Gone,” Chvrches, Breakbot, Capital Cities and my classic long-haul albums: Phoenix’s “United” and “Alphabetical.”

I remember going through a book on Claud Montana in your apartment late one night, while we hung out till 4 a.m. We admired many, we hated some. Is it more important to be interesting or to be admired?

In any collection, there will always be looks or pieces people will like and some they’ll find “interesting.” I guess the pieces they find interesting prove that I am growing as a designer. I feel like it’s in these looks or pieces that I push myself out of my comfort zone and do something that challenges people’s perception of my work.

How have you changed since your last collection?

In every collection I do, I find myself refining my craft.

What’s this collection about?

I wanted to do something that’s very familiar to me. I wanted to do a bit more street/urban, taking inspiration from a bit of sportswear.

What does this collection say about you?

I always find it hard to put my ideas and feelings about my work into words. I always leave it up to my audience.

What would you say to detractors who think you follow the cult of Rick Owens?

I guess people have the tendency to relate or compare a local designer to a really famous international one — in this case, Rick Owens. I’ve passed worrying over these comparisons to Rick, since, I think, in one way or another, they’ll always find someone to compare you to.

Your jackets are so intricately structured. Why are jackets so important to you?

I find jacket-making a craft that people take for granted. I find satisfaction in making them. The intricacy of it. There’s always an urge to push the level of design but at the same time have that discipline or restraint not to f*ck it up or bastardize something, especially in menswear.

When you can’t wear your own, who do you wear?

Lately I’ve been wearing a lot of T-shirts and jeans. Very basic stuff like Hanes and Fruit of the Loom. I guess it’s more for comfort.

So you’re on a long trip, which makes for a lot of contemplative thinking. What do you think of when you’re alone, on a long-haul journey?

I like to observe my surroundings and take inspiration from the architecture and what people are wearing. Traveling on a long-haul journey, stopping by different airports, you get to see how people dress up — and from there I take bits and pieces that I find interesting.

When you return to Manila, what is the first thing you want to do?

Go back to the grind. Get all these ideas started. Materialize all these ideas I’ve gathered from my travel.

What is the first thing you want to wear?

Shorts.

* * *

Contact Gian Romano at gian@gianromano.com.

Fashion by GIAN ROMANO

Photos by SHAIRA LUNA

Styled by RCXY BAUTISTA

Makeup by BYRON VELASQUEZ and JESSA TELLO for MAC

Hair by ALEE BENSON

Assisted by MARK ANTHONY BENSON

Modeled by KRYSTAL ESPIRITU and JULIUS CARL GO

 

CAPITAL CITIES CLAUD MONTANA CONTACT GIAN ROMANO DAYS ARE GONE FIND GIAN ROMANO HANES AND FRUIT OF THE LOOM LATELY I RICK OWENS
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