New wave
David Milan (The Philippine Star) - October 10, 2014 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - Here at YStyle, we’re always on the lookout for the next bright young thing. Nothing excites us more than fresh minds with new perspectives to keep the fashiiin cycle revolving. At the recent Fashion Institute of the Philippines Graduation Show held last week, 24-year old Via Valencia got the top prize and swiped five out of the six awards, beating 21 other students. We talked to the young designer about her inspiration, what sets her apart, and her future plans.

 What made you decide to pursue fashion?

During my junior year as an advertising student, I joined an interschool design competition and landed second place. It was then my love for fashion was awakened.

What inspires you the most and why?

The new and the old inspire me. New places to see with old traditions, cultures and their way of living, anything about the world inspire me.  

What’s your design aesthetic? My designs usually lean towards to wabi-sabi, unisex or androgynous and structural?.

What was your inspiration in your graduation collection?

My inspiration is the 1940s and military wear combined with surrealism. The traditional Eastern silhouette was combined with the functional Western wear. Controlled volume is played with scale and proportion to accommodate layering. The proportion displayed masculine and structured look and the fabric choices help the form to stand even away from the body. Dark with hint of strong colors were used crediting the lack of available colors during the war. Surrealism introduced an escape creating a delusion that masks the dreary reality that shaped the present.?

What do you think sets you apart from other young designers?

I design without compromising my style or aesthetic. It doesn’t matter if it won’t be generally accepted, what matters would be the few who appreciates.

What’s next after graduation?

My next step is to design some more. The demands are higher as well as the expectations. Hopefully, by the end of this year and early next year, I’ll have something concrete.?

Who are your fashion heroes? Ann Demeulemeester, Haider Ackermann, and Yohji Yamamoto

What do you think is the current status of Philippine fashion?

The Philippine fashion is improving. People are more open-minded, but I hope to see a bigger scene. Something impossible, like our government funding a better fashion week or supporting local talented designers or taking a notice of our textile and garment industry. Well, there is a lot of hope for this industry.

How do you see yourself five years from now?

I see myself established, stable and certain but still unsatisfied. If I’ll ever be satisfied then it will be the end of me.

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