Manila Fashion Festival S/S 2016
(The Philippine Star) - November 5, 2015 - 9:00am

MANILA, Philippines — In the third edition of the bi-annual fashion festival, the notable collections from 10 designers are in. YStyle reads the runways (to filth).

All frills, all thrills

Esme Palaganas

Culling inspiration from vintage photographs of women wearing traditional Filipiniana dresses and working around a palette of pale pinks and powder to royal blues, young designer Esme Palaganas takes a softer approach to her signature masculine-feminine design aesthetic as pleats and ruffles found their way into her latest collection, "Mana". Tiered floor-gazing skirts, airy culottes, duo-tone drop waist frocks, and sheer bell sleeve tops all received the flounce treatment, breathing new life in burgeoning label Basic Movement’s freshest silhouettes. - MB

Paper towns

Renan Pacson

In his recent showings, Renan Pacson never strayed from his avant-garde approach to street wear, sometimes to a fault — but for spring/summer 2016, the designer delivers a specific vision that doesn’t sacrifice wearability. For this season, Pacson parlays graphic prints into separates and molding different textiles into out-of-the-box outerwear. The designer hits his stride in his ovoid shapes in paper (or plastic?) fabrications that imbibe both a certain structure and an air of decay. Renan Pacson makes his most convincing case yet, without diluting his métier. - MY

Summer blooms

Cheetah Rivera

Dubbed “Beloved,” Cheetah Rivera’s ultra-feminine spring/summer show featured dainty dresses and dandelions aplenty. From embroidered shifts and boat-neck tea-length versions to billowing strapless tent gowns, the designer showcased a bevy of frocks in varying styles and lengths — all with a generous showering of delicate floral appliqués. That said, a more cohesive edit would’ve served Cheetah well; the mini camisole slip and romper felt more casual than ladylike. Meanwhile, single bloom chokers served as accents to unembellished breezy caftans and wide-leg jumpsuits, rounding out the blossom-filled collection. - MB

Liquid metal

Anthony Ramirez

Anthony Ramirez’s outing for Manila Fashion Festival emerges as one of the collections to watch this season. The designer continues his love affair with sensual evening dressing and draped silhouettes in soft shades of liquid silk and matte satins. His fabric folds evoke an almost origami-like quality; tucked into kimono-like dresses, robed into different shades of black, gray and pastels. - MY

Sea punk

Banggo Niu

Banggo Niu has always lived on the kitsch side of things — he delivers his crustacean vision of an undersea world where shimmer and all things that glitter hold court. Niu presents variations of long languid lines in airy crepes and chiffons, offset by full sequined skirts and iridescent evening looks. Tailoring and fit remain the designer’s strengths, but I don’t think his taste is necessarily meant to be consumed by all. As a designer and creative director, I think Banggo Niu celebrates that. - MY

Wrap stars

Via Valencia

In her runway debut for Manila Fashion Festival, Via Valencia introduces her own brand of androgynous dressing by way of light belted kimono coats, tailored wrap vests, loose origami tops, and printed unisex trousers. To be frank, the looks are far from groundbreaking but the up-and-coming talent shows promise by sticking to a vision that didn’t get lost in translation. Paired with chunky sandals and messy topknots, the relaxed Japanese-inspired ensembles get a decidedly street edge, upping the collection’s cool factor. - MB

Heavy rotation

Chris Diaz

The motif of undersea creatures hung heavy on the collections for Manila Fashion Festival — for his spring/summer 2016 outing, Chris Diaz continues the trend. A mélange of influences came together for his collection; sportif by way of knits, ribbed cuffs and hemlines; work wear in denim separates; rough-hewn fabric manipulation for a nuanced DIY effect. Diaz hit home in his point d’esprit tulle-embellished sweaters and tops.  - MY

Pastel delights

Jaz Cerezo

Sorbet hues and ‘60s styles highlighted Jaz Cerezo’s summertime collection, which featured refined silhouettes that cling close to the body (save for a few designs, whose roomy shapes — say, an off-shoulder trapeze top with outsized flounce sleeves or high-waist flowy shorts — were balanced with flashes of skin). With nary a print or embellishment in sight, the designer focused on form and draping to stunning effect. However, though undeniably pretty, the fact that Jaz has been using Neoprene as her fabric of choice for three seasons running tells us the designer should start breaking new ground. - MB

White out

Mark Bumgarner

Young designer Mark Bumgarner presents a mixed bag of ideas for his spring/summer 2016 outing. Is it boudoir? Is it prairie chic? The jury is still out — but Bumgarner seems to be on the precipice of injecting different ideas into his métier. By way of manipulating boning as inflected on a lace bodice, he updates his signature sheer paneling with latticed corsetry; the designer re-explores his love for femininity with an edged-up take on embellishment — cut-out guipure lacework on short frocks and floor-length gowns, shorn feather fringe (or leather?) from dresses to v-neck tops. Is it new? Not really, but I’m pretty sure his loyal following won’t mind. - MY

Folds and fringes

Eliz Marcelo

For spring/summer 2016, designer Eliz Marcelo unveils a refreshingly minimalist take on modern boho dressing. But don’t let the subdued color scheme (and cozy sandal/sneaker pairings) fool you — Eliz’s collection packed a punch with plays on cut and construction. Cases in point: deep V sheaths, deconstructed jackets, asymmetrical envelope skirts, and fold-over playsuits are trimmed with fringe and hewn from rustic textiles, giving the tailored silhouettes an air of bohemia. Better keep watch, there’s a new fashion tribe in town. - MB




Produced by DAVID MILAN

Additional graphics by FRANCINE GACRAMA

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