New Romancers
MJ Benitez (The Philippine Star) - January 28, 2016 - 9:00am

MANILA, Philippines – This season, feminine is definitely in as emerging local designers Sofia Borromeo, Patty Ang and Sari Lazaro make their presence felt with their distinct takes on ladylike dressing. A sense of ease and romanticism, as well as an acute understanding of a woman’s form (their designs never overpower the wearer), run through all of their collections but each is perceived through a different lens. To demonstrate: Patty’s signature creations take the minimalist route with clean lines and fresh silhouettes; Sofia’s deftly embroidered pieces for her label Sofie are ingeniously given a contemporary Filipino touch; and Sari’s textured evening looks are equal parts pretty and refined.

YStyle gets the lowdown on the three young creatives’ burgeoning careers and takes a look-see at their newest dreamy designs.

YSTYLE: Tell us about your latest collection. How did it come about?

SOFIA BORROMEO: Called “The Art of Embroidery,” our Holiday 2016 collection uses embroidery as appliqués for a structured yet tropical look. I wanted to highlight the embroidery craft and project it in a unique fashion, where its abstract design form adds a modern Filipino touch to the overall style.

PATTY ANG: My spring/summer 2016 collection has a “Hamptons” vibe to it. Staying true to my aesthetic, I made sure to incorporate both structure (to give some sexiness to it) and flow (for a touch of femininity) in my pieces.

SARI LAZARO: Ethereal creatures and forests, intertwined with the elegance of royalty, mostly inspired the collection. When I say royalty, I am referring to a state of being that comes from within, something that goes beyond wealth and opulence. I wanted the collection to bring something that involves more than just simply wearing clothes. My end goal for my customers was to get in touch with “the royalty within them” every time they wear our creation.

Where do you get your design inspirations?

SOFIA: My design inspirations are always used as the basis and foundation of every collection I produce, which comes from three areas: Filipino craft, the art of minimalism and architecture. The Filipino craft helps me promote the different skill sets of the artisans, the art of minimalism guides me towards subtlety, and architecture creates the finished ensemble through its different segments of balance, shape, form, and its use of positive and negative spaces.

PATTY: Travel. I make sure to travel and gain inspiration from exploration. Seeing diverse cultures in different parts of the world fuels my creativity.

SARI: A lot of things can spark my imagination — a flower arrangement, paintings, etc., but mostly, I get my inspiration from music and nature. It has a lot to do with my state of being as well. I think for anything creative, you have to seek inner peace and let go of the stresses in life in order for creativity to flow.

Who influences you the most in fashion?

SOFIA: As a student I was always such a fan of Jil Sander, Raf Simons (who at the time was the creative director at Jil Sander), and Tadao Ando (a very famous Japanese architect) as his philosophy and approach to design shares my same sentiment, which I hold close to my heart. He once expressed, “I would like to make architecture that has that kind of subtle sensitivity — I would like to create something that only a Japanese person could do.” It has always been my dream of creating a Filipino contemporary fashion label for the global woman, to appreciate local craft and all its hidden treasures.

PATTY: I love Audrey Hepburn because of how timeless her outfits are. But it’s my daughter who inspires me the most. She loves dressing up, too!

SARI: Monique Lhuillier for her business sense, Zuhair Murad and Elie Saab for their aesthetic and Michael Cinco for his overall genius when it comes to designing.

How would you describe your brand?

SOFIA: Sofie is a Filipino brand that aims for the global market. Through its modern and contemporary aesthetic, together with the incorporation of the different Filipino techniques in craft, Sofie aims to help preserve the Filipino artisans through global appreciation.

PATTY: Minimal. Chic. Classic. It’s something that you’ll definitely want to wear and wear again.

SARI: Wearable, elegant and chic.

Where do you see yourself/the label in five years?

SOFIA: Our goal in the next five years is to expand the brand globally in different boutiques, providing the global woman exclusive collections that are proudly made by the Filipino.

PATTY: Global. Yes, I’m aiming high!

SARI: A successful brand from the Philippines that gives back to the world by having happy and passionate people in it. When you are passionate and happy about what you do, it tends to overflow and you are able to inspire other people around you. I would like to see happy and successful people in my brand in five years. I also would like to venture out to the Middle East. They like to use a lot of jewels and embellishments in their pieces and that is something that is aligned with my aesthetics at the moment. Their market demands a lot of quality and intricacy as well. A creative will learn a lot by putting herself out there.

 

Photos by SHAIRA LUNA

Styled by MJ BENITEZ

Makeup by DON DE JESUS

of MAC COSMETICS

Hair by CATS DEL ROSARIO

Modeled by ALEXA OF ELITE MANILA

Stylist Assisted by KAT FERNANDO

 

ACIRC ART OF EMBROIDERY AUDREY HEPBURN FILIPINO JIL SANDER MICHAEL CINCO MIDDLE EAST MONIQUE LHUILLIER PATTY SOFIE STRONG
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