Here’s what to expect at the return of Bench Fashion Week

Marbbie Tagabucba - The Philippine Star
Hereâs what to expect at the return of Bench Fashion Week
Lucy Torres-Gomez, Lesley Mobo, Antonina, Martin Bautista, Jenni Contreras and Russell Villafuerte
STAR/ File

In celebration of Bench’s 35th year, Bench Fashion Week returns to the runway this Sept. 30 to Oct. 2 at The Playground of Bench Tower.

The bi-annual event is the proudly Filipino retail giant’s platform since 2017 to showcase what’s next in its roster of global brands as well as a launchpad for upcoming and established fashion talents. While it took a pause during the lockdown years, BFW is back for the holiday season.

Bench Fashion Week opens with Human x Jenni Contreras. “This collection is a tribute to our parents and their youth that they spent in the ’70s,” says Jenni, a Bench Design Awards finalist in 2017. She presented her first collection for her brand, Problem Studios, in Amazon Fashion Week Tokyo. In 2018, she was included in Vogue Italia’s Vogue Talents List.

She elaborates, “One of my favorite things to do when I’m at our house in the province is to go through my parents’ old photo albums in our attic. I was always so curious and fascinated whenever I’d see them when they were younger — the places they went to, the activities they did, and especially the clothes they were wearing.”

Next is a youthquake collection from Cotton On, Australia’s favorite streetwear brand.

Designer Antonina Abad Amoncio’s brand Antonina will then showcase its most personal collection yet, “Anito,” exploring shadows occupying spaces and escaping a source of light in exaggerated silhouettes and cut-outs. Her works have been presented and exhibited in the Philippines and Japan as one of three winners of Bench Design Awards in 2019.

Wrapping up Day 1 is Strongvillage, a literal English translation of designer Russell Villafuerte’s last name, presenting one-of-a-kind pieces made from upcycled materials and inspired by streetwear cultures. Villafuerte is also a Bench Design Awards winner in 2019.

On Day 2, affordable luxury brand Urban Revivo presents its holiday collection inspired by art and the finer things in life.

Celebrity, working woman and mother Lucy Torres-Gomez collaborates again with Kashieca for a capsule collection of eight versatile dresses and eight separates in cotton, linen, and silk that can be mixed and matched for any style sensibility.

Closing the second day of BFW is the designer Martin Bautista as he celebrates 15 years in the industry. Known for his purposefully honed modernity and elevated romanticism in impeccable silk and jersey drapery, this anniversary collection offers the stylish woman an alternative to occasionwear with effortlessly chic athleisure undertones.

Wrapping up this BFW comeback on Day 3 is “Masaganang Ani,” an anticipated collaboration between Bench and designer Lesley Mobo.

Mobo has collaborated with Uniqlo, Absolute Vodka, Sweden, Zandra Rhodes, Harrods,

House of Fraser, Donna Karan and Diesel. He is a recipient of the Emilio Pucci and the Diesel Award in Italy. His works have been on view in important exhibitions around the world, including the “Fashion in Motion” exhibition at the Victoria and Albert Museum London.

While Bench and Lesley have collaborated on a line of fragrances called Mobo, this collection will be a celebration of abundant rural life in the Philippines and our rich cultural and agricultural heritage.

Follow Bench’s online channels for updates.


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