State of grace

By Clint Holton Potestas September 13,2017


I am licking my lips thinking of the new wardrobe, inaugurated at the moment when they all hit their juicy ripest.

Luscious for the plucking are so many deliciously different pieces, so many berry-bright flights of fancy that I feel like a starling gadding from branch to branch—or boutique to boutique? —feasting on plums.

Witness the triumph of maximalism, and with it, a spirit of liberation. This is free-flying fashion.

And it encourages women of every inclination to spread their wings a bit, a grace by the 2017 graduates—Lisle Wadingan, Yoko Sato, Killy Tampus, Jonas Labastida, Ronie Adlawan, Percie Requiero and Bianca Willemsen —at the Fashion Institute of Design and the Arts in Cebu.

Titled “Beyond Borders,” the culminating activity at the SM City Cebu Northwing last Sept. 10, Sunday, became a nesting ground for these creators, granting a view to the public of the skill they own.

They sent out an army from the Models Association of Cebu in their latest collection with capsule names tethered to an individual theme chopped from the original concept of fashion capitals of the world.

There was no mention of aviaries whatsoever, but Labastido was cunning in assembling the ostrich feathers on strategic locations of the dress: on the hem, on the pencil skirt, and as raglan-like sleeves. He was courageous enough to tailor lace into a pair of pants and for recovering the shoulder pads.

“My clothes are sexy without baring excess flesh, (but) at the same time, mysterious without being daunting. I kept
the silhouettes classic to give the garments a timeless elegance,” he says of his custom-made pieces titled “Arcana.”

Tampus brought in the fruits, personified by the models in her bright color palettes of purple, yellow, maroon


and green that matched with the transparent Shandar wedge shoes.

Lace was her primary choice of weapon she called “Polychroma,” translated into mostly cocktail frocks and a lone jumpsuit with latches of see-through cutouts on the neckline and side seams.

Her devotion to vintage romance is schemed in the fabric treatment, edging everything in floral scallops and formatting them in solid vertical direction.

But unlike her, Wadingan’s “Uptown-Do

On her collection
“Radiance”: “I went for classic silhouettes in basic
colors but incorporated
romantic details through the dainty appliqués
and beading.”
collection “Radiance.”

wntown” commanded the lines in various directions in shades of blue; a few others stood on high contrast of rust, pink and olive.

Her tailoring skills were delightfully peculiar, executing different flares on the sleeves. Woven cotton, wool, acquard, and a pinch of lace were her media. She remodeled the virago sleeves with multiple bands along with a youthful take on the bishop’s sleeves, too.

A full balloon skirt remained the heart of his collection—Carrie Bradshaw in New York City.

Everything Japanese is beautiful in Sato’s eyes, culling in the “kirigami” sensibility of cutting the patterns and the famous origami paper folds. She used Japanese silk, cotton, and satin formed (and wove) into bias strips. Crop tops with intricate weaving reigned in the entire series.

“I was on vacation in Tokyo and was having ramen for dinner. I thought to myself, clothes inspired by noodles?” she shared of her
collection, coined “Noodle.”

Texture is king for Adlawan who pronounced a feminist statement along with her debut collection “Heroine.” Meanwhile, Requiero’s “Checkmate” enlivened her love for both the vintage and the modern through the merge of pleats and tweed, soft and architectural.

“The French are known for their rich historical culture,” she said. “My collection is an ode to the great works of the houses, which have made fashion as it is today. It’s (also) the contrast of opposing elements.”

The look is happy and eclectic, and it’s achieved with an antic, almost reckless enthusiasm for layering and amplified contrast. So, yes—vive la différence.

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