Photos by Van Sombito
Ditas Rodriguez in the house?
“Actually, I just arrived from Korea,” she beamed backstage —then gave me a long, tight hug after five years of not seeing each other. More so, in the case of her design history, it’s more like a hiatus from fashion shows. “I was inspired by all the clothes I saw there. I like Korea, more or less similar with Japan.”
Perhaps, her homecoming could be her homage to the folk belief in fashion that September is always the advent of trends around the globe. It is an insider’s ritual, constantly jam-packed with all things new ahead of us.
Ditas returned to the runway, completing the formidable alliance of fellow Fashion Council of Cebu core—Albert Arriba, Arcy Gayatin, Philip Rodriguez—at the eighth installment of Philippine Daily Inquirer’s “Face-off” show themed #OOTD at the Mountainwing of SM Seaside last month.
We narrowed each item in a table that follows the elements of design to aid your eyes of what we did see up close worn by real-life people—no longer by the Gigi Hadids of the world.
There is no imaginary cool girl. We don’t have a muse of the minute… we have a bustling crowd.
They are the four super powers who have been responsible for enforcing the growth of the
Cebuano fashion landscape since the glory days of the local haute couture in the 80s when all their individual ateliers sprawled on Ramos Street.
Sadly, as much as we want it to be a creative landmark, they have dispersed from the area and transferred to more strategic locations around the city (except Philip who remains on the same spot but expanded, too, in the malls).
Creativity should not be the basis for debate here. Many times, they have given birth to incredible originals, surpassed international expectations, and most importantly, mentored this generation’s breed of bests.
Longevity, not fashion, is the operational word. Especially in the rickety nature of the business, their ability to keep the finances healthy is as uncompromising as their material engineering: present today, Arcy’s suave tailoring, Albert’s glistening rocks,
and Philip’s poetic frocks.
Cary Santiago and Jun Escario —who have achieved legendary accomplishment way ahead of the ultimatum—need not paddle beneath the surface.
This, too, is about new form, the ethos of their existence. There are a dozen or more.
By consensus, supremacy is all about balance.
Korea or not, everyone seems to be in a cusp of reflecting a whole new idea.
Oh sure, and our eyes riseup, too.