Thumbs up for everything that falls down to the ground.
Acing our approvals at fashion shows—and into the suitcase of Cate Blanchett—in 2017, they take another leap of faith for survival beginning this January. And their greatest ally in the next 12 months could be just right here.
“I don’t get hooked with trends,” Protacio says as he opens a new year with his recent collection.
Fringe, embroidery, and Edwardian silhouettes are springing forth from his mood board that will be appearing in 2018 as the strongest elements to watch out for.
While these designs have been activated late last year due to their romantic promises, they will flourish throughout the year in varied renditions.
Most of the skirts fall to the tiles, longer and more streamlined without shackling the body too much with excessive garments.
At the same time, he breaks the collection with a sporadic but less prominent lifting of the skirt to a doll dress, or flaring its diameter to a bouffant serpentine, or pulling it lower to the ankle.
No slits available to show some skin, but he has taken advantage of the translucence of the tulle and the chiffon to let the sunshine in: the seduction of contrast in a slew of solids.
As floral patterns charm their way into his atelier (a handsome old house transformed) on Jones Avenue, Protacio’s signature is enlivened.
He has been Cebu’s leader of cut-out embroideries, quilted frocks, and the callado hand industry—a filigree work of yarns pulled from the fabric —that originated in Batangas.
Ranging from a bouquet of roses to statement patterns, he constantly remembers to add humor into his craft. His faithfulness to his direction is his creative aegis over 15 years in the business.
“So in terms of inspiration, materials used and silhouettes, they are all reflective of my design aesthetics, which has always been about modern romanticism,” he describes.
“I want my clothes to have a classic feel but could connect well to present-day lifestyle demands. Yes, they are appropriate for 2018 fashion—and even
But this time around, he seems to follow a neat arrangement of each composition this season.
The fringes are distributed in linear order—like a strictly combed horse tail—where they are sewn on the actual fabric of the dress, dangling
To boot, he adjoins them with baroque art embroidery, only proving that he can quickly twitch transitions of two opposing points of view.
Last year’s burst of ruffles are now tamed with lose sheering at the bottom of the floor-length skirts.
Shoulders are featured in inflated forms, either as poet’s sleeves or puff sleeves with soft ruffled edges.
His kind of draping is not as loose—for he is a fine tailor, too—so it is wise to pleat to allow its line to skim the waist of the woman.
“I want to see 2018 fashion to come with much more environmental responsibility as well. I want to hear more from big garment companies taking the lead in supporting recycled and sustainable fibers. Fashion has long been the number one contributor to waste, so I want to see some changes. Take for example H&M, which recently held a project of collecting used clothing for recycling,” Protacio envisions.
“Personally, I will continue to promote crafty designs that support micro-industries. I very much hate to see the future being predicted as an era of pure robotics. I still believe in the beauty of clothing done by hands.”