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When did chic get so cool?

The numbers can tell.

Ah, 20.

It’s the age of prime. Ever power hungry—for the force is among us. From gladiator gowns to daredevil suits, the eight fashion designers’ best looks pack a punch in the last 20 years.

Raise the roof for the power designers: Why are these eight female fashion designers so sought-after?

The answer is simple. They herald the return of self-assured chic: fearless leather, masterful mini, and a killer pair of boots.

All of them have liberated us from the decorous, the patterns of misbehavior.

Or it could be their power of beauty piercing like a stealth weapon, so ravishing.

The power of color is innate to them. For example, red is so lethally potent, but in the hands of an amateur, will it stick, too?

If chic has become cool for 20 years now, we condense it with 20 styles, birthed within this specific period by the ladies enlisted below—twinning with the 20th anniversary of Cebu Daily News.

They’ve spoken, and we’re ready to obey.

Laissez les bons temps rouler—-let the good times roll.

A painter herself, Quisumbing
creates layers of paneled chiffon based on the
patterns on the artworks of
Kazimir Malevich. Like an apron,
the rectangular inlay is composed of tightly sewn beads.

Showcasing
an ultra avantgarde collection proved her
creative range at the Philippine Fashion Week Holiday 2012
series. Feminist and visual artist Nikki Luna
created flower and horn
headpieces that completed Quisumbing’s sheer asymmetrical dresses.

Actress Anne Curtis is seen wearing a red one-shoulder,
bishop sleeved blouse with strings that run from the bustier up to the neckline.

Slashed polo
shirts ruled her take on menswear,
a tailoring challenge she gladly took.

A translation of her fashion sense as seen in her visual art exhibit last year, “Who Are You Wearing?”

She is one of the few designers who can successfully rearrange the color wheel and render a fresh version. From combining three-dimensional cutouts
to illustrating images on
fabrics, she remains true to
her aesthetics despite waves
of trend domination.

Out of her many experiments, she has composed
a “borderless” embroidery that has been her trademark at the Philippine Fashion Week Luxe series in 2009.
It is a technique she distributes in many forms:
jackets, evening gown, doll dresses, and appliqués.

Fashion designer-turned-singer, she was also a celebrity favorite. Kris Aquino (on now-defunct “Game KNB?”) and Lucy Torres wore several of her quirky designs: patching multi-colored fabrics.

Her staple style—bows, soft drapes, oversized ruffles—has easily been embraced by celebrities such
as Kim Jones, Marian Rivera, and Angelica Panganiban.

Cebu Young Designers’ Competition champ has been lauded for her fringe details and lace frocks. Another trademark is her version of the mohair: strips of distressed chiffon sewn into a dress.

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Maja Salvador’s blessings and gratitude

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