IF YOU build it, they will come.
“Being new to the industry, I have a whole lot of learning and unlearning to do,” replies Rachel Rama to my text message the midnight after she discovered a nose for the next big thing. “It is safe to say I am an emerging and budding designer who takes this career passionately.”
Along with her were eight other young fashion designers—Mike Yapching, Hanz Coquilla, Roni Yu, Celine Borromeo, IxaEscario, Jerrick Macasocol, Bree Esplanada, Mikhail Achas—who are no longer under anyone’s mentor-ship for they already have their own trademarks. They have also launched four trends to watch out for from their ateliers. The foyer of the Grand Ballroom of the Waterfront Hotel and Casino in Lahug was mechanized into a salon with a slightly lifted platform for the models to walk on during the Harley Davidson Freedom Fashion Show last July 4, Wednesday, coinciding America’s celebration of independence.
So Rama tracks down where the Americans live. Drawn from the “painted ladies” in San Francisco, Calfornia and Rainbow Row (13 colored historical houses) in Charleston, South California, she conjoined different types of printed fabrics, seamed with ruffles that served as
meeting points, hemlines, and necklines (the one shoulder). Others were piped on the side seam of a pair of palazzo pants. The window pane plaid wool worked well for her menswear.
“If asked this question a year or a couple of months ago, I would say minimalist, classic, and clean. But after the Freedom Fashion Show, I still remain to be that designer but with a newly opened room for creative risk and bold design statements,” says the alumna from Fashion Institute of Design and Arts, referring to an aesthetic she is accustomed to. “I consider myself a freshman in the fashion industry amongst senior and renowned designers who have worked their way for years and years now. I am slowly engraving my name one clothing at a time and building an identity alongside limitless ideas.”
Volume was the DNA of Yapching’s and Borromeo’s lines: pullovers slipped into a tube top and palazzo pants overall, high necks, tunics, and boxy cocktail frocks. But unlike Yapching, Borromeo assigned sporadically electric colors and glitters in all of her garments.
From a family of fashion designers—her brothers Rei and Jun—Escario softened the development of her collection with lime green bows tied on the sides of the blouses, a consistent element of wildness that offered an intellectual contrast. Her choice of color had provided the thrill:
fast transitions that charm and seduce the audience.
Achas, on the other hand, is a puritan in his color. Or color scheme—if you can call his decision to use only one color against filigrees. Either as neck band or waist band, the gold metallic decorations provided the viewers his wide appreciation for materials. Titled “Bohème x Athletica,” his latest release reflected American sportswear silhouettes.
“I used different types of mesh and stretch fabrics because I want it to have the feel of sportswear. I used lace for the accents and used different treatments such as quilting, patching and distressing,” he explains. “I’m still starting out and I’m very low-key. I’m not exactly the type who pushes to be in the scene. It’s enough for me to have a fashion business that sustains; my fulfillment is to see my clothes beautifully draped on people’s backs.”
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