The seven wonders

With a soaring kind of spirit, we’re in the mood for love.

Seven of the 18 fashion designers did truly enthrall us.  Five of them are from Cebu,  two from Manila.


Sure, homecourt advantage, but long before this happened—“La Relance: Weddings at the Waterfront” at the hotel’s Grand Ballroom in Lahug last  Oct. 28, Friday—their creations have always been a delight to see on the runway.

They’re good friends of ours. And the relationship is cemented by our trust in the job they thrive in—with just enough thrill to keep things aflame—season after the other.

Ah, the bankability, too—the effective union of commerce and creativity and a clean track record of client relations.

The most crucial criterion in  thinning the list down to seven is packaging, not branding. Branding is for a packet of crisps. Or for some fabric softener.

It is the power to package their design aesthetics in congruence to the target  market.


As fashion insiders who only revolve around those who do bring the clothes to life, we no longer need the town’s circus to entertain us. We now want to appreciate them in plain sight: In this age of practical-everything, would the brides really wear what they saw?

At the same time, these seven mavens did whet our visual appetite, quench the thirst for the latest maneuvers (tiered skirts, ruffle cascades on side seams), theater arts (the cameo of Homer’s “The Odyssey”), the androgynous (the wisdom in cross-dressing?), and a new scintillation for your eyes only.

To those who remain unconvinced, just one final reservation: Colors are so delicious we could eat them up with a spoon.




While Arcy Gayatin has perfected the rule of minimalism, we are very amused with her skill to combine more than two materials, or in this case, more than two layers of the skirt’s construction.

She sent out a three-tiered bridal gown made of tweed and organdy with armloads of floral appliqué, almost identical to the décor she sewed on her own dress she designed for her only daughter’s wedding day.

Rarely she creates menswear, but oh boy, she did.

Arcy Gayatin  (Jed Aries Yu)

Arcy Gayatin (Jed Aries Yu)


“I just wanted to come up with a wedding gown that is easy to wear and very modern. I experimented with cuts and transparent corsetry. And also, I tested if the men’s fabrication can be created into a wedding dress.”

Edwin Ao (Jed Aries Yu)

Edwin Ao (Jed Aries Yu)


Another master of haute couture is Philipp Tampus who is a fan of luxurious materials. Reformatting Madeleine Vionnet’s full bias gowns into his own vision, he utilized fabrics such as lace and Italian gazar.

Skin was the best accessory to it—as in illusion sleeves and peek-a-boo cutouts.

Philip Tampus (Jed Aries Yu)

Philip Tampus (Jed Aries Yu)


“My inspiration is Homer’s ‘The Odyssey’—the world of mythical sirens that has been a symbol of seduction and allure. The materials I used for the short dress is embroidered tissue silk while the long dress is in embroidered tulle. The guy’s suit is wool lame. I was thinking of a wedding by the sea so what is more appropriate than taking Homer’s ‘The Odyssey’ as inspiration.”

Protacio (Jed Aries Yu)

Protacio (Jed Aries Yu)


Manila-based Ivarluski Aseron is a master of minimalism. But again, he knows subtle drama. The rules and schedules that used to apply to fashion are starting to shift in all sorts of unpredictable ways.

Aseron’s main point was to demonstrate at close quarters how the clothes are made, and to provide couture customers with a commentary on possible purchases. The close-up view provided the revelation of the varieties of intricate pleating that went into creating the columns.

Ivalurski Aseron (Jed Aries Yu)

Ivalurski Aseron (Jed Aries Yu)


“My inspiration is a look back into the past. It’s old world glamour, yet very current. The ankle length full balloon skirt reminds me of ’50s, ’60s era. It has a hint of blush in its floral lace appliqué and grosgrain sash. The metallic white silver gown beaded appliqué conjures old Hollywood glamour. While the last gown is a bit ’20s, it’s still modern in outlook without stealing attention from the bride herself. I always believe that my gowns should not compete with the bride for attention but should complement her and be comfortable to move around. My modern bride wants light and easy to carry flattering couture gowns.”

Philip Rodriguez (Jed Aries Yu)

Philip Rodriguez (Jed Aries Yu)


Joey Samson is an expert of feminine tailoring. It certainly seemed to energize him, though. The knock on him has been he’s got a look and he sticks to it, with one collection blending into the next.


Joey Samson (Jed Aries Yu)

Joey Samson (Jed Aries Yu)

TAGS: “La Relance: Weddings at the Waterfront”, designers, fashion show, Grand Ballroom i
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