Here comes Japan

Gabriela Carballo in Dino Lloren

WITH her two daughters, Marichu Tan could be anywhere between a pensive stare at a distance at the foot of the Eiffel Tower and a demure smile—crossed legs, a thick bouclé scarf around her neck—atop a hill of cobalt roads in Prague when the evening gown she designed is on stage on a Sunday night.

It is a competition.

But instead, she sends me a message on Facebook.

“Psstt—you should come to Europe because you love the arts,” she writes. She is in Barcelona, slowly exiting Antoni Gaudi’s Sagrada Familia Church —which is still under construction for over 130 years.

“Do you promise to create a collection out from your Europe trip?”

I replied, disrupting the conversation with a neutral topic because clearly, I envy her.

I can’t go to Europe as offered. I know I should.

But oh my God, wow: This woman has no idea of my ailing bank account.

But European romance she already does: Candidate No. 7 Lyre Lyka Panis enters the stage in a full floral embroidery that Tan has strategically formed
into a woman’s silhouette during the Miss Mandaue 2018 coronation night on May 6, a Sunday evening.

Half an inch of fine folded strips—mimicry of the frame under the bouffant skirt of Marie Antoinette—skim through the hips at the back.

As a common concept for the 12 participating fashion designers in the long gown competition, the cherry blossoms of Japan are interpreted through Tan’s choice of color.

It’s still, however, about her ongoing European traipsing: French lace, French tulle in schematic ombre effect.

Romanticism lies also in the prowess of Humberto Villegas who opts to sharpen the edge of the draped bib that drops from the bejeweled neckline of candidate No. 3 Shelley Lee. Bathed in glitters—Swarovski crystals, to begin with—hailed Miss Mandaue 2018 Gabriela Carballo’s Dino Lloren evening wear heads for a streamlined cut. It has won the judges’ nod as Best in Long Gown.

Jojo Romoff constructs his own version of sultry in a spaghetti strap sweetheart neckline for candidate No. 2 Regine Garcia, while candidate No. 1 Charyzah Esparrago opens the segment in a Paco Serafica off-the-shoulder, piped with tulle ruffles.

Feathers are embellished all-over the dress that Protacio has conceptualized for candidate No. 11 Nicole Borromeo.

While she is covered all over, Protacio picks a sheer fabric to show a decent amount of skin.

PhoEbe Godinez in Irvin Lisen

An avid pageant enthusiast himself, Harley Ruedas surely knows how candidate No. 6 Mary Ann Antigua would feel in his gown. Even if the silver metallic piping is only an accent to a rather soft color, the technique of intertwining it at the back and the neck being the focal of his story proves how adept he is with intricacy.

“The silhouette would make her look taller,” Ruedas says.

Origami is achieved through Mel Maria’s fabric folding for candidate No. 9 Maria Angelica Pantaliano.

He maintains a consistent bend of fabrics that flows from the waist using brocade.

“The silhouette is a hybrid of classic and edgy. I wanted to highlight her figure with a classic hour glass cut, but I wanted to break the monotony by adding a slit with geometric detailing. I always stay true to my aesthetic, which is glamour and opulence with a twist. I like experimenting with details and texture. I also like playing with asymmetrical draping and cuts. Expect something different every time as I am constantly trying to reinvent and innovate my designs,” the Project Runway Philippines alumnus explains.

But how does Maria feel about this certain kind of hue in all of the dresses showcased?

“It’s the quintessential embodiment of femininity. But unlike other shades of pink, blush is the most subtle but has the most lasting impact. It is understated but undeniably elegant and timeless,” he ends.

TAGS: comes, Here, Japan
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