Built to Thrill

PERFECT COMBINATION. Using three  different materials (abaca, piña, and silk), Philip Rodriguez conceptualized  a bridal gown for modern women.

PERFECT COMBINATION. Using three different materials (abaca, piña, and silk), Philip Rodriguez conceptualized a bridal gown for modern women.

THIS could probably be the 3,728th runway show for either Protacio or Philip Rodriguez, but they still hit hard, like pushing over a domino then watching the rest—a long, curving ribbon stretching back into the past—fall into place.

And you can say these two, whose individual eponymous ateliers exist on a single merit of their powerful style concept, are not slowing down even amidst their bullish reign in the local fashion commerce for more than 20 years.

Along with other local fashion designers at the bridal and entourage trunk show hosted by Radisson Blu Hotel called Something Blu at the Northwing Atrium of SM City Cebu last June 10, Friday, both sent out models that carried their signature design directions but this time around, with a soaring kind of spirit no one has ever felt before.

Rodriguez is a master of fabric manipulation, to start with. “To give that lightness and ethereal effect, I used silk tulle for the train,” he described the wedding dress. The result had an off-the-shoulder effect on the neckline when he rendered a contemporary version of the Maria Clara sleeves; thus, the bodice was decorated with ivory and matte gold Sampaguita-shaped appliqués. But the observers’ eyes were on the back detail—shinning, shimmering courtesy of the firefly-like beadwork. “The fabric is a new blend of silk, piña, and abaca. It’s different because it has sheer, sheen, and body. It’s the new Filipina: romantic and modern,” Rodriguez continued.

Protacio has a long-term affair with sheen and matte, too, but his strength has always been in formulating patterns even on the simplest of silhouettes. In the case of his serpentine dress during the show, guided by the natural contrast of textures of the fabric, he utilized both the dull and the glossy side of satin by shearing them into strips. Then, he painstakingly sewed each on multiple seams from the bustier down to its hemline, a recurring image of the 30s.

SULTRY.  A cut-out bridal dress by Wendell Quisido.

SULTRY. A cut-out bridal dress by Wendell Quisido.

The bustier of the wedding dress, on the other hand, became a memorabilia of the luxurious years of the 50s. An expert at embroidering, he positioned pastel floral patterns on the edge of the round hip where he also accentuated it with architectural draping, long enough to sweep the floor. “The Protacio bride seeks romance from the past but is actively living a modern lifestyle. She goes as far beyond conformity and loves to explore. She believes in style, not trends,” he shared, citing a philosophy common to most of his bridal clients.

Romance in another form came from Mary Ty who was once an actual bride. But based on what she introduced during the show, you’d notice her gradual departure from vibrant, flimsy colors, veering toward old-world elegance.

ROMANTICISM. Barbie Alvez cold shoulder dress detailed with ribbons.

ROMANTICISM. Barbie Alvez cold shoulder dress detailed with ribbons.

“This took so many hours of labor, but each dress we make is worth every minute because our clients deserve nothing but the best,” she later posted on her Facebook account regarding the tedious beadwork, attached continuously from the neckline to the back portion.
All in all, the most prominent Cebuano names in the current fashion derby are being celebrated for keeping things interesting for us. As evidenced quite gloriously on the planned runway occasions soon, this is a cultural trade that still has no signs of abating.

TAGS: Abaca, Barbie Alvez, Bridal Fashion, bride, Cebu, Cebu Fashion, fashion, Filipina Bride, Mary Ty, Philip Rodriguez, pina, Protacio Rodriguez, Raddison Blu Hotel, silk, SM, SM City Cebu, Something Blu, Wedding Gowns, Wendell Quisido
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