Been incredibly incredibly busy. Went to Bed and Government last Friday with Arvin; then Robin came over that Saturday, with another gorgeous bouquet of flowers; went to Alabang Sunday with the folks to have a birthday lunch at Saisaki’s (Happy birthday, Gabbie!); went to Rockwell Monday and had dinner with Ysa, Kay, and Eunice; Robin came over Tuesday, and he bought me Madonna’s Confessions tour (which I really appreciated); and all throughout the week, I was taking my finals examination. And Sunday, the cherry on top of my fabulous fabulous week, Philippine Fashion Week.
Toting my corduroy ukay ukay coat, garbed in skinny jeans, sneakers, and a gym shirt inspired Enchanted Kingdom top, I made my way to fashionable Manila (Rockwell) for Philippine Fashion Week’s Luxe Wear show. Met Arvin at Zara, then headed our way to the tent and grabbed our seats. Fourth row, nosebleed, but we got a nice view of the models when they came out.
When the lights went up, and the first model sashayed down the runway, followed by the next, and the next, I could not help but be amazed at the impressive array of clothes the new designers presented. The show was fabulous, and it was filled with raw talent. I’m not going to deny the fact that there were designs that I was not fond of, but a lot of them will make it big, if they play their sewing machines right. Kudos to Veejay Floresca, who I personally thought was the best designer of the night. His designs were futuristic, dresses just screamed glamour, and well, hands down, he is extremely talented.
After the show, it made me think. I am a fashion whore, that is true, but I must admit, I prefer the Italian and the French when it comes to couture. I would definitely prostitute myself for a Birkin (cripes my ninang has a Birkin – when she walked into Saisaki’s, my jaws literally dropped) and there are unspeakable things I would do just to get Loboutin boots. Though there are Filipino designers who catch my attention every now and then, for example Mich Dulce and Kate Torralba, I would shit my pants more to see Alexander McQueen than Joey Samson. I have nothing against Filipino couture but I was raised seeing my mom’s Pradas, Fendis, and the omnipresent Louis Vuittons.
And then a particular thought struck me. Why do we go into delirious frenzies and manic hysterias into getting our paws on the latest Marc Jacobs bag or that new Valentino dress? Yes, the covetable factor is there and it would definitely be taray walking around Embassy with the latest Westwood frock and having jealous eyes pierce your designer shit. Anyway, the point is, why go for international labels when we have potential design superstars here in La Isla Filipinas? In our histrionic attempts to become like the fashion capitals of the world, we have forgotten our own. I myself am guilty of this. I get so worked up when I watch a Galliano show, but I am nonchalant when I see a Rajo piece. But after having a first hand taste of pinoy couture, well, I can vouch the fact that we do have some gifted people in the world of tulle and chiffon.
This is not just about fashion. This goes way beyond Ivarluski Aseron, Randy Ortiz, Tom Ford, and Nicolas Ghesquiere. In general, why force ourselves to live first world? In the first place, we do not even have the economy that could rival theirs! Reality is, we do not have the blonde hair and the blue eyes (authentic ones that is), and we do not have the golds and reds of autumn. We do not have 5th Avenue, we do not have the Eiffel Tower, and we do not have Big Ben. Hell, the closest we can get to the Big Ben is the Manila clock tower near the city hall.
Though we do not have a lot, we have the fabulous blues, greens and the whites of Boracay, Puerto Galera, Pagudpod, and Mindoro. The 7,107 islands holds so much beauty that we cannot appreciate it all in one lifetime. We have the distinct beauty of the people, which is evident in Raya Mananquil, Rissa Samson, and Isabel Roces, among many other Filipino men and women. There are a thousand and one reasons to be proud of the Philippines. Hiding behind Diors and Cavallis makes us blind to the wonders of the third world, especially ours. Our culture alone is something we can be proud of.
Also, we have kickass designers that would make Jose Rizal’s kostutera proud.