A Look at the Creations of the Country’s World-Class Fashion Designers

In celebration of its 20th year, Waterfront Cebu City Hotel and Casino brought together five of the most celebrated minds in the Philippine fashion industry last October 6. The hotel boasts this momentous year’s pinnacle event by bringing in Michael Cinco, Francis Libiran, Furne Amato, Ezra Santos and Cary Santiago for the World Class fashion show. Interestingly enough, each letter in the word ‘class’ stands for the designers’ last names. Is it a coincidence? We think not. 

Though many would raise a brow at the prospect of attending a bridal show, thinking it would be boring, the five designers’ creations proved to be anything but that. Of course, you’ve got to remember that these are designers who’ve made names in the fashion scene across the globe. That raised eyebrow of skepticism will turn into raised eyebrows of wonder once you get a glimpse of the creations.

That being said, it isn’t hard to see why access to the show was by invitation only, or how no seat was left unoccupied. Let’s not forget that celebrities like Dawn Zulueta and Derek Ramsay were in attendance, as well as Cebu’s high-profile personalities like Margot Osmeña, Christina Garcia-Frasco, Marguerite Lhuillier, Claudia Yeung, and many more. 

Michael Cinco, Furne Amato and Ezra Santos flew in all the way from Dubai for this event. The three designers carried a total of almost 800 kilos of luggage—all full of gowns! Francis Libiran flew in from Metro Manila, and Cebu-based Cary Santiago readily got everything in place for the show.

C for Michael Cinco

Michael’s the first Filipino designer to showcase his collection at Paris Fashion Week and has built an international clientele, dressing celebrities like Beyoncé, Jennifer Lopez, Rihanna, Lady Gaga, Carrie Underwood, Mariah Carey, Mila Kunis, Sophia Vergara, Tyra Banks, Paris Hilton, and many more. He’s also designed the million-dollar wedding dress for heiress, Victoria Swarovski, in June 2017.

At the World Class fashion show, his ethereal designs were showcased in Cebu for the first time. His collection featured his signature crystal-embedded designs, with the airy notes of the opera music in the background.  

L for Francis Libiran

Francis’ designs are as charming as he is. Since he was 8 years old, he knew that he wanted to get into fashion design. He’s dressed Nikki Reed at the Oscars, Miss International 2016 Kylie Verzosa, Miss World 2013 Megan Young, and Miss Universe 2015 Pia Wurtzback. 

His collection featured dreamy, billowing silhouettes. Fresh and reminiscent of spring, the colour palette made use of pastels like lavender, blue, and pink. Each model that walked down the runway was like a fairy that relished in the spring blooms. 

A for Furne Amato

Furne has made a name for himself in Dubai for the past decade, dressing an exclusive private clientele with his creations, with most of them residing in the UAE, Saudi Arabia, and Qatar, and others gracing the covers of magazines and attending red-carpet worthy events in Hollywood in his creations. He’s designed for Katy Perry, Nicki Minaj, Amber Rose, Vice Ganda and Maymay Entrata. 

Perhaps the most avant garde collection, Furne’s designs were boldly in white—so white, that even his models wore white-blond wigs to complete the look! Coupled with the hauntingly beautiful background music of church bells ringing, it was a collection that gave us goosebumps. 

S for Ezra Santos

The Dubai-based Filipino designer is one of the leading fashion figures in the Persian Gulf, boasting a reputable clientele, such as Arab and European royalties, along with Bollywood and Hollywood celebrities, including Lady Gaga.

Ezra’s collection showcased crips and classic silhouettes, and seemed to be inspired by the fashion worn by British royalty like Kate Middleton. His designs were dainty and feminine, like something you’d wear to enjoy afternoon high tea with royalty. 

S for Cary Santiago

He’s designed for the women of the presidential family, the beauties of the most recent Miss Universe 2018 and Binibining Pilipinas pageants. 

His collection was a mixture of textures that meshed together perfectly, such as satin and thick, heavy lace. Inspired by avian species such as the dove and the swan, the designs had flowy, airy silhouettes. 


Gia Mayola
Gia Mayola

Gia Mayola is Zee's Managing Editor. She's usually either cooking or eating in her spare time, or rolling on the mats as a white belt in jiujitsu. Follow her insatiable wanderlust and love for food and fashion on Instagram: @eyasthetics

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