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RTW: Ready To Welch

Fashion shows are usually my little piece of Disneyland. You get to see magical creations from these geniuses that we call designers.

Fashion shows are usually my little piece of Disneyland. You get to see magical creations from these geniuses that we call designers. From properly constructed dresses to custom tailored suits and from time-to-time, if you are lucky and in the right type of show, you see these extravagant pieces that you know deep inside you will never look good in, but can not help but simply still gawk at and appreciate.


Fashion shows are a chance for designers to express their creativity, personality and cutting edge designs. The clothes they make represent who they are as a part of the industry, what makes them unique and what makes them stand out from the rest of the millions of designers out there. These shows are crucial especially to the up and coming ones. To put it out simply, if you are not ready, do not do it unless you want to make a fool of yourself, fall and carry that scar around wherever you go. There is no way the brilliant minds of this industry can easily excuse or palliate your dirty work.

Now let us move on to why I christened this entry as such and how my little piece of heaven was crushed and stomped on by Lucifer himself.

With the expectations I had in mind, I was deluded by a recent show I attended. Considering it was labeled as ‘prestigious’, I honestly expected a lot from it. It was a show for fashion designers to show off their custom made chef-d’oeuvre. Instead all we got were supposedly hyped up versions of Ready-To-Wear collections. Promod had genuinely better items and since when was RTW considered as high fashion?

Let me narrate the whole experience as short as possible:

Before the show began, which was thirty minutes late (typical Filipino fashion which I was sort of okay with), they were showing a slideshow of all the designers who were about to introduce their collections. Trying my hardest not to be so judgmental and shallow since we are talking about fashion here, the only thing I noticed was they all had one thing in common: Paris. Not Paris Hilton, my dear haters, but Paris as in the beautiful city of France, one of the four fashion capitals of the world. It is like this is a must-have for every designer to put in their resume. Maybe these designers have never heard of New York, Milan and London? And can we add Tokyo to that list? No matter, it made me sick. Add some variety to your experiences, look around you. Try to build substance in the country you live in. In defense to those designers though, it is healthy to travel and participate in different cultures but at least reflect that on your work, do not leave it as bragging rights if you actually have respect for what you do.

Now to the collections!

First, let us talk about the menswear collection that night. Nothing but one designer, came close to the style and practice of an actual man. If you base your collection on a theme or genre, please make sure you meet the standards. Saying your collection is inspired by Hip Hop, we expect your pieces to look more like Kanye West or P. Diddy, full of life, color and history, not something that looks like it came out of Alexander Wang’s closet. Just because your clothes are loosely fitted and paired with white sneakers, doesn’t instantly make your items Hip Hop. You have to dig deep, look into it’s soul before you start making an entry that will insult a culture.

Speaking of Alexander Wang, I saw a lot of apparel that were inspired by him that night. The casually cool, downtown style that embodies Alexander Wang. I personally believe that most Filipino designers lack the knowledge when it comes to menswear. They are all trapped in these four walls: rock and roll, sex, suits and casual wear, most of them can not even get out. I think it is time for Filipino men to start breaking their shell and express their personalities through the clothes they wear. If a few designers can lead a pack, the rest will follow. Maybe rock and roll is your thing, maybe not but when all of you think of the same thing and no one is any different, there is something wrong.

Combat boots does not describe a hardcore male fashionista. Where are the bags, the 2012 fashion trend for men: two tone, the skirts, colorful pieces and the ever-so-beautiful double monks?

On a lighter side of things, I would like to send my appreciation to that one designer who brought in dresses for men. But next time, make it look more flattering. Do not make your model look like he is about chant with one of the Gregorian monks or post-circumcision.

Raf Simons Fall 2010

Let us have a temporary sex change and divert ourselves to the ultimate sinners that evening, the women.

Now, let me just start with the models. Although some people will never find curvy attractive, I personally think that is just a matter of getting used to. Marilyn Monroe was not waif-like but she was a sex symbol and most of the women in this country are not size zero. Designers should throw maybe one or two plus size models every now and then. It sometimes just looks dead to me, so maybe a little meat can compensate for the lack of creativity. Most of the models I saw are emaciated. More like clothes hangers than people actually wearing clothes. There is a limit to how thin you are, and that is called Gisele Bundchen, not horror house skeletal. Maybe you were born that way? Well that may be the first time I have witnessed a spawn of two skeletons. I should congratulate you for being the first of your kind.

When using fashion icons or let us just the generalize the term, celebrities, as your inspiration, make sure you envision these people actually wearing your clothes or if they would actually even wear it, and if you do not get that close to your incentive, I advise you just label your collection as Scheiße. Very Gaga and it lives up to your collection.

The R’nB collection. Beyonce would never wear a wrap dress and leggings or an ordinary dress with a very low neck line in her concerts. If she was, she would not be Beyonce or she would actually go to Forever 21 and save herself some money to buy a cheeseburger. Most R’nB women are flamboyant. I saw nothing of that. It really looked like a retail shop was doing a show that night.

A collection has to compose of different looking pieces. Not the same dress recycled over and over again. I do not know who these designers are trying to please. The fashion industry or Greenpeace.

Craftsmanship is very important. Your illustrations and rendering might look commendable, but if you do not know how to sew, your work will look like it has been done by a frog, and that is saying something because frogs can not sew, just like you. Now you have something you can collaborate with.

Now to Lady Gaga. The woman is all about no boundaries. If you take a look at her wardrobe, everything to her is wearable. Just because your wedge is covered with glitters or your jumpsuits are covered in Tron-like line details, does not, in any way make it instantly Lady Gaga. This is how you trample on their dreams: take away the glitters and the details, the clothes will look ordinary; take Lady Gaga’s Kermit the Frog details, she is naked. The details make the dress, not the other way around. Besides the collection is very much based on Alexander Wang’s Spring 2012 regarding on the Tron-like details and masculine structure.

Britney Spears is not a fashion icon. She is a music icon but there was not even a single piece that lived up to the Toxic singer. Not even her famous, hipster jeans or her patent leather jumpsuit. So do not make me start nagging about how they ruined Audrey Hepburn and Marilyn Monroe because I guarantee the apocalypse will be here sooner than the 21st of December this year.

Although the color blocking collection was not so bad, it was actually pretty decent and well constructed. But overall, majority of the collections failed. Most of the clothes did not even fit properly, it looked like a disease was hanging on the model’s body. There was no edge, no variety or even a piece that made everyone’s jaw drop. It plateaued miserably. Aside from the color blocking, there were no leopard prints to be found anywhere, thank goodness. There is nothing high-end about that these days, unless you are asking for extreme Kardashian attention. Leave that to the retail shops, do not put it on the runway anymore.


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May 10 – Cebu City  |  Step inside a world of opulence where gold shimmers and diamonds sparkle. BVLGARI, the renowned Italian luxury brand, is celebrated for its exquisite gemstone jewelry, thin watches, perfumes, and leather goods. With a legacy dating back to 1884, BVLGARI has become synonymous with elegance and craftsmanship. The newest BVLGARI boutique opened last week at the sparkling The Mall at Nustar Resort and Casino, fast becoming the shopping destination for discerning consumers.

Eva Gullas, Jeffrey Hang, Jaja Chiongbian-Rama and Butch Carungay

Jeffrey Hang, BVLGARI’s Regional Marketing Director for South East Asia, flew in from Singapore to welcome guests. “We are happy to unveil BVLGARI to the Cebu market. This is the company’s 140th year, and BVLGARI celebrates this landmark with the Aeterna High Jewelry Collection in Rome this coming May 20, attended by all our global ambassadors like Zendaya and Black Pink” Jeffrey shares with us. The collection will be available in SE Asia later in the year and in the Philippines at the end of the year.

Leading the ribbon cutting was Joseph Muñoz (commercial director of Bulgari Philippines, Jeffry Hang (regional marketing director of Bulgari South East Asian operations, Pia Wurtzbach-Jauncey (Bulgari Ambasadress and Ms. Universe 2015), Allan Teo (chief operating officer of NUSTAR Resort and Casino and May Adolfo (mall director of NUSTAR Cebu).

Pia Wurtzbach-Jauncey, BVLGARI’s local Ambasadress and Ms. Universe 2015

Sheila Osmeña-Go and Jaja Chiongbian-Rama

Spotted at the event was Joseph Muñoz, Commercial Director of Bulgari Philippines escorting Pia Wurtzbach-Jauncey, BVLGARI’s local Ambasadress and Ms. Universe 2015, Allan Teo, Chief Operating Officer of NUSTAR Resort and Casino, Howard Go, Summit Media’s CEO and his wife, Cebuana Sheila Osmeña-Go as well as some of Cebu’s young fashionable set like Claudia Bezza Yeung, Marjay Ramirez, and Danessa Onglatco.

May Adolfo, Danessa Onglatco, Marjay Ramirez and Claudia Bezza-Yeung

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The Qipao As Interpreted by Innovative Filipino Designers: PHILIP RODRIGUEZ

The Qipao, an iconic symbol of Chinese fashion, takes center stage as we celebrate the Lunar New Year of the Wood Dragon. This singular closely-fitted garment crafted from the most opulent silks originated in 1920’s Shanghai. ZEE fashion editor Oj Hofer, has sought the creative insights of some of the Philippines’ most innovative designers for their interpretation of the elegant Qipao, also known as Cheongsam.

Cebu’s esteemed designer, Philip Rodriguez, pays homage to imperial attire with this stunning yellow silk brocade qipao. While adhering to the traditional cheongsam silhouette, Rodriguez infuses a touch of sensuality by incorporating see-through silk tulle panels along the waistline. Known for his timeless designs and culturally respectful creations, Rodriguez’s attention to detail is unparalleled. His embellishments are intricate and exquisite, showcasing impeccable taste and luxurious design without veering into ostentation. Take, for instance, his cheongsam for the Year of the Dragon. While it may seem daring compared to traditional sensibilities, Rodriguez maintains elegance by delicately veiling the wearer’s skin with sheer tulle on the cutout side panels. The front slit of the dress is cautiously calculated to strike the perfect balance between modesty and allure “I design for women who possess sophistication beyond their years, “ Philip emphasizes. “My clothes are crafted to evoke a sense of beauty and allure, leaving her feeling exquisite and confident.” As a seasoned designer, Rodriguez consistently achieves harmony in his designs. His qipao for 2024 seamlessly blends elements of royalty and sensuality, luxury and practicality, reflecting his mastery of the craft and his ability to create pieces that are truly elegant and well-balance.

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The Qipao As Interpreted by Innovative Filipino Designers: JC BUENDIA

The Qipao, an iconic symbol of Chinese fashion, takes center stage as we celebrate the Lunar New Year of the Wood Dragon. This singular closely-fitted garment crafted from the most opulent silks originated in 1920’s Shanghai. ZEE fashion editor Oj Hofer, has sought the creative insights of some of the Philippines’ most innovative designers for their interpretation of the elegant Qipao, also known as Cheongsam.

JC Buendia, celebrated for his ability to tell a million style stories through minimalist details, is a master of clean, chic lines in fashion. Eschewing frivolity and nonsensical embellishments, every element of his designs contributes to their overall elegance.

Inspired by cinematic portrayals of Chinoiserie, Buendia’s first fascination with the Qipao began with Gloria Romero’s iconic portrayal of a Chinese princess disguised as a ‘sampan’ girl in the 1957 film “Hong Kong Holiday.”

“This admiration for orientalalia only deepened as I watched films like “The Last Emperor” and “In The Mood For Love,” JC recalls.

Buendia’s latest creation is a testament to this cinematic influence. His interpretation of the Qipao for the Year of the Wood Dragon features a cropped top crafted from silk Dupioni, embellished with diamond brooches on the reverse closure for a touch of glamour. Paired with a tea-length bouffant skirt made from frothy layers of delicate tulle, the ensemble exudes sophistication and timeless elegance.

With meticulous attention to detail and a keen eye for design, JC Buendia’s Qipao captures the essence of cinematic glamour while offering a contemporary twist on a classic silhouette. It’s a tribute to the enduring allure of Chinoiserie and the timeless beauty of the Cheongsam.

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