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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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37 Years of High Fashion; Arcy Gayatin leaves a Legacy of Edginess and Elegance

Arcy Gayatin: A Legacy of Luxury in Fabrication


By:  Allain Dumon Fonte 


The brand Arcy Gayatin gave the Queen City of the South a distinct reputation in the fashion industry.  The fashion line of Arcy Gayatin sets the bar higher each year for clothing luxury and fabrication techniques.


April Duenas, Nikki Gayatin and Arielle Gayatin for Arcy Gayatin—Photos by John Paul Autor from Lifestyle Inquirer.net


Araceli “Arcy” Ancajas Gayatin is the daughter Galileo Ancajas and Remedios Zanoria Ancajas who founded Cebu’s home brand, Gal’s Bakery.  Arcy went to the University of San Carlos and studied Political Science.  And just like Dr. Muccia Prada, who completed her Ph.D. in Political Science and established the luxury line of Prada, Arcy also got in touch with her artistic side and started her own fashion line.  However, it was not Prada that influenced Arcy.  Arcy was introduced to fashion and tailoring at a very young age by her mother, Madame Remedios Anacajas whom they dearly call Mama Eme.  Mama Eme was running a tailoring business back then.  It was called Arabel; named after Arcy and her sister Belma.  Ara from Araceli and Bel from Belma.  In those years, Arcy was fascinated by fabrics and was intrigued by how to manipulate the fabrics to come up with fashion-forward designs without compromising comfort and taste.


Arcy Gayatin (photo grabbed from Space Philippines Blog Spot)


After 37 years of creating haute couture pieces for the most fashionable personalities in the Philippines, Arcy Gayatin is now laying down her sketchpads and pens to rest.  As she enjoys her retirement, may be on a cruise to the Bahamas or a holiday to the Swiss Alps, Arcy Gayatin has left the fashion industry a legacy of elegant and edgy clothing ensembles that understand and define the shape of women; without compromising comfort and good taste.


Arcy Gayatin’s Pink Flamingo collection                                               Arcy Gayatin’s Sketch on a Terno


To salute the lady who brought Cebu fashion to the world, a retrospective exhibition of Arcy’s incomparable masterpieces can be seen today at Ayala Center Cebu’s The Gallery; curated by fashion editor and writer, Clint Holton Potestas, and interior and fashion designer, Jul Oliva.


BALANCE.  Arcy Gayatin is known for her perfect symmetrical lines when fabricating.  She knows how to balance edginess and class; understanding well the strength and the finesse of a woman.


RHYTHM.  Arcy’s expertise in draping and fabric manipulation can be seen in how she achieves rhythm between architectural lines and soft fabrics like silk and cashmere.


TEXTURE.  With her thorough knowledge on fabrics, Arcy Gayatin has achieved the perfection of fabrication by working on different types of fabrics and creating a single piece of art out of them. 


HARMONY.  The simplicity of the silhouette plus the intricacy of the details create a wonderful harmony, making Arcy Gayatin’s design a one-of-a-kind masterpiece.


The photos below show an up-close look at the intricacy and the exquisite craftsmanship of Arcy Gayatin’s fabrication techniques:


THE SPIDER WEB:  one of Arcy’s genius fabrication techniques.


MATCH and PATCH:  Arcy’s unique fabrication craft by patching layers of different types of lace and lace patterns


PLEATS: The perfection of symmetry in pleats on silk.


LA ROSE BLEUE:  U.P. student, Danielle Alessandra Deutsch, inspired by the artistry of Arcy Gayatin, designed this midnight blue dress.   The cabbage rose made from layers of silk organdy gave this evening ensemble a romantic appeal.

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Cebuano Haute Couture Shines at 2021 Cebu Wedding Expo

Photography by Rene Amodia

Forever at Soltana

by Allain Dumon Fonte

Soltana Nature Residences host the grandest wedding destination expo for 2021. In their grandiose Events at Soltana venue, wedding suppliers, event coordinators, events stylists, fashion designers, and exhibitors gathered to showcase their best to excited couples and clients.  The grand expo was opened by the Chairperson of Lapu Lapu City’s Tourism Commission and first lady of this historic resort city, Madam Cynthia Cindy King Chan; she was with city counselor, Hon.  Queenie Malingin Amman; Taft Properties COO and Vice President, Myra Lynn Gilig; Taft Properties CFO, Feliz Tiukenhoy; and Mr. Justin Gaisano of Taft Properties. 

Philip Rodriguez

To set the event’s mood, AD models Kevin Lahousse and Gingie Alducente acted as newlyweds joining the expo and leading the guests to the exhibitors’ booths.  Yet, the highlight of the event was the glamorous fashion show set in the world’s most visited wedding destinations, as the mannequins of AD models paraded the haute couture creations of Cebu’s A-list fashion designers.

Dexter Alazas

The show was opened by Miss Earth 2008, Karla Henry-Amman, wearing a bridal gown designed by Hanz Coquilla.  Her wedding mood was the historic streets and sceneries of Vigan, Philippines.  Coquilla created a Filipiniana-inspired bridal dress with perfectly constructed butterfly sleeves, exquisitely clean lines, and masterfully crafted bias skirt of balanced cones and flows.  Valerie Alvez showcased a bridal dress made of vintage Chantilly lace.  Alvez proved her skills in manipulating laces to be impeccable; the bow detail at the back added glamour to the dress, exuding luxury to the bride wearing Alvez’s masterpiece.  Wendell Quisido set her wedding theme to the dreamy beaches of Ipanema; and as her model glided on the runway, everyone in the audience dropped their jaws to the intricately detailed bridal dress that Quisido made. Quisido designed a bustier dress with well-balanced panels that wonderfully fitted the model’s figure; but what made Quisido’s dress jaw-dropping are the countless Swarovski crystals that covered the dress.  Dexter Alazas joined the fashion show with a 1920’s inspired wedding dress of vintage tulle and embroidered in the decade’s popular baroque patterns.  Alazas has shown the wonders of working with delicate fabrics and the opulence of vintage embroidery patterns.

Wendell Quisido

Valerie Alvez

The fashions show also brought us to the rich sceneries of Mallorca, Spain with Ren Manabat’s three-tiered wedding dress.  The labor-intensive layers upon layers of soft English tulle made Manabat’s artwork stand out, among others.  Another head turner is a dress that was carefully planned and architecturally constructed, the bridal gown designed by Protacio.  Protacio has obviously studied well which fabrics to use and how each fabric is sewn to the other to create an illusion of nudeness under layers of vintage Italian mesh. The dress was architecturally constructed like the Burj Khalifa where every piece sits perfectly with each other in harmony and balance.  Fashion connoisseur Marichu Tan-Geson created an extremely detailed bodice lined with Swarovski crystals, and a skirt made from layers of dotted soft English tulle.  Tan-Geson’s manipulation techniques on the soft tulle and how she delicately draped every layer of the tulle upon the other is interesting and intriguing.  With a work of art as beautiful as that, I could say that Tan-Geson is the Madame Gres of Cebu fashion.  The show ended with a groom and a bride wearing a 19th century English-inspired wedding ensemble by master couturier, Philip Rodriguez.  Rodriguez has proven once again his artistry and expertise in fashion by creating an empire-waist gown with ruffled sleeves made from dotted Italian mesh of 100% silk and vintage silk taffeta.  Rodriguez presented a truly elegant wedding dress; lesser on the intricacy but more on the richness of the materials being used.  The rarity of Rodriguez’s fabrics already makes his dress worthy to a MET gala exhibition. 

Ren Manabat

Protacio Empaces

Philip Rodriguez

The models wore the timeless and recherche jewelry collections from Royal Gem to match the bridal dresses of the featured designers.  Every jewelry piece is made to complement a woman who loves fashion and whose self-awareness dictates her own style.  From green sapphires to yellow diamonds, every jewelry piece is stunning.  No wonder why socialite and fashion icon, Heart Evangelista, loves and promotes Royal Gem. All models are wearing Shandar bridal footwear.

Philip Rodriguez

Marichu Tan-Geson

Hanz Coquilla

The Grand Wedding Destination Expo at the Events at Soltana will run until the 24th of May 2021 with exciting activities:  a maquillage session with Jessie Glova, a bridal make-up competition and show, a financial literacy session for new couples, a talk on real estate investments, a session  with Rod Bautista and Eddie Jamin from the Centerpiece Weddings and Events about wedding destinations in Cebu and the new norms in wedding celebrations, and a whole lot more of raffle prizes from Plantation Bar Resort and Spa, Solea Mactan Resort, Savoy Hotel Mactan, and others.

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CEBU’S GALLERY OF ROUGE: Mistress of Disinfo, Vixen of Vexation and the Duchess of Disorder

Ogle La La
By Alexandra Fortabat de Hermès

Cebu’s own Lady Whistledown is back after a long hiatus and talks about the naughty ones who comprise the initial #TroubleTrifecta, three ladies who you may or may not know…

It’s been eight years since someone’s picked up this particular (jewel-encrusted) quill so thought it rather apropos to begin sharpening those French-manicured talons and polishing our sardonic wits once again. After all — dear amigas — there is only so much Netflix one can watch, or peloton one can engage in, or caviar-topped foie to prepare, while we’ve all been locked down in our kubôs for well over a year!

To be sure the last twelve months have been a rollercoaster of emotions, a carousel of follies and a series of blunders that have reversed decades of growth resulting in historical levels of unemployment while a very few have been channeling  Winston Churchill’s adage of “never waste a good crisis” a bit too much. While we can go on and on about the bungled and disastrous government response, we will limit our political commentaries here as we have no interest – nor inclination — to open that rather voluminous Pandora’s box. 

The armoires that we will explore will belong to three types of our island’s “alta” sociedad who – in this last revolution around the sun – made us cringe and bust out many tubs of popcorn through their sheer audacity, lack of sensitivity, and overall dopiness.  This –  ladies (and lady wannabes) – is therefore the debut edition of the  #TroubleTrifecta.

The first is that amiga who, by choice or plain predilection, just cannot keep her facts straight.  Let’s call her Mistress of Disinfo coz one simply cannot trust what comes out of her well-lined lips or read from her often convoluted (and run-on) status updates. In this age of ubiquitous and nearly instantaneous information and the proliferation of fake news, the least one can do is check the veracity of what one puts out in the social media realm.  As with anything else, quality is key!

The next Vixen of Vexation is that overbearing arriviste who is desperate to bowdlerize her courtesanal past by plastering her obviously enhanced and Gluta-enabled mug on every surface (and platform) known to modern man.  This self-proclaimed Madame Multiverse is quick to brandish her (dubious) accomplishments, has an affinity for B (or C?) rated actors and milks her closeness to certain members of the Old Guard.   In her perpetual quest for legitimacy and acceptance by the upper echelons, perhaps this Señorita aspirant should heed the advice of  Malcolm Forbes when he declared: “How to Succeed: Try Hard Enough; How to Fail: Try Too Hard.”

Our last Duchess of Disorder is definitely NOT the least in this Gallery of Rouge and has actually been the source of not just consternation but of many a disruption – and not in a good way.  This Soaper Woman is so-called due to her propensity to air out all her filthy lavada to anyone who will listen or bother to read her IG stories. Besides giving any Grammar Nazi a massive coronary, this Fräulein of Fracas has been known to commit acts of arson, has no qualms of engaging in online character assassinations AND seems to have a never-ending bevy of skeletons that are constantly feasting in her many closets. 

Ladies, please!  While we have to admit that we derive a certain guilty pleasure from your virtual explosions and implosions, they do get very prosaic – very quickly.  Discretion, like intelligence and proper manners, truly never goes out of style.

So there you have it folks. These tumultuous times we live in certainly do not need any more brouhaha so  please remember to be precise, don’t try too hard and always maintain a  certain sense of delicadeza. Not only will your lives be simpler and more pleasurable but maybe, just maybe, you may finally crack that clique that you’ve been clawing your way to be a part of.  

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