Friday, January 27, 2012

January is Philippine Tropical Fabrics Month

In order to commercialize the use of ethnic textiles and tropical fibres, the Department of Science and Technology’s Philippine Textile Research Institute (DOST-PTRI) is celebrating the month of January as "Philippine Tropical Fabrics (PTF) Month".
DOST-PTRI spearheads the technological development and research on tropical textiles of Philippines. The Institute is heading the celebrations of the tropical fabrics month, based on the celebration of the Philippine Tropical Fabrics Day held in January last year. As part of PTF Month, PTRI is focusing on promoting sustainable use of domestic indigenous fibers like abaca, piña, Philippine silk and banana. 

It will adopt more aggressive approach to accelerate commercialization of the nation’s tropical fibre technologies. During the current year, it would carry out proactive advocacy campaigns to sustainably promote local neo-ethnic and tropical fibres. 

As part of its strategy, PTRI would try to unify its efforts in developing ethnic textiles and local tropical fabrics, thus enhancing the competitiveness and prospects of the domestic fibre, garment and textile industries.  A Philippine fashion show "Bagong Habi, Salinlahi: Cutting-edge Philippine Textiles" would be held on February 8, 2012 to feature domestic fibres in a new avatar. Several original, contemporary and exciting fashion creations would be showcased at the event.

Many renowned and young promising designers would display their creations prepared using innovative indigenous weaves hailed as new-ethnic fabrics. The weaves include hablon of Iloilo, abel of Ilocos Norte, inaul of Maguindanao and several weaves from the Cordilleras. Also to be showcased at the show are eye-catching creations prepared by PTRI from tropical fibres like jute, maguey and water hyacinth. 
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Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Penshoppe Pre-Summer 2012 Casual Edge Fashion

Here's another news for Philippine Fashion, Fresh from a stellar 25th anniversary year in which leading fashion brand PENSHOPPE showed every other local apparel group how a leveled up campaign should be, the label now continues its brand-repositioning process, with the goal of reinforcing its position as the top of the mind brand for years to come. 
So what can we expect from PENSHOPPE this 2012? Traditional casual wear with clean nautical touches. Color blocking. Light fabrics that are easy to wear. “The latest campaign is more relaxed and approachable. Definitely feel good fashion with a casual edge,” shares Brand Director Alex Mendoza. “Trends to look forward to over the year are more vivid use of colors, clean silhouettes, acid wash jeans and our highly popular varsity jackets.”

Consequently, PENSHOPPE kicks off its Pre-Summer 2012 campaign with a modern take on cheerful wardrobe fundamentals such as jeans, shirts, jackets and other signature style as fronted by the brand’s strongest brand presenters: Gossip Girl star Ed Westwick, Asian superstar Mario Maurer and local “it” girl Solenn Heussaff.  

CASUAL COOL: The New Kind of HOT

There are many reasons why a smart, sensible guy’s girlfriend would take one long look at Ed Westwick’s latest campaign for PENSHOPPE and run to the store – boyfriend in tow. After his surreal visit to Manila last year much to the amazement of fans and fashion observers alike, it seems apparent that to create a Chuck Bass out of every guy became every girl’s 2012 resolution. 

To start off the new year Ed remains as PENSHOPPE’s biggest level up ammunition and for one very good reason: There is no one out there who can pull it off the way Ed can.

Simply put, there is no other Chuck Bass.

Starting the New Year with a SMILE

If Ed Westwick is considered by many as PENSHOPPE’s marketing ammo, then it is fair to say that Asian heartthrob Mario Maurer is the brand’s sales catalyst. Soon after the 23 year old was signed last August sporting the brand’s now famous varsity jacket, the item immediately went out of stock – early on proving that anything the kid touches turns into gold.

And that was just the beginning. Indeed, anything that Mario wears from his PENSHOPPE collection sells fast: jacket, jeans, shirt, shoes, you name it - even a cap. Proving his incredible cult-like following among teenagers as well as young adults, anything he models are likely to fire up fans to line up and buy across PENSHOPPE stores nationwide.

It’s HIP to be “IT”

Solenn Heussaff is not just a pretty face – she is a powerful female influencer.  Prior to her entry into local showbiz, it was PENSHOPPE who discovered her years ago when she was just modeling. Since then, Solenn has fronted some of the brand’s most memorable campaigns. 

With more than 440,000 plus followers on Twitter to date, the French-Filipina has sure come a long way since first being discovered by PENSHOPPE. She also possesses a sophisticated personal style that makes her the perfect female lead for what is now considered the Philippines’ fashion powerhouse.

For the newest styles and hottest celebrities follow @PENSHOPPE on!/PENSHOPPE or like them on Facebook at
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Monday, January 16, 2012

Abreeza Runway Preview 2012 Presents Davao Elite Fashion Group

Dreams do come true not as a matter of fancy. There is the belief in capabilities, an outlook that sees good challenges rather than defeating obstacles, a steely tenacity to stay the course, and faith in a God of immense goodness. The recent Philippine Fashion show at the Abreeza Mall’s Activity Centre (in partnership with M Magazine represented by Ian Garcia) staged by the Davao Elite Fashion Group’s popular designers namely Popoy Barba, Aztec Barba, Dodjie Batu, Edgar Buyan and Emi Englis capture these elements as shown in their creative couture pieces. Their clothes mark their path and leave footprints worth following. These are only five of the original 12 designers who comprise the Davao Elite Fashion Group (DEFG). These talented fashion designers are acknowledged as the most established ones in Davao City whose professional portfolio and experience in the highly competitive field of fashion have been noticed locally, nationally and even internationally.
Fashion is a language expressed in different ways. Each designer brings his own artistic conception to life, and similarities not withstanding, there is that particular touch that makes each designer’s collection unique. Of course, the designers’ muses, themselves, who are strong, confident, successful, and respected women in Davao society, inspire these designers to create fashion while, at the same time, giving them the power to feel like they own the clothes. A noted Dodjie Batu and Aztec Barba muse, Davao’s ever fashionable crocodile queen Jackie Garcia-Dizon says, “Dodjie and Aztec have the ability to create beautiful and easy pieces that flatter my assets while at the same time, concealing the undesirables which I consider a must!
Philippine Fashion Designer brothers Popoy and Aztec Barba of Patahian have been vocal to one and all that they like the women they dress to look important. “Power is so sexy on Davao’s society women,” both claim as they looked towards the direction where the mother-and-daughter team of Maridol and Bea Lopez Gonzales were seated.

At the Abreeza Runway Fashion Preview held last January 17, 2012, Aztec Barba, Popoy Barba and Emi Englis showed the same body skimming silhouettes, the recognizable Halston-influenced fluid jersey dresses and svelte clothes, this time with the added drapes in every imaginable form, that make women feel sexy in an effortless and light way. As Emi Englis would put it, “There is a lot of hard work and technique involved in creating the sophisticated-minimalist collection I am showing the fashionistas tonight.” The Popoy Barba, Aztec Barba and Emi Englis collections shown were utterly simple and chic that you’d think they’re the antidote to fussy haute couture dressing. The lithe models did their signature catwalk on the runway like they were modern, exotic versions of Greek maidens complete with the “voodoo doll make up” by Otoi Mercado.

Even Emi Englis’ comfortable shirt that night was designed to coordinate with his runway collection done so stylishly in black. This writer had to restrain himself from asking the respected and well-loved designer cum Philippine Women’s College-Davao Fashion Design teacher for the wearable work of art to take home to add to his two other Englis pieces.
It was such a welcome treat in this first fashion show for the Abreeza Mall (and for Davao City for that matter) for the new year that Dodjie Batu and Edgar Buyan (now sporting his sinabunutan look) opted to show their men’s collection. As the hunky male models strutted on the fashion ramp, mind you, but the fashionable ladies, matronas, and Jongjong Carriedo in the audience were very attentive, indeed! Interesting to note was that there were more men of varying ages in the SRO crowd watching the fashion event.

In their true fashion spirit, both Dodjie Batu and Edgar Buyan showcased bold and even irreverent menswear. It’s a fusion of the traditional with the colourful unexpected which sums up what dandy dressing in Philippine style is all about. It’s fashion for the brave, radical ones. It is fashion for today’s self-indulgent, young males who don’t give a damn about what others will say! And it’s their enviable youth and six-pack abs with matching bulging pectorals and biceps which give them that privilege to do so.
“The Abreeza Mall’s Runway Fashion Preview 2012 was the first and biggest fashion show that we had in Davao City so far. The collections were taken from what the DEFG designers presented in the Philippine Fashion Week in Manila last year. And due to the fashionistas’ demands, we are happy and grateful to have been given the opportunity to share our collections to our fellow Davaoenos at the Abreeza Mall of Davao City,” said Emi Englis.

Sharing their talents as well were makeup maverick Otoi Mercado, Hairzone Salon and Spa Professionals by Angelo Falconi, and Salon de Rose. Other participants included Chimes Specialty Store as represented by Renren Villena, Soul Lifestyle, the Maze, and Mags fashion store. Rancheros provided the nourishment. 
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Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Ensembles Boracay Contest 2012

An exciting start for Philippine Fashion this 2012!  To start the year right, Ensembles hopes to meet more of their new fans as well as reward their long time loyal followers. They have very exciting plans for you all. Few more weeks and Summer is officially on! Summer means having fun, adventures and getaways. And Ensembles is getting an early start to summer!
Ensembles is kicking this off by giving away an All Expense Paid BORACAY TRIP for TWO! Join Ensembles Facebook Photo Contest this January 16 and reach for 20,000 Facebook likes. Once they reach this, a lucky fan will be basking with her companion under the sun! Just upload a photo of you wearing your fave Ensembles outfit, tell us why you chose this photo and ask your friends to like it. The entry with the best answer and most number of likes by the time we announce, wins!

To join the contest, visit their facebook page: and for the full mechanics.
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Monday, January 9, 2012

Lito Perez Sets His Continental Ilustrado-Inspired ‘barong’ in Historic Pila

For this special shoot that pays tribute to Kasuotang Pilipino, Lito Perez, president of the 30-year-old Fashion Designers Association of the Philippines, brings back the high-style luxury of Barong Tagalog as worn by the elite ilustrado class in the Spanish era. “They were men of cosmopolitan style,” notes Perez of Camp Suki fame, “who traveled frequently abroad, usually in Europe, and were up-to-date on the latest in menswear and male grooming.” Thus, the “new” look of Perez’s barong designs reflects strong continental influences.
 “It’s inspired by the stately silhouettes the European aristocrats wore at the turn of the century. The collar is high and standing to give the wearer a dignified appearance; the embellishments rich and elaborate; and the fabric elegant as our piña,” says Perez. To contemporize his Philippine Fashion collection, Perez tapers the barong close to the body, and uses colorful shades of piña embellished with embroidery and beadwork. For a metallic black piña barong, for instance, he uses white lace embroidery to accentuate the cuffs, with mother-of-pearl stones for buttons.

On a yellow piña with amber silk thread embroidery on the bodice, Perez uses a burst of matte gold beadwork on the collar and on the loose, buttonless cuffs. The perfect setting for the colonial-inspired collection is the historical town of Pila, Laguna, famous for its grand period homes. According to Philippine historian Dr. Luciano Santiago, Pila is the only town in the country that is formally recognized as an important historical site by the Church and the State.

In 2000, the National Historical Institute of the Philippines declared the town plaza of Pila and its surrounding colonial houses a historical landmark. The town has 35 well-maintained, turn-of-the-century structures, of which 28 are ancestral. In 2002, the Diocese of San Pablo proclaimed the parish church of San Antonio de Padua de Pila as the Diocesan Shrine of St. Anthony. It is the first Antonine church in the Philippines and was built by the Franciscans who arrived in Pila in 1578 to spread the Catholic faith. This shoot was done in Vic del Mundo’s unique Asian-tropical garden home in nipa and buli, and in Dr. Mesiton Rivera’s turn-of-the-century ancestral home. 
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Monday, January 2, 2012

Michael Cinco Does Eco-couture for Tyra Banks and Dresses up Royals’ Pets

Michael Cinco, another Dubai-based Philippine Fashion designer, was featured twice on the popular America’s Next Top Model (ANTM) last year—as guest designer in Cycle 16 early in the year, and as finale designer in the last quarter’s Cycle 17 ANTM All-Stars. After about a decade in the Gulf, Samar-born Michael, a fine arts scholar of the University of the Philippines, is moving into the international limelight. He shares how he got on the ANTM show.
“One of the producers of ANTM Cycle 16 is a Filipino. His name is Michael Carandang, and he contacted me via Facebook. I submitted my designs and he showed them to Tyra Banks. My clothes were made out of recycled materials. [My episode was] shot in a landfill by Nigel Barker.” “Tyra Banks asked me to create haute couture pieces from recycled materials for ANTM. After that shoot, I found out that I could use things that we usually throw out as beautiful ornaments on couture dresses that look like expensive gemstones.” He has worked with recycled materials such as rubber bands, broken mirrors, and garbage bags. “I recycle them into fabulous haute couture pieces. I want people to be aware that they can create beautiful pieces from garbage,” he expressed.
Michael’s second ANTM episode was shot in Greece. It also featured the Filipino clothing brand Bench and international model, Georgina Wilson. “I was so happy when I learned that other Filipinos were in Greece for the shoot. The ANTM staff was in awe of Georgina Wilson’s beauty… It made me so proud to be a Filipino.” “To be chosen as the final runway designer like Roberto Cavalli and Vivienne Westwood is one of the biggest achievements in my career,” he added.
“I stayed for almost a month in Greece. We did the shoot last June. Aside from the final runway, I did the clothes for the motion editorials and the shoot with the remaining finalists directed by Tyra Banks.  They asked me to create the designs for the six remaining finalists. The clothes were done in two days… I was so inspired from the place that I made the designs for my collection in my Red Cross Show in Shangri-La Hotel Makati last October, my solo show, and Slim’s show in Philippine Fashion Week, also last October.”
Michael has been in the Middle East since 1997. “Dubai is a melting pot in the Middle East. You usually experience racial discrimination anywhere in this world. Most of my clients are women from the Gulf area. At first I had clients who had doubts about me because of my nationality. But the moment I am able to convince them with the beautiful creations I make for them, they become confident. “Women in Dubai love haute couture. I think the best flagship stores by the top designers in the world can be found here. They travel a lot and most of them are educated abroad so they are updated with the latest trends in fashion,” he commented.
 “My dream is to dress up Angelina Jolie and Cate Blanchett in a red carpet event,” he said when asked who his dream clients may be. Cinco is now the creative director of Michael Cinco Haute Couture in Dubai that specializes in wedding gowns and evening dresses. “It’s a dream come true,” he says. When asked about the Philippine fashion scene, he replies: “It’s going global.”
Cinco also designs other clothes apart from wedding or evening gowns. “I have clients from the royal family who love exotic animals as their pets. One princess asked me to dress up her leopard pet in animal print, another one asked me to make a cat suit for her python, and yet another client inquired if I could do crystallized clothes for a chimpanzee,” he reveals. “I don’t know if I’ll still be “normal” after that,” he jokes.

"Dream great dreams. Believe in yourself and in God. Believe that impalpable dreams do come true.” - Michael Cinco
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