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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