Quantcast
Latest Stories

From Ilocos, a rising fashion star

Amor Albano is riding the wave of his strong finish in ‘Project Runway Philippines’

By

STRETCH lace gown with pouff and draping

Ilocano designer Arniel Amor Albano, 31, didn’t know what pressure and pushing boundaries meant until he joined the recent “Project Runway Philippines.”

Although he won only third place, he is enjoying his clientele in Ilocos, such as Gov. Imee Marcos, the women of the Fariñas clan, and even clients flying over from Manila who discovered him on the Internet.

Albano is considered the pride of Ilocos for putting the province in the Philippine fashion map.

STRETCH lace gown

When Albano’s parents separated, he grew up with his grandmother Teodora Javier in Laoag, Ilocos Norte. He studied at the Ilocos College of Arts, learning to make handicrafts such as bags, pillowcases and baskets. To make ends meet, he worked as an assistant to an established designer in Laoag.

He then took up AB English at Data Center, before transferring to Bel Arte School of Fine Arts to pursue a degree in fine arts.

Exacting mentors

Upon the prodding of townmate Randy Leaño, who joined “Project Runway” Season 2, Albano went to the auditions in Baguio to show his clothes: a pleated cocktail dress, an empire dress and a black number with laser-cut geometric patterns.

EMBELLISHED white silk gown

The contestants for Season 3 stayed at a condominium and worked on their designs under immense pressure. Albano credits mentors Rajo Laurel and Jojie Lloren for encouraging him. Albano says Lloren was exacting about seams and finishing; if the dress didn’t meet the designer’s standards, the contestants had to repeat the work.

In the early part of the competition, Albano would end up among the bottom three, until the sixth episode, which he topped by sketching menswear on a tablet. In Episode 7, he won again for his fishnet dress that was constructed like a vase and adorned with lace and electric pleats.

Toward the end of the contest, Albano ran out of ideas; he says he got stuck on making gowns with a serpentina train. Lloren told him the pieces looked like those for beauty contests and not for “Project Runway.” Albano then made a mini-ball gown with fishnet and pink roses. The design landed him in the top 5.

Unusual shapes

Now, Albano is winning an ever-growing clientele. Last year, when Governor Marcos was looking for a local designer to design her gown for the first State of the Province Address (Sopa),

MIKADO silk bustier dress with ruffles

a tourism officer contacted Albano. The designer collaborated with a weaver from Paoay to make a royal blue inabel, a local fabric, that was made into a terno with a train. In the last Sopa, he made a pink terno, also made from bespoke inabel, for Marcos.

As proof of the governor’s faith in the designer, Albano has been allowed to maintain a showroom beside the Imelda Collection, an accessories store inspired by the former first lady, at the La Tabacalera mall.

Albano’s clients include Cheville Fariñas, wife of Laoag Mayor Michael Fariñas; socialite Chistine Umali-Fariñas, and provincial treasurer Josephine Calajate. He was also a featured designer for a L’Oreal event.

VARIATIONS on the strapless lace gown and tulle in black and red

Albano, who admires Rajo Laurel and the flamboyant style of Michael Cinco, has a penchant for experimenting with drapes to make unusual shapes and serpentine skirts. When some of his clients urged him to embellish their clothes with crystals and beads, he went further by adding capiz shells.

The one thing “Project Runway” taught him was patience, says Albano. “I used to rush to make dresses. Now a simple one takes me at least three hours.”


Follow Us


Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter


Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: Arniel Amor Albano , fashion , Ilocos , Lifestyle , Project Runway Philippines



Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94
Advertisement
  1. How to enjoy Buntod
  2. Kim Atienza: At home with art and design
  3. Life lessons I want to teach my son
  4. No tourist draw, Malang the croc will remain wild
  5. ‘Wild West’ Masbate’s pristine marine gems
  6. The best flavors of summer in one bite, and more
  7. How Zsa Zsa Padilla found Conrad Onglao; Sharon Cuneta played Cupid
  8. Homemade yogurt, bread blended with pizza, even ramen
  9. What has happened to Barrio Fiesta and Singing Cooks & Waiters?
  10. Haneda International Airport: A destination on its own
  1. How Zsa Zsa Padilla found Conrad Onglao; Sharon Cuneta played Cupid
  2. Are your favorite malls open this Holy Week break?
  3. Historic Fort Bonifacio tunnel converted into a septic tank
  4. ‘Labahita a la bacalao’
  5. Miss America: Don’t suspend teen over prom invite
  6. How Margie Moran-Floirendo keeps her dancer’s body
  7. This is not just a farm
  8. President Quezon was born here–and so was Philippine surfing
  9. Levine designs womenswear with help from fiancee
  10. Clams and garlic, softshell crab risotto–not your usual seafood fare for Holy Week
  1. How Zsa Zsa Padilla found Conrad Onglao; Sharon Cuneta played Cupid
  2. Mary Jean Lastimosa is new Miss Universe Philippines
  3. Did Angara ruin Pia Wurtzbach’s chances at Bb. Pilipinas?
  4. Dominique–Gretchen and Tonyboy Cojuangco’s daughter–now an endorser
  5. Vinegar test helpful vs cervical cancer
  6. From Jeannie to mom of suicide victim
  7. San Vicente beaches hidden but not for long
  8. Borgy and Georgina are back; others are off–again
  9. Why is the lifestyle set now afraid to wear jewelry–before Kim Henares?
  10. Sen. Angara: I thought Pia Wurtzbach gave a good answer

News

  • 4 Etihad passengers not yet located
  • DAR to complete installation of Luisita land reform beneficiaries in May
  • Ex-COA chief and co-accused in Arroyo plunder case nabbed
  • Kris Aquino’s ex- close in security named new Air Force chief
  • The ‘link diagram’ that killed ex-Bataan police officer
  • Sports

  • NLEX holds off Jumbo Plastic for a playoff berth
  • Pacquiao can dodge tax issues
  • F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone rejects bribery charges
  • Big Chill freezes Cafe France to arrest skid
  • Pacquiao has to go through PBA Rookie draft
  • Lifestyle

  • Summer Mayhem: The ultimate beach experience
  • A haven for steak lovers
  • Gongs and southern dances star in a workshop at San Francisco Bayanihan Center
  • This woman ate what?
  • Photos explore dynamics of youths’ sexual identity
  • Entertainment

  • Smithsonian wants photos, videos for ‘Day in the Life of Asian Pacific Americans’
  • What Garcia Marquez left behind
  • Has Ai Ai fallen deeply with ‘sireno?’
  • Sony developing live-action Barbie comedy
  • California court won’t review Jackson doctor case
  • Business

  • Metro Pacific acquires stake in Victorias
  • How ‘one percent’ economic elite was uncovered
  • Facebook profits triple as mobile soars
  • Insular Honors Sales Performers at Testimonial Rites
  • Apple increases stock buyback, will split stock
  • Technology

  • Vatican announces hashtag for April 27 canonizations
  • Enrile in Masters of the Universe, Lord of the Rings?
  • Top Traits of Digital Marketers
  • No truth to viral no-visa ‘chronicles’
  • ‘Unlimited’ Internet promos not really limitless; lawmakers call for probe
  • Opinion

  • Editorial cartoon, April 24, 2014
  • Talking to Janet
  • Respite
  • Bucket list
  • JPII in 1981: walking a tightrope
  • Global Nation

  • Tiff with HK over Luneta hostage fiasco finally over
  • DOLE sees more Filipinos hired by South Koreans
  • Filipinos second-shortest in Southeast Asia
  • Obama to visit Filipino soldiers in Fort Bonifacio
  • Fil-Am youth conferences unite under one theme
    Marketplace