Lifestyle’s 2013 Face-Off goes to Cebu

It will feature bridal ensembles of top designers from the Visayas and Manila

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CEBU 2013 Face-Off organizers and designers

Cebu, provenance of world-class and cutting-edge designs, both in furniture and interiors, and fashion and accessories, welcomes to its dynamic scene “2013 Face-Off,” the fifth edition of Inquirer Lifestyle and Samsung’s annual fashion event, this Saturday, July 20, at the Santa Maria Grand Ballroom of Radisson Blu in Cebu.

“2013 Face-Off,” co-presented with Look Magazine and Radisson Blu, will focus on the bridal collections of 21 top designers from Cebu and Manila: Albert Andrada, Edwin Ao, Ivarluski Aseron, Vic Barba, Mike de la Rosa, Rhett Eala, Protacio Empaces, Jun Escario, Arcy Gayatin, Oj Hofer, Rajo Laurel, Dino Lloren, William Manahan, Efren Ocampo, Randy Ortiz, James Reyes, Philip Rodriguez, Vania Romoff, Joey Samson, Cary Santiago and Philip Tampus.

The show’s theme is “Tomorrow’s Classic Today,” intended to showcase bridal looks that would stand the test of time, but interpreted in the coolness and hip spirit of today.

On the same weekend, “2013 Face-Off” will also unveil the “Filipino Bridal Heritage” exhibit at the Radisson Blu lobby, featuring the wedding dresses of some personalities, like Lucy Torres-Gomez (by Randy Ortiz), Maggie Go (Auggie Cordero), Peggy Ty (Joe Salazar), Mirella Protacio Fajardo (Pepito Albert), Fiona Evangelista King (Philip Rodriguez), Amina Aranaz-Alunan (Jojie Lloren), Christina Garcia Frasco (Arcy Gayatin).

The exhibit, presented with Champion Infinity and SM Northwing, will move to the SM Cebu North Wing, and will feature the “2013 Face-Off” bridal collection.

This is the fifth year of “Face-Off,” meant to bring together the best of the best in fashion, in a virtual runway showdown. It started in 2009, with Randy Ortiz, Rajo Laurel and Rhett Eala in a first-ever fashion event at the Cultural Center of the Philippines.

Last year, 40 top designers presented their bridal wear at Dusit Thani Hotel.

ALBERT ANDRADA

Describe your design for 2013 Face-Off.

My bridal gowns spell “Opulence: Masterpieces of Art and Fashion.” I was inspired by blue and white Chinese porcelain.

What do you think of the current state of the bridal industry?

It’s a booming industry. I just moved back from Dubai last October 2012, and I am so amazed that Filipina brides are all out when it comes to designs.

What are your thoughts on the contemporary Filipina bride and how do they differ from past brides?

Contemporary brides are more daring. They love opulent designs and do not limit themselves, even in terms of finances. The brides before were more traditional and conservative.

What bridal trends do you see now, if any?

Many brides go for more embroidery and more dramatic concepts.

Among the women whom you’ve created wedding gowns for, who are your favorites/most memorable? Why?

The Alindogan-Caudron wedding. I am so challenged by it because the wedding will be held this coming August in a castle in southern France. The other one is a wedding for my nephew which will be held in the US. It has a different concept; the entourage will be wearing Chucks and jeans. So I designed a barong paired with blue faded jeans for the groom, and white denim material and cotton laces for the bride.

ARCY GAYATIN

Describe your design for the exhibit.

The gown was worn by Christina Garcia-Frasco in August 2009. It is a mermaid cut gown in matte satin and silk organdy. It features a pleated bodice as well as silk organdy handmade flower details with hints of ostrich feathers.

Describe your design for 2013 Face-Off.

The first gown is a mermaid cut gown in white chiffon lined in pink. The embellishment is made of pleated tulle in chevron-like pattern. The second gown is a beaded matte satin mini dress under a full balloon gown in tulle.

What do you think of the current state of the bridal industry?

The bridal industry is one of the constants in the business. After all, someone gets married every day. It has progressed in a way that most of the weddings these days have become major productions.

What are your thoughts on the contemporary Filipina bride and how do they differ from past brides?

The modern Filipina is very much in control of her life, so naturally it follows that the modern Filipina bride wants to be involved in every aspect of her wedding, from the big picture down the most minute details. The contemporary Filipina bride, like the modern-day Filipina, certainly knows what she wants.

And because brides these days consider every aspect of the wedding, they want a gown that will serve them well not only in church but also at the reception. They look for a gown that’ll look good as they’re walking down the aisle, but they also want something that they can easily wear as they’re table-hopping, and move around in for dancing afterward.

What bridal trends do you see now, if any?

Today’s bride no longer feels like she has to limit herself to an all-white wedding gown. A lot of brides are now willing to inject hints of color, like blush, into their gowns, whether it’s in the fabric or embellishments.

Among the women whom you’ve created wedding gowns for, who are your favorites/most memorable? Why?

Christina Garcia-Frasco, because I felt I really got to bond with her during the entire process. She was a delight to work with because the result was a true collaboration between her aesthetic and mine. Also, she had a 21-inch waistline—a designer’s dream!

DINO LLOREN

Describe your design for 2013 Face-Off.

Classic, saleable and real.

What do you think of the current state of the bridal industry?

For as long as there are weddings, each designer will have his or her own market.

What are your thoughts on the contemporary Filipino bride and how does she differ from past brides?

Brides nowadays are more hands-on in the creative process, thus each wedding gown has its personal touch.

What bridal trends do you see?

Destination weddings.

Among the women you created wedding gowns for, who are your favorites/most memorable? Why?

Close friends who grew up with my designing career.

EDWIN AO

Describe your design for 2013 Face-Off.

The concept is very architectural, done in reworked barong Tagalog material.

What do you think of the current state of the bridal industry?

The bridal industry today is very much alive. Many brides are not afraid to try new silhouettes and shapes, making our bridal industry very interesting.

What are your thoughts on the contemporary Filipina bride and how do they differ from past brides?

The contemporary Filipina bride is not afraid to confront the future; she is very confident and has an open mind, say, about trying out new-generation fabrics. While they still retain the old Filipino values, they are now more open to new ideas.

 

What bridal trends do you see now?

Today we see a lot of flashy techniques, from beading to embroidery, but in the end, brides would still want a versatile piece that would be able to stand the test of time.

Among the women whom you created wedding gowns for, who are your favorites/most memorable? Why?

All the wedding gowns I did are favorites of mine, because they were collaborations between me and the brides.

JAMES REYES

Describe your design for 2013 Face-Off.

I have been experimenting with a global look for my bridal gowns this year. It’s a combination of tribal and Asian influences. For the Face-Off show, I am taking inspiration from Africa and turn-of-the-century Filipiniana.

What do you think of the current state of the bridal industry?

I always say, the Philippine bridal industry gets bigger every year. With the economy on the upswing, more and more brides-to-be can now afford luxurious wedding packages and bridal gowns. They want the entire package from prenup to engagement parties all the way to the actual wedding day. I won’t be surprised if the Philippines will become the “Wedding Capital” this side of the world!

What are your thoughts on the contemporary Filipina bride and how do they differ from past brides?

Brides today are more experimental with looks. They are not afraid to show a bit more skin, use a nontraditional color for their theme and even experiment with makeup and hairstyles, all for the sake of having a unique and memorable wedding.

What bridal trends do you see now, if any?

The current trend in formal wear now are sleeves and cutouts. But personally, I don’t believe that wedding gowns should follow any particular trend. Wedding gowns should reflect the bride’s personality and character. It should be timeless, classic and memorable.

Among the women whom you created wedding gowns for, who are your favorites/most memorable? Why?

All of my weddings are my favorites. It’s always a long process of creation with the bride. At the end of that process, I become good friends with her. As a designer, we all tend to get very close to our brides up to the moment she steps onto the aisle; we are the ones who make sure she is calm and composed.

To add to that, what makes weddings memorable for me are the new friends I make while working on them, from the bride to the family and the entourage members. I always try to make them smile and laugh away their wedding jitters.

MIKE DE LA ROSA

Describe your design for 2013 Face-Off.

My designs are simple and cut close to the body in lace and another in silk chiffon. I am introducing color (powder pink) for a fresh and new feeling.

 

What do you think of the current state of the bridal industry?

The bridal industry today is doing well. Weddings are becoming more unique and full of new ideas and styles from all over the world, chiefly because of the Internet. Couples are getting more creative and want to try new things. The industry will always thrive because weddings are a once-in-a-lifetime milestone, so the event is always prepared for in all its aspects.

What are your thoughts on the contemporary Filipina bride and how do they differ from past brides?

They are willing to try new ideas to make their wedding unique and unforgettable. They plan for it well and get professionals to help them. They have more options now with regards to all the aspects of a wedding.

What bridal trends do you see now, if any?

Destination weddings, engagement videos and bridal gowns with color.

Among the women whom you’ve created wedding gowns for, who are your favorites/most memorable? Why?

The wedding dresses for my mom’s 25th and 50th anniversaries are the best I ever made! It was so inspiring to design for two memorable milestones in the life of the woman closest to my heart.

PHILIP RODRIGUEZ

Describe your design for the exhibit.

When Cebu’s top model, Fiona Evangelista, walked down the aisle with businessman Rere King, she wore a quite understated champagne pure silk taffeta gown topped with a delicate long-sleeve solstice Chantilly lace blouse. The skirt had occasional pinches topped with romantic bows. With Fiona’s delicate features and porcelain skin, I didn’t want the gown to compete with the bride. The wedding was at Sacred Heart Church on June 25, 2005.

Describe your design for 2013 Face-Off.

There are two inspirations for the coming bridal show. Although the silhouettes are classic, the fabrication of the other gown is an experimentation of silk ribbons woven into the bodice like the solihiya, bordered with cords formed into circles to conjure wicker-chair details. It’s somewhat a tribute to Cebu’s once thriving wicker furniture industry as Cebu has now moved on to more contemporary pieces.

The other gown is a confection of tulle with beaded Alencon lace in the bodice and skirt. It’s a very classic gown yet very current in treatment.

What do you think of the current state of the bridal industry?

It’s become a big, booming industry. Bridal receptions and production have also become very elaborate.

What are your thoughts on the contemporary Filipina bride and how do they differ from past brides?

Most brides today are hands-on and know what they want, unlike in the past when it was the mom or the in-laws who dictated how the wedding should go.

What bridal trends do you see now, if any?

A lot of classic lines with hints of gossamer and lightness effect achieved by lace and tulle.

Among the women you’ve created wedding gowns for, who are your favorites/most memorable? Why?

All my brides are special to me, as I always extend some part of myself into the wedding in terms of design and helping pull off this very important date in the bride’s life.

PROTACIO EMPACES

Describe your design for 2013 Face-Off.

When the theme “Tomorrow’s Classic today” was agreed upon, I thought of doing The Pants. Why not? Bianca Jagger did it in Saint Laurent when she got married to Mick. I’m trying to revive it with the hope that it could become a classic tomorrow.

What do you think of the current state of the bridal industry?

Filipino brides will always want their wedding gowns made-to-order. It has become a tradition and part of the Filipino psyche. A few years ago, when the global market for clothing was opened, our local garment industry was one of the first to suffer. Luckily, due to our wedding traditions, the local bridal industry has survived and continues to thrive.

What are your thoughts on the contemporary Filipina bride and how they differ from past brides?

The new-age Filipina bride will always have an input as to how she would want her gown to look. I remember 20 years ago when I had to prepare designs before a client’s appointment. From those designs, the client had to make a selection and make revisions, but still based on those designs. Today, my clients would come in to my shop with their tablets showing me pegs for the looks that they want interpreted.

What bridal trends do you see now?

We will have to wait a few more years before this Kate Middleton influence begins to subside.

Among the women whom you’ve created wedding gowns for, who are your favorites/most memorable? Why?

My favorite bride is my niece. She was the first to get married among five kids, so here comes the “stage uncle” making all the decisions for her. I ended up making two gowns for her!

RAJO LAUREL

Describe your design for 2013 Face-Off.

My design is inspired by circles. I used circular motifs and patterns as a recurring theme in my design.

What do you think of the current state of the bridal industry?

The bridal industry, without a doubt, has grown by leaps and bounds from where it was when I started. I personally feel that it’s the fastest-growing industry in Philippine fashion.

What are your thoughts on the contemporary Filipina bride and how they differ from past brides?

The contemporary Filipina bride is very modern yet still quite conservative. I always strive to strike a balance between sensuality and modesty. Filipina brides follow a strict set of parameters from the Catholic Church, so balancing both sides is an imperative.

 

What bridal trends do you see now?

Transparency and sheerness are big trends going on right now—a more daring take on bridal gowns. I also feel that a return to the mid-century aesthetic is happening. As in all fields of fashion, trends and design are cyclical. Some trends occur and disappear within sight of each other all the time.

Among the women whom you’ve created wedding gowns for, who are your favorites/most memorable? Why?

For me, the wedding gowns I did for my sisters are the most memorable. It was a very dear and personal process that is close to my heart.

RANDY ORTIZ

Describe your design for the exhibit.

Lucy Torres’ bridal gown is in off-white/ivory duchess satin. Its scooped neckline is embellished with cut glass beads and Swarovski crystals. The figure-hugging, semi-serpentine silhouette showed Lucy’s tall and svelte figure to the best advantage. The back has a long voluminous cathedral train.

What do you think of the current state of the bridal industry?

The bridal industry to date is a booming and thriving business that entails healthy competition among many talented local designers. Likewise, it is a good medium by which our excellent sewers, beaders and embroiderers can showcase their artistic skills.

What are your thoughts on the contemporary Filipina bride and how do they differ from past brides?

Gone are the naive and clueless brides of yesteryears. The contemporary Filipina bride, more often than not, knows more or less what she wants with her bridal gown. Modern Filipinas, being Internet-savvy, usually gives concerns and inputs that are necessary to facilitate the creation of her bridal gown. Most of them are quite meticulous in taste or standards; they require much care, precision and attentive effort. I believe this is a positive problem, a stimulating challenge that motivates us to always strive for the best in all the gowns that we make.

What bridal trends do you see now, if any?

Bridal trends are geared toward less froufrou, less cumbersome and much more practical bridal fashion that should de-clutter, relieve and unburden the bride during her wedding day. Lightweight and sheer materials, such as lace, mesh, organdy and tulle, are popular. The serpentine silhouette is a top favorite.

Among the women whom you’ve created wedding gowns for, who are your favorites/most memorable? Why?

My favorite and most memorable brides (at random) are Claudine Barretto, Lucy Torres, Gelli de Belen, Priscilla Meirelles and Rissa Mananquil. We became very attached to each other and shared unforgettable moments during the fitting and completion stage of their gowns, such that we’ve become good friends.

VIC BARBA

Describe your design for 2013 Face-Off.

One is very flowy and breezy with a cascade-y long back. The other is a strapless dress in antique lace.

What do you think of the current state of the bridal industry? 

It’s alive and kicking as ever. A wedding is always a big event in anyone’s life.

What are your thoughts on the contemporary Filipina bride and how do they differ from past brides?

They tend to be bolder in their choices.

What bridal trends do you see now, if any? 

Lace is becoming popular again, along with sheer sleeves and necklines. Old Hollywood is still strong.

Among the women whom you created wedding gowns for, who are your favorites/most memorable? Why?

They are all my favorites; I give the same attention to every bride.

WILLIAM MANAHAN

Describe your design for 2013 Face-Off.

My bridal collection is a mix of new techniques and old silhouettes done in embroidered tulle.

What do you think of the current state of the bridal industry?

The bridal industry continues to grow, I think.

What are your thoughts on the contemporary Filipina bride and how do they differ from past brides?

Modern brides are more open to new ideas, compared to brides of previous generations who were more conservative.

What bridal trends do you see, if any?

I see so much lace and tulle for the upcoming season; more beading and crystals as well.

Among the women you created wedding gowns for, who are your favorites/most memorable? Why?

My sister-in-law’s wedding is very memorable for me because, aside from the freedom she gave me, it was all a labor of love for me.

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