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Bold logos, luxe streetwear, 3D and ‘slow’ fashion–how 2018 will dress up and preen

Also, leaner silhouettes, eclectic looks, more ‘go local’ trends
/ 07:15 AM January 12, 2018

It’s the year of personalization, or making a fashion item your own—be it through experimental construction techniques, flashy logos as your ID or bold clothing combinations.

With the rise of local artisanal brands and an increasingly casual lifestyle, modernized Filipiniana apparel and athleisure clothing will become wardrobe staples.

“Fashion is a sign of the times,” says Mark Gonzalez, the only Filipino retailer in the exclusive Business of Fashion 500 list. “It goes through cycles. Streetwear dominates. Once it was Versace, and then it ended with Armani. You will see the return of leaner and structured silhouettes.”


Lulu Tan-Gan

Lulu Tan-Gan

Designer and educator Lulu Tan-Gan observes that the younger generation combines technology with traditional construction and design methods to produce fashion experiments. “The garment is no longer two-dimensional,” she says.

She sees more avant-garde fashion in the runways with the following techniques:
1. Fabric manipulation—By creating new textures from a flat piece of cloth, fabric manipulation is getting a reboot. It is used to produce fullness and new surface treatments.
2. Fashion as art—Tan-Gan calls it 3D fashion. Clothes will be more sculptural, with innovative structural underpinnings.
3. Nationalism—“Streetwise, the go-local culture is strong,” Tan-Gan says. “We’re at a stage where we buy Filipino.” Around the world as well, designers draw references from their native traditions for their new works.

Mark Gonzalez

Mark Gonzalez

Logos have made a comeback, in bolder prints and brazenly overlaid with other branded items. “It’s been brought on by street culture,” Gonzalez says. Logos are brandished in clothing and accessories as an in-your-face fashion statement rather than as a status symbol.

Streetwear as luxury—Depending on the maker and the stiff price, wardrobe basics such as T-shirts, hoodies, baseball caps and sneakers have penetrated the realm of luxury fashion.

“The idea of luxury is no longer driven solely by price. The game has changed. You can sell an item at 10 times the price because the item is not accessible. It’s become almost exclusive and that’s why it’s desirable,” Gonzalez says.

Then again, luxury brands have been collaborating with street brands, with bona fide artists giving new spins to staple brands to make them more appealing to a wider, younger market.


Polymath as icon —Polymaths, or persons with wide-ranging knowledge, are driving the
popularity of edgy brands.

Take Off-White’s designer Virgil Abloh, creative director for rapper-billionaire Kanye West, is also a skateboard player, DJ and the proponent of elevating street wear to luxury status.

“There are too many options. The millennial looks up to polymaths who stand out from the rest,” Gonzalez says. “The attention is given to the person behind the brand, more than the product.”

James Reyes

James Reyes

Fearless eclecticism—Ten years ago, the wholesome look was so “High School Musical.” Since then, Filipinos have become more daring, with the influence of K-pop culture. More people will combine clothes of disparate or contrasting styles for an unexpected look.

“People will be crossing trends than wearing a uniform look. The style will be halo-halo,” Reyes says.

Sheree Gotuaco

Sheree Gotuaco

“The color of the year is Ultraviolet,” Gotuaco says. “Since purple is not a basic color, any shade will do. A mix of prints with purple hue would look great.”

She adds that lighter hues of lavender will work for summer. “Fringe will become bigger. Since we live in a tropical country, touches of fringe should work well, from garment hemlines to bags.

“Some old favorites will still come into play like dark denims, satiny fabrics, wide leg pants and spring florals. Last year, we saw more of the ’90s. This year, there is the ’80s influence like structured shoulders and bold earrings.

“Today, we can see street wear combining classic pieces with punches of trends or color. It is easier to wear and is not too over the top. Philippine fashion has always been influenced by Western fashion, but in the last few years,
K-fashion has entered the scene. So, for our market, we may see a confluence of both cultures.”

With fashion trends borrowing from the past, there is nothing that one needs to specifically throw away. Looking good and feeling confident are what matters. Watch out for ill-fitting garments. One’s fashion piece must flatter the body shape.

PJ Arañador

PJ Arañador

As people become weary of the “zettabyte world,” they will find ways to replicate a peaceful setting in their urban lifestyle. They will dress up and eat simply, favoring slow food and slow fashion.

In a technological world, people are seeking narratives or a piece of humanity in the purchase. Chanel, for example, introduced handwoven bamboo bags made by marginalized craftsmen. The key words are localism and indie commercialism.

Arañador says digital technology has given people more avenues of expression, hence bolder ideas and new visual expressions. This lifestyle is the key driver of the maximalism trend.

On the other extreme, people are more conscious of their well-being and fitness. Eastern influences in clothing include loose garments in organic and natural fabrics. Loose harem pants or the Indian patiala salwar trousers are coming in as a stylish yet healthier alternative.

Arañador cites two kinds of trends: dominant and emerging. “The dominant international trends in the Philippines follow the colors. Pantone announced ultraviolet as the color of 2018, which signifies modern age explorations, creativity and mystery,” he says. The look book of designers now features the ’80s and modernized versions of purple.

The emerging trend is slow fashion in the Philippines, which uses indigenous materials such as handloom textiles, labor-intensive embellishments and other artisanal products from distant rural communities. Traditional adornments include needlecraft such as embroidery and beading, e.g. cucho or Filipino 3D beading in abaca slippers, along with hand-painting, hand dying and knotting.

“For key looks, the ‘ethnic-inspired’ jackets made from indigenous materials will sell this year. It’s the perfect item that will take a woman from work to evening. The look is not too costumey,” Arañador says.

“In accessories, handcrafted footwear made from our of indigenous handloom materials like patadyong or hablon will be popular. These are textile-based flats or wedges for women and espadrilles for men. We’ve had enough of the ethnic bags.”

Bernie Liu

Bernie Liu

“Updated staples or streetwear, athleisure (with sneaker and sliders as popular footwear) and maximalism will be bigger than ever,” Liu says. “Denim will also continue to be a major staple in one’s wardrobe. Still, people will be more expressive of their individuality.”

Rajo Laurel

Rajo Laurel

Laurel enumerates key looks in 2018:

1) The return of the Preppy
2) Pool colors inspired by the artist David Hockney
3) Cargo pants
4) Kira-Kira shine or Bad Disco
5) Ugly trainers or what we call Fug shoes
6) The ’80s TV show “Miami Vice”
7) Feathers as texture and volume
8) Ultraviolet
9) Pinoy Power
10) Baggy pants

What you should keep in your baul:
1) Skinny jeans
2) That Gucci mule with the fur
3) Super-ripped jeans, especially those are about to fall apart with one stride.
4) Platform shoes

Lastly, Nom Core is dead and bodycon dresses are an abomination, so throw them away.

Logos or bold graphic T-shirts still rock, but this time paired with a billowy skirt. (Illustration by James Reyes)

“Go local,” Patricia Gavan says.

Athleisure clothing find their way into the school and workplace.

Sculptural or 3D fashion by Andrea Nicole Suarez

Transparent athletic wear by Miuccia Olivares

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