Appalled by the fashion blunders of women of a certain age, Rustan’s designer Criselda Lontok has developed her clothing line to help women revise their individual style while remaining age-appropriate.
She has a sure-fire formula—soft tunic tops with vivid prints over slim jersey slacks; batwing, dolman and billowy sleeves; boxy jackets; sheer overlays and dustcoats, all of which conceal flabby arms and bulges.
The silhouettes de-emphasize the problems of mature women. Skirts with godets (extra panels for flounce) allow the wearer more freedom of movement. Grecian gowns or draped dresses flatter all figures. Sheathes disguise the widening girth. The pants are gartered for easy fit.
Women’s sensuality is enhanced by rich colors and luxurious fabrics.
In her latest collection, Lontok, as always, advises her contemporaries to avoid trying too hard. The designer’s label, Criselda, espouses that mature women can keep up with the trend without belaboring it.
Take the peplum vogue. The tailored silhouette of Criselda’s jackets is structured to give the body shape while the peplum cleverly hides the bulge.
Then there’s the Oriental opulence trend that uses Mikado silk and some touches such as the Mao collar.
Criselda’s red collection is attention-grabbing—patterned dustcoats, ruffled blouses, cocoon tops and figure-skimming sheath dresses.
For women who want something subdued, Criselda suggests magenta.
Bright orange evokes a retro feel.
Purple is perfect for elegant silhouettes.
Fuchsia is for women who want something ultra-feminine.
When one is in doubt about colors, there’s the black collection. Although it can obscure a heavy figure, black can make one look old if not styled properly.
The designer uses black for evening drama—lace dresses, halter tops, palazzo pants and column gowns in duchesse satin and silk gazar.
The classic looks are given a twist such as mixing Fortuny pleats with mesh or creating scrunches on the skirts and sleeves.
There’s a bold silhouette—the structured lantern skirt.
Lontok avoids frumpy looks by using asymmetric necklines and strapless tops.
Since the launch of the holiday collection, women have snapped up the Fortuny-pleated separates, which are ideal for travel, and the Criselda signature—the loose jersey tops. Shoppers get four or five variations of the same style.
But the shopping comes with advocacy. Clients have been giving donations to Bantay Bata 163.
“Sales have been fantastic! My prayers for good sales and donations were answered,” says Lontok.