Latest Stories

Fabrication, impact, growth potential make the difference

STEF Cabal, Look magazine editor in chief; Roland Alzate; Amanda Burrell; Alexandra Prieto, INQUIRER president and CEO; and Thelma San Juan, editor of INQUIRER Lifestyle and editorial director of Look and Cocoon magazines

Three of the judges in the recent Look of Style Awards were so impressed with the range of entries that one found it difficult to identify a clear favorite. The other saw a tight race between Vania Romoff and eventual winner Roland Alzate.

“There were plenty of interesting pieces,” said journalist-turned-hotel executive Mel Cuevas, former editor in chief of Look magazine. “For most of the finalists, one entry would stand out, but the other pieces in the collection wouldn’t.”

But Cuevas acknowledged the greater effort this year’s finalists put into when it came to fabrication, a fact that wasn’t as noticeable to those who merely watched the show. She also learned during interviews that some finalists had a clear idea regarding what future direction to take and areas they needed to improve on.

“That’s one thing I look for in a finalist, since I want to make sure that the winner will really benefit from the short course (at Central Saint Martins),” said Cuevas, who organized and judged the contest’s two earlier editions.

Apart from Renan Pacson’s use of recycled plastic bottles to produce his materials, she found Ivan Raborar’s pieces made of crocheted fabric fused with beads interesting.

She also liked Jun Artajo’s hand-painted and dyed vinta-inspired dresses, and Hanz Coquilla’s long gown incorporated with shredded lace.

For her part, fellow judge Amina Aranaz-Alunan found Raborar and Pacson’s respective collections unique and creative.

For Alunan, the contest was a toss-up between Alzate and Romoff, whose pieces both had strong points of view and clear directions.

“Based on what I saw,” said Alunan, a bag designer with a chain of eponymous boutiques in Metro Manila, “their collections both have high potential for growth and marketability.”

Alunan cited Alzate for knowing his customer and developing his own fabrics to cater to this segment. She appreciated Romoff’s ability to parlay her high taste level into elegant pieces that exuded confidence.

“If you ask me, it was really tight between Roland and Vania,” said Alunan. “Although I’m not aware of the actual tally. Personally, I think it was Roland’s consistency and clear vision applied to his initiative to develop his own fabrics (which combined piña and rayon) that made him win.”

Fashion designer JC Buendia liked Raborar’s crochet-and-seeds ensembles for their “good use of what’s abundant” in his province. He could see the pieces as ideal jackets and T-shirt blouses.

“But my favorite designer is Vania because we share the same sensibilities,” said Buendia. “I think what made Roland win was his ability to mold indigenous materials into real-life clothing.”

Among all the judges, Cuevas should know how the entries have evolved since she was on top of two previous contests that produced winners like Pablo Cabahug and Geof Gonzales. But the circumstances then were quite different, she said.

“Apart from being judge before, I was also one of the event’s organizers,” said Cuevas. “I would coordinate and speak with the designers myself. Normally, from the initial screening, I already had an idea who would be the top contenders. Promptness and presentation somehow affected the judges’ decision then. But this time, I just based my scores on the submitted works.”

Like Alunan, Cuevas wasn’t privy to fellow judges’ scores. There were great entries, she said, but there wasn’t a particularly strong collection. Some would have had a greater chance of winning had they done some editing or improved on their styling.

“Even the winner’s collection, for me, wasn’t as consistent, as he showcased different techniques for his collection,” she said. “But if you look at Roland’s pieces individually, each had a good concept. I think he also had an edge since he had some retail experience, showed exceptional workmanship and made good use of fabrication.” Alex Y. Vergara

Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter

Other Stories:

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.

  • mamangdriver

    raborar’s collection was creative and playful; he should have won for using unique materials that one wouldnt thought could be translated into a wearable clothing…alzate lacked cohesiveness; plastics have long been used as clothes…

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
  1. How Zsa Zsa Padilla found Conrad Onglao; Sharon Cuneta played Cupid
  2. Miss America: Don’t suspend teen over prom invite
  3. Historic Fort Bonifacio tunnel converted into a septic tank
  4. President Quezon was born here–and so was Philippine surfing
  5. Almost mugged on Chino Roces Avenue
  6. Transitions and resurrection in the performing arts
  7. How healing waters accompanied my journey of faith
  8. ‘Archaeology tour’ of Cebu’s heritage of faith
  9. Palawan favorite getaway of show biz celebrities
  10. Joe de Venecia visits the Queen Mother of Cambodia
  1. How Zsa Zsa Padilla found Conrad Onglao; Sharon Cuneta played Cupid
  2. Are your favorite malls open this Holy Week break?
  3. How Vitamin B can be a remedy for ‘manhid’ and neuropathy
  4. Sarah Geronimo and Matteo Giudicelli sing ‘All of Me’–and we all swoon
  5. 90 percent of Filipino households don’t practice proper toilet hygiene, sanitation
  6. Why is the lifestyle set now afraid to wear jewelry–before Kim Henares?
  7. ‘Labahita a la bacalao’
  8. This is not just a farm
  9. 12 other things you can do at Pico de Loro Cove
  10. Marcos grandson to wed beautiful Rocha scion
  1. Mary Jean Lastimosa is new Miss Universe Philippines
  2. Did Angara ruin Pia Wurtzbach’s chances at Bb. Pilipinas?
  3. How Zsa Zsa Padilla found Conrad Onglao; Sharon Cuneta played Cupid
  4. Dominique–Gretchen and Tonyboy Cojuangco’s daughter–now an endorser
  5. Manila in shock over model Helena Belmonte’s death
  6. Vinegar test helpful vs cervical cancer
  7. From Jeannie to mom of suicide victim
  8. San Vicente beaches hidden but not for long
  9. Borgy and Georgina are back; others are off–again
  10. Why is the lifestyle set now afraid to wear jewelry–before Kim Henares?


  • Intrigues mar signing of Bangsamoro draft law
  • Singson apologizes for delay in Edsa road repairs
  • Congressmen seek end to small-town lottery operations
  • 16-year-old survives in wheel well of US flight
  • MMDA to blame for delay of Edsa reblocking – DPWH exec
  • Sports

  • Reigning champs Miami open playoffs with win
  • Spurs subdue Mavericks in playoff opener
  • Wawrinka beats Federer to win Monte Carlo Masters
  • Ageless Hopkins pitches 50-50 Mayweather deal
  • Goodbye MGM, Las Vegas for Pacquiao?
  • Lifestyle

  • Miss America: Don’t suspend teen over prom invite
  • Transitions and resurrection in the performing arts
  • ‘Archaeology tour’ of Cebu’s heritage of faith
  • Historic Fort Bonifacio tunnel converted into a septic tank
  • ‘Imports’ from London, and play of the year
  • Entertainment

  • Lindsay Lohan says she had a miscarriage
  • Discovery network cancels Everest jump
  • ‘Captain America’ stays strong atop US box office
  • Easter musings
  • Solenn in shorts
  • Business

  • Oil prices down in quiet Asian trade
  • Asian shares mixed in holiday-thinned trade
  • BDO seen keen on bidding for Cocobank
  • Bataan freeport investment pledges up 1,302%
  • Golden Week
  • Technology

  • PH has slowest internet in Southeast Asia
  • Nintendo’s trailblazing Game Boy marks 25th anniversary
  • Nasa’s moon-orbiting robot crashes down
  • Netizens pay respects to Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  • Nokia recalls 30,000 chargers for Lumia 2520 tablet
  • Opinion

  • Gigi’s home
  • Palace stonewalls on MRT inquiry
  • Couple of things too
  • There is plenty of water behind Wawa Dam
  • Triduum thoughts of a young boy
  • Global Nation

  • Filipinos in Middle East urged not to panic amid MERS-CoV scare
  • Obama on mission to quiet Asia skeptics
  • Search for Etihad passengers launched
  • Japan presents $57-B ‘dream plan’ to solve Metro congestion
  • Tim Tebow’s charity hospital in Davao seen to open in 7 months