Latest Stories

Chanel, Dior, Balenciaga are on his tribute wall


ROLAND Alzate and his three winning pieces in last year’s Look of Style Awards

One of the focal points in young designer Roland Alzate’s shop in Makati City is a so-called “tribute wall” composed of framed photographs ofhis idols in the fashion biz.

Except for Hubert de Givenchy, Nicolas Ghesquiere and Noel Crisostomo, the personalities on his “gallery of greats”—from Cristobal Balenciaga to Yves Saint Laurent, Coco Chanel to Madeleine Vionett—have passed away.

Completing his roster of inspirations are Halston, Christian Dior and Pierre Balmain. Their pictures are alongside Alzate’s three winning pieces in last year’s Look of Style Awards.

As part of his prize, Alzate received a one-week scholarship from the British Council, at the prestigious Central Saint Martins in London.

He flies to the UK any day now. Upon his return, he’ll work on a debut collection for Bench. He has just signed up as the Filipino global brand’s women’s wear designer.


ALZATE’S tribute wall has framed photos of Coco Chanel, Cristobal Balenciaga, Christian Dior, Nicolas Ghesquiere and his mentor, Noel Crisostomo.

“There are many great designers,” said Alzate, who started designing professionally a little over a year ago. “But these designers are the ones who inspired my work. I admire Balenciaga, for instance, for his tailoring and ability to come up with something new and revolutionary that no one else did. I like Chanel for her sophistication and common sense. She showed women that beauty and fashion could be achieved by combining the simplest things.”

Before we could even tease him about Crisostomo, his companion of several years, Alzate credited him for being his mentor. He cited Crisostomo for his ability to do clothes that look “chic, trendy and expensive” without resorting to over-embellishment.

“I really enjoy dressing up,” says Alzate, a Marketing and Accountancy graduate from St. Louis University. “Before, whenever we traveled abroad, I really checked out the clothes, both men’s and women’s collections.”

Neutral colors

ALZATE’S shop has a clean, stylish way to store magazines.

Since his shop on Aranga Street (tel. 0917-8744600, [632] 5538560) is a one-room affair, he thought of ways to create an illusion of space. The unit’s previous occupant had the walls in black. Not only did it make the space look smaller, it appeared dark and uninviting even during the day.

“I opted for cream, and had the entire unit repainted to make it conducive for work and receiving clients,” he said. “Apart from the fresh coat of paint and new set of lights, everything remained as is.”

He and Crisostomo have an atelier or production area in another part of Makati, along Sampaloc Street, also in San Antonio Village, that doubles as the latter’s shop.

HIS Makati shop may be small, but it has a high ceiling.

Alzate drew inspiration from Crisostomo’s first shop on Vito Cruz Street. It was in neutral colors, with clean lines. But while Crisostomo’s old shop looked a bit cold and industrial with touches of silver gray, Alzate’s shop appears homier and more laid-back. He attributes this to his decision to keep the dark, low-maintenance tiles that came with the unit.

Alzate’s furniture is limited to a few “retro-modern” pieces in neutral shades, such as camel and black, faux-crocodile stamp leather. His desk is also free of clutter, save for a sketch pad and a few drawing instruments. Behind him is an iMac desktop where he does his research.

“Sketching comes naturally to me,” he says. “I used to join drawing contests as a child. I was enrolled in Fine Arts at UP Baguio. I had to shift to Marketing because my father wanted me to pursue something more practical.

“When I feel I’m getting lazy and complacent, I try to force myself to think out of the box,” he says.


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: Alzate , Christian Dior , Coco Chanel , fashion , Fashion & Beauty , LOOK Of Style Awards , Pierre Balmain , roland alzate , Yves Saint Laurent

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


  • Hold departure order out vs Corona, Singson
  • Malaysia to release MH370 report–PM
  • Man found dead in Quezon City, alleged victim of summary execution–report
  • Aquino to lead Air Force turnover rites
  • Security in place for Obama as police hope for ‘peaceful’ visit
  • Sports

  • Sharapova advances to Stuttgart quarterfinals
  • Galedo caps ride of redemption
  • Beermen, Express dispute second semis slot today
  • Lady Agilas upset Lady Bulldogs in four sets
  • NLEX roars to 7th D-League win
  • Lifestyle

  • ‘Recovered’ Banksy works on display ahead of sale
  • Marinduque: Visiting the ‘palm of the ocean’
  • First at Vatican in 60 years
  • How Jing Monis Salon gave Krissy the pixie
  • Want to be a supermodel? Work on your inner beauty, says Joey Espino
  • Entertainment

  • Paul McCartney to play at Candlestick concert
  • Kristoffer Martin: from thug to gay teen
  • Has Ai Ai fallen deeply with ‘sireno?’
  • California court won’t review Jackson doctor case
  • Cris Villonco on play adapted from different medium
  • Business

  • PAL hailed for ban on shark fin cargo
  • BSP to change tint of P100 bill
  • Nielsen sees car buying boom in the Philippines
  • How author of best-seller exposed ‘one percent’ economic elite
  • Bangko Sentral readies new bank lending rules
  • Technology

  • Cloud strength helps Microsoft earnings top Street
  • 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’
  • Opinion

  • Editorial Cartoon, April 25, 2014
  • No deal, Janet
  • Like making Al Capone a witness vs his gang
  • MERS-CoV and mothers
  • A graduation story
  • Global Nation

  • Only 4 Etihad passengers not accounted for
  • Abandoned in Malta,15 PH seamen return
  • Senator hopes PH will also get same vow
  • HK victims to get P115M; traders raised money
  • Afghan hospital guard kills 3 US doctors, including Fil-Am pediatrician