A graduation collection is when a student presents his/her vision and technical know-how to the real world. This should set the designer apart from his or her peers, showing ideas that can either be wild or tame.
Tina Carillo knows that she needs to balance the theatricality and marketability of her clothes. It is thus not surprising that her first namesake grad collection was sold out in a few minutes, and celebrities like Kathryn Bernardo, Solenn Heussaff, Patti Grandidge and Maja Salvador are seen wearing her designs under her fashion startup business, Rock and Roses.
Only the brave
Young designers are usually scared to do startups. Only the brave and the risk-takers dive into it wholeheartedly. This young fashion entrepreneur is one of them.
She knows that her strength is ready-to-wear, and she decided to start early, during her sophomore year.
“I wanted to get a little hint, as early as that age, if I could make designing a stable career,” she explained.
Her Rock and Roses brand’s initial sales gave her the financial security and proved that she could do it.
Carillo is lucky to have been a student of Veejay Floresca and an intern with Jerome Salaya-Ang—two of the most sought-after young designers in Manila. Her desire to learn led her to Salaya-Ang’s design group, where Carillo learned the ropes, especially in dealing with different types of clients.
“With Jerome Salaya-Ang, I have seen the process of not just producing an astounding collection, but also dealing with different employees and clients.”
Her designs bring to mind a street-chic girl of my college years. It’s like Alanis Morissette with a touch of TATU.
Her style sensibility is edgy-glam, with a hint of rock ‘n’ roll. It is a good example of ’90s streetwear. Her designs are for girls with a strong sense of self.
Her leather cropped top and ankle-length fringe skirt is neither for the faint of heart nor for our weather; standing out in a crowd is the goal.
“I love creating clothes that are wearable but unique enough to stand out. I believe RTW is the best platform to reach out to girls who share the passion from all over the country, and soon, the world,” she said.
There is the printed jacket that borrowed the silhouette from a Moto jacket, paired with a gold sarong. This is her interpretation of formal modern Filipino wear. The look is for a girl who wants alternative, boxy-type looks that veer away from the sweetheart neckline and body-con dresses.
Her graduation collection was her ultimate challenge, with her adviser giving a requisite: use unconventional materials and reshuffle the looks.
“I was scared that my collection might not reflect who I really am as a young designer, because of too many changes my professors wanted me to make with the designs,” she said.
“Looking back, I am very grateful to have been given that challenge, because I can now use the learning from that experience in the real world,” she added.
She is certainly on an adventurous path to the RTW world.
Photography: Adrian Gonzales
Hair and Makeup: Jandra Babiera
Styled by: Maureen Manuel
Model: Sirene Sutton