Tan-Gan, Gaupo, Lustico, Samson go back to essence of fashion | Inquirer Lifestyle

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SALON2014 designers: Joey Samson, Dennis Lustico, Lulu Tan-Gan, Cesar Gaupo. JO ANN BITAGCOL

Tan-Gan, Gaupo, Lustico, Samson go back to essence of fashion

SALON2014 designers: Joey Samson, Dennis Lustico, Lulu Tan-Gan, Cesar Gaupo. JO ANN BITAGCOL

Amid the celebrity-driven, “selfie” nature of contemporary fashion, the couture purists want a breath of fresh air, where inspiration thrives, execution is exceptional, and imagination runs unbounded by commercialism and hype.


Four of the country’s foremost designers go that route and bring fashion back to its essentials in Salon 2014.


“At present, there are a lot of big shows, but our show is different because the focus is really the clothing, not the props, celebrity or stage design. And it’s in a setting that is up-close to our clients, not on a high stage. So it’s really a buyer’s show,” says Lulu Tan-Gan, founding designer and the country’s queen of knits.


She adds that the show will turn heads, not for its entertaining value but for pure, impeccable fashion.


The Salon show, on its second year, will feature the collections of Tan-Gan, Dennis Lustico, Cesar Gaupo and Joey Samson. Each of them is known for his/her own specialty and discipline—Lustico’s intricate draping, Gaupo’s seductive silhouette and vibrant colors, Samson’s innovative tailoring, and Tan-Gan’s versatility with knits.


“We will showcase works of four different minds, each having one’s own design language,” explains Samson, the youngest of the four, and who recently marked his 10th year in fashion.


“I will show a 20-piece sports-inspired collection for men and ladies, taking cue from sports uniforms and gear particularly baseball soccer and rugby football—set against navy, maroon, off-white and brown,” Samson says.


Tan-Gan says, “I am very consistent with my materials. It would be knitwear, which, in terms of content, is a combination of cotton-blended yarns. I’m also using indigenous materials and putting them together to create a total look. For this collection, my theme is more retro ’50s, and it’s more feminine compared to my previous collections. My last theme was rather Asian-inspired, and now I’m opting for a more vintage look, so we will have a lot of prints. Since it’s Spring/Summer, my motif will be palm prints and ant prints.”


The designers look up to their muses in bringing their clothing to life. “I look up to Kai Lim. I admire her sense of style and her taste in everything. She understands and appreciates my take in design and her simplicity is impeccable,” says Samson.


Tan-Gan turns to a generational mix of women. “My muses are Bettina Osmeña, Berta Feliciano and Xandra Rocha. They are most suitable to represent my collections because, despite their age, they have a common denominator, which is being quite regal in their own way. They are not very trendy. They are in-fashion, but in very tasteful form. They buy quality. They are also women of good values.”


Salon will be held tomorrow, April 28, at the ballroom of Fairmont Makati. It is presented by Smart Communications and Fairmont. Part of the ticket proceeds will benefit a single group hand-picked for its cause.