The fashion flock that arrived at the SMX Convention Center for the SM Woman show last week probably expected cocktail frocks and party dresses. After all, it was the first day of Philippine Fashion Week’s Holiday Collection.
Instead, the country’s largest department store chain opened Philippine Fashion Week with a mix that included flower-bedecked separates and pastel-colored neoprene skirts with ruffled hems.
The two-level stage that combined hydraulics and playful videos allowed the audience to get a full view of what the SM Store had to offer. Outfits ranged from office-appropriate ensembles topped with matching capes in a windowpane print to beach cover-ups like sheer gossamer tops and long jersey jackets in a Pucci-like print that were purposely left open—the better to show off that glowing tan.
As a variation on the floral theme, some pieces were emblazoned with colored trapezoids with a sprinkling of florals that reminded one of the recent collection from Preen.
It was a return to romantic looks more suited for a spring wardrobe or resort wear, but it was one that was well-appreciated. According to material provided by SM, “The collection celebrates the stylish modern woman—dynamic and exciting yet casual and relaxed. She is a career-driven individual who also loves her leisure time.”
SM has raised the bar with its varied apparel lines, namely career, casual, evening and resort, in an effort to compete with the entry of newer, more dynamic foreign brands.
It even allowed guests to purchase pieces immediately after the show—a marketing strategy employed by fast-fashion brands like H&M and more recently, Topshop when it launched its latest collaboration with fashion model and style icon Kate Moss.
As soon as the 30-minute show ended, guests exited and headed straight to the racks arranged on one side of the venue, where the full collection was on display and for sale. Tops were priced at P500 while a long, stretchy white dress was under P1,000. The beach cover-ups were going for P600 for the sheer tops to under a thousand for the fluid, printed jackets.
It was great to see how some pieces like the after-sun wear sold under the Coco Cabaña brand appealed to both young women in their early 30s and 50-year-old moms.
While some might say the apparel selection or styling at SM is dated and leaves much to be desired, there are countless others who believe the decades-old jingle: Here at SM, we’ve got it all for you.