“Chito’s fashion is so intriguing,” said Derek Ramsey.
“Oh, look, some are my size!” exclaimed Lovi Poe.
“How beautifully designed with intelligence and drama,” said Joji Dincong.
We were seated in the Belo table, right beside the ramp where Alex Van Hagen and Willy Saw were taking photos.
After leaving the fashion industry sometime ago, Chito Vijandre returned with a bang for the Red Charity Ball with a 50-piece collection, including some that he showed at the homage to Slim’s for Philippine Fashion Week a few years ago.
Trust Tessa Valdez and Kaye Tinga to resurrect the collection of Chito. It was the best show in the eight-year Red Gala for the Philippine Red Cross. The creations were not Filipiniana; they were more Filipino—and Asean inspired.
Like treasures from Ali Baba’s cave of wonders, the clothes glittered with bold gold embellishments. I saw the Christian Lacroix collection at the Ayala Museum; Chito’s had the same attention to detail.
Long tassels, big romantic bows on wrists and necks, polka dots, velvet, gold lamé, organza, raw silk, shantung, brocade, Japanese obis—these were his arsenal. Everywhere, it seemed there were cabbage roses and micropleating.
It was Rococo and Baroque, a mashup of historical references from the empire cut to ’20s draping. Everywhere, too, were his signature brooches from 632, his shop in Greenbelt 5, from Firma came the hats.
All 40 models stood in line outside the Shangri-La at the Fort ballroom, so guests could inspect up-close all the color, pomp and pageantry of the clothes. It was like viewing Fabergé eggs, or the costumes for “Turandot,” or the flapper garb from the Art Deco ’20s.
Romantic, revolutionary haute couture—Chito Vijandre stands alone. —CONTRIBUTED