I am known as a special-events designer, so I’m excited about this collection, since the look will be a bit different,” says Cary Santiago, one of the featured designers of 2017 “Face-Off #OOTD.”
Fashion watchers familiar with the designer’s intricate couture techniques and red-carpet designs, favored by celebrities and socialites, will see another side to his creativity when Santiago dresses the larger-than-life Tessa Valdes, and model-beauty queens Gwendolyn Ruais and Cassy Naidas in the fashion show on March 2, 4 p.m., at Shangri-La Plaza Mall’s East Atrium in Mandaluyong.
Unlike his usual gala-worthy looks, Santiago’s muses will be shod in Converse sneakers. “Face-Off #OOTD” is presented by the iconic sneakers brand, with support from Fossil.
This is the eighth edition of Inquirer Lifestyle and LOOKbook’s banner event, which departs from its usual structured format and themes and embraces the individualism of this era’s selfie-centric generation.
Santiago will be joined by industry veterans Randy Ortiz, Rhett Eala, Rajo Laurel, JC Buendia, Mike de la Rosa, Efren Ocampo, Vic Barba, Pablo Cabahug, Albert Andrada, Ito Curata, Lulu Tan-Gan.
From Cebu will be Arcy Gayatin, Jun Escario, Edwin Ao, Oj Hofer and Philip Rodriguez.
They will be showing alongside millennial designers Thian Rodriguez, Michael Leyva, Seph Bagasao, KC Pusing, Vania Romoff, Mark Bumgarner, Mark Tamayo, Wilbur Lang, Britt Romero, Rei Escario, Andrea Lopa, Ryan Madamba, Risa Bulawan, Joel Escober, Jerome Ang, Tipay Caintic, KC Alaba, Bon Hansen.
Eala’s muse is Maxine Medina, who will wear “something with fringes.” Perhaps inspired by the emerald dress he made her for Miss Universe?
Buendia will have models Luke Jickain and David Chua. “They’ve always come to me for their sartorial needs, and we sort of have the same wavelength in styles,” says the designer. “Men in Manila can get away going to semiformal events wearing basic casual styles. We’re taking ‘basic’ a notch higher by using print on pants.”
Ocampo and Cabahug will dress model-muses: Ann Casas for the former and Angel Agustin Co for the latter.
“Angel has been a good friend for more than a decade,” Cabahug says. “I believe she’s a true example of a modern Filipina. I’m just really amazed at how she handles and balances everything. She’s former president of the Professional Models Association of the Philippines (PMAP), a wife, career woman, and mother.”
Ortiz will dress equestrienne Michelle Cojuangco Barrera and model Trishan Cuaso. “They have very active lifestyles and they’re open to fresh ideas about fashion,” he says.
Gayatin will dress up fellow fashion designer Mia Arcenas and Joseph Gonzales—a ruffled tulle skirt and tank for her, and jeans and blazer for him.
Ao’s muse is friend and beauty queen Matet Gorgonio, for whom he’s making a linen skirt and jacket look. “I feel the relationship of the linen fabric and Converse is somewhat special,” says the designer.
Cai Cai Raymundo and Ruth Linganay are the muses of newbie Thian Rodriguez. “They are the perfect epitome of style and aesthetics—edgy and strong,” he says.
“My clothes are for women who are confident and independent,” Rodriguez adds. “These muses don’t only do modeling, but they’re also doing well in their chosen fields. My brand is all about that. A woman has got to have her own purpose and vision, and not just a pretty face.”
He describes his look as “edgy and sexy, all in black and a hint of red. I’m making velvet pieces with leather accessories, like corsets and chokers. And, of course, my signature metal details. Some might say it’s not typical OOTD, but this is my own interpretation of it.”
Lang, another greenhorn, was inspired by the “unique look” of Wanda Chen, his muse. “My brand has a distinct Asian street style DNA and I believe my design would really complement her. I’ve created a jacket made of Japanese denim for her. I have also put together a plaid button-down shirt and embellished chiffon dress to complete her ensemble.”
Jason Lawrence Salvador and Clint Karklins will walk for Hansen, also a newcomer. “Whenever I do shows or photo shoots I always want my models to be tall, lean and mestizo,” he says. “They also have a fresh and youthful vibe, which I grav itate toward. For Jason, I’ve made a V-neck sleeveless shirt with side straps and pants. And for Clint, I’ve made a turtleneck shirt, pants and tailored jacket. I’ve been experimental with the two looks, and it will serve as introduction for me into menswear design.”
Cebu-based Santiago says his “Face-off #OOTD” collection for Valdes, Ruais and Naidas will be an homage to the Sinulog, his hometown’s famous festival.
“Colors will range from vivid yellows to greens and fuchsias, in comfortable fabrics, paired with Converse.” Festival headpieces will complete his looks.
Converse with headdresses—those are #OOTDs you have got to see!