It was an odd way to introduce a fashion collection—with tears and stirring recollection.
That was exactly what fashion designer Puey Quiñones did—inadvertently—last Tuesday when he showed a mini collection before a few friends in a Makati house.
After good friend Tim Yap, emceeing that night after dinner, handed to Quiñones the mic, the designer recalled instantly his early life in Los Angeles six years ago.
“I worked as a housemaid for the lawyer who was fixing my papers,” he began, letting loose a stream of memories that couldn’t be halted just yet.
“Then I went on Craigslist, looking for jobs. I was dishwasher, housekeeper… it was a crazy journey of two years…”
On his downtime, he’d cook—he recalled how he tried all-egg dishes.
But all that’s water under the bridge.
Today, Quiñones, who’s had his share of controversies, has a thriving fashion design career in LA, dressing a few stars for the red carpet during awards season. He has his own atelier that turns out made-to-order clothes.
Two months ago, he came home to Manila upon his father’s death. Then he decided to visit again this month.
“Perhaps it was my father’s way of bringing me back to my roots,” he recalled.
He decided to do a few clothes for his old clients and friends here, thus the private preview last Monday. He will be here until mid-July to attend to clients.
The renegade nature of this designer was still evident in this collection. Before he left for LA six years ago, he made waves here for deconstructed clothes—voluminous, overpowering silhouettes that had “attitude” written all over it.
His current collection is still overpowering and eye-grabbing, but the exaggerated proportions are almost gone. In their place was neat, tamed tailoring.
He now plays up the mouth-watering colors—mango yellow, vibrant lavender, gold—or uses polka dots.
It’s apparent that he continues to see design as a bold adventure. He has a long white dress of humongous ruffles. Get closer, and you note that the dress is made of electric-pleated paper silk.
Quiñones has now discovered that power of subtlety, apparently. He has a red floral printed long dress. Come closer and you notice how the intricate print of the top is traced in beads. Classic fashion in painstaking detail.
Quiñones’ “crazy journey” has given this ebullient designer such admirable maturity in his design. —THELMA S. SAN JUAN