Black and white is the most dramatic contrast in evening wear,” said beautiful Cris Albert in her black metalesse Charina Sarte. Indeed, for Manila’s 400 most stylish who attended the recent Second Philippine Fashion Ball at the Rigodon Ballroom of the Manila Peninsula, noir et blanc was not only de rigueur but very democratic; it leveled the field for fashion one-upmanship.
For the men in tuxes with white shirts and black ties and suits escorting the ladies in the most severe color palette, it was their combination, machinations and faces that shone that night.
So while Marina Benipayo, in a white column by Randy Ortiz, arrived with Ricardo Cepeda, Snooky Serna’s ex-husband; Xeng Zulueta, in beaded zebra short mini, mixed with Vania Romoff in liquid black silk charmeuse.
Jenni Epperson looked radiant while Leah Puyat smiled and Ruby Gan preened for the phalanx of photographers stalking the red carpet, which was black. Cheng Bernardez Lucas wore Frederick Peralta, Mara Spirig wore Ian Garcia, and BFFs Celine Magat Lopez and Wanda Louwallien gamely showed the crowd how former supermodels strike a pose. Phoemela Baranda, in organza ruffles by Rhett Eala, showed me her Ivanka Trump jewelry. Joey Mead King showed how marriage becomes her while Angel Jacob, in white satin blouse and black trumpet skirt by JC Buendia, rocked the house with her pixie hairdo. Tippi Ocampo and Michele Delgado Sison wore their own designs, and Roland Alzate wore Givenchy by Ricardo Tisci. Christian Espiritu got a Lifetime Achievement Award, as did Aureo Alonzo, in a pitch-black jusi barong. Anna Canlas and Daryl Chang got trophies for their work as top stylists of the land; a cherubic Enchong Dee presented the awards. Our own Tessa Valdes got a check for the Philippine National Red Cross from Aveline Siy. Mark and Sandy Higgins accepted an award for their fashion school, Slim’s. The most stylish couple were Ben Chan in Lanvin and longtime companion Miguel Pastor in Prada evening suit.
In this spread, we present the evening’s best bedecked in black and white drama. Notice how short evening dresses are now a trend; this ensures comfort, mobility for dancing, and did I mention the potential to knock years off your age? Suddenly, long mermaid trains look so last century.