ACTRESS AND emcee Dawn Zulueta-Lagdameo looked pert in a white sheath and a sculpted hat as she greeted the audience at the “Mothers for Others” charity fashion show.
Immediately after her opening line, her son Jacobo darted from backstage to be with her. The host told her son that it was not yet his turn to be onstage. That spontaneous moment signaled that this would be no ordinary fashion show.
Everybody gave his/her time and talents freely to Bantay Bata’s fundraiser—the recipients are underprivileged children in need of heart surgery. The Makati Shangri-La ballroom was packed at brunch with the country’s prominent families, in various attires, ranging from casuals to Sunday clothes.
When it was announced that the Pacquiao-Mosley fight was about to start at Conway’s, dads, husbands, uncles and brothers preferred to stay for the children’s fashion show and root for their loved ones.
Who modeled the clothes was just as important as who dressed them up. Thirty models, ages 2 to 12, strutted down the ramp like pros. The country’s top designers made pocket collections for little adults. The runway was dominated by bouffant skirts, drapery and ruffles, and a color palette that ranged from muted to metallic and candy.
Pepito Albert’s collection, “Couture Ballerina,” consisted of fitted black tops with two-toned draped balloon skirts in silk gazar and taffetta. His models, Rocio Zobel and Solene Santos, were children of his clients Maricris Zobel and Mandy Santos. Rocio turned out to be a natural, taking after her model-mother.
Ivar Aseron dressed up his kiddie models as if they were going to a ball—dark gray suit with fine stripes for Jacobo Zapanta Berenguer-Testa, and lilac satin gown with bows on the shoulder for his partner, Isabella Zapanta del Rosario.
Paul Cabral drew inspiration from the Hamptons with his sneaker-shod models, Andrea and Alessandra Ynares Villalon, in light gray cardigans over colored shirts, colorfully sashed on the waist over voluminous skirt.
Rhett Eala made a kiddie version of his salable Collezione Younghusband collection as Christiane and Javier Tambunting wore navy shirts with bermudas. Little Javier showed off his soccer skills.
Jun Escario created little angels, Tamara, Tatiana and Daniela Araneta, dressed in frothy pastels, accentuated with draped sashes. The youngest of the Araneta children was close to tears as she nervously did her solo walk. Her colleagues had the presence of mind to hold her hand and make her feel secure again.
Rajo Laurel’s collection was inspired by British fashion at the turn of the 20th century in a blazer and trouser for Patrick Cecala and a big striped skirt and puffed-sleeve blouse for Rocio Tambunting. His niece Alix Hermano looked like a mini Coco Chanel in Deauville.
Jojie Lloren presented pastel cutaway blouses over striped skirts, worn by Mariana Po and Hailey Que Yap, while Dennis Lustico showed off his forte in ruffles worn by Isabella Albert and Ines Angara. When Jacobo Lagdameo modeled the waistcoat jacket by Lustico, he impressed the crowd with his mannish poses.
Randy Ortiz responded to the demands of his young clients, Joshua and Andre Nicolos Tiu and Dion Shani: “Make me look like Justin Bieber!” He said it was his version of clubwear dandy—mixed checked shirts, suspenders, bowties, and splashes of red in the collars and bands.
Patrice Ramos-Diaz’s models looked like debutantes in a Cecile Beaton photo. Alexandra Norbert was in a sea foam taffeta and brocade gown with swirls of fabric caught in glittery crystal brooches while Ramona Chan shone in silver with draped sleeves.
Cary Santiago’s models, Andrea Lhuillier Hess and Natalia Siy were in age-appropriate wear—empire cut, puffed sleeves and tucks.
Inno Sotto showed his signature fabric treatment—Chanel jackets with frayed edges accentuated by huge flowers, worn by Allegra Valdes-Rodriguez, Anna Cecala and Adriana Zubiri.
Director Robbie Carmona says working with children was a wonderful experience. He got a lift from their sense of wonder and enthusiasm. Like professional models, they knew their cues just by following the little taped stars on stage. The dressing room looked like a day care center with colorful little chairs, PlayStations, and DVD players to show Barney or Sesame Street reruns.
Said Carmona, “I love their energy. They don’t realize that by participating in this fashion show, they’re helping other children have a better life.”