True to its own initiative on starting the campaign #LoveLocal, Bench is teeming the Philippine fashion industry with more and more young talented Filipino designers as the retail giant finally unveiled the collections of the ten finalists of the Bench Design Awards 2018.
From Ottomondi’s design philosophy of highlighting multi-cultural and cross-industry references, Ched Studio’s fusion of contemporary and classic hand-drawn illustrations of history and pop-culture, and Renz Reyes’ collection inspired by vintage Italian horror films in the “Giallo” genre, we give you a closer look at all the collections presented at this year’s Bench Design Awards:
Merging sportswear and resort wear, TOQA created imagery that speaks to the breadth and depth of life on an island. Locating sustainable high fashion in a tropical country, the duo’s creations allow women of any form to break free from the reductive imagery that the world associates with tropical clothing.
Giving everyone a nostalgic feeling during his show, Jann Bungcaras’s collection was inspired by the children’s book, ‘The Little Prince’. It was a juxtaposition of both literal and metaphorical references that are presented behind each look of cinched-waisted menswear.
Inspired by vintage Italian horror films in the “Giallo” genre, the master works of Dario Argento and Mario Bava’s surreal use of colors drew Renz Reyes to the Technicolor nightmare that is ‘Suspria’. His collection highlighted Art Nouveau elements in feminine silhouettes tailored with casual and utilitarian details.
It was the warrior uniforms of Eastern Asia that Ottomondi channeled in his full menswear collection, melding the quirky elegance of uniformity and utility. The blocky silhouettes consisting of panels stitched together juxtaposed graphic geometric prints that served as detachable pockets or modified ultra-thin waist bags.
Showcasing pastel-colored dresses with aquatic fauna-inspired hand-painted prints, Marvien’s collection gives a soothing nature to techwear by incorporating neoprene and mesh detailing to make each piece more breathable and relaxed.
Taking inspiration from the nitty-gritty streets of Manila, Antonina Amoncio’s ‘PARA SAYO’ collection reintroduced the tenacious work force in our country by sending models down the runway in pieces that evoke a road worker, a street sweeper, and a traffic enforcer cheekily accessorized with carrier boxes turned backpacks and handbags.
A path not traversed by many, Ched Dalogaog takes on the challenge of handiwork and embroidery with one skirt that painstakingly took 30 hours to make. The young designer infused contemporary and classic with hand-drawn illustrations from Filipino drawing books and botanical drawings, deconstruction, and craftsmanship.
Titled ‘Tayaw’, Harvic Dominguez’s collection pays homage to the rituals and ceremonies in the Cordilleras with indigenous prints seeping through modern silhouettes in sweaters, coats, dresses and skirts.
It was a kaleidoscope world on the runway as Reysan Ornopia took cues from Native American culture, reinterpreting essential elements such as dreamcatchers, tie dye, fringe, and feathers into casual wear.
Childhood fears inspired duo HA.MU’s recent collection, envisioning the monsters underneath their beds and how they existed in their heads. Instead of running away from the horrific boogeymen, HA.MU faced their fears and transformed it into art. The young designers’ ability to create pieces that can stand alone and/or altogether is undoubtedly sensational.
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