Arab Fashion Week 2020: Why These 2 Filipino Designers Were A Showstopper



Setting the standards high at Arab Fashion Week 2020, here’s how Filipino designers Furne One and RC Caylan inarguably became a cut above the rest. 

To say that the coronavirus pandemic has had a major effect on the fashion industry could be an understatement. Because not only was buying luxury products shelved for the meantime to prioritize the new essentials, the events sector was also put at a halt. But since the industry has always been adept at the ever-changing times, we easily found a way on how we could move forward.

Slowly and surely, we began to utilize technology to solve a modern-day problem even if we’re oceans away from each other. We’ve seen countless storied fashion houses showcase their latest collections through the use of online platforms—from Balmain, Gucci, to Louis Vuitton. So, regardless if there are restrictions, we made it a point to still make fashion an accessible means of escape from the turmoils of reality.

Recently at the concluded Arab Fashion Week, there were two designers who really stood out: Furne One of AMATO Couture and Los Angeles-based designer RC Caylan. Apart from the fact that they were let alone Filipinos, which easily caught our attention, their collection presentation was executed not in your quintessential form of presenting a collection for fashion week.

Instead of having a white background runway like others, they opted to create a short fashion film highlighting their pieces. After all, since we’re now living in the midst of the digital-first and mobile-friendly culture, it’s only fitting for brands to resort to more democratic and effective ways on how they would present their collections. By doing a fashion film, these two brilliant designers were able to showcase the exquisite craftsmanship that came into every detail of their creations. But the best thing about it is they are able to showcase their latest collections through a very interesting narrative.

The Bollywood Craze

Throughout many years, Furne One of AMATO Couture has constantly created collections that is constantly breathtaking. So, for the Arab Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2021, the inimitable designer took us for a trip to the beautiful desert. His latest collection revolved around the concept of equality, diversity, and unity. “In my own fashion universe, there are no boundaries—everyone is created equal. The film, Divine Indwelling, states the fact of this special presence without explaining how it takes place,” he shares.

But what truly set his presentation apart from others is that his short film starred Bollywood Superstar Urvashi Rautela, in which the magical, almost mystical aura of the collection is omnipresent. Directed by Alex Suhorucov, the first part of the film featured models of colors and ultimately reflected the AMATO woman: bold, brave, and beautiful. Then the second part highlights a warrior princess lost in the wilderness portrayed by Rautela. 

“This collection is a revolution as we face a brave new world. As a fashion designer, I have the power to dream and inspire people to dream bigger than our own dreams,” Furne expounds. “The revolution is all about peace and harmony, understanding one another in a noisy, busy, and complicated world that we live in, which is the ultimate realization.”

Welcome To Eden

While we were transported to the desert earlier at the onset of Arab Fashion Week 2020, Los Angeles-based Filipino designer RC Caylan suddenly brought us to the opposite world where the lush greeneries of Eden welcomed us.

In his first-ever presentation hosted by the Arab Fashion Council, RC’s ready-couture Spring/Summer 2021 collection features an unexpected combination of colors and created interesting effects in his clothing, which led him to name it, Juxtapose. Inspired by the two supermodel sisters, Gigi and Bella Hadid, he was able to introduce a variety of silhouettes, mix volumes and textures, and create chic and elegant ready-couture pieces.

But what’s really interesting about this entire collection is how RC is doing his part in helping close the fashion loop. This collection also serves as an introduction to his pursue of sustainable fashion. He used eco-friendly textile and environmentally conscious fabrics that are source from Eco-Conscious Textile mill from France, Italy, Belgium, and Spain. So, his use of metallic fabrics, silicon leather, and eco-friendly fabrics embellished with trims, embroidery, and crystals that were delicately crafted and hand-sewn became the true highlight of his show.

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