Mindy's Musings: Runway to the Finish Line

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Fashion Week always excites me. I love the shows, the lights, the celebrities, the models, the photographers... But of course, I especially love the clothes! Designers brandish their new creations – garments that embody what they think will be the hottest trends for the next season. The event is certainly spectacular, especially when something really beautiful comes down the runway. Everybody applauds, and thinks to herself, “I want that!”

This year, the Philippine Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2009 was even made more exciting by the addition of the finale runway show of Project Runway Philippines. I looked forward to finding out how the collections of Veejay Floresca, Aries Lagat, and Philipp Tampus would turn out. Despite being all men, these three designers are so varied in terms of personality and fashion know-how.

I trudged to the SMX Convention Center minutes before the show. When I arrived at the venue, there were so many people lined up in front of the registration table. It was insane! It was definitely one of the most attended shows during Fashion Week. The line was moving oh so slowly, and when they realized that time was running out, the organizers suddenly announced that the guests and the media could enter the venue without registering. The announcer guy added, “The seats are limited, so you have to hurry.” The prospect of standing on my heels for many more minutes was unacceptable, so instead of being irked at the organizers' lack of preparation, I just semi-ran inside the function room and sat on the first and best seat I could find.

The lights dimmed after a few more minutes, then the promos for Project Runway Philippines were projected, one of which was the invitation for auditions for the second season. Ooh. I made a mental note to mention it to my designer friends. After an address from Wilson Tieng of Solar Entertainment, finally the beautiful Teresa Herrera emerged from backstage and started the show.

Philipp Tampus was up first, and he started the show with a knitted swimsuit. I like! Philipp really invested a lot of time in his clothes, showing pieces with very intricate details. There were other knitted pieces, as well as gowns with delicate beading and layering. The overall effect was romantic, which seems to be the designer's seeming trademark based on the previous challenges. It was classically beautiful.

Veejay Floresca, the youngest among the three finalists at 23, was second to show. His collection was more muted but the most wearable, and obviously geared to the modern woman. The silhouettes were going for the elegant and sophisticated effect, with gowns draped in Grecian shapes to dresses that firmly hug the body. The collection was technically well done, but probably I would have chosen a different color palette. Veejay used a lot of pastels and grays, which made the clothes seem... just normal.

Aries Lagat, the last contender of the night, was the only one who heralded his collection with a title: More Than a Woman. And I saw where he was coming from. His clothes were the most untraditional among the three, with shapes that distinguished themselves from the silhouettes we had seen in the previous collections. There were outfits that combine the rigidity of a tailored jacket with the flow of draping pants. The overall effect was chic.

During the course of Project Runway Philippines we knew Aries as the pattern-manipulator. For the finale, it felt as if we had not seen anything yet. Case on point: A model wearing a classic, very Marie Antoinette-like dress that stuck out like a sore thumb from the rest of the collection. I was almost scratching my head, when two other models wearing similarly off outfits walked towards the model. Then they pulled attachments from the huge gown, attached the garments to themselves, and voila, we had three new looks! The people were just stunned, and applauded Aries generously.

So who's going to win? In my book Aries will, for he was the most fashion-forward based on his presentation. However, the judges might put a heavier stake on Philipp's consistency and eye for detail, or Veejay's knowledge of the modern woman's tastes. Who knows? Let's just find out the winner together, shall we?

--- Did you like that? Then read more of Mindy’s Musings at www.wikipilipinas.org! You can also e-mail your comments, suggestions, and shoutouts to mindy@wikipilipinas.org.

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