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New Year, new hope for Philippine fashion

“Change is coming in fashion.”

That was the promise of Ronnie Cruz, chief executive officer of Manila Fashion Festival (MFF) founder, Art Personas, during the MFF’s recent spring-summer 2017 showcase in Edsa Shangri-La Hotel.
“Instead of finding flaws, we’re here to find solutions,” he said, referring to innovations they introduced at MFF that would hopefully not only change the way people view the shows, but also help revolutionize the local fashion scene. These include virtual reality gears and 360-degree video cameras carried by the models on the catwalk, so online viewers may also see the shows from the models’ perspective.
Most of all, MFF advocates “fashion for a greater good” and, thus, partnered with Better Future Foundation, a non-government organization that distributes free candies with antibodies to poor Filipino kids. Guests were encouraged to buy candies as donation for the cause.
Other festival highlights included top hairstylist Lourd Ramos’ collaboration with Aderans, one of the biggest wig and hair solutions in the world. Lourd surprised watchers with his Madonna dance number and Japan-inspired hair show that included models in wigs with electric fans and flashing LED lights.
Veteran designers like Rhett Eala, JC Buendia and Randy Ortiz were among those who had jump-shipped to the festival.
JC’s collection was inspired by First Ladies in general, “because I feel that with clothes, you can inspire people and move a nation,” he said in an interview with this writer.
Ortiz, on the other hand, drew inspiration from different Asian cultures, using a variety of Asian fabrics and weaves. He also collaborated with t’nalak makers to create bibs and shawls in the 30-piece omnibus.
Meanwhile, Azucar’s collection, “La danse de la féminité,” was a celebratory exploration of romanticism as an expression of self love.
Avel Bacudio’s “Houndstooth” range featured digital prints from London and fabrics from Scotland. He claimed that his online store,, has been doing well among buyers from mainly the US and Canada.
“MFF is a good venue for both young and not so young designers,” affirmed Ortiz. “We have to keep Philippine fashion alive!”

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