“Anachronism” or born in the wrong era: It was my good friend’s tumblr url. I asked her if I can use it to name this collection, and she said yes. It just sounded fascinating at the time. In a way, the overall message I was trying to achieve with these five pieces was having a feeling that the clothes didn’t really belong in the modern times (or the present).
Now that I look at what my twenty year-old self called this collection, it just sounded super pretentious, haha. I can laugh about it now…but to be completely honest, the overall inspiration of this collection is hugely connected to my own dorkyness. I was a HUMONGOUS fan of visual kei (I still kinda am, by the way). If you have an idea of what that is, we will be good friends. If you have none, head on over here and prepared to get your mindblown. (Hint: 99.9% of those aren’t…girls.)
The other inspiration I would rather not discuss. Instead, I’ll reveal the incredibly n00b water color studies of the designs.
If you still couldn’t tell by now, this post is actually back-dated (written on a much, much later date). And by this time, maroon/red/scarlet and black has appeared so many times in the history of my designing–whether I liked it or not. In 2011 though, the color combination was quite new and exciting for me to work with. Apart from the fact that they are both my favorite hues of all time, they’re dark, mysterious, and powerful on their own. Much more when put together. At the same time, the fabrics I chose were textured. It was one hell of a challenge to match them all together. In total, I’ve successfully mixed ten textures without anything overpowering the other, or looking wrong in the equation.
But the real hurdle? Finding the actual textures to mix and match!
In this huge metro where there are tons of fabric choices (and really tempting price ranges, too!) it’s always overwhelming having a lot of choices. Visual Kei is just so broad as an inspiration. It was hard to translate it to just one collection that would have the message I was going for. VK in itself is already crazy for goodness’ sake!
I can’t remember how many times I’ve been back and forth fabric places just to find the right fabrics for this collection. Divisoria, Fabric Warehouse branch here, Carolina’s branch there, Telahan sa Plaza, Narnia – you name it, I’ve probably been there. The distressed look has to tie everything together, and it cannot be done without the right fabrics.
That said though, making the collection was a total blast. All the overnight cutting, sewing, detailing, and re-doing, and crying were all worth it. I came up with outfits I was (and still am) happy about. It wasn’t as perfect as McQueen’s, but for a second collection, it already is a huge accomplishment. Because this is actually supposed to be my fabulous farewell work to the college that gave me free education for four years. Yep, it was my graduation collection! I gave it my all. There wasn’t anything else I wish I could’ve done better and didn’t at that time.
In the 64 design students who presented their five-piece collection, what set mine apart is that two of those were outfits for men while most of us had only one. Well, I was making the clothes for Visual Kei artists in mind. If anything, I’d love them all to be all men’s wear if I had the option. Maybe it was fate or pure coincidence, but I hit a total jackpot in my set. The five muses I was assigned came with this model. He was like the most perfect canvas to paint on. His look just fit effortlessly with my design. I guess there isn’t anything much to say about this perfection except these two words: He slayed.
Here are two fabulous shots of the last dress. Both by Raleen Cabrera. I just love how the train came out. Just how I envisioned it would be. And guess what? This model (Elle) rocked the look.I loved working with her and her dedication. The blazer is my favorite piece amongst the female pieces. I still wear it. It’s comfy and fab. Suits most of my casual wardrobe, hah.
But my favorite part of the night? Seeing once more one of the designers who has inspired me to go for the gold even when I was still in highschool: Santi Obcena of The House of Santi! Still looking dashing as ever. He took the time to watch our show!
The eve ended too soon. It was tiring – yes. But I didn’t know the professors still have something else up their sleeves. I received an award as one of the Best Ten Designers in the 64 collections that showed that night. It was completely unexpected, especially with the struggle I’ve experienced tying the collection together.
That night, the future seemed so bright. I couldn’t see through the light, but I knew in my heart that there will be good things to come. I was optimistic. It was my graduation show after all. I’ve had high expectations of myself and what I’d do to achieve my ambitions. To me, this success was just the beginning. Looking back to how I single-handedly done each garment, you can say it was a point of pride. A test of skill and courage that I didn’t know I had. But the key was to always go for it. Closed eyes and all, not knowing what would happen, my twenty year-old self just did it afraid. The results may not be perfect, but there are results. And that’s what mattered the most. I was pretty proud of myself. 🙂
Edit: One of the unforgettable moments though, was when my favorite professor, Mr. Katigbak told me my clothes looked awesome in the runway. I think that was my best (and last) memory of him, before he passed away in 2015. He left not only wonderful memories. He also left me a lot of hope. Even when I am so beat up and self-doubting all the time with my ability, style, and struggling with how the world accepts my aesthetics, I just replay his words in my mind and all is well. In a way, his words gave me strength at my worse days. I was truly lucky to have learned from him. He will always be my favorite professor.