Celebrity Style

Anne Curtis And Carl Jan Cruz Collaborated On Her Vogue Philippines Gala Outfit

Excel Palanque

The veteran actor and designer created an eye-catching ensemble at the Vogue Gala.

Carl Jan Cruz was only fourteen years old when Anne Curtis wore his designs. “Anne was one of my very first clients,” the designer tells Vogue. “I had a portfolio and [a magazine] loaned from me. Out of the blue, they called me and said, ‘Anne wants your jacket.’ It appeared on the cover.” From unique beginnings, the two reunited after five years when the star visited Cruz’s studio. He says, “It was really amazing that she was very much aware of the [brand’s] aesthetic. The connection stayed together and for this gala, it’s a perfect marriage.”

“I like to show a little bit more skin than his usual style,” the Filipino-Australian actor tells Vogue. “But of course we still have this quilting here,” she says, pointing to her décolletage, framed by the gown’s tufted details and subtle beading. A dressy, billowy black number, with the thinnest of straps and a daring backless silhouette, the collaborators’ joint vision came alive at the Vogue Gala.

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A post shared by Carl Jan Cruz (@carljancruz)

“We wanted to do something that was in her DNA and our DNA,” Cruz says. Both personalities are known for their styles—Cruz’s eponymous label has been a go-to for Manila’s coolest since he launched, while Curtis-Smith’s long tenure in the industry means many knockout ensembles through the years. “Anne has her own take on dressing. It’s effortless and contemporary. She does love a well-positioned garment’s neckline, armhole, or slitting. She loves her proportions, similar to us. But we added more to the details and how we constructed it down to the fabrication.”

“Carl Jan Cruz is one of my favorite local designers,” Curtis-Smith beams. True enough, since she discovered him, she’d been wearing his designs, from his dressier pieces to his version of Filipino house clothes or “pambahay.” “I love his Pang-okasyon line,” she says, sharing that the esteemed designer even dresses her daughter. “We decided to come up with something that was me, but still has that Carl Jan Cruz touch.” The eye-catching evening dress was a blending of their personalities and a combination of their two styles—happily reunited at Vogue Philippines’s first-ever Gala.

Carl Jan Cruz, Anne Curtis-Smith, and Rajo Laurel. Excel Palanque

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