“My goal for her looks was to be able to showcase Filipino fashion in a fresh way.” Stylist Lyn Alumno takes Vogue Philippines behind Nadine Lustre’s favorite Paris Fashion Week looks.
For brands and designers anywhere, Paris Fashion Week is considered center stage in the realm of fashion. The runways and resees are a given but street style is equally as important—thanks to the internet, a single image’s reach is far and wide. For Nadine Lustre, the decision to wear Filipino designers was almost reflexive.
Between the shows and stylish catch-ups with Vogue Philippines editors, the award-winning actress and musician wore archival looks from Salvacion Lim Higgins, Rajo Laurel, Prada, and Mugler, as well as contemporary Filipino brands .ARCHIVES and Rafa Worldwide.
Her stylist and long-time collaborator Lyn Alumno sits down with Vogue Philippines, who shares all that went into the preparations, from striking a nice balance between Filipino and international designers to the “goosebumps moment” of seeing Nadine try on a 56-year-old piece from the Salvacion Lim Higgins archive.
Vogue Philippines: When you style Nadine, what keywords do you aim for when putting together a look?
Lyn Alumno: Bold, provocative, a bit avant-garde.
What were the preparations like for conceptualizing Nadine’s Paris Fashion Week looks? What was your goal with her style this fashion week?
Honestly, both of us were preoccupied with so many projects for the last few months, so it was a tight timeline for us. But ever since she told me back in August that she would be flying to Paris for fashion week, I began to dive deep, researching archival looks from Filipino fashion designers that had little to no documentation. I also had to gather some of my vintage designer pieces that I’ve kept for years.
My goal for her looks was to be able to showcase Filipino fashion in a fresh way—with some pieces dating [from] 1967 (she wore one archival dress by national artist Salvacion Lim Higgins from her “Bal Masque” collection), 2013, and emerging designers as well.
There was a mix of Filipino and international brands — can you tell me how you struck this nice balance?
Been waiting for someone to ask me this, but thank you for noticing. I know people usually just see clothes, but there’s a lot of layers involved when I create a look. Every single detail is thoughtful and intentional. It could get lethal, but also fragile. The same ethos applies to the way I curate—tapping iconic Filipino designers, but also a ton of cool, emerging brands, too. There’s something so satisfying about wearing anything locally made and being able to put a spotlight on the people who made it when you’re in a place far from home. I’m glad that Nadine and I are on the same page with this one.
And of course, I just had to bust out my personal archive of vintage designer pieces that Nadine was able to rewear. She wore my vintage Mugler jacket (that impeccably cinched her waist!) to their Spring 2024 re-see, she also wore a vintage Prada coat from Fall 2009 sourced by a few friends at Give Me The Loot. Another look that she wore was a vintage Saint Laurent tuxedo shirt styled with a bubble skirt that looked like a long-sleeve button-down from JW Anderson. Her wearing Yohji Yamamoto at his recent show was also a surreal moment for me. It was also fun giving the liberty to brands like AZ Factory and Dice Kayek when they chose a look for Nadine. With her, it’s a constant collaborative process, which I always enjoy.
Tell me about the specific brands you chose for Nadine.
I feel fortunate to have worked with different brands and designers for this project. I didn’t even expect some of them would say yes to begin with. It felt reminiscent of the time when we worked on Nadine’s visual album “Wildest Dreams” during the pandemic, mainly because it was fun hand-picking creatives to collaborate with. It was an eclectic mix of romantic, androgynous, feminine, but all have that certain edginess in their own ways. Some of my favorite brands were J.Makitalo because of her eccentric jewelry, Elywood and their deconstructed classic pieces, and Rafa Worldwide mostly because it was stunningly created by my mentee.
Which look was Nadine’s favorite?
Her favorites were the Yohji Yamamoto look, the archival Rajo Laurel piece, the SLIMS dress. Because they all have their own heart-warming stories.
I feel like the Yohji Yamamoto look represented a more mature Nadine. I’m happy to see her finally exploring different silhouettes that are out of her comfort zone.
Then there’s the archival Rajo Laurel piece. It was initially an option for the Vogue [Philippines Anniversary] Gala, but I told her it was a better fit for Paris Fashion Week. I first saw a photo of that dress during one of my studio visits at House of Laurel. Rajo has the most insane library, and I just absorbed everything that I read. He keeps photos of all his collections in actual albums, and I suddenly came across a beautiful sci-fi-ish piece worn by model Jasmine Maierhofer from 2013.
He told us it was from his 20th-year anniversary collection entitled, “Full Circle,” hence the circular elements. Funny enough, when he brought out the piece, it took him a while to figure it out because he couldn’t remember how to wear it.
The archival dress from Salvacion Lim Higgins was also another favorite of ours. It’s a 56-year-old piece of Filipino fashion history that first debuted in 1967, from her collection entitled “Bal Masque.” I’m grateful to Mark Higgins, Li-J, and the rest of the SLIMS team for even accommodating my request. When I first saw it, it felt unbelievable how all the embellishments of the dress were still intact even if it was created decades ago—best believe it was a major goosebumps moment. The mod silhouette and the backless design were ahead of their time, a testament to how Salvacion Lim Higgins is truly the Mother of the modern terno. Truly sublime.
And which look was your personal favorite?
Each outfit has its own persona, so I can’t really choose a favorite. But it would definitely be her look from the Mugler re-see. I thrifted that archival piece a few months ago, and it’s from one of Thierry Mugler’s RTW collections from the 80s. It might just be one of the most expensive archival pieces I own. I’m heavily influenced by his vision as an artist, so it was another callback moment for me, seeing Nadine wear it to Paris.
I also love the archival Rajo Laurel and Salvacion Lim Higgins dress and the Prada coat from fall 2009. It was an educational experience for both Nadine and me. I had to deep-dive into the archives of these fashion designers just to find the perfect look, and I hope the new generation will take the time to learn about Filipino fashion history, just as I did.
What were the tiny details we may have missed on these looks?
Most people don’t know it, but it was really Nadine’s request to use mostly Filipino fashion designers and only faux leather. We share the same love for discovering brands every now and then, whether it’s local or international. We also wanted to prove a point that there’s nothing wrong with re-wearing, cause isn’t that the purpose of clothes anyway? Nadine and I have been working together for almost three years now, I’m glad that in every step of the way, both of us are consciously making sure that we only use anything ethically made.
I believe Nadine attending Paris Fashion Week is such a canon event in her career. She’s currently in-between movie tapings and we literally had our last fitting on the day of her flight. She came home at 4 AM, had her nails done, fit at 6 AM, had her haircut by 10:30 AM then arrived at the airport by 2 PM in time for her flight. I was feeling anxious the entire time she was in Paris ‘cause I’m on the other side of the world and just had to trust her when it came to polishing the looks even if I already sent her a style guide. At the end of the day, it’s all about trusting and letting go.