SINULID: Beyond Boundaries Holds A Glimpse Into The Future of Philippine Fashion

At CSB Graduate Show SINULID: Beyond Boundaries, The Next Gen’s New Visions For Fashion

Photo by Excel Panlaque

At this year’s CSB fashion show SINULID: Beyond Boundaries, the next gen weighs in on the future of Philippine fashion with a “multiverse of ideas.”

The graduate presentation staged by De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde (CSB) last Friday, January 26, held a promising glimpse of the future. For the 62 young designers on the roster, the theme “Beyond Boundaries” felt all-encompassing for their Fashion Design and Merchandising program’s annual fashion show Sinulid

The show’s operations head and one of the designers Micah Alyanna Gomez assigns the word “fluid” to explain the thought behind it. It was this precise feeling of malleability and interconnectedness, the idea of something you can “construct and break and mend,” that marked the early planning stages of the student-led production last year in September. 

“The idea was that it goes beyond these boundaries of creativity. We thought of it somewhat like a multiverse, in a way,” she tells Vogue Philippines. “We wanted to see how that multiverse of ideas bounced from, you know, menswear to womenswear to childrenswear. Each student was in their own box, so ‘Beyond Boundaries,’ meaning that those things kind of merged together.” 

The SINULID: Beyond Boundaries exhibit ran from January 27 to 28 at The Podium, Mandaluyong. Photo by Excel Panlaque

At the show at The Atrium at The Podium, rays of light rippled down the runway in soft, wave-like patterns—a mark of that fluidity. Each designer’s debut collection would inform the next, following a narrative that would take the audience through four acts: Continuum (timeless flair); Pulse (in the moment); Frontier (cutting edge); and Boundless (fusion of eras). 

Continuum held new visions of classic silhouettes, reviving and riffing off of notions of identity, heritage, and tradition. Marilyn Yeung, for one, explored her Chinese identity via cheongsam-inspired tops worked into contemporary cuts, stark neutrals giving way to clean lines. Joseph Samson held investigations of masculinity for his pieces inspired by the ballroom scene, using traditionally feminine tropes—structured bodices, tulle, and billowing structures—to create texture and movement around the body. 

In Pulse, designers present their take on ready-to-wear. Many opted to revolve their brands around a niche clientele; Alyssa Sio’s bib-collared mini models opened the act, followed by Gomez’s neon cyclists and Brian Huang’s expressive musicians. The designers in Frontier followed up functional with future-forward thinking. Here, knitting, collaging, and layering become new mediums for storytelling. Zui Masilungan used cutouts to envision new modes of maternity wear, while Micca Amor weaves biomaterials into the fabric used for her modern-facing denim separates.

Model wears Love, Amor Studios by Micca Amor backstage. Photo by Tinkerbell Poblete
Models wear Natalia Andreana by Natalia Aguilar and KLA Studios by Khatyana Lauren Tongco backstage. Photo by Tinkerbell Poblete

The show closes with Boundless, where the ideas behind the first three acts are present in each collection. Lolen Joy Aran collected scans on the Philippines’ tradition of courtship, printing them on sheer layers of fabric to fashion romantic embroidered dresses. And there was Jolo Fernandez, who calls back to the 1960s via a campish take on mod silhouettes. The finale looks were by Joshua Chiong, who employed handsewn techniques to fashion textural surfaces on terno silhouettes. 

Throughout the show, the designers displayed a keen awareness of brand identity. While it’s not entirely surprising for a cohort comprised of digital natives—who might understand that it’s almost as important as the collection itself—it holds an exciting amount of promise for the Philippine fashion landscape. “A lot of us want to do different things,” Gomez says, voicing her and her fellow graduates’ plans for the future. “But at the end of the day, we all had opportunities to know what it’s like to design your own collection and make your own brand. I think that’s what ties in all of us students.” 

She continues, “Even if we’re interested in different aspects of the industry, we’re all able to embrace what it’s like to call something our own.” Whether the young talents foray into design or beyond, it seems, they are eager to contribute, bound with fresh perspectives. 

See some of the looks from SINULID: Beyond Boundaries below, and learn more about each of the designers on the official Sinulid Facebook page

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