Furne One of Amato Couture’s new collection is a tribute to the city which “gave me wings to fly and achieve my dream.”
Upcycling has become a huge movement in fashion with more and more major fashion houses like Balenciaga and Miu Miu releasing ensembles using deadstock fabrics at their core. One label led by a Filipino designer, Amato Couture, has been a big proponent of the trend since the very beginning. Furne One’s most recent collection is composed of upcycled pieces made from hand-carved wood.
Grandeur underlines the majority of his collections through ornate embellishments and unconventional silhouettes. A show of extravagance, every garment crafted is a visual experience with reams of gauzy fantasy in tow. Craftsmanship takes on a new level of opulence throughout his capsules. In his latest offering, Furne featured sculptural garments in the form of hand-made wood assemblages and metallic fixtures that accentuate a woman’s body. The upcycled materials are used with intention, highlighting the craftsmanship of the artisans behind each ensemble. An homage to Dubai, this collection honors the city that catapulted his career. “I will forever be grateful to this city [because] it made my dreams come true,” Furne tells Vogue Philippines.
Having worked with acclaimed Filipino lingerie designer Josie Natori for an apprenticeship, Furne was able to hone in on his own sense of style by working in her design studios in Paris and New York. After participating in fashion competitions (including taking first prize at Japan’s Women’s Wear Awards and becoming a finalist for Manila’s Fashion Designer Awards), the Filipino designer fell in love with Dubai on a stopover returning to New York. While working at a bespoke tailor shop in Deira, Dubai, Furne encountered his business partner Rashid Ali and eventually launched Amato.
Found in bronze, nude, white, and metallic hues with structured floral corsets and towering wooden frames, Amato invites you to a couture extravaganza that blends cutting-edge creativity with unconventional textures in this modern collection (let’s also not forget the emergence of oversized pieces that bring a certain type of je ne sais quoi to the capsule).
Below, the Dubai-based designer delves further into his future-oriented, upcycled collection.
Can you tell us about this intricate collection?
This capsule is a collection of my timeless and most iconic pieces from my past collections [and] what the AMATO brand has achieved over the course of almost 30 years in the business—a celebration of life, friendship, love, and our fashion journey. Each piece is a symbol of hope and inspiration for the talents and designers who have been inspired by the work that our atelier has done over the past years.
Every piece in this collection looks like wearable art. Which references shaped your creativity in this capsule?
My inspiration comes from stories—it could be from a stranger, a friend, a place I traveled to, a movie, a dish, a song or a book. Wherever I hear an interesting story, my mind transports me to another dimension. It becomes a tale in my mind. These stories mutate and become a work of art through fashion.
This capsule was a product of that process. It’s a mixture of stories of people and art around me. The intricate designs are inspired by the carvings of Italy (which is one of my most favorite places to visit and to get inspired), with references from Regency-era shows like Bridgerton and The Courtship matched with Hollywood red carpet glam. I love mixing all these interesting stories together and creating a brand whole new story out of it.
How did you choose the materials and textiles for this collection?
At AMATO Couture, we value slow fashion and upcycling. It is the center of our work ethos ever since we started our operations. Even though challenged with the fast-phased fashion industry, we stay true to our values and that is why we come out stronger all the time.
In terms of sourcing materials, we are very practical in choosing [them] for our collections. For this specific one, I have sourced it from local producers, as I believe in the importance of supporting local businesses.
Can you tell us about the color palette?
I played around [with] muted colors of white and nude with hints of metallics in the collection. I wanted colors that represent power and subtlety. These two words combined are a force to be reckoned with. It has been my challenge to myself all the time—to find [such] opposites and make them work. The mixture of the subtle elements of white and nude mixed with the power and versatility of the metals make the collection a much [more] powerful statement.
What new techniques have you introduced in this collection?
The craftsmanship of the collection is next level. These are hand-made wood carvings aesthetically assembled to create a feminine silhouette and wearable at the same time. While the other pieces are metallic body figures which need to be crafted for days to be able to achieve a feminine figure. If there is one new technique that I have introduced in this new collection, I can say it is the process of the people working [together] for this collection.
How do Filipino identity and representation come into play in your collection?
My Filipino heritage is always an underlying message in almost all of my collections. I grew up in Cebu, [always] being inspired by nature, the sea, and the craftsmanship of the province. In this collection, it is evident that those inspirations come to life—it is our love for [the] arts and life that makes our Filipino identity alive and I am happy to be an instrument of that.
Photography: Amer Mohamad, Hair: Osama Mustafa, Makeup: Alena Moiseeva, Light Assistant: Yasir Ali Shah
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