Here’s everything you need to know about Filipino designer Martin Bautista’s 15th-anniversary collection.
Refined silhouettes merge with “surprising washes of color” in Filipino designer Martin Bautista’s 15th-anniversary collection. The Manila-based designer has been lauded for his skills in drapery, garment manipulation, and use of jersey throughout his career. His deft placement of gathers and floor-sweeping fabrics makes clients exude sensuality and elegance. Moving with the wearer’s body, his feminine pieces are interplays of silhouettes and proportion (showcasing slivers of skin for elegant reveals).
Worn by a celebrity lineup including Pia Wurtzbach, Kathryn Bernardo, Anne Curtis, Georgina Wilson, Liza Soberano, Solenn Heussaff, and Jess Wilson, Bautista’s statement dresses empower women to take risks and be bold. Honing in on female strength, his 15th-anniversary collection at Bench Fashion Week reflected exactly that.
Accentuating the female form with his painterly pleated pieces, shimmering hooded dresses, ornate sheer ruffles, and coordinates with pearl attachés, Bautista’s designs take on a new dimension with a playful spin on his precise tailoring. With Rosalía’s “BIZCOCHITO” playing in the background, his pieces brought a riveting sense of drama to the catwalk—reminiscent of what the designer calls his “frantic energy” amidst a creative endeavor. Striking structures are the centerpiece of the collection delivering fresh thinking through a colorful capsule.
Per his show notes, Bautista aims to communicate that “there is always something to look forward to, even after 15 years in the industry” by creating a collection that demonstrates the ever-evolving, forward-thinking nature of his designs. Throughout this highly-anticipated collection, the Filipino designer “found familiarity in the cycles of fashion, challenging his lens on the past with this collection’s innovations.”
His reinterpretations took the form of new shapes and unconventional embellishments—denim cargo pants were enveloped by colored tulle, while the transformative power of the fringe shone through grids of pearls. A highlight of the collection were the artful printed pleats that seemed to scallop the body—a kaleidoscopic, meditative reprieve from the codes and conventions of fashion. What this collection signals is that his career has come full circle—a meditation on elegance in growth and a compassionate encounter with one’s past and future self.
Photographed by Borgy Angeles, Creative Direction & Styling by Andrea Ang, Make Up by Robbie Piñera, Hair by Anton Papa, Shot at Vestido the Studio, Models: Taki, Zam Dy and Isabela Galeria