With “Anino,” Nina Amoncio’s namesake brand puts shadow play front and center.
Before Antonina’s showcase begins on the first day of Bench Fashion Week, the room is enveloped in darkness. Then, a cool atmospheric tune starts, and the lights gradually illuminate a group of models in formation. Leading the pack is our October cover star Ica Dy, donning a quilted jacket with an oversized sailor collar, and an exaggerated keyhole detail that reveals a mesh layer underneath. Seven equally textured looks follow, with garments, accessories, and footwear in a single, striking neutral hue.
“I was quite hesitant to execute a full collection in black,” shares Nina Amoncio, in an exclusive interview with Vogue Philippines. “I have not done this yet in any of my previous collections.”
The designer was initially intimidated by the color, which has the tendency to look flat from afar. To mitigate this, she incorporated manipulations like cowling, slashing, and her favorite, Boro hand-stitching. These techniques engineered innovative accents to familiar silhouettes: a tailored power suit with cargo trousers, drawstring bermuda shorts with elongated ties and silver ring embellishments, and a full-length open-front tunic.
Sartorial explorations like these came to Amoncio over the lockdowns, when she accrued a deeper sensitivity and wider perspective towards life and design. “Pagiging maalalahanin (being thoughtful) is a Filipino value that came into play in my design process. [Over the pandemic,] I became considerate of our current situation—there were times I [felt] that this was not the right time to put things and create pieces.” She concludes, “[So] I made sure that the inspiration behind this collection does not devalue or disrespect anything or anyone.”
This level of intention figured in her showcase, which felt like a curation of fashion and ambiance. From styling, to lighting, to music, Antonina’s new range delivered cohesion, and, more importantly, dimension.
Film by Borgy Angeles
Photography by Pao Godezano
Creative direction and Styling by Gian Gonzalez Latorre
Beauty by Sylvina Lopez
Modeling by Lee Suya and Czarina Toledo
Creatives by Antonette Amoncio, Antoinette Amoncio, and Bea Ongkiko