Swirling Gems, Flitting Flourishes: Furne One Comes Home To Cebu For His 25th Anniversary Collection

Photo by Pam Quiñones

Amato Couture’s Furne One intimates his sensibilities through an odyssey of craft and couture—a retrospect of 25 years of work.

Dubai-based Filipino designer Furne One comes home. To celebrate his 25 years in fashion, the couturier stages a show in Cebu City. Produced by his dear friend, designer Cary Santiago, in partnership with Waterfront Hotel and Diagold, Furne presents a 50-piece collection of all-white ensembles: sculptural bodices bedecked with pearls and gems, cage corsets and crowns that erupt into blooms, delicate tulle dresses juxtaposed by their gothic feeling—ornate embroidery coiling down the length of the gowns.

Titled “Immaculate Machinations,” the designer reexplores the motifs that have come to define his signatures, those which have made him so beloved by pop luminaries like Beyoncé, Lady Gaga, and Mariah Carey. Vogue Philippines fashion director Pam Quiñones, present at his show, notes his use of “fully beaded geometric panels” and “jagged edges on soft, sheer bases.” For her, the standout piece was the one with “intricate embellishments crafted to mimic feathers,” details telling of Furne’s couture sensibilities.

Below, the designer tells Quiñones about finding inspiration in his archives, as well as his lasting friendship with Santiago.

Photo by Pam Quiñones
Photo by Pam Quiñones

Pam Quiñones: What was your starting point for your 25th anniversary show?

Furne One: I wanted to celebrate, through this show, a retrospect of my work throughout the years. I really dug deep and curated a mix of iconic pieces from my archives. You might recognize some from music videos, and others worn by celebrities such as Beyoncé or Katy Perry during award shows. I also decided to do an all-white ensemble in various degrees of shading and texture and grouped them into capsules based on the overall theme and style of each garment.

What does it mean and how does it feel to do your show in Cebu?

There’s no place like home! It has been an emotional journey, and I am glad to have celebrated it from my place of origin. I am very grateful to Waterfront Hotels and Casino Cebu, Diagold headed by Miss Jennifer Viloria-Ty, Iconic Mall headed by Maybelle Padillo, all of my other sponsors, and dear friends, as well as Engr. Junjet Primor who has made this homecoming such a great milestone. Last but certainly not least, [I am grateful to] my dear Cary Santiago for his confidence and great contribution in making everything possible. I am immensely blessed to be surrounded by such creative and generous people.

Photo by Pam Quiñones

Tell us about your friendship with Cary Santiago.

Cary and I go way back. He has been someone I always admired as a master craftsman, and his taste is impeccable. This is something that I share with him. We both deeply care about our work and vision, and we never settle for anything less. Over the course of time, our mutual respect for one another has only grown even more. Both being Bisaya, and Cebuanos at that, we share a unique bond that always feels like a friend that no matter the distance, it always feels like no time has passed. It’s always a trip down memory lane when we’re together, so many good times to reminisce.

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