See the fresh set of trends that emerged from the runways of Vania Romoff, Cheetah Rivera, Neric Beltran, and more.
The fashion calendar isn’t over just yet. In the Philippines, last weekend’s BYS Fashion Week shows were in full force, with designers showcasing their latest collections across locations in Metro Manila. There was actress Nadine Lustre, fresh off of the Paris Fashion Week shows, walking the runway for Rafa Worldwide; Neric Beltran’s runway return, which was marked by a surprise performance by P-Pop boyband SB19; an immersive experience to fête Cheetah Rivera’s decade in fashion.
The fanfare aside, Filipino designers stepped up to the stage with welcome remixes on their signatures, diverse reinterpretations of classics, and a storytelling quality to collections inspired by life. Below, see Vogue Philippines’ run-down of the runway presentations at BYS Fashion Week 2023.
At Randolf, designer RJ Santos was inspired by a sleepy diner staff worker helming the night shift. He presents forms straight out of a fever dream, splicing the traditional codes of the Filipiñiana, barong, and Western suit with playful juxtaposition. Amid embroidered stretch-jersey separates and jacket collar-affixed denim pants, find sharp-toothed lapels on vivid printed suits, a fusion of the alampay and the barong, and tailored cropped jackets paired with loose, floor-grazing trousers.
Chris Nick took an all-noir approach to his suit stylings, as per his signature. The designer riffed on the tuxedo with sequins, ruched sheer tops, and cheeky slogan tanks. His tailoring is done close to the body, emphasizing leggy proportions and strategic slivers of skin.
Billow and swell
Industry veteran Neric Beltran’s long-awaited sophomore collection is his first foray into bridal. This season, he deviated from the intricately embellished pieces he’s known for, giving equal focus to form and construction. He envelopes his entourage in pouf-pumped coats, grand ballgowns, and supersized bows. These pieces could have easily entered the realm of stuffy and uptight, but his gauzy florals and balanced proportions gave them their light-as-air feeling.
Love, freedom, happiness—the words lined the walls framing Cheetah Rivera’s runway. As she celebrates her decade in the industry, she highlights the people who have filled her life with these feelings. “As an artist who encounters challenges and human experiences, [it’s] me being grateful about all the good things that happened in my ten-year journey as an artist,” the designer said of the theme of her show. “I want to celebrate it in a way of making clothes that would paint that certain emotion.” And paint them she did—with tulle, satin, and organza in full saturation. Flounced skirts, billowed sleeves, and balloon hems invited a sense of fun and play on the runway; you could tell by the way Rivera’s models twirled, skipped, and danced.
At Vania Romoff, the dresses were muted and monochrome, light and flowing. For her eponymous label, the designer leaned into feminine sensibilities for her latest collection—her first in five years—aptly titled “WOMAN.” On her runway, she presented a billowing cream off-the-shoulder dress that featured lightly ruched tiers, a black strapless number made entirely of ruffles, and layers on layers of tulle.
Inspired by life
HA.MU, led by the design duo Abraham Guardian and Mamuro Oki, showcased a delightful blend of maximalist and minimalist silhouettes and motifs, from tulle tutus affixed above embellished pants, exaggerated balloon hems, and a playful mix-and-match of prints.
“[The ‘Merry-Go-Round of Life’ collection is] inspired by the cycle of life and how things are always just revolving around and around,” Guardian said. Candy-colored beads, organic, trailing lines of ruffles, and the hand-drawn quality of the delicate floral appliqués conveyed the wide-eyed wonder of childhood.
Rafa Worldwide’s Raf Villas was inspired by the divas and glamazons of the early aughts. “I translated it in a dark way—a reflection of my emotions through that time,” he told Vogue Philippines. The collection had all the makings of a Y2K resurgence: daring cutouts, fur-trimmed denim skirts, trailing fringe, beads, and coils on body-conscious dresses.
At ANTONINA, designer Nina Amoncio and creative director Gian Gonzalez Latorre created fashions for a deluge. The brand offered a contemporary spin on everyday basics: long-lined raincoats, electric pleated skirts over pants, and stormy tie-dye prints across a dark, neutral palette. The collection started from a deeply personal place, noted Amoncio. “I really wanted to highlight my growth as a designer,” she explained. “The metaphor of the rain for me [symbolizes] my own feelings of regret.”
Orias Studios’ homespun vessels hauled vivid blooms along the runway. For his first solo show, designer Vin Orias presented his signature design in new exciting shapes: crescent moons, barrels, orbs, and book totes in a plethora of sizes. His use of dark leather, Japanese denim, and high-twist wool was inspired by Metro Manila. Paired with the sunburst pattern of the solihiya weave, the bags are effectively telling of the city’s ever-shifting landscape.
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