Re-Wear Was The Biggest Statement At The Vogue Philippines Launch Party

Jasmine Curtis-Smith wears vintage Alexander McQueen. Photographed by Daniel Tan

Last year, Vogue Philippines feted fashion with the theme “Re-wear.”

After a voyage through the three main islands of the Philippine archipelago, Vogue Philippines celebrated its global debut with fanfare and festivities that spanned two days. The first half of the celebration, the Vogue Philippines Party, was held last year on August 28th at Xylo at The Palace, hosting Manila’s brightest luminaries across all industries. For many, the party was a first look into the world of Vogue Philippines. With the unveiling of its Maiden Issue saved for the Gala the next day, the team decided to set the tone via the dress code: “Re-wear.” For the attendees, it was an open invite to reinterpret, rework, and restyle looks they’ve worn in the past, imagining them anew. 

Pitched by digital editor Trina Epilepsia Boutain, fashion director Pam Quiñones was thrilled when she heard the idea. “I realized, never has there been a fashion party in the Philippines that really resonated with the idea of sustainability in fashion,” she says. “And really, with Vogue having sustainability as one of our values, I feel like we were really walking the talk. And I think that’s quite important.” 

Re-wear on the red carpet

The best looks of the evening saw actresses Gabbi Garcia and Jasmine Curtis-Smith go the archival route, with the former wearing Celine reworked by designer Neric Beltran, and the latter wearing Alexander McQueen circa 2003. Kyline Alcantara had a dress she wore to a previous event reworked, while her date Mavy Legaspi took an old Paul Cabral polo of his and styled it under a jacket from Alcantara’s closet.

Gabbi Garcia in archival Celine reworked by Neric Beltran. Photographed by Daniel Tan

Meanwhile, designers took the challenge to new heights, wearing their own creations taken from previous collections or reinvented from the ground up.

Carla Zhang wore her own brand Le Ngok, featuring a vest made entirely from discarded printed circuit boards. Abraham Guardian and Mamuro Oki, the duo behind the contemporary brand Ha.Mu, decided on a surprising amalgamation of color and texture to inform their ensembles. Oki’s hot pink ensemble was derived from a piece he made for the 2018 Bench Design Awards—a sentimental choice for the evening as it would later inspire the dress Chloe Magno wears on the Luzon cover of the Maiden Issue. Guardian, on the other hand, went for a playful interpolation of school projects: a patchwork of sequins, denim, and plush iconography.

Abraham Guardian of Ha.Mu wears his own creation. Photographed by Daniel Tan

One piece, one million ways to wear

The concept of repeat outfits has since shed its negative connotations in recent years; in fact, it has become a marker of creativity. Approached with a fresh perspective, one piece might reap a million ways it could be worn. And as for that one item of clothing that remains untouched at the back of your closet, given careful consideration, it might just be the missing piece of the puzzle your style had been lacking.

There comes a time, however, when your wardrobe might begin to truly feel uninspired, in which case a trip to the thrift might cure a drought of creativity. In recent years, Gen Z buyers have been flocking to avenues of resale, both online and in-person. If the looks from the Vogue Philippines Party prove anything, it’s that vintage clothing doesn’t have to mean dowdy, and “sustainable” doesn’t necessarily equate to pastel-hued treehugger aesthetics. “Sustainable” can come in the form of maximalist assemblages, creative interpretations of repurposed materials, or vintage finds reworked to resemble couture.

On the cusp of its one-year anniversary, Vogue Philippines will be hosting another Gala on August 29th.

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