Three hundred and sixty-five days of Vogue Philippines was put on display at the Vogue Philippines Anniversary Gala held on August 29. The grand ballroom of the Shangri-La at the Fort was transformed into a multisensorial exhibition scenographed by Gino Gonzales. Titled “Common Threads: Re/Creating Fashion,” the exhibition captured the different layers of the Vogue universe, taking guests on a journey that was launched a year ago with the unveiling of the maiden September issue of Vogue Philippines.
At the foyer of the Grand Ballroom, larger-than-life-sized magazine covers were installed in the exhibit called Vogue Unbound, which highlighted the magazine issues that were culturally significant and created a huge impact, from H.E.R on the cover of the February issue to Apo Whang-Od for the April Beauty issue and Bretman Rock for the June Pride issue. The covers, however, were just a prelude to the worlds showcased inside the ballroom.
Upon entering, a cube-shaped portal transported visitors to the multiverse of Vogue 50 years from now. Creative director Vince Uy used generative software to create future fashion editorials, imagining three different scenarios, one where humans are clothed in bioluminescent life forms, one where biophilic architecture has reshaped the landscape, and one where we are armored for human survival on interplanetary terrain.
Dispersed around the room are several other installations that bring to life the September 2023 issue and more. “Re: Create” explored the potential of upcycling with the heritage of traditional craft in works of art—Wawi Navarroza collaborated with the artisans of S.C. Vizcarra to create a poncho made out of hexagonally-patterned handwoven water hyacinth; Ken Samudio x Bagasao crafted a piece from upcycled denim, a vintage chair, and embroidered beads to evoke the overgrowth of nature; Olivia D’Aboville’s “Dandelion Lights” from 2016 were again illuminated, shedding light on the use of discarded plastic bottles; Rita Nazareno and Gabby Lichauco designed woven pieces inspired by the Emily Dickinson poem about the inescapable human-nature connection; and Patricia Perez Eustaquio stitched together a soft sculpture of a palm tree from offcuts of fabric and other recycled material.
The “Re:Made” exhibit consisted of 16 outfits that weave a story on homespun to high craft. Most of the pieces come from the “Origins” fashion editorial of the September 2023 issue, shot in Batanes. Designers were given the brief to create clothing that used artisanal and upcycling techniques, and they delivered with handwoven fabrics, patchworks of retaso and basahan, as well as exquisite embroidery, beading, pleating, and draping. Adding to the “Origins” collection are special pieces from circular production pioneer Bayo x Isabel Santos, knitwear designer Ana La O,’ and the Paris-based Quoï Alexander, whose ensemble is a blend of silk, cotton netting, rubber mats, fisherman’s rope, paracord, and deadstock fabric from Chanel, handwoven by refugee sewers.
“Vogue Visions,” meanwhile, was a multi-screen installation that projected the original fashion editorials and evocative photography the magazine is known for.
Finally, the “Dreamfields” space is recreation of a lush meadow, designed by Moss Manila, where special multisensory viewing pods have been installed. Inside the pods, viewers experience the films and installations from the September issue as they come to life: from a lovers’ odyssey across the otherworldly terrain of Iceland filmed by Edgar Berg, to a visual exploration of the Brutalist masterpiece that is the PICC, shot by Sharif Hamza and MV Isip.
The “Common Threads: Re/Creating Fashion” exhibition was a celebration of the work shared among collaborators across the globe, from designers to directors, makeup artists and models who have helped bring these wide-ranging visions to life: each unique yet revealing a common thread that speaks to our shared humanity—the desire to make meaningful connections and find beauty in the world.
Photography by Borgy Angeles. Art direction Jann Pascua. Produced by Anz Hizon. Digital editor Andrea Ang.