This time last year, Vogue Philippines’ first cover was unveiled at the end of a pathway.
The first cover of Vogue Philippines was revealed through a series of portals, retracing the crew’s trip through the Philippine archipelago by projecting pages from the Maiden Issue onto floor-to-ceiling mesh panels. As guests were led deeper into this bright new world, the end of the pathway revealed the cover: Chloe Magno in a sculptural abaca dress by Rajo Laurel, as luminescent as the light reflected off of Bucas Grande’s azure waters.
Acclaimed scenographer Gino Gonzales worked with editor-in-chief Bea Valdes on the three-minute immersive experience during the Vogue Philippines Gala. “Bea and I really wanted the idea of having a pathway that will lead guests into a world,” he told Vogue Philippines last year. “We experimented with the introduction of selected pages from all of the editorials, which I think worked.”
It was Gonzales’s goal to capture the essence of the Maiden Issue. Inspired by the serene seas and scapes in the magazine, he filled the space with anahaw, cogon, and ylang-ylang among a wide variety of dried and fresh flowers and plants arranged by Nikki Chatto. Much like the magazine itself, he wanted the pathway to resemble “a walk through nature.” He mused, “It’s the first issue coming to life.”
After guests enjoyed dinner during the Gala, Valdes invited guests to the back room to experience the grand cover reveal. A group of “movers” holding paper lanterns glided down Gonzales’s pathway, leading guests through the pages of the magazine and ending at that wistful image of Magno, dress billowed behind her and backdropped by the line of the horizon.
Keeping sustainability front of mind, Gonzales made sure that all of his materials ended up being recycled or reused after the Gala. The mesh panels were donated to be recycled into bags, while the metal framing that held them up was melted down and reused. The path itself, made from engineered wood donated by Matimco, was donated to be used for an office space.
For Gonzales, he says a grand reveal of this scale was a huge undertaking, but it was one he would never say no to. “When I’m called for projects like these, it’s not just a design project, it’s also a patriotic duty,” he said. “In a way, we need to put our best foot forward as a country. We want to show the best of what we can offer in terms of creativity. It doesn’t always have to be something big. It can be something quiet and elegant.”
On the cusp of its one-year anniversary, Vogue Philippines will be hosting another Gala on August 29th.