The top 10 designers of Iloilo Designers Week

Text by Sean Rafio, photos by  Sir Paul Frederick Chiongson

ILOILO Designers Week – the biggest annual fashion event in Iloilo, and it did not disappoint. The event started from Nov. 18 to 21 at Festive Walk Mall Iloilo.

All 19 designers presented their collections with cohesion and excellent execution, but of course, there will always be ones on top. Without further ado, here are the top 10 designers who have impressed me and the rest of the audience with their jaw-dropping collections.

Top 10 Picks for Iloilo Designers Week 2019

10. Marc Fos

The color yellow – the color of flowers under the sun was Marc Fos’s inspiration for his collection. A collection that certainly brought a sense of happiness and joy while on the runway. Although the collection was somewhat there, it just felt a little bit flat.

9. Tata Blas Pinuela

Tata Blas Pinuela gave a strong collection, you can see how he has put a lot of thought and effort on them. The custom-made buttons, the earings and the headpieces for his collection were to die for! But some dresses were lacking structure and execution and I wasn’t a fan of the choice of fabric.

8. Hector Totong Gellangarin

The collection was pure fantasy, with bejeweled butterfly and peacock appliques, pleats and he incorporated hablon in all the pieces of his collection. I must say, he used it in a glamorous way, but there was this slight lack of high fashion in most of his pieces. I know Sir Totong Gellangarin is capable of doing more than this, so much more than this.

7. John Lee Betita

John Lee Betita used distinct types of fabrics for his collection, indigenous fabrics and velvet – both completely different, but surprisingly worked. There was a sense of nationalism in his collection that made me proud of being a Filipino. He certainly showed that Ilonggo fashion is something to look forward to.

6. Djohn Clement

Djohn Clement’s collection was overflowingly feminine with love and romance. It was dainty in pink! He used tulle and silk which are the perfect recipes for soft, graceful women. It was done with perfect execution and exquisite techniques, certainly made with a professional’s touch. Honestly, I couldn’t say anything more, it was perfect and pretty, in pink!

5. Jaki Peñalosa

One of the founding members of the Designers Guild of Iloilo, she is known for her exquisite use of hablon, our own Ilonggo textile – and it shows why she is known for it. Her collection was modern and contemporary, her designs were incorporated with lace, shaped like a leaf, which gave an earthy look to her collection. It felt modern and chic in a way that only few designers can achieve with indigenous fabrics.

4. Yep-Yep Mesina

Soft and subtle, but full of strength. That was Yep-yep Mesina’s collection. He used bold colors, which surprisingly blended well – and that dramatic finale gave goosebumps to each and everyone in the audience! It was celebrating womanhood, how she conquered all the boundaries despite the pain of reality, she survived! That is a modern Filipina.

3. Glen Japet Paracale

For a young designer like Glen, he obviously made sure he won’t be left out. Glen only used one type of fabric, velvet – known as one of the most luxurious fabrics in the world of textiles. His collection was heavily accessorized, in the most elegant and regal way possible. He is surely one of those silent designers, but surprisingly deadly.

2. Sidney Eculla

His collection was luxurious, the models looked expensive from head to toe. Hand-painted leaves flowing down the runway like the wind was blowing it away, well-executed gowns flowing silk glistening down the runway. I could see his pieces floating down the runway, everyone was inaudibly saying “wow” and “I want that!,” I mean, who doesn’t want to look like more than a thousand pesos? I surely do! It was chic, and fancy.

1. Jun-g Candelario

Sir Jun-g Candelario really brought the game to this year’s Iloilo Designers Week. The flawless and flowy dresses were perfect, a fantasy brought to life. You could tell there was much thought in every piece of the collection – that last piece made everyone hold their breath waiting to see what’s underneath the voluminous tulle coat. Perfect execution and pretty dresses nothing pretentious – he bagged the top spot of the 2019 Iloilo Designers Week.

What do you think of my top ten designers for the 2019 Iloilo Designers Week? Share your thoughts on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, it’s all @panaynewsdotnet!/PN

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