[Fashion] Phil. Fashion Week hangover diaries

Miel B. Abong
Miel Abong's first RAPPLER assignment brought her to the heart of Philippine Fashion Week

Shoes by JOCO for ZXANDER TAN. All photos by Miel Abong

MANILA, Philippines – Philippine Fashion Week Holiday 2012 went above and beyond what you would have expected. Considering that I’m still writing because of a Fashion Week hangover really says something about what transpired at the SMX Convention Centre from May 22-27. 

I was assigned as a runway photographer for a few specific shows by RAPPLER Life & Style editor Kai Magsanoc; however, the part of me that acts like a kid in a candy store came out when I got my media pass. A fully-charged camera and a few warm-ups later, I was running around the convention centre from one show to another. I enjoyed every thread and stitch that came down every runway. I hate to admit it, but I replaced every model with a slightly taller and slimmer version of myself. In all honesty, I came home every night hoping every garment magically appeared in my closet — menswear included. 

I’m a very visual person, so whether I was standing on the media bleachers or sitting on the first or second row of the audience, my camera was up and ready, taking photos like nobody’s business. While many photographers tend to take the entire outfit, coming from a woman’s perspective, I couldn’t help but find the time to just zoom into every nook and cranny of each garment. With that, I give you some of the photos I took that got me into a fashion coma at the end of every night:

ZXANDER TAN with shoes by JOCO

Zxander Tan’s collection for Menswear Holiday 2012 featured shoes by designer Joco Comendador. The one thing on my mind the whole time: “Do these come in women’s sizes?”


Albert Andrada’s collection at the Premiere B show left the audience gasping for air after what seemed to be, in my opinion, the most theatrical exhibition of garments during the entire week. 


The garment depicts a cross between the natural and material world. The sleeves display what seem to be raindrops in a metal form. This was complimented by the fluid petal-like layer above the skirt whose structure counters the smoothness of the petals. In other words, kudos to Avel Bacudio. It was irony at its best.


I am neither a fan nor an anti-fan of Sarah Geronimo, but having watched the Unica Hija show, her irresistible charm and contagious energy made her the perfect celebrity endorser for the dainty ladies’ brand.


M Barretto makes me wish I was a man, simply so I could strut the streets in his collection of menswear couture during the Premiere A show. The collection exuded what I consider to be casual class. The designs teetered between elegant and casual styles. In true M. Barretto fashion, the tone of the collection was at the perfect balance. 


A pleasant surprise. One of M. Barretto’s designs included a daddy-son version of an army-printed jacket and pants. The “awws” in the room were inevitable. 


Arnold Galang’s talent for mixing and matching prints in warm colors and bravely loose silhouettes was evident in his most recent collection at the Premiere A show. 


The SM Ladies’ Fashion collection was filled with strong RTW designs styled for the woman-on-the-go. 


The trend I noticed across shows: simplicity meets intricate design. 

It’s not easy to balance these two opposing forces tastefully. Done wrong, it could turn into a faux pas. But once more, Philippine Fashion Week proves it can present a variety of designs that can be both commercial yet very tasteful.

If there’s a cure for this hangover, spare me. I’m enjoying how it’s supplying me with enough inspiration to keep on writing, photographing and designing. 

Tell me, how does this inspire YOU to design your life? – Rappler.com

Click on the links below for more on this year’s Philippine Fashion Week.