MANILA, Philippines – What do Stella McCartney, John Galliano, and Alexander McQueen all have in common?
These legendary fashion designers – and quite a few more – all graduated from Central Saint Martins, a prestigious art school in the United Kingdom known for its fashion education.
This year, Central Saint Martins’ alumnus-of-the-moment is Filipino Jessan Macatangay, whose 2022 masters graduation collection, Sculptural Sensuality, earned him the L’Oreal Professionnel Creative Award. Past winners of this award include Kim Jones, Grace Wales Bonner, Christopher Kane, Mary Katrantzou, Molly Goddard, and Craig Green.
“In our country, where – even in 2022 – 85% of the population remains to be Roman Catholic, religion and tradition still play major roles in putting restraints on women, especially with how they dress. This is especially true in areas outside Metro Manila. I grew up in Batangas where the prevalent dress code is always modest and conservative. Batangueños are naturally religious people. So religious, in fact, that they allow their beliefs to heavily influence every aspect of their lives,” said Macatangay.
“These outdated restrictions are not only thrown at regular women. From celebrities and influencers to models, Filipinas from all walks of life oftentimes find themselves being subjected to bashing, unnecessary judgment, and being told to cover up when they post photos of themselves wearing clothes that do not conform to conservative standards of generations past. In fact, growing up, I even saw women wear t-shirts over their bikinis while swimming just to cover up. This is where my project started – from the fear and discomfort of showing skin. Could there be a way to make women let go of this fear?”
Below are the looks from his winning collection, made mainly of various jersey fabrics, some of which are stretched over wire frames:
“This collection is about making society realize that a woman is more than her body. Clothes exist to accentuate the feminine figure and showcase it in its most lustrous light,” added Macatangay. “I really want to create pieces for women who adore sensuality without fearing sexuality; and for women who long to relax on the beach with her swimsuit, legs and arms sun-kissed, and exposed for all the world to adore (not judge). She does not want to cover up with a t-shirt while on the beach. She wants to be free.” – Rappler.com