Monday, October 11, 2010

rob the armory

this was my graduation collection for the school of fashion and the arts. we were lucky to be offered a show during last season's philippine fashion week (holiday 2010). we basically had just one month to prepare our pieces and i'm lucky that i was able to finish everything on time.

my collection is entitled rob the armory and i usually say that it's medieval samurai meets streetwear. it's about being optimistic and vigilant about the future. basically, during the time i was conceptualizing a design direction for the collection, i felt that the philippines was in a state of vulnerability. people were still recovering from the ondoy typhoon and the elections were coming up (well, the show was held about 20 days after the elections). i felt that amidst all these events, filipinos still have to have a positive outlook. however, we also need to be aware and ready to take action if something is about to happen. i think that optimism and vigilance should go hand in hand.

i was watching some of akira kurosawa's films (specifically seven samurai and rashomon) and i was drawn to the samurai costumes used in his films. i used that as a starting point and translated it to streetwear. i didn't want to go hardcore samurai though, so i picked out several details i wanted to play with - hardware, layering and exaggeration of shoulders.

these were my flat illustrations (sorry, i don't know how to draw croquis figures) which were presented to both the school and runway productions. some of the pieces didn't turn out the way i illustrated them (specifically that peach/nude top in the third outfit and the armor/chest plate in the seventh outfit), but i was more than happy that i, along with my sewers, was able to accomplish all eight outfits just in time for the show.

oatmeal t-shirt with foamed sleeves and copper wire embroidery
heather brown jeans with galvanized iron plates on back pockets
MALAYA bucket bag
OUR TRIBE sandals
model: jason saguinsin

tea-dyed sweater with chain mail detail on back
gray jeans with crisscrossing overskirt
OUR TRIBE sandals
model: miguel masigan

nude t-shirt with foamed shoulder overlay and galvanized iron plates
gray jeans with overskirt
OUR TRIBE sandals
model: leo miranda

tea-dyed sleeveless hoodie with chain mail on back
heather brown jeans with ribbing edges
OUR TRIBE sandals
model: kerwin caballero

three-layer open short-sleeved cardigan with foamed sleeves and copperwire embroidery on back
gray samurai shorts
OUR TRIBE sandals
model: david lee

khaki open coat with cap sleeves, leather panels and leather belt
heather brown jeans with ribbing details
OUR TRIBE sandals
model: ervin david

leather cummerbund with industrial zipper
gray samurai pants with overskirt
OUR TRIBE sandals
model: kris melendres

three-layer open long-sleeved cardigan with foamed cap sleeves
leather cummerbund with industrial zipper
gray jeans with galvanized iron plates on sides
OUR TRIBE sandals
model: john zablan

i was really grateful that our tribe let me borrow some of their sandals for the show. i really felt that in terms of styling the collection, their "strappy" sandals were the perfect footwear to go with the outfits. malaya bags is something i did as a project for a class which i really wanted to happen eventually. i told myself that i had to integrate the bag sample i had made to the collection and luckily, it did generate some curiosity among the audience. look out for it soon (wink, wink)! for the accessories, i wanted a somewhat organic feeling to balance out the hardware i used on the clothes. i handmade almost all the accessories using chains and large wooden beads.

as we (the student designers) walked on the runway, i felt that all the hard work, cramming, stress and more were worth it. i would have wanted to sit front row and see my collection walking down the runway though. with this being my graduation collection, i didn't want to just show clothes people can easily buy off the rack. i wanted to really experiment and present something fresh in terms of local menswear and streetwear. hopefully, i have achieved that. here's to the next time i participate in philippine fashion week (ps: that's me in the khaki blazer!).

here's a review of rob the armory by status magazine online.

photo credits:
style bible/yayay de castro (runway photos)
samantha lee (last two photos)

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