From the moment Bench announced its nationwide search for the next batch of up and coming designers in the Philippine fashion industry, numerous young talents wring their creative juices in the hopes of presenting their own capsule collection at the Amazon Fashion Week Tokyo.
But after being rigorously screened, ten designers were given the opportunity to show their collection during Bench Design Awards. From giving us a nostalgic feeling of our childhood memories, to fusing contemporary and classic hand-drawn illustrations, we were all blown away by their astonishing creations.
And just like any other competition, only a few will emerge. Here are the three winners of Bench Design Awards who will showcase their collection in Tokyo:
Christian Edward Dalogalog draws inspiration from nostalgia as his personal reaction to the present dialogue on societal changes when it comes to feminism and chaos.
He chose to strongly focus on the power of the skirt because of its feminine shape symbolising a movement against the obvious masculinity. The prints on his collection were all hand-drawn based on a drawing book on Filipino culture during the 19th century that were gathered, folded, and darted which is an actual juxtaposition on featuring traditions but deconstructing the garment as a symbol against the notions of classism.
Titled “limbo,” Renz Reyes’ collection was inspired from the old days of Italian horror films known as the “Giallo” genre. Highlighting the sensational works of the Italian film directors Dario Argento and Mario Bava, Reyes chose to incorporate how the two directors used neutral colors and bloody reds for his collection’s palette with Art Nouveau elements in feminine silhouettes tailored with casual and utilitarian details.
As Otto Sacramento fused the concepts of uniformity and utility, he had drawn his inspiration from the warrior uniforms of Eastern Asia. There were Asian aesthetics that were embodied in his collection that has been deconstructed down to its most basic forms whilst conveying sensuality from the seams loosely joined by widely-spaced stitches.
Sacramento also incorporated Filipino textile accent into the pieces in ways that are subtle yet memorable. He was able to complement the warrior look with the adjustable armor headpiece visor in calfskin, and the monolithic-like footwear made out of thick blocks of rubber embellished with braided local fibers in solid colors.
Ched Studio, Renz Reyes, and Ottomondi will be presenting their capsule collections alongside the homegrown retail giant Bench in the Amazon Fashion Week Tokyo Spring/Summer 2019.
Photography by Kieran Punay of Studio 100