Discover the collections of Filipino designers and brands that showcased contemporary fashion in their own styles on the third and final day of Bench Fashion Week
Marrying two contrasting concepts never fails to conjure up the most interesting designs. There is a sense of uniqueness that makes juxtaposed elements work in the context of fashion, and this very idea was presented by Filipino designers Mich Dulce and Chris Nick. Meanwhile, two brands, Human and Bench, had their own interpretations of the latest trends as streetwear-inspired pieces made an appearance on the last day of Bench Fashion Week.
A delicate aura filled the air as child-like music played and the models, who had on staple denims paired with dainty pieces, walked with a slight bounce in their steps. Dulce utilized local fabrics with her use of piña and Tinalak, but it was rather surprising to see her include latex in the collection, with the combination of synthetic and natural fibers executed beautifully.
As for the accessories, each ensemble was highlighted by the designer’s headpieces. Her affinity towards fascinators and statement headpieces was interpreted in various styles that included design elements such as flower petals, rows of bows, and charming sailor boat hats—all of which completed their respective looks. By the end of the show, it felt like we were seeing contemporary Filipina dolls walking down the runway.
There was a quick shift in the atmosphere when “Do I Wanna Know” by the Arctic Monkeys started to play, signifying that the sleek rock ‘n’ roll girl had arrived. The collection was all about the classics and the contemporary with Chris’ use of tailored pieces and casual silhouettes. Ultra mini skirts were paired with structured denim blazers, while cropped tank tops were styled with coordinated pieces—the minis meeting the maxis. It was his expertise in tailored designs combined with the casualness of denims that made it a contrasting yet cohesive collection, all done in a way that’s still representative of his DNA as a designer.
To spice up the collection, the tank tops were finished with explicit slogans, and cowboy hats were adorned by some of the models. It was definitely a sight to see on the runway, and it felt like we were in grungy New York in the 70s.
We were brought back to the fads of the streets with Human’s line of designs. It was all about the current trends of streetwear when we saw various cutouts on the tops and an incessant amount of layering—a playful mixture in trying to incorporate fall outfits in a local setting. On top of their use of denims, graphic tees and patterned materials also made an appearance on the runway.
Bench x Bitto
For this year’s collaboration for Bench Fashion Week, its home brand teamed up with Bitto, a local artist that specializes in vibrant illustrations and murals. The audience was brought to his immersive world of art when red strobe lights came out and models were done up in a playful punk manner. Silhouettes were also reminiscent of current trends, with hard tulle and gingham pinned on some of the pieces. Aside from the added fabrics, the ensembles were accessorized with colorful chains. Bitto’s signature bright colors were seen on the shirts and some outerwear pieces, while his illustrations were on the accessories.
Photography EXCEL PANLAQUE