Filipino Fashion Flourishes at Day One of BYS Fashion Week 2023

Filipino Fashion Flourishes at Day One of BYS Fashion Week 2023


On the first day of BYS Fashion Week, explore unique collections from Rafa Worldwide, Antonina, HA.MU, and Randolf as they redefine the Filipino palette

The BYS Fashion Week is a celebration of artistry, creativity, and identity, encapsulating the diverse and colorful Filipino palette. Day one has dawned with an array of designers ready to unveil their collections. The runway unfolds as a makeup palette where designers skillfully craft their narratives, revealing the kaleidoscope of styles that define Filipino fashion. The event asks what Filipino fashion means, while the designers answer them. 

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The headliners on the first day—Rafa Worldwide, Antonina, HA.MU, and Randolf—stand at the forefront of this creative explosion, each known for their distinctive styles and innovative approaches.

Rafa Worldwide BYS Fashion Week

Rafa Worldwide

Rafa Worldwide’s collection takes us on a deeply personal journey of self-discovery and resilience. Rafa draws inspiration from bold and ornate fashion influences, reflecting on the intense emotions of growing up queer in a conservative small town. Hyperballad is an ode to the triumphant moments in life, but it also confronts the formidable challenges and adversities that have been encountered. 

The showcased collection took an intriguing twist, presenting maximalist interpretations of minimalism—quite literally. The garments embraced such audacious minimalism that the models transcended into living expressions of simplicity, adorned with subtle hints of luminescence and sparkle. The predominant palette of red and black intensified the avant-garde nature of the designs. They were stretched, scattered, pulled, torn, and twirled, pushing the boundaries of wearability.

As Mimiuyuuuh opened in an asymmetrical dress with her bold, red wig that complements her perfectly, the show closed as Nadine Lustre strutted all the way from Paris. This collection was a bold departure from the conventional, an art form that refused to conform. It exuded an unmistakable air of rebellion and anger, yet within that defiance, it found a profound sense of freedom. It was akin to embarking on a journey through a beautiful, chaotic hell, a paradoxical experience almost resembling paradise.


Antonina’s collection transformed the runway into a domain of poetic symbolism. Rain, interpreted in various ways, became the centerpiece. Thematically, the show opened with rain, and as every model walked, their long faces spread the screen with the backdrop of rain itself. To Antonina, it became the vivid pigment of regret, painting a poignant narrative to her overall palette. 

The collection drew a striking resemblance to The Matrix. The cascading rain, akin to indecipherable codes trickling down a digital screen, lent an air of techno-dystopian rebellion. The outfits evoked the imagery of a futuristic rebel army, with the sparkly blue paint serving as their symbolic badge of identity. Alternatively, it could be office chic. Either way, it means the same. The runway was awash with an array of blazers, each with its unique twist, reminiscent of a fluid stream.

Sheer and open garments made their presence felt, exuding a distinct wet-look appeal. As the show concluded, James Reid took the stage, clad in mesh and leather, resembling a leader of the rebellion. This collection encapsulated a sense of regret and poignancy, not easily deciphered. Instead, it offered a complex and layered narrative, much like unraveling enigmatic codes, leaving a lasting impression of depth and intrigue.


HA.MU’s collection Merry-go-round of Life introduces an intriguing concept into the narrative. It’s inspired by the cyclical nature of existence, where life often seems to be going in circles. Despite being in different stages of life, things can still feel remarkably similar.

Camille Co Hamu

As Camille Co graced the runway in an exquisite ensemble of ruffles and marbles, you question what you dream of so you can compare it to what HA.MU dreams of. Her presence was a stunning embodiment of this inquiry, setting the stage for a captivating show. It was then followed by designs you’d think your toys would wear if they came alive. Toy Story but make it a little bit more unhinged. It’s Barbie and Ken except they’re mentally otherworldly. Yet they know they’re stunning, especially the white gowns: whether gathered, ruched, or ruffled, they were mesmerizing and attractive any which way you see them.

The collection also featured a delightful infusion of equestrian motifs, complete with feathery headwear that transformed the models into graceful equines. It was a collection rooted in idiosyncrasy, executed precisely as it should be: beautifully chaotic. In essence, this show embodied the notion that life is akin to a merry-go-round, and what better way to enjoy the ride than to let your head spin with joy and revel in the impulse of it all?


Randolf’s collection Ready to Serve offers a unique perspective, a brushstroke of creativity that immerses the audience into the viewpoint of a sleepy diner crew. It paints a whimsical picture of customers as boys and girls, a playful palette of perception. Given the theme of diners, one might have expected diner motifs to dominate, but instead, neon lights took center stage—a choice that, upon reflection, made perfect sense.

Randolf Clothing BYS Fashion Week

This collection offered a unique perspective, delving into the daydreams of a diner crew member as they contemplated their customers. In these reveries, Randolf’s vision evolved. Throughout, motifs of stretched hearts, roses, and shooting arrows remained consistent, creating an aura reminiscent of Cupid brought to life. The collection left the interpretation open: was it about giving love or seeking revenge? Amongst the array of suits and trousers, there emerged sheer and tulle creations adorned with graphic embroideries and paint, injecting an alluring twist into the mix.

Randolf boldly declared that it was time to evolve traditional wear, pushing the boundaries of conventional dormancy. The focal point of the collection was undoubtedly the bridal gowns, which showcased a refined elegance, bearing the unmistakable imprint of Randolf’s DNA.

As BYS Fashion Week 2023 unfolds, it promises to be an event where diversity thrives and individuality is celebrated through each unique collection. Filipino fashion is diverse and incongruent, a progressive mix of myriad colors and cultures. These designers are like makeup maestros of the runway, painting stories that transcend the fabric, and crafting a masterpiece where fashion becomes the vivid brushstrokes of Filipino identity—whichever way they perceive it.


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