Francis Libiran’s 25th Anniversary Collection Navigates the Flight of the Phoenix

Francis Libiran’s 25th Anniversary Collection Navigates the Flight of the Phoenix


In this MEGA exclusive, Francis Libiran unveils his 25th Anniversary collection that is inspired by the Phoenix—a symbol of how he continues to rise above expectations.

The phoenix is a mythical bird revered across cultures. It is said that the phoenix, at the end of its life cycle, combusts into flames and rises from its ashes, renewed and more resplendent than before. Francis Libiran marks his silver anniversary, embarking on a journey that mirrors the mythic rise of the phoenix. In his new collection, the phoenix takes prominence, guides us through a story of resilience and the eternal pursuit of artistic excellence.

Rising from ashes

In the quiet corners of his childhood, a fascination with the details of the designer’s surroundings blossomed. Pursuing studies in architecture, he found a natural muse. He reminisced, “I find inspiration in the intricate patterns of indigenous textiles, the graceful movements of traditional dances, and the natural wonders that abound in our country.”

Igniting with palpable anticipation and a profound sense of homage, the Phoenix Collection emerges as a testament to both a designer and a brand, blazing beyond the realm of mere apparel. Far more than an ensemble, each piece choreographs a fiery ballet, mirroring the mythical phoenix in its essence—rising passionately from the ashes of challenges, forging inspiration from the flames of adversity, and emerging with a brilliance both fierce and refined. The collection becomes a pyre of empowerment, where every stitch echoes the triumphant crackle of newfound strength and resilience.

Ideas spark in the hushed rooms of creativity, and it is through here Libirian delved into his personal archives. He revisits the evolution of his designs, drawing inspiration from the pivotal moments and influences that shaped his career. The sketches unfolded into garments that graced stages far beyond the imagination of their inception. The stitches, precise and purposeful, wove together fabrics that, left to their own devices, might never have crossed paths. And amidst it all, the soul of a creator resonated in the silent narratives embedded in each fold and seam. “This introspection,” he confesses, “served as the foundation for creating a collection that pays homage to the brand’s heritage.”

Flight of the Phoenix

A meticulously selected color palette unfolds—a sublime fusion of gilded gold, shimmering silvers, timeless black, and fiery red exuberance. Libiran expands on each color: “Gold and silver embodies the brand’s commitment to the pursuit of excellence in quality and design,” he shares. For black, it “signifies the moments of introspection and growth that are integral to the brand’s narrative.” And finally, red, “represents the fiery spirit of creativity and the continuous pursuit of perfection.” These colors serve as a visual representation of the phoenix’s transformative process. 

The selection of materials soared in tandem with the deliberate curation of the color story. Luxurious fabrics, meeting the brand’s signature Art Deco beadwork and thorough intricacies, fashioned garments that were not just ornamental, but also narrated a tactile and visual saga of a brand perpetually soaring to excellence. 

From ember to evolution

From strutting the global catwalks to achieving acclaim that reverberates worldwide, Libiran gazes back at the scenic route he’s carved, joyously recognizing the fulfilling tour of boosting Filipino craftsmanship, artistry, and culture onto the global stage. “Representing the Philippines on international stages, achieving global acclaim, and showcasing Filipino excellence has been an incredibly rewarding journey for me as a fashion designer,” he says.

As feathers wither and fall, certain facets of his signature style stand as steadfast beacons. The Art Deco influences, clean lines, and meticulous detailing persist as the bedrock of his aesthetic. “While the evolution is evident in various aspects of my work, certain elements of my signature style remained consistent, providing a sense of continuity and identity.” 

Yet, Libiran embraces new techniques with the enthusiasm of a phoenix unfurling its wings. Textile manipulation takes center stage, becoming the fiery forge where fabrics are sculpted and shaped to breathe life into three-dimensional textures. This addition injects a visual dynamism and intrigue into his garments, an evolution that mirrors the phoenix’s transformation.

A Phoenix’s vision

As the silver anniversary unfolds, the question arises—did Francis Libiran ever envision reaching this milestone? In navigating the years, Libiran not only welcomes but gracefully glides through the unpredictability that has adorned the skies of his trajectory. He admits that the climb to fashion eminence wasn’t a carefully mapped-out runway, but he’s ready enough to chart a path. “I hold a vision for continued growth, innovation, and a deepening connection with the global fashion landscape.”

In a moment of introspection, Libiran imparts wisdom to his younger self—an encouragement to have confidence in a unique creative voice, to trust instincts, and to let intuition guide design choices. He reflects, “Although he’s doing well, I would offer a few pieces of advice: to have confidence in your unique creative voice. Trust your instincts and let your intuition guide your design choices. Your individuality is what will set you apart in a crowded and ever-changing industry.”

The designer unveils his most profound hope, exceeding beyond threads, stitches, and fabrics. No pleat or fold or gathered. His aspiration is an ambitious one: he hopes the audience doesn’t just witness his designs but becomes immersed in an experience. “I hope that the audience feels inspired and elevated by the designs, seeing beyond the garments to the stories and craftsmanship that define this 25-year journey.” He envisions a collective inspiration, an elevation spurred not only by aesthetics but by the backbone of a remarkable 25 years. “It’s an invitation to aspire to greatness, creativity, and the pursuit of one’s unique path.”

Francis Libiran’s 25th Anniversary becomes a triumphant chapter, a joyous celebration of creativity, and an enduring narrative of a designer persistently ascending to unprecedented heights. The Phoenix has risen, and in its wings, the next chapter unfolds.

Photography by ERRON OCAMPO

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