Photo by Xtian Lozañes

Rampage at the Old Runway for Ilonggo Fashionistas

By bambi capanang

Strengthening the Community through Art is the main theme of Iloilo Art Festival 2015. Fashion is not only exclusive to the elites and to those who can afford haute couture; clothes are used on a daily basis, and it either reflects or connects us with our own identity and uniqueness, especially when you can pull a piece off without any regard to what other people have to say about it.

Iloilo Art Festival fashion show- Project Iloilo
Photo by Xtian Lozañes

The fashion segment of the affair featured four of the most renowned Ilonggo Fashion designers of our time: namely, Bo Parcon, Mike Sorilla, Dauson Bermtay and Jet Salcedo. The fashion show was directed by none other than supermodel, Ria Fernandez Bolivar. Of course, Ms. Bolivar she didn’t strut on stage this time; instead she hid behind and stood at the front of the ramp, literally.

So, who can better describe their own collection than from the designers themselves? I thank technology and social media for making things possible for me to reach these amazing fashion designers and ask them about their collection.

Iloilo Art Festival fashion runway - Project Iloilo
Photo by Xtian Lozañes

Bo Parcon, iconic for being “Iloilo’s Bad Boy of Fashion”, was one of the fourteen pioneering contestants of Project Runway Philippines Season 1. When asked about his piece for the fest, he says, “It’s a collection of the street fashion inspired by skateboarders. I used fabric cotton cbc and neoprene in black and red colors with grey and cut out details that is distinctly Bo Parcon.”

Mike Sorilla, on the other hand, is a graduate of BS Tourism and BS Nursing who turned out to designing fashion after bagging first runner-up at Robinsons’ Design Lab 3rd Run in 2009. He says of his piece, “I was basically inspired by gliders and turned my collection into my own signature design of Japanese street wear. Most of my fabrics have harlequin print cotton material, black cotton print shirt material and micro fiber for comfort and style.”

Iloilo Art Festival models - Project Iloilo
Photo by Xtian Lozañes

Dauson Bermtay is a licensed nurse who has a natural inclination for any media in arts and fashion, and he is now a professional photographer and fashion designer. “I always create androgynous garments as my base inspiration and aesthetics. The collection is a sportswear inspired by bikers. It’s an ensemble of tough looks combined with easy to wear separates; Basic leather black-sport mesh and cotton fabric in yellow and pink were used,” he explains.

Jet Salcedo is a multi-faceted fashion connoisseur who makes everything from designer couture gowns and intricate accessories to fabulous hair and make-up. “My collection is a prelude to my neo-decon summer wear for 2015. Although, black has always been my trademark and it’s quite a challenge for me to use prints and loud colors and I’m actually loving it. I’m looking forward to using more bold prints and colors in my future collections and my art festival collection was the first of its kind in my line of collection since I started designing,” he muses.

Iloilo Art Festival fashion catwalk - Project Iloilo
Photo by Xtian Lozañes

That night, the Ilonggos witnessed the exciting and quite mysterious world of fashion as the models strutted their stuff on the catwalk to the beat of Little Echo’s dub mix resounding in the open grounds of the Old Domestic Airport Runway. It seemed like high fashion was finally getting presented to the “casual” public, and we’re all the better for it.