A COLLECTION of Thomasian designers kicked off this year’s Philippine Fashion Week last May 10 at the SMX Convention Center in Pasay City.

The collection of Filipiniana couture was supposed to be presented at the University of Santo Tomas’ (UST) Quadricentennial fashion show last February 24, but last-minute problems cancelled the show.

“We were supposed to hold it in our alma mater’s grounds, but we encountered problems. In the beginning, we were supposed to be 20 designers,” said designer Edgar San Diego.

The all-Thomasian show, titled “10”, featured elegant gown collections by UST alumni Danilo Franco, Edgar Allan, Edgar San Diego, Eric Pineda, JC Buendia, Johnny Abad, Noel Crisostomo, Nole Hans, Richard Papa, and the late Salvacion Lim-Higgins, who has been nominated for the posthumous National Artist award for fashion design.

Allan used strong colors and extravagant silhouettes as his designs were envisioned to complement the University’s Main Building.

“My works pay homage to nature and were planned to be visible on an external catwalk with the Main Building as the backdrop,” Allan said.

The Architecture graduate used matte-linen fabric to achieve the controlled luster of his extremely dazzling gowns.

On the other hand, the collection of Papa engaged the conservatism of white and nude colors juxtaposed with the edgy concept of varying cut patterns.

Made of silk, stool, and organdy, Papa’s creations were mostly short dresses embellished with simple details.

San Diego paid tribute to the Filipino baro at saya by giving it a modern twist. His classic pieces were modish enough for everyday way, while still exuding the elegance of the baro’t saya as seen in the silhouette and the use of local material.

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Fine Arts and Design alumnus Franco said his contribution to “10” was his first “wearable” collection as he usually makes larger-than-life fashion.

His unconventional designs showed eccentric weaves and a wide array of fabric such as denim, linen, and cotton.

Even if they were unable to hold the fashion exhibition on UST soil, the Thomasian designers who participated in the country’s biggest fashion meet carried the University’s banner with pride and made every Thomasian proud to be part of an institution that holds diversity, art, and culture close to its heart. Fritzie Marie C. Amar and Ana May R. Dela Cruz

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