DUBBED as the “launch pad of Filipino fashion,” the bi-annual Philippine Fashion Week (PHFW) brought together prolific designers and new talents to showcase their Spring/Summer 2015 collections at the SMX Convention Center last Oct. 24 to 26.

Included in the lineup was famed designer and College of Fine Arts and Design graduate Jerome Salaya Ang. The new collection, of the Interior Design alumnus, is entitled “Girl in the Water: A Siren’s Lullabye,” which created a fusion of athletic wear and couture. Ang had an ocean-themed roster with the use of wavy patterns, neutral water-like prints mixed with neon colors, unconventional cuts, and mermaid silhouettes.

He also used materials such as neoprene and mesh which are typically used in sportswear to create a contrast with the dramatic and elegant gowns that dominated his collection. One of the designer’s finale pieces was a neon orange-colored dress with mesh sleeves, printed bodice, and tigh-high slit capturing the whimsy and mystery of Ang’s design aesthetic.

Meanwhile, fellow alumni Jun-Jun Cambe and LyLe Iban?ez showcased separate collections for fashion house EsAc. Cambe’s “Pinay” collection showed his interpretation of the ‘modern Filipiniana’ look by mixing traditional Filipino garments with contemporary design. Functionality and accessibility was the aesthetic of LyLe Iban?ez’s ready-to-wear line for EsAc. Black and navy were the main hues for Iban?ez’s dresses and jackets that evoked minimalist, urban style. For the first time in history, several design pieces were also sold after the show.

Now on its 18th year, the PHFW has been the longest running fashion event in the country. As a celebration of Philippine design and talent, PHFW founder Joey Espino encouraged the audience to support the yearly event. “We must use fashion. We must be in fashion. Let’s keep Filipino fashion alive.”

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