The show is unlike any online fashion show you’ve seen.
The year 2020 has seen the emancipation of virtual runway shows. The fashion industry fully embraced the power of technology to keep its operations and spirit alive. While these can’t replace the spectacle of live presentations, these shows opened the doors for inclusivity because everyone has the chance to share the experience.
The Front Row (TFR) virtual fashion festival, with its interactive workshops, panel talks, virtual galleries, and digital runway shows featuring 2D and 3D motion graphic animation online, provided an alternative platform where fashion professionals and lovers can meet during this time of pandemic.
“As we live in unprecedented times, we have to be innovative and rethink traditional fashion shows. Through TFR, we have challenged ourselves to discover and push for new ways to showcase a collection to the best extent,” says Nick Tan, managing director of Anonymous Production Media. “It is undeniable that the seamless use of the vast possibilities of technology is the pragmatic way forward for designers and brands to stay connected and relevant and, in the process, invigorate the industry of fashion and technology.”
The festival brings together creative leaders from different countries including the Philippines.
Under the creative vision of Ariel Lozada, Inception: The Pilipinas Project featured five world-class Filipino fashion designers Furne One, Jojie Lloren, Beatrice Samson, Ezra Santos, and Paolo Raymundo. Unlike other digital fashion shows, Ariel’s direction took a cinematic approach for the presentation.
“The world is in a reset process so I decided to come up with a film that aimed to reintroduce the designers as a brand,” Lozada tells Manila Bulletin Lifestyle. “Inception is what I had in mind. We all should begin something even if we are in the confines of our rooms. With our devices as our gateway to the world, we can start something.”
With the recurring themes of dreams, uncertainty, and sustainability, the thought-provoking films set a perfect background for the designers’ works.
Jojie Lloren’s “Faith is my Shelter” is a curation of pieces from his past shows that have religious references like angels, churches, stained windows, and a monk’s habit. His fashion film is haunting, with the sounds of the violin and bass guitar evoking mystery and fear. The vacant stare of the model wrapped in fishnets made it even more eerie with a “ginapos ako ng mananakop” statement on the designer’s finalé piece.
“Tales of Arabia: Through the light of love” remains true to Ezra Santos’ aesthetic. It is inspired by the Arabian nomads, Andalusia, and Islamic art.
“It is a tribute to the land that has blessed me and given me the opportunity to flourish as a fashion designer,” Ezra Santos says. His film showcased a sense of illusion, longing, and enigmatic beauty complemented by the designer’s use of veils, feathers, and gold embellishments.
Together with a group of indie makers, Paolo Raymundo presents “Paradox Vested Relics (PVR),” a collection that features bespoke upcycled fashion that is all about otherness and humanitarianism through improvised and non-linear storytelling.
His non-conforming pieces merge different styles, from tailored utilitarian pieces and whimsical tie-dyes to vintage prints and atheleisure, aiming to spread the message that “what we choose to wear and how we wear it are the antidote.”
“The creations I presented at the TFR showcase of Pilipinas are pieces I selected from two of my collections, ‘Transit’ and ‘Real/Unreal,'” says Beatrice Samson. Mixing the idea of captured motion and imagination, her collection features prints hailed from actual photographs.
“Images of natural settings are transformed to show a more dreamlike vision, whereas photos of city lights are blurred, evoking a sense of movement from otherwise still images,” she says. “Through the use of these images, each garment in the collection, like a printed kimono, becomes an art piece of and through fashion.”
A montage of international pop icons wearing Furne One’s designs sets the mood for a fashion film that is all about opulence, glamor, and royalty. An ode to his trip to Europe, Furne’s collection centers on the color buttermilk cream with a variety of textures to create visual impact. Inspired by architectural buildings and cathedrals in Portugal, he created a line of couture dresses mixing intricate embroideries, handcrafted Eastern traditional techniques with the finest fabrics from Italy, Paris, Switzerland, Pakistan, and India.
According to the designer, the overall visual styling is inspired by artists Christo and Jean-Claude, who have created impactful artworks and is known for their “Wrapped Reichstag.” Furne believes that “it takes a much greater courage to create things to be gone than to create things that will remain.
Watch the Inception: The Pilipinas Project fashion film: