Filipino fashion designer presents metamorphosis with ‘Lepidoptera’ collection

Published December 7, 2021, 11:34 AM

by John Legaspi

Ehrran Montoya looks back on his journey to create his colorful spring-summer 2022 collection

Metamorphosis and butterflies are concepts used in fashion for so many years that they can be dubbed as among the industry’s cliches. Mariah Carey has been wearing it in the early ‘90s, Alexander McQueen did in 2018, and Michael Cinco presented a couture collection about it in Paris months ago. But no matter how many times we’ve seen the themes interpreted on the runways or editorials, they never fail to capture the fashion audience’s attention, because, unlike butterflies, metamorphosis in the case of fashion designers is always different and personal.

Ehrran Montoya

The latest to showcase an interpretation of metamorphosis is Filipino designer Ehrran Montoya. With his spring-summer 2022 capsule collection “Lepidoptera,” the 26-year-old takes us on a time travel on his early days as a designer.

“‘Lepidoptera’ is very personal to me because it’s the visual narrative of my journey as a young creative. It encapsulates my past and present growth. It is a metamorphosis,” Ehrran tells Manila Bulletin Lifestyle. “The color palette is inspired by Barbie Fairytopia. I used the color combinations from some of the visual scenes from the movie to achieve campy looks. When I’m working on the designs, I compiled several photos of nature’s wonder as reference for unusual silhouettes and textures.”

Lepidoptera is an order of insects that comprises butterflies and moths. Ehrran, who has always been fascinated by nature, managed to merge these beautiful creatures with his designs. One of the pieces was first worn by Mikaela Leonardo during her Miss World Philippines journey, and the rest were launched in Dubai through the pages of Victor Magazine’s November 2021 issue.

Pieces from the “‘Lepidoptera” collection (Photo by Miguel Alomajan)

“Since the pieces are almost too feminine, I called my stylist friend, Jan Ra, who’s an expert at styling campy looks if he can style the collection in a campy way yet edgy just to break the daintiness of it,” he says. “I also gather certain creatives to work around with the shoot to achieve the whimsical visuals which are Miguel Alomajan (photography), RocketSets (set design), Signature by Guillano (makeup), Nigel Del Mundo (videography), and models that are perfect for nymph features.”

Much like a butterfly’s wings fresh from the cocoon, the five-piece collection presents delicate drapery and floral silhouettes created through materials such as tulle, Mikado silk, and Pekin Jusi, and dotted with mixed Swarovski crystals, cut beads, and sequins—all details are custom made and created by hand.

Pieces from the “‘Lepidoptera” collection (Photo by Miguel Alomajan)

“For me, the collection symbolizes growth and hope for a better future,” Ehrran muses. “We all have our own paths and trusting the journey is very important and whatever happens today, our metamorphosis awaits, because life is a never-ending cycle and for me. This collection is a ray of light and just like butterflies, we all have our own purposes here on earth.”

See more of Ehrran Montoya’s fashion creations on Instagram.