Dr. Jose Rizal’s classic novel becomes the inspiration for unconventional menswear

Fashion designer Bon Hansen revisits'El Filibusterismo'

In Dr. Jose Rizal’s “El Filibusterismo,” we discovered the transformation of Crisostomo Ibarra, from a charming son of a businessman into a revengeful jeweler Simoun. If Rizal’s first novel “Noli Me Tangere” was centered on romance, its sequel “El Filibusterismo” was all about rebellion and fighting against oppressors. The latter’s defiant attitude is one of the driving forces for Filipino fashion designer Bon Hansen’s latest collection, aptly titled “Simoun.”

Shown on the second day of Bench Fashion Week (BFW) spring-summer 2023, “Simoun” presents Bon’s fresh vision for unconventional menswear, merging his signature tailoring with new silhouettes.

“The collection symbolizes the height and end of Simoun's life, exploring his strong rebel character dated in a modern context,” the former Bench Design Awards winner says. “I wanted to remind everyone never to submit to society's dictates and encourage them to be more expressive and assertive.”

Bon worked on the collection for a month, producing eight striking pieces challenging the norms of what local menswear is. His show started with modern pieces with defined lines and structures. The highlights of his collection include an aubergine suit with its sharp shawl collar, a plaid ensemble paired with a structured bib, and his finale piece—a pinstripe maxi dress with flounce detail under a classic suit—a perfect demonstration of the blurring gender lines in today’s fashion scene.

“When I was doing the collection, it felt like I was writing a chapter in my life that was also coming to an end—like a sense of parallelism,” Bon muses. “Personally, I see this collection as a new beginning to see new perspectives, new people, and new experiences.”

Check out Bon Hansen’s “Simoun” collection below:

Photos from Bench
Photos from Bench
Photos from Bench
Photos from Bench

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