LOOK of Style Awards: Davao applicants

LOOK Magazine and the British Council recently went to Davao to meet its applicants for the LOOK of Style Awards. It was my first time to go with the magazine for its nationwide search, and I was thrilled to be part of the panel of judges. I guess I really wanted to see what our fashion designers from Davao have to offer. I imagine there are so much untapped talent in these parts, and its only right to give them an opportunity to showcase their work.

This year’s theme for the LOOK of Style Awards is ECO CHIC. To quote the rules I posted before, eco chic means: “the use of organic, upcycled or recycled materials, and/or the use of zero-waste design techniques.” This theme couldn’t have come at a better time. Promoting “green” fashion should be among the many things we should be focusing on right now—at least in the fashion industry. Its about time we started becoming aware of how things are made, and whether or not its process wreaks havoc on the environment.

We were scheduled to meet and interview 10 fashion designers that day (nine showed up), and as soon as we landed in Davao we immediately got to work. Each designer brought three of their best designs with them, which I gladly took photos of. LOOK magazine’s associate editor Carmencita Sioson was also part of the panel, as well as British Council’s Ana Tan and established Davao designers Dodjie Batu and Edgar Buyan. Needless to say, I was very impressed with what I saw. Here’s hoping I get to work with these talented designers in the future.

BRIANE BOOTH-SUSTENTO

When asked how he will apply the Eco Chic theme on his entry, Briane said he will use nata de coco as material for a dress, and stripped cotton (that are usually just thrown out) to create a “distressed look”.

IVAN RABORAR

A contestant at the first Project Runway Philippines, Ivan is obsessed with t’nalak (traditional tapestry made by the T’boli tribe from South Cotobato) and beadwork. He plans to use these to create his version of Eco Chic.

JOAO TAREPE

Used shuttlecocks as sleeves on his saya. He said he wants to learn more about the proper distribution ofdetails in his designs (when asked what more he wants to improve in his work).

JUNI ARTAJO

Juni is drawn to vinta designs, pina and soft abaca fibers. His trademark is weaving, and he is so good at it he won first runner up at the 49th Japan Fashion Design Contest.

JR MAGDALENO

Loves using durian fibers, dreamcatchers and abaca. JR plans to make a dress from candy wrappers if chosen as one of LOOK of Style contestants.

RONNI NACUA

Loves texture; worked with metal eyelets, leather straps and beadwork. Ronni would use old leather bags as material for his Eco Chic entry, if given the chance.

TZARDY TOMBO

Designs are very feminine; he is drawn to soft, flowy cocktail dresses and evening wear.

FUJI JIMENEZ

He describes his style as very structural. He likes working with indigenous materials like abaca and durian fibers and t’nalak. Unfortunately, he was only able to bring one sample of his work.

FREIDA CABILES

Emulates the work of Monique Llhuillier; wants to learn the business side of fashion.

* Too bad I wasn’t able to see entries from Cebu designers. I’m sure they were just as talented as the ones we saw in Davao. Up next, Manila fashion designers!

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