Look of Style Awards 2012 : The Bombing of Hiroshima and Nagazaki : Eco-StreetWear

With a scholarship to the prestigious Central Saint Martins as its grand prize, designers from Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao vie for a spot to be in the finals for this year’s Look of Style Awards. With a garment bag full of clothes, I headed to Rockwell for the preliminary screening. I was given 9 minutes to present my vision and show my past works, to tell my story and convince the panel that I am worthy of a spot. Scary panel I must say! Like a thesis defense magnified 10x.Went home not exactly sure what to expect as the panel all had poker faces during the entire presentation.

Few weeks passed…then one morning I got a text message from LOOK Magazine that I was chosen as one of the ten finalists! hurrah!!!whoopie!!!  We were asked to do an eco-chic collection of 5 looks. ngarag moments!!!

Back in college, I came to know about Philippine Textile Research Institute and its facilities and services. So I decided to go there and research about textile developments, I had an idea running in my head, but not sure if the technology is available here in Manila.  Luckily, PTRI is always ready to take on any challenge, we tinkered around the idea of weaving a fabric using PET (polyethylene terephthalate)  bottles … they were able to weave magic, albeit with few difficulties but a great result nonetheless. I got my desired softness and body of the fabric, even the color came out very well!

Part of my vision for sustainable fashion is to make accessible clothes made of garbage but turn them into something people could easily wear everyday like a basic t-shirt/tank top/lounge pants. A t-shirt is a t-shirt,people from all walks of life, from class A to class E wear a t-shirt. If 100 individuals would wear my PET t-shirt, that’s one canal cleaned-up…just imagine if more people would wear a PET t-shirt, then that’s perhaps the whole stretch of Manila bay cleaned-up.

I created separates which could easily be mixed and matched. Since it is competition, I played around the styling to pump-up each look whilst staying true to my design aesthetic.

The main inspiration for my collection is the Atomic Bombing of Hiroshima and Nagazaki. I envisioned an imaginary Japanese tribe with superior human qualities that survived the bombing but developed “cyanosis” which is the medical term for Blue baby syndrome due to lack of oxygen, hence my ashen-blue palette and my models’ covered faces (scarf is made from piña-organza appliquéd with cut-out pieces from the interior part of an old tire). Patterns in some of the pieces were taken from the traditional Japanese kimono, an age-old method of pattern-making which employs zero-waste technique.

On the morning of the show itself, we had to face a panel and present them our collection,piece by piece and explain to them our vision of sustainable fashion, our design process and all that stuff…. grueling 10 minutes it was!!!

They also had to pick the three looks (out of 5) that we would be showcasing in the runway show.

Industry veterans …who wouldn’t get nervous?!? **photo from Vania Romoff

Presenting my collection….

**runway photos from www.dailyfashionista.com

Unfortunately, I didn’t bag the scholarship. Roland Alzaté took home the top spot. But I am very grateful to have been part of this year’s Look of Style Awards, and truly glad that I was able to impart my vision for sustainable fashion. Perhaps, i’ll have a full line of eco-clothing in the near future! #wishfulthinking. But I definitely enjoyed this whole experience, lessons I learned and experiences earned. I guess, now I just have to start saving in a piggy bank for my short-course in CSM, dream school I’ll be there one day!!!!

And thank you Alex Vergara for the very kind write-up! 🙂 Thank you Look Magazine, Philippine Daily Inquirer and the British Council for this wonderful experience…(don’t be surprised if you see me again next year!,haha) Watch the full show below!

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    1. So proud of you marz! Even way back in college I knew you were fit for these contests! Keep it up! I’m so proud of you every step of the way! haha! ^_^

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