Rinse, Wear, Repeat attends the MEGA Pinoy Pride Exhibit

As a relatively new blogger, I am just beginning to become exposed to the incredible talent we have in the local fashion scene. I was happy to attend the unveiling of MEGA’s Class of Champions exhibit at the Podium as it gave me the chance to come face-to-face with the creations of Furne One, Veejay Floresca, Mara Chua and other alumni of the MEGA Young Designers Competition.

I happily gave in to the sensory overload that any fashion-lover would experience when presented with a buffet of stunning pieces, heavily featuring MEGA’s first Young Designer of the Year winner, Furne One, and his explosive Mata Hari collection.

Beautiful gown by Furne One. Note the close-up of the detail on the right side.

The items borrowed from his 31-piece collection showcased structured silhouettes, with the gowns looking (and moving) like golden armor yet exuding a sense of regal elegance in stillness. While elaborate and larger-than-life, small details such as the placement of gold spikes and intricate beadwork are always at the forefront.

From a bird’s-eye view, you can make out strong silhouettes and rich textures. Despite the tough overtones, the pieces retain a sense of fluidity. I wish I could have seen them move, the garments must have looked like liquid gold.

I also wanted to share this close-up detail shot of the spirals on the side of Patrice Ramos-Diaz’s glorious structural creation. The gown is so deceptively simple, especially in the bodice, but your eyes are immediately drawn to the spiral pattern towards the side.

Patrice Ramos-Diaz’s hypnotic creation. I could stare at that skirt for hours.

I’m also proud to admit that I love anything unabashedly romantic and ethereal, so I had to stop and admire this textured dove-grey/off-white gown by Mara Chua. Mara’s work is cerebral and there is always a distinct concept behind her art. I’m a huge fan of her body of work, which often hints at the darker, more eccentric side of fashion.

Mara Chua’s work. I can’t wait to see more from her.

I also chatted with new MEGA YDC alumni Oz Go and winner Renan Pacson about fashion’s balance between high-concept experimentation and day-to-day style. While I love theatrical runway shows, it can be challenging to translate experimental pieces to real-life street/office attire. If one is willing to try bolder looks, Renan suggests investing in only one experimental piece paired with basic items in your closets. Statement jackets with embellishments or strong shoulders are great paired with dark jeans and a plain top; if you are uncomfortable then simply take the jacket off. Oz stressed that comfort is key and that how you feel about what you are wearing is the most important criteria in choosing your outfit for the day.

With Renan Pacson (L) and Oz Go (R).

P.S. The dress code was “cocktail-chic”, so I proudly repeated this dress, also worn to a company event in 2011, pictured below. I styled it differently at the time, with very minimal make-up and a simple ponytail. A dress like this gray one-shouldered number with a floral detail is great for when you want more coverage for a dressier occasion, like an awards dinner with colleagues or the opening of a fashion/art exhibit.

With colleagues from my previous job at a special event in January 2011. Same dress, but styled differently.

*This is not a sponsored post; all the photos and content belong to Rinse, Wear, Repeat.

What to wear to a colleague’s big event

I’ve had a good friend in Fren ever since my first day on the job almost two years ago in July 2010. Since then, I’ve left my first job, but the relationships with old friends from work hold strong. I do think that some of the great friends to be made are colleagues; there’s just something special about the way they understand day-to-day nuances in the same line of work.

Back when Fren and I worked in opposite cubicles, I was often witness to much of the hard work and skill that went into planning this event, the launch of give-toblerone.com. Though I’m no longer her officemate, I could not miss the chance to come out and support Fren (and her brand, Toblerone) on her big night!

Fren is an assistant brand manager, so for this particular evening she had to be on her feet most of the night, checking on details, going through the program, and even working the stage. Her maroon long-sleeved shift dress with diagonal stripes was the perfect choice for a festive but firmly work-related event. The statement necklace, featuring oversized pendants with a stone pattern, really anchors the look and pops against the muted red. Nude sandals add height, not fanfare, to the overall effect.

As a spectator and guest, I opted for this fun blue dress polka-dotted dress with a sheer yoke, which is a closet staple. As this was a corporate event, I threw on my favorite white blazer, which immediately balanced the dress’ casual feel. A bright blue-and-pink bracelet and matching fuchsia heels add some much-needed color to the look, but my favorite accessory was this Imperial Stormtrooper bottle cap ring, a recent acquisition from a trip to this year’s Art in the Park.

I was especially happy to see my former bosses Andrei and Cyn at the event, which gave us some time to catch up with each other! Taking this photo took me back to some great times.

Note: Fren’s dress is actually the maroon twin of this gray dress I’ve featured before. It’s a great option for any occasion that calls for comfort  and subtlety.

Read more about different ways to wear the blue dress above right here.

Read more about some ideas on what to wear with a white blazer here.

RTW: Ready to Work. My picks from the MEGA Young Designers Competiton finale

Last week, I attended the finale runway show of the top 6 designers from the MEGA Young Designers Competition 2012 season. I was really happy to see that all of the collections featured looks which were adaptable or already wearable to the workplace. Of course, I was looking for ensembles with elements that could be rinsed, worn and repeated for maximum mileage. Below, I share my top 3 favorite standout collections from the evening.

1. Mara Chua’s thoughtful, inspired collection. It seemed clear off the bat that the designer knew exactly how she wanted the clothes to sit on the model, in the way that she experimented with fit and proportion. This was particularly evident in Look 4, which was a deceptively simple black jacket that  hung beautifully on the model like the slouchy but sculptural creation it was. I couldn’t help but note how well her work complemented the works of other great designers like Haider Ackermann or Jil Sander.

I believe the strongest look in this collection was still Look 2, which was the only gown out of an entire collection that mostly consisted of grayish-black separates layered under plastic-like sheeting molded into vests and jackets. Mara Chua’s multi-textured gray gown was a sight to behold, not to mention very wearable to any major event. The plastic vest initially made it appear tougher, but once removed, revealed cascading straps, dreamy contrasting textures, and a  delicate floral design. I loved the tension between the gothic and industrial.

2. Oz Go’s clean, futuristic collection. At once dramatic and simple, the show focused the audience’s view on the clothes by having the models’ faces covered with large gas masks. Gimmick aside, the white collection (with some hints of sky blue) was very clean and modern, reminding me of work done by Jonathan Saunders or Peter Pilotto.

The sharp tailored white pantsuit caught my attention, reminding me of the costumes in Stanley Kubrick’s movie adaptation of A Clockwork Orange. I especially noted the daring cutouts on two of the dresses, which nonetheless retained their sophistication and form. While tough and hard-edged, the collection was also elegant, very feminine, and still versatile. I was disappointed that this designer did not place in the top 3, but I feel sure that he will produce more stunning work down the line.

3. Robin Gundran’s trendy, retail-friendly collection. I could easily imagine Robin’s entire collection as a special tie-up with a retail giant like Oxygen or Maldita. Many of the pieces could be worn straight off the runway with only a few modifications to the cutouts. I loved how the models were styled, with clean faces and sleek topknots. Robin also thought about the shapes made by the gray and black patterns on the clothes, incorporating texture with some sheer materials and ruching. My favorite was look 5, which I would love to own myself after some minor adjustments to the sheer overlay.

I was also happy to chat with Santi Obcena, who told me about his upcoming work for Philippine Fashion Week. I was thrilled to hear that he’ll be working on a Klimt-inspired collection following that.

Renan Pacson ultimately won the competition, followed by Mara Chua and Robin Gundran.

Rinse, Wear, Repeat attends Mega Young Designers 2012 Finale Runway Show

Last night, I attended the Mega Young Designers Competition 2012 finale runway show.  I am often amazed by the detail and planning that goes into runway shows; the most beautiful collections are cohesive, visually stunning, and of course, tell a compelling story.

I was happy to attend as I’ve been a fan of this type of reality TV for a while; I’ve followed the US Project Runway since Season 1 and even discovered the joys of Project Runway Canada and The Fashion Show on Bravo. Christian Siriano and Rami Kashou, two of my favorite designers, are Project Runway alumni. Our very own local competition produced greats like Rajo Laurel, Michi Calica-Sotto and most recently, Russel Villafuerte, whose career I’ve followed since seeing him on the first season on Project Runway Philippines.

I will write more about the runway looks, but I also wanted to share my outfit for the evening. For many women who don’t like to wear sleeveless dresses to cocktail parties, a look like this forest green three-quarters length dress from Zara is a great option. The color is rich while remaining unobtrusive, which is perfect when one is going for a more understated look. A dress like this is perfect for those work events where you want to be a bit more covered up. Note the lined panels going down either side of the waist, expertly (and sneakily) cut to give any wearer an hourglass shape. The v-shaped neckline is especially flattering.

Jewel tones work great with luxe accessories, so I went for these stunning gold statement earrings. They are almost sculptural, and the small amber stones in the forest of gold twine really bring out the richness of the color. I added a matching gold bangle, nude wedges and a simple red lip to complete the look.