Manila Fashion Festival has already done 7 season shows (2 among those are capsule collections) from its modest beginnings that ring bells, which slowly bloomed into a “must attended event” on the top of editors, bloggers and fashion lovers list. The event gathers and exposes the best of the best talents, and allows like-minded individuals to mingle and share the same passion and love for fashion. For hard-working models, it is a bread-and-butter avenue for them as well as to sell themselves to editors and photographers for possible gigs and to thicken up their tear sheets. On the designer’s perspective, Manila Fashion Festival can help them market their collection for publisher’s write-ups/ features that can entice potential clients. They can also generate revenue afterwards through buyers both actual and coming from event’s online-partner platform.
It is surely a business at the end of the day, but its effect on the local fashion scene is more than a profit making machine. From all the glitz and jaw dropping collections presented on the runway, we breakdown some of the elements that makes Manila Fashion Festival on prime, which are beyond what our lenses would capture.
FASHION FOR EVERYONE
Screenshot of Manila Fashion Festival registration page.
It is a fashionista’s dream to be in the actual runway show. Believe me, I was one of those yuppies who are willing to do anything just to be seated on a designer show. Just like in the big fashion markets, most of the shows, if not held by brands on open mall areas are only exclusive to a few (celebrities, media and the elites). Before, the sure way to get in is to be an intern on the event or to any of the backstage/ partner media team; to actually know the designer; beg for an invite from the designer; or if the first three fails, cleverly sneak in while the guards are busy. Forums are usually flooded with questions on how to attend shows and no one would even bother to provide clear steps to address this. Basically, you’re on your own to figure things out. At some fashion event, most of us are left wondering how come empty seats were not given to those who are really interested in fashion, pleading for that chance to watch the show.
Manila Fashion Festival has cracked the alta-sociedad system on the runway shows and opened opportunities for the fashion lovers outside the elite circle to be seated in the event proper. This move has not released the exclusivity a runway show has, but rather brought that exclusivity to wider-range of audience, longing to be part of the fashion crowd. It’s like a perfect occasion for newly-immersed fashion lovers to learn about the business and its aesthetics. Every season, guests have the access to register on their official website and voila, your part of the guest list. No more stress and email confirmation that you may miss. Plus, they gladly reply on queries on how to watch the show, unlike others whose comments like such are left unanswered.
Promising faces that have been introduced in Manila Fashion Festival
Above: Howell Medina, Mabelle Corpus (Art Personas)
Bottom: Hana Dy (Art Personas) and Brandi Branfuhr (Yeoh Models)
Photo by yours truly.
Ofcourse we love the nyoras (Filipino fashion slang for the established models) that ruled our catwalk. But we are also starving for raw fashion faces that are timely and can be held as successors of model royalty. We are thrilled to see them grow each season and carve a career out from their footsteps. Every season in Manila Fashion Festival is a cultural mash up of models from different ethnicity, gender and appearance. Casting team and designers do their best to mix deserving newbies with the established ones to bring that atmosphere of growth and opportunity. Model line ups are always diverse, allowing models of color to represent the collection.
Trans-model Maria Rivera walking for AZUCAR.
Photo by yours truly
They have also included the introduction and well acceptance of androgynous faces and even allowing a transgender model to walk the show. Due to this, a lot of undiscovered androgynous and transgender models were encouraged to pursue their dream of becoming models by attending the event’s casting. Manila Fashion Festival has maximized the definition of what a model is, which goes beyond muscles, pretty faces and between our legs.
Bobson Design Competition
Photo by yours truly
From behind the scenes, the team has broken the nepotism mentality where only the top media and designer friends are allowed to be in the know. They have given share of the spotlight to designer new comers and even the graduating students from various fashion schools in the country. They are also staging design competitions apart from runway shows to search and cultivate talents from those with undiscovered potential.
Media area crowded crowded with magazine photographers, interns and some bloggers.
Photo by yours truly
This move also the opportunity for young photographers, interns and bloggers to gain the similar access that they give to big wig media/ publication. They believe in cultivating talents from the different corners of the fashion industry, and success for them includes the success of everyone in the circuit.
YOUNGER AND UP-TO-DATE CONCEPT OF THE COLLECTIONS
Renan Pacson x Gnarly (left) and Anthony Ramirez (right)for Manila Fashion Festival Now
Photos by yours truly
Collections presented are fit for the audience with a touch of innovation. The runway shows from this event has departed from the old-tita belief of “Santa Cruzan” clothes which are nearly impossible to wear in our real life situations. Gone are the endless sparkles, embellishment and grandma embroidery.
Say hello to modern approach of interpreting clothes that represents not solely the designer’s inspiration, but has taken into consideration what the consumers would want to wear and who they are.
Screenshot of Zalora website where the latest collections from Manila Fashion Festival NOW is up for buyers.
It was a new take when Manila Fashion Festival took over the runway scene in the Philippines. They introduced by the “see now – buy now” concept through their partnership with Zalora. All collection pieces are posted on Zalora website after the show. The year-end edition surprised many of us when they decided to parallel the collections to the current season by using the “NOW” tagline. The succeeding shows will be named depending on the current season it is held.
Model Lou Yanong (PMAP) holding Samsung Gear 360 while heading the pack of models
Photo by yours truly
They also incorporated the 360 technology with Samsung on their wing. Teaser for the NOW season has been recorded using a Samsung Gear 360 camera, and with the use of VR or even the actual motion rotation of your smart phone, you will be able to experience the season’s preview beyond a single dimension photo. Some models walking on the show holds the Gear camera while walking. According to Sir Ronnie, the event is planning to bring the runway experience to the audience via glimpse of how a model sees the catwalk on their perspective. Such a good treat for model lovers like us!
RUNWAY FOR A CAUSE
Candies with ostrich antibodies from Better Future Foundation
Photo by yours truly
Fashion is stereotyped as an industry full of snobbish people who only care about clothes and youthful beauty. For Manila Fashion Festival, they always make it a point to include their community service on video reels and speeches from Sir Ronnie Cruz. They were able to use fashion’s strong following to show the beauty of helping others and to raise awareness that we can extend help even in the simplest means.
Together with Better Future Foundation (BFF), they launched the 10/20 Can-D Day. It aims to distribute candies infused with ostrich antibodies to children living in impoverished communities. On their recent show, they made a jar of candies available on front row guests and in the BFF booth. Sir Ronnie encouraged all of the audience to give the candies to street children as a sweet and healthy treat.
Just like a newbie model who walks on her first show, helping those who are in need also take one step at a time. But every step we make can create a huge difference, and it can start by using the influence we have in hand.