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.


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.


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!


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.




Photo by yours truly. Posted on @ebencipe.

Surprised! Just got my invites for Philippine Fashion Week Holiday 2016. Go check your email friends, especially on the Promotion folder (for gmail users like me) and print your golden ticket(s). FYI,print the attached invite on  8.5 x 11 inches paper (US Letter). I printed mine on a smaller size for flat lay purposes 🙂 I hope I can meet you guys there.

Bless the models!



The wait is almost over my fellow fashionistas. I was suppose to create an updated post about this at an earlier time; however, I was juggling 4 different flights this week (business trips and vacation). It is now confirmed that the venue will be on Aura Atrium at SM Aura Premier as disclosed earlier by some designers. The official schedule and participating designers (per date) are as follows:

Image Source: Philippine Fashion Week Live

E-invites are already being released by some designers, so send those email requests before its too late.

Got my first invite for Holiday 2015 yesterday evening (hooray!). It is advised to check your email religiously since the recipient has only 48 hours to confirm and register.

Bless the models!



Image Source: Facebook

Raise your right hand if you are a fanatic who always wants to get first hand information such as invite listings, model line up, and show details before it has been revealed to the general public. For the upcoming Holiday 2015 show, the official site and facebook page has only released the names of the participating designers. However, we found this useful information from Arnold Galang’s instagram post (@arnoldgalang) regarding the venue and schedule.

Image source: Instagram (@arnoldgalang)

JUNE 12 – 14, 2015 – We are used to having the event during the last days of May for Spring/Summer shows. Stretching this to the next month will not do harm for sure, not unless you have made plans already with your schedule. Normally, invites are sent 1-2 weeks before the show proper, and this may be the reason why E-invites are not yet queuing in our mailbox.

Left: Photo of SM Aura Premier. Image from Right: Photo of SMX Convention Taguig. Image from

SM AURA PREMIER – New home for Philippine Fashion Week?  From NBC Tent, Glorietta Activity Center, SM Mall of Asia, and now moving into a venue with an upscale ambiance. For us residing near the SM Aura, it’s pretty much will be in our advantage. No more chasing cabs, less armpit sweats and the word “late” will be on the down low. We can speculate that the event will be held at SMX Convention Taguig at either on the 3rd or 4th level of the said mall.


5/27 – Website still shows the previous season’s show line up. Facebook post shows that the schedule is on June 12 to 14 at SM AURA PREMIER (LEVEL 1) AURA Atrium. Official designer list and schedule is unavailable as of this time.

Bless the models!


Cherry Samuya Veric S/S 2015 for Philippine Fashion Week

Hitting the google search with the title of his collection – “svelte” will immediately pop out results of its meaning. Among these are the words graceful and elegant. As a brand, Mr. Cherry has a reputation of making a woman feel like a queen in her own right. Each of his creations does not over power the natural beauty, as it complements the inner mademoiselle attitude without further elaboration.

On his spring/summer 2015 runway are cashmere gowns with precious lace on top, showing a prim character with pure sophistication. The succeeding pieces are about the vibrant hue of the designer’s name himself. The girls wearing the crimson creation are completely opposite from his first looks. In our imagination, they are the upper class women of the society, catching the attention of the town’s Chuck Bass. But in reality, they are the notorious heart breakers unseen from a man’s vision. Gowns came in all kinds, the ones that cover the woman’s body in red sparkle;, and some romantically bare the shoulders and collar bones. As an added bonus, the heelless shoes are defying gravity, providing the support in walking tall and feline-like.

As expected, the show was closed by former Ms. Universe runner ups Shamcey Supsup-Lee and Venus Raj, together with Analyn Casas, who made the crowd stop with her golden-metal dress paired in red cape. A powerful finale that garnered a lot of cheer. For all the reason, everyone put their high respect to this designer.

All photos are taken by me. Kindly credit me and my blog whenever you wish to use the images

Bless the models!


Arnold Galang S/S 2015 for Philippine Fashion Week

Veronica De Castro walking the runway of Arnold Galang  for Philippine Fashion Week.

Beautiful things sprung out from Arnold’s love for peace. As strong as his beliefs, the I am For Peace collection celebrated the gardens of spring. It did not entirely speak of its literal meaning though. The deal that he chose for this is the post era of the world without conflict. Exquisite prints of flowers, leaves and bright colors are transformed into poetic clothing for the “my fair lady”. Some pieces paid homage to a visual painting, worn with black and white stripes. Others paired with the same colorful material resembled the birds of paradise. With color-coded sandals stomping the runway, it is a fact that he’s in favor of the serenity in walking comfortably. Talk about a big hooray for the summer high heel time-out.

For the last two pieces, Cassandra Laforteza strutted down in a black swimsuit with shredded blazer reminding us of a black vulture. It was followed by a similar design, but now in a form of a clean white dress as worn by Eriko Malabanan. The finale dress seemed to be a symbolism of his advocacy to his audience. True enough, he explained his creativity and idealism without a blur.

All photos are taken by me. Kindly credit me and my blog whenever you wish to use the images

Bless the models!


Jerome Salaya-Ang S/S 2015 for Philippine Fashion Week

Hye Won Jang (PMAP) walking the runway of Jerome Salaya-Ang  for Philippine Fashion Week.

As summer is fast approaching, everyone expects to dress down for the beach, wear lighter clothes and bare some skin. This literal idea is not the direction that the designer-story teller Jerome Salaya-Ang is going for. Instead, he has the idea of marrying high fashion with the strong waves of the ocean. Each dress has emphasis on textured folds and tailoring. The net-like material sewn in black and neon-colored textiles made an updated version in dressing edgy. The futuristic collection was worn by his models paired with goggles that you would never thought of seeing above the water. Now that’s something fresh and out from ocean!

As the long black gown worn by Irish Ong strut the catwalk, it made me think of another great open-ended fantasy made by a great story teller. For all we know, there is another chapter being written by Mr. Jerome and we eager to see more from it.

All photos are taken by me. Kindly credit me and my blog whenever you wish to use the images

Bless the models!