Manila Fashion Festival


Model Compcards at the deliberation table.

The first day of October for 2016 is the day that will determine the who’s-who on the designers’ list of runway army. They have the responsibility of representing the story of the collection, and ensuring that every moment in the spotlight is translated into footsteps on gold. That is why a crucial casting process is part of the main ingredients that makes up a stellar show. My blog is spilling the beans on what happens within the casting process which is normally secluded to the majority of the industry’s followers in the country.

The Waiting Game

Upon arriving at the Art Personas office, a group of models, looking effortlessly flawless in the midst of the waiting game will welcome your sight. Some would scroll endlessly on their mobile phones, some would engage in small talks with model peers; some would carry a novel with them, and some center and gather their energy for the casting directors.

Welcoming rights

The models would first register on the agency’s lounge. Their measurements are taken by the assigned staff and a number They are quickly snapped for a digitals (soft copy of what we usually call as Model Polaroid) and assigned with a number for their batch line up.

The “Judgement Hour”

They are being called by batch for the eyes of top fashion Director – Jackie Aquino and the designers themselves. They are given few minutes to impress the panel with their presence and walk. Sometime in the middle, Dir. Jackie would take a moment to review the model digitals per batch to see how they look with in natural light without makeup. I was fully amazed and focused how good he indentify those who are runway ready and has that “bookable potential” from the group. He is very specific on the things that he points, showing how experienced he is on doing things like this.

The Casting Team carefully scrutinizing each model. 

On the other side of the table are the designers busy jotting down the names and numbers of the models that they think best embody their collection. Some of them shared their insights on their model criteria:

“ I’m looking for new faces from different races. They must look international.” – Rhett Eala.

“Someone who has a proportionate body. Not pretty, but appealing.” – Arleen Sipat-Sutton of AZUCAR.

“My current collection is about passion, love, woman and flamenco. It’s a celebration of diversity in womanhood.” – Cheetah Rivera.

Final Look Up

Day-end model check to complete their squad. 

As the day reached 6pm, the panel collated all compcards and checked whether they can still dig and find an undiscovered or overlooked potential from the number of model applicants. From the last minute, a few were selected as final addition to the designers’ model crew based on their cards. This is the point where we can really stress the importance of having a professional-looking compcard with strong-edgy images that is worthy of a second glance. Those who will make the cut will be notified accordingly and will be invited for fittings. I have noted some new face favorites that I’m truly dying to see walking the most coveted designer shows. In a few weeks, it will be another round of fresh-from-the cutting room pieces, parading to satisfy the editors and fashion people’s craving. For those who qualified, the runway is your next grilling room.





Manila Fashion Festival NOW promotional. 
Image via

The runway of all runway shows in the Philippines is ready to bring the lights back and present the freshly-tailored collections for the next season. Witness the parade of high fashion ensembles at Edsa Shangri-la (click to see in Google Maps) on October 18 to 21 2016.

As the event was voted as the as Best Fashion Show of 2014 by readers (source: Wikipedia), the people behind Manila Fashion Festival constantly aims to bring the show outside the “fandom mentality” by allowing fashion lovers within and outside the elite circle to watch the show in flesh.

Manila Fashion Festival NOW schedule and show list (click to enlarge)
Images sent via email by after confirmation of registration. 

Go ahead and visit their official website and click Registration->Runway Shows. Complete the needed details and select the preferred date and show block that you wish to attend. By the looks of it, it’s going to be a long day of fahsiongasmic moments as Day two and four have afternoon shows. I can only commit to attend evening shows due to my real job responsibilities. Battling the 6pm traffic going to the venue can be true fashionista challenge, but we know it’s all worth the sweat. You can catch me there snapping models all the time. Hope to see you there.

Bless the models!




Image Source: @tinaherrera_ Instagram

For every fashion nerds’ reference. Be sure to get your kits and eyes ready to witness the latest collection from some of our country’s top designers.

Screenshot of the registration form sent via link on email

Some designers have already sent their e-invite link that will lead to the registration. As a common practice, the actual e-invite is being received after submitting the completely filled-out form. But up to now, it seems that the e-invite is not yet available in my inbox and its subfolders (tears).Not so sure, but it seems some folks are also experiencing the same since   Hoping that just like last season, the tickets will be sent days before the show. Regardless, we will never hesitate to confirm those and wait through long lines just to watch the fresh creations and witness our favorite models.

Bless the models!




Photo from Art Personas Management

The local fashion scene in the Philippines is also a breeding ground for new faces. Joining the catwalk cliques of the established ones may be a tough challenge for an inexperienced one. Success doesn’t just rely on looks and hard work. Reality is, everything should happen on the right timing, demand and opportunities. For a newbie, the game is just get noticed and book more, or get lost and be forgotten. As one of the models would say – “You really have to hustle”.

Jake in action. Walking for Mark Tamayo on Manila Fashion Festival F/W 2016.
Photos from

From the pool of hundreds of models who attended the open call, one lucky guy who just recently signed up with Art Personas Management made us recap the meaning of the law of attraction. The Danish-Filipino mix gave birth to Jake, whose height and killer brows would speak as runway ready. He was welcomed by the agency heads (Mr Ronnie Cruz, CEO of Art Personas and his wife, Ms Sara Kae) and has easily made friends with the other models because of his friendly nature.

Look who’s working?
Photos from

Being lined with aircraft technology as his education, we have seen him applied the same theory of being fly when he walked the F/W 2016 season of Manila Fashion Festival. Due to his prior commitments, he only stayed for the first day despite other bookings. We even overheard someone saying “Please just stay here and do more shows”. Mr Villumsen was discovered by Casting Director –Junel Quinones and though having a new career, he has to juggle lots of stuff before catching his flight- fittings; Zalora lookbook shoot for Mark Tamayo & Chris Diaz; actual runway show, and the whole waiting game for the show preparation. Before he packed his bags, he shared some of his time for a quick chat.

No bad angle. He works that backstage photo like a pro.
Photo from

B: What excites you about modelling?
J: The people in front of you, cause even though you can’t see them because of the lights, you just walk and focus on the cameras.

B: So how did you prepare for your first runway show?
J: Ms Sara, she thought me how to walk through a workshop in Art Personas. After that, wherever I go I just practice walking even just on the streets.

B: How does it feel walking on the runway?
J: Well, in the backstage I’m not yet nervous. I feel excited, but when I’m walking its like black out and go straight.

B: What do you think is your trademark as a model?
J: Maybe my right ear. It’s a bit smaller than the left one (laughs).

B: Do you have any dream job other than modelling?
J: It’s the course that I took – fixing aircraft. I also studied bar tending in Thailand. But that is just my hobby, I just want to learn.

B: How about your goals in modelling?
J: I never thought that I could be a ramp model til I was discovered. During wardrobe fitting I had a brief talk with Mr. Jackie Aquino, the shows Director and he welcomed me to the modelling world and to the Art Personas family also. With that, I am forever grateful to them. I realized that modelling is not only glamour, the lights, make up but also the hardworking and good people behind it. That inspires me to love and do my best at least to fit in to the industry and become one of the best male models around. (laughs)

B: What do you miss about your life before modelling?
J: Haircut. Before, you can do anything to your hair or something. Right now, you need to ask your agent first if it is okay. Like the past few weeks, I wanted to have my hair cut but my agent said no because you have a look book shoot, and i need to look the same on the runway.

B: Has walking Manila Fashion Festival changed your style?
J: Yeah. Before I don’t like colourful stuff. Now I managed to walk with it around. I feel comfortable now walking in any clothes.

B: Despite of your busy schedule lately, how do you find time for yourself?
J: If there is no show, I just ask my friends what’s the set up if you’re going out? I wanna’ join you guys. I’m also travelling back and forth in Denmark.

B: How do you see yourself here say after 5 years?
J: I want to see myself working in airlines and maybe as a model at the same time.

B: How do you manage stress whenever you are preparing or the actual show?
J: Just relax and do what I had prepared

B: What was your dream before becoming a model?
J: When I was a kid, I have a lot of dreams. Like becoming a doctor, being a pilot. Now I realized, I enjoy more on fixing stuff so I studied aircraft mechanics.

B: If you can trade your life with a fellow model? Who is that and why?
J: Maybe Daniel Matsunaga. Since he has good looks and is confident when walking on the runway, just having fun.

Bless the models!




Image source: Asia’s Next Top Model Cycle 4 Facebook fan page

The girls from the corners of the biggest continent in the world are ready to join the high fashion crusade as they battle it out to be Asia’s Next Top Model . From thousands of aspirants, 14 were selected to be under the expert’s hands to be groomed as the next Asian runway star.

Hong Kong – Jessica Lam
Indonesia – Aldilla Zahraa
Indonesia – Patricia Gunawan
Malaysia -Tuti Noor
Mongolia -Tugs Saruul
Myanmar – May Myat Noe
Philippines – Alaiza Malinao
Philippines – Gwendoline “Gwen” Ruais
Philippines – Julian Flores
Singapore – Angela “Angie” Watkins
South Korea – Sang-in Kim
Thailand – Jiratchaya “Tawan” Kedkong
Thailand – Wanvisa “Maya” Goldman
Vietnam – Thị Quỳnh Mai Ngô

Based on the promotional photos, our top 3 favorites with high fashion potential are Tuti Noor (Malaysia), Sang In Kim (S.Korea) and Alaiza Malinao (Philippines).

Asia’s Next Top Model will premiere on Star World on March 9. Gotta save those screams to cheer for your country and your favorites!

Images are from Asia’s Next Top Model Cycle 4 Facebook fan page


Bless the models!




Magazine (1st) and digital (2nd) cover. Images from Preview Magazine Facebook

2015 has been declared as the year of Kelsey as magazines cant get enough of the rising model. The 19 year-old sealed the year-end issue (Dec 2015 – Jan 2016) issue of Candy magazine and it doesn’t stop there. Her cover star charm allured the editors of the country’s Style Bible – Preview Magazine. All the single fashionistas (and even the committed ones) are totally in tears for two reason – One, the cover is a “promspiration” with a high fashion taste; two, getting all the boys on top of her credentials is dead-ringer envy moment – that even some us are still under pressure looking for that valentine’s date.  Even with all the good-looking men surrounding the Wilhelmina model, all eyes are still with the lady with the perfect pout.

Don’t you just wish that some of our tacky prom photos during our junior and senior life would look cover-worthy like these? The love month really has something for us fashionistas to make our hearts beat and make our knees weak, with our without a date.

Photographed by BJ Pascual
Styled by Daryl Chang (Kelsey) and Loris Pena (Iñigo, Jeron, Derrick, Ruru, LA, and Andre)
Art Direction by Vince Uy

Note: Images on this post are copyright from its owners. 

Bless the models!




Shot by Steven Klein in Salt Flats in California, the two icons – Natasha Poly and Racquel Zimmermann joins the it-girl of the moment Gigi Hadid to front the latest ad for ultra-femme label Versace. Wearing the jungle-military themed creations of Donatella Versace, they were joined by three male models – Nathaniel Visser, Benjamin Benedek, and Lukasz Grabowski, spreading some masculine hormones to the finish product. To sum it up: Long Legs + Muscles + Donatella + Steven Klein = Fashion Frenzy.

Models: Natasha Poly, Racquel Zimmermann, Gigi Hadid, Nathaniel Visser, Benjamin Benedek, and Lukasz Grabowski.
Photographed by: Steven Klein
Creative Director: Giovanni Bianco
Fashion Editor/Stylists: David Bradshaw, Jacob K
Image Sources:

Note: Images on this post are copyright to its owners

Bless the models,