FASHION, MODELS TALK, REVIEWS

MODELS TO WATCH (MALE) – MANILA FASHION FESTIVAL, THE NEXT

Runway photos from Manila Fashion Festival. Credits to the owner.
Digital art by yours truly. 

There is this unexplained rush they send while walking, and the sensation they left behind from their footsteps have been burned to our fashion memories.  Aside from worshiping the latest collections from the designers, our eyes our also glued on the living mannequins who were true stand outs. A model’s performance on the spotlight is deeper than the minutes spent on the runway. It’s an assessment of whether their attendance can give us a big check on that make-or-break moment. To mix it up a bit, we’ll start counting down the boys first. Note that the models are arranged in alphabetical order.

Runway photos are from Manila Fashion Festival. Credits to the owner. 

Dayal Chowdhary/ @dayalchowdhary

Having an unruly mane with an overgrown facial hair makes Dayal a smoldering commodity to appear this season. As his good looks separate him from the rest, he tends to promote an inexhaustible force on the catwalk that would surely welcome admiration and bookings under his cv.

Diogo Zambon

His Barbaric and rugged visage strides the runways of Darirue, Chris Diaz and Jun Jun Alblaza in overflowing intensity. A memorable performance has cemented an inevitable and charismatic following for this Brazilian. Living his trademark of messy hair and piercing eyes only says that he is destined to join the runway honor roll.

Elys Lim/ @project.el

Who would have thought that the delicate and gentle features of this Asian boy would work through dark and edgy styling? Elys is flexible enough to contradict his cherub-like charm and work well with the designers’ vision, which he also incorporated for the editorial spread he recently booked. We just discovered a fresh talent  who is a “sought-after” in the long run.

Howel Medina/ Art Personas

Howell’s projection alone tells a lot of story. He was promising from his start, and has seen him grow until these days. As an artist himself, he carries his skills to the runway, and turns himself into a walking work of art through his otherworldly features. He is surely someone who ends his appearance with a high note, and we are keeping that in mind.

Iago Faria/ @iagofaria13

The irresistible Brazilian is showing us that blondes really have more fun. It was all natural for him when he commands the runway with an easy-feel good spirit. Possessing a perfect bone structure; god-like height; and eyes that pierce through someone’s soul – guess we found a new buzz generator.

Jake Villumsen / Art Personas/ @jakevillumsen

His gentleman face has appeals between the classic and mainstream market. Mr. Villumsen has a quality that always brought a lasting impression which was requested by the runway royalty. Despite his frequent runway appearances and travels, this handsome Danish secured the passport to land as a marvelous model.

Johannes Rissler/ @superjohans

When we saw him on the runway, he is just too hot for words to describe. His perfectly sculpted jawline, and mesmerizing eyes made him a strong contender on the roll. From that point, we knew that we fell in love with this eye-catching demi-god with a body made for war.

Juan Carlos Schubert/ @schubert.jace

The youthful and refined aura of Mr.Schubert have paved way to becoming a runway distinction this season. He proved his modelling abilities by standing out, and executing an elegant walk behind the theatrical creations of Ablaza. This performance only says that he is more than just a product of a gifted DNA.

Ken Bosch / PMAP/ @kennbosch

You can always see him flashing his bright smile backstage. However, this model means business when it’s his time to shine on the spotlight. Putting his magnetically striking features upfront, and turning that cute charm into a slaying power, he found himself a secured spot and it’s not hard to see why.

Lawrence Cervantes / Art Personas/ @mr.walecner

Artist/ Art Professor/ Model – Seems a lot but a handsome multitasker carries these titles effortlessly. He initially existed in the art world. An almost similar industry, where his deep affection with something beyond normal is cultivated. Crossing borders to fashion seems to be natural for Lawrence. Possessing bold facial features and a lean physique to match made him a vital part of Manila Fashion Festival. He is pretty much successful in his early endeavors, and the fashion world seems to have more in-store for this man-for-all-seasons and reasons.

Mark Jason Go / Yeoh Models/ @markasongo

The relax yet exaggerated features of this model goes along with his strong and remarkable presence in Manila Fashion Festival TheNext. He made an impression as a stand out in SOFA Graduation show owning not just his perfect jaw line and orient looks, but the aesthetic of the pieces he is wearing. We now understand that having him on shows would tell us that he is unintentionally meant to be noticed.

Maverick Lacson / @mavericklacson

He set the runway in heat as he made his stint this season for Manila Fashion Festival. Maverick is the epitome of “individuality” on his stride and absorbs all the attention on the catwalk.  The quirkiness maybe unusual for the commoners, but who cares if you are a citizen built for the runway?

Ben
GeekyBF.com

FASHION, MODELS TALK

MANILA FASHION FESTIVAL (THE NEXT) GO-SEE HIGHLIGHTS

Photographed by yours truly.

We have witnessed Manila Fashion Festival’s success that merited our slow claps throughout the past seasons. But before the glitz and cheers, they have to conduct first the rigorous practice of model casting.

Just as odds are in our favor, we were lucky enough to be invited to experience another round of casting. It is already my second time to watch this process, but the excitement will always there. My usual lazy Sunday afternoon has been overpowered by model adrenaline as we mingle with fashion experts and model hopefuls. As the stress is evident, seeing the whole selection process makes us feel grounded. You can see the hard work that everyone incorporated in their task – Models brushing off the nerves; looking as if they are having a good time, and the casting committee screening hundreds of models, ensuring that each one of them fits the mold.

Photographed by yours truly.

The day ended with a “sigh” from everyone. One down from their task line up, but there is more to go. Every designer has marked their favorites, and may deliberate to the other models that they may want to consider. For sure, there is a lot in-store for us this season – from models, designer creations and the actual show. At the meantime, enjoy the cut below for the catch on what’s inside the Go-See for Manila Fashion Festival THE NEXT.

Photos are property of GEEKYBF.COM. Please ensure proper credit upon usage. 

Ben
GeekyBF.com

FASHION, MODELS TALK

LEGITIMATELY LIZZY

Photo: Jerick Sanchez
Makeup : Syd Helmsley
All credit goes to its respective owners

Years ago, there was this buzz on fashion forums about a Filipina-British model making waves on the fashion scene, represented by the biggest agencies in major fashion capitals. She goes by the nickname Lizzy (Born Rosemary-Anne Elizabeth Burden), who gave a twist to the typical English Rose beauty with her South East Asian mix. Most of us followers only knew about her through the edgy body of work and opportunities she had in her career, such as working with Katie Grand and sharing a runway with Alessandra Ambrosio. Little did we know, she is a woman with a voice and substance who extends beyond what we see. 

I gushed with excitement when I got the opportunity to meet her for a Saturday dinner. She waved and welcomed me in her cute British accent. Before the interview, we talked about some of her endeavors outside modelling. To be honest, I arrived with the idea of getting information on her career background, but our conversation ended up where I got some inspiring advice from her, especially when it comes to pursuing your passion and the love of your life. The self-confessed frugal is also a smart and dedicated student, who recently decided to lend her footsteps to the Filipino fashion arena under the management of Elite Manila. Her intelligent insight on her model journey is pretty impressive, and her mature approach on things is something worth our attention.  

Photos from Fashion Model Directory
All credit goes to its respective owners

When you were young, how did you understand modelling

I admired the grace and elegance of the women in the magazines, but I didn’t realize how much creative work went into those pictures. It isn’t just the model – it’s also the photographer, the hair and makeup artists, the stylist, the designer and manufacturers of the clothes, the agent, the casting team… Back then, all I saw was the end product: beauty. 

How did that perception change now that you are a model? 

I’ve learned that fashion isn’t just art, it’s also business. As a model, you need to sell your brand. You need excellent people skills so that you can build relationships with agencies and clients – you must always be a pleasure to work with. There’s so much behind each photo and I’ve come to appreciate that over the years. 

What were the struggles that you encountered when you were starting? 

I was lucky to have a relatively easy beginning. From Manchester I went to London, then to Milan and Paris, then New York. But that first year, I got alopecia – you know, when your hair falls out. I guess I was overwhelmed by everything, and it was even more stressful because my whole income relied on my looks. But I learned to stop caring about it. I found that I could spray the patches with black. Thankfully, no one laughed at me and I kept booking jobs. Cultivating that self-acceptance was a big life lesson. Only when I stopped worrying about what other people thought of me did my hair grow back.

Of all the countries in Asia, what made you decide to choose Philippines as your next stop? 

I’m doing postgraduate studies in International Relations. From an academic perspective, it was a simple choice: it’s such an interesting time here politically – to say the least – and I wanted to perfect my Tagalog. From a personal perspective, modeling here is a wonderful opportunity to return to my motherland and spend time with my Filipino family.

How do you differentiate the pressure in modelling vs. your other priorities, like school? 

I don’t find modeling to be high-pressure. Sure, it’s competitive, but I don’t waste time thinking negatively about the competition. I’m only responsible for myself, unlike in my corporate job where I was responsible for 100 people. Plus, I’m my own boss as a model, so the only pressure is how much I put on myself, which is the same as in academia, ultimately. Agents and professors can push you, but it’s your career and your degree in the end. I’m constantly learning how to push myself better. Both modeling and academia take self-motivation and careful time management – especially balancing the two – so the skills from both fields feed into each other. But I think the most important part of pushing yourself effectively is finding enjoyment in it. For instance, I enjoy taking care of my body because working out makes me feel good – you can’t argue with endorphins! Staying in shape is just the by-product. When you truly enjoy a challenge, whatever it is, the pressure disappears.

You’ve jumped from one fashion capital to another. How was it living with complete strangers, especially in the model apartment? 

I’ve only lived in model apartments twice but both times my roommates became my friends. All I’d say to anyone moving into a model apartment would be follow the basic human rules. You know, respect the other person and their privacy, be considerate when they want to sleep, be clean and tidy, don’t burden them with your problems. When you give that respect to them, you can expect it back. That’s the basis of a happy co-living arrangement, right? (Laughs).

You have worked with a lot of bookers from different agencies; can you give the top 3 beauty advice you had from them? 

Common sense!

• Exercise regularly.
• Sleep consistently.

• Eat clean, lean and green and keep hydrated.

 

Photo from Elite London via Bellazon forum
All credit goes to its respective owners

You have an impressive book, what posing tips can you give us when it comes to selfies and full body shots? 

Focus on the mood that you’re trying to convey and it will shine through your eyes. Only think about body angles and lighting secondarily; that way the result will be natural.

Is there anything that you would like to explore more or venture on? 

One thing I’ve been really impressed to find in the Philippines is that there’s a strong eco-ethical fashion movement. I got to do a show with Miranda Konstantinidou in Cebu and at the end, she had her entire crew on stage. She cares about them, and we could all feel it. The entire the front row was crying. Her company is something like 99% female and production is 100% in-house, which means her staff get fair rates for their work. It’s the opposite of fast fashion. There are also designers here like Zacharias and Joanique who are using indigenous materials such as mother of pearl, and others still who are incorporating innovative fibers like pinya (from the pineapple) into their designs. I’m excited that this movement is happening and I want to champion it because I’m so proud that it’s happening here.

As one of the new generation models with Filipino blood, how have you witnessed the evolution having Filipino models on the scene? 

When I started modeling, I felt like Asian models weren’t really considered. It was, “we’ll put one token black girl in the show and maybe an Asian for good measure”. Now, I’m very happy that Asian beauty is getting more of the recognition it deserves. 

What can young Filipino models expect when they want to break in to the western scene? 

When I was in New York, I was put into the “ethnically ambiguous” category. What is that? One day I’d be Latina, black the next, then Asian. Somehow, they didn’t know how to pinpoint the Filipina look. It was great commercially – I was every woman! But I think it’s very important to be proud of Filipina beauty in its own right. Fashion, by its nature, is constantly changing, so we have to keep faith in our power to redefine the categories, shift the goalposts.

Photos from Elite London via Bellazon forum
All credit goes to its respective owners

How did this career change you? 

It has made me more independent. At a young age, I got to travel the world and meet people from lots of different cultures – that made me more empathetic. Modeling has also helped me to keep my own counsel. You have to work with different crews every day, you are moving from city to city, so you need to be a friend to yourself, that voice in your own head who says, “you are beautiful, you are a good person, you can achieve whatever you apply yourself to”. Learning to be kind to myself has helped me in every aspect of life.

What direction do you see yourself now you’re here in Philippines?

While I finish studying, I want to maximize all the opportunities in fashion I have here, and do the best work I can across the spectrum of editorial and commercial. I’m also an ambassador for Liter of Light, which is the first clean energy NGO (Non-Governmental Organization) in Asia. Their work is amazing. They teach women to build sustainable light sources, so that in itself creates jobs, and having light at night helps to prevent rape and theft. It means kids can study when the sun goes down. So my goal is to use modeling to expand my platform to promote this kind of work. One of my role models is Emma Watson. She was studying at Oxford when I was at Cambridge. Because of her acting career, she has a big audience who listen when she’s promoting women’s rights – now she’s a UN ambassador for women. I aim to combine my academic background with my work in fashion and documentary film to have a positive influence in the world.

Before we wrapped our interview, I asked her take on things she considers as “First”: 

Love – I was besotted with some older boy I met at the local disco when I was kid. I couldn’t stop talking about him for a year!

Modelling gig – I was scouted for a little shoot in the Philippines when I was 13, but my mum wasn’t very happy about it so I didn’t model again until I’d nearly finished school.

Disney movie – The Lion King. 

Impression that a model should do – Be on time.

Thing that she notices to a guy – Confidence.

…Bizarre talent – I used to really, really like Elvis Presley. I won a talent competition in school where I dressed as him and sang “Heartbreak Hotel” with my toy guitar!

Photo from Elite London via Bellazon forum
All credit goes to its respective owners

With special thanks to Stig Latorre of Elite Model Management – Manila

Ben
GeekyBF.com

MANILA FASHION FESTIVAL NOW 2016
FASHION

BEHIND THE MANILA FASHION FESTIVAL RUNWAY

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.
http://www.manilafashionfestival.com

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.

FRESH FACES

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.

FRESH TALENTS

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.

INNOVATION  

Screenshot of Zalora website where the latest collections from Manila Fashion Festival NOW is up for buyers.
https://www.zalora.com.ph/mnl-fashion-fest/

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.

Ben
GeekyBF.com

MANILA FASHION FESTIVAL NOW 2016
FASHION, MODELS TALK

BACKSTAGE (HAIR & MAKE UP) – MANILA FASHION FESTIVAL NOW 2016

I need Anne!” The words that welcomed us upon entering this hectic environment with the never ending sound of blow dryer. Hours before the show proper, the clean-faced models are grilled in the hair and makeup chair. They submit themselves to the glamsquad and allow them to do their magic. Our short trip allowed us to witness the backstage grind that transforms models into the designer’s vision, with the use of color palette and hairstyling gears. Everyone is surrounded with bright lights and working in the swiftest possible way to accommodate each model.

To share what we’ve experienced, GEEKYBF is presenting you with the BTS photos to understand the process for that flawless and runway ready faces, catered for our fashion satisfaction.

Ben
GeekyBF.com

Manila Fashion Festival
FASHION, MODELS TALK

INSIDE THE CASTING CALL – MANILA FASHION FESTIVAL NOW

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.

Ben
GeekyBF.com

FASHION, MODELS TALK

LAWRENCE CERVANTES

Photo from Art Personas Management

Scribbling with colors is Lawrence’s main hobby. This has shaped mostly the direction of his life – translating his deep emotions into something visual. Come an unexpected turn, the master becomes the “object” on someone’s eye. He was left with no choice but to morph into that subject that was once a part of his usual grind. Just as we are sipping some drinks on Ysobel Gallery, he discussed the concept behind his art works. As an art lover myself, I was hooked by the way he pulled his inspiration for his works, knowing that I got in touch with my artsy side before. Surrounded by works of art, the environment is just perfect to get to know not just the masterpiece, but this handsome being tickling our eyes. Within our interview, he openly speaks how modelling became a learned behaviour for him, and how he transcended to the other form of imagery.

 

Photo from Status Magazine Facebook

Since when did you become interested with art?

Even before when I was 5. My father is not an artist but he draws. I tried copying some of his human sketches. Animes started to follow like Ghost Fighter then evolved into painting. I never really painted until I entered college

What goes into your mind when you draw?

Base it on feelings. My mentor said just be honest with what you do and what you feel. Cause that’s the real you. Before I don’t have some heavy emotions and that became my weakness. When I experienced broken moments, that when it all started.

With all your background in art, how did you ventured into modelling?

I was discovered by Tito Junel Quinones and introduced me to Ms Sara and Sir Ronnie Cruz of Art Personas, who happened to be the people behind Manila Fashion Festival. I easily connected the two (art and modelling) since fashion designers and all of them are artists as well. I easily became interested since it’s also a form of art that became an inspiration on my artwork and future studies.

Did you ever consider this profession when you were a kid?

(Laughs) I never expected it. I have fantasized being a model, but I’m really shy in person. After signing up with Art Personas Management and doing my first fashion show, I realized I have a future here.

Photo from Preen Online (left) and Style Bible (right)

What was then your first impression of models before?

They seem to be high profile since you see them in magazines and photoshoots. Looks like it is hard to reach them. But when you’re there, you’ll realize that they are just like us.

How do you manage to incorporate your love for art into modelling?

It’s just the same, only different in approach. Fashion is also in the field of performing arts then my love for visual art is just there. Modelling and art meets somewhere in the middle. Fashion is inspired mostly on artworks and it goes from there.

Is it an advantage for you that you are an artist in the fashion industry?

I think so when it comes to taste. As an artist I look into beauty – same with modelling.

Do artist tend to be OC as a models?

I’m really concerned actually because I was the one who told my subject / model to pose. Before I was art directing and now someone else is doing the art direction. Then again I’m open to that because I didn’t start as a model. If ever I make a mistake, I tend to accept it and apply correctives.

Photo from Status Magazine

Let’s talk about your style. How did art and fashion affect how you dress and present yourself?

If you have met me before and saw my fashion statement, it’s very “artist” in kind of way, like very basic in nature. Now, it seems that my clothing has evolved. But I still prefer simple, clean and low key.

In your career as a model, what is the most artistic thing that you have done?

Everything I did is something I consider as artistic. Fashion is always like that. When you present clothes, it’s some sort of art.

Any dream job you have in mind?

For me, for as long as I am working I’m good. But I always dream of seeing myself in a magazine, not just my name unlike before in a contemporary Art magazine.

What are the struggles that you have encountered as a model?

It’s the adjustment. I was never familiar at first, especially on dealing with people. You never know what goes into their head. I tend to over think how they see me as a model.

Photo by from Art Personas Management

What can a millennial model can do to make it in fashion?

Give the industry a brave heart cause the business is a fierce world. There’s a lot of competition. You really have to work hard and attend castings diligently because it all starts there.

As you have booked a number of shows during the previous seasons, can you let us know how did you managed to get the “yes” of the designers?

(Laughs) Well, it’s a matter of confidence and as for me, all just fall into place.

Photo by Junel Quinones of Art Personas Management

Some of Lawrence’s art works. Earth tones is his signature aesthetic.

Bless the models!

Ben.