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 (National Government 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

faces to watch-manila fashion festival now 2016
FASHION, MODELS TALK

FACES TO WATCH – MANILA FASHION FESTIVAL NOW 2016

The names of Ria Bolivar, Justine Gabionza and Sara Kae Custodio-Cruz are few of those who have a established career out of their heels. New models may come, but these ladies are still on their prime and ascertained their runway worthiness to be recognized as top models of the Philippines.

For Manila Fashion Festival Now 2016, we were able to spot the girls that we predict to be the successors of runway nyoras. These freshies have that major “it” factor that made them stand out from the pool of breathing mannequins. Although some of them may have done work in the past, this season is where they pushed the limits that made them a true stand out. The initial girls were shortlisted to 10, but we decided to make it a 12 plus a bonus.  

Note: List below in alphabetical order

Arianna Cowper/ PW Models

Photo by Mike Server

It can never be good as it gets when this elegant new comer landed on the scene. Bringing a bold and feisty deal on the catwalk is what Arianna is. It’s the youthful bombshell appeal, together with that charming personality are the attributes that makes her lovable to clients. Yes she is young, but she is downright gorgeous that put smiles in our faces.

Brandi Branfuhr / YEOH Models

Photo by yours truly

The defiant beauty appeared on Via Valencia S/S 2016 collection which made everyone asking for her name. Her cold aura is a massive fashion allure that was evident on top-tier designer shows. She can easily become an aristocrat in Cheetah Rivera, and a disruptive crew in Renan Pacson x Gnarly. She doesn’t need to conform to mainstream, for her on her own is an impressive influence of the atypical crowd. Two sum it in two words, Brandi is a “Catwalk Conqueror”.

Carla Hufano/ Art Personas

Photo by yours truly

The Asian doll faced is commonly desired by the orient. However, she comes off as a severe version that works well in the path that she has chosen. She owns her razor cheeks, angular shoulders, and piercing eyes with much confidence. Carla has somehow left a memorable mark for us, a true wow factor moment for a star in the making.

Cassie Reyes / Elite Manila

Photo from Preview PH

Discovered on Instagram by her booker, Cassie was lifted into new heights by the buzz that she created which earned her with a feature in Preview Magazine. The 5 foot 8 Filipina’s chill and natural look is delightfully striking in pure frenzy. Standing out from the crowd is her forte – a one of a kind charisma that we will continually see in seasons to come.

Erla Garcia/ Art Personas

Photo by yours truly

The brown-skinned stunner emanates that classic Filipina presence, and gives a stabbing gaze upon her turn on the catwalk. Any camera holder during the show proper would yearn to capture that cinematic charisma of hers. It’s just reasonable to say that her spit fire debut created a deep impact. A death stare in her eyes only means she is serious to do business in the modelling industry.

Genica Contreras / Art Personas

Photo by yours truly

Our first impression with Genica on the casting call is a soft-spoken girl with a lot of potential. However, the introvert beauty created a lot of buzz during Manila Fashion Festival Now. Her perfect editorial face which is very European belongs to pages of high fashion magazines. Starting from Face of the Philippines Season 3, her show list strolled all the way until the finale day. From what we’ve seen, the model freshman is equivalent into an eccentric diamond-in-a-rough ready to shine and steal the limelight.

Joma Bernardo / PW Models

Photo by yours truly

Androgyny is her secret ingredient. Joma is truly proud and comfortable in her own skin and it shows. She is not afraid to represent the blur between genders and it has been paid off by appearing on a number of shows in the F/W 2016. This season, she walked exclusively for Brit Tripudio’s collection, shaking things up again with her ultra-femme signature walk. Unique persona as you may call it. Nevertheless, it’s indisputable that she is a total package.

Ksenia Zambon / Reign Models

Photo from Preview PH

Appearing on the crème dela crème shows in Manila Fashion Festival Now, Ksenia is a force to reckon with. Aristocratic by beauty and effortless by nature – She rivals most of the striking faces on Philippine fashion with a killer presence. The model has made an instant impact to be a coveted girl this season. Should there be a girl who is a budding star, we know it is her with the capital K.

Maria Rivera

Photo by yours truly

The first-ever trans model recognized by the fashion industry in the Philippines was able to rebrand her image . She courageously chopped her long-raven locks for a modern-day Louise Brooks do. This instantly turned her into a high fashion doll, with her pale skin and slender form to match. Maria equally delivers a job well done from her bookings, especially when she took the number one spot on Cheetah Rivera’s latest collection. Her runway takeover is on full-fledged and it won’t stop there as Maria is part of the continuous model breakthrough in the country.

Martin Tuanquin

Martin Tuanquin in the middle. Photo from Megastyle PH

Gender bending in the Philippines will never be completed without Martin. One look would immediately flash an intense interest. The androgynous Asian face has taken a break last season, but someone who is bound to be notice will always end up in the right places. Martin made a comeback as one of the openers of Renan Pacson x Gnarly. Through every step and squint from her, Martin always wants you to remember her name, and we are never misunderstanding something from this girl-on-the-hype.

Naiara Arcuri / Black Diamond LCP

Photo by yours truly

Brazilians are usually known for their big hair and golden tan. It was the opposite case for Naiara, who rather turned out to be edgy and astonishing with her au-natural crop. The leggy model appeared on shows for Manila Fashion Festival NOW with a mighty strut. For a new comer, she was hard to miss as she knows how to dominate and dictate the energy on the runway. With this, she did an orbit of shows proving how truly she can be bankable with the top designers.

Rizza Decena/ Art Personas

Photo by yours truly

It was the right timing when Rizza was scouted to join Face of the Philippines Season 3. She showed us that being a fresh face can emerge as “MVP” in Manila Fashion Festival NOW. The girl resembles a baby Rihanna with the right presence to connect through clients and audience. Even with a newbie status, she snagged our attention with her trademark unruly fro and almond eyes. We even wonder if someone can give her a ticket to model overseas since everything about Rizza is destined to cross markets.

 

Bonus:

Arin Cruz

Photo from Preview PH

Little Ms. Sunhsine – Arin Cruz comes from a family of fashion. She was born with what we call the “golden shoes in her feet”. At a young age, she is experiencing a taste of being in the front row (We’re totally jealous). The young fashionista wears the trendiest pieces, and is already working the runway every season. With your Mama as your personal runway coach, and your Papa teaching you with fashion economics, you get a promising model with the sweetest first impression.

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

FASHION, MODELS TALK

MODEL CASTING – MANILA FASHION FESTIVAL NOW

Image Source: Facebook

They look fierce; they make their flaws perfect; they represent the collections; and they are team #unstoppable. Give your best foot forward this October 1, 2016 to join the runway gang for Manila Fashion Festival NOW casting call. Details are as follows (Source: Facebook):

October 1, 2016
1:00PM – 6:00PM
Art Personas Management‘s MAIN OFFICE
2nd Floor, Legaspi Suites
178 Salcedo Street
Legaspi Village, Makati City

REQUIREMENTS :
HEIGHT :
Female : 5’9″
Male : 5’11”

DRESSCODE :
Female : Mini Black Dress & heels.
Male : Black T-shirt & jeans.
PLEASE DON’T FORGET TO BRING YOUR SETCARDS.

So impress the casting team with your strut and get your name listed as one of their living mannequins. Best of luck and don’t forget to practice your walk and update your compcards.

Bless the models!

Ben.

FASHION, MODELS TALK

NO BLUES, JUST LUCKY BLUE

That James Dean-day dream look in his eyes.

The rising model slash social media superstar (with 2.5M followers on Instagram ATM) jet set to the Philippines to promote his endorsement with Penshoppe, a top RTW brand here in our country. As for us who didn’t score those prestigious tix for the runway show and the meet-and-greet, we patiently waited and joined the swarm of fans in SM AURA atrium just to catch a glimpse of this boy wonder.

Some small talk session with VJ Aryanna

The excited teens and teens-at-heart screamed their vocal chords when Lucky Blue and VJ Aryanna took the stage. With his few minutes in our eyes, he sat down and spins simultaneously on his chair and ended up with a big smile, thus creating an uproar cheer from the people. The quirky model interacted with his fans by answering twitter questions, and taking 360 clips of the wild crowd.

The boy got some serious bangin’ talent there

He also showed an extension of his talent outside the runway. Lucky hit the drums and started banging a beat. We are so falling over with that James Dean gaze, and that boy-next-door charm that is killing us softly!

Please come back soon Lucky! You’re always welcome here.

 

It was a few moments with a future top model, but our Saturday felt like one of the luckiest days of our lives. Thanks Penshoppe for this memorable experience.

All Photos taken by me. Kindly credit properly upon usage. 

Bless the models!

Ben.

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.