A day after my epic break-up, I received a call from my agent and she wanted me to go to Makati and give her my documents in preparation for my next ship assignment. The next day, I went to my friend Cassey to crash in on his pad in Sampaloc for the week. When I got there, he asked me if I brought a "fashionably chic" ensemble with me. When I asked him why, he told me he had 8 invitations for the Fashion Week - Grand Allure Show dated May 29, 2009 @ the SMX.
This made me crazy nervous. 1st off, I don't really consider myself being fashionable. 2nd, I don't change my whole wardrobe every season. 3rd, I don't buy tier 1 signature clothes (though I have some cheap accessories from Armani , Gucci and Chanel). 4th, I don't know the newest prints, silhouettes and colors for the season.
In short - I don't know anything about fashion.
While most seafarers go to the nearest malls when they are on shore leave to buy signature clothes, I on the other hand, never bought any piece of clothing from outside the Philippines. I only buy accessories like sunglasses, belts, shoes, etc. The real reason? Why pay so much for a piece of designer clothing which you can't use the next season? A friend of mine told me, that for an outfit to be considred "vintage", the textile should be at least 20 years old. So if you buy a designer outfit now and it goes off season, the next time you can wear it is in 20 years right? ... That, and I don't have the money to burn ...
Another reason why I don't buy neither generic nor designer clothing form outside the country is that I really want to help our economy ... for real!!! I mean when you buy outside, the income goes to them as well as the sales tax. Aside from that, clothes here in the Philippines are actually good. A lot of people I work with on-board (non-Filipinos like Italians, French, Canadians, etc.) often ask me where I buy my clothes, and they usually get surprised when I tell them it's either Solo, F&H, Oxygen or Bench when they expect me to tell them a name of a designer store in the US.
Since I didn't bring a ball gown with me, I went shopping for clothes at Trinoma and found a pretty good shirt in a store called Diego to wear for the event. The sales rep, Whaqs, was really cute and helpful and he was the one who suggested a shirt for me when I told him - "I need to look like I know something about fashion". He gave me a white polo with intricate plaid details and stitch work which was very hip but not trendy. I matched it with a blue metallic finished bootleg and a pair of Addidas/Goodyear sneakers.
We went to the show and I was really excited because there were 16 designers who were going to be featured. I'd finally be updated on the latest things that budding Pinoy fashion designers have to offer.
The designer who gave us the invitation was Jaz Cereso. Most people know "her" from being part of the 1st Season of Runway Philippines. I wasn't able to actually meet her in person because they had an after-event-party and an after-party-after-an-after-event-party.
I only got bugged with the fact that it took me like an hour and a half to prep for the event, an hour drive to go there and another 30 minutes walking from the SMX entrance to the hall - all for a 45 minute show.
The show was really fast - no designer vignettes, no dramas, no elephants and no fire-eaters. The show was nice because it didn't look like a circus, but the people watching looked like the actual circus. The audience was a smorgasbord of pseudo-couture, pseudo-punk, pseudo-emo, laidback, and extremely laid back (read: flipflops, chino lorts, vintage design shirt and a bag you can fit the Titanic in). I didn't know that "fashionably chic" was the new term for "what you wear to the mall".
In my 45 minutes of stay there, I saw a belly dancer, a gladiator, a walking afro, men wearing Queen Amidalla's make-up and women who looked like cake foundations. If I knew I was going to a costume party, I would have gone in my fuchsia-sequined tube top, shining-shimmering-splendid pink tangga and purple roller blades.
I know that fashion, like beauty, is subjective. But how do you really know if you are being fashionable or just playing a pseudo-intellectual victim???
(Here are some of Jaz Cereso's work that were showcased. Her theme? ... Playing Cards ... go figure. Pictures grabbed from: http://www.bleachnstain.com)