K.I.S.S. (Keeping It Sleek & Stylish)

In a world seemingly obsessed with ‘peacocking’, sometimes the best way to stand out is to keep things uncluttered and streamlined. Simplicity has always been part of the Filipina’s DNA, but the modern Filipina carries it with sleek, stylish, and highly-polished aplomb. She intuitively understands that superfluous excess is often not necessary in order to make a striking, lasting statement.

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Beaded nude lace gown & black jersey ‘barong’ gown with piña bib: Tippi Ocampo/ Model: Tweetie de Leon-Gonzalez/ Makeup: Iya Yujuico/ Photos: Ito Ocampo

PASSIONista: Tweetie de Leon-Gonzalez

There are more sides to fashion, and many, many more sides to the people in fashion, than meet the collective eye. Beyond the shows and catwalks, we discover people with a myriad of interests and dreams who aren’t just fashionistas, they’re passion-istas.

If there’s a model who’s done it all, it would be Tweetie de Leon-Gonzalez. From when she started as an ingénue model, to product endorser, to actress, to designer, and most recently, to Project Runway Philippines’ unflappable host, she’s remained a force in fashion. To top it off, she’s a wife and a mother to a beautiful brood that’s ready to join her–if they can be cajoled–on Manila’s runways. So what’s left for a Superwoman to do? Apparently, if you’re Tweetie, a lot more as she plans to further hone her passion for accessory/industrial design and add yet another feather to her (very fashionable) cap.

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Dove gray caped jersey gown: Tippi Ocampo/ Model: Tweetie de Leon-Gonzalez/ Makeup: Iya Yujuico/ Photos: Ito Ocampo

The Beauty of Deconstruction

As the Filipina fashions her future, she knows that the only permanent thing is change. With every cycle comes a dissolution of the one before it, leading to the birth of something new–it’s all about progressing ourselves and our style. As tattered, frayed and unfinished elements gain the fashion spotlight, imperfect becomes the new perfect, and deconstruction is celebrated as part of the transient nature of our constant evolution.

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Tattered French lace and patchwork tulle dress: Tippi Ocampo/ Model: Ria Bolivar/ Make-up: Aimee Guerrero/ Photos: Ito Ocampo

PASSIONista: Ria Bolivar

There are more sides to fashion, and many, many more sides to the people in fashion, than meet the collective eye. Beyond the shows and catwalks, we discover people with a myriad of interests and dreams who aren’t just fashionistas, they’re passion-istas.

From the moment she opened her first runway show in Manila, Ria Bolivar’s career has been on an upswing. Yet beyond relentlessly ‘working it’ in onstage and in front of the camera, she keeps a beautiful balance by taking time to pursue other things. From learning to ride waves, to hiking trails, to regularly practicing yoga, she merges her passions and infuses what she does in fashion with what she does outside of it. No matter what she does, there’s no stopping her from fiercely taking things to the next level.

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Brocade terno coat/dress, bustier with copper wire & printed palazzo pants: Tippi Ocampo/ Model: Ria Bolivar/ Make-up: Aimee Guerrero/ Photos: Ito Ocampo

Festival Style

Taking it from the fiesta to a new kind of global festival, the Filipina of today rocks any style…and the only fashion dictates she follows are her own. Spirited, and with the confidence to know that some rules are meant to be broken, she mixes high-and-low, new-and-vintage, couture-and-street. Because she understands that when it comes to fashion, it’s less about impressing others and more about expressing yourself.DSC_4223

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Lilac lace mini ‘terno’ with zipper details: Tippi Ocampo/ Model: Valerie de los Santos/ Make-up: Iya Yujuico/ Photos: Ito Ocampo

PASSIONista: Valerie de los Santos

There are more sides to fashion, and many, many more sides to the people in fashion, than meet the collective eye. Beyond the shows and catwalks, we discover people with a myriad of interests and dreams who aren’t just fashionistas, they’re passion-istas.

Modeling since her college days, it seems Valerie de los Santos was made for fashion–and with her long limbs and long tresses it would appear that even her genes agree. Often surrounded by a high-profile fashion and beauty industry, it isn’t immediately apparent that her long-time passion has always been music. From obscure tunes to foreign beats, music has always fueled everything she’s done, so as she strides forward in future endeavors and finds her own rhythm, I have a feeling we can all look forward to hearing a lot more from her.

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White lace with black accent “Maria Clara” gown: Tippi Ocampo/ Model: Valerie de los Santos/ Make-up: Iya Yujuico/ Photos: Ito Ocampo

‘PASSIONistas': Behind-the-Seams

Hello, September! Before we jump straight into the final quarter of the year and all the design work that lies ahead, I thought I’d share a look at the coming together of the series, ‘PASSIONistas’. What initially started out as a casual idea of ‘maybe we should show the other sides of the women in fashion’ turned into a mini passion-project (of sorts).

I’ve always been attracted to the idea of fashion as a fun, creative, nurturing community. This is one of the reasons it’s been so enjoyable joining forces with wonderful people whom I’ve worked with in the past, getting to know each other a little better, sharing our talents, and creating something that shows that it’s in fashion to allow our passions to show through.

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*Many thanks again to all these amazing women: Lou, Angel, Michelle, Marina/ Maws, Chinky, Aimee, Iya (and to Ito for the photography) :-)

Timeless Appeal

An independent spirit, an individual point of view and a straightforward approach are some of the most striking qualities that never go out of style. Whether in fashion or in life, the Filipina today knows when to experiment and when to go for what lasts. Not one to be swayed by every passing trend, she is a classic with a twist, continually evolving but with a clarity of vision that keeps her forever timeless.

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Jusi barong long tunic with patchwork bib : Tippi Ocampo/ Model: Marina Benipayo/ Make-up: Iya Yujuico/ Photos: Ito Ocampo

PASSIONista: Marina Benipayo

There are more sides to fashion, and many, many more sides to the people in fashion, than meet the collective eye. Beyond the shows and catwalks, we discover people with a myriad of interests and dreams who aren’t just fashionistas, they’re passion-istas.

When it comes to larger-than-life personas on the runway, Marina Benipayo works it like few models can. A longtime fashion show favorite, she is as down-to-earth and hilarious off the catwalk as she is poised and glamorous on. But her true passion these days (aside from her family) lies in acting, and with her bottomless reserve of real life experiences that are as dramatic/action packed/romantic/comedic as anything on screen, there is never a dull moment with her around. From one theatrical flourish to the next, Marina makes it all look fabulously effortless.

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DSC_4030Black basket weave top & silk chiffon skirt, nude lace & salmon jersey ‘Maria Clara’ gown: Tippi Ocampo/ Model: Marina Benipayo/ Make-up: Iya Yujuico/ Photos: Ito Ocampo

The Feminine Touch

There are moments when every woman wants to feel unapologetically, unironically, unabashedly feminine–when we simply want to revel in being who we are. The Filipina today moves through life by stepping forward with feline grace and faces life with an eye towards beauty. This has less to do with vanity and more to do with finding our inner balance and allowing it to shine through.

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DSC_3742Modern Filipiniana white lace gown, lace choker, lace pañuelo: Tippi Ocampo/ Model: Michelle Panemanglor/ Hair & makeup: Aimee Guerrero/ Photos: Ito Ocampo

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