Thursday, November 3, 2011

SM Mens Fashion: Stories behind Philippine Fashion Week 2011

SM Mens Fashion week was like a major thesis in the making until your day of final defense.  It wasn't a walk in the park, but it was definitely all worth those months and months of preparation.  After forming the collection(which basically took a month and a half as we wait for merchandise to come in), pulling loads of stuff from the department stores and shoes/accessories from other departments, two days before the show we went to the SM Head Office in MOA to take a final paranoid look and see if we got everything we needed.  
Menswear department decided to transport the racks of clothes and balikbayan boxes of shoes to the buying area to give the style team more space to work.  As soon as we got there, we divided the amount of workload into groups as we began our final leg to Fashion Week. Yes, those shoes you saw on the runways, they all had to be taped individually from sandals, to boots to lace ups--no sole was spared.  The others were assigned to steam, some did the inventory and the rest had to label each set per look with their respective accessories and items.  A tedious task at hand but altogether the challenge was to finish everything in a less than 6 hours.  Having more than 100 sets of clothes plus the same amount of shoes, with cartain amount of luck, the team did it!

Sole ammunition.
Box of plenty.
Strings attached.
Leather slips.
Camille Villavicencio masters the sole.
Natalia Ortega shows a strip.
Work smiles with Rudolph Leonor and Donna Gonzales Lim.
Under the shade.
K Miranda master cuts.
Slegna Coo on the rack.
A name without a face.
A flight to Manila.
The right tux.
The day of the show proved to be as hectic as ever.  Energies were soaring high and it seemed like months of preperation was all going to culminate with a big celebration.  From head office, the clothes, accessories, shoes and racks were transported to the back entrance of SMX.  The style team was there at 10am and were amazed that the merchandise were there thanks to team Mens department.  Synergy was the key with both brilliant planning and logistics.  10am sharp was rehearsal time, and the men(plus boys) starting coming in.  It was a sea of more than a hundred men in total.  Wherever your eyes would turn, all you could see is just men, men and men.
Backstage turned out to be organized chaos and both style teams(for menswear and boys teens) fortunately had a quite a good number.  Each associate stylist had two to three models under their care, and mind you when the men become boys, they are quite a handful.  As rehearsals finished and show time was closing in, everyone started to get nervous.  Time to change into first outfit and as soon as the models got dressed--final checking and styling had to be done.  One by one, each model was set to hit the stage and hit the runway with great stride and fashion. The rush feeling was inevitable but eventually it turned into excitement when we found out that the entire venue was super packed.  Lights were dimmed, the music started and mtv was being played already on screen.   And here we go...
Who's next in line.
Director Jackie Aquino on rehearsal.
Derek Ramsay's anime practice.
Sheila of Boys Teens Wear strikes a pose.
Grace and Geo of Boys Teen had a moment.
This is it!
The more than 10 commandments. Sequence guide and stylist assignments.
Cleanliness equates sanity.
The battlefield.

Armed with steam. K Miranda and Slegna Coo.

All steamed up with KC del Rosario.
Wardrobe checklist with Keana Valenciano.
If the shoe fits with France Geronimo and Hannah de la Paz.
Team Runway dressers.
In one corner with Mary Grace Casion and designer Noelle Llave.
The return of the comeback favorite--Ann Andres.
Senior moment.  Associate stylist Donna Gonzales Lim and designer  Noelle Llave.

Designer Pablo Cabahug with models in waiting .
Where the boys are.
Skirting the issue.
Model behavior with Girlie Benitez, Jasmin Maierhofer and Samantha Lewis.

The best ACCESSory.

About to begin.

It's getting hot in here. Natalia Ortega and Keana Valenciano.
Name game.
Backstage flash with Keana Valenciano, Natalia Ortega, KC del Rosario and the author.
Life is a stage.
Banners are up.
Jampacked. Minutes before the show started.
Front row.

The awakening.
All about men.
Men and fashion do matter.

Black less is the new modern urban.
I wear my sunglasses at night hits high street dressing.
Samantha Lewis.
Jasmine Maierhofer.
Melissa Frye.
Girlie Benitez.
Jo Ann Bitagcol.
Homme et Femme in black tie.
Body beautiful in Bo Athletics.
Taking flight.
Seeing double.
Fight club.
Breaking the silence.
The new boys in the hood.
Runway madness.
Smiling from ear to ear.

The Face of SM Mens Fashion. Benjamin Tang, Bo Athletics Derek Ramsay and Hideo Muraoka.
All time high.

Harley Sy(far left) with the Sm Mens Fashion team.
The well attended SM Menswear Fashion show was an event like no other.  The sardine-packed venue was filled with an astonishing number of VIPS from editors, celebrities, tv personalities and society figures. The team screamed at the top of their lungs as the last model came backstage.  It was finally over and yes if it weren't for our passion for fashion, we all wouldn't have been there.  To my Style Team, thank you my dearest angels--Donna Gonzales Lim, Mikka Velasquez, Rudolph Leonor, Ann Andres, Hannah de la Paz, Slegna Coo, K Miranda, France Crisostomo, Noelle Llave, Teri Marcelo, Pam Bassig, KC del Rosario, Keana Valenciano, Natalia Ortega, Eunice Sason and Camille Villavicencio--ALL FOR ONE AND ONE FOR ALL.  The success of the show was a summation of collective efforts from everyone.  Nothing is impossible with great company and teamwork--it brings out the best in all of us. Truly a for the books experience for all of us that will remain as a good memory to last a lifetime. 

Photos by Mark Francis Photography, KC del Rosario, Revo Naval, Grace Tan Boyles and Louis Claparols.

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