Fantastic Flourishing Filipinos


Being Asian has never been so current and hip especially after the Crazy Rich Asians movie. Asians are also increasingly conquering the global fashion market like the acquisition of Italian brand FILA by a Korean company. Founded in 1911 in Italy, FILA is now owned and operated from South Korea since its takeover in 2007 by FILA Korea. Headed by chairman and CEO Yoon-Soo Yoon, Fila has offices in 11 countries globally.

FILA recently stepped onto the runways of Milan Fashion Week for the very first time to unveil its inaugural solo showcase. Primarily known for its forceful grip on activewear and sound streetwear, FILA embraced the spirit of Milan and the high-end fashion world with its very first runway presentation.

Finding unique ways to inject urban refinement into its wares, the collection showcased the brand’s core sportswear ethos, while also tapping into sophisticated silhouettes — most noticeably in the selection of tonal blazers, Harrington-style zips and sleek overcoats.

Tapping into Fila’s extensive archives, creative directors Antonino Ingrasciotta and Joseph Graesel delivered a well-executed coed lineup that exalted the brand’s expertise in different sport fields. Tennis, swimming and sailing inspired the collection, which also included the signature style of Bjorn Borg, one of Fila’s most popular and successful faces ever.

The brand also inaugurated a retrospective at the Triennale Design Museum. For more than a hundred years of being the strongest Italian brand in sportswear, FILA honored its roots as they gave their guests a taste of the brand’s history during the FILA Exhibit at La Treinnale di Milano.

Cris Albert, CEO and owner of FILA Philippines organized a group to witness the newest collection for FILA Spring Summer 2019 and join the festivities that FILA Korea hosted in Milan.

As one of FILA Philippines brand ambassador, I was delighted to celebrate this incredible milestone with Anton San Diego, Editor-in-Chief of Philippine Tatler and Wanda Louwallien, an international stylist. After the fashion show, we were all invited to a five-course dinner and champagne at La Treinnale di Milano.

I can’t wait for the collection to hit Philippine shores early next year! I’m sure Cris and her FILA team will create their own Filipino flair to its designs.

Another Asian creating waves in the international fashion runways is Filipina model Sharina Gutierrez. With an impressive 15-year modeling tenure in the US, her career has landed numerous fashion spreads including American Vogue’s most prestigious September issue.

Coming home to reconnect with her roots, Sharina’s work itinerary is packed and she will be modeling next Saturday at our Red Charity Gala for fashion designer Rajo Laurel.

Filipinos are truly creative and their talents are recognized all over the world. Interior designer Jonathan Matti is the first Filipino designer tapped for a beautiful collaboration by esteemed wallpaper company de Gournay through Elements, its Philippine representative. A serendipitous meeting in London led to Latina Manila, the name of Jonathan’s collection.

Jonathan Matti, Vicki Belo-Kho, Andrew Gan and Jojie Dingcong

Jonathan has been ordering from de Gournay for a long time and when he does, he would always request for something unique or different in his design. This caught the eye of the creative people behind de Gournay, that when they met him they instantly recognized his name.

Jonathan was in London when he bumped into Alice Uglow, de Gournay’s former international sales director, who was with Jemma Cave, creative director of de Gournay. Upon introduction, Jemma instantly recognized Jonathan’s name. His creativity and style did not go unnoticed, that Jemma invited Jonathan to do a collaboration with their house of luxury.

After 2 years on working on the wallpaper, Latina Manila was recently launched in the country at the showroom of Philippine distributor Elements Fine Fabrics and Furnishings, located at the 9th floor DPC Place, 2322 Pasong Tamo Extension, Makati City.

It was a Belo-Kho wedding reunion of sorts where some of Jonathan’s guests were also in Paris for the fabulous wedding as well as the international launch of this collaboration with de Gournay.

At the local launch, Dr. Vicki Belo- Kho proudly shared that she was the only Asian among the new ambassadors of Patek Philippe, a Swiss luxury timepiece label. Along with the carefully chosen 13 international ambassadors, the beauty doctor flew to Europe for the reveal of the newest women’s collection.

The brand’s new lady ambassadors were chosen for having notable achievements in their respective fields. Being the only Filipina, Dr. Vicki was joined by fellow women from countries like France, Portugal, Lebanon, and Romania.

Let me end this week’s column with an invitation to watch tonight’s show of the country’s premiere soprano, Rachelle Gerodias’ solo concert, Madly Filipiniana at the Globe Theater. Belting out the best of Filipino kundimans, Rachelle brings to music the gentile era of the 20s and the peacetime era of the 40s. The great Raul Sunico also plays his piano masterfully. And the third act is a soulful tribute to the Filipino’s veneration to the Marian in a dramatic play of light and shadow by the master light man, John Batalla.

The show takes you in a journey of various emotions through the different all-time Filipino classic songs written and directed by Floy Quintos with Musical Direction by Dingdong Fiel. Executive producer of this great masterpiece is Miguel Miñana and his ThemeWorks production.

The concert ended in a frivolous play of fun festive songs and dances. The Kalilayan Folkloric group with their stupendous costumes crafted by Rommel Serrano danced the stage away from romantic valzes to staccato numbers.

At last week’s show, the US ambassador was very impressed with the production. Patron of the Arts Doris Ho was ever present, the Korean Ambassador and other supporters of Rachelle.

The concert is presented by BGC Arts Center, DOT and Tiger 22 with Major Sponsors: 98.7FM, Florabel, Steinway & Sons, Robert Blancaflor Group, Studio 1 by Gino Gonzales, Ditta Sandico, Exist, Beatbox.


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