“It’s raining men, hallelujah, it’s raining men!”
Those were the words lady guests happily sung when 50 hunky and good looking models—French, Guamanians, Brazilians, Germans, Koreans, Chinese, Australians, Africans and of course, Filipinos—came out onstage for the annual “Ablazablaze” exhibit and show.
Entitled “Escape,” the much-awaited spectacle, like its predecessors since 2011, coincided with the birthday celebration of notable artwear designer, events stylist and accessories maven Luis “Junjun” Ablaza.
Friends drove to his family’s Amelia Castle in Cavite to witness this fun celebration which they did not want to miss. As guests arrived, immediately an array of Filipino merienda goodies welcomed them.
What made “Ablazablaze” this year unique, though, was that the designer extraordinaire deviated from his usual opulently themed party tableaus and went all out for a fashion runway extravaganza.
With a focus on denim, Junjun collaborated with notable designers Steve de Leon and Michelle Sison as well as fashion stylist Roko Arceo to revamp and reconstruct casual street gear denims into artistic ensembles that reflects his penchant for the extraordinary, whimsical, as well as his artistic explorations across the globe.
World of wonders
The fashion show had four segments that featured the Asian, American, African, and Eurpean continents.
A Filipino tribal ensemble of weaved fabrics sewn into denim jumpstarted the show and was quickly followed by the Asian collection featuring orientalia in Thai silk brocades, Chinese theater masks, brass gongs, Tibertan jewelries, Japanese patches and a variety of ornamentations all representing the rich and exotic culture, art, tradition, and lifestyle of the orient.
Meanwhile, the diverse Northern and Latin American continent were depicted in the metallic studs, patches, and bags reflecting the modernity of the USA. In contrast to those were Indian American ensembles in dream catchers and beaded tribal patterns.
The Latin Americas, particularly, had a “fiesta” vibe with colorful sugar skulls, feathers, beads and sorts of outlandish accessories.
Moreover, the exotic Africa was represented with touches of tribal art in colorful beadings and embellishments. Its rich flora and fauna were depicted in leather, bone and native trinkets painstakingly stitched into jackets and vests.
Not to be left out was the highly civilized ancient kingdom of Egypt, which was rendered in a creation incorporated with printed hieroglyphics.
The final segment paid homage to the resplendent capitals of the European nation. Depictions of the opulent, royal, medieval, intricate, religious artistry and European culture were incorporated in denim jackets. There were plush trimmings of silk, velvet and brocade that provided touches of old world luxury. Hand-painted religious images were meticulously adorned with thousands of semi-precious stones, golf trinkets, and fabric flowers. Gilded medallions, gold jewelries, and a crown emulated the medieval knights, nobilities and royals of Europe. Junjun’s sheer talent and fascination for all things that can capture and stir the imagination as well as his collected mementos from his travels across were well featured.
The globe was all transformed into one fashionable soiree. The event was truly an escape from convention and a journey into Junjun’s world of wonders.
After the well-applauded show, dinner was served; this time assorted grilled specialties, roasted calf, Lechon, Paella and other Filipino goodies.
It was truly worth the trip to Tagaytay. We are wondering what Junjun will present next year. We are all looking forward to it. Bravo Junjun!!!