Farrales retrospective is Fashion Week grand finale
Philippine Fashion Week gave a much-deserved toast to the legendary Dean of Philippine Fashion Ben Farrales, who is simply known to his friends and loyal muses as “Mang Ben.” Fittingly the grand finale of a highly successful PhFW outing, “Ben Farrales: A Retrospective” took to the runway on October 27 at the SMX Convention Center in Pasay City.
Historically the first-ever Filipino designer to launch a show at the Manila Hotel, Farrales’ first gala titled Romance 1959 left such a dramatic impact in the local fashion scene that it demanded an encore the following year. Since then, Farrales has staged successful fashion presentations, locally and internationally, one after another.
Today, he is often praised for his brilliance and ingenuity in reworking Filipino costumes, altering the lines and volume of the traditional Maria Clara and kimona. He was also one of the first to use Philippine ethnic fabric, reworking local materials from the Tiboli to the Igorot weave, with such brilliance and imagination, attracting even an international clientele for his designs. He is best known for his Muslim-inspired designs and exotic color combinations, weaving together tribal elements and indigenous materials to turn into haute couture.
Eventually, after gaining much success and recognition abroad, Farrales focused on sustaining the Philippine fashion industry, staging fund-raising and charity projects that featured the works of up-and-coming designers, which at the same time, helped out the less fortunate, too.
Indeed, having changed the landscape of the Philippine fashion scene, inspiring and helping designers, and many individuals along the way, Philippine Fashion Week presented a grand, nostalgic show in Ben Farrales: A Retrospective.