Chito Vijandre returns to fashion for a night

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Red Charity Gala 2016 featured designer Chito Vijandre (center) with founders Kaye Tinga (left) and Tessa Prieto-Valdes

Red Charity Gala 2016 featured designer Chito Vijandre (center) with founders Kaye Tinga (left) and Tessa Prieto-Valdes

Firma co-founder is 8th Red Charity Gala honoree
The 8th Red Charity Gala fashion for a cause will have all eyes on Chito Vijandre and a collection that promises to celebrate Filipino artistry at its finest.

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Vijandre officially joins Red Charity’s league of world-renowned Filipino designers who have been featured in the annual event, namely Dennis Lustico, Furne One, Michael Cinco, Cary Santiago, Ezra Santos, Jojie Lloren and Lesley Mobo.

From its beginnings in 2009, under the auspices of style and society mavens Tessa Prieto-Valdes and Kaye Tinga, the Red Charity Gala has consistently served to raise funds and awareness for two worthwhile beneficiaries in the Philippine Red Cross and the projects of Assumption High School Batch 1981 Foundation.

Each year since then, leading figures in society, fashion, business, and philanthropy gather for a remarkable evening that celebrates glamour, generosity and nobility, with the honoree designer’s capsule collection as the highlight of the event.

As such, Vijandre roused his talent in fashion design for the Red Charity Gala after leaving the scene sometime in the 1980s. He has since lent his creativity to interior design, executing homes, boutiques and restaurants. Together with his partner Ricky Toledo, he founded the landmark concept store Firma—purveyor of home accents, jewelry—and also the AC+632 lifestyle store.

“I was a fashion designer before some of you were born. I stopped at my peak. When Tessa [Prieto] asked if I wanted to do [the gala], I immediately said yes. I wanted my creative juices to flow again. I missed it in a way but this is just to satisfy my imagination. I’m not going back to fashion designing,” Vijandre clarified during press preview on September 20.

For his one-night comeback to fashion, Vijandre has prepared a 40-piece Filipina Haute Couture collection, reimagined and reconfigured, through the prism of Philippine History and Art.

“This is based on Philippine history. I have six suites. First is the galleon trade, which has ethnic influences. I put up a lot of different kinds of fabrics from Uzbekistan, India—it’s a mélange of different influences and our ethnic period, also, I have some T’boli influences as far as that suite in concerned. Next, I have the colonial suite which is from Spanish occupation. You will see matador pants, not Maria Clara or kimonos,” he shared.

“Third is the revolt, which is from the likes of Gabriela Silang, the KKK Movement. I have a lot of gladiator looks because of that revolt. Fourth is the American occupation that comes in influences from Sampaguita movie stars, and Hollywood. Then there’s the Japanese occupation, and finally the contemporary which I call ‘OPM’,” he added.

According Vijandre, he will also present a bridal collection in the tradition of grand finales.

“When I design, there should always be hugot from history. Like how the way the clothes are constructed. That’s the classic and basic way of constructive address making it richer,” Vijandre explained.

Directed by Ariel Lozada, with fashion styling by Noel Manapat, and hair and make-up by Henri Calayag, the Red Charity Gala 2016 unfolds on October 8, 6 p.m. at the Shangri-La Hotel The Fort.

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