Ezra Santos weaves fiction into reality

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Designer Ezra Santos (center) with Kaye Tinga (left) and Tessa Prieto-Valdes

Designer Ezra Santos (center) with Kaye Tinga (left) and Tessa Prieto-Valdes

Fairy tales and the black-and-white movies in the 50s, are what inspires Ezra Santos to tell beautiful stories of his own through the luxurious dresses he creates.

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“When I do a collection, it has to have a storyline. Just like a movie, it has to be dramatic and full of life,” shares Santos.

That as his passion, the Filipino couturier then grabbed the opportunity to work in Dubai, a year after working in a fashion boutique in Makati City. “I grabbed it without hesitation with the goal of exploring further on the fashion industry. Dubai has given me the opportunity to have my own atelier,” Santos recalls.

He then learned about that the couture industry in Dubai was very much alive. Inspired by the Emirati women’s love for fashion, he honed his skills in design further, which in return caught the attention of A-list stars in the Middle East.

Now based in the United Arab Emirates, his roster of muses includes Lebanese singer Haifa Wehbe, Bollywood actresses Lara Dutta and Priyanka Chopra, as well as several VIPs.

But how does the Ezra magic work? Before you design for a client, you have to consider her personality, style and preference, he says.

He further explains, “It usually takes 3-6 months depending on the season. The part of the design that I enjoy the most is the production part and construction. Sometimes, I play with the fitting form and voila, create a design.”

Santos recently came back to the Philippines to headline 2013’s “Red Charity Gala,” a fashion show for a cause at the Rizal Ballroom, of Makati Shangri-La.

Santos says the collection’s theme is divine romanticism, inspired by art deco and art nouveau using tulle, crepe, lace and crystal embroidery as key elements. “It’s a modern take of 20s golden era of fashion when glamour, beauty and art reigned supreme,” says Santos, who travels abroad to visit museums and other works of architecture to translate these designs into glamorous dresses.

Santos’ designs are as timeless as the fairy tale cartoons and movies he grew up watching. There are no magic spells here, just pure hard work and skillful resilience to turn the make-believe into a reality.

The Red Charity Gala was presented by well-known society icon Tessa Prieto-Valdes and philanthropist Kaye Tinga for the benefit of the Philippine Red Cross and the Assumption High School Batch 1981 Foundation.

The show was directed by Ariel Lozada, fashion styling by Noel Manapat, and hair and make-up by Patrick Rosas.

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