• Frederick Peralta’s award-winning ‘Pearl of the Orient’

    Peralta’s 1994 Paris-winning piece

    Peralta’s 1994 Paris-winning piece

    To find footing in an industry that is filled with famously renowned figures can be daunting for any beginner. This is true even in the realm of fashion design, which many young talents aspire to penetrate as an avenue to express their creativity.

    Acknowledging this reality, events producer Diamond Elite, Inc. established La Couture Manila, an all-new competition that aims to lend a hand and inspire young Filipino designers to present their creation side by side with some of the most respected names in the industry.

    Slated on April 16 at the Carlos P. Romulo Auditorium of RCBC Plaza, Makati City, the competition has gathered deserving young fashion designers in competition from 10 different schools, including De La Salle University, University of the Philippines and Central Institute of Fashion, to name a few.

    “We see La Couture Manila as an outlet for these upcoming Filipino talents to grow and nurture their craft. The winning designer will also have a chance for his or her work to be worn by the winners of the upcoming Mr. and Ms. Earth Guam, which will definitely serve as another opportunity for Filipinos to showcase their word class talent,” said Frank Santos, president of Diamond Elite.

    ‘Pearl of the Orient’ homecoming
    To inspire young designers, La Couture Manila invited renowned Filipino designers Frederick Peralta, Tina Daniac, Dobie Aranda and JC Ulanday for a special showcase during the competition proper.

    Peralta, who has more than 30 years of fashion experience under his belt, has chosen to motivate the contestants by showing anew his winning piece at the 1994 Internacionale des Jeunes Creatures de Mode in Paris, France.

    Aptly named “Pearl of the Orient,” the designer, in a phone interview with The Manila Times, talked about his landmark design that ingeniously incorporated Philippine corals to shine amid his intricate beadwork.

    “Winning for our country its very first international fashion award in Paris, and being chosen among so many entries from designers in America, Japan, China and Italy, is truly an honor for me. To this day, it is considered one of the highest recognitions the Philippines has had in the global fashion scene,” Peralta recalled.

    He humbly noted that “Pearl of the Orient” won simply because it was the “standout during that time,” even if the piece is still requested by fashion organizers to be his finale in runway shows abroad.

    For Peralta, his triumph as a young designer over two decades ago is proof that with hard work and determination, a person can always reach his or her dreams.

    “I hope that my story will encourage the participants of La Couture Manila to keep on pursing their goals in the fashion industry,” he added.

    La Couture Manila’s winning piece will be chosen based on the following criteria: creativity, originality, market potential and overall visual appeal. The production directed by Robby Carmona.


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