‘PILGRIMAGE’

Joey Samson’s journey in fashion

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While concepts of the “traditional” and “contemporary” are often found in opposing poles of the fashion spectrum, Filipino designer Joey Samson’s “PilgrimAge” believes they can meet halfway.

The ingenious and breathtaking results of doing so took to the runway of the 9th Red Charity Gala—the highly anticipated fashion-for-a-cause—where Samson was the featured designer.

The master of androgynous looks, the designer proves that he can also create the female form

The collection, dubbed “PilgrimAge,” saw Samson’s inspirations from a religious pilgrimage he took some months ago as he incorporated old world glamour, romanticism, modern silhouettes and intricate details.

Glam is back
“This collection would be a balancing act; It will run the gamut from tradition to something a bit outré, remixing looks and reshuffling garment elements,” Samson described his collection days before the show.

And based on the oohs and aahs from Manila’s fashionistas at Shangri-La The Fort’s Grand Ballroom, PilgrimAge did not disappoint. From Samson’s vision of a cathedral-backdrop for the runway to the enchanting Gregorian chant, the 49-piece fashion presentation was remarkable.

Suits, Samson’s specialty, in fresh designs did not miss the show

Samson transported his audience to decades past with chainmail dresses, flute skirts and parkas. Elements of the Flapper age and the Gibson girls also took fun to the runway.

“I want the clothes to be a revival of old wardrobe favorites, as if relics of a long passage, at the same time, something with a sense of familiarity with a contemporary feel transitioning from conventional, street to ceremonial,” Samson further shared explaining his unique looks.

Featured designer Samson (second from right) with Red Charity Gala co-founders Tessa Prieto Valdes and Kaye Tinga (left and rightmost) and major sponsor Ben Chan

It also worth noting that while Samson made a name for his androgynous and gender fluid aesthetics, PilgrimAge showed his work in a different light with his use of ultra feminine silhouettes.

His use of of bright colors and mixed textures heightened the element of surprise all the more as compared to his darker palettes and minimalist takes in the past.

Personal journey
As each of his carefully chosen and styled PilgrimAge models slayed the runway, what was left to see was a triumphant Joey Samson amid the deafening applause.

The gala truly suceeded in presenting not just his latest collection but his 14-year evolution as a fashion designer. He showed how going against the norms—even those he established for himself—and keeping the best of the past can and will result in something new and beautiful.

Joey Samson takes a journey with his Red Charity Gala 49-piece collection, ‘PilgrimAge’ PHOTOS BY BOB DUNGO

With PilgrimAge, there can be no doubt that Joey Samson deserved to be the honoree of yet another memorable 2017 Red Charity Gala. His vision and journey have earned him a rightful place in the league of world-renowned Filipino designers honored in previous years, namely Dennis Lustico, Furne One, Michael Cinco, Cary Santiago, Ezra Santos, his mentor Lloren, Lesley Mobo, and Chito Vijandre.

Bravo Joey Samson, and may you continue to find inspiration in your future journeys.

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