2017 In Review

A year of Filipino style


As we cruise through the final days of 2017, it is not proper to say goodbye to the year that has been without some kind of a throwback. As we approach the New Year, THELOOKBOOK takes a look at some of the biggest events we have experienced over the past twelve months. Here is a recap of what has happened in the local fashion scene this year:

1. The Philippines hosted the Miss Universe 2016.

Fresh from winning the much-coveted crown, the Philippines hosted the 65th Miss Universe beauty pageant in January. At the end of the event, reigning queen Pia Wurtzbach crowned Miss France Iris Mittenaere her successor. This was the third time the Philippines hosted the pageant. In 1974, the 23rd Miss Universe was held at the Folk Arts Theater for the first time in Asia. The Philippines once again played host to the pageant in 1994. At the time Miss India Sushmita Sen took home the crown.

After the latest edition of Miss Universe, where Miss South Africa Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters was crowned, there have been rumors that the Miss Universe Organization is eyeing the Philippines as the pageant host country in 2018.

2. Beauty queens enjoyed the best of the Philippines.

Miss Universe 2017 Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters, Miss Universe 2016 Iris Mittenaere, and other 11 pageant beauty queens from USA, Italy, Netherlands, Great Britain, Singapore, China and Korea visited the Philippines recently, taking trips around Manila and other islands and even joining fashion benefit shows.

3. Fashion shows kept the local scene enthralled.

The Philippines fashion industry has seen a slew of shows, including Bench Underwear Fashion Show, Red Charity Gala, ICanServe Fashion Show, japanese designer Tadashi Shoji fashion show at the Rustan’s Sapphire Ball, Manila Fashion Week, and Bench Fashion Week.

During the five-day visit of the Miss Universe beauty queens, they did “Give Back: A Charity Fashion Gala,” featuring works by Filipino designers Rajo Laurel, Albert Andrada, Francis Libiran, among others, and raising funds for the beneficiaries of Hope for Change Foundation. The beauty queens also dazzled on the runway with evening gowns and formal dresses made from Philippine textile and designed by designer Renee Salud.

4. International brands came to Philippine shores.

New shops opened their doors during the year and tried out Manila’s retail potential. For example, Kerastase Prestige Salon opened its first Asian shop at Conrad Hotel even as fans of Carolina Herrera rejoiced when the brand made a home at Greenbelt 5 in Makati. Meanwhile, Mitsukoshi, the Japan-based international department store chain, will open its first retail store in the Philippines, rising beside the Grand Hyatt at the Fort in Taguig; while Anello, the Japan’s IT bag, made its way to the Philippine fashion shore, offering their signature backpack.

5. Asia’s Next Top Model is … finally a Filipina.

After four cycles, Maureen Wroblewitz became the first Filipina to win the popular modeling competition, neating Malaysia’s Shikin Gomez and Vietnam’s Minh Tu Nguyen, the 5’6”-tall, 18-year-old Pinay beauty delivered and stunned the judges in a sparkling white mestiza gown accentuated with pearls in the finals.

6. The rise of celebrity cosmetics.

Actress-host Anne Curtis launched her own make-up brand, named blk (short for black), her second business venture after setting up mobile game company Xeleb. Anne’s cosmetic brand is a collection of versatile lip colors and contour palettes. Her Showtime co-host Vice Ganda also ventured into the beauty business and introduced Vice Cosmetics, while espousing the beauty philosophy “Ganda For All.” Vice Cosmetics carries affordable lip kits and traditional bullet lipsticks.

In the Hollywood scene, Rihanna churned out a cosmetic line, called Fenty Beauty, which emphasizes diversity and celebrates people of color. Kylie Jenner created a namesake brand, Kylie Cosmetics, after her lip kits kept getting sold out in 2016. KKW Beauty, the brand created by Kim Kardashian-West, made contouring sticks the “in” thing.

7. Filipinos took the international fashion scene by storm.

Fashion industry maven Mark “Jappy” Gonzales, founder and managing director of H&F Retail Concept Inc. which manages retail shops Homme et Femme, Univers, and Hoodwink, made it to the Business of Fashion 500 in New York. He is the first Manila-based Filipino to be inducted into the index of the powerful global fashion industry influencers. He’s also the only Filipino included in the fifth edition of the BoF 500, and the third Filipino to make it—after blogger Bryanboy and V Magazine editor-in-chief Stephen Gan.

Stylist Liz Uy joined Jimmy Choo style influencers in the Maldives shoot, while Miss Univers runner-up Janine Tugonon and Miss World Philippines Valerie Weigmann walked the runway at the New York Fashion Week this year.

8. Philippine-based fashion brands tapped foreign endorsers.

Local brand ForMe tapped Asia’s Next Top Model winner Maureen Wroblewitz as their newest brand ambassador. International model Kaia Gerber (daughter of supermodel Cindy Crawford), Bella Hadid (sister of Gigi Hadid), model Cameron Dallas, and Korean actor Nam Joo Hyuk became the faces of Penshoppe.

Meanwhile, Riverdale star Cole Sprouse (he plays Jughead in the live action TV adaptation of the comic series), Brooklyn Beckham (the eldest son of celebrity couple David and Victoria Beckham) and Korean actress Park Shin Hye were named global Bench-setters.

9. Filipino designers ruled the international scene.

Homegrown designers have stepped up their artistry and creativity to make their mark in the international fashion scene. The recent Miss Universe pageant is a testament to this. Reigning Miss Universe Iris Mittenaere turned over her crown to Miss South Africa Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters in a scintillating red number by Dubai-based Filipino designer Michael Cinco.

Meanwhile, Philippine bet Rachel Peters sashayed in a gold-flecked, bustier gown designedby Val Taguba.

Designer Leo Almodal created three gorgeous gowns for Miss Guam Myana Welch, Miss Japan Momoko Abe and Miss Great Britain Anna Maria Burdzy.

Cinco was also commissioned to create the wedding dress for the Swarovski scion. The first Filipino to showcase his collection in Paris Couture Week, he has dressed Hollywod A-listers such as Lady Gaga, Jennifer Lopez and Nicki Minaj, who wore a fully-beaded Cinco black dress at the Billboard Music Awards 2017.

After Moda Operandi chose his Fall/Winter 2017 Collection, designer Mark Bumgarner dressed Aishwarya Rai Bachchan at the Cannes International Film Festival. Singer Lea Salonga wore Rajo Laurel atthe Tony’s.

10. The fashion icons who would be missed.

While some Filipino designers are making their names in the international scene, there are those who left us too soon. Pepsi Herrera, who was known for his elegant gowns that became staples at the annual Star Magic Ball, passed away, at the age of 56, early this year. Likewise, the sudden demise of Danilo Franco, acknowledged as the “Dean of Fashion Illustrators,” in January left the local fashion industry with a profound sense of loss.


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