At PMFF’s fifth-anniversary showcase, there’s something for everyone

The saying “different strokes for different folks” is best embodied in fashion. As a deeply personal and subjective art form (or utility, depending on how you see it—again, whatever floats your boat), The Self™ can never be separated from one’s fashion choices and biases. Luckily enough, there seemed to be something for everyone at this year’s Panasonic Manila Fashion Festival (PMFF).
After five amazing years of shows and talks, PMFF still manages to keep things fresh and varied—just as fashion should be. From the slick shapes of John Pe Larlar to the punchy pieces of Renan Pacson to the fresh patterns of Yong Studio by Yong Davalos, fashion enthusiasts and industry leaders bore witness to a complete spectrum of style.
Even among the wildly diverse Wonder staff, everyone found something to love. Everyone found a unique top pick to gush over—and gush we shall:
Adie Pieraz, Lifestyle Editor
Panasonic Manila Fashion Festival Pick: Renan Pacson’s “Madame X”
Unique, yet wearable: key pieces (or the ones I consider key pieces) from Renan Pacson’s collection make a statement that say, “Nope, I’m not the one you want to fuck with.” And I’m a sucker for speaking without actually having to speak—it’s the big irony of my life.
 

Nicole Blanco Ramos, Content Lead for Fashion & Politics

Panasonic Manila Fashion Festival Pick: Chris Diaz’s “EDWARD R I”
This wouldn’t be the first time Chris Diaz turned out to be a personal favorite. Come to think of it––I’ve yet to catch a PMFF showcase of his that hadn’t sparked joy in one way or another. I was pleasantly surprised this season not only by his decision to veer away from the dressier ensembles he’s known for but his modern take on Edward VIII the Duke of Windsor’s fascination with plaid. I’d never been one for striking color combinations or print-on-print with the added floral element (seriously nothing further from my style preferences), yet I was charmed by the looks that Diaz sent down the runway. Charmed enough to want at least four whole outfits in my closet, stat. But anyway, isn’t this one of the desired effects for designers who show their new collections?

Cessi Treñas, Content Lead for Beauty & Music

Panasonic Manila Fashion Festival Pick: John Pe Larlar’s “Talit-Hi”
It is with unflinching resolve that I proclaim that John Pe Larlar’s collection belongs in my closet. All of it. Everything. Each piece touches on very specific points of my sartorial affections: gigantic shoulders, puffy sleeves, practical-but-not material that compels you to look twice. It doesn’t help that I’m an absolute slave for good outerwear!

Alexandra Lara, Art Director

Panasonic Manila Fashion Festival Pick: Kaye Morales’ “Gemini”
Nothing says punk and rock ‘n’ roll like a smattering of beautiful graphic skulls and chains on an ensemble. Kaye Morales hits the perfect balance—the pieces are practical and wearable yet sexy. Maybe it’s my affinity for the music genres, but knowing that one can definitely kick literal ass in these looks does it for me.

Elisa Aquino, Features Writer

Panasonic Manila Fashion Festival Pick: Windel Mira’s “Drift”
Windel Mira’s collection is a balanced mix of immaculate white and pastel hues. I found myself eyeing his intricate laser-cuts and appliqués inspired by Okir carvings and Landap fabric patterns—design elements found among the Moro and Lumad people. His nod to Art-Nouveau is such a treat to the eyes!

Mags Ocampo, Contributing Writer

Panasonic Manila Fashion Festival Pick: SoFA Design Institute’s Joanna Ngo
Personally, I found myself gravitating towards the collections of the specially selected SoFA students. Beyond being a firm believer in the potential of the youth, I found the mix of tasteful deconstruction, strong silhouettes and impeccable craftsmanship present in each of their collections pretty impressive. Joanna Ngo stood out in particular with her paper-like dresses that were pleated, cut, folded and ruffled in a myriad of ways. Delicate but structured, avante-garde but beautiful. As a sucker for oxymorons and anything at all that looks complex, I fell head over heels for this five-piece collection. I’m excited to see more from Joanna Ngo and the rest of the SoFA students in the festivals to come.
Also for discussion: Designers share nine things that people don’t realize go into mounting a fashion show.
Words Mags Ocampo
Art Alexandra Lara
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