Last October 25, I was lucky to sit front row at the Manila Fashion Festival’s show for the graduates of the Fashion Institute of the Philippines. Being an alumnus of the fashion school, I have always made time to support the new graduates as they showcase their vision and technical skills for the first time to a well-attended group of fashion editors and press people. And each year, I am amazed by the new crop of talent that this school manages to produce. It is real proof that the Philippines is indeed a great source of amazing artists.
The Fashion Institute of the Philippines, for its part, has produced well-known names in the fashion industry – here and abroad – including Francis Libiran, Oliver Tolentino, and John Herrera, among others.
The school’s graduation show has traditionally been held in various public locations such as Resorts World, Greenbelt, and more recently at the SM Mega Fashion Hall. But this year, with its joining the line-up of the prestigious Manila Fashion Festival, the school has upped its ante and exposed its graduates to a wider audience in the Philippines and abroad. Although fairly new, the Manila Fashion Festival has successfully produced 2 seasons of shows that have created a lot of buzz with next-generation designers’ ready to wear collections. It is staged at the trendy Green Sun, a re-purposed hotel and events-space that houses an art gallery, fashion retail stores, and holds digital arts exhibits – definitely a cool place for a fashion event.
The show brings back many happy memories of my taking Saturday classes at the Fashion Institute of the Philippines. For a full-time corporate rat, the atmosphere of creativity brings a lot of new energy that revitalizes me throughout my pressure-filled work week. The school is almost a second home to me, and I continue to visit almost every Saturday to work on various fashion projects and meet my “fashion friends”. I would recommend it to people who, like me, thrive for a little creativity to achieve balance.