(An article I wrote yesterday, originally published on Rappler.com.)
KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia – It was a night of glitz and glamour with designers all over Asia coming together to showcase their latest creations, and it came as no surprise when yet another Filipino stood out among the talent pool.
Filipino fashion designer Albert Andrada took home the Most Connected Designer Award, one of the three awards given at the Mercedes Benz Stylo Asia Fashion Week held in Kuala Lumpur from October 17-22.
Andrada’s collection was composed of soft-colored, whimsical pieces that – in true Andrada fashion – celebrated the female silhouette.
He says he drew inspiration from “under the sea,” bringing to life patterns that call to mind the gentle movements of waves, with flowy skirts taking centre stage.
Well-known shoe designer Jimmy Choo was also at the event and sat up front to watch Andrada’s show.
For about two decades, Andrada worked as a designer for the royal family of Fujeirah, one of the seven kingdoms of the United Arab Emirates before he made his way back to the Philippines.
His designs are coveted not just in Manila, but in different parts of the world. His work has also caught the eye of hotel heiress Paris Hilton, who wore a sequined ivory dress that was a part of his Chinese Empress collection, featured in Philippine Fashion Week 2013.
This isn’t the first time a Filipino has made waves in the fashion industry in Kuala Lumpur and Asia. Just last year, Filipino designer Avel Bacudio was named Asia’s Most Influential Designer at the same event. Winning the award, he said, changed his life.
Before the 2014 winner was named, Bacudio showed his latest collection of ready-to-wear fashion both for men and women featuring digital prints of church interiors. The crisp lines of Bacudio’s clothes paired with intricate gothic designs make for wearable yet elegant pieces that can be dressed up or down.
Despite all the success, the Filipino designer’s feet stay firmly planted on the ground. Bacudio thanked his friends, family, and the crowd that supported his designs, ending by saying “And lastly, I am very proud to be a Filipino.”
Bacudio also dropped by the Philippine Embassy in Kuala Lumpur for a courtesy call to Consul General and Charge d’Affaires Medardo Macaraig. During the meeting, the designer expressed his interest to promote Filipino talents further while helping his fellow Filipinos abroad in whichever way he can.
This year’s Most Influential Designer Award went to Malaysia’s Joe Chia who also won the Asian Industry’s Choice Award last year while Taiwan’s Chung Ting Liu was named Most Promising Designer.
This year’s Mercedes Benz Stylo Asia Fashion Week was held within the inaugural Malaysian Fashion Week. The endeavor is backed by the Malaysian government and is seen as a significant partnership in promoting Malaysian and other Asian designers to an international audience.
Other Filipino designers who were also featured during the event include Jeffrey Rogador, Rosenthal Tee, Roland Alzate, and Noel Crisostomo. – Rappler.com