The night Cebu went red-carpet glam
On and off the ramp, the southern metropolis held its own in the 2013 Inquirer/Samsung Face-Off
The rains fell really heavily only when people were done with the filling cocktail food and in their long gowns and black tie, were walking up the winding stairway to the ballroom. Looking back, we now realize that was a good omen.A guest remarked that Face-Off 2013 by Inquirer Lifestyle/LOOK Magazine, with Samsung, literally stormed Cebu that Saturday night, July 20. With the thunderstorm that night, it really did. The heavy downpour came after the guests had safely walked into the Radisson Blu and had settled themselves in the Santa Maria ballroom to witness the bridal designs of the top 11 designers from Cebu and 10 designers from Metro Manila. The show was directed by Jackie Aquino.
Philippine Airlines flew in the guests, designers and models.
Samsung made use of the occasion and the good crowd to launch its smartphone with 10 times zoom capacity, the Galaxy S4 Zoom.
Presenting from Cebu were Edwin Ao, Protacio Empaces, Jun Escario, Arcy Gayatin, OJ Hofer, Dino Lloren, William Manahan, Philip Rodriguez, Vania Romoff, Cary Santiago and Philip Tampus. From Metro Manila were Albert Andrada, Ivarluski Aseron, Vic Barba, Rhett Eala, Rajo Laurel, Efren Ocampo, Randy Ortiz, James Reyes, Mike de la Rosa and Joey Samson.
The review/reportage (see Lifestyle, July 28) lauded the skills, craftsmanship, design direction and talents of this select crop. Clearly from Luzon to the south, the Filipino fashion designer has a way of asserting his design dominance and showing off what he can do with his mind—and hands.
While the runway parade was lustily applauded, still there was nothing like seeing the bridal long dresses up close to make one realize and appreciate just what these designers are capable of doing. They went to incredible lengths to prove their mettle: clean tailoring, adept construction, judicious editing, subtle employ of color—and what impressed us most—the elaborate and intricate detailing, which is exactly what the Filipino bride is looking for.
They worked with beads, Swarovski crystals, silk ribbons and cords woven to create a solihiya effect, lace formed into flowers. The experimentation on the runway boggled the mind.
Off the runway, style-watching was just as engrossing as it was on the ramp. Leading the guests were the president of SM Hotels and Conventions, Elizabeth Sy, who was in a simple blue shift, former Cultural Center of the Philippines president and former Cinemalaya head Nes Jardin, Miss Universe runner-up Janine Tugonon, who just flew in the day before from the US.
Chile Ambassador Roberto Mayorga and his statuesque wife Paulina flew to Cebu that day just to watch the show and support Inquirer Lifestyle. Paulina wore a radiant vermilion red gown from Kultura.
Head-turners were naturally Sam Milby, looking dapper in black tie, who after the show, caught the last flight to Manila to prepare for “Asap” the next morning; Joseph Marco who, relatively new as he is in show biz, was a natural in mixing with the guests, along with star-maker Keren Pascual; Cebu’s very own Slater Young, who helped entertain the bigwigs of Champion Infinity led by Jasper Tiu, who came with his lovely wife Sierra, Pen Roque and Carlo Bacani.
Samsung executives Chiqui Tan-Torres, Odette Velarde, Adriene Rivera made it to Cebu to grace the event, with Starcom executive Rosebelle Lazatin.
SM vice president Millie Dizon also flew in for the show, to oversee the display of SM Accessories in the ballroom foyer and the show finale featuring Georgina Wilson, SM Accessories’ endorser.
Amparito Lhuillier sparkled with her diamond chandelier earrings and diamond paineta—“They’re real,” she added, just in case we didn’t know.
Seeing her in an elegant black-and-white Tadashi lace shift, one wouldn’t have guessed that Elvira Luym was fighting off jet lag; she just flew in that day from San Francisco. Teresin Mendezona was in an eye-grabbing turquoise asymmetric top with a high collar-classic and regal, as always. SM vice president Marissa Fernan, one of the organizers who helped us in this event, was in a sleek Philip Rodriguez black shift.
Cebu’s A-list stylistas were around—Kaye Luym Sala, Cybill Gayatin (who will walk the aisle next year), Fiona King, Aziza Mondonedo (in a green long dress with the night’s most daring décolletage), Christina Garcia Frasco (who posed before her Arcy Gayatin wedding gown on exhibit)—one of the bridal gowns in the Face-Off Bridal Heritage Exhibit in the ballroom foyer, staged with Champion Infinity and SM Cebu Northwing. (The exhibit was designed by Cebu’s top bag maker, D’oro Barandino.)
Samsung selected a stylish man and woman that night who would embody spirit of the “explorers” and “the scenesters” and “the young and free.” These people, according to Samsung product manager Adriene Rivera, know how to manage their time and to make use of the latest gadgets.
Chosen by Samsung were Mia Arcenas and Liloan mayor Duke Frasco. Each was given a Galaxy S4 Zoom.
On and off the ramp, Face-Off emcee Tessa Prieto-Valdes was the star in her Philip Tampus. Until then, we didn’t know that the Lifestyle celeb columnist has a loyal fan in her hairdresser and makeup artist, Jessie Glova, who has been channeling her dressing style the past few years.
After the show, the guests lingered, not only to socialize some more but also because the streets were flooded and vehicles were hardly moving. They decided to kill time and chill way into the night. Radisson Blu general manager Lyle Lewis, who must have been pleased that night, had the cocktail buffet extended so that everyone had a late evening chow and drinks, with red wine flowing as if endlessly, courtesy of Happy Living Wines. He went a step further—he opened the ballroom, which was then seeing the egress, to stranded shoppers of the nearby SM.
Indeed, in high energy and high style, Cebu was at its best that night. Cebu more than held its own in the face-off, not only in the Face-Off fashion show, but also in red-carpet glam dressing.
The 2013 Face-Off Bridal Collection was also supported by Philippine Airlines, MAC makeup, David’s Salon (hair), Pink Flora (flowers), Yellow Cab, La Mesa Grill.