The last week of May was Fashion Week in Manila. My friend Dice, doing an internship with designer John Herrera, invited me to some of the runway shows that week. Being busy with other things I was only able to attend on Thursday the 29th.
Dice said it would be best if I arrived around 5pm so I could get one of the best seats. I showed up at the venue at 5:15 and the guards let me in, showing me to the 2nd floor. I was led backstage, walked out around the runway and had my choice of seats. I figured the event would begin at six if I was supposed to be there at five.
Six came and went. I'd been texting Dice and he said he was running errands or smoking. Before I knew it six had come and gone!
When do the doors open? I asked.
Six, Dice replied. I'm sitting up front.
But I was still the only person in the hall. Something was wrong.
So I headed downstairs and found a sea of people entering the hall and just a few minutes to spare before the show began. Apparently the guards had mistaken me for a model and led me upstairs and backstage so I could be ready for the show.
Sorry, I'm not model material. I'm not tall enough.
Anyway, I made it in just in time to enjoy the show.
This designer is fond of elaborate, carnival and Spanish-inspired headdresses:
Yes, this is a bird on my head and no, I'm not happy about it!
During some designer's shows, crowd-watching was more interesting than the collection.
If it looks like I'm walking with my back slung way back, it's because I am. I walk at a 45-degree angle! Going uphill, I'm level with the horizon.
I like my big glasses!
Looks like this designer was inspired by Bob Mackie's dress from Carol Burnett Show's Went With the Wind sketch:
His other pieces are wonderful though. Very deco/sculptural/architectural.
In menswear, we take a trip back to the 1980s. The shirt may read Fight the System now, but we know it wouldn't say anything if not for the shirts Frankie Goes to Hollywood and Wham! popularized in the mid-80s.
Other men's fashions also harkened back to the 1980s in colors and cut.
And what fashion show would be complete without a sheer-reared bikini on a muscled model? It takes quite the man to make a white sun hat go with that. It goes without saying this is not what I'll be wearing to the pool...unless magically I developed a body like this and who knows...
Again, what others were wearing was sometimes of more interest:
Lastly, across the aisle from us sat this group of ladies. Looking at the four the old Sesame Street "one of these things is not like the others..." song comes to mind.
So too does the vision of Sarah Jessica Parker's character Carrie Bradshaw in the Sex and the City movie.
In fact, it is that very woman in purple who recognized me and came up to speak with me after the show had ended. I'm not good remembering names and faces I see on irregular bases, so I mistook her for a model I had worked with back in November. Turns out she is Xie, the girlfriend of our friend Inaki's (sorry, still can't figure out how to type a tilde) brother, Manolo. We had met twice before; the last time in January or February. She either is good at remembering people, or my being the only white guy there made things incredibly easy for her. I was embarrassed, but not too much, as I am used to not recognizing people.
At the end of May, the only thing more fashionable than being at Fashion Week was having intestinal flu. Not to be left out, I had it two days after the show, as did Edson's brother and several of his friends (not that they attended the show). Does this mean I was at the height of fashion?! Good thing my friend Yucel studied medicine, and he came over to medicate me and tend to my hypochondria.
So there you have it. I was fashionable from head to...well...let's not go there!