Philippine Fashion Week Premier Collection E

Premier Collection E was shown to the public on May 31 with designs from Chris Diaz, Enrico Carado, Jaki Penalosa, John Abul, Len Nepomuceno Guiao, and Oliver Tolentino. The designs featured in this collection is more wearable than the Premier Collection C – they’re new and refreshing, but their novelty does not raise eyebrows. My favorites were Jaki Peñalosa, Oliver Tolentino and Chris Diaz in that order.

Click on the thumbnails to enlarge photo and read what the designers say about their collections (in italics).

Chris Diaz
My inspiration comes from the various characters of a story and is depicted in the textures of my designs. The result is a look that oozes sensuality, hipness with a slight toughness and feminity.

I love how this collection is rich in textures and feminine detail without the cloying sensation of being surrounded by too many ruffles and flowers. Each piece is simply brimming with life, energy, and novelty. It’s high fashion for sure, but without the pretension of being high fashion.

Enrico Cardao
My collection is inspired by the butterfly effect, which theorizes that a change in something seemingly innocuous such as the flapping of a butterfly’s wings, may have unexpected larger consequences. As such, my goal is to have a woman feel that even just wearing a single beautiful dress can impact her life dramatically.

I can definitely see how one of these dresses can impact a woman’s life. Each piece is a real head-turner, but they wouldn’t stand out obnoxiously in a party – assuming the party is filled with other well-dressed, fashion-forward individuals too. Otherwise, people wouldn’t be able to stop staring, but in a good way.

Jaki Peñalosa
Intricate cut-outs and embroidered details complement the understated elegance of overlaying silhouettes. Body-hugging gowns and cocktail dresses are the picture of the modern-day Filipina, accented with a blend of hand-woven indigenous fabrics for a touch of uniqueness.

What makes Jaki Penalosa’s collection my favorite among the others was his skillful blend of Filipino elements and Western modes of dress. Following the trends set by the designers in Milan and New York are unavoidable – like it or not, they’re the fashion capitals of the world. But the modes put forward by the West are not set in stone; they are very much open to modification and adaptation to local tastes and indigenous flavor. Jaki Penalosa was able to do this with great success, and I hope more Filipino designers can do the same thing.

John Abul
My collection is all about luxury, glamour and sexuality. The lines are very classic, inspired by the powerful and rich women- their lifestyle, exquisite taste and wealth. Embellished with beads, glass and crystals–it’s all about having everybody admire you for being beautiful and fabulous

It’s a very bourgeois way of looking at fashion but you have to admit that giving off a glamorous aura is what attracts many people to high fashion. Though I could appreciate the sensibilities of John Abul’s collection, his sentiment is something I don’t agree with.

Len Nepomuceno Guiao
My collection is inspired by monochromatic photography. Dresses that have silhouettes close to the body highlight the female form. Indigenous fabrics such as pina and jusi are significantly used for accents in dresses for that touch of sophisticated innocence.

Very modern collection without the pretension of most high-fashion design. Part of what made this such a pleasure to view was the styling; the accessories brought out the best of each piece.

Oliver Tolentino
I created a playful, sophisticated collection of flowing imported silk prints, combined with local fabrics such as pina, jusi, abaca, dyed in vibrant colors and finished with intricate embellishments of semi-precious stones, shells, wooden chips and metal beads. My goal was to create wearable, but expensive-looking “East meets West: fashion that is timeless and full of movement

I don’t know where to begin explaining why I love Oliver Tolentino’s collection, but I suppose it has to do with his ability to combine everything I was looking for in a designer – wearability, novelty, and a down-to-earth-quality. The first thing that caught my eye was his use of bright, happy hues and lively patterns – check out the sky blue kimono-style coat and the deep blue harem-inspired outfit. Like Jaki Penalosa, he was also able to successfully combine indigenous fabrics with Asian elements and Western modes of dress. And like Chris Diaz’s design, Oliver’s collection stands out while remaining very rooted to the earth.

Spotted in the audience was Former First lady Imelda Marcos, Tessa Prieto and seated beside me was US Ambassador Kristie Kenney.

Imelda Marcos

Tessa Prieto

US Ambassador Kristie Kenney to the left

Contact the Fashion Designers

1. Chris Diaz at [email protected] or call +632-8007558

2. Enrico Carado at [email protected] or call +632-4390688

3. Jaki Peñalosa at [email protected] or call +6333- 336-4122 or +63-917-703-7726

4. John Abul at [email protected] or calll +632-9207964

5. Len Nepomuceno Guiao at [email protected] or call +632-6315922

6. Oliver Tolentino at [email protected] or call +632-8179918

About Philippine Fashion Week

Philippine Fashion week, now on its 12th year is the premier and largest fashion event in the country. Now staged bi-annually by Runway Productions, it is the brainchild of siblings and executive producers Audie and Joey Espino. The event aims to unify the Philippine fashion industry and to celebrate, first and foremost, the ingenuity of the Filipino Talent- from the who’s who of Philippine fashion to emerging brands and designers slated to become the industry’s next big names.

With years of trend-setting expertise behind it, Philippine Fashion week has evolved into the certified launch pad of both local and international fashion, beauty, entertainment and lifestyle brands. Aside from providing its diverse audience a preview of up-to-the-minute fashion trends that combine style and function, Philippine Fashion Week aims to be the catalyst that propels the country into the global Fashion arena.


  1. Schulamie says:

    It was my first time to attend a fashion show last sunday.
    Before my concept of Philippine fashion was that the styles were so limited…
    But now, my concept of Philippine fashion was changed…
    I especially liked the collections of Jaki Penalosa, John Abul, and Oliver Tolentino.
    Looking forward to seeing more Philippine fashion shows! :)

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