The “My Pilipinas The Series: Art Meets Fashion, by Rhett Eala” Exhibit will end until June 14 so you still have a chance to view the artwork and clothes design. The exhibit is at CAV RESTAURANT at the Bonifacio High Street, Taguig. Enter through the Spa entrance.
When I told my daughter Marielle that I was attending a Collezione event, she was like “Isn’t Collezione a low-end brand?” No, dear. In fact we wore Collezione in College. We loved the brand. So when I went to the Launch of My Pilipinas The Series: Art Meets Fashion, by Rhett Eala at CAV Restaurant in Bonifacio High Street, I never imagined that something like our Philippine map would look so attractive on a shirt. In fact, I never felt so proud to be a Filipino. I marvel at the creativity of the artist, Rhett Eala.
Let me share to you the genius behind the My Pilipinas Series concept. I salute the artist behind this novel idea especially since today is Independence Day. What a meaningful way to honor our country!
Rhett Eala, a renowned fashion designer with hit runway shows here and abroad, turned the Philippine map into an iconic fashion symbol through Collezione C2â€™s My Pilipinas the Series. This new line of clothing is part of Collezione C2′s effort to promote Filipino talent, artistry, and most of all – nationalism. I like that the brand decided to take this route. Fashion is one of the most viral forms of non-verbal communication and will definitely reach a wider audience than the written word. According to Joey Qua, President of Collezione C2, they intend to go past the notion that nationalism is an outdated concept or that heroes can only be patriotic. Art and fashion, he says, are a means by which the Nationalist story can be made more real and accessible to this generation. Not to mention that the designs from My Pilipinas are very colorful and hip, conforming to the popular “indie” trend that’s all the rage among teens and young adults.
A collection of 18 Rorschach Inkblot paintings curated by multi-media artist Impy Pilapil, My Pilipinas the Series seeks to prove that even the ambiguous and vague can be a storied expression of the grace, resilience and vivacity of the Filipino.
â€œAt first glance, a Rorschach inkblot seemingly presents meaningless patterns of black ink; but after a much closer look, a story eventually emerges,â€ shares Rhett. â€œIn my paintings, I took on the Rorschach imagery of the Philippine map, believing that being Filipino can be defined in a thousand different ways through a thousand different stories.â€
A Filipinoâ€™s Story
Besides the Philipipne map, another prominent image in Rhett’s work with Collezione is the human skull as shown in the “Don’t Panic” painting. Skulls are usually associated with death or misery, but Rhett sees it from a more democratizing angle. According to him, he wanted to find a symbol that makes all of us equal, and the skull is something all of us share, regardless of class or gender.
By combining images of the skull with the Philippine map, Rhett revolves around the theme Filipino to the bone. â€œI guess what Iâ€™m just trying to say is that being Filipino is something we should all be proud of. Itâ€™s deeply ingrained in all of us and itâ€™s a truth that we should all celebrate.â€
An Artistâ€™s Story
Aside from imparting a social commentary, My Pilipinas the Series is also reflection of Rhett Ealaâ€™s personal journey as an artist. In fact, He considers the three paintings â€œEskimo,â€ â€œThe Giftâ€ and â€œ1979â€ as self portraits.
â€œThrough the years, Iâ€™ve evolved as an artist and as a person,â€ shares Rhett. â€œIâ€™d like to think that the person I am now has become more focused and at peace.â€ Of course, the present Rhett Eala couldnâ€™t have been formed without his greatest influencers, one of which is British artist Damien Hirst.
Rhettâ€™s paintings entitled â€œOneâ€ and â€œHalcyonâ€ are reminiscent of the Daniel Hirst masterpiece LSD (Lysergic Acid Diethylamide). However, instead of having colorful pills, his variation features the Philippine map in gradiating colors. â€œWhile the colors are isolated from one another, they still manage to influence each other, interacting across the surrounding white space.â€
A Designerâ€™s Story
But Rhett Eala will always go back to what he has always been known and respected for — Fashion. And inspired by the My Pilipinas the Series is his RTW line for Collezione C2, My Pilipinas. The collection highlights the Philippine map silkscreened and embroidered in highly wearable pieces. And in keeping with Collezioneâ€™s casual tradition, various cotton materials such as pique, jersey and twill in the most refreshing and eye-catching shades comprise the My Pilipinas collection.
â€œCollezione C2 had one objective in mind and thatâ€™s to make Nationalism more hip. And they thought that fashion is one way by which they can make the concept and hopefully the practice of Nationalism more hip. With the reception that weâ€™ve been getting with the My Pilipinas Collection, they could have just succeeded.â€
â€œAs Collezione C2â€™s Creative Director, itâ€™s gratifying to see that the brandâ€™s willing to innovate in spite of being part of Filipino fashion consciousness for the past 36 years. And whatâ€™s most striking about them is that theyâ€™re moving towards becoming a universal brand for Filipinosâ€”one thatâ€™s proudly Philippine-made and proudly worn by Filipinos.â€
You can still view the My Pilipinas the Series exhibit at the CAV Restaurant, Bonifacio High Street until June 14.
Collezione C2 is available in the following branches: C2 Galleria (633.5069), C2 Trinoma (915.1701), C2 Market! Market! (758.2147) and C2 Ermita (523.7028). For questions or inquiries, please call 671.2770, or email [email protected]