Why go into fashion design now?
I've been interested in fashion long before all my other interest came (theater, make up, interior design, education). In the early 80's my sister took a course in SLIMS so I was exposed to her plates and the magazine Manila Women's Wear. Since then I've been sketching and designing for friends. When I got to theater, the interest moved to costume design. When I got to advertising, the interest expressed itself in styling for shoots. Finally, I became a stylist for shoots, fashion shows, and editorials.While watching one of the shows in the last fashion week, I just decided to do it.
How does the process begin for you? Inspiration first before fabric? Fabric before silhouette?
It always starts with an inspiration, usually a piece of garment in my closet. Something I really like and want to wear over and over again. Ergo, the menswear influences in my collection. Then I go to Divisoria to buy fabrics that I really like, it's always the things that strike me. I bought as many and as much fabric for two months. Then I create the overall idea of the collection, sketch like mad then go back to Divisoria for more fabrics. Once the sketches are final, I go to Fanbi to complete the fabric requirements. Then the pattern development starts. What I did was go to the ukay-ukay and bought clothes with construction that interest me, I take them apart and draw the parts I needed. By tweaking the parts and combining them I finalize the pattern. They're mostly simple shapes since I'm not good at this yet. I then turn them over to my pattern maker so he can finalize them and grade them to size. After that it's sampling and tweaking. I wish I could do more sampling to perfect things but I only have one mananahi.
Tell us about this debut collection.
I call this collection 'the editor' collection. Actually more like a magpie collection. I took four things from my closet: a tuxedo, a pair of jeans, a t- shirt, and my sweat pants. Then I took two things I bought in my recent travels: a pair of zoave pants from Marrakech, a yukata from Japan. The last shape is a pencil skirt with pronounced hips--I got from the idea from the cactus in the Majorel Gardens. Actually I also got the blue color from the walls of the house in the garden. With these seven shapes I made my collection.
Are you planning to do more shows in the future?
I hope the response is positive so I can do this on a larger scale. I'm doing ready to wear so I'll be producing the pieces in limited numbers for an end of August selling (this is a holiday collection by the way). I have no plans of opening a store yet, kasi mahal masyado. I will sell on line and in my place in Morato.
What does fashion mean to you?
Fashion is one of the things that truly excite me. I am a consumer, a really voracious shopper but not of trends but of classic pieces. I love the way fashion makes and remakes itself, constantly trying to make itself relevant and desirable. Clothing telegraphs in an instant certain assumptions about the wearer, sort of like subliminal calling card. I think that's powerful stuff.
What is your favorite piece of clothing?
I'm torn between khaki pants (I own a bazillion of them) and a nice fitted tux (which i always wear separately and dressed down).
Marlon Rivera is the president of Publicis Manila, creative director of Folded and Hung, a writer, a stylist and a lot more. His collection opened the Philippine Fashion Week 2009 last night at the SMX in Pasay. Photos of the collection here.