Philippine Fashion Week today opened for the Holiday 2010 collections. It’s called Holiday since we don’t have the four seasons. Either it rains or it is warm and humid, and since these are always unpredictably present anyway, the cooler “holiday” months from September to December are used as a reason to dress differently.
One of my early favorites for the “season” is the show by Don Protasio, a Filipino designer based in Cambodia. All in blazing red, his collection is comprised of light cotton and jersey separates that can be easily layered and unlayered, mixed and matched. Turning up the heat without the sweat! I appreciate this feature of versatile layering with thin, loose, and flowing pieces – a good way to surviving a day that can go from heat stroke-inducing or pleasantly breezy to a little chilly, with the occasional flash floods.
As a result of their tailoring and the deconstruction of menswear details, the items are also very androgynous. I can imagine the bolero-cut jackets, the loosely knitted shirts, and the vests worn by both men and women. What is not form-fitting can easily be made so by trench coat belts that can also be found worn across the legs.
Light and loungy, the pieces are excellent for the urban nomads of a warm and dusty city. I almost didn’t get a chance to see and touch the clothes myself, but Don was gracious enough to open his luggage after he packed them up from the backstage. He even let me do some crazy styling. He tells me he does his weaving and sewing in Cambodia, and points out that – in line with the color theme – some of his knitted pieces were made by a woman who was HIV-positive. Maybe this fact had something to do with the name he gave his collection: “Insistent”.