When In Manila, you are not only in the political and economic capital of our beloved PH, you are also at the epicenter of thePinoy fashion universe, a universe which converges every season at the Philippine Fashion Week. Whether it’s off the rack or haute couture, foreign flavor or local talent, PFW is the mecca for the avant garde, the on-trend, and those who simply want to bask in one week of fashion heaven at the only place in the Metro big enough to hold all this glitz: SM Mall of Asia’s SMX Convention Center.
Returning to this year’s Philippine Fashion Week stage was Guess?. Founded by the Marciano brothers Georges, Armand, Paul, and Maurice, Moroccan-born French natives, the iconic American brand has become famous for its denims and its classic Americana aesthetic with a hint of the French chic. As a girl who had grown up wearing Guess? Kids (a favorite being a denim prairie skirt I had at three that refused to put away until I was ten; by then it had became a micro-mini), attending Guess?’s previews for Fall-Holiday 2011/Spring 2012 definitely appealed to me, more so when I saw its invitation: a girl dressed up as a Marilyn Monroe-esque figure, coming straight off the bus into the big city. The old-Hollywood black and white photo was right up my alley as a vintage lover.
If I was expecting a super-intimate show, though, I was sorely mistaken. Given the fashion icon status of the Guess? label, it should have been no surprise that the Fall-Holiday 2011 collection, plus the promise of a sneak peak at Spring 2012, would draw huge crowds to SMX‘s Function Room 4. The queue outside the door seemed endless, packed with people dressed in their fashion-show-viewing best which varied from simple t-shirts and jeans to cocktail dresses to outfits that look like they’d come fresh off of Guess?’s own racks. Thankfully, as I was on the guest list, I was allowed to skip the line and walk right in. Talk about VIP treatment! (Many thanks to PFW’s Ed Lorenzo!)
Style stampede: The line of the fashion-hungry and the fashionable seems to stretch on forever outside of Guess’ show at the SMX Convention Center.
Inside, the Function Room had been transformed into an exclusive club, complete with open bar and cocktail tables, all with a view of the huge runway, which the small fleet of bouncers reminded guests not to step on.
The ramp is vamped: Guess?‘s runway for Philippine Fashion Week exuded a sort of futuristic, space-age cool.
Big brand means big names: Seats in the front row VIP section reserved for blogging diva Laureen Uy and media/fashion personality Raymond Gutierrez.
The show itself was set to start at 9:00 sharp, but once again, ditching the “fashionably late” rule out of eagerness, I turned up as soon as the gates opened at 8:30…all the better, of course, to spot the who’s who sure to turn up. My stalkeresque tendencies were rewarded as I managed to snap photos of Laureen Uy, Raymond Gutierrez (who showed up with a statuesque model friend), and Bianca Gonzalez, who showed up dress to the nines not only to view Guess?‘s latest offerings, but to support a few fellow boldface names who would be walking the runway for Guess?’s Spring 2012 collection preview.
Fashion and media darling Raymond Gutierrez dressed to impress, with Ces Olondriz at his side.
Blogger and renaissance woman Laureen Uy in a daring turquoise number. Also with her at the event, though not pictured, are her besties Kryz Uy and Camille Co.
The lovely Bianca Gonzalez in a printed maxi dress she gamely informed me was from MYTH.
At nine sharp the show kicked off with opening remarks by Guess? Philippines’ Vice President Anthony Courchet (pronounced koor-shay), who kept his remarks short and simple before giving way to the main event: Guess? Fall-Holiday 2011/Spring 2012 collection.
Man of the moment: Guess? Philippines’ Vice President Anthony Courchet greets his audience of luminaries.
Set to music by DJ Sanya Smith, who spun in a booth at the beginning of the runway, the Fall-Holiday 2011 and Spring 2012 collection was a fusion of old-Hollywood cool (perfect for Guess?’s California roots), all-American style, and rock-star sex appeal. For men, Guess? featured classic Guess jeans, plaid and checked shirts, slim-fit pullovers, and neutral plain and graphic tees (though a few were pops of color), accessorized with hoodies, belts with statement buckles, sneaks, and scarves. Nothing was too flashy, everything was wearable, and everything exuded masculinity: perfect for the guy who might be a bit tired of the “metrosexual” look.
He likes it rough: My favorite looks from Guess? Fall-Holiday 2011 for men, which blends rugged with preppy to create perfect boy-next-door looks with a bit of a bad-boy swagger.
It was the women’s collection, however, which drew my eye. Given that I’m a single girl with no brothers to shop for, there may be a bit of a bias, but Guess?’s Fall-Holiday 2011 for women is definitely an attention-grabber. Sleek, body-hugging dresses, curve-flattering jeans and shorts, and figure-skimming corset-tops, button-downs, and tees all carried the same bad-girl vibe (to match Guess? Men’s bad-boy), but with vintage, old-Hollywood class and a haute couture chic, pulling off the dangerous territory of “sexy” without crossing over into “easy.”
Girl got swag: My favorite looks from Guess? Fall-Holiday 2011 for women, a mix of California cool with old-Hollywood glamour girl.
As if the awesome Fall-Holiday 2011 wasn’t enough, Guess? decided to up the ante with its preview of Spring 2012, ramped by an all-star cast of celebrity models. Spring 2012‘s collection was slightly more luxurious looking, with a “jet-setter” feel, perfect for the glamour girls and boys who modeled them: Zia Quizon, Bubbles and Paulo Paraiso, Jamilla Obispo, John Hall, and, headlining the collection, the lovely Maxine Magalona. Their star-studded walk down the runway proved a perfect finalé to Guess?‘s Philippine Fashion Week Comeback.
The cool kids in town: A star-studded set of models showcases Guess? Spring 2012 previews.
After the show, “no stepping on the runway” rule was thrown out the window as the guests headed to the runway en masse to get snapshots with the celebrities and the gorgeous Guess? models. In the crush of the crowd, I managed to get photos of (and with) a few of them myself, snapping siblings Bubbles and Paolo Paraiso in their Spring 2012 outfits, and managing to overcome my “shyness” and pose with one of Guess?’s golden boys, named Alex. (Kilig much?)
…It runs in the family: Celebrity siblings Bubbles and Paolo Paraiso pose in their Guess? Spring 2012 outfits, straight from their stint on the runway.
Meet my new boyfriend: Me being unabashedly kilig over one of Guess?‘s gorgeous male models, Alex, who is obviously not my boyfriend but hey, a girl can dream, right?
The fashion show was definitely over, but as a cherry on top of an amazing night, Guess? gave away huge goody bags to all the guests. I was too scared that I might lose the contents, so I waited until I got home to check out my loot. They were more than generous: the bag contained the catalogues for Guess? and Guess Kids, a notebook, a keychain, a cute Guess? t-shirt, and to top it all off, a “Guess List” membership card.
Yay, freebies!: The contents of my loot bag from Guess? plus my copy of the official Philippine Fashion Week programme.
When In Manila, consider hitting the nearest branch of Guess?, and swaggering out with a new look that’s certain to get you turning heads during the holidays. Part of Guess?’s sexy new collection comes out just in time for Christmas and its sales, which is the perfect time to update your wardrobe and the wardrobes of those you love. As this sneak peek proves, it’ll definitely be worth every penny.
Guess?’s Official Website with Store Locator: https://www.guess.com/worldofguess/
Guess Philippines on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Guess-Philippines
Guess Returns to Philippine Fashion Week With Celebrity Models Maxine Magalona, Bubbles Paraiso, John Hall, etc.