When In Manila, it pays to be fashion forward. In the concrete jungle of the metro, an Manileño’s best weapon is a sense of style: it makes a killer first impression, expresses personality, and also makes the wearer a living work of art. Still, Manila’s insanely fast-paced life means that many of us don’t have the time to plan perfectly-coordinated outfits. What we need, then, is a brand that makes looking amazing effortless.
Enter Oxygen. From its simplest plain white tee (or Vee) to its most elaborately tailored jacket, this street-ready label is famous for oozing edgy chic, perfect for the urbanite wanting to exude classy-yet-cutting-edge cool. I’d become a fan of the brand after their amazing Spring/Summer 2012 show for Philippine Fashion Week last year, which featured deconstructed style with a sexy, androgynous twist, treading that fine line between classic and avant garde. Their perfectly executed Spring/Summer collection blew me away, so when I got the invite for their Holiday 2012 PhFW showcase (thanks once again to events maven Ed Lorenzo), I couldn’t help but say yes.
I wasn’t the only one, though. The Oxygen show proved to be a sea of familiar faces from last season’s coverage. Amongst the boldface names in the audience were the power couple of hot young entrepreneur Brent Javier and model/glamour girl Karen Pamintuan, model and media phenom Sara Meier, television personality Bianca Gonzales, and stylist Sidney Yap, who I caught in a candid moment while photographing fellow stylista Alyanna Martinez.
Style’s power couple: Entrepreneur Brent Javier in Levis with Red Win Shoes, along with the lovely Karen Pamintuan in Topshop and Boutique 9 with a BCBG handbag.
A vision in beige: Media personality Bianca Gonzales is also a fan of chic fashions of Oxygen.
Renaissance woman Sara Meier is once again an eclectic yet oh-so-chic vision in Oxygen.
Stylish stylists: Sidney Yap in a drool-worthy camouflage jacket, and Alyanna Martinez sporting a gorgeous pairing of statement jewelry and a glittery clutch.
As I arrived a tad bit late, I didn’t get much time to rove around and meet new friends before the lights went off and Oxygen’s gorgeous motion editorials–featuring their new slogan of “Jeans everyday.”–started to play. In the pitch dark, I admit I got a bit lost, but luckily managed to snag a good seat, thanks to the efforts of Summit Media stylist Soriano, who chatted with me about all things fashionable and our shared love of black and white. (Hey, those colors never go out of style!)
Here’s to meeting someone new!: Summit Media stylist Austeen Soriano made for excellent company.
We had to cut our conversation short, however, when the sudden color-change of the runway lights, and the pulsating rhythm of another amazing Oxygen fashion show soundtrack (I don’t know what I love more–the clothes or the music?) signaled the show’s beginning.
If I was expecting more deconstructed, vaguely street-chic looks (and I was, admittedly), I was in for a surprise. Whereas their Spring/Summer show was all about minimalist, urban chic, Oxygen’s Holiday 2012 collection brought back the luxury of retro glamour, specifically the 50s and 60s with their reinvention of the “mod” style. Exquisite tailoring in rich tangerine, navy, wine, and of course black and white dominated the collection, exuding a sort of Hollywood jetsetter cool.
Tangerine dream: California-chic tailoring in one of Pantone‘s colors of the year gives a fruity punch to the Oxygen Holiday 2012 collection
Kind of Blue: Tones of navy alternate with bright pops of turquoise in Oxygen‘s Holiday collection.
Fire and Wine: Oxygen turns up the heat with brilliant reds.
Chiaroscuro: Playing with black and white, Oxygen gives a new twist to the classic colors.
And of course, given my Gossip Girl fetish, I couldn’t help but pick out a few items that would definitely be in the closet of my favorite fictional hottie, Chuck Bass.
Paging Mr. Bass: Sleek yet eye-catching tailoring and detail make these pieces from Oxygen Holiday 2012‘s collection something I could imagine onscreen in Gossip Girl.
Clothes fit for a Queen “B”: I could totally imagine this short, chic, wine-colored number on Blair Waldorf, and that just made me want it more.
Of course, it wouldn’t be an Oxygen show without a cache of the hottest all-star models. Joining Patricia Prieto (whom I sadly didn’t manage to catch on camera) on the runway were Ford Supermodel of the World 2010 Danica Magpantay (a regular PhFW darling) and basketball player-slash-fashion icon Lamont Waters. The looks they sported were two of my definite favorites.
Ford Supermodel of The World 2010 Danica Magpantay sports this fierce black and white suit with a tease of flame-colored lining. (Christmas gift, anyone?)
Model and basketball player Lamont Waters looking very kingly in gray Oxygen jacket with a rather regal cut of the collar.
All in all, an amazing show, which was why I had to run up and congratulate the mastermind behind the magic, Mr. Jeff Bascon, Oxygen’s Brand Director. I wasn’t the only one either–spotted in the swarm of fashionistas was of my personal style idols, Mr. Tim Yap.
Man of the hour: Oxygen Brand Director Jeff Bascon is all smiles after another amazing show.
Flanked by well-dressed luminaries, Tim Yap, ever the fashion-forward sir, sports Tracy Bak, Mundo, and Carbon.
Eventually, though, the crowd thinned out as people headed for the exclusive afterparty at Privé (I wanted to go, but Cinderella-curfew dictated that this wannabe-princess be home before midnight.). Still, I managed to bump in to other familar faces before I left: the fashionable Lissa Kahayon, on the arm of blogging phenom David Guison, and Bjorn Bedayo, who I’d last spotted at last year’s Bloggers United.
Bloggers (are) united: The lovely Lissa Kahayon in a Closet Goddess top, with photographer/blogger David Guison (Lookbook’s favorite Philippine son)
Bjorn meets World: Blogger Bjorn Bedayo rocks H&M, Thrifted, and Markus by SM Boys Wear.
But what set my head spinning was the fact that I got to catch Danica Magpantay and Lamont Waters after the show. I hadn’t been fast enough to get a photo of Danica at the last show, but the quick chat I had with her–before she was swarmed by adoring fans–more than made up for it. Lamont, charming as ever, greeted me with a smile and “Hey, I remember you! The girl with the blogs!”, which pretty much made my evening.
The girl who was on fire: Supermodel Danica Magpantay still looks stunning post-show in a fiery orange
A twist of summer: Lamont Waters, model and basketball player, rocks an Oxygen look that manages to make rich colors look summer-fresh. (The ombre shirt is definite favorite.)
Finally, it was time for this wannabe-fashionista to head home, head spinning with visions of exquisite clothing. Once again, Oxygen had created a splash at Philippine Fashion Week, reinventing itself with a sleek, tailored image while still keeping that edge of casual cool. So When In Manila, and on the prowl for something to keep you on-trend, walk into Oxygen Clothing’s many boutiques, and experience an edgier, more fashionable you.
Oxygen’s official website: http://www.oxygenfashion.com/
On Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/oxygenclothing
On Twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/oxygenclothing
Mod Men (And Women) Rock The Runway For OXYGEN’S Philippine Fashion Week Holiday 2012 Collection With Lamont Waters, Danica Magpantay, etc.