Technology and Luxury at Philippine Fashion Week’s Sony Cybershot Luxewear Show With Divine Lee, Bianca Valerio, Victor Basa, etc.



When In Manila, the luxe life is at your fingertips — it’s why the term “Manileño” has always glittered with the promise of a glamorous urban lifestyle, whether it’s keeping up to date the latest fashions or snagging the most high-end gadgetry.   Philippine Fashion Week has been an integral part of this promise, delivering the best sartorial selections twice a year to the fashionable Filipino public.  Clothes, shoes, and accessories are put on display on its many runways, tempting stylists and stylistas alike to grab the newest trend.


The brilliant marketing minds behind Sony Philippines know this full well, and so picked Philippine Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2012 to launch what they hope will be the hottest new accessory: not a bag and bauble or a bangle, but a camera.  The slimmest point-and-shoot camera in the world, in fact: the Sony Cyber-shot TX55, which made its official debut last October 28 at Philippine Fashion Week‘s Luxewear fashion show, featuring fourteen of the Philippines’ best and brightest designers.



Thin is in: The Sony Cyber-shot(TM) TX55, touted as the world’s slimmest point-and-shoot camera and geared towards the fashionista-on-the-go.


According to Sony Philippines representatives, who gave a quick demo before the actual show, Sony Cyber-shot’s T-series has always been marketed as a fashion camera, with its slim, streamlined design and wide array of colors appealing to the style-savvy who want form as well as function in their technology.  Knowing that for trendspotters and fashion bloggers, having a portable camera is essential for the never-ending series of fashion shows, product launches, and exclusive events, Sony‘s TX55 is lightweight camera with heavyweight features such as DSLR-quality still photography, full HD video, 3D image rendering, and no-stiching-required 3D panoramic sweeps, all in a tiny 12.5mm-thin package designed to fit easily into a purse, “murse,” pocket, or belt holster.


While I am still in the honeymoon stage with my brand-new Canon Powershot G12 (christened “Ed”), I have to admit that Sony‘s pitch was pretty convincing.  While I have to tote around a bag to carry my “baby,” the TX55 easily fits in those absurdly slim purses that fashion dictates girls must use.  And while my G12 has a great panoramic stitch-assist option, I admit that I started drooling a bit (just a bit!) when Sony representatives demonstrated the 3D Panoramic Sweep. (For those interested to see a close approximation, check out this video, which shows the Sony Alpha‘s Panoramic Sweep.)  These amazing 3D images are, of course, best viewed  on the Sony Bravia, whose latest model, a whopping 65-inch flatscreen, comes with Skype functionality and 3D glasses for those who want an IMAX-style experience in the comfort of their own home.


Photo finish: A Sony Philippines representative demonstrates the TX55‘s various built-in post-processing options.


As a “closet techie” (especially when it comes to digital cameras), I was itching to hear more about Sony‘s new glamour-camera, but the rapidly-shrinking line outside the SM Mall of Asia SMX Function Room 4 indicated that the fashion show was about to begin.  We were ushered into the hall just in time to find our seats and give us time to mix and mingle with other fashionistas and famous names, an opportunity which, no surprise, I grabbed.  Leaving my cousin to rest her feet and guard our seats, I made my rounds.  A walk across the plastic-covered runway brought me face to face with my first two boldface names: media darling Divine Lee looking, well, divine in a figure-flattering bodycon number by Tina Daniac (whose designs would be appearing in the show), and the darkly handsome Victor Basa in Penshoppe (a nod to the then-ongoing Fan Conference?) and Bergdorf Goodman.


In the presence of a goddess: the gorgeous Divine Lee in Tina Daniac.



Tall, dark, and debonair: Victor Basa exuding casual cool in Penshoppe with Bergdorf-Goodman shoes.


After exchanging polite fangirl chatter with the gorgeous couple (seatmates, actually: I’m not out to spread rumors), I was already rendered starstruck, but little did I know that my next encounter would be with all-out fashion royalty.  Naïvely, I asked an impeccably dressed group to pose for a few of my pictures, after which I asked who they were.  Amused, they introduced themselves as legendary designer (my mom freaked out when I told her I met him) Christian Espiritu, Bong Gacho, Albert Andrado, and the current king of the PH style scene, Michael Cinco.  I frantically muttered my apologies for not recognizing them, blaming my weak eyes and slow internet connection, which rendered publicity photos grainy, but they humored my ignorance as a “cub reporter,” and teased me on my “Blair Waldorf”-inspired attire.  I left in a daze, making it to my seat just in time: the lights going off signaled that the show was about to start.



An royal audience: (from right) Legendary designer Christian Espiritu (in Burberry and Paul Smith), Bong Gacho (in Zara), and Albert Andrado (wearing himself).


Meeting His Highness: Reigning Arbiter of Style Michael Cinco (in Tom Ford, Maison Martin Margiela, Rick Owen, Louis Vuitton, and John Galliano) with friend Albert Andrado.  To Michael Cinco’s left is Ezra Santos (Martin Margiela, River Island, and Jill Sander boots).


The illustrious audience befitted Luxewear‘s offerings.  Opening with a “walk” by two models (one in Delby Bragais, another in Aztec Barba) holding their Sony TX55, Luxewear featured the work of fourteen designers with their concept of what the trends for Spring/Summer 2012 should (and inevitably would) be.  I could go on and on, but I’ll let the photos of my favorite looks speak for themselves.



Anthony Ramirez


Aztec Barba


Delby Bragais


Julius Tarog


Melvin Lachica


Nolie Viñeza


F*A*S*H* host Bianca Valerio modelling Pablo Cabahug.


Popoy Barba


Roel Rosal
(Who also, in my book, wins the award for best runway soundtrack because he chose “La Vie En Rose.”)


Roland Lirio


Ronaldo Arnaldo Couture


Santi Obcena


Tina Daniac


Yvonne Quisumbing


After fourteen designer collections, my head was spinning from all the amazing dresses I’d seen, ranging from chic and sleek to all-out glamour girl.  I wanted to circulate some more, ask the designers some questions, but it was getting late and I had one more show to cover (more on that soon), so my cousin and I slowly made our way out of Function Room 4.  However, before we left, I managed to spot Mr. Nolie Viñeza, whose whimsical, Filipiñana-inspired presentation of his Spring/Summer 2012 collection had charmed me.  After gushing over his presentation and his dresses, I asked him to take a photo with me and he gamely accepted.


Pure imagination: Me with designer Nolie Viñeza, whose Filipiñana-inspired presentation captured attention at Sony Cybershot‘s Luxewear show.


At seven-fifteen, Luxewear was officially over.  However, this is not the last we’ll be seeing of the divine outfits that graced the runway of SMX Function Room 4.  The fashion gods have spoken, and next year’s trends dictated to the public, so do not be surprised if you see hints of these gorgeous gowns and eye-catching colors on the streets or in the malls in the “spring” and summer of 2012.  In fact, if you have the budget, you might want to take one of these beauties home with you.  However, for those of us mere mortals who can only dream, it would be wise to at least take a cue from the designers of Luxewear.  After all, When In Manila, we must ever be on-trend.



Check out the highlights of Philippine Fashion Week at

Related Stories