Written by Ian Galero
Graphics by Dea Sangco
When it comes to medical wear, function always comes before style. That’s why you rarely see lab gowns and scrubs being shown off in fashion runways and Haute couture exhibits.
The COVID-19 pandemic has severely limited our front liners’ wardrobe choices. With little ways to look good on the job, many local doctors and medical professionals turned to a local designer, Pablo Cabahug, to design them customized Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs) to give them that chic on-the-job look.
And boy did he deliver! Just check out these jaw-dropping designs and beautifully sophisticated looks!
Model Margarita Gutierrez photographed by Olivio Arce Jr.
After seeing his works on social media, we reached out to him personally to ask him some questions regarding his work. Thankfully, Mr. Cabahug was kind enough to provide us some insight into his designs.
Dr. Suzanne Datuin of Dermasuite wearing her Custom PPE
Q: Please give us a brief overview of the PPE design. What sets it apart from regular PPEs?
A: “The idea started when a client of mine Dr. Suzanne Datuin, who’s a Dermatologist, approached me and asked if I can make a PPE uniform for her. She wanted a uniform for her clinic and told me if I could design something practical and effective to reduce the risks from particulate matter to acceptable levels and still carry out their work and create significant levels of comfort while doing so. My ergonomic design ensures safe and healthy working conditions through the correct use of PPE and still be comfortable and fashionable at the same time.”
Upclose look of one of Pablo Cabuhag’s PPEs
Q: What are the inspirations and materials that you used to design the isolation gown aside from your client’s request?
A: “Designs are still based on the medical lab gowns and hazard suits but I made it more wearable and easy to wear by using breathable materials such as IBEX, Ripstop, and microfibre that creates a more everyday wear barrier.”
Q: What challenges did you face while designing these PPEs?
A: “While thinking of a design for these PPEs we should take into consideration its functionality and effectiveness in protecting the doctors. The basic requirement is the fabric to be water repellant. I actually asked a client and a friend, Dr. Geraldine Zamora of PGH to review and approve the design I made.”
Q: What thoughts come into your mind knowing that doctors are wearing your designs while fighting this virus?
A: “I feel honored. It gives me a great sense of pride to see these doctors wearing my PPEs in carrying out their health duty for our country. I also would like to think that these PPEs of mine would help other industries adapt to the new normal in their workplaces.”
Dr. Chey Arcinue of Asian Eye Institute rocking her PPE at work!
Q: Do you have a message for your fellow designers during the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic?
A: “There is still a need for custom garments in this new normal and its just a matter of us designers adapting to these changes with its basic function to protect more than anything else and interpreting that with our own design principles and aesthetics.”
Fashionable? Check. Functional? Check.
Staying stylish at work has never been easier for these fashionable frontliners, thanks to Sir Pablo Cabahug!
Love his work? Check him out at:
Pablo Cabahug Design Studio
Want to see a different take on PPEs by another designer? Check this out!