Written by C. Mendez Legaspi
For the second time this year, fashion’s denizens gather once again at the SMX Convention Center to flaunt their creativity at Philippine Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2010 presentations, ongoing until Wednesday. The venerable Ben Farrales, spearheading his Fashion for a Cause on October 28 with close to 200 designers pledging their support, headed the Grand Allure suite on October 21.
The genius of the brothers Audie and Joey Espino, executive producers and directors of Philippine Fashion Week, is that they can persuade the Old Guard to present alongside the New Guard. Fresh fashion-school graduates are given an avenue to show what they’ve got.
Reluctant no more, Gil Macaibay III showcased his design talents on the national stage. Being one of the featured designers on Luxewear Night on October 22 was a giant leap of faith for this highly motivated designer.
Though a huge name in Northern Mindanao, Macaibay is a relative unknown in Manila, the epicenter of Philippine fashion. All that has changed as he stepped on a bigger stage than his comfort zone in Cagayan de Oro, with the encouragement of mentors such as Renée Salud, Barge Ramos, Dong Omaga-Diaz and Frederick Peralta.
“I was able to watch the last Fashion Week. Since then, I was encouraged to join the this edition. Honestly, it was Frederick Peralta who convinced me to join, and the influence and support of my friends was also enough of a boost for me to take the plunge,” the 37-year-old says, tension and resolve evident in his voice.
“During my high-school years at Xavier University, fashion as a career seemed inevitable. The fad and the colors of the ‘80s ignited everyone’s interest to be fashionably in,” he recalls. “I personally love Vivienne Westwood. I’m more into a haute-couture aesthetic. I love doing more exciting creations. And I’m passionately mastering and polishing my craft.”
Patience and prodigious research, as well as loving your craft, Macaibay knows, are essential in running a fashion business. He has dressed all of the city’s beauties, such as Miss Teen Philippines Maxine Monasterio, local politicos, supermodel Jasmine Maierhofer, Muslim royalty and the Mindanao elite.
And his showcase at Philippine Fashion Week? “The ‘20s was my inspiration. The period’s style evolution seemed very whimsical.” That much was gleaned from his “gowns in purple-graded hues in Spandex with fabric cutouts as embellishments.”
Gil Macaibay Fashion Studio, by appointment: 1255, Bolonsori Road, Camaman-an, Cagayan de Oro City, (63927) 950-0453