1st Philippine Fashion Circle Awards rolls out

Without a doubt, the Philippine Fashion Industry has made great strides, not only in attaining global recognition, but also in adapting to the ever-evolving design scene without sacrificing the country’s culture and identity.

Such achievement wasn’t realized overnight, of course, but through decades of devotion and determination from visionaries and advocates who contributed their expertise in promoting local fashion. These naturally start off with the Philippines’ gifted designers, the artisans who bring their ideas to life, models, stylists, runway directors, journalists who continue to chronicle Philippine fashion evolution and patrons of true works of art.

The highlights of the awards night is a grand tribute to the pillars of Philippine fashion, the posthumous honorees led by Pitoy Morales and Ben Farrales (left and rightmost, second row) together with (upper row) Arielle Agasang, Cesar Gaupo, Dominique James, Rocky Gathercole and Alfonso Guinoo; (middle row) Criselda Lontok (bottom row) Raymund Isaac, Ito Curata, Eddie Baddeo, Danny Dela Cuesta and Danilo Franco.

Yes, the industry’s renown is due to these individuals, which is why businesswoman, socialite and fashion patron Virgie Monton, together with awards guru Richard Hiñola, are mounting the first-ever” Philippine Fashion Circle Awards 2022.”

With the maiden theme of “A Salute to Philippine Fashion,” this gathering of glamor and gratitude will unfold on May 2 at Okada Manila. And already, it is being touted as the biggest fashion awards event in the country to date.

Organized in collaboration with five-year-old Designer Circle Philippines–a 200-member group of seasoned and upcoming Filipino fashion designers–the event will foremost pay tribute to the very pillars of industry who have gone ahead of their peers.

“Our co-founder, who is also known as ‘The Tiger Lady of Fashion,’ Virgie Monton and Designer Circle Philippines president Johnny Abad have always shared the same dream. That is to honor our dearly departed fashion icons and, more importantly, remind the public of their great contribution to the industry,” said ever-busy events savant Hiñola in an interview with The Manila Times Lifestyle.

Leading the list of fashion pillars to be posthumously honored are the Dean of Philippine Fashion Ben Farrales, Asia’s Fashion Czar Pitoy Moreno, their renowned colleagues Aureo Alonzo, Danilo Franco, and Cesar Gaupo, Eddie Baddeo, Ito Curata, Arielle Agasang and Rocky Gathercole, who only passed on over the last two years in pandemic. Rounding off this legendary list are fashion photographers Raymond Isaac and Dominique James.

Businesswoman, socialite and fashion patron Virgie Monton, together with awards guru Richard Hiñola.

Businesswoman, socialite and fashion patron Virgie Monton, together with awards guru Richard Hiñola.

Call for celebration

“Of course, we will also honor the living legends of Philippine fashion and new and prolific designers,” Hinola added.

Leading the list is internationally-awarded couturier Frederick Peralta who has been unable to work his magic since suffering a stroke in 2018. With him are Fanny Serrano, Michael Cinco, Amir Sali, Albert Andra-da, Oscar Peralta, Renee Salud, Philip Rodriguez, Jun Escario, Johnny Abad, Dong Omaga Diaz, Andrew Badiola, Kenny Ladaga, Lloyd Arceo, Ronald Arnal-do, Dominic James, Danny dela Cuesta and shoe genius Delby Bragais.

Next to these respected artists, an illustrious list of personalities considered fashion icons in their respective fields have also been named honorees. Among them are movie and TV stars like Vice Ganda, Judy Ann Santos Agoncillo, Ruffa Gutierrez, Beauty Gonzales, Lito Gruet and Christian Luis Singson; singers Gerald Santos and OPM Pop Diva Kuh Ledesma; and enterpreneurs Joel Cruz, Jack de Mesa, Mayda Nimo Maliwat, Prince Jeffrey Hernandez and Marc Cubales; and society’s scene’s Tim Yap, Becky Garcia, Agile Abastillas Zamora, and Helen Ong.

The honorees from the beauty queens include Pia Alonzo Wurtzbach, Emma Mary Tiglao, Evangeline Pascual, Melanie Veneracion, Ginevive Antigua Louw, Gerone Olorocisimo, and Melanie Marquez.

More big names in fashion and beauty likewise made it to the list, particularly renowned hair and makeup artists Bambbi Fuentes and James Cooper and veteran runway directors and producers Robby Carmona, Ogee Atos, Raymond Villanueva, Arnold Vegafria and Rodgil Flores.

Last but not the least, the Philippine Fashion Circle Awards will also recognize the invaluable contribution of media stalwarts for their unwavering support for Philippine fashion. This list of honorees is led by The Manila Times’ very own Lifestyle and Entertainment and The Sunday Times Magazine editor Tessa Mauricio Arriola [see sidebar], and broadcasters Joee Guilas, Nina Taduran and Diane Querrer.

Benefit event, designers’ competition

Besides giving credit where credit is due, the Philippine Fashion Circle Awards 2022 is also incorporating a fashion show for a cause and a competition in its first-ever edition.

“Runway for Hope” is the event’s curtain riser, a charity gala fashion show that will benefit LGBTQIA+ community villages and training centers, Safehaven Addiction Treatment and Recovery Village, Inc. in Cebu, and Carmelite Home for Children Inc. in Zamboanga del Norte.

Ready to steal the runway are designs from the members of the Philippine Fashion Circle, to be worn by beauty queens Karen Ibasco, Leren Bautista, Roni Meneses, Aza Coloma, Elaine Moll, Stephany Stefanowitz, Thoreen Halvorsen, and several other showbiz and business personalities among others.

This segment will be followed by “Likha,” the Young Designers’ Circle Competition 2022 held in partnership with Designer Circle Philippines and Ripples Media. With the theme, “High Fashion and Couture,” 15 young contenders will showcase their craft using indigenous materials and fabrics.

“We included the competition segment because we really want to give these young designers their moment to shine,” Hiñola stated. “So all in all, I think what will set the first Philippine Fashion Circle Awards from the rest is the breadth of its honorees and inclusivity.”

Tickets to Monday’s fashion charity event cost P5,000 per head.

For inquiries, call 09176185544 or email [email protected]