Literally, an OASIS is defined as a fertile spot in a desert where water is found. And just like in the middle of the desert, such magnificent talents of three Filipinos who chose to live in Dubai can be described as one.
On the 15th issue of UNOLOGY, I believe that it is about time for me to introduce to the world - three Filipino designers who were all based from my previous home, Dubai, whom were even tagged as the "trinity of fashion" in the Middle East.
In situation as such that world had embraced the many genius talents of Filipinos worldwide, I guess these three designers deserve a space in my UNOLOGY, as all three of them had carried the "Philippines" in every fabulous things they have created.
As they say, Filipinos are generally looked up to in the international workplace. We are a bunch of industrious and highly proficient people. Thus, a lot of people believe so much in Filipino talent.
As we all know, fashion is a continuous study and all we need for us to always be updated with what’s happening outside the fashion world is for us to be very innovative, assertive, dynamic and driven. We all have to be true with ourselves and it is essential for all of us to create something that would surely be remarkable.
And to top it all, we all need to have passion for whatever we do just like these three world class Filipino designers -- Ezra Santos, Furne One', and Michael Cinco.
And in my book, they are called OASIS of the Desert!
It's about time to get to know them a little better.
Two years back, inside Dolce and Gabanna at Dubai Mall, I saw this Filipino guy with this very unique Louis Vuitton bag. He saw me staring at his bag and when I asked him if that was expensive, he simply smiled and answered me that it is not expensive at all. That was my first face to face encounter with this guy.
A graduate of Bachelor of Fine Arts, Major in Interior Design in Philippine Women’s University, and later took up some courses in Central Saint Martins in London, Dubai-based couturier Ezra Santos is considered as one of the FINEST JEWEL in the world of fashion today and one of the most influential figures in the Middle East/Gulf fashion industry. His creations along neo-classic lines with an edge, are often anticipated as a barometer of what's to come in the region's ever-exciting fashion landscape. His clientele reads like a who's who of international celebrities, true-blue Arab royals and equally affluent women of discerning taste and repute.
When asked to what motivated him as a designer, he said that it’s a God-given gift, that even at his early age, when he was in grade school, he used to draw a lot and was so fascinated with the ball gowns that he used to see in black and white movies. That’s where his passion in making luxurious dresses started. Right after high school, he took up fine arts, and his love for fashion became more intense as he had always been so passionate about fashion.
And as of his design philosophy, Ezra mentioned that he always make it a point to come up with unique designs and give them a personal touch. All his designs are made for each individual’s taste and style. Therefore, he insisted that it is all very "exclusive".
Whenever Ezra do a collection, he see to it that it has to have a storyline. He even compared it just like a movie, it has to be dramatic and full of life. And to get inspiored, Ezra would travel abroad to be motivated. Foreign museums and architecture is said to be of great help in gathering ideas and it stimulates his mind to come up with designs and start his collections.
He is a self-confessed fan of the late Monsieur Dior, Alexander McQueen, and Erté.
But how did Ezra Santos evolved as a designer?
In one of his interview, he mentioned that after working as an in-house designer for almost ten years with a top couture house in Dubai, he felt his career was getting stagnant. This is the time he started to think of taking a step further. That’s when he decided to open his own atelier named "EZRA".
From then on, it has been a great career move for him, and he can't thank God enough.
Ezra is indeed very blessed with a career that spans years of hard work and perseverance. Through the years, he had established a good name in the industry that he can be truly proud of.
It is rather fitting that he had enjoyed some ''best moments'' in his career. A couple of years ago, he presented his first gala show "In The Beginning" to thunderous applause in Madinat Jumeirah, Dubai. A few months later, he received a standing ovation as he presented "Afrique d' Or" at New York Fashion Week.
Ezra is likewise proud of garnering warm reception and even more good reviews in his very first foray at Philippine Fashion Week 2011 in Slim's at 50. And most recently, his two-piece collection in Swarovski's Sense of Two was so well received that he even got offers to dress up some international celebrities on the red carpet.
So what is next for Ezra?
Ezra hopes to start a prêt-a-porter line of wedding dresses or a ready-to-wear brand for New York City.
Below are some of his breathtaking creations.
Another Dubai-based designer, Furne One had make a name for himself and with his opening salvo, he is the go-to-man for Heidi Klum.
Yes, you heard it right, for three years in a row the international supermodel has called on One (pronounced O-nay) to dress the aspiring models she hosted for the reality based television program Germany’s Next Top Model.
Working out of his Satwa studio in Dubai, One has his dedicated workers whipping up the intricate designs all year round. Originally from the Philippines as well, he has found his niche in Dubai with a strong local following. But with his ties to Heidi Klum, who spotted his designs online at his website, who knows where his talents will take him.
As a designer and owner of his brand, Amato Haute Couture, he celebrated his natural ability to craft extravagant and artistic designs, had quickly made his way up the fashion ladder and is regarded as one of the most hotly anticipated designers on the global fashion stage.
But when and where did Furne One really started?
First, Furne One was mesmerized by fashion from an early age having inherited his Mother and Grandmother’s love for beautiful clothes and began sketching at the age of ten. His first foray into the fashion world saw him win the MEGA Magazine Young Designer of the Philippines Award in 1994; a competition judged by key fashion players including Josie Natori. Natori saw Furne’s potential and offered him an apprenticeship at his New York design house. It was here that Furne was able to further explore and indulge his passion for fashion.
In the same year, Furne also scooped the first prize at Japan’s Women’s Wear Awards and just three years later he went on went on to become a finalist at Manila’s Fashion Designer Awards.
In 2002, Furne opened his first boutique, Amato, meaning “beloved”, in Dubai to provide his elite clientele with an unrivaled array of hand stitched designs and intricately detailed creations. Known for his creative flair, Furne’s design credentials soon saw him inundated with offers for his work.
After following the rise of the Amato success, in 2007, Swarovski commissioned Furne to design a glittering bridal dress which featured in their limited edition book, Unbridaled. Furne’s collaboration with Swarovski did not end there and he has since partnered with the brand to produce show-stopping collections for its Crystalised Swarovski Elements events.
Just like what I've mentioned earlier, it was in 2008 when Furne’s imaginative creations caught the eye of the European fashion elite at Germany’s Next Top Model and he was invited to be a special guest designer in the shows season finale with supermodel Heidi Klum. The tremendous response to his collections resulted in a reprise of this role for the following three years, a move which rocketed Furne One and Amato Couture onto the international fashion centre stage.
A regular on the catwalk at international fashion weeks including London, Dubai, Los Angeles and Miami, Furne is one of the most desirable rising talents in the fashion world, which is further demonstrated by the long list of celebrities who include Amato Couture as one of their red carpet favourites. Celebrities who can be seen wearing Furne’s creations include supermodel Heidi Klum, singing sensations Jennifer Lopez, Katy Perry, Shakira, Heidi Klum, Nicole Scherzinger, Amber Rose and Nicki Minaj.
2012 will be a monumental year for Furne One and Amato Couture following the successful opening of the brands first boutique in the US, in Los Angeles and plans to expand further.
When asked about the keys to his success, Furne shares that it’s about diligence. "Hard work and diligence. But, you know, there are so many talented designers everywhere so I think you also need a little luck. Being in the right place at the right time. I was lucky," he said with a smile.
Below are some of Furne One's creations:
Shakira wearing Amato creations.
Natasia Bedingfield wears Amato Haute Couture.
I was fortunate to know this wonderful and very down to Earth talented designer who is currently making waves in world of fashion internationally. And with all of his hard work, his creations was seen at America's next Top Model wherein he brought to the world the undeniable Filipino talent.
The picturesque place that provided Michael Cinco with a lush setting where his imagination would run in wild abandon was the very same place where he was born-- South of Samar, Philippines.
As a child Michael was very fond of watching old Hollywood movies in black and white and envisioned those fabulous heroines painted in his mind with a myriad of colours, dressing up the glamorous women with his imaginary creations in their severe chignons and deadly stilettos, conjuring up grand entrances. He grew up watching beautiful classy women as he went chasing that dream and finding it.
By year 1988, Michael was a state scholar taking up Fine Arts in a reputed university in the Philippines. He took up fashion courses in 1991 and started to design hotel and office uniforms in a Japanese firm by the year 1992.
Michael was persuaded by a friend to work in Dubai. Moving to the Middle East was a big leap for him; however he took the plunge because he believed that this region is reckoned to be the haven of haute couture.
In 1997, Michael moved to Dubai. His first job was very challenging…he was about to change the image of a slightly staid big fashion house. ” I was so scared and don’t know what to do but eventually had the courage to reinvent the image of the house and I think the Dubai fashionistas eventually saw the catcher of an edgy, new young designer.” Michael says. Soon the fashionable woman of Dubai has been choking on their Carpaccio as he began to inject a new vigour into couture.
Michael left Dubai for London and Paris to study special fashion courses in prestigious Central Saint Martin’s School of Art in 2002 to honed and broaden his craft.
By the year 2003, Michael went back to Dubai to open his own couture house with a business partner. He is now the creative director of Michael Cinco Haute Couture that caters mainly on fabulous wedding gowns and unique evening dresses.
He wowed audiences abroad as he joined the Miami Fashion Week last year and his couture dresses has been worn by prominent divas and celebrities. His controversial dress in Emmy Awards last year made a stir on the red carpet as it was worn by famous Filipino actress Angel Locsin when she was nominated for best actress category.
In search for inspiration Michael states ” I travel a lot…my visual research ranges over many cultures and periods. Every item that interests me is collected in my mind to be used as possible future stimuli…i believe all artists are eclectic “borrowers” throwing wide their nets in search for inspirations.
So what's new with Michael Cinco?
Bench collaborated with the famous designer Michael Cinco and launched a very fresh scent called Impalpable.
Below are some of Michael Cinco's creations:
Bea Alonzo in a Michael Cinco masterpiece.
Anne Curtis wearing Micael Cinco gown.
Fergie wearing Michael Cinco creation.
Indeed, to be represented by these Filipino talents worldwide in the field of fashion is such a wonderful thing.
It is a breath of fresh air when Sandra Seifert wore a Michael Cinco gown in 2009 when she represented the Philippines at Miss Earth. She even bagged the Best in Gown award.
Last year, Gwendoline Ruais was given the opportunity to parade an Oliver Tolentino gown at Miss World. And this year, Queenierich Rehman is given the same opportunity, to wear a gown created by a FILIPINO for a FILIPINO in the person of Michael Cinco. Well' thanks Jonas and Miss Cory Quirino.
Upon knowing news as such, I cant help but wonder, why are BPCI (if it's true that they have a contract with Barraza) has to patronize other nationality to dress our very own Philippine representative.
Ezra Santos himself once said that Filipino designers are so good because they are trained with limited means. As back home in the Philippines, they're supposed to be resourceful and ultracreative to make something amazing out of the simple materials available. So what's with Antonio Barraza then? Is it because he is a fellow Colombian just like of Mrs. Stella Marquez de Araneta?
Well, we can all hope for what is best for the Philippines soon. I just hope that one day things will change for the better and these 3 designers (Santos, One, & Cinco) are examples of how great filipino talents are in the field of fashion.
***Special thanks to Gryffindor_prince and Sahara for the graphics.
SEASON 1 - UNOLOGY
UNOLOGY Season 1 previous posts:
UNOLOGY: CAMPFIRE'S BURNING -Philippine's Beauty Queenmakers
http://host.missosology.info/~missyorg/ ... 1&t=133638
UNOLOGY: Pageant CROWNING's INTERESTING FACTS
UNOLOGY: The MOST UNFORGETTABLE "ALMOST" Winners
http://www.missosology.info/forum/viewt ... 9#p2682079
UNOLOGY: There is SOMETHING about the EVENING GOWN
UNOLOGY: In Search of a GREENER PASTURE...
http://www.missosology.info/forum/viewt ... 1&t=136211
UNOLOGY: The SEVENTEEN ONE HIT WONDERS OF THE UNIVERSE
UNOLOGY: MY TAKE ON MISS PHILIPPINES EARTH 2012 FINALS
UNOLOGY: The LUSTER of the CROWN & the PRICE of FAME
UNOLOGY: IMPERFECTION GUARANTEED (Beauties Under the KNIFE)
UNOLOGY: The RISE and FALL of ASIA
http://www.missosology.info/forum/viewt ... 1&t=137994
UNOLOGY: ISN'T IT IRONIC?
UNOLOGY: One Word - EPIC!
http://ns1.missosology.info/forum/viewt ... 1&t=138825
UNOLOGY: The QUEENLY and RICH (Miss World Philippines 2012)
SEASON 2 - UNOLOGY
UNOLOGY Season 2 previous posts:
UNOLOGY Season 2: TEAM Philippines 2012
UNOLOGY Season 2: OASIS of the Desert
UNOLOGY Season 2: Miss World 2012 - The GOOD, The BAD and The UGLY
UNOLOGY Season 2: CHINA - Sleeping Giant NO MORE
UNOLOGY Season 2: Gearing Up... TEAM ASIA Universe 2012