Randy Ortiz is an icon, a revolutionary that deserves all the accolades and respect, for he is a genius who revolutionized the Philippine fashion industry in the 1990s. Merging the classic into the modern, he creates beautiful clothes worthy to be worn, even by a queen. But his designs are not only for women. His designs also brings the pagkamaginoo, elegance and strength of Filipino men; hence, reshaping the country’s men’s fashion.
Now, in Ortiz’s latest fashion show in collaboration with The Artologist Gallery, entitled “Homage,” at the Manila Peninsula in Manila on 26 November, 10 fine artists — namely, Judeo Herrera, Julmard Vicente, Hiro Kawabata, Adam Nacianceno, Monnar, Fernando Antimano, Eman Santos, Dost Pilar, Valen Valero and Carlo Saavedra — honor Ortiz as an artist and as a person of beauty.
Ortiz is also known as a philanthropist and a visionary, therefore, worthy to be called as one of the strong pillars of the Philippine fashion industry.
Each work on display shows how skillful the artists are in combining the four elements of fashion design (shapes and form, line, color or value and texture) and its principles (proportion and scale, balance, unity or harmony, rhythm and emphasis) — not really unusual for Herrera, Vicente, Kawabata, Nacianceno, Monnar, Antimano, Santos, Pilar, Valero and Saavedra who are talented and powerful artists.
They have capability and control in bringing to reality the concepts and ideas dwelling, swelling inside their minds, hearts and souls, just like Ortiz, whose works are not mere “beautiful apparels” but are concrete manifestations of the designer’s understanding of Filipino culture, the Filipino soul and the globalist spirit.
Fashion, just like any other form of th visual arts, transcends cultures and destroys linguistic, cultural and political barriers. The late Coco Chanel said, “Fashion is not something that exists in dresses only. Fashion is in the sky, in the street; fashion has to do with ideas, the way we live, what is happening.”
This statement from the French fashion designer becomes true in the upcoming show. For every stroke, color and image immortalized on the canvases of the participating artists does not only honor Ortiz, but also the Filipino aesthetic tradition, culture and history.
This aspect of the show is also the “spirit” of the Ortiz creations being shown for the first time to the audience. To honor his homeland, he often uses traditional or indigenous fabrics such as the pińa and other hand-woven textiles of different ethno-linguistic groups and the traditional burda (embroideries).
Besides this, the international fashion designer is also known for his philosophy of bringing fashion to the common folk, the masa (masses) or the average-incomed Filipinos as he firmly believes that a good piece of clothing should be affordable.
The show is also a homage to the people who have made great contributions to Ortiz’s success as an international fashion designer — his parents, particularly his mother (whom he said in interview with Zalora Philippines in 2016 is the “ultimate fashion inspiration and style icon”), his peers, his models, his assistants and his co-workers. Without them, there’s no Randy Ortiz.
It works the same for the artists who are honoring Ortiz, the icon. Without the experiences, the support of their peers and the people who believe in their talents and skills as painters, they would not be able to create art worthy of admiration. In other words, the show is about their artistic journeys and roots as creators.