Fashion events, to regular folks, are an assault to the senses — the loud and heavy music, the huge, flashing screens, the crowds in all array of statement-inspired clothes. All the colors, movement, flash and glitz would be overwhelming yet strangely bemusing and extremely fun to behold. To fashion-conscious people who breathe and speak fashion, however, it’s like nirvana and falling in love all rolled into one.
It’s like this: fashion shows are perfect for showcasing new look or designs; some designs may take off as the new fad and some may fade into fashion oblivion. Then there’s that designer who has that knack of framing what’s current and new or seems to have a pulse on what look the public would want at the moment if you judge it from the admiring gazes and gasps from the audience as the models strut the designer’s creation on the runway.
On the fourth and last day of the 9th Panasonic Manila Fashion Festival, Renan Pacson for ARIN x Vespa took the spotlight not only because of his creations, but how these were laid out. How about a male model languidly riding a Vespa on the runway for dramatic entry and purpose?
While some were fixated on the Vespa, which was a good-looking, two-wheeled bike, Pacson drew this writer back to the inspiration behind the designs — Peggy Guggenheim, the bohemian and socialite behind that most visited modern art museum in Venice, Italy.
Crazy and ‘kalma’
“That’s why the cloth is called Peggy. I was just inspired by her flamboyant bon vivant lifestyle. You know, she’s this kind of crazy, art-passionate girl. So, she’s very lounge-y, she loves art but she’s super kalma (calm) and chill-chill lady lang so I was crazy-inspired by her in life,” Pacson says following the event held recently at the Edsa Shangri-La’s Marquee Tent.
Truth be told, Arin’s new take on an old theme or of a bygone era is still considered so relevant to the current times. To allude to the classic saying, it is true that fashion fades and that style is eternal, but still, some fashion or look has a way of transcending time and thus considered eventually as style. His design inspiration considered to be a fad in the old days have even become a look copied and repeatedly alluded to by fashionistas these days.
He may have used a magic wand to create the collection, but that is making things a tad too easy.
“It usually starts right after we finish the last collection. Then we start conceptualizing the next. So, it’s basically six months but it will come naturally once I find that muse in my head like Peggy Guggenheim. Then it all comes, you know. Once I dived deep into her lifestyle search, what she wears, what she does, what wine she drinks, what painting she likes…and then you know, I take elements from that and then I imbibe her and then it all goes smoothly,” the designer relates.
“I have this Pollock-inspired print — Guggenheim basically discovered Jackson Pollock so we will see all those prints there. Then there’s this kind of sculptural pieces inspired by (Constantin) Brancusi, because Peggy loves Brancusi, so I translated the pieces she collected,” Renan elaborated.
To get into the details, the black and beige print is from Jackson Pollock’s “Number 1” painting. With polka dots, ARIN was trying to capture the fun, bon vivant spirit of Peggy. “I think polka dots are fun, you know. So, I said okay let’s do polka dots and then the florals and mix with stripes. It’s more of this eccentric side of her so she just throws in prints on prints on prints. And then me, being me, I love black, I always use black so it is fun but it’s still kind of serious so it’s kind of a balance for all those elements.”
“There are these pieces: the black piece and the white piece. Those are the Brancusi with the heavy shoulders, but the fabric is so light. It moves with your body but It’s super structural. I have a lot of silk and cotton pieces so that’s where the movement comes in and it all kind of flows together,” Pacson says.
With Peggy as the peg, Renan had his eyes set on what he calls “kalma (calm) girls; they’re not a party girls.” With ages ranging from 16 to 35 years old, these women practice a slow-paced, chill lifestyle who are in control but enjoy life.
Pacson for ARIN x Vespa was just of the designers from Manila, Cebu, Davao, as well as participants from Australia, Korea, Japan and Laos who participated in the Panasonic Manila Fashion Festival that saw the interweaving of technology and fashion.
Themed “Shape, Form and Movement,” the Art Personas-presented event kicked off with the lifestyle assembly, where known players in the industry talked about beauty, fashion, film, digital content creation. There were people who also had make-overs at beauty booths for that photo-ready look in the Panasonic Pink Studio.
Panasonic, particularly the Lumix cameras, television and beauty products were also showcased.