As a first foray in the Manila fashion scene since coming home from his Dubai sojourn of 30 years, fashion designer Val Taguba chose to be part of a charitable cause.
A fashion show to benefit the Miss Possibilities Foundation and Autism Society of the Philippines — Mandaluyong Chapter was held on Friday evening, 30 August, at the Grand Ballroom of Shangri-La at The Fort.
Dubbed as “A Rendezvous of Beauties Through Generations,” this special event honored Style Studio’s most beautiful mothers clad in Val Taguba designs also graced the runway.
Hosted by Markki Stroem, the fashion show for a cause directed by Raymond Villanueva was a big charity affair organized by ICSM Infinity Pageants — Philippine Global Queens (PGQ), the newest player in the Philippine pageant industry, celebrating and uniting global woman with passion and purpose.
Carlos Montemayor (ICSM executive and managing director), Irene Montemayor (national director for Operations and Corporate Development), Ton Lao (ICSM director for Creative Affairs), Jace Chiong (director for Corporate Communications) and Norman Tinio (pageant blogger and expert) were the people behind the ICSM Infinity Pageants inaugural edition and the ICSM Charity Event.
“It’s never too difficult or too late to pursue one’s dreams, ” Irene shared. She pursued a lifelong dream of becoming a beauty queen at age 39. She was already happily married with four beautiful kids, but Irene wanted to show her kids and prove to herself that in order to be really successful and contented, one must pursue their dreams. With the support of her husband Carlos and friends Lao and Chiong, Irene achieved that dream.
“Live your life like you’re the hero in your own movie,” she said.
Irene and her fellow candidates, however, felt exploited by their pageant organization and the pageant itself was full of controversies. A photographer jokingly said she could do a much better job. This gave Carlos and Chiong an idea and, to make a long story short, they negotiated with six US-based pageant organizations.
ICSM was born, aiming to give candidates and their fans the best possible national pageant and for the winners to compete in well-organized international pageants.
Awarded during the show were Nonie Basilio, Milo Bondoc, Robina Marie Tan-Go, Schree Wilkie and Dr. Mildred Vitangcol while the women of substance awardees were celebrity mothers Karla Estrada and Mariel Rodriguez-Padilla.
Walking the runway wearing Val Taguba (VT) creations were Verna Wee, Bambi Young, Kline Mendoza, Jaycee Po, Tanya Gonzales, Brenda Aquino, Star Rodriguez-Piccio, Romina Gonzamo, Michelle Buenaventura, Marilyn De Mesa, Joy Ejercito, Sunny Wang, Violy Lim, Rose Lim, Janice Mesa, Prescy Yulo, Eillen Manalo, Rose Basa, Cecille Asprec, Gilda Padua, Melanie Omar, Maru Go, Joan Antonio with daughters Miqui and Georgie, Malou Martinez, Farrah Ramos, Stephanie Dan and Celeste Cortesi.
Taguba is known for having created the gowns worn by Binibining Pilipinas Universe 2017 Rachel Peters, as well as those of Miss Grand International 2016 first runner-up Nicole Cordoves. The Daily Tribune (DT) had the pleasure to interview the celebrity designer.
DT: What is the inspiration behind your creations for the show?
VT: My inspiration for the collection is Hollywood glam. I wanted to show a collection that is Hollywood-red carpet ready. It’s on glitters, it’s crystallized, it’s embellished and yet flighty to walk around in and demand attention.
DT: Can you explain the designs and patterns on the gowns?
VT: The designs of the gowns are essentially my signature look. I used patterns that complement a woman’s body. They hug the figure and yet leave room for easy movement as the model walks. I added sleeves or capes that flow down to add softness and motion to the silhouette.
DT: What type of fabric and materials did you use to achieve the look on the gowns?
VT: I always believe that a woman’s dress should look and feel soft and light, no matter how heavily patterned or embellished it is. I am known, at least among my clientele, for using fabrics that are pliant, like Lagotilla tulle mesh, as base. For embellishments, I always rely on matte faux ceramics and Swarovski crystals.
Taguba is known for having created the gown worn by Binibining Pilipinas Universe Rachel Peters, as well as those of Miss Grand International 2016 first runner-up Nicole Cordoves.
DT: Who are your regular clients?
VT: I specialize in bridal gowns, so brides naturally flock to me, modesty aside, thank God. But I equally have regular clients who are young society matrons, empowered women with discerning taste that suit my fashion aesthetics.
DT: Have you tried dressing up male clients?
VT: Currently, my concentration is on women’s clothing. But I have always contemplated on men’s clothing, at least for the grooms of Val Taguba brides. So, let’s see where that goes.
DT: When you were young, did you dream of becoming a designer?
VT: Yes, I’m just living my childhood dream.
DT: Who are your favorite local and international designers?
VT: Dior, Galliano, Valli, Saab, Cinco, but not necessarily in that order.
DT: Carlos said this is your first fashion show; If so, why? What made you decide to do a fashion show for a cause?
VT: I’ve had shows in the past, but this is my first solo show since I resettled back in Manila, roughly four years ago, from the Middle East and the Gulf. When Carlos and Irene, the power couple producer of the show, made the proposal, which was for a good cause, I readily agreed mainly out of gut feel. I love their global mindset. And I was not wrong.
DT: Do you have plans of having a grand fashion show after this? Here and abroad?
VT: Yes and yes! Why not? This is just the beginning.
DT: Are you interested in collaborating with other designers?
VT: At the moment, no. It would certainly be best for a designer to work independently. But that is not set in stone.
DT: What’s the best and worst part of being a designer?
VT: I love the totality of being a designer. I savor the best part of it and take the worst part as challenges. I thrive on challenges, if I may add.
DT: What would you like to say to those who wear Val Taguba?
VT: From the bottom of my heart, I would like to thank everyone who made it all beautifully possible. You know who you are and I can’t thank you enough.
Photos by Russel Garrote