Holiday ‘Salud Y Vida’ at Hawaii Prince

November 23rd, 2010

Nadine Kam photos & video stills
Designer Renee Salud, second from left, posed for photos with designers Eric Chandler and Takeo, and Nana Walch.

A Honolulu audience was treated to a fashion show of Manila-based designer Renee Salud’s “Salud Y Vida” 2010 holiday and bridal collections on Nov. 21.

The show, presented by Vogue Pygmalion to benefit the young performers of the Larawan Youth Ensemble, was produced by Leo Rojas Gozar, a longtime supporter of Filipino fashion, culture and the arts.

Maybe it’s an extreme case of rock fever, but I’ve always been interested in seeing what’s going on in other parts of the world, east and west.

Salud is a believer in taking pride in one’s ethnicity, and manages to combine classic Western silhouettes with ethnic details, which was interesting to see. It’s not every day we get to see the colorful textiles of the Philippines indigenous tribes, much less see them cast in such a contemporary way. Some of the pieces looked as if they could have come out of Milan or Paris.

It’s not easy to merge classic western and ethnic sensibilities. The last time I was in New York for fashion week, one of the shows that didn’t make it into print was the Couture Luxury shows, representing designers from Egypt to China.

During the “Project Runway” finale judging, Nina Garcia raised some eyebrows when she told Andy South his work was bordering on being ethnic. Some people I talked to here said they took that as a racist comment. The only thing “ethnic,” to me, was the chartreuse color popular in Asia, that I’ve also seen John Galliano use in his collections for Dior, and I’m pretty sure he’s playing to the new couture customer.

While the ethnic aspect figured into my not mentioning the Couture Luxury shows, it wasn’t because of racism, but just the general taste level associated with the kind of clothes you’d usually see in child beauty pageants or Eastern European ice-skating costumes. It just has no bearing on what contemporary American streets look like, and I’d say lags current fashion by 30 years.

It was a testament to Salud’s contemporary vision, combined with a wish to champion Filipino textile makers efforts, that he was able to blend the two so beautifully, and there was a mad rush to try on pieces after the show.

These days, there is so much disposable fashion that it was also joy to see pieces made by hand as practiced over decades, if not centuries, meant to be kept and treasured.

iPhone video link

iPhone video link

Marisa Gey walks down the runway in one of Salud’s designs, made with fabric handmade by indigenous tribes of the Philippines.

The show’s producer Leo Rojas Gozar, right, with Mylene Reyes, left, and Tess Bernales.

Cecilia Villafuerte admired this strapless gown made with fabric from the Kalinga province, a farming region also known for expertise in basket and loom weaving. The white pieces are shells. Low event pricing for so much handwork was $350. A detail of the fabric is shown in a jacket below.

One of Salud’s wedding gowns from the show’s finale. The gowns typically start at $5,000.

A barong Tagalog of banana fiber with weave detail. More detail is shown below.

A classic, contemporary look.

A tunic of woven fabric.

From left, Consul General of the Philippines Leoncio Cardenas Jr., Maria Etrata, Renee Salud and Delia Rosal.

There was a frenzied rush to try on pieces after the show.

The Renee Salud label.

Another men’s shirt that has the look of a weave pattern over tartan.

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3 Responses to “Holiday ‘Salud Y Vida’ at Hawaii Prince”

  1. onawing:

    Hello Nadine
    Thanks for the great videos, pics and coverage of this event. These designs were a feast for the eyes.

  2. Cecilia Villafuerte:

    Hi Nadine:

    I could not put down the gown so I bought it. I’ll let you know when I wear it to some gala event in 2011.

    I love the ethic “Igorot” material and what a great idea.


  3. Jacinto:

    Hiya, love your coverage! Maintain the superb job!

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