Paul Cabral Presents His First Fashion Show At Laperal Mansion

The Philippines’ lustrous piña fabric took center stage in Paul Cabral’s “UNA,” the designer’s first fashion show at the historic Laperal Mansion. 

With a career spanning more than 20 years, Paul Cabral has established himself the go-to designer of top artists, political leaders, and best-dressed personalities. With his impeccable craftsmanship, refined aesthetics, and attention to detail, it’s no wonder his works have been the highlights of numerous red carpets, fashion editorials, and milestones events. Among these significant affairs was the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Forum, where Cabral designed impeccable piña barongs for 21 world leaders. 

L-R: Sen. Mark Villar, Paul Cabral, First Lady Liza Araneta Marcos, Usec. Emmeline Villar
L-R: Sen. Mark Villar, Paul Cabral, First Lady Liza Araneta Marcos, Usec. Emmeline Villar

Yet beyond being an accomplished creative, the designer is a steadfast devotee of Philippine textile. This desire to champion local fabrics was on full display during Cabral’s premier gala Paul Cabral UNA, which took place in the Laperal Mansion (Arlegui Guest House) in Manila—a heritage home that makes for a fitting venue to showcase the best of Philippine culture. Cabral’s pieces perfectly embodied the uniqueness of modern Filipino fashion, and paired perfectly with the elegant atmosphere of its historic venue. 

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Piña Sophistication 

Cabral’s signature techniques and aesthetic sensibilities shone during Una, with Filipiniana silhouettes, sophisticated tailoring, and intricate details at the forefront. Of course, the muse of the inaugural show was the country’s beloved piña fabric. 

The textile possesses lightweight and structural properties, as well as a lustrous sheen. This makes it a prized material in traditional Filipino clothing. Cabral further elevates the already beautiful fabric, having proudly developed and innovated its best traits to use in his 70-look collection. Though the pieces featured his refined design elements, they maintained the lines and shapes of Filipino formal dresses, exemplifying the marriage of tradition and modernity. 

Paying It Forward

The designer’s first runway is an ode to everyone who’s supported him in his artistic journey, from being a student and former apprentice of some of the best local designers to becoming a household name himself. 

Cabral paid it forward through his show, staying true to his advocacy of elevating the Philippine creative and design industry. He will be donating a portion of the profit from the buyer’s show to Fashion Aid Philippines (F.A.P.). The non-stock, non-profit organization aims to help the new generation of Filipino talents. With this gesture, he hopes to unite artists across all disciplines and walks of life—from weavers and tailors, to designers and beauty artists. This is all part of his vision to help the industry grow and promote Filipino culture and ingenuity. 

Photos courtesy of Kevin B. Conopio and Candy Dizon.

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