LA Asks: Who are some of your favorite Filipino fashion designers?

Lifestyle Asia asked nine personalities about their favorite Filipino fashion designers for events and gatherings, showcasing their love for fashion through their responses and photos.

Filipinos are known for their love of celebrations, and when it comes to social gatherings, they often go all out to present their best selves. 

The selection of attire for these events is a thoughtful process, motivated by the desire to not only look good but also to feel comfortable and self-assured.

To provide you with fresh insights and ideas for your next social outing, we reached out to nine individuals to learn about their favorite fashion designers. 

They shared with us what captivates them most about these designers’ creations, providing a peek into the fashion world that might spark ideas for your own fashion sense. 

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Bryan Yap 

Bryan Yap, President of Lepanto Consolidated Mining Co., admires Gabbie Sarenas for her meticulous attention to detail in creating exquisite garments. 

He praises Sarenas for infusing traditional elements with a fresh and contemporary flair, saying, “I love the level of detail she puts in creating beautiful clothes. Her garments may be traditional, but her designs are fresh and contemporary.”

Gretchen Choa

As the VP, The Camden of Trading Group, Gretchen Choa answered with, “I love wearing Ivar Aseron for dressy /formal occasions.. he has not let me down for years. They are timeless, well structured and intellectually designed. I also adore Len Cabili’s craftsmanship, dedication to Filipino traditions and eye for detail. Maureen Disini is my go to whenever I want to feel my most feminine and elegant self. Her work is finely made, and designed with my personality and comfort in mind.” 

Gretchen Choa, VP of The Camden Trading Group, favors Ivar Aseron for dressy/formal occasions. She noted that his designs have consistently impressed her over the years, “I love wearing Ivar Aseron. He has not let me down for years. They are timeless, well-structured, and intellectually designed.”

She also lauds Len Cabili for her commitment, explaining, “I also adore Len Cabili’s craftsmanship, dedication to Filipino traditions, and eye for detail.” 

For a feminine and elegant look, Choa turns to Maureen Disini, whose creations are finely crafted, adding, “Maureen Disini is my go-to whenever I want to feel my most feminine and elegant self. Her work is finely made and designed with my personality and comfort in mind.”

Lucille R. Dizon

Lucille R. Dizon, a Jewelry Designer, shared her admiration for Filipino fashion designers. 

She highlighted, “Joey Samson and Ivarluski Aseron. I love them for their expertise in garment construction and tailoring. Their pieces are something I can mix and match and I can wear them for many years. I still have pieces from them 14 years ago, and I still wear them.”

Ces Drilon

Ces Drilon, a Filipino broadcaster, expressed her satisfaction with a recent purchase at the Habi fair, stating, “I just bought this at the Habi fair. I love Kultura; this piece is also available there. They offer mix-and-match pieces that are ready to wear.”

She also praised Maureen Disini’s timeless creations, recalling, “I love Maureen Disini’s timeless creations. She once made me an emerald green terno that stood out in a sea of black!”

Anna Rufino 

Photo courtesy of Anna Rufino

Dr. Anna Rufino, a dermatologist, appreciates Vania Romoff’s designs, noting, “I love the timelessness and femininity of Vania Romoff’s designs. I always feel beautiful wearing her creations.”

Aileen Cheng 

Photo courtesy of Aileen Cheng

Dr. Aileen Cheng shared that Ivarluski Aseron is her favorite designer, praising his unique, timeless, and elegant contemporary designs. She emphasized, “His creations are thoughtful, and his fit is impeccable. He has a great eye for detail and knows exactly what suits each and every client.”

Joyce Oreña

Vogue Philippines’ Beauty Editor, Joyce Oreña, expressed her admiration for several designers, stating, “I love Inno Sotto, Jojie Lloren, Dennis Lustico, Joey Samson, Ivar Aseron, Gabbie Sarenas, JoAnn Bitagcol, and Ceazar Cabreros. They all stay true to their design DNA.” 

She further explained, “Each designer has a unique perspective with intricate details, exquisite workmanship, and an understanding of the female form.” 

Tunting Cruz-Matters

Photo courtesy of Tunting Cruz-Matters

Lifestyle Asia’s October 2023 cover Tunting Cruz-Matters expressed her admiration for Filipino fashion designer Jo Rel, noting, “He brings in all the elements and motifs – traditional burda – that define a Filipino dress but made modern and easy and very cool.”

Rafe Totengco

Designer Rafe Totengco has many favorites. First is Jo Ann Bitagkol. He said, “I love how she has brought the iconography of traditional clothing and given it a modern spin. Being able to wear a Barong as a T-shirt is just brilliant.”

Next is Proudrace. “Their patchwork of sport shirts is fun and unique—sporty and spicy,” he said. Totengco is also a fan of Kelvin Morales. Although he doesn’t own any of Morales’ pieces yet, he’s obsessed with his embroidered shirts.

Another favorite is Louis Claparols. Totengco said, “His youthful take on the Maria Clara tops is a breath of fresh air. You can see women of all ages gravitate to his designs. Full disclosure, he’s my cousin, but that’s not the only reason why I’m a fan. He recently made some shirts for me that I can’t wait to receive.”

His fifth favorite is Strong Village. “I remember when I judged Russell Villafuerte on Project Runway. He’s come a long way, and I admire his use of dead stock and second-hand clothes to make new pieces. I want one of his upcycled jackets!”

And last but not least, Carl Jan Cruz. Totengco said, “I’ve always been a fan since I met him in Paris years ago. His manipulation of denim has become quite iconic to his brand.”

Discovering Filipino Fashion

These insights are just the beginning. Stay tuned for part two, where we’ll reveal nine more individuals and their favorite Filipino fashion designers. 

Watch out for it on Lifestyle Asia.

Banner photo courtesy of Lucille R. Dizon.

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