Light the City: At LAFW, Puey Quinones Celebrated Filipino Materials While Michael Cinco's Creations Glowed in the Dark - Lookbook

The two Filipino designers who presented collections at LA Fashion Week conveyed messages of peace, and merge inspiration from the East and West.

Similar to its lineups since 2010, this year’s Los Angeles Fashion Week featured brands and designers celebrating diversity, culture, and art. The collections by sustainable brand MM Milano, gender-neutral RTW Bless by Bless, and Indian designer Rocky Star took the runways last March 31 to April 2 in Petersen Automotive Museum.

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Among the 12 shows presented, Filipino designers Michael Cinco and Puey Quinones crafted intricate couture collections.

Based and running his brand in Dubai, Cinco is internationally known for dressing global artists like Lady Gaga, Beyonce, and Kylie Minogue. In addition, he crafted couture gowns out of recycled materials for a contestant’s challenge in Tyra Banks’ America’s Next Top Model Cycle 16.

Dreaming of peace

Cinco’s LAFW set titled the “Impalpable Dream of PEACE” heavily used tulle, lace, and hand-made embroideries—a signature of his house. Displaying more craftsmanship are the three hand-painted finale ball gowns.

“[The finale gowns] glow in the dark inspired by the Northern Lights,” Cinco tells Lifestyle Asia. Despite the several hours to complete the collection, Cinco adds that he leaned toward a more luxury RTW route over the complex couture pieces he’s known for. 

The 50-year-old was inspired by what the world’s going through right now. “The immaculate white collection is a timely celebration of all we strive to be amid these chaotic times,” he shares.

“It is akin to the release of white doves that is symbolic of peace and love and new beginnings. It transcends cultures and traditions. It is inclusive, and most of all, it is born out of love.”

Cino founded his namesake brand in 2003, with over 19 years under his belt. He credits living in Dubai as a never-ending inspiration in itself. “[Dubai is] where most women from this part of the world love opulence and grandeur,” Cinco says. 

East meets west

Now residing in LA, Quinones establishes his eponymous label as a brand from the West Coast. The designer’s LAFW collection is a return to his couture roots after making medical gear for front liners and collaborating with LA-based shoe brand Lenny Lu.

While Quinones was inspired by the eclectic style of American interior designer Iris Apfel and American-Greek opera singer Maria Callas, he crafted the collection from Filipino materials such as pinya, cotton abaca, and native pearls. 

The pieces of flowing printed silhouettes, oversized ruffle sleeves, tiered skirts, and bias-cut gowns represented Quinones’ belief that the Filipino talent would stand out given the right platform. 

“The Philippines is the melting pot of creatives and are very hungry and just need the right exposure,” Quinones says.

Images courtesy of Michael Cinco and Puey Quinones.

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