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Bench Fashion Week returns Sept. 30 with headline makers

From Martin Bautista to Lesley Mobo, the famous runway series resumes

The crowd-drawing Bench Fashion Week (BFW) returns to the runway September 30 to October 2, 2022 at The Playground of Bench Tower, BGC.

Bench Fashion Week has been a platform since 2017 to showcase the collections of leading local and global brands as well as local and international designers.

Aside from the Suyen Corporation’s established brands such as Bench, Human, Kashieca, Cotton On, American Eagle Outfitters and Assembly, BFW has also featured the collections of Proudrace, Sassa Jimenez, Ziggy Savella, Piopio, Jerome Lorico, Rhett Eala (2017), Vania Romoff, Joey Samson, Ivarluski Aseron, Dennis Lustico (2018), JC Buendia, Seph Bagasao, Mark Bumgarner, Albert Andrada, and Japan’s Mihara Yasuhiro (2019), and collaborations with designers Patty Ang, and New York-based designers Rafe Totengco and Willy Chavarria (2019).

BFW has also provided the same platform to the winners of Bench Design Awards, namely Jaggy Glarino, Randolf Clothing, Problem Studios by Jenni Contreras (2017), Renz Reyes, Ottomondi, CHED Studio (2018), Antonina, Jace Quiambao, Bon Hansen (2019).

The designers featured in the 2022 Bench Fashion Week Holiday Collections:

Jenni Contreras

Jenni Contreras is a fashion designer from Los Baños, Laguna. She graduated in Fashion Design and Merchandising at De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde. At 23, she joined the first Bench Design Awards and was selected as one of three winners and was sent to the Amazon Fashion Week Tokyo where she presented the first collection for her brand, Problem Studios. In 2018, she was included in Vogue Italia’s “Vogue Talents List”.

She describes her 2022 Bench collection: “One of my favorite things to do when I’m at home in the province is to go through my parents’ old photo albums in our attic. I was always so curious and fascinated to see them in their younger years—the places they went to, the activities they did, and especially the clothes they were wearing. This collection is a tribute to our parents and their youth that they spent in the 70s.”

Antonina

Antonina Abad Amoncio, 26, is a graduate of the University of the Philippines. Antonina’s designs are very personal, inspired by her experiences, socially-relevant issues, and sentiments. The designer experiments with fabrics, hand-sewing techniques that bring out textures, threadwork, and prints. She mines issues relevant in the Philippines and beyond. This winner of Bench Design Awards has presented her works here and in Japan.

She presents in the 2022 Bench Fashion Week her Anito Spring/Summer collection which seeks to depict shadows occupying spaces —a dark yet subtle take on exaggerated silhouettes and cut-outs.

Russell Villafuerte

STRONGVILLAGE is a brand that advocates ethical and guilt-free fashion inspired by different streetwear cultures. It is founded by designer Russell Villafuerte. All STRONGVILLAGE pieces are one-of-a-kind and made from upcycled materials. “We always aim for zero waste production. We follow these simple rules in making our pieces: reduce, reuse, recycle. STRONGVILLAGE is the literal English translation of Villafuerte.

Martin Bautista

Martin Bautista began his career in 2007 and immediately carved his niche in Philippine fashion, known for his adept drapery and garment manipulation, and the masterful use of jersey.  Bautista’s designs have been prominently featured in runway shows, magazine covers and editorials, and on the red carpet, worn by his famous muses Pia Wurtzbach, Pam Quiñones, Kathryn Bernardo, Anne Curtis, Georgina Wilson, Liza Soberano, Solenn Heussaff, Bianca Gonzalez, Jess Wilson and Janine Gutierrez.

His recent collections have featured silk creations, the fun and quirky use of colorful embellishments, and tulle frocks that evoke fantasy and play.

In 2014, he was nominated in the Best Upcoming Fashion Designer category of the Fashion Asia Awards.  Bautista’s services include custom-made womenswear, bespoke long gowns and dresses, couture gowns, and bridal wear. He is celebrating his milestone 15th year in Philippine fashion.

For Bench Fashion Week, Bautista will play with vibrant colors and athleisure undertones. There will be  exaggerated silhouettes, drapery and layering and unusual fabrications.

Lesley Mobo

Lesley Mobo is a Filipino fashion designer who has made a name here and in Europe. He has done collaborations with Uniqlo, Absolute Vodka, Sweden, Zandra Rhodes, Harrods, House of Fraser, Donna Karan, Diesel. He is a recipient of the Emilio Pucci and the Diesel Award in Italy.

His works have been exhibited in the Fashion in Motion at the Victoria and Albert Museum London and Artistic Portfolio Congress Lisbon in 2002, at the Stadt Museum for The Fashion Generation in Landeshauptstadt Düsseldorf in 2005 and Denim – Fabric of Our Lives, The Hub Museum, Lincolnshire, England, 2008.

His works have been featured in books and publications, such as Fifty by Diesel, 1 Brief, 50 Designers, 50 Solutions in Fashion Design, Who’s Who in Fashion; in magazines Another, Exit, Dazed & Confused, i-d, Self-Service Paris, Jalouse Paris, Elle Germany, Italian Vogue, Vogue, Australia , Vogue Portugal, Vogue Spain, Vogue Japan, Teen Vogue USA; also, The Guardian, The Independent and The Sunday Telegraph newspapers in the UK.

For 2022 Bench Fashion Week, he’s doing the “Masaganang Bukid” Collection, a celebration of abundant rural life in the Philippines and its rich cultural and agricultural heritage. It is atribute to Filipino farmers and farming communities. His collection is moved by his belief that agriculture and our rural culture play a critical role in keeping our unique Philippine traditions alive.


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