I’m a finalist in the 53rd Japan Fashion Design Contest!

(I wrote this entry last July 18, 2015)

It’s been 18 days since I submitted my entry for this year’s Japan Fashion Design Contest. I finally nailed it this year and made it to the list of top 40 finalists who will compete on October 10 in Tokyo, Japan.

Taken from http://www.sugino.ac.jp/gakuen/project/contest/2015/
Image borrowed from the contest’s official website.

Last July 15 I checked updates in the contest website. I was really surprised to see my name in the list (and how the organizers really did give the announcement exactly mid July). I was still in doubt of course, but because I was more excited, I shared the news to everyone I knew on Facebook. It was only this morning that I received an email notification informing me that I will move on to the 2nd round.

Back in college, whenever possible, I would join some fashion contest as this was the traditional way to popularity or fame. Contests like this are a good way to stand out and promote one’s talent in the fashion industry. After several failed attempts while I was younger, I decided not to participate anymore since I realized it frustrated me more than helped me. A year ago I decided to try my luck once more despite doubts. I only manage to design and send one entry. I silently joined — and failed. I tried again this year. This time I was wiser after engaging myself in a series of workshops, reading books and chatting with artists, writers, teachers — anyone and everyone I met.

I guess I successfully improved in leaps and bounds. I sent three entries because I read in a Filipino finalist’s blog that she sent three in the past. I did that, too.

Here’s a sneak peak of the entry I submitted entitled “Indestructible”

This piece I call
This piece I call “Indestructible” made it to the Top 4o of the 53rd Japan Fashion Design Contest.

When I design I normally draw inspiration from experiences and emotions. I find visual equivalents, put them all together to tell the story of that experience and the emotions I felt. I recently found enjoyment in browsing and reading stories of Philippine indigenous patterns and techniques. The current pattern I am so obsessed with is the Kosikos (whirlwind), also known as Binakël, of the Itneg tribe. It has a very modern look that seems to come right out of the western Optical Art or Op Art movement.

The story behind the work is inspired by the storms and other calamities that we Filipinos have undergone. We suffer, we try our best to recover (with or without much support) and continue living looking forward to a better future. This is my most personal work to date since I went through a stormy period myself a year ago. I had to force myself to recover and divert my attention to more productive endeavors in order to overcome that unbelievable experience.

It’s a challenging road to October 10. There is much to do since the design will begin from the choice of fiber to the last embroidery stitch. In less than 3 months, all ideas must materialize in a work worthy of representing our resilient people and cultural traditions.

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