Sunday, September 07, 2008

Me In Business Mirror (Falling for Randy Ortiz)

I received an SMS from C. M. Legaspi (writer of Business Mirror) that the photos I took during the fashion show presented by Samsung and Metrowear for Mr. Randy Ortiz entitled "Aspirer" graces the pages of Business Mirror today (09/08/2008). Please grab a copy of Business Mirror today (09/08/2008). Though there was no credit on the web version, I was told that the paper version does have my name on in. I have yet to check it because I haven't got a copy yet.

BTW, below is the article (Falling for Randy Ortiz) where my photos are shown:

By C. Mendez Legaspi

TWO decades ago, a discerning fashionable few fell for the neoromantic aesthetic of Randy Ortiz. Since then, the soft-spoken designer has attracted a larger following and remains well-loved in an “industry” notorious for its catfights, copycats and charlatans. To celebrate 20 years of a still-burgeoning business, his name firmly entrenched in the company of the country’s most admired designers, Ortiz unleashed his Samsung Metrowear “Aspirer” holiday collection recently at the Edsa Shangri-La to rapturous applause, A-list attendance and some unforgettable falls, and even more graceful rise from the ramp. “I’m relieved. I’m very happy. It was the culmination of my dream. It was my first major gala after 12 years,” Ortiz said a day after his talked-about showing. His last one, “Uncovered,” was directed by former supermodel Annette Coronel because his best friend, the director Jackie Aquino, was in New York at that time. After that, it was a series of small shows and group outings for Ortiz.

But Aquino was on hand for “Aspirer,” the concept of which—from the inspiration, music and staging—was the brainchild of Ortiz. “We know that a fashion show is the call of the designer. But Jackie embraced my concept,” and the best buddies of 30 years presented a seamless blending of ideas to produce a show that evoked a nostalgic feeling long before it was over.

“Aspirer is Latin for ‘aspire,’ which means to want or to desire for something,” Ortiz explained. What he aspires for is for his clients to be like his idols in cinema, to approximate their glitz, glamour and elegance. “We are so awed by the beautiful men and women of cinema who have captured our hearts,” he said. “With the red carpet as the canvas for my collection, I then took my references from the ’50s, ’60s and ’70s.”

Ortiz derived heavy inspiration from The Valley of the Dolls, Twiggy, Jackie O, Grace Kelly and Audrey Hepburn, and from modern-day, red-carpet divas Charlize Theron, Nicole Kidman and Angelina Jolie. When conceptualizing his menswear, he brushed up on Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, The Beatles and American Gigolo. The look was achieved by the Patrick Rosas Team for Makeup Forever and L’Oreal Professionel, with accessories by Arnel Papa, and shoes by Pedro and Nicolo Junsay.

A recurring symbol of his clothes was the rosette. “My fascination for the neoromantic can be interpreted through a flower, and the rose expresses a lot of emotions and it captures the romantic in a person,” Ortiz said. On the bodice, on the skirt, on the stage backdrop, the rosette was everywhere.

John Estrada and Richard Gomez, who both gained fame and acclaim at the same time as Ortiz, lent their leading-men presence on the runway as they donned the designer’s formal ensembles. As proof of his appeal to the younger set, upcoming actors Rayver Cruz and Bea Alonzo also worked the ramp.

In a subtle entrance, Alonzo came as the bride, radiant in off-shoulder silk organdy, patterned rosette in silk and pleated organdy texturized with embroideries. Why her? “Well, Claudine Barretto is married already, and Bea is the next It Girl. She has the height and a beautiful face. All the elements are there. She is such a darling.”

This touching quality also endeared her to Ortiz even more, when during the curtain call, Alonzo slipped onstage. Shocked and mortified, Ortiz can only manage to murmur, “I’m sorry. I’m sorry.” To which the gracious celluloid star replied: “Randy, this is for you.” If the ABS-CBN camera crew were there, that could make for fabulous footage for the star’s Betty La Fea show.

Early on, the overly gleaming ramp claimed victims from even the fiercest catwalkers. When Jo Ann Bitagcol and Ria Bolivar, the reigning queens, couldn’t keep their strides in sync with the music for fear of sliding unceremoniously in front of a well-heeled crowd, everyone knew it was a matter of time before someone fell flat. Then the always resplendent Marina Benipayo (in fiery red serpentina with electro-pleating detail and bodice in rosette-pattern embroidery) came gliding like the glamourpuss that she is, the audience thought the unforgiving ramp was conquered.

Annette Coronel nearly slipped, but regained her footing quite beautifully. When her contemporary, Suyen Chi, the queen of the catwalk at their prime, came in a V-neck plunging neckline serpentina, energy was at an all-time high. There’s nothing like a seƱora who can give justice to a couture creation, after all.

Then what was feared the most happened. The magnificent Ms. Chi stumbled and fell in a heap of silk taffeta. On reflex, she recovered in a split second, laughed at herself, posed for the cameras and played to the gallery amid raucous cheers and shrieks of delight. “Suyen, she’s a trooper and a diva! She is the reincarnated Miriam Quiambao of the ramp! I never knew there was a fashionable way of falling and rising,” Ortiz said admiringly.

“I watched the show live. I didn’t want to be near the models because that would only make me tense. I have the manang to dress the girls and [designer friends] Anthony Nocom and Vittorio Barba helped with the boys, so I was already kampante,” Ortiz related. “There was great momentum. Everyone tried to really emote. Palaban lahat. I told the models before the show, ‘We should all have our moment. Savor it. This is not just my night. This is also your evening.’”

Somehow, Randy Ortiz’s words came true. Despite the falls, Ortiz remains unfazed. “It was a live show. Things happen. [The falls] didn’t bother me in a negative way. I think the show was close to perfection.”

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