Cagayan de Oro’s very own Gil Macaibay III together with two other Filipino fashion designers made waves at the recently concluded joint endeavor of Malaysia Fashion Week (MFW) and the Mercedes Benz Stylo Asia Fashion Week held last November 2 – 5, 2016 at the MATRADE Exhibition and Convention Centre in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
This is touted as one of the Southeast Asian region’s biggest fashion events and lifestyle trade platform.
Cagayan de Oro’s Gil Macaibay III along with fellow Filipino designers Len Nepomuceno-Mortel and Reynier Abello of Armada were handpicked for this year’s fashion event.
They have big shoes to fill following the success of other Filipino designers previously in the same event such as Albert Andrada (becoming Asia’s Most Connected Designer 2015) and Avel Bacudio (becoming Most Influential Designer 2014). Mortel is currently based in Bangkok, Thailand, while Reynier Abello and Armada Design Studio are based in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.
Gill Macaibay’s pieces have always celebrated the female silhouette. The full figure, classic and sultry, straight and narrow is always there. The one-shoulder neckline that just about works on any good figured female model, another signature of Macaibay, made a couple of appearances in this collection. Colors that flatter any skin tone were heavily used. Macaibay is of the belief and is always proving that fashion is for everyone.
According to Macaibay, “My inspiration is a reflection of my love for origami and rangoli, which I believe is an ode to an artistry that exudes modern glamour and timeless elegance.” One Macaibay piece that really charmed the female audience was an orange and blue number that seemed to blur the borders between prêt-à-porter and couture.
When interviewed on his return to Cagayan de Oro, Macaibay recalled his experience in fashion event as “enriching,” saying that “it gave him a glimpse of how Asian fashion was presented and interpreted by various fashion designers. Their individuality clearly depicts one’s culture and artistry. It was indeed a learning experience for me.” Macaibay’s mentor was also present at the fashion event. This is none other than Fashion and Design Council of the Philippines (FDCP) President, Dong Omaga-Diaz. He returns this year as the head of the Philippine delegation.
Diaz was nothing short of proud for the Filipino delegation that did an excellent job with their designs and creations. According to Diaz, they all did a splendid job and this was seen and heard in the applause and adulation from the crowd and when approached after their shows to give proof that their stars truly shined in this international fashion event.
All in all, the 4-day Malaysia Fashion Week (MFW) and the Mercedes Benz Stylo Asia Fashion Week featured 14 different fashion shows from designers coming from Malaysia, Philippines, India, London, Taiwan, China, Japan, and Singapore as well as student designers from the SML Fashion Academy and the INTI International University.