David Tupaz channels old Hollywood elegance in Fall 2016 collection

'The essence of style is important.' Photos by Boyet Loverita

‘The essence of style is important.’

By Lindy Rosales

Full disclosure: I was a New York Fashion Week newbie.

So when I got an opportunity to watch David Tupaz’s collection, I wasted no time: I checked out my dreary wardrobe to see which of one my black, grey, or brown winter pants, skirt or business suit (gasp!) and tops are Fashion Week-worthy! I chose an all-black pants suit so I can layer up before I put on my leather boots. I made sure to wear earrings and two long necklaces as sparklers. As they say in those glossy mags, black is a classic slimmer. In my case, it’s the only ensemble I have that can pass for ‘stylish’ without shopping for new clothes. But all that got covered up by my thick winter jacket. There goes all the effort!

Gotham Hall was packed. People who were well dressed and outrageously attired were streaming in and out. There was an air of excitement as models, designers, journalists guests, staff, photographers, and security moved amid the controlled chaos. It was a bit overwhelming. I did not know where to go so I let the ushers shuffle me to my seat.

The runway was set up in the middle of the hall, under Gotham’s big dome. The high ceiling and subdued lighting gave the hall a sense of sepulchral silence despite all the commotion. In between shows, the staff tidied up and prepared for the next one.

Each runway show took about 25 minutes and after that people gathered in the red carpet to interview the designers or take photographs with some of the models. It was a never-ending rush of activity. It’s exciting and exhausting at the same time.

I was people-gazing, enamored by what the guests wore. Some wore winter wear with spike-heeled boots and leather jackets. Others showed up in the skimpiest mini skirts. It seemed like a game of style one-upmanship with some trying to look different from other head turners.

In one of the breaks three people in fancy outfits climbed up the runway and started posing like models. They were told to “clear the runway so we can prepare for the next show.” I was impressed by the quick response of the Gotham Hall’s staff.

Media photographers had their designated space at the end of the runway. The best view in the house aside from the front seats usually reserved for family, friends and patrons of the designers. Most of them stayed put during the breaks or they lose their assigned spots. I learned one of the photographers lost consciousness, and emergency services had to be called in.

One of the models that day was Madeline Stuart, said to be the only professional model with Down’s Syndrome. She was greeted with enthusiastic applause and cheers from the crowd as she walked the runway. Also spotted was Justin Jedlica, known as the Human Ken Doll, obliging with requests to have his picture taken with the other guests. His chiseled features and familiar countenance was easily recognizable from afar.

David Tupaz’s fall collection channeled old Hollywood glamour. His clothes remind you of style icon Lauren Bacall, she with the hourglass figure and cascading wavy hair. Tupaz’s designs used a lot of black-and-white geometrics as well as earth tones of browns and golds.

We spoke to Tupaz after the show, complimenting him on his versatility with coordinates and his color schemes.

What was your biggest challenge?
The jewelry. I was waiting for the jewelry. It wasn’t coming on time. That was the thing because I design my own jewelry and accessories that will blend with the collection. And some of them are done in the Philippines, and some of them are done in different parts of the world. I’m not getting them on time.

Any plans to open a store in New York?
Well I was hoping that Linda Fargo is gonna get my line in order to put it at Bergdorf Goodman soon.

Any advice to aspiring Filipino designers?
Do what you believe in. Don’t try to copy other designers. Just do what you think you are. Because the most successful designers in the world, have their design aesthetics. It is like Chanel, when you see a little black jacket with white trims and gold buttons, everybody knows it’s Chanel. She was able to establish a style. Chanel says fashion changes, but style remains. The essence of style is important.

Queens resident Alex Jaudines became an instant Tupaz fan. “Maganda ang show,” he said. “I like the black and white and the gold, very classic.”

Photos by Boyet Loverita

Photos by Boyet Loverita

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