Dissecting Dialogues: Fashion of SINULID

In an effort to continually adapt to the global crisis at hand, De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde – School of Design and Arts in Manila, Philippines has persevered to release their Fashion Design and Merchandising students’ works as an outcry for empowerment and optimism. Launched in the Sinulid Facebook page, a platform dedicated to the annual exhibition of the program, thirty-five of their students have realized fashion, drama, innovation, and artistry under the theme “Maynila”, using found materials at home that showcase and test their irrefutable talent and vision, despite unsettling circumstances.

As a vanguard for  modernity and heritage, the college’s Fashion Design & Merchandising Department tasked their students to conceptualize designs that objectify the premise of Manila’s architectural landscape- its culture, history, impact, and influence as a built and unbuilt structure in society. The students forged their own interpretations of the task at hand that stimulated novelty bound by thematic commonalities as a play in perspective in their designs. 

Let us explore the works of these designers through a narrative inspired from a quote by Le Corbusier that journeys us inside the multidimensional facets of modernity extracted from past, present, and future. Let us dissect the dialogue of Sinulid: Prologue 2020 in ACIIID’s point-of-view.


  “To be modern is not a fashion, it is a state. It is necessary to understand history, and he who understands history knows how to find continuity between that which was, that which is, and that which will be.”

– Le Corbusier


PAST

Culture Told Through Time

Culture leaps over the boundaries of space and time. Its evolutionary characteristic encompasses generations as it moulds itself within the societal landscape that people unconsciously create. These designers explored the cultural context of some of Manila’s landmarks to vividly express its impact on the past and the modern day – emphasizing  its effect and authority.

Architecture as Basis of Form

This subcategory ventures into the edifices of Manila, particularly, iconic Filipino architecture that have defined the city’s image and history. By taking memorabilias from the visual weight brought about by the presence of these structures, the designers instituted a new language that commemorates their impact and persona through reworked forms and dismantled details in their designs. 


PRESENT

Modernity in Nature

Omnipresent, indispensable, and righteous, the integral strengths that nature has on time and on earth. In itself, nature is a testament of history, a witness to time’s passing, and the storyteller of the current generation. The mere existence of it from the beginning to the present, until the future, is a timeless echo that everyone hears and relates to. As their main source of inspiration, these designers used the artistry adapted from nature as a vestibule to communicate craftsmanship, culture, and awareness in their designs. 


FUTURE

Re-imagination of the Existing

An exploration in material manipulation, developmental studies on materiality, and experimentation of the existing, this subcategory honors the virtuous works of the designers whose designs compel the eyes to rethink its vision- deciphering the objects within the garment and scrutinizing every detail that each piece embodies. These designers showed progress and innovation through humble objects that were reinvented into incredible pieces of art. The reinvention of function from other functional entities attests to forward thinking and the ceaseless quest for novelty.

Future in its New Identity

Conformity and conventionality have always been the depiction of typical success in fashion, where wearability is the driving factor of designers. Rarely are there prominent praise and lucrative outflow for those who tackle the avant garde. Knowledge and appreciation for beauty in the sublime are sporadic. Not all can appease with the idea of “un-wearability”. But these designers strided their way to realize the theatricality of their visions and imagination. As an opposition to the tide of mediocrity, they elaborated silhouettes to elicit new forms and structures that imposed unpredictable imagery of the future. Approaching time in a manner that challenges tradition and violates the ordinary.


Time permits us to wallow in the many specificities of life. It greets us, stops us, and takes us forward into its ambiguous journey – far off the dreams we could ever concoct. And as we walk its path, the splendour of the adventure, and the curiosities revealed enable us to render ideas and knowledge  into reality. 

These fashion designers have perfectly permeated the experiences of their time through creations of couture – defining moments of periods: seen and untold. The degree of connection that one can feel from the stories of each of the designer’s work relates to a deep emotional level. They cleverly trigger nostalgia, and dispute preconceived concepts of history and modernity, not only in fashion, but generally in life.

In these days of uncertainty, these fashion designers empowered our thoughts, spoke truths of our heritage and culture, and delivered fantastical visions of the future. What these students have produced are creations that are not only timely, but are also historical in a sense – memorable and disruptive. Heralding the future of fashion, begging people to question, look back, and move forward.

What is next, you may ask? That is a question only time can answer…

View more of Sinulid: Prologue 2020 HERE.

Jegs Santos is an engineer by profession whose wide interest in fashion, interiors, and design lead him to take a detour in life to follow his passion. He is currently an interior design student at the Philippine School of Interior Design, juggling it with work, both as a freelancer and a Senior editor for ACIIID. Outside work, you’ll find him out and about, looking for inspiration, nourishing his knowledge and conceiving fresh new ideas to inject into his work. Clearly, his life is fueled by his job.

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