Being a blogger, it’s so nice to be invited to intimate fashion events like the one from Freeway last tuesday, October 12, 2010. I brought my mom with me to Freeway’s launch of the 4th National Artist Collectors’ Series honoring Ramon Oswald Valera, National Artist for Fashion. There were about 20-30 people invited, mostly from the fashion industry & media.
Freeway is actually a brand that is a bit special to me. I remember the 1st dress that I found so perfect & suitable for me was bought from Freeway. The brand, having started in 1997, aims to offer products representing the most current international trends at local Philippines prices. They continue to evolve and improve as time passes by.
This holiday season they are giving tribute to our very 1st National Artist for Fashion, Ramon Valera. He was proclaimed National Artist last 2006 and was well known for his elegant gowns & ternos. Even when he was young, it seems that fashion came naturally for him. His mom would notice that the dolls displayed on the piano suddenly would have new clothes. How cool is that?
What separates him from the others is that he was able sew a dress to perfection without even using a pattern. He definitely mastered the art of embroidery & beadwork!
And he was also very picky with his clients, only a few fortunate women were able to wear his creations. Among the few were Elvira Manahan, Margarita Romualdez, Susie Bayot Ortigas, Adelaida Mendoza, Maritess Pineda, Evelyn Teehankee, Fe Leyson Qua and Caridad Velez Leyson.
They were kind enough to allow us to view the original works of terno & gowns that Valera created for them. It was a one-night only viewing that happened at the G/F of Glorietta 5. I especially love the pink gown owned by Susie Bayot Ortigas. Sometimes, I do wish I was alive during those times, oh well, at least we have Freeway!
Everyone was just so happy to see former first lady Imelda Marcos attend the event with us. Of course, she wore an original Ramon Valera gown. She graciously answered all questions thrown at her by host, Tessa Prieto-Valdez. Madame Marcos is an advocate of Arts and was one of Valera’s clients. I never thought she would actually have a great sense of humor. They were fun to watch! Other distinguished guests were Valeraâ€™s niece Peching Zulueta-Gomez, fashion designer Aureo Alonzo and National Museum of the Philippineâ€™s curator Nick Legazpi, Jr.
Ramon Valera died in 1972 at the age of 59. As we thought that we’ll never ever get to at least own any of his works or even an interpretation of it, we were all wrong. Luckily, Freeway is featuring a collection that was inspired from the brilliant creations of National Artist for Fashion, Ramon Valera. Valera’s signature of creative cut, colors and beadwork with embroidery is brought back through Freeway’s National Artist Collection.
The collection includes woven dresses, blouses & graphic t-shirts. The interpretation of Valera’s work was done through beadwork, modern silhouettes, print images of his sketches & digital images of his beadworks. I believe pictures can illustrate this further. I have to say this though, it was also my 1st time to watch a fashion show live and in person
Awesome collection right? They definitely don’t compare to the original, but at least we have a bit of a tribute to the national artist by wearing clothes that were inspired by his works. Thanks Freeway for making this possible, what a way to honor our Philippine National Artist for fashion!
Of course, there are always photo ops at every event. Seems like a norm already in these times. My mom & I wore dresses to the show. And look at our picture below, does it even look like she’s my mom? Don’t think so, many find it hard to believe. I’m proud, I have an awesome yet so pretty mom! I bet when we get to shop at Freeway during one of our shopping sessions, she would look better in those Valera-inspired clothes than when I wear them (we share clothes too!).