Talent is something I see everyday studying in a fashion school. I’m exposed to students who have the potential to create masterpieces; students who I believe can make waves in the industry. Problem is, it’s difficult to get their stuff out. It’s tough to show the world what they are capable of because they lack avenues to do so; Getting support and sponsors for new designers is, more often than not, out of the question. So how in the world will they be able to translate their designs into actual pieces?

For this reason, I admire Preview for coming up with Preview’s Emerging Fashion Talent Awards. PEFTA, launched a year ago, is a competition wherein 5 design students are selected to be part of their annual list of “Designers to Watch.” To current designers, being featured in this list this is an honor. To design students, it’s a dream. The five winners of PEFTA are Erika Adona, Seph Bagasao, Riza Bulawan, SoFA’s very own Dan Duran and Renz Reyes. Preview also chose 4 other young designers who they think have the potential to do great things – Jot Losa, Xernan Orticio, Ken Samudio and Kristel Yulo.

These 9 designers were mentored, given capital and exposed to the whole fashion show production. But aside from these, there were two further prizes. The judges, comprised of Preview’s Editor-in-Chief Pauline Juan, Preview’s Fashion Editor Daryl Chang, designers Inno Sotto and Cesar Gaupo, and top fashion show director Robby Carmona, chose two designers who stood out. It was Xernan Orticio’s designs that will be on the cover of Preview’s Jan-Feb 2012 issue and Erika Adona’s collection that will be featured in Fashion Watch.

Now, here are the designs.

The designers were judged based on creativity, construction and wearability so it should come as no surprise that Xernan Orticio’s collection won. Aside from his pieces being wearable, the construction of his clothes is intense, for lack of a better word. The dress on the right required 48 cut patterns. 48! Putting that much thought and effort on a single dress shows dedication and passion for his craft. He deserves to win.

Erika Adona, the winner presenting in Fashion Watch, used fibreglass in her dresses. My friend Dan Con and I were talking about it and we both liked the fact that she used an unconventional material.

The pride of SoFA, Dan Duran, also showcased divine dresses. Dan’s so skilled in draping and manipulating fabric to flatter a woman’s body. I would honestly wear all of his pieces if I had that many events to attend. Also, I like how he combined tough and feminine – leather with chiffon, hoods with pale pink hues. I’m extremely proud of Dan. Extremely proud (for emphasis ;).

For me Kristel Yulo’s dresses made with wooden skirt frames are the perfect cocktail dresses. She was also able to showcase her layering and draping skills.

Jot Losa’s collection really appealed to me. His pieces are dresses I would wear. The cutouts and use of leather make them sexy while the flowers tone the sexiness down.  Oh and get this, he used a combination of red leather AND red abaca in all his pieces. I love that he used an indigenous material in his dresses.

Ken Samudio veered away from dresses and presented something else: hats made of paper. Just look at the level of detail he put in each headpiece. Hats off to Ken Samudio (pun intended).

Renz Reyes is another favorite of mine. It’s admirable how he mixed leather and sheer and made the dresses seem respectable – less biker chic and more corporate.  He also has interesting cuts.

Riza Bulawan was inspired by marine life. Her pleatings and details were definitely fresh.

Last but not least is Seph Bagasao with minimalist yet structured pieces. I love how he played with cut-outs,  showing hints of skin. He also played with pockets and made matching shoes to boot!

Seeing the collections (not to mention Erika crying when her name was announced) got me excited for the future of my fellow design students and the fashion industry as a whole. Good job to everybody! Can’t wait for next year’s!

all pictures of the designs were taken from Stylebible.ph 

Now, here are pics post-show. 🙂

Proud mommas! Here’s the SoFA family. L-R: Ms. Ish Orendain, Loralee Soong, myself, our representative Dan Duran, Maina Hechanova, Danika Navarro, Mads Constantino and Dan Concepcion.

with PEFTA designer Dan Duran 🙂

SoFA girls! Tracy Ayson, myself, Danika Navarro, Rocky de Castro and Tippi Sy (pic from Tracy)

With Rocky and Tracy 🙂hello gorgeous bloggers! Rocky de Castro and Danika Navarro

and guess who else I took pictures of?

Designer and stylist Andre Chang and  gorgeous girl Jae Pickrell of  Stylebible.ph (thank you so much for letting me take your pictures!)

If you want to see the rest of the clothes or read about PEFTA, click here for the article by Stylebible.ph. 🙂