Monday, April 7, 2008

The 2008 Philippines Animax Fashion Ability Report

Despite the sweltering summer heat, Animax fans and fashionistas alike came in droves to the Trinoma Activity Center in Quezon City, Philippines to witness the culmination of the 2008 Animax Fashion Ability.

I must admit to having a soft spot in my heart for Fashion Ability because it gives budding fashion designers -- majority of whom are still students -- the chance to show their talent. It was awe-inspiring enough to see the sketches online at the Fashion Ability website. But nothing could be more thrilling than to see these designs being modelled on the runway. Plus, you have the added bonus of seeing student models wearing these designs. To be honest, I had a kick out of seeing proud fathers and mothers taking photos of the stunning creations of their kids or watching their son or daughter strutting on the ramp. Indeed, if you want to see the fashion designers and models of the future, look no further than Animax Fashion Ability.

Before the event started, VIP/Media and special guests were treated to Japanese cocktails courtesy of Tokyo Tokyo in what came to be known as the "Pupil Pit" (it's a pit below the stage where the guest bands were to perform). Animax-Asia Forumites were there, including the hard-working Moderators. I saw Sekira-chan, Dark Yoshi and friends chowing down on yakisoba, sushi and potato balls. Hope you had a great time!

Minutes later, Animax Fashion Ability was kicked off by hosts MYX VJ Igi and Andy, who emceed the first Fashion Ability in 2006. Judging from their exuberance, you could say they were just as excited to see the new designs just as much as I did.

The first act to take to the stage were Pinoy hip hop stars Ken Johns and the Philippine All-Stars. Levi's also gave the audience a preview of their Spring/Summer 2008 Fashion Collection.

Before the finalists were presented, Igi and Andy introduced the judges, who comprise big names in the entertainment and fashion industry. Judges for this year are: Juno L. Henares-Chuidian, Edwin Tan, Cristalle Belo-Henares, David Fabros and Jerome Allen Lorico. The hosts also interviewed the winners of the 2006 Fashion Ability. Model Grendel Alvarado -- who is being touted as the Philippines' Next Top Model -- said that Fashion Ability was her first modelling gig.

Said Alvarado, "It was in Fashion Ability that I learned the basics of modelling, and I'm thankful for the opportunity to participate in and learn from that competition."

Jerome Allen Lorico -- the Grand Prize Winner of the 2006 Fashion Ability -- now has his own clothing line and has recently won the Special Jury Award at the 45th Japan International Design Competition.

"I've seen the sketches, and this batch is a force to be reckoned with," Lorico revealed. "They all designs came out with designs that are truly French haute couteur, which is the theme of today's competition. I am very particular about the finalists adhering to the French theme, and I'm glad to see that they delivered. It's going to be exciting to see the dresses later."

Thankfully, we didn't have long to wait. All 20 designs were first presented to a cheering audience. Then, we were given a closer look at the first 10 dresses. And they were really good!

To keep the audience in suspense, rock band Imago came on stage to perform their latest hits. Afterwards, the next 10 designs were strutted on the runway. I have to be honest but I really fell in love with Aislynn Liao's gold lame gown, which is reminiscent of the gowns that Audrey Hepburn wore in "My Fair Lady."

While the judges were pressed with the hard task of choosing the winners of the competition, Animax's Music Ambassadors Pupil performed their hits from their latest album as well as the rip-roaring Animax anthem, "Set Me Apart."

FINALLY, it was time to reveal the winners.

Winning 2nd Runner Up and an educational grant of USD500 was RHAI LABORTE.


Winning 1st Runner Up and an educational grant of USD1,000 was AISLYNN LIAO


And the GRAND PRIZE WINNER, winning an educational grant of USD2,000, was BRANDON L. PARRENAS



Oh...and for all you Animax fans in other regions, there's a strong chance that Animax Fashion Ability will hit your countries too. So when it does, please join!

Before I forget, there were a lot of peeps in the audience who've been taking videos of the event. Don't forget that we also have the Fashion Ability video competition. You can find the contest rules HERE. Submit those videos now!!

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