Battle Royale

Internationally acclaimed Dubai-based Filipino designer Furne One presented a grand theatrical gala that highlighted the regal glamour of Elizabethan times.

International fashion designer Furne One held his first gala show in the Philippines 15 years after he became the first grand prize winner of the MEGA Young Designers Competition. “First of One – A Fashion Collection by Furne One” was presented by philanthropic fashionistas Tessa Prieto-Valdes and Kaye Tinga for the benefit of the Philippine National Red Cross-Rizal Chapter and the Assumption High School Batch 1981 Foundation.

With a 50-piece collection entitled “War and Rose,” One took inspiration from the matriarch of Britain’s Golden Age, Queen Elizabeth I. Set against contemporary rock-opera music, he showcased spectacular couture pieces of structured armor-like silhouette and richly ornate embellishments that evoked the sovereign ruler as a strategist and warrior. Each individual piece featured intricate detailing of Swarovski crystals, beadwork, embroidery and hand-painted iconic monarchy symbols. Complementary tones of light-washed neutrals and touches of gold and silver brought subtle grace, delicate femininity, quiet strength and nobility to the collection. Luxury fabrics of French lace, silk and taffeta in dark hues of olive and sepia added a dash of drama.

Finishing off the gloriously ostentatious couture looks were specially crafted neo-classical pieces that defied the laws of physics: hand-carved sky-high heels, over-the-top accessories and artistic headgears. Each evoked images of Elizabethan chess pieces to symbolize the Queen’s prowess as a cunning political tactician. “I paid more attention to detail in this collection to make it like a cinematic masterpiece.  It feels more personal to me than the collections I’ve done before because I’m doing this for my fellow Filipinos. So I gave a 100 percent and more to ensure that the audience will be wowed and blown away by my creations,” says One.

With his “War and Roses” collection, One hopes to introduce Filipino fashion elite to looks that he considers the next big thing in fashion—extravagant designs that celebrate the feminine form. “I hope to be a part of Philippine fashion’s evolution. Filipino women have long been influenced by American minimalist or casual fashion and have always preferred safer choices when it comes to their style,” explains One. “I hope to open their eyes to other, more exciting possibilities.  After all, fashion is all about excess, indulgence and fun.