Manila’s high society gathered at the Cultural Center of the Philippines for a historic moment as renowned fashion designer Inno Sotto celebrated his 30 years in the industry with a grandiose gala that successfully merged the best of couture and entertainment in one magical night.
Throughout his illustrious three-decade career, Sotto has drawn inspiration from women of unparalleled beauty to create and innovate. Noting his favored muses such as Samantha Eduque, Lizzie Zobel, Bea Valdes and Margarita Fores, the designer explains, “It is not just their style that inspires me, it’s how they think. It’s a blessing to have someone to constantly draw from and it’s a blessing to have been able to get to know them better.”
To show appreciation for his muses, Sotto called upon the elusive muse for his highly produced presentation.
Opening the show was an artfully shot short fi lm directed by Albert Martinez. It effectively set the mood with its melodramatic love story starring Heart Evangelista as the muse. Leaping from the ordinary, Sotto explored a new artistic expression through the film’s beautifully restrained cinematography that was truly reflective of his signature aesthetic of understated elegance. What followed was a 60-piece collection modeled by the country’s premiere models including runway greats Tweetie de Leon-Gonzales, Marina Benipayo and Ria Bolivar.
Four major segments were the fitting platform for Sotto to showcase the most coveted styles in pure silk, satin, chiffon, lightweight jersey and silk crepe in his trademark contemporary and romantic aesthetic. The first was inspired by East China and featured black voluminous and structured cocktail concoctions; the second was inspired by India and injected vivid bursts of color through jewel toned fluid goddess dresses. Both sets interpreted the core aesthetic of the theme without taking the literal route.
Sotto also unveiled easy chic work wear separates for the everyday woman available through his limited edition ready-to-wear collection exclusively sold at Rustan’s. “The clothes are not too different from what I make for my clients,” he says. “But the clothes are more generalized. It addresses more women. It’s friendlier and easier. I took into consideration the fact that the women I am making these clothes for travel a lot, so I was conscious of the fact that they would want something that’s easy.”
Capping off the night were eleven show stopping couture creations from the designer’s 30 years in fashion. For the dramatic finale, the elusive muse, Heart Evangelista, stepped out in an exquisite white gown decked with a luxurious neckpiece, while the curtains rose to reveal the backstage as a salute to the hardworking people who helped create fashion history with one of the great couturiers of our time, Inno Sotto.