It's been a while since a major fashion event has happened in Manila. That's about to change this coming September 8 as Manila sets the stage for Manila International Dance Festival aka MIDFest 2023. A fashion event called KULTURA MANILA will happen around October, utilizing an unfamiliar runway at the Jones Bridge. Yes, you've read that right. If you're not aware, much of these happen in Paris, Milan and New York, but the plan is to do it at one of the busiest thoroughfares of the city of Manila which I feel is pretty awesome.
This project is spearheaded by Manila Vice Mayor Yul Servo. When the MIDFest 2023 event was announced, he also bared news about Kultura Manila, Mister Manila and a Sports event for Manila policemen and government personnel. The city is a historical and cultural hub and it's important to not forget that while we get back on track after the pandemic. Several of Manila's top Fashion Designers will dish out their best pieces showcasing inspiration from the pre-colonial and also those from the Spanish era. Think of it as a travel through time, which makes this even more exciting!
Fashion Designer Norman Penaflorida had us see a couple of pieces he's done worn by some of Mister Manila's contestants. Sure enough, we've seen nicely formed jackets and clothing, all of which look very current and wearable despite it being couture. He actually had a show prior which showcased non conventional textile drawn from flour bags of local bread makers. He's the house stylist for mostly all the shows at the Manila Metropolitan Theatre, a little iffy about the designer title but if you think about it, he's been doing this for years. Aside from that, he's done work with the National Center for Culture and the Arts and done Production Design, Stage Management, Hosting, beside being an accomplished Actor and Singer. He held off on constructing his new atelier in Sampaloc, Manila as Kultura Manila preparations went underway. I mean, look at those fabrics he used as accents to these uni jackets! (He says he'll be using them extensively on the show).
There's going to be more designers to be featured in October, which makes me feel all the more excited about what's about to happen. This is part of the projects of Vice Mayor Yul Servo and heavily supported by Manila Mayor Honey Lacuna together with the council, Verde Creatives and the men and women behind the Manila International Dance Festival. They also plan to do this yearly, so imagine the scale of these events unfold in the city including Rizal Park, several Manila based universities and different locations around the metro. If you want to partner up, they're very open to that. Get in touch with them via midf2023(at)gmail.com.