I’ve always had a thing for the theater. Love the costumes; love the sets; and of course escaping into an hour or two of fantasy.
When Juana Manahan invited me to the opening two weeks ago telling me it was a costume exhibit, I was thinking along the lines of traditional Filipino costumes. It was only when I got the formal invitation, and after Rajo talked to me about the exhibit opening of his friend Eduardo Sicangco, “this amazing production designer!,” that I realized what was up for show. What fun!
Mannequins on pedestals, clad in the most fabulous costumes. (Even the winged armor from the recent Belo Venetian Ball was on display).
The 20s obsessed part of my brain honed in on this amazing white flapper dress, hidden behind a curtain printed with the artist’s sketches. Such a shame it wasn’t out in the middle of the room! I would have loved to have a closer look.
Can you see it on the right-most mannequin? This is the perfect excuse to go see it in person.
You’ll have to bear with my photos for this entry. It’s a little hard to work with lighting on a camera phone.
An Elizabethan-style bridal gown with crystal medallion patterns on the skirt. The detail photo on the right was from the train of the dress.
Quite as exciting as the costumes were his sketches, studies, and mock-ups. The detailing on his work is amazing. I suppose that considering the distance between the actors on stage and their audience, trimmings and embellishments need to be over-the-top to be noticed.
This is a costume study he did for Alice in Wonderland. The quote says, “I was going for a different and unpredictable take on the fantasy and thought to myself: ‘What if I do surreal a la Max Ernst but with a gentler and subtler color palette?”
Look at the amazing detail and paper-cutting on this mock-up. The Queen of Hearts never looked so awe-some.
Unfortunately, the powers of my phone camera weren’t strong enough to capture the (real crystal!) gems on this costume study for a Giant Stiltwalker for The Ringling Circus. That and I was trying to avoid the glare from the LCD screen behind me.
I like how the swatches and a sample of the detailing on the sleeves of the jacket were included in the mock-up.
I won’t spoil the exhibit any more than I already have. I do recommend going to see it. If you’d like to do a little research on Eduardo Sicangco, here’s the link to his website: http://www.eduardosicangco.com. I fell in love with his set design for Babes in Toyland. How perfectly creepy crawly for Halloween!
Of course, my night wouldn’t be complete without a bit of style-stalking.
I used to love watching Cecile Sicangco-Ibarra dance when I was much younger. She gets special treatment as the designers sister. Her beautiful LBD is made of woven raffia and (together with her choker) was designed by Eduardo.
Pilates trainer Linzi Arellano-Co was also wearing a dress designed by Eduardo Sicangco that evening. It was actually her wedding dress!
My favorites of the evening were the Manahan women, all of them in dresses by Ivar Aseron.
I spotted Tats Manahan, the woman behind the evening’s event, the moment I entered because I couldn’t take my eyes off the pinafore-esque design at the back of her halter top. Together with her vintage Romeo Gigli tulip skirt and her patent Mary Janes, she was a total Jazz babe.
A silk bustier, ostritch-feather skirt, and Gaupo shoes. It’s all couture for Juana Manahan.
Liliana Manahan takes after her mom Tats that evening in this pretty Art Deco dress. Love the sunny color!
More party photos coming tomorrow. Stay tuned!