PEFTA 2012 Q&A: VINCE TOLENTINO
How do you feel about being a PEFTA finalist this year?
First of all, I feel honored to have my portfolio considered. [I'm] also elated, excited, and of course hopeful to be included in the final selection.
What motivated you to study fashion design?
From an early stage my family and friends recognized my talent and appreciated my enthusiasm for all things fashion and eventually encouraged me to study. My particular interest is centered on haute couture, working with fine garments that aspire to embody the highest quality of workmanship. I follow with great interest red carpet events and international fashion shows and get inspired by designs that break new ground and the people who wear them, thus giving the industry purpose and impetus. I generally admire designers who think outside the box and create pieces that are unique and of flawless elegance, such as Armani Prive, Inno Sotto, as well as Galliano.
Please tell us about the portfolio you submitted to Preview. What is the concept behind it? How does it tie in with this year's theme, Silhouette?
My theme "Fashion History Revisited" is an attempt to capture, adapt, and redesign the shapes and diversity of fashion history. There is a direct link between this year’s theme and history. The name derives from Etienne de Silhouette, Louis XV’s finance minister and his hobby of making cut-paper shadow portraits. Silhouettes became a popular artform until the arrival of photography rendered it obsolete. Many periods in women’s fashion have a distinct silhouette that we automatically associate with the clothing of that era.
Please tell us about the piece that the Preview editors selected for you to execute.
This particular design establishes a link and contains a very prominent historic element of fashion: frills. The biggest challenge undoubtedly is the creation of frills that remain true to form and shape and do not collapse under their own weight. I have yet to search for a solution and probably have to incorporate a support structure that is subtle, invisible and lightweight. I like to adhere to the colors of the submitted sketch (amber to light brown complemented by the grayish silver frills). The material for the frills should be of very fine and almost translucent, but rather rigid nature. I will be sourcing the material for the dress in the near future.
What accomplishments in your budding career are you most proud of?
My proudest moment in my career was a win in the Young Environmental Fashion Designers competition. It greatly motivated me to strive for excellence in future projects.
How do you envision yourself evolving as a designer?
To successfully evolve as a fashion designer I take a three-pronged approach—to master all the techniques required to design and manufacture beautiful and unique pieces, to gain publicity and acceptance in the industry through participation in fashion competitions and word-of-mouth advertising by an appreciative customer base, and even having a stint in a high fashion retail environment, talking to prospective customers, and finding out what their desires and priorities are in relation to style, trends, and of course price.
How do you see yourself contributing to the growth of Philippine fashion?
Globalization is the buzz word and almost synonym for success in the 21st century. It is my determination to ultimately make a name in the international stage and project Philippine expertise and excellence in fashion design overseas, which will enhance the reputation and competitiveness of our industry abroad, thus contributing to the growth of Philippine fashion.