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Dare to Dream

By Rey Robes Ilagan
Images by Noel Pabalate

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FASHION ROCKS Francis Libiran takes center stage together with KZ Tandingan, Erik Santos, Rachelle Ann Go, and Iñigo Pascual during the ‘Dare to Dream’ gala at City of Dreams

Unveiling the culmination of two decades of fashion and purpose, renowned fashion designer Francis Libiran debuted his 2020 collection alongside some of the biggest names in the music scene, including KZ Tandingan, Erik Santos, Iñigo Pascual, and Rachelle Ann Go, last week at City of Dreams, Pasay City.

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Francis Libiran

In his quest to bridge the worlds of fashion and the performing arts, the designer has successfully orchestrated an unforgettable evening of passionate hearts and incomparable artistry with “Dare to Dream Francis Libiran, Celebrating 20 Years of Fashion and Purpose.”

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Arsi Baltazar

Arsi Baltazar, the designer’s business partner, opened the program with a message of gratitude for the support the Francis Libiran brand has enjoyed for over two decades. As a birthday celebration for Libiran, they have decided to focus on his chosen charitable work: the education and welfare of 75 children from Sitio Kabuhuan in Rodriguez, Rizal, in partnership with Operation Blessing Foundation Philippines, Inc. through the “Bless A Child Project.”

Christian Mark Jacob and Francis Libiran

Christian Mark Jacob and Francis Libiran

“This celebration coincides with Francis’ birthday on Dec. 8 and we want to share our blessings with children in need,” Baltazar said. “We have visited countless orphanages, schools, and children’s hospitals. We have learned that they all need to be loved and valued, and that their dreams long to be fulfilled. Tonight’s turnout has given us more hope to continue what we started. We believe that by helping children reach their goals and dreams, we are assuring that they’ll live a life that will be good, with a future that is wonderful.”

Passion for fashion

The 50-piece show was inspired by natural wonders, culture, and craftsmanship of the Philippines. Libiran’s design was a carefully contemplated assemblage of textures, asymmetry, and layers. Throughout his latest offering’s subdued tones of lilac, coral, turquoise, magenta, cobalt, and blush, he presented an implicit philosophy: strength and rigor can be delivered in the soft and gentle.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Libiran, a master of construction with a flair for unadulterated glamor, presented a collection exuding an air of modern extravagance shown by the intricate embroidery and elegant beadwork. From off-center silhouettes with ascending lines on evening gowns, dresses, and suits to styling details of wearing only one dangling earring or a slick hair updo with loose ends, the designer showed his playful sensibility and his knack for seeing beauty in chaos and unevenness.

Libiran’s design was a carefully contemplated assemblage of textures, asymmetry, and layers. Throughout his latest offering’s subdued tones, he presented an implicit philosophy: strength and rigor can be delivered in the soft and gentle.

House of Libiran

Music legend John Lennon has been quoted saying, “A dream you dream alone is only a dream. A dream you dream together is a reality,” and this is true for Libiran’s team, where collaboration with others is vital in achieving reality. Apart from his business partner Arsi Baltazar and general manager Victor Harry Hartman, the designer works with more than 100 employees whom he treats as family.

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Within the full year of preparation, Libiran also involved young design students from his alma mater, the Fashion Institute of the Philippines, in the creation process of the 2020 collection. “I wanted to spark inspiration in each student’s imagination,” he said. “I want to find a hook in their hearts and minds so that they feel motivated in the challenging path of fashion they are pursuing.”

West End and Broadway star Rachelle Ann Go closed the show with powerful renditions of “I Dreamed A Dream” from the musical Les Miserables and “Defying Gravity” from Wicked. The performance was a reminder of the power of dreams and how to pursue them. Walt Disney once said, “All of dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them.” Indeed, Libiran has set in motion not only his dreams but also the dreams of others whom he has touched with his world-class talent and generous heart.

See more at: Manila Bulletin

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