If the Philippine bridal design industry remains dynamic, vibrant and viable today, even amid the onslaught of imported fashion brands, give credit to the veteran designers. Themselves institutions in Philippine fashion, they paved the way for  the current crop of fashion designers to have a thriving market.


Bridal design is a niche that today’s Filipino fashion designer continues to explore and exploit. It is his/her bread and butter.


As a craft and as an industry, the bridal design bridges generations of Filipino fashion designers—from those who thrived in the ’60s to those who are starting up their careers today.


It is this connection between the past and present generations, this Filipino heritage of bridal fashion that will be highlighted in the “Filipino Bridal Heritage Exhibit of Champion Infinity” on Sept. 5 at Dusit Thani Manila.


BEN Farrales designed a wedding gown made of sampaguita for his
retrospective show years ago.

In the hotel ballroom foyer, the exhibit will greet guests to Face-Off, the fashion show of Filipino Bridal Collection 2012 which Inquirer Lifestyle is mounting with Samsung and Look Magazine.


This is the 2012 edition of Samsung/Inquirer’s Face-Off which, for the past three years, has been known for the comparative showcase of the design caliber of the Filipino designers.


The veteran designers who will exhibit their famous wedding gowns—one for each designer—are Pitoy Moreno, Ben Farrales, Nolie Hans, Auggie Cordero, Philip Rodriguez, Mike de la Rosa, Rhett Eala and Randy Ortiz.


Moreno and Farrales started their rise in the ’50s, when they began to do the wedding gowns of the daughters of high-society families.


Close-knit circle


CHING Cruz’s gown designed by Nolie Hans

It was a glamorous and genteel era and high society was a close-knit circle, so that Moreno and Farrales were good friends of the brides and their families.


There was a tight social bond between the designers or couturiers and their clientele. This strong relationship was key in the design of the wedding gown.


Moreno, Farrales and other couturiers in that era even made it a point to attend the weddings of their bride-customers. No matter the time of day or night, their generation of designers went to the bride’s home to dress up the bride. They also fixed the gown in the church before the bride walked the aisle.


Today, when you can order your wedding gown online, the designer-bride association may not be that personal.


Yet the business has become dynamic, more democratic.


LUCY Torres-Gomez was a lovely bride in a Randy Ortiz gown.

Showing their bridal designs on the runway are Jerome Salaya Ang, Ronaldo Arnaldo, Ivar Aseron, Vic Barba, Martin Bautista, JC Buendia, Pablo Cabahug, Gregg Centeno, Auggie Cordero, Noel Crisostomo, Mike dela Rosa, Eric delos Santos, Chris Diaz, Patrice Ramos-Diaz, Rhett Eala, Jun Escario, Joel Escober, Veejay Floresca, Arcy Gayatin, Nolie Hans, Oj Hofer, Sassa Jimenez, Rajo Laurel, Jerome Lorico, Dennis Lustico, Tonichi Nocom, Efren Ocampo, Randy Ortiz, Loretto Popioco, Yvonne Quisumbing, James Reyes, Philip Rodriguez, Vania Romoff, Joey Samson, Cary Santiago, Lulu Tan-Gan, Hindy Weber-Tantoco and Kristel Yulo.


Jackie Aquino directs the show.


Other participating sponsors are Ayala Land Premier, Stella Luna, Rustan’s, with MAC, Schwarzkopf, OSIS+, Frostings.