Pinoy designer Oliver Tolentino gets standing ovation at Palm Springs Fashion Week

Tolentino adds touches of Pinoy pride to the show with piña and abaca pieces, Sylvia La Torre’s "Galawgaw," and more.

Oliver Tolentino and his muse, Filipino model Tutay Maristela. Click for more photos.


( Headlining the El Paseo Fashion Week in Palm Springs, California as "Designer of the Week," Filipino designer Oliver Tolentino presented 68 pieces last weekend to a crowd that gave him a standing ovation.

Known for extensively using Philippine fabrics like piña and abaca, Tolentino added touches of Filipino culture to the show such as remixed versions of Sylvia La Torre’s "Galawgaw" and Eartha Kitt’s "Waray Waray" as background music, plus a recording of former First Lady Imelda Marcos speaking about beauty.

Tolentino’s muse, Filipino supermodel Tutay Maristela, opened the show wearing the gown that won the Eco Sustainable Award last year at the Islands of the World Fashion Week in the Bahamas. Inspired by ’50s and ’60s Hollywood, the collection includes ready-to-wear items like shorts, pants and boleros mostly made of piña and abaca; cocktail pieces like balloon dresses and empire-cut baby doll dresses accented with belts embellished with Philippine fresh water pearls, beads and sequins; couture evening gowns in silk chiffon, dupioni silk and beaded lace with Swarovski crystals and handmade rosettes; and bridal pieces made of French lace, duchesse satin, tulle, piña and abaca.

Among the over 600 spectators at the show were international designer Trina Turk who also presented that week, Disney actress and Tolentino’s client Anna Maria Perez de Tagle, and Los Angeles Philippine Consul General Mary Jo Aragon.

After the show, guests headed to a party in Tolentino’s honor at the Ace Hotel. Palm Springs Life magazine, which invited Tolentino to present at El Paseo, will feature him and his show in its upcoming issue.



Photos by Sthanlee Mirador and Janine Chavez.

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