Stylish stars, socialites and designers fete the launch of Slim exhibit and book

Showbiz joined style at the retrospective gala for Salvacion Lim-Higgins, couturier to Manila's socialites, First Ladies and celebrities.

The National Museum was filled with the well-heeled and well-dressed: celebrities, top designers and fashion personalities who paid tribute to Salvacion Lim-Higgins, better known as Slim, in a gala reception to formally launch the retrospective exhibit entitled "SLIM: Salvacion Lim Higgins, Philippine Haute Couture 1947-1990" on November 24 sponsored by Preview and Town & Country magazines.

Click on the gallery below to see celebrities like Anne Curtis, Bianca Gonzalez, Heart Evangelista, Carla Humphries, Diether Ocampo, Celine Lopez, Wendy Puyat, and more. Also spotted at the gala reception were model and Project Runway host Teresa Herrera, designers Mich Dulce, Kate Torralba, Katrina Goulbourn-Feist, Hindy Tantoco, Veejay Floresca, Rajo Laurel and Jojie Lloren.

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Held at the Museum of the Filipino People of the National Museum, the exhibit showcases Slim's gowns, some of which were borrowed from the private collections of her former clients, while others came from the archives of the school she established, the Slim's Fashion and Arts School. A collectors' edition coffee-table book that celebrates Slim's legacy was also launched that night.

In an interview with Preview in May 2008, Slim's daughter Sandy Higgins paints a picture of the fashion sensibilities in post-war Philippines. "Life was glamorous and laid-back, it was nothing [to the women] back then to order three designer gowns for one day–[for] a luncheon, afternoon tea, and an evening [ensemble for the] Kahirup ball," she says. It was this clientele that Slim served–the socialites, the celebrities, and even the First Ladies chose her to be their couturier.

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Slim also founded the Slim's Fashion and Arts School in 1960 to "pass on the lessons she had learned and the fashion tricks she had devised for herself," as Higgins tells Preview. The school has since produced some of the biggest names in the fashion industry today, including Joe Salazar, Pepito Albert, Cesar Gaupo, Oskar Peralta, Caloy Badidoy, Lulu Tan-Gan, and Joey Samson.

The exhibit will be open to the public from November 25, 2009, until March 2010.

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