Trust Jerome Salaya Ang to close this season of Philippine Fashion Week with a Holiday 2012 collection that is equal parts royalty and dementia, with a dash of fragile femininity, all coming to fruition under the designer’s unholier-than-thou stigma. This is Jerome Salaya Ang’s court of Skin, Sin & Bones.
After a video showcase that introduced his collection—entitled Skin, Sin & Bones—Jerome Salaya Ang blasted the audience with a few bars of Carl Orff’s “O Fortuna” to set the mood. We advise you do the same now. Quick, press play:
With everyone’s anticipation mounting, the jagged and mirrored stage was suddenly lit by a dozen beams of bright white. Cue applause and first exit. All black, leatherette paillettes, head bandage, and eyes full of bad bitch confidence. Jerome Salaya Ang has always had an irreverence about him, hacking and slashing away at his garments, sticking them with safety pins, distorting model’s faces, and dazzling onlookers consistently. That’s probably why it’s extra hard not to mention that daunting reference that’s been pegged on Jerome for a while now: McQueen.
Well, mentioning the uncompromising British fashion house in comparison with Jerome is somewhat unavoidable, given the Voss head wraps, skull logos, as well as certain prints and silhouettes a la Hell’s Angels, Prolific Demons. (The paillette details are actually a bit reminiscent of Azrouel, but that’s beside the point.) Call it influence or inspiration, but really, I think it’s the whole aesthetic attitude behind Jerome’s couture creations that lends such similarities between his and McQueen’s shows. Without a doubt, Jerome Salaya Ang is our very own enfant terrible. The bad boy of Philippine fashion.
All things considered, there’s still an undeniable aesthetic that’s distinctly Jerome in all of his work, whether it’s the sensual exposed flesh, the bursts of texture and fabric, the blistering beadwork, or the anti-perfection. There’s always a twist, a carefully loosened thread, a consciously asymmetrical cut, or a swirl in the pattern that defies convention and conformity. That’s what Jerome stands for, and that’s what continues to amaze audiences.
For Holiday 2012, the humble designer gets intimate with construction, lacing bodices and bodycons with ribbons criss-crossing. His ruffled frocks appear more molded than sewn. There are buttons, flowers, rosettes, precious stones, crystals, and jewels in abundance. For the technical folk, there’s enough ruching, pleating, draping, gathering, weaving, bonding, glazing, embellishing, and more for you to teach a class with. For the rest, there’s just the divine grace of it all coming together to show what fashion can be, and what fashion has become in our little tropical archipelago. There’s only one last thing to say, really, because the collection (in pictures) is what you came here for anyway. Congratulations and thank you, Jerome Salaya Ang!—D-SIÓN