For the launch of their Spring 2018 collection, Guess Philippines tapped ten local artists– including myself –to customize a denim jacket according to his or her signature style. As I posses a diverse body of work, it was difficult to discern what art style I considered to be my “signature”. I was given complete freedom, however, and decided to follow my passion of utilizing creative opportunities to mirror social issues. With the constant slew of misogynistic comments by our Philippine President, I was inspired to create a design rooted in Filipina empowerment. The finished product was exhibited at the brand’s multi-sensory fashion event, #TheArtOfGuess, and auctioned off for the benefit of the World Vision foundation.
For my collaboration with Guess, I reimagined the women from Fernando Amorsolo’s iconic paintings in protest. His dalagang bukid illustrations personified ideal Filipina beauty during the mid 20th century; I repurposed them to portray instead the strong women at the forefront of today’s social climate– modern Filipinas that are beautiful in their passion, in their ambition, and in their tenacity.
Amorsolo references. From L-R: The Making of the Philippine Flag (Year Unknown), Defence of a Filipina Woman’s Honour (1945), Nude Lavandera (1937), Water carrier (1936), Reading a Letter (1933), Writing a Letter (1933).
The original patterned draft.
While I initially planned for the patterned draft, the jacket lacked impact and I deferred instead to a larger, overlapping layout of the girls. I painted the design with acrylic paint and worked on the project across the span of three days.
Before and after. Aside from painting the design, I also cropped the jacket and removed its asymmetrical collar to create a better silhouette.
#TheArtOfGuess was held at Whitespace Manila from July 27 to 29, 2018. The event featured the customized jackets, multiple art installations, musical performances by top local acts, and a sneak peek at the brand’s upcoming Spring 2018 Collection. The first night was limited to VIPs, artists, and press, while the succeeding days were open to the general public. Photos by Chelsey Aranilla.
The jackets on display. From L-R: Anina Rubio, Jessica Yang, Steph Alvarez, Anna Bautista, Kara Pangilinan, Monica Magsanoc, Raxenne Maniquiz, and Soleil Ignacio (jackets of Alessandra Lanot and Lee Caces not in photo).
Social media coverage from Guess’ Instagram account and various attendees. From L-R: An overview of the event setup, Filipina celebrities Jess Wilson and Ava Daza hosting Instagram Live, and the completed jackets on display.