A Genius in His Craft
Francis Libiran, Architect-turned-fashion designer
By Rachelle Cruz
It’s fitting that the CPFW capped off the week with a salute to Francis Libiran, the most-awaited, most-celebrated A-list Filipino designer. If you think you’ve seen his best from last year’s 100 Collection, think again.
This architect-turned-fashion designer presented his 50-piece collection at the CPFW Fashion Ball at the Fairmont Royal York in Toronto on June 14, during a beautiful charity gala dinner for The Kol Hope Foundation for Children. His creations were nothing short of – what’s the word? Breathtaking? Even that’s an understatement. Whether you’re a natural-born fashionista with an eye for style, it’s impossible not to appreciate the works of art cascading down the runway.
Libiran rose to prominence after becoming a featured designer on “America’s Next Top Model”. It’s quite evident that supermodel Tyra Banks is an ambassador of his work, often wearing his gowns out on events, consequently boosting his international presence. Still, Libiran continues to awe, and bring pride and glory to the Philippines simply because he is a genius in his craft.
Even CBC’s TV hosts/personalities Steven and Chris had only these words to say, “This guy doesn’t need to grow! He is the ultimate designer!”
Libiran will be back in town in August for the Toronto Men’s Fashion Week (TOM*) so men out there, don’t feel left out, because there’ll be something for you! In the meantime, The Philippine Reporter caught up with him and here’s the scoop:
TPR: The details of your 50-piece collection had a lot of patterns. Where did you get the inspiration? Can you talk a little about it?
LIBIRAN: I drew inspiration from my trip to Bangalore, India where I was captivated by the design details of the famous Bangalore Palace and the vibrant colors that brought the whole place to life. The Bangalore Palace was built in Tudor style architecture with its fortified towers, battlements and turrets. The interiors are decorated with elegant carvings, floral motifs, cornices and relief paintings on the ceiling. The furniture is neo-classical, Victorian and Edwardian in style. Inspired by the interiors of the palace, I was able to create wearable art pieces with my aesthetics.
TPR: This is your second year participating in CPFW. What was the experience like, and how was it different from last year’s?
LIBIRAN: Same as last year, I feel so grateful to be part of this breakthrough event. Canada Philippine Fashion Week symbolizes that Filipino artistry is really going global! Last year, I presented my 100 Collection on a gala night together with other Filipino designers at the prestigious Roy Thomson Hall. This year, I am very honored to showcase my 50 piece Icon Collection on a special night that the CPFW Council dedicated for me alone, with the event entitled Canada Philippine Fashion Ball: A Salute to Francis Libiran. It always feels great to be able to bring pride and glory to the Philippines.