Style Fashion Week – Fall 2016
By Marivir R. Montebon
Photography by Daisy Benin
I think as we discover ourselves deeper we realize that there is more to who we are than following fashion blindly. That is why I design classic wearable and timeless pieces. They last longer. – David Tupaz
New York City — David Tupaz pays tribute to legendary style icons Katharine Hepburn and Lauren Bacall in his Fall 2016 collection at the Style Fashion Week. On an extremely cold Valentine night, Gotham Hall’s runway flowed with Tupaz’s classic black and white coordinates which carefully transitioned to the earth tones of brown and gold and then to silver and gray.
Tupaz’s creation are glamorous, celebrating the classic elegance that defined old Hollywood. But he whips in the value of functionality into every piece, making each creation timeless.
“One never sees a bad photo of Audrey Hepburn. To this day, new designers still get inspiration from her style. That is classic.”
This is the second year that Tupaz joined the Big Apple’s fashion week, the first being at the Philippine Consulate on 5th Avenue. He continues to be received eagerly by industry partners and rides high on the approving warmth and pride of the Filipino community here.
He used to live in New York and Los Angeles before moving to Las Vegas in 2010. As an artist, he believes that beauty is the ultimate reach of mankind. “We all want to look young forever. We want to be desired and appreciated. Beauty is God made real.”
Tupaz founded the Las Vegas Fashion Design Council that assists designers in their creative growth through workshops and events. He is also editor-in-chief of L’Vegue, the official fashion magazine of Las Vegas.
Excerpts of our interview:
How does one become a successful couturier like you?
One must have a great following of very influential clients who can afford a custom-made one of a kind ensemble. To succeed as a fashion designer doing ready to wear clothes, one must have a retail following like Macy’s, Saks, Bloomingdale’s as they are the ones buying those off the rack clothes for their clientele.
Bottom line in fashion? One can design the most spectacular outfit that will get oohhs and aàhs! But if that outfit doesn’t sell, it doesn’t mean anything. Fashion is disposable. It is the only industry that changes every season. So the turnover is quick. But in couture, custom pieces end up in museums. They become works of art.
So it all market-driven. But isn’t it that designers and couturiers influence the choice of the market?
Well, it is all about who wears one’s designs. Here in America, we are so celebrity-conscious. People get their influences through their favorite stars from movies to TV to music. And not just clothing, but also hair style, etc.
In Europe, like in England, their influences are the likes of royalty – Princess Diana or today’s Duchess Kate. But gone are the days when fashion was dictated by designers. I remember when I was younger…when the skirts go short, everyone wears it short. When the designers make it long, everyone wears it long.
Today, fashion has become so personal that individual expressions are the norm. When I was growing up, we followed fashion like religion. Today, we follow what appeals to us as individuals, identifying their personal style. Chanel said, ‘fashion changes but style remains.’
Does that mean people are more mature these days that they do not blindly follow fashion?
I think as we discover ourselves deeper we realize that there is more to who we are than following fashion blindly. That is why I design classic wearable and timeless pieces. They last longer.
I saw your fashion show at the Philippine Consulate last year, and I truly like the functionality of your creations. Do you think of your client’s body and personality in creating instead of putting out your sheer creativity?
Yes. I learn about my client. I get to understand her personality and make sure that what I design for her represents her person. When I design for someone I do my research – who is she, her position in life, her career, family. Where she spends her time, who she involves herself with, what functions does she attend to, what is her favorite color, etc. I make sure I am part of her production number. I help create that setting.
I have always believed in giving women a sense of dignified grace, respect, and placed on a pedestal and always elegant.
Tell us about what practical and classic style means in everyday life.