Oliver Tolentino Shows Native Fabrics in Beverly Hills

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Hollywood fashion designer Oliver Tolentino presented an all eco collection last October 19th at the exclusive Waldorf Astoria Hotel in Beverly Hills, California, as part of L.A. Fashion Week, Beverly Hills. The celebrity designer, who has boutiques in Los Angeles and Manila, created couture from piña, abaca, water hyacinth, and Philippine silk for a fashionable crowd unfamiliar with the fabrics.

Of course, a who’s who in the Fil-Am community also turned out, including Filipino actors Jon Jon Briones, Tia Carrere, and Reggie Lee, as well as singer Jay-R with wife Mica Javier, all of whom showed pride in seeing Philippine fabrics walk down the runway. It was standing room-only in the 300-seat ballroom of the luxury hotel. The designer’s muse, Fil-Am model Tutay Maristela, opened and closed the show, and former Miss Universe Margaret Gardiner sat front row in the designer’s dress.

According to Tolentino, “this collection was my first all eco collection, with an emphasis on manipulation of fabric, and use of leftover beads. Abaca can be stiff so there’s a challenge to draping it without hiding a women’s shape. By inserting silk with abaca the fabric is softer and allows me to drape it to show the model’s narrow waist,” the designer added. “I like how you can use it to create shapes like in a Van Gogh painting.   I also used environmentally-friendly hand dyes to create vibrant greens, purples, blues, yellows, and reds,” Tolentino noted.

The designer’s show was part of Planet Fashion TV’s series of fashion events around the world, with sustainability as the focus. Tolentino previously showed an eco and up-cycled collection for Planet Fashion TV at New York Fashion Week, and he welcomed the opportunity when they offered him the Beverly Hills show to present fabrics made from the leaves of pineapples and the abaca green plant.
“I love creating modern couture where people first love the look, then find out it’s eco,” noted the designer. “And I love helping promote the skills of the weavers and embroiderers back home.”
Tolentino is well known for promoting native fabrics on the international stage in fashion shows, red carpets, and magazines. Previous Hollywood celebrities who have worn his eco pieces are Carrie Underwood, Emmy Rossum, Jessica Alba, Sophia Bush, Gabrielle Union, and more.

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